Tag Archives: Saddam Hussein

Psychic wins lottery and The Bush Propaganda Connection.

The first is the most famous headline you’ve never read… the rest of it is about the so-called “Bible Code”. The “History Channel” is running the shitmongering 4 times this evening, saying the Bible Code is accurate, predicted assassinations, 9/11 yadda yadda yadda….

Remember this show was taped in 2003.
It also allegedly predicted that Saddam was tied to 9/11 and the often discredited Bush LIE about WMDs, and the retarded notion that they were somehow smuggled to Syria.

Instead of, you know, Saddam knowing he’s going to be killed no matter what, actually USING them. And somehow smuggling a Million Pounds of Nerve Gas out of the country while the U.S. Army, Navy Air Force Marines were watching them under the proverbial microscope.

People watching this show, if they believe any of the Israeli and CheneyBush Corporation CRAP mentioned therein, will believe that God, in person, has given them the Celestial Green Light not only to Invade, conquer and occupy errr “Liberate” Iraq, but also to “Liberate” Syria.

This is alternating with a show about the Seven Seals of the Apocalypse, wherein the Political Propaganda-inspired narrative, when mentioning Biological Weapons, always bring in the notion of a small government or non-governmental organization unleashing them.

Not even mentioning, because this is BushCo Propaganda, the intent of the Bush Administration to unleash Smallpox on Iraq.

Bush and Co. ordered the Koalition of the Killing Imperial StormTroopers to be vaccinated against a disease which is extinct in the wild and the only known cultures of it left in the world are in the United States and the Former Soviet Union.

It wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. Military has used smallpox as a Bio-Terror weapon either.

The LIE put out by the Koalition of the Killing was that Saddam Hussein intended to use the Smallpox virus, which he didn’t even HAVE,

BUT… the first persons you would vaccinate against a horrendous Bio-Terror weapon (Which the U.S. has, and Iraq did NOT have) would be the soldiers in your own army.

This ties to something repeated in the PNAC statements of Intent to Commit Mass Murder, Robbery and World Conquest errr “Liberation” (under the Benevolent Domination of U.S. Corporations)…

That

We have biological agents tailored to “a certain genotype” and should always consider their use

Of course the people who suggested that were Jewish and were talking about using a bio-terror weapon that’s tailored to Their Own Genotype.

Meaning Arabian.

What’s that said at Seder? “Our father was a wandering Arabian” sound familiar?

And the Arab and Israeli claims, seemingly contradictory, stem from the history that they are, indeed, two branches of the Same Family.

Add in 3700 more or less years of family infighting complicating those claims… but with all the complications the dispute arises within the family.

An interesting story illustrating this is in the end of the Book of The Judges of Israel, in the Old Testament. Segues into the books of Samuel. Involving the Tribe of Benjamin.

If the Rulers of the Knesset want to distance themselves from these bastards they really should start doing it really soon…

Instead of, you know, being the Puppets ruled by these same bastards who would willingly kill off every Jew in Israel and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula and Asia as well.

make no mistake, these dudes are Master Propagandists. Propaganda by the way means “planting seeds”.

There’s such a thing as planting seeds of Evil too… and, sure enough…

Semper Fi, Ollie- Again…

You know, this whole scene in Israel and Palestine right now has the marks of Bush double dealing again, playing all sides against the middle.

The cowboy-looking swarthy fellow who identified himself as a Jew AND a Marine. last night as he was cursing us…

…brought this back to mind.

I wonder, sometimes, how much guilt does the U.S. government share, in our name and with our tax dollars of course, and our kin on the ground… and under the ground.

Why, exactly, did the “smart money” give arms to Hizbollah?

Knowing of course that Hizbollah doesn’t like them and would do their level best to strike, but you notice, the so-called Patriots who struck the deal, they didn’t get killed.

Over 300 Marines, mostly the scions of the “lower” classes, got killed.

Likewise, when the deals were struck with the Medellin Cartel, same time, yeah? There was a “Massive Crackdown” on the southern borders, for those of us who smoked marijuana, it was a Famine in the Land.

Suddenly, though, “black tar” and smokeable cocaine were everywhere.

You might say, tongue firmly in cheek, there was a massive “smack” or a “crack”, down on the southern border.

When I was stopped by the Border Patrol and they were waving guns in my face, screaming in Spanish, there were actually death squads in El Paso at the same time.

And since they didn’t offer any badge or insignia type evidence to the contrary, at least primarily, yeah, I thought that was who it was.

The idea that these Drug Militia were financed at least partly by Yankee Government donations crossed my mind more than once.

Fortunately, a bullet hasn’t crossed my mind, not yet at least.

Then, Bush comes off with the strangest ever response to the 9/11 strikes… his operatives start saying that the Colombians in particular were funneling money to al Qa’eda…. and no explanation of why exactly they would know that.

The one that fits most perfectly is the connection between Saddam Hussein and Bush, Manuel Noriega and Bush… as in Bush the Elder and “Saint Ronnie the Incredibly Teflon Nice”…

USMC Lt. Colonel Oliver North.

I would say, and Mr North should listen, he’s been playing with some incredibly BAD boys.

North is now the biggest link left between Bush Junior and al Qa’eda.

He should look to what happened to the Other Major Links.

Probably with his assistance. Because he’s not averse in any way to lying, stealing, killing or betrayal…

Perhaps his “loyalty” to the Bu’ush Regime lies in his innate cowardice, he’s scared to testify.

How about it, Ollie? You’ve got friends“associates in town here who monitor this website and our activities, and our writings.

Somewhere under all that slime with which you coated yourself, maybe there’s a little bit, a spark, if you will, of actual Patriotism.

Truth, Ollie, truth… it’s the only path left for you,
I’ve looked down the barrels of your comrades guns before. The only way I survived was by standing my ground.

Semper Fi.

You know what it means. “faithful forever”.

You haven’t been faithful yet, not to the Marine Corps, nor to America nor to God Himself.

Nor to yourself. You’ve let yourself become the Lap-dog of the Empire.

Make that stand for the first time in your life.

Harold Pinter on drama and US banditry

“What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days – conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead?”
-Harold Pinter (1930-2008)

I’m reminded of a friend of mine who asked “You know what PTSD is? It’s a bad conscience.”

An outspoken critic of the Iraq War, Harold Pinter died Christmas Eve. Here is the address he prerecorded for his acceptance of the Nobel Prize in 2005, when he had become too infirm to attend in person.

Nobel Lecture: Art, Truth & Politics

In 1958 I wrote the following:

‘There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.’

I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?

Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or a shape which seems to correspond to the truth, often without realising that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost.

I have often been asked how my plays come about. I cannot say. Nor can I ever sum up my plays, except to say that this is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did.

Most of the plays are engendered by a line, a word or an image. The given word is often shortly followed by the image. I shall give two examples of two lines which came right out of the blue into my head, followed by an image, followed by me.

The plays are The Homecoming and Old Times. The first line of The Homecoming is ‘What have you done with the scissors?’ The first line of Old Times is ‘Dark.’

In each case I had no further information.

In the first case someone was obviously looking for a pair of scissors and was demanding their whereabouts of someone else he suspected had probably stolen them. But I somehow knew that the person addressed didn’t give a damn about the scissors or about the questioner either, for that matter.

‘Dark’ I took to be a description of someone’s hair, the hair of a woman, and was the answer to a question. In each case I found myself compelled to pursue the matter. This happened visually, a very slow fade, through shadow into light.

I always start a play by calling the characters A, B and C.

In the play that became The Homecoming I saw a man enter a stark room and ask his question of a younger man sitting on an ugly sofa reading a racing paper. I somehow suspected that A was a father and that B was his son, but I had no proof. This was however confirmed a short time later when B (later to become Lenny) says to A (later to become Max), ‘Dad, do you mind if I change the subject? I want to ask you something. The dinner we had before, what was the name of it? What do you call it? Why don’t you buy a dog? You’re a dog cook. Honest. You think you’re cooking for a lot of dogs.’ So since B calls A ‘Dad’ it seemed to me reasonable to assume that they were father and son. A was also clearly the cook and his cooking did not seem to be held in high regard. Did this mean that there was no mother? I didn’t know. But, as I told myself at the time, our beginnings never know our ends.

‘Dark.’ A large window. Evening sky. A man, A (later to become Deeley), and a woman, B (later to become Kate), sitting with drinks. ‘Fat or thin?’ the man asks. Who are they talking about? But I then see, standing at the window, a woman, C (later to become Anna), in another condition of light, her back to them, her hair dark.

It’s a strange moment, the moment of creating characters who up to that moment have had no existence. What follows is fitful, uncertain, even hallucinatory, although sometimes it can be an unstoppable avalanche. The author’s position is an odd one. In a sense he is not welcomed by the characters. The characters resist him, they are not easy to live with, they are impossible to define. You certainly can’t dictate to them. To a certain extent you play a never-ending game with them, cat and mouse, blind man’s buff, hide and seek. But finally you find that you have people of flesh and blood on your hands, people with will and an individual sensibility of their own, made out of component parts you are unable to change, manipulate or distort.

So language in art remains a highly ambiguous transaction, a quicksand, a trampoline, a frozen pool which might give way under you, the author, at any time.

But as I have said, the search for the truth can never stop. It cannot be adjourned, it cannot be postponed. It has to be faced, right there, on the spot.

Political theatre presents an entirely different set of problems. Sermonising has to be avoided at all cost. Objectivity is essential. The characters must be allowed to breathe their own air. The author cannot confine and constrict them to satisfy his own taste or disposition or prejudice. He must be prepared to approach them from a variety of angles, from a full and uninhibited range of perspectives, take them by surprise, perhaps, occasionally, but nevertheless give them the freedom to go which way they will. This does not always work. And political satire, of course, adheres to none of these precepts, in fact does precisely the opposite, which is its proper function.

In my play The Birthday Party I think I allow a whole range of options to operate in a dense forest of possibility before finally focussing on an act of subjugation.

Mountain Language pretends to no such range of operation. It remains brutal, short and ugly. But the soldiers in the play do get some fun out of it. One sometimes forgets that torturers become easily bored. They need a bit of a laugh to keep their spirits up. This has been confirmed of course by the events at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad. Mountain Language lasts only 20 minutes, but it could go on for hour after hour, on and on and on, the same pattern repeated over and over again, on and on, hour after hour.

Ashes to Ashes, on the other hand, seems to me to be taking place under water. A drowning woman, her hand reaching up through the waves, dropping down out of sight, reaching for others, but finding nobody there, either above or under the water, finding only shadows, reflections, floating; the woman a lost figure in a drowning landscape, a woman unable to escape the doom that seemed to belong only to others.

But as they died, she must die too.

Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory since the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.

As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.

The truth is something entirely different. The truth is to do with how the United States understands its role in the world and how it chooses to embody it.

But before I come back to the present I would like to look at the recent past, by which I mean United States foreign policy since the end of the Second World War. I believe it is obligatory upon us to subject this period to at least some kind of even limited scrutiny, which is all that time will allow here.

Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.

But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognised as crimes at all. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth has considerable bearing on where the world stands now. Although constrained, to a certain extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States’ actions throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to do what it liked.

Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America’s favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as ‘low intensity conflict’. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued – or beaten to death – the same thing – and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed. This was a commonplace in US foreign policy in the years to which I refer.

The tragedy of Nicaragua was a highly significant case. I choose to offer it here as a potent example of America’s view of its role in the world, both then and now.

I was present at a meeting at the US embassy in London in the late 1980s.

The United States Congress was about to decide whether to give more money to the Contras in their campaign against the state of Nicaragua. I was a member of a delegation speaking on behalf of Nicaragua but the most important member of this delegation was a Father John Metcalf. The leader of the US body was Raymond Seitz (then number two to the ambassador, later ambassador himself). Father Metcalf said: ‘Sir, I am in charge of a parish in the north of Nicaragua. My parishioners built a school, a health centre, a cultural centre. We have lived in peace. A few months ago a Contra force attacked the parish. They destroyed everything: the school, the health centre, the cultural centre. They raped nurses and teachers, slaughtered doctors, in the most brutal manner. They behaved like savages. Please demand that the US government withdraw its support from this shocking terrorist activity.’

Raymond Seitz had a very good reputation as a rational, responsible and highly sophisticated man. He was greatly respected in diplomatic circles. He listened, paused and then spoke with some gravity. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘let me tell you something. In war, innocent people always suffer.’ There was a frozen silence. We stared at him. He did not flinch.

Innocent people, indeed, always suffer.

Finally somebody said: ‘But in this case “innocent people” were the victims of a gruesome atrocity subsidised by your government, one among many. If Congress allows the Contras more money further atrocities of this kind will take place. Is this not the case? Is your government not therefore guilty of supporting acts of murder and destruction upon the citizens of a sovereign state?’

Seitz was imperturbable. ‘I don’t agree that the facts as presented support your assertions,’ he said.

As we were leaving the Embassy a US aide told me that he enjoyed my plays. I did not reply.

I should remind you that at the time President Reagan made the following statement: ‘The Contras are the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.’

The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for over 40 years. The Nicaraguan people, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in 1979, a breathtaking popular revolution.

The Sandinistas weren’t perfect. They possessed their fair share of arrogance and their political philosophy contained a number of contradictory elements. But they were intelligent, rational and civilised. They set out to establish a stable, decent, pluralistic society. The death penalty was abolished. Hundreds of thousands of poverty-stricken peasants were brought back from the dead. Over 100,000 families were given title to land. Two thousand schools were built. A quite remarkable literacy campaign reduced illiteracy in the country to less than one seventh. Free education was established and a free health service. Infant mortality was reduced by a third. Polio was eradicated.

The United States denounced these achievements as Marxist/Leninist subversion. In the view of the US government, a dangerous example was being set. If Nicaragua was allowed to establish basic norms of social and economic justice, if it was allowed to raise the standards of health care and education and achieve social unity and national self respect, neighbouring countries would ask the same questions and do the same things. There was of course at the time fierce resistance to the status quo in El Salvador.

I spoke earlier about ‘a tapestry of lies’ which surrounds us. President Reagan commonly described Nicaragua as a ‘totalitarian dungeon’. This was taken generally by the media, and certainly by the British government, as accurate and fair comment. But there was in fact no record of death squads under the Sandinista government. There was no record of torture. There was no record of systematic or official military brutality. No priests were ever murdered in Nicaragua. There were in fact three priests in the government, two Jesuits and a Maryknoll missionary. The totalitarian dungeons were actually next door, in El Salvador and Guatemala. The United States had brought down the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1954 and it is estimated that over 200,000 people had been victims of successive military dictatorships.

Six of the most distinguished Jesuits in the world were viciously murdered at the Central American University in San Salvador in 1989 by a battalion of the Alcatl regiment trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. That extremely brave man Archbishop Romero was assassinated while saying mass. It is estimated that 75,000 people died. Why were they killed? They were killed because they believed a better life was possible and should be achieved. That belief immediately qualified them as communists. They died because they dared to question the status quo, the endless plateau of poverty, disease, degradation and oppression, which had been their birthright.

The United States finally brought down the Sandinista government. It took some years and considerable resistance but relentless economic persecution and 30,000 dead finally undermined the spirit of the Nicaraguan people. They were exhausted and poverty stricken once again. The casinos moved back into the country. Free health and free education were over. Big business returned with a vengeance. ‘Democracy’ had prevailed.

But this ‘policy’ was by no means restricted to Central America. It was conducted throughout the world. It was never-ending. And it is as if it never happened.

The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It’s a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, ‘the American people’, as in the sentence, ‘I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.’

It’s a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words ‘the American people’ provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don’t need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it’s very comfortable. This does not apply of course to the 40 million people living below the poverty line and the 2 million men and women imprisoned in the vast gulag of prisons, which extends across the US.

The United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious. It puts its cards on the table without fear or favour. It quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant. It also has its own bleating little lamb tagging behind it on a lead, the pathetic and supine Great Britain.

What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days – conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead? Look at Guantanamo Bay. Hundreds of people detained without charge for over three years, with no legal representation or due process, technically detained forever. This totally illegitimate structure is maintained in defiance of the Geneva Convention. It is not only tolerated but hardly thought about by what’s called the ‘international community’. This criminal outrage is being committed by a country, which declares itself to be ‘the leader of the free world’. Do we think about the inhabitants of Guantanamo Bay? What does the media say about them? They pop up occasionally – a small item on page six. They have been consigned to a no man’s land from which indeed they may never return. At present many are on hunger strike, being force-fed, including British residents. No niceties in these force-feeding procedures. No sedative or anaesthetic. Just a tube stuck up your nose and into your throat. You vomit blood. This is torture. What has the British Foreign Secretary said about this? Nothing. What has the British Prime Minister said about this? Nothing. Why not? Because the United States has said: to criticise our conduct in Guantanamo Bay constitutes an unfriendly act. You’re either with us or against us. So Blair shuts up.

The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading – as a last resort – all other justifications having failed to justify themselves – as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’.

How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice. But Bush has been clever. He has not ratified the International Criminal Court of Justice. Therefore if any American soldier or for that matter politician finds himself in the dock Bush has warned that he will send in the marines. But Tony Blair has ratified the Court and is therefore available for prosecution. We can let the Court have his address if they’re interested. It is Number 10, Downing Street, London.

Death in this context is irrelevant. Both Bush and Blair place death well away on the back burner. At least 100,000 Iraqis were killed by American bombs and missiles before the Iraq insurgency began. These people are of no moment. Their deaths don’t exist. They are blank. They are not even recorded as being dead. ‘We don’t do body counts,’ said the American general Tommy Franks.

Early in the invasion there was a photograph published on the front page of British newspapers of Tony Blair kissing the cheek of a little Iraqi boy. ‘A grateful child,’ said the caption. A few days later there was a story and photograph, on an inside page, of another four-year-old boy with no arms. His family had been blown up by a missile. He was the only survivor. ‘When do I get my arms back?’ he asked. The story was dropped. Well, Tony Blair wasn’t holding him in his arms, nor the body of any other mutilated child, nor the body of any bloody corpse. Blood is dirty. It dirties your shirt and tie when you’re making a sincere speech on television.

The 2,000 American dead are an embarrassment. They are transported to their graves in the dark. Funerals are unobtrusive, out of harm’s way. The mutilated rot in their beds, some for the rest of their lives. So the dead and the mutilated both rot, in different kinds of graves.

Here is an extract from a poem by Pablo Neruda, ‘I’m Explaining a Few Things’:

And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate.

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives.

Treacherous
generals:
see my dead house,
look at broken Spain:
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull’s eye of your hearts.

And you will ask: why doesn’t his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land.

Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
the blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
in the streets!

Let me make it quite clear that in quoting from Neruda’s poem I am in no way comparing Republican Spain to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. I quote Neruda because nowhere in contemporary poetry have I read such a powerful visceral description of the bombing of civilians.

I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as ‘full spectrum dominance’. That is not my term, it is theirs. ‘Full spectrum dominance’ means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.

The United States now occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries, with the honourable exception of Sweden, of course. We don’t quite know how they got there but they are there all right.

The United States possesses 8,000 active and operational nuclear warheads. Two thousand are on hair trigger alert, ready to be launched with 15 minutes warning. It is developing new systems of nuclear force, known as bunker busters. The British, ever cooperative, are intending to replace their own nuclear missile, Trident. Who, I wonder, are they aiming at? Osama bin Laden? You? Me? Joe Dokes? China? Paris? Who knows? What we do know is that this infantile insanity – the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons – is at the heart of present American political philosophy. We must remind ourselves that the United States is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.

Many thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States itself are demonstrably sickened, shamed and angered by their government’s actions, but as things stand they are not a coherent political force – yet. But the anxiety, uncertainty and fear which we can see growing daily in the United States is unlikely to diminish.

I know that President Bush has many extremely competent speech writers but I would like to volunteer for the job myself. I propose the following short address which he can make on television to the nation. I see him grave, hair carefully combed, serious, winning, sincere, often beguiling, sometimes employing a wry smile, curiously attractive, a man’s man.

‘God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden’s God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam’s God was bad, except he didn’t have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don’t chop people’s heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don’t you forget it.’

A writer’s life is a highly vulnerable, almost naked activity. We don’t have to weep about that. The writer makes his choice and is stuck with it. But it is true to say that you are open to all the winds, some of them icy indeed. You are out on your own, out on a limb. You find no shelter, no protection – unless you lie – in which case of course you have constructed your own protection and, it could be argued, become a politician.

I have referred to death quite a few times this evening. I shall now quote a poem of my own called ‘Death’.

Where was the dead body found?
Who found the dead body?
Was the dead body dead when found?
How was the dead body found?

Who was the dead body?

Who was the father or daughter or brother
Or uncle or sister or mother or son
Of the dead and abandoned body?

Was the body dead when abandoned?
Was the body abandoned?
By whom had it been abandoned?

Was the dead body naked or dressed for a journey?

What made you declare the dead body dead?
Did you declare the dead body dead?
How well did you know the dead body?
How did you know the dead body was dead?

Did you wash the dead body
Did you close both its eyes
Did you bury the body
Did you leave it abandoned
Did you kiss the dead body

When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror – for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us – the dignity of man.

If this guy dies in custody… (“Operation Iraqi Freedom” my wrinkly old ARSE…)

First off everybody who has supported Bush and especially his war will be equally to blame…
Since allegedly the Ba’ath Regime torturers were put out of business, the ones who ALSO tortured the same journalist-cum-Activist, that means that the ones who broke his hand and two ribs were ones organized, trained, armed and paid by Uncle Sugar. And Trained By United States Military Personnel In How To Hurt People.

As of this morning, the BBC were reporting that he was being held at a U.S.A.F. base hospital.

And without benefit of counsel. The U.S. Military can claim they’re not responsible for his treatment, his injuries, the same way they “didn’t actually accelerate the lynching of Saddam Hussein”, but they’ll once more be LYING.

The United States Air Force now has custody over him, and THEY are now the ones denying him any Human Rights.

They’re probably giving him drugs to ENHANCE the pain. That’s what they’re like and one of the reasons I’m glad I got out before they could brainwash ME into accepting that kind of bullshit as Standard Operating Procedure.

It’s ALSO… proof positive that the “Operation Iraqi Freedom” name for the invasion and occupation of the Oil fields and just by a coincidence the allegedly Sovereign Nation in which the Oil Fields are located, was and still is so much Imperialistic Bullshit Lying Propaganda.

Not that anybody who supported Bush or McCain will give a DAMN about those uppity peasants in Iraq or even in the West Side of Colorado Springs.

If you do, then do something about the Corrupt Evil your soon-to-be-former President has allowed our nation to become.

The Punk-in-Chief won’t listen to left wing sources who criticize him, and the Right Wingers have maintained a Thunderous Deafening Silence on ANY of his abuses.

To the supporters of Mr Bush’s War, “Freedom” is just a word they use to convince the Ignorant to allow them to continue.

Dear Mrs Palin: write the 10 Commandments on the tablet of your heart…

This is a recurrent theme, Mr Bush and Mrs Palin have gone to bat for the notion of placing the Ten Commandments in every government building and facility in America. Except they don’t actually live by them in the first place, and actively break most of them daily in the second place.

1.You shall have no other gods before me

2.You shall not make for yourself an idol

3.You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God

4.Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy

5.Honor your father and mother

6.You shall not murder*

7.You shall not commit adultery

8.You shall not steal***

9.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

these last are counted as one Commandment
10.You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife
You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor

We have been told, repeatedly and indignantly, that we need to support a war started by none other than Mr Bush, and that God says we need no support it. That’s Commandments 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10 all in one swoop.

We were told in the beginning that it was because Saddam Hussein was amassing Weapons of Mass Destruction in preparation for a terrorist attack on America, and that he had been a participant in the attack on 9-11-2001.

Both of which had been exposed as lies before the first bombs fell on Baghdad.

So much for Commandment #9

The real reason is obviously to take the Oil which belongs to the Iraqi people.
Commandments #8 stealing and #10 coveting it in the first place.

This is in relation to an Idolatrous worship of money by the lying murdering thieves who started the war. They “jokingly” refer to a Graven Image (literally, the picture of George Washington is an engraving) as “The Almighty”.

A title usually which usually refers to God.

If it is “merely a joke” then it’s taking God’s name in vain Commandment #3.

If it’s not “merely a joke” then it’s having another god before God, Commandment #1, Graven Image #2 AND Blasphemy #3.

They now very arrogantly admit that the original reasons for George Bush starting the war, they’re somehow proud of committing perjury which breaks Commandment #9.

But they insist that God is somehow instructing them to do these things, in “Revelations of the Holy Ghost”.

A type of Blasphemy, Commandment #3, which Jesus Himself said is The One Unforgivable Sin, Blaspheming against the Holy Ghost.

And they insist that we support this action, and that God Himself commands us to do so… again with Commandment #3. And that it doesn’t matter that they broke Commandment #9.

When they use the name Christian, they are AGAIN using the Name of God, and doing it in vain

It’s been described as The Adoption and the Church has been termed “The Bride of Christ”, so we as Christians take the name the same way an adopted child takes the name of his adopted father, and the way a bride takes the name of her husband.

Thus #3 Taking God’s Name in vain, #5 honor thy mother and thy father, both their physical human parents (the surnames of their parents are dishonored by their hideous acts, and George Walker Bush has three of his father’s names.)

#7 Adultery because they, as the Bride of Christ, are whoring after their Other god “the almighty” dollar.

And #4, keep the Sabbath holy…

They do the other 9 on Saturday too, so, yep, It’s A Perfect Score of All TEN.

Obama endorsed by infamous UN liar

Anthrax vial“Less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax, a little bit about this amount — this is just about the amount of a teaspoon –“
 
Colin Powell perjured himself at the UN, playing the leading role in encouraging the invasion of Iraq which resulted in the deaths of over a million Iraqis. Now he’s lauded for endorsing Barack Obama? What hope is there that Obama will seek a just resolution to the war in Iraq?

Let’s continue this excerpt from Colin Powell’s presentation before the United Nations on February 6, 2003:

” …less than a teaspoon full of dry anthrax in an envelope shutdown the United States Senate in the fall of 2001. This forced several hundred people to undergo emergency medical treatment and killed two postal workers just from an amount just about this quantity that was inside of an envelope.

“Iraq declared 8,500 liters of anthrax, but UNSCOM estimates that Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons. And Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoon-full of this deadly material.

“And that is my third point. And it is key. The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had. They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them. And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well-documented.”

Transcript to Feb. 6, 2003 U. N. presentation by Colin Powell

Part 1: Introduction

Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, distinguished colleagues, I would like to begin by expressing my thanks for the special effort that each of you made to be here today.

This is important day for us all as we review the situation with respect to Iraq and its disarmament obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441.

Last November 8, this council passed Resolution 1441 by a unanimous vote. The purpose of that resolution was to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had already been found guilty of material breach of its obligations, stretching back over 16 previous resolutions and 12 years.

Resolution 1441 was not dealing with an innocent party, but a regime this council has repeatedly convicted over the years. Resolution 1441 gave Iraq one last chance, one last chance to come into compliance or to face serious consequences. No council member present in voting on that day had any illusions about the nature and intent of the resolution or what serious consequences meant if Iraq did not comply.

And to assist in its disarmament, we called on Iraq to cooperate with returning inspectors from UNMOVIC and IAEA.

We laid down tough standards for Iraq to meet to allow the inspectors to do their job.

This council placed the burden on Iraq to comply and disarm and not on the inspectors to find that which Iraq has gone out of its way to conceal for so long. Inspectors are inspectors; they are not detectives.

I asked for this session today for two purposes: First, to support the core assessments made by Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei. As Dr. Blix reported to this council on January 27th, “Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it.”

And as Dr. ElBaradei reported, Iraq’s declaration of December 7, “did not provide any new information relevant to certain questions that have been outstanding since 1998.”

My second purpose today is to provide you with additional information, to share with you what the United States knows about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction as well as Iraq’s involvement in terrorism, which is also the subject of Resolution 1441 and other earlier resolutions.

I might add at this point that we are providing all relevant information we can to the inspection teams for them to do their work.

The material I will present to you comes from a variety of sources. Some are U.S. sources. And some are those of other countries. Some of the sources are technical, such as intercepted telephone conversations and photos taken by satellites. Other sources are people who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really up to.

I cannot tell you everything that we know. But what I can share with you, when combined with what all of us have learned over the years, is deeply troubling.

What you will see is an accumulation of facts and disturbing patterns of behavior. The facts on Iraq’s behavior demonstrate that Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort — no effort — to disarm as required by the international community.

Indeed, the facts and Iraq’s behavior show that Saddam Hussein and his regime are concealing their efforts to produce more weapons of mass destruction.

Part 2: Hiding prohibited equipment

Let me begin by playing a tape for you. What you’re about to hear is a conversation that my government monitored. It takes place on November 26 of last year, on the day before United Nations teams resumed inspections in Iraq.

The conversation involves two senior officers, a colonel and a brigadier general, from Iraq’s elite military unit, the Republican Guard.

[Following is a U.S. translation of that taped conversation.]

GEN: Yeah.

COL: About this committee that is coming…

GEN: Yeah, yeah.

COL: …with Mohamed ElBaradei [Director, International Atomic Energy Agency]

GEN: Yeah, yeah.

COL: Yeah.

GEN: Yeah?

COL: We have this modified vehicle.

GEN: Yeah.

COL: What do we say if one of them sees it?

GEN: You didn’t get a modified… You don’t have a modified…

COL: By God, I have one.

GEN: Which? From the workshop…?

COL: From the al-Kindi Company

GEN: What?

COL: From al-Kindi.

GEN: Yeah, yeah. I’ll come to you in the morning. I have some comments. I’m worried you all have something left.

COL: We evacuated everything. We don’t have anything left.

GEN: I will come to you tomorrow.

COL: Okay.

GEN: I have a conference at Headquarters, before I attend the conference I will come to you.

Let me pause and review some of the key elements of this conversation that you just heard between these two officers.

First, they acknowledge that our colleague, Mohamed ElBaradei, is coming, and they know what he’s coming for, and they know he’s coming the next day. He’s coming to look for things that are prohibited. He is expecting these gentlemen to cooperate with him and not hide things.

But they’re worried. “We have this modified vehicle. What do we say if one of them sees it?”

What is their concern? Their concern is that it’s something they should not have, something that should not be seen.

The general is incredulous: “You didn’t get a modified. You don’t have one of those, do you?”

“I have one.”

“Which, from where?”

“From the workshop, from the al-Kindi Company?”

“What?”

“From al-Kindi.”

“I’ll come to see you in the morning. I’m worried. You all have something left.”

“We evacuated everything. We don’t have anything left.”

Note what he says: “We evacuated everything.”

We didn’t destroy it. We didn’t line it up for inspection. We didn’t turn it into the inspectors. We evacuated it to make sure it was not around when the inspectors showed up.

“I will come to you tomorrow.”

The al-Kindi Company: This is a company that is well known to have been involved in prohibited weapons systems activity.

Let me play another tape for you. As you will recall, the inspectors found 12 empty chemical warheads on January 16. On January 20, four days later, Iraq promised the inspectors it would search for more. You will now hear an officer from Republican Guard headquarters issuing an instruction to an officer in the field. Their conversation took place just last week on January 30.

Let me pause again and review the elements of this message.

“They’re inspecting the ammunition you have, yes.”

“Yes.”

“For the possibility there are forbidden ammo.”

“For the possibility there is by chance forbidden ammo?”

“Yes.”

“And we sent you a message yesterday to clean out all of the areas, the scrap areas, the abandoned areas. Make sure there is nothing there.”

Remember the first message, evacuated.

This is all part of a system of hiding things and moving things out of the way and making sure they have left nothing behind.

If you go a little further into this message, and you see the specific instructions from headquarters: “After you have carried out what is contained in this message, destroy the message because I don’t want anyone to see this message.”

“OK, OK.”

Why? Why?

This message would have verified to the inspectors that they have been trying to turn over things. They were looking for things. But they don’t want that message seen, because they were trying to clean up the area to leave no evidence behind of the presence of weapons of mass destruction. And they can claim that nothing was there. And the inspectors can look all they want, and they will find nothing.

This effort to hide things from the inspectors is not one or two isolated events, quite the contrary. This is part and parcel of a policy of evasion and deception that goes back 12 years, a policy set at the highest levels of the Iraqi regime.

Part 3: Attempt to thwart inspection

We know that Saddam Hussein has what is called “a higher committee for monitoring the inspections teams.” Think about that. Iraq has a high-level committee to monitor the inspectors who were sent in to monitor Iraq’s disarmament.

Not to cooperate with them, not to assist them, but to spy on them and keep them from doing their jobs.

The committee reports directly to Saddam Hussein. It is headed by Iraq’s vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan. Its members include Saddam Hussein’s son Qusay.

This committee also includes Lt. Gen. Amir al-Saadi, an adviser to Saddam. In case that name isn’t immediately familiar to you, Gen. Saadi has been the Iraqi regime’s primary point of contact for Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei. It was Gen. Saadi who last fall publicly pledged that Iraq was prepared to cooperate unconditionally with inspectors. Quite the contrary, Saadi’s job is not to cooperate, it is to deceive; not to disarm, but to undermine the inspectors; not to support them, but to frustrate them and to make sure they learn nothing.

We have learned a lot about the work of this special committee. We learned that just prior to the return of inspectors last November the regime had decided to resume what we heard called, “the old game of cat and mouse.”

For example, let me focus on the now famous declaration that Iraq submitted to this council on December 7. Iraq never had any intention of complying with this council’s mandate.

Instead, Iraq planned to use the declaration, overwhelm us and to overwhelm the inspectors with useless information about Iraq’s permitted weapons so that we would not have time to pursue Iraq’s prohibited weapons. Iraq’s goal was to give us, in this room, to give those of us on this council the false impression that the inspection process was working.

You saw the result. Dr. Blix pronounced the 12,200-page declaration, rich in volume, but poor in information and practically devoid of new evidence.

Could any member of this council honestly rise in defense of this false declaration?

Everything we have seen and heard indicates that, instead of cooperating actively with the inspectors to ensure the success of their mission, Saddam Hussein and his regime are busy doing all they possibly can to ensure that inspectors succeed in finding absolutely nothing.

My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.

Orders were issued to Iraq’s security organizations, as well as to Saddam Hussein’s own office, to hide all correspondence with the Organization of Military Industrialization.

This is the organization that oversees Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction activities. Make sure there are no documents left which could connect you to the OMI.

We know that Saddam’s son, Qusay, ordered the removal of all prohibited weapons from Saddam’s numerous palace complexes. We know that Iraqi government officials, members of the ruling Baath Party and scientists have hidden prohibited items in their homes. Other key files from military and scientific establishments have been placed in cars that are being driven around the countryside by Iraqi intelligence agents to avoid detection.

Thanks to intelligence they were provided, the inspectors recently found dramatic confirmation of these reports. When they searched the home of an Iraqi nuclear scientist, they uncovered roughly 2,000 pages of documents. You see them here being brought out of the home and placed in U.N. hands. Some of the material is

classified and related to Iraq’s nuclear program.

Tell me, answer me, are the inspectors to search the house of every government official, every Baath Party member and every scientist in the country to find the truth, to get the information they need, to satisfy the demands of our council?

Our sources tell us that, in some cases, the hard drives of computers at Iraqi weapons facilities were replaced. Who took the hard drives. Where did they go? What’s being hidden? Why? There’s only one answer to the why: to deceive, to hide, to keep from the inspectors.

Numerous human sources tell us that the Iraqis are moving, not just documents and hard drives, but weapons of mass destruction to keep them from being found by inspectors.

While we were here in this council chamber debating Resolution 1441 last fall, we know, we know from sources that a missile brigade outside Baghdad was disbursing rocket launchers and warheads containing biological warfare agents to various locations, distributing them to various locations in western Iraq. Most of the launchers and warheads have been hidden in large groves of palm trees and were to be moved every one to four weeks to escape detection.

We also have satellite photos that indicate that banned materials have recently been moved from a number of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction facilities.

Let me say a word about satellite images before I show a couple. The photos that I am about to show you are sometimes hard for the average person to interpret, hard for me. The painstaking work of photo analysis takes experts with years and years of experience, pouring for hours and hours over light tables. But as I show you these images, I will try to capture and explain what they mean, what they indicate to our imagery specialists.

Let’s look at one. This one is about a weapons munition facility, a facility that holds ammunition at a place called Taji (ph). This is one of about 65 such facilities in Iraq. We know that this one has housed chemical munitions. In fact, this is where the Iraqis recently came up with the additional four chemical weapon shells.

Here, you see 15 munitions bunkers in yellow and red outlines. The four that are in red squares represent active chemical munitions bunkers.

How do I know that? How can I say that? Let me give you a closer look. Look at the image on the left. On the left is a close-up of one of the four chemical bunkers. The two arrows indicate the presence of sure signs that the bunkers are storing chemical munitions. The arrow at the top that says security points to a facility that is the signature item for this kind of bunker. Inside that facility are special guards and special equipment to monitor any leakage that might come out of the bunker.

The truck you also see is a signature item. It’s a decontamination vehicle in case something goes wrong.

This is characteristic of those four bunkers. The special security facility and the decontamination vehicle will be in the area, if not at any one of them or one of the other, it is moving around those four, and it moves as it needed to move, as people are working in the different bunkers.

Now look at the picture on the right. You are now looking at two of those sanitized bunkers. The signature vehicles are gone, the tents are gone, it’s been cleaned up, and it was done on the 22nd of December, as the U.N. inspection team is arriving, and you can see the inspection vehicles arriving in the lower portion of the picture on the right.

The bunkers are clean when the inspectors get there. They found nothing.

This sequence of events raises the worrisome suspicion that Iraq had been tipped off to the forthcoming inspections at Taji (ph). As it did throughout the 1990s, we know that Iraq today is actively using its considerable intelligence capabilities to hide its illicit activities. From our sources, we know that inspectors are under constant surveillance by an army of Iraqi intelligence operatives.

Iraq is relentlessly attempting to tap all of their communications, both voice and electronics.

I would call my colleagues attention to the fine paper that United Kingdom distributed yesterday, which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.

In this next example, you will see the type of concealment activity Iraq has undertaken in response to the resumption of inspections. Indeed, in November 2002, just when the inspections were about to resume this type of activity spiked. Here are three examples.

At this ballistic missile site, on November 10, we saw a cargo truck preparing to move ballistic missile components. At this biological weapons related facility, on November 25, just two days before inspections resumed, this truck caravan appeared, something we almost never see at this facility, and we monitor it carefully and regularly.

At this ballistic missile facility, again, two days before inspections began, five large cargo trucks appeared along with the truck-mounted crane to move missiles. We saw this kind of house cleaning at close to 30 sites.

Days after this activity, the vehicles and the equipment that I’ve just highlighted disappear and the site returns to patterns of normalcy. We don’t know precisely what Iraq was moving, but the inspectors already knew about these sites, so Iraq knew that they would be coming.

We must ask ourselves: Why would Iraq suddenly move equipment of this nature before inspections if they were anxious to demonstrate what they had or did not have?

Remember the first intercept in which two Iraqis talked about the need to hide a modified vehicle from the inspectors. Where did Iraq take all of this equipment? Why wasn’t it presented to the inspectors?

Iraq also has refused to permit any U-2 reconnaissance flights that would give the inspectors a better sense of what’s being moved before, during and after inspectors.

This refusal to allow this kind of reconnaissance is in direct, specific violation of operative paragraph seven of our Resolution 1441.

Saddam Hussein and his regime are not just trying to conceal weapons, they’re also trying to hide people. You know the basic facts. Iraq has not complied with its obligation to allow immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted and private access to all officials and other persons as required by Resolution 1441.

Part 4: Access to scientists

The regime only allows interviews with inspectors in the presence of an Iraqi official, a minder. The official Iraqi organization charged with facilitating inspections announced, announced publicly and announced ominously that, quote, “Nobody is ready to leave Iraq to be interviewed.”

Iraqi Vice President Ramadan accused the inspectors of conducting espionage, a veiled threat that anyone cooperating with U.N. inspectors was committing treason.

Iraq did not meet its obligations under 1441 to provide a comprehensive list of scientists associated with its weapons of mass destruction programs. Iraq’s list was out of date and contained only about 500 names, despite the fact that UNSCOM had earlier put together a list of about 3,500 names.

Let me just tell you what a number of human sources have told us.

Saddam Hussein has directly participated in the effort to prevent interviews. In early December, Saddam Hussein had all Iraqi scientists warned of the serious consequences that they and their families would face if they revealed any sensitive information to the inspectors. They were forced to sign documents acknowledging that divulging information is punishable by death.

Saddam Hussein also said that scientists should be told not to agree to leave Iraq; anyone who agreed to be interviewed outside Iraq would be treated as a spy. This violates 1441.

In mid-November, just before the inspectors returned, Iraqi experts were ordered to report to the headquarters of the special security organization to receive counterintelligence training. The training focused on evasion methods, interrogation resistance techniques, and how to mislead inspectors.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are not assertions. These are facts, corroborated by many sources, some of them sources of the intelligence services of other countries.

For example, in mid-December weapons experts at one facility were replaced by Iraqi intelligence agents who were to deceive inspectors about the work that was being done there.

On orders from Saddam Hussein, Iraqi officials issued a false death certificate for one scientist, and he was sent into hiding.

In the middle of January, experts at one facility that was related to weapons of mass destruction, those experts had been ordered to stay home from work to avoid the inspectors. Workers from other Iraqi military facilities not engaged in illicit weapons projects were to replace the workers who’d been sent home. A dozen experts have been placed under house arrest, not in their own houses, but as a group at one of Saddam Hussein’s guest houses. It goes on and on and on.

As the examples I have just presented show, the information and intelligence we have gathered point to an active and systematic effort on the part of the Iraqi regime to keep key materials and people from the inspectors in direct violation of Resolution 1441. The pattern is not just one of reluctant cooperation, nor is it merely a lack of cooperation. What we see is a deliberate campaign to prevent any meaningful inspection work.

My colleagues, operative paragraph four of U.N. Resolution 1441, which we lingered over so long last fall, clearly states that false statements and omissions in the declaration and a failure by Iraq at any time to comply with and cooperate fully in the implementation of this resolution shall constitute — the facts speak for themselves –shall constitute a further material breach of its obligation.

We wrote it this way to give Iraq an early test — to give Iraq an early test. Would they give an honest declaration and would they early on indicate a willingness to cooperate with the inspectors? It was designed to be an early test.

They failed that test. By this standard, the standard of this operative paragraph, I believe that Iraq is now in further material breach of its obligations. I believe this conclusion is irrefutable and undeniable.

Iraq has now placed itself in danger of the serious consequences called for in U.N. Resolution 1441. And this body places itself in danger of irrelevance if it allows Iraq to continue to defy its will without responding effectively and immediately.

The issue before us is not how much time we are willing to give the inspectors to be frustrated by Iraqi obstruction. But how much longer are we willing to put up with Iraq’s noncompliance before we, as a council, we, as the United Nations, say: “Enough. Enough.”

The gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction pose to the world. Let me now turn to those deadly weapons programs and describe why they are real and present dangers to the region and to the world.

Part 5: Biological weapons program

First, biological weapons. We have talked frequently here about biological weapons. By way of introduction and history, I think there are just three quick points I need to make.

First, you will recall that it took UNSCOM four long and frustrating years to pry — to pry — an admission out of Iraq that it had biological weapons.

Second, when Iraq finally admitted having these weapons in 1995, the quantities were vast. Less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax, a little bit about this amount — this is just about the amount of a teaspoon — less than a teaspoon full of dry anthrax in an envelope shutdown the United States Senate in the fall of 2001. This forced several hundred people to undergo emergency medical treatment and killed two postal workers just from an amount just about this quantity that was inside of an envelope.

Iraq declared 8,500 liters of anthrax, but UNSCOM estimates that Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons. And Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoon-full of this deadly material.

And that is my third point. And it is key. The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had. They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them. And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well-documented.

Dr. Blix told this council that Iraq has provided little evidence to verify anthrax production and no convincing evidence of its destruction. It should come as no shock then, that since Saddam Hussein forced out the last inspectors in 1998, we have amassed much intelligence indicating that Iraq is continuing to make these weapons.

One of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick intelligence file we have on Iraq’s biological weapons is the existence of mobile production facilities used to make biological agents.

Let me take you inside that intelligence file and share with you what we know from eye witness accounts. We have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails.

The trucks and train cars are easily moved and are designed to evade detection by inspectors. In a matter of months, they can produce a quantity of biological poison equal to the entire amount that Iraq claimed to have produced in the years prior to the Gulf War.

Although Iraq’s mobile production program began in the mid-1990s, U.N. inspectors at the time only had vague hints of such programs. Confirmation came later, in the year 2000.

The source was an eye witness, an Iraqi chemical engineer who supervised one of these facilities. He actually was present during biological agent production runs. He was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998. Twelve technicians died from exposure to biological agents.

He reported that when UNSCOM was in country and inspecting, the biological weapons agent production always began on Thursdays at midnight because Iraq thought UNSCOM would not inspect on the Muslim Holy Day, Thursday night through Friday. He added that this was important because the units could not be broken down in the middle of a production run, which had to be completed by Friday evening before the inspectors might arrive again.

This defector is currently hiding in another country with the certain knowledge that Saddam Hussein will kill him if he finds him. His eye-witness account of these mobile production facilities has been corroborated by other sources.

A second source, an Iraqi civil engineer in a position to know the details of the program, confirmed the existence of transportable facilities moving on trailers.

A third source, also in a position to know, reported in summer 2002 that Iraq had manufactured mobile production systems mounted on road trailer units and on rail cars.

Finally, a fourth source, an Iraqi major, who defected, confirmed that Iraq has mobile biological research laboratories, in addition to the production facilities I mentioned earlier.

We have diagrammed what our sources reported about these mobile facilities. Here you see both truck and rail car-mounted mobile factories. The description our sources gave us of the technical features required by such facilities are highly detailed and extremely accurate. As these drawings based on their description show, we know what the fermenters look like, we know what the tanks, pumps, compressors and other parts look like. We know how they fit together. We know how they work. And we know a great deal about the platforms on which they are mounted.

As shown in this diagram, these factories can be concealed easily, either by moving ordinary-looking trucks and rail cars along Iraq’s thousands of miles of highway or track, or by parking them in a garage or warehouse or somewhere in Iraq’s extensive system of underground tunnels and bunkers.

We know that Iraq has at lest seven of these mobile biological agent factories. The truck-mounted ones have at least two or three trucks each. That means that the mobile production facilities are very few, perhaps 18 trucks that we know of — there may be more — but perhaps 18 that we know of. Just imagine trying to find 18 trucks among the thousands and thousands of trucks that travel the roads of Iraq every single day.

It took the inspectors four years to find out that Iraq was making biological agents. How long do you think it will take the inspectors to find even one of these 18 trucks without Iraq coming forward, as they are supposed to, with the information about these kinds of capabilities?

Ladies and gentlemen, these are sophisticated facilities. For example, they can produce anthrax and botulism toxin. In fact, they can produce enough dry biological agent in a single month to kill thousands upon thousands of people. And dry agent of this type is the most lethal form for human beings.

By 1998, U.N. experts agreed that the Iraqis had perfected drying techniques for their biological weapons programs. Now, Iraq has incorporated this drying expertise into these mobile production facilities.

We know from Iraq’s past admissions that it has successfully weaponized not only anthrax, but also other biological agents, including botulism toxin, aflatoxin and ricin.

But Iraq’s research efforts did not stop there. Saddam Hussein has investigated dozens of biological agents causing diseases such as gas gangrene, plague, typhus, tetanus, cholera, camelpox and hemorrhagic fever, and he also has the wherewithal to develop smallpox.

The Iraqi regime has also developed ways to disburse lethal biological agents, widely and discriminately into the water supply, into the air. For example, Iraq had a program to modify aerial fuel tanks for Mirage jets. This video of an Iraqi test flight obtained by UNSCOM some years ago shows an Iraqi F-1 Mirage jet aircraft. Note the spray coming from beneath the Mirage; that is 2,000 liters of simulated anthrax that a jet is spraying.

In 1995, an Iraqi military officer, Mujahid Sali Abdul Latif (ph), told inspectors that Iraq intended the spray tanks to be mounted onto a MiG-21 that had been converted into an unmanned aerial vehicle, or a UAV. UAVs outfitted with spray tanks constitute an ideal method for launching a terrorist attack using biological weapons.

Iraq admitted to producing four spray tanks. But to this day, it has provided no credible evidence that they were destroyed, evidence that was required by the international community.

There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein has biological weapons and the capability to rapidly produce more, many more. And he has the ability to dispense these lethal poisons and diseases in ways that can cause massive death and destruction. If biological weapons seem too terrible to contemplate, chemical weapons are equally chilling.

UNMOVIC already laid out much of this, and it is documented for all of us to read in UNSCOM’s 1999 report on the subject.

Let me set the stage with three key points that all of us need to keep in mind: First, Saddam Hussein has used these horrific weapons on another country and on his own people. In fact, in the history of chemical warfare, no country has had more battlefield experience with chemical weapons since World War I than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Part 6: Chemical weapons

Second, as with biological weapons, Saddam Hussein has never accounted for vast amounts of chemical weaponry: 550 artillery shells with mustard, 30,000 empty munitions and enough precursors to increase his stockpile to as much as 500 tons of chemical agents. If we consider just one category of missing weaponry — 6,500 bombs from the Iran-Iraq war — UNMOVIC says the amount of chemical agent in them would be in the order of 1,000 tons. These quantities of chemical weapons are now unaccounted for.

Dr. Blix has quipped that, quote, “Mustard gas is not (inaudible) You are supposed to know what you did with it.”

We believe Saddam Hussein knows what he did with it, and he has not come clean with the international community. We have evidence these weapons existed. What we don’t have is evidence from Iraq that they have been destroyed or where they are. That is what we are still waiting for.

Third point, Iraq’s record on chemical weapons is replete with lies. It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent, VX. A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons.

The admission only came out after inspectors collected documentation as a result of the defection of Hussein Kamal, Saddam Hussein’s late son-in-law. UNSCOM also gained forensic evidence that Iraq had produced VX and put it into weapons for delivery. Yet, to this day, Iraq denies it had ever weaponized VX.

And on January 27, UNMOVIC told this council that it has information that conflicts with the Iraqi account of its VX program.

We know that Iraq has embedded key portions of its illicit chemical weapons infrastructure within its legitimate civilian industry. To all outward appearances, even to experts, the infrastructure looks like an ordinary civilian operation. Illicit and legitimate production can go on simultaneously; or, on a dime, this dual-use infrastructure can turn from clandestine to commercial and then back again.

These inspections would be unlikely, any inspections of such facilities would be unlikely to turn up anything prohibited, especially if there is any warning that the inspections are coming. Call it ingenuous or evil genius, but the Iraqis deliberately designed their chemical weapons programs to be inspected. It is infrastructure with a built-in ally.

Under the guise of dual-use infrastructure, Iraq has undertaken an effort to reconstitute facilities that were closely associated with its past program to develop and produce chemical weapons.

For example, Iraq has rebuilt key portions of the Tariq state establishment. Tariq includes facilities designed specifically for Iraq’s chemical weapons program and employs key figures from past programs.

That’s the production end of Saddam’s chemical weapons business.

What about the delivery end?

I’m going to show you a small part of a chemical complex called al-Moussaid (ph), a site that Iraq has used for at least three years to transship chemical weapons from production facilities out to the field.

In May 2002, our satellites photographed the unusual activity in this picture. Here we see cargo vehicles are again at this transshipment point, and we can see that they are accompanied by a decontamination vehicle associated with biological or chemical weapons activity.

What makes this picture significant is that we have a human source who has corroborated that movement of chemical weapons occurred at this site at that time. So it’s not just the photo, and it’s not an individual seeing the photo. It’s the photo and then the knowledge of an individual being brought together to make the case.

This photograph of the site taken two months later in July shows not only the previous site, which is the figure in the middle at the top with the bulldozer sign near it, it shows that this previous site, as well as all of the other sites around the site, have been fully bulldozed and graded. The topsoil has been removed. The Iraqis literally removed the crust of the earth from large portions of this site in order to conceal chemical weapons evidence that would be there from years of chemical weapons activity.

To support its deadly biological and chemical weapons programs, Iraq procures needed items from around the world using an extensive clandestine network. What we know comes largely from intercepted communications and human sources who are in a position to know the facts.

Iraq’s procurement efforts include equipment that can filter and separate micro-organisms and toxins involved in biological weapons, equipment that can be used to concentrate the agent, growth media that can be used to continue producing anthrax and botulism toxin, sterilization equipment for laboratories, glass-lined reactors and specialty pumps that can handle corrosive chemical weapons agents and recursors, large amounts of vinyl chloride, a precursor for nerve and blister agents, and other chemicals such as sodium sulfide, an important mustard agent precursor.

Now, of course, Iraq will argue that these items can also be used for legitimate purposes. But if that is true, why do we have to learn about them by intercepting communications and risking the lives of human agents? With Iraq’s well documented history on biological and chemical weapons, why should any of us give Iraq the benefit of the doubt? I don’t, and I don’t think you will either after you hear this next intercept.

Just a few weeks ago, we intercepted communications between two commanders in Iraq’s Second Republican Guard Corps. One commander is going to be giving an instruction to the other. You will hear as this unfolds that what he wants to communicate to the other guy, he wants to make sure the other guy hears clearly, to the point of repeating it so that it gets written down and completely understood. Listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO TAPE)

(Speaking in Foreign Language.)

(END AUDIO TAPE)

Let’s review a few selected items of this conversation.

Two officers talking to each other on the radio want to make sure that nothing is misunderstood:

“Remove. Remove.”

The expression, the expression, “I got it.”

“Nerve agents. Nerve agents. Wherever it comes up.”

“Got it.”

“Wherever it comes up.”

“In the wireless instructions, in the instructions.”

“Correction. No. In the wireless instructions.”

“Wireless. I got it.”

Why does he repeat it that way? Why is he so forceful in making sure this is understood? And why did he focus on wireless instructions? Because the senior officer is concerned that somebody might be listening.

Well, somebody was.

“Nerve agents. Stop talking about it. They are listening to us. Don’t give any evidence that we have these horrible agents.”

Well, we know that they do. And this kind of conversation confirms it.

Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.

Even the low end of 100 tons of agent would enable Saddam Hussein to cause mass casualties across more than 100 square miles of territory, an area nearly five times the size of Manhattan.

Let me remind you that, of the 122 millimeter chemical warheads, that the U.N. inspectors found recently, this discovery could very well be, as has been noted, the tip of the submerged iceberg. The question before us, all my friends, is when will we see the rest of the submerged iceberg?

Saddam Hussein has chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein has used such weapons. And Saddam Hussein has no compunction about using them again, against his neighbors and against his own people.

And we have sources who tell us that he recently has authorized his field commanders to use them. He wouldn’t be passing out the orders if he didn’t have the weapons or the intent to use them.

We also have sources who tell us that, since the 1980s, Saddam’s regime has been experimenting on human beings to perfect its biological or chemical weapons.

A source said that 1,600 death row prisoners were transferred in 1995 to a special unit for such experiments. An eye witness saw prisoners tied down to beds, experiments conducted on them, blood oozing around the victim’s mouths and autopsies performed to confirm the effects on the prisoners. Saddam Hussein’s humanity — inhumanity has no limits.

Part 7: Nuclear weapons

Let me turn now to nuclear weapons. We have no indication that Saddam Hussein has ever abandoned his nuclear weapons program.

On the contrary, we have more than a decade of proof that he remains determined to acquire nuclear weapons.

To fully appreciate the challenge that we face today, remember that, in 1991, the inspectors searched Iraq’s primary nuclear weapons facilities for the first time. And they found nothing to conclude that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program.

But based on defector information in May of 1991, Saddam Hussein’s lie was exposed. In truth, Saddam Hussein had a massive clandestine nuclear weapons program that covered several different techniques to enrich uranium, including electromagnetic isotope separation, gas centrifuge, and gas diffusion. We estimate that this illicit program cost the Iraqis several billion dollars.

Nonetheless, Iraq continued to tell the IAEA that it had no nuclear weapons program. If Saddam had not been stopped, Iraq could have produced a nuclear bomb by 1993, years earlier than most worse-case assessments that had been made before the war.

In 1995, as a result of another defector, we find out that, after his invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein had initiated a crash program to build a crude nuclear weapon in violation of Iraq’s U.N. obligations.

Saddam Hussein already possesses two out of the three key components needed to build a nuclear bomb. He has a cadre of nuclear scientists with the expertise, and he has a bomb design.

Since 1998, his efforts to reconstitute his nuclear program have been focused on acquiring the third and last component, sufficient fissile material to produce a nuclear explosion. To make the fissile material, he needs to develop an ability to enrich uranium.

Saddam Hussein is determined to get his hands on a nuclear bomb.

He is so determined that he has made repeated covert attempts to acquire high-specification aluminum tubes from 11 different countries, even after inspections resumed.

These tubes are controlled by the Nuclear Suppliers Group precisely because they can be used as centrifuges for enriching uranium. By now, just about everyone has heard of these tubes, and we all know that there are differences of opinion. There is controversy about what these tubes are for.

Most U.S. experts think they are intended to serve as rotors in centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Other experts, and the Iraqis themselves, argue that they are really to produce the rocket bodies for a conventional weapon, a multiple rocket launcher.

Let me tell you what is not controversial about these tubes.

First, all the experts who have analyzed the tubes in our possession agree that they can be adapted for centrifuge use. Second, Iraq had no business buying them for any purpose. They are banned for Iraq.

I am no expert on centrifuge tubes, but just as an old Army trooper, I can tell you a couple of things: First, it strikes me as quite odd that these tubes are manufactured to a tolerance that far exceeds U.S. requirements for comparable rockets.

Maybe Iraqis just manufacture their conventional weapons to a higher standard than we do, but I don’t think so.

Second, we actually have examined tubes from several different batches that were seized clandestinely before they reached Baghdad. What we notice in these different batches is a progression to higher and higher levels of specification, including, in the latest batch, an anodized coating on extremely smooth inner and outer surfaces. Why would they continue refining the specifications, go to all that trouble for something that, if it was a rocket, would soon be blown into shrapnel when it went off?

The high tolerance aluminum tubes are only part of the story. We also have intelligence from multiple sources that Iraq is attempting to acquire magnets and high-speed balancing machines; both items can be used in a gas centrifuge program to enrich uranium.

In 1999 and 2000, Iraqi officials negotiated with firms in Romania, India, Russia and Slovenia for the purchase of a magnet production plant. Iraq wanted the plant to produce magnets weighing 20 to 30 grams. That’s the same weight as the magnets used in Iraq’s gas centrifuge program before the Gulf War. This incident linked with the tubes is another indicator of Iraq’s attempt to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program.

Intercepted communications from mid-2000 through last summer show that Iraq front companies sought to buy machines that can be used to balance gas centrifuge rotors. One of these companies also had been involved in a failed effort in 2001 to smuggle aluminum tubes into Iraq.

People will continue to debate this issue, but there is no doubt in my mind, these illicit procurement efforts show that Saddam Hussein is very much focused on putting in place the key missing piece from his nuclear weapons program, the ability to produce fissile material.

He also has been busy trying to maintain the other key parts of his nuclear program, particularly his cadre of key nuclear scientists.

It is noteworthy that, over the last 18 months, Saddam Hussein has paid increasing personal attention to Iraqi’s top nuclear scientists, a group that the governmental-controlled press calls openly, his nuclear mujahedeen. He regularly exhorts them and praises their progress. Progress toward what end?

Long ago, the Security Council, this council, required Iraq to halt all nuclear activities of any kind.

Part 8: Prohibited arms systems

Let me talk now about the systems Iraq is developing to deliver weapons of mass destruction, in particular Iraq’s ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs.

First, missiles. We all remember that before the Gulf War Saddam Hussein’s goal was missiles that flew not just hundreds, but thousands of kilometers. He wanted to strike not only his neighbors, but also nations far beyond his borders.

While inspectors destroyed most of the prohibited ballistic missiles, numerous intelligence reports over the past decade, from sources inside Iraq, indicate that Saddam Hussein retains a covert force of up to a few dozen Scud variant ballistic missiles. These are missiles with a range of 650 to 900 kilometers.

We know from intelligence and Iraq’s own admissions that Iraq’s alleged permitted ballistic missiles, the al-Samud II and the al-Fatah , violate the 150-kilometer limit established by this council in Resolution 687. These are prohibited systems.

UNMOVIC has also reported that Iraq has illegally important 380 SA-2 rocket engines. These are likely for use in the al-Samud II. Their import was illegal on three counts. Resolution 687 prohibited all military shipments into Iraq. UNSCOM specifically prohibited use of these engines in surface-to-surface missiles. And finally, as we have just noted, they are for a system that exceeds the150-kilometer range limit.

Worst of all, some of these engines were acquired as late as December — after this council passed Resolution 1441.

What I want you to know today is that Iraq has programs that are intended to produce ballistic missiles that fly over 1,000 kilometers.

One program is pursuing a liquid fuel missile that would be able to fly more than 1,200 kilometers. And you can see from this map, as well as I can, who will be in danger of these missiles.

As part of this effort, another little piece of evidence, Iraq has built an engine test stand that is larger than anything it has ever had. Notice the dramatic difference in size between the test stand on the left, the old one, and the new one on the right. Note the large exhaust vent. This is where the flame from the engine comes out. The exhaust on the right test stand is five times longer than the one on the left. The one on the left was used for short-range missile. The one on the right is clearly intended for long-range missiles that can fly 1,200 kilometers.

This photograph was taken in April of 2002. Since then, the test stand has been finished and a roof has been put over it so it will be harder for satellites to see what’s going on underneath the test stand.

Saddam Hussein’s intentions have never changed. He is not developing the missiles for self-defense. These are missiles that Iraq wants in order to project power, to threaten, and to deliver chemical, biological and, if we let him, nuclear warheads.

Now, unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs.

Iraq has been working on a variety of UAVs for more than a decade. This is just illustrative of what a UAV would look like.

This effort has included attempts to modify for unmanned flight the MiG-21 and with greater success an aircraft called the L-29.

However, Iraq is now concentrating not on these airplanes, but on developing and testing smaller UAVs, such as this.

UAVs are well suited for dispensing chemical and biological weapons.

There is ample evidence that Iraq has dedicated much effort to developing and testing spray devices that could be adapted for UAVs. And of the little that Saddam Hussein told us about UAVs, he has not told the truth. One of these lies is graphically and indisputably demonstrated by intelligence we collected on June 27, last year.

According to Iraq’s December 7 declaration, its UAVs have a range of only 80 kilometers. But we detected one of Iraq’s newest UAVs in a test flight that went 500 kilometers nonstop on autopilot in the race track pattern depicted here.

Not only is this test well in excess of the 150 kilometers that the United Nations permits, the test was left out of Iraq’s December 7th declaration. The UAV was flown around and around and around in a circle. And so, that its 80 kilometer limit really was 500 kilometers unrefueled and on autopilot, violative of all of its obligations under 1441.

The linkages over the past 10 years between Iraq’s UAV program and biological and chemical warfare agents are of deep concern to us.

Iraq could use these small UAVs which have a wingspan of only a few meters to deliver biological agents to its neighbors or if transported, to other countries, including the United States.

My friends, the information I have presented to you about these terrible weapons and about Iraq’s continued flaunting of its obligations under Security Council Resolution 1441 links to a subject I now want to spend a little bit of time on. And that has to do with terrorism.

Part 9: Ties to al Qaeda

Our concern is not just about these illicit weapons. It’s the way that these illicit weapons can be connected to terrorists and terrorist organizations that have no compunction about using such devices against innocent people around the world.

Iraq and terrorism go back decades. Baghdad trains Palestine Liberation Front members in small arms and explosives. Saddam uses the Arab Liberation Front to funnel money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers in order to prolong the intifada. And it’s no secret that Saddam’s own intelligence service was involved in dozens of attacks or attempted assassinations in the 1990s.

But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the al Qaeda terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants.

Zarqawi, a Palestinian born in Jordan, fought in the Afghan war more than a decade ago. Returning to Afghanistan in 2000, he oversaw a terrorist training camp. One of his specialities and one of the specialties of this camp is poisons. When our coalition ousted the Taliban, the Zarqawi network helped establish another poison and explosive training center camp. And this camp is located in northeastern Iraq.

You see a picture of this camp.

The network is teaching its operatives how to produce ricin and other poisons. Let me remind you how ricin works. Less than a pinch — image a pinch of salt — less than a pinch of ricin, eating just this amount in your food, would cause shock followed by circulatory failure. Death comes within 72 hours and there is no antidote, there is no cure. It is fatal.

Those helping to run this camp are Zarqawi lieutenants operating in northern Kurdish areas outside Saddam Hussein’s controlled Iraq.

But Baghdad has an agent in the most senior levels of the radical organization, Ansar al-Islam, that controls this corner of Iraq. In 2000 this agent offered al Qaeda safe haven in the region. After we swept al Qaeda from Afghanistan, some of its members accepted this safe haven. They remain their today.

Zarqawi’s activities are not confined to this small corner of northeast Iraq. He traveled to Baghdad in May 2002 for medical treatment, staying in the capital of Iraq for two months while he recuperated to fight another day.

During this stay, nearly two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there. These al Qaeda affiliates, based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people, money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network, and they’ve now been operating freely in the capital for more than eight months.

Iraqi officials deny accusations of ties with al Qaeda. These denials are simply not credible. Last year an al Qaeda associate bragged that the situation in Iraq was, quote, “good,” that Baghdad could be transited quickly.

We know these affiliates are connected to Zarqawi because they remain even today in regular contact with his direct subordinates, including the poison cell plotters, and they are involved in moving more than money and materiel.

Last year, two suspected al Qaeda operatives were arrested crossing from Iraq into Saudi Arabia. They were linked to associates of the Baghdad cell, and one of them received training in Afghanistan on how to use cyanide. From his terrorist network in Iraq, Zarqawi can direct his network in the Middle East and beyond.

We, in the United States, all of us at the State Department, and the Agency for International Development — we all lost a dear friend with the cold-blooded murder of Mr. Lawrence Foley in Amman, Jordan, last October — a despicable act was committed that day. The assassination of an individual whose sole mission was to assist the people of Jordan. The captured assassin says his cell received money and weapons from Zarqawi for that murder.

After the attack, an associate of the assassin left Jordan to go to Iraq to obtain weapons and explosives for further operations. Iraqi officials protest that they are not aware of the whereabouts of Zarqawi or of any of his associates. Again, these protests are not credible. We know of Zarqawi’s activities in Baghdad. I described them earlier.

And now let me add one other fact. We asked a friendly security service to approach Baghdad about extraditing Zarqawi and providing information about him and his close associates. This service contacted Iraqi officials twice, and we passed details that should have made it easy to find Zarqawi. The network remains in Baghdad. Zarqawi still remains at large to come and go.

As my colleagues around this table and as the citizens they represent in Europe know, Zarqawi’s terrorism is not confined to the Middle East. Zarqawi and his network have plotted terrorist actions against countries, including France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia.

According to detainees, Abu Atia, who graduated from Zakawi’s terrorist camp in Afghanistan, tasked at least nine North African extremists in 2001 to travel to Europe to conduct poison and explosive attacks.

Since last year, members of this network have been apprehended in France, Britain, Spain and Italy. By our last count, 116 operatives connected to this global web have been arrested.

The chart you are seeing shows the network in Europe. We know about this European network, and we know about its links to Zarqawi, because the detainee who provided the information about the targets also provided the names of members of the network.

Three of those he identified by name were arrested in France last December. In the apartments of the terrorists, authorities found circuits for explosive devices and a list of ingredients to make toxins.

The detainee who helped piece this together says the plot also targeted Britain. Later evidence, again, proved him right. When the British unearthed a cell there just last month, one British police officer was murdered during the disruption of the cell.

We also know that Zarqawi’s colleagues have been active in the Pankisi Gorge, Georgia and in Chechnya, Russia. The plotting to which they are linked is not mere chatter. Members of Zarqawi’s network say their goal was to kill Russians with toxins.

We are not surprised that Iraq is harboring Zarqawi and his subordinates. This understanding builds on decades long experience with respect to ties between Iraq and al Qaeda.

Going back to the early and mid-1990s, when bin Laden was based in Sudan, an al Qaeda source tells us that Saddam and bin Laden reached an understanding that al Qaeda would no longer support activities against Baghdad. Early al Qaeda ties were forged by secret, high-level intelligence service contacts with al Qaeda, secret Iraqi intelligence high-level contacts with al Qaeda.

We know members of both organizations met repeatedly and have met at least eight times at very senior levels since the early 1990s. In1996, a foreign security service tells us, that bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Khartoum, and later met the director of the Iraqi intelligence service.

Saddam became more interested as he saw al Qaeda’s appalling attacks. A detained al Qaeda member tells us that Saddam was more willing to assist al Qaeda after the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Saddam was also impressed by al Qaeda’s attacks on the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000.

Iraqis continued to visit bin Laden in his new home in Afghanistan. A senior defector, one of Saddam’s former intelligence chiefs in Europe, says Saddam sent his agents to Afghanistan sometime in the mid-1990s to provide training to al Qaeda members on document forgery.

From the late 1990s until 2001, the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan played the role of liaison to the al Qaeda organization.

Some believe, some claim these contacts do not amount to much.

They say Saddam Hussein’s secular tyranny and al Qaeda’s religious tyranny do not mix. I am not comforted by this thought. Ambition and hatred are enough to bring Iraq and al Qaeda together, enough so al Qaeda could learn how to build more sophisticated bombs and learn how to forge documents, and enough so that al Qaeda could turn to Iraq for help in acquiring expertise on weapons of mass destruction.

And the record of Saddam Hussein’s cooperation with other Islamist terrorist organizations is clear. Hamas, for example, opened an office in Baghdad in 1999, and Iraq has hosted conferences attended by Palestine Islamic Jihad. These groups are at the forefront of sponsoring suicide attacks against Israel.

Al Qaeda continues to have a deep interest in acquiring weapons of mass destruction. As with the story of Zarqawi and his network, I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these weapons to al Qaeda.

Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story. I will relate it to you now as he, himself, described it.

This senior al Qaeda terrorist was responsible for one of al Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan.

His information comes firsthand from his personal involvement at senior levels of al Qaeda. He says bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef, did not believe that al Qaeda labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq.

The support that (inaudible) describes included Iraq offering chemical or biological weapons training for two al Qaeda associates beginning in December 2000. He says that a militant known as Abu Abdula Al-Iraqi (ph) had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gases. Abdula Al-Iraqi (ph) characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.

Part 10: Conclusion

As I said at the outset, none of this should come as a surprise to any of us. Terrorism has been a tool used by Saddam for decades. Saddam was a supporter of terrorism long before these terrorist networks had a name. And this support continues. The nexus of poisons and terror is new. The nexus of Iraq and terror is old. The combination is lethal.

With this track record, Iraqi denials of supporting terrorism take the place alongside the other Iraqi denials of weapons of mass destruction. It is all a web of lies.

When we confront a regime that harbors ambitions for regional domination, hides weapons of mass destruction and provides haven and active support for terrorists, we are not confronting the past, we are confronting the present. And unless we act, we are confronting an even more frightening future.

My friends, this has been a long and a detailed presentation.

And I thank you for your patience. But there is one more subject that I would like to touch on briefly. And it should be a subject of deep and continuing concern to this council, Saddam Hussein’s violations of human rights.

Underlying all that I have said, underlying all the facts and the patterns of behavior that I have identified as Saddam Hussein’s contempt for the will of this council, his contempt for the truth and most damning of all, his utter contempt for human life. Saddam Hussein’s use of mustard and nerve gas against the Kurds in 1988 was one of the 20th century’s most horrible atrocities; 5,000 men, women and children died.

His campaign against the Kurds from 1987 to ’89 included mass summary executions, disappearances, arbitrary jailing, ethnic cleansing and the destruction of some 2,000 villages. He has also conducted ethnic cleansing against the Shiite Iraqis and the Marsh Arabs whose culture has flourished for more than a millennium. Saddam Hussein’s police state ruthlessly eliminates anyone who dares to dissent. Iraq has more forced disappearance cases than any other country, tens of thousands of people reported missing in the past decade.

Nothing points more clearly to Saddam Hussein’s dangerous intentions and the threat he poses to all of us than his calculated cruelty to his own citizens and to his neighbors. Clearly, Saddam Hussein and his regime will stop at nothing until something stops him.

For more than 20 years, by word and by deed Saddam Hussein has pursued his ambition to dominate Iraq and the broader Middle East using the only means he knows, intimidation, coercion and annihilation of all those who might stand in his way. For Saddam Hussein, possession of the world’s most deadly weapons is the ultimate trump card, the one he most hold to fulfill his ambition.

We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction; he’s determined to make more. Given Saddam Hussein’s history of aggression, given what we know of his grandiose plans, given what we know of his terrorist associations and given his determination to exact revenge on those who oppose him, should we take the risk that he will not some day use these weapons at a time and the place and in the manner of his choosing at a time when the world is in a much weaker position to respond?

The United States will not and cannot run that risk to the American people. Leaving Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction for a few more months or years is not an option, not in a post-September 11th world.

My colleagues, over three months ago this council recognized that Iraq continued to pose a threat to international peace and security, and that Iraq had been and remained in material breach of its disarmament obligations. Today Iraq still poses a threat and Iraq still remains in material breach.

Indeed, by its failure to seize on its one last opportunity to come clean and disarm, Iraq has put itself in deeper material breach and closer to the day when it will face serious consequences for its continued defiance of this council.

My colleagues, we have an obligation to our citizens, we have an obligation to this body to see that our resolutions are complied with. We wrote 1441 not in order to go to war, we wrote 1441 to try to preserve the peace. We wrote 1441 to give Iraq one last chance. Iraq is not so far taking that one last chance.

We must not shrink from whatever is ahead of us. We must not fail in our duty and our responsibility to the citizens of the countries that are represented by this body.

Thank you, Mr. President.

McCain THE BOLD NEW ECONOMIC PLAN: no taxes for the filthy-rich.

Halloween
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Top GOP strategist Ed Rollins compares McCain’s spectacular campaign failure to Hillary’s.

McCain expected to “hit the panic button” today, since it now looks like he will have a hard time even carrying many of the “red states.”

GOP is just a pseudonym for LIE. “Curveball,” they guy the administration blames all their false Iraq intel on, says he never told them Saddam had WMDs, they made all that crap up themselves. In fact, he never even spoke to the CIA!

The red flag should have been his “faith and family values” campaign. Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-FL) paid his mistress $121,000 to keep her mouth shut about the affair.

There are cannibals in the land. Even ArchNeocon Bill Kristol admits McCain campaign is a joke, and then rabid McCain campaign turns on him. Didn’t someone once say something about “a house divided cannot stand?”

trick-or-treat

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s Oct 13 notes, thomasmc.com.

Sarah Palin had sex with Saddam Hussein!

Sarah Palin declares that troops and veterans are unqualified to vote!

Well duh. Conservative Peggy Noonan says Sarah Palin’s candidacy is built on class warfare.

Sarah Palin admits there is a place in Hell reserved for Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin had sex with Saddam Hussein!

John McCain was on the board of a racist (and antiZionist) group called the U.S. Council for World Freedom.

McCain wrecks everything he touches. As a pilot, he wrecked 5 planes, and ended up getting himself captured in Vietnam. In the Senate, he deregulated the US gov’t causing most of the crises we now face. This country could not survive him being president.

Stock market continues in free fall, as world realizes that $850B the Democrats gave to Bush won’t do a damn thing to help our economy, it was just a gift to the filthy-rich, who won’t use it to help anyone but themselves. Duh.

AIG execs living it up like kings on taxpayer bailout money.

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s Oct 6 notes, thomasmc.com.

Stop the Senate of would-be thieves!

wallstreet-bailoutCall your Band of Thieving Senators now to tell them you don’t want to give $700 Billion –more honestly likely to be $5 Trillion– to the robber bankers of Wall Street! Telephone Colorado Senators Ken Salazar at 202.224.5852 and Wayne Allard at 202.224.5941 NOW. Why not call OBAMA too! (phone: 202-224-2854) Tell them you want them to consult with at least ONE economist of repute! At least one analyst not on the corporate payroll. As he promised yesterday, Michael Moore suggests a 10 PART PLAN, only IF pressure can be brought to bear right now to stop the Senate bill.

Friends,

The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. 400 rich Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is $1.6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly $700 billion — the same amount that they are now demanding we give to them for the “bailout.” Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!

Of course, they are not going to do that — at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a $127 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not his, he did what the rich prefer to do — spend it and never look back. Now we have a $9.5 trillion debt. Why on earth would we even think of giving these robber barons any more of our money?

I would like to propose my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, are predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: There… is… no… free… lunch. And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there will be no handouts from us to you. The Senate, tonight, is going to try to rush their version of a “bailout” bill to a vote. They must be stopped. We did it on Monday with the House, and we can do it again today with the Senate.

It is clear, though, that we cannot simply keep protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think Congress should do. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here is my proposal, now known as “Mike’s Rescue Plan.” It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are:

1. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money is expended, Congress must commit, by resolution, to criminally prosecute anyone who had anything to do with the attempted sacking of our economy. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse must go to jail. This Congress must call for a Special Prosecutor who will vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in the future.

2. THE RICH MUST PAY FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT. They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than $2,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class are going to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.

If they truly need the $700 billion they say they need, well, here is an easy way they can raise it:

a) Every couple who makes over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over $500,000 a year will pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It’s the Senator Sanders plan. He’s like Colonel Sanders, only he’s out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich will still be paying less income tax than when Carter was president. This will raise a total of $300 billion.

b) Like nearly every other democracy, charge a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This will raise more than $200 billion in a year.

c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders will forgo receiving a dividend check for one quarter and instead this money will go the treasury to help pay for the bailout.

d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raise the corporate income tax back to the level of the 1950s, that gives us an extra $500 billion.

All of this combined should be enough to end the calamity. The rich will get to keep their mansions and their servants, and our United States government (“COUNTRY FIRST!”) will have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools.

3. BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME. There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, pay down each of these mortgages by $100,000. Force the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner can pay on its current value. To insure that this help does no go to speculators and those who have tried to make money by flipping houses, this bailout is only for people’s primary residence. And in return for the $100K paydown on the existing mortgage, the government gets to share in the holding of the mortgage so that it can get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is $150 billion, not $700 billion.

And let’s set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not “bad risks.” They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want and most of us still get: a home to call their own. But during the Bush years, millions of them lost the decent paying jobs they had. Six million fell into poverty. Seven million lost their health insurance. And every one of them saw their real wages go down by $2,000. Those who dare to look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ashamed. We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home that they own.

4. IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GETS ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A “BAILOUT,” THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that’s how it’s done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank “owns” that house until I pay it all back — with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk — and necessary for the good of the country — then you can get a loan, but we will own you. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.

5. ALL REGULATIONS MUST BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD. This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the henhouse. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here’s what Sen. Phil Gramm, McCain’s chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing:

“In the 1930s … it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.

“We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.

“I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality.”

This bill must be repealed. Bill Clinton can help by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they’re done with that, they can restore the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any “bailout” must have enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.

6. IF IT’S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT’S TOO BIG TO EXIST. Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No one or two companies should have this kind of power. The so-called “economic Pearl Harbor” can’t happen when you have hundreds — thousands — of institutions where people have their money. When you have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we don’t face a national disaster. If you have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can’t call all the shots (I know… What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a strong and free press!). Laws must be enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the giant falls and dies. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that no one can understand. If you can’t explain it in two sentences, you shouldn’t be taking anyone’s money.

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF “PARACHUTE” OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How this can happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it’s only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an outrage. We have created the mess we’re in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. This has to stop. Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it, but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be fired before the company receives any help.

8. STRENGTHEN THE FDIC AND MAKE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE’S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct yesterday to propose expanding FDIC protection of people’s savings in their banks to $250,000. But this same sort of government insurance must be given to our nation’s pension funds. People should never have to worry about whether or not the money they’ve put away for their old age will be there. This will mean strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees’ funds — or perhaps it means that the companies will have to turn over those funds and their management to the government. People’s private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it’s time to consider not having one’s retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market. Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about ending up destitute.

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off the TV! We are not in the Second Great Depression. The sky is not falling. Pundits and politicians are lying to us so fast and furious it’s hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I, yesterday, wrote to you and repeated what I heard on the news, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that’s true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the ’80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn’t go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into the Jacuzzi.

As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan this week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. Life has gone on. Not a single person has lost any of their money if it’s in a bank or a treasury note or a CD. And the most amazing thing is that the American public hasn’t bought the scare campaign. The citizens didn’t blink, and instead told Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn’t the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say ‘Saddam has da bomb’ so many times before the people realize you’re a lying sack of shite. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can’t take it any longer.

10. CREATE A NATIONAL BANK, A “PEOPLE’S BANK.” If we really are itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don’t we give it to ourselves? Now that we own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a people’s bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And now that we own AIG, the country’s largest insurance company, let’s take the next step and provide health insurance for everyone. Medicare for all. It will save us so much money in the long run. And we won’t be 12th on the life expectancy list. We’ll be able to have a longer life, enjoying our government-protected pension, and living to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused so much misery are let out of prison so that we can help reaclimate them to civilian life — a life with one nice home and a gas-free car that was invented with help from the People’s Bank.

Yours,
Michael Moore

P.S. Call your Senators now. Here’s a backup link in case we crash that site again. They are going to attempt their own version of the Looting of America tonight. And let your reps know if you agree with my 10-point plan.

What to do in a Gas Attack

Because the U.S. Police State has reverted to their old habit of using C.S. Tear Gas against Americans.

Unlike Saddam Hussein or the Iraqi Army, the U.S. Gov’t actually HAS been responsible for the death by gas of American civilians (mostly civilians, they’ve used gas at the Military Side of Leavenworth penitentiary as well)

With Tear Gas there’s not too much that can be done, taking a regular Military or Israeli Civilian Issue gas mask to a demonstration is considered “provocation” by the Pigs and they also think it’s an excuse to bust your head open, handcuff you and then hit you several more times while handcuffed, and then charge YOU with assault.

Much like their Nazi predecessors did.

So, the best thing to do is, when you’re in a situation where you feel the Pigs will assault civilians (for the “crime” of disobeying the order to give up their constitutional rights), the vinegar in a bandana routine works a little, minimalizes the damage.

But what of people who AREN’T prepared? The asthmatic who’s a couple of blocks or even a dozen blocks away, for instance, the little old lady with emphysema, the infant in a stroller a block or a dozen blocks away? The Pigs can’t control the wind. And they’re proven to just seriously not give a Damn about the safety of civilians, even those who aren’t involved in the “Crime” of organized free speech.

Best thing is to have trained personnel around to render aid to these people, and to give warning that a Gas Attack is imminent.

One of the clearest signs that such an attack is about to proceed, is when the pigs put on their own protective masks.

A more subtle sign is when they start hustling Pro-Pig politicians out of the immediate area, the counterprotesters for instance.

A much better sign, and it gives you up to 15 minutes to prepare, is when they pull back their Horses and Attack Dogs.

Because their Horses and Dogs are more important to them than the Civilians they’re allegedly sworn to protect. And there’s no possible way to fit a horse or a dog with a gas mask.

Ethiopian dictator fed up with being the US’s pit bull?

custody…Meles Zenawi… US pit bull pulling himself out of US custody?
 
Ethiopian dictator, Meles Zenawi, says he didn’t think it would be so disgustingly unrewarding to be the US’s pit bull in Bush’s genocidal campagin against Somalia. Why hell no, Meles, you didn’t know what you were getting into, did yuh? See BBC’s- Ethiopia hints at leaving Somalia

Hint! Hint, Meles! You’ve been a bad boy! Didn’t you learn anything from Saddam Hussein’s time as US regional pit bull? Look what happened to him eventually! (It makes you wonder how people so dumb as Meles get to be Heads of State?)

Human Rights Watch part of a Pentagon propaganda campaign against Russia

George SorosThat is GEORGE SOROS, main mover and funder behind the self styled “Human Rights Watch.” The US government is on a bipartisan campaign to label Russia a brutal imperialist country, blaming it for war crimes by Russia’s coming to the defense of its own national defense interests on its Southern border. And heading up its propaganda campaign is the so-called US based and funded human rights organization, Human Rights Watch, which has been bombarding the Western press with accusations against Russia that the country has supposedly been violating international ‘norms of civilized warfare’ in the recent fighting with Georgia.

These HRW accusations are that Russia has been using cluster bombs in the fighting and the one and only source for these claims seems to be Human Rights Watch. Why only they then? And why is this the Human Rights Watch’s focus and not the placing of US nuclear weapons systems in Poland to threaten Russia with a nuclear first strike? Is this just the first instance of such imbalance in commentaries and campaigns by Human Rights Watch, or is this an endemic style of theirs?

The short answer is that this is far from being the first time that Human Rights Watch has been on the front lines of propaganda warfare for the US government, as has been documented well in the past by many. Edward S. Herman for example, a co-thinker and coauthor with Noam Chomsky, wrote this about Human Rights Watch’s record in regard to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq….

‘But despite these and countless other constructive efforts (to avoid a war with Iraq), the organization has at critical times and in critical theaters thrown its support behind the U.S. government’s agenda, sometimes even serving as a virtual public relations arm of the foreign policy establishment. Since the early 1990s this tendency has been especially marked in the organization’s focus on and treatment of some of the major contests in which the U.S. government itself has been engaged—perhaps none more clearly than Iraq and the Balkans. Here, its deep bias is well-illustrated in a March 2002 op-ed by HRW’s executive director, Kenneth Roth, published in the Wall Street Journal under the title “Indict Saddam.”[7] The first thing to note about this commentary is its timing. It was published at a time when the United States and Britain were clearly planning an assault on Iraq with a “shock and awe” bombing campaign and ground invasion in violation of the UN Charter. But Roth doesn’t warn against launching an unprovoked war—though wars of aggression had been judged by the Nuremberg Tribunal to be the “supreme international crime” that “contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”[8] On the contrary, Roth’s focus was on Saddam’s crimes, and provided a valuable public relations gift to U.S. and British leaders, diverting attention from and putting an apologetic gloss on their prospective supreme international crime.’

This is part of a 35 page work tha Herman did in investigating Human Rights Watch’s connections with the US government and the entire publication is well worth reading. See Znet’s copy of Human Rights Watch in Service to the War Party which was published back in February 2007.

Also of note is Michael Barker’s Hijacking Human Rights which like Herman’s much longer analysis, reviews the funding of Human Rights Watch and show how it is so well connected to the propaganda work they do for the US State Department and Pentagon. He focuses on the role of George Soros in creating today’s Human Rights Watch.
Both Barker and Herman (and his coauthors) study this funding of HRW and take it apart in detail and show its role in the structure of HRW’s work in pushing pro- US government propaganda to the press.

It is important for people to know more about Human Rights Watch because many people see ‘human rights’ or ‘united nations’ in a name and they think automatically that that is what these organizations are connected with serving. That is not always the case, no more so than that because the word ‘Christian’ is in a name automatically denotes that leaders of these groups have anything to do with true the ideals and beliefs of Christianity.

Unfortunately many liberals and radical types seem to be falling for it. Liberal web sites like Common Drreams and alternet are running these Human Rights Watch propaganda blasts as if they are somehow the real thing. With a record as bad as Human Rights Watch has with its continual connection of itself with paralleling US war drives, these Progressive folk really should be much more critical minded and less gullible than they are when it comes to reading the HRW material. Just follow the money trail…

Conservatism Is For Sociopaths

Oh, those caucasians. Russia and Georgia go to war over Ossetia. Thousands are dead, capitol of Ossetia is in ruins, and Bush has declared we are on Georgia’s side…against Russia. So enjoy your weekend, it might be our last.

Pakistan is toppling dictator Musharraf. Pelosi says “What? You can’t impeach a dictator!”

Condi Rice gives Israel a “green light” to attack Iran and start WWIII.

Witness the Nazi State of Israel.

As we all suspected, Cheney has his own private torture dungeon underneath the White House.

Cheney’s flying monkey Douglas Feith forged document linking Saddam and al Qaeda.

New McCain ad calls Obama the AntiChrist.

A country this stupid can’t survive for very long.

Jury gives Salim Hamdan (bin Laden’s driver) a 66 month sentence, including time served — which means he can go home in January. Needless to say, der Führer is pissed, he was demanding a 30 year sentence.

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s notes Aug 8, thomasmc.com.

No getting away from the repulsive in the Democratic Party

BillySlick Willie to Address Democrats, YES there is no getting away from the repulsive in the Democratic Party. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Lieberman speaks at the DNC either?

What do liberal nitwits think the Democratic Party is? It is the political party that worked together with the Republican Party since 1990 to demolish and terrorize the country of Iraq. No wait a second! They were working together back when they both had Saddam Hussein on board as an ally and agent which they used to batter the country of Iran, kill Iraqi Kurds with chemical weapons, and who now together again, the RP-DP once again want to terrorize the Iranians and demolish their country’s sovereignty to shreds ala like what they once did with their Holy Shah of Iran, may he rest in Hell where he currently resides!

And the Democrats are the party of national wealth give away to the military industrial complex in the country of Gulag prisons everywhere. What on earth do nitwit flag-draped liberals think this party is? Oh, I know! They think it marginally better than the party of the other nitwit Americans, the Republicans. Well they are flat out wrong since the Democrats might even be worse since they talk a little more confusingly to the general public. See… They certainly confused the nitwit Democratic Party voting liberal into thinking that they somehow represent democracy, when all they represent are the big corporations and their profit making off everybody else.

Personally I wouldn’t trust Barack Obama as next door neighbor let alone as president of the US. Of course we can only get the one or the other, but quite frankly they both suck and only nitwits could think otherwise. They both suck because both The Democratic and Republican Parties suck.

You don’t have to be an Einstein to figure that out yet somehow the liberal can’t? They will all be glued to the tube watching Slick Willie once again, just like in the Golden Times (to these nitwits) of the past. Choose your Klan to run the country for other folk than yourselves, Nitwits. That’s both Republican and Democratic voter version of the American nitwit species. You are a team!

Conservatism is Cancer of Democracy

McCain picks Cheney for VP?

Cheney is skipping the GOP convention, he has his regularly scheduled meeting with Lucifer that day.

Book by former Wall Street Journal reporter claims White House ordered CIA to forge evidence linking Saddam to al Qaeda, and knew that Iraq had no WMDs before the invasion. Well, duh!

Excerpts from Thomas McCullock’s notes Aug 5, thomasmc.com.

Today US government is now set to declare war on Sudan

Darfur
The US and French have moved their troops into Chad and Darfur (around 10,000 UN troops are there now) and this weekend the US is set to use the United Nations once again to set up a war against yet another sovereign nation!

In a crime scene that is reminiscent of how the US government once gave Saddam Hussein the go ahead and permission to attack Kuwait and then later used this Iraqi attack as an excuse to attack Iraq itself, the US is planning to use Sudan’s permission to allow UN troops into Darfur as its beachhead in furthering its attack on the country of Sudan as a whole. President Bashir of Sudan will be accused of war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor in a day or two ahead.

This is what the pro-war ‘Save Darfur’ campaign has wanted all along, to give liberal ideological support for US- Euroepan aggression behind a cloud of ‘humanitarian’ interventionist rhetoric. They have succeeded in their goal 100% but have not succeeded in doing anything other than bringing another disguised US occupation to yet another African country. Instead of helping save Somalia, they have helped enslave Sudan.

We cannot be sure exactly how this coming declaration of US war on Sudan will unfold? What can be known with certainty is, that the US criminalization of another official enemy head of state in their ‘international’ kangaroo court can only be nothing more nor less than a US declaration of war on Sudan’s government.

None of this is for any benefit to the people of Darfur themselves, just like using the Kurds in Iraq has done nothing much to help out the Kurdish nation as a whole. Newsweek in their July commentary DARFUR-A Thin Coat of Blue More than six months after the United Nations formed a peacekeeping force in Darfur, little has happened on the ground gave an honest accounting of what UN troops in Darfur has meant to the people there. Instead of helpers, the area are getting nothing more than US mercenary pawns in the US government’s grand plan of obtaining total global control for its well established Empire.

The US antiwar movement is totally unprepared to today honestly analyze how their own stupidity and national jingoistic mindset has helped get its own government into yet more of African territory. It is a very sad situation. We should never promote ‘humanitarian interventionism’ when our own government is nothing more than just pirates and gangsters. To do so as many ‘peace’ activists did is criminal.

Reviewing Saddam Hussein’s and the US government’s past terrorism against Iran

Rumsfeld reads own mind So the US government wants to go to war against Iran with its pit bull, Israel, at its side? This would be the second US war against Iran when one recalls that the previous US war against that country had the US government using its Iraqi pit bull, Saddam Hussein, instead of the current Zionist one now at its side, named Olmert. Yes, Olmert is no Baathist, he is of the Zionist breed instead. But still, yet another US bred dog of war at that.

Sasan Fayazmanesh writes of US historical amnesia in his commentary about The Shoot Down of Iran Air Flight 655. There is no historical amnesia here though, almost the entire US public went through the ’80s in a political fog of pure damp ignorance about what was happening in the Middle East. To have amnesia one would have had to known about what was happening in the first place, Sasan. And one cannot expect these propaganda spouting clowns of the US government to know much more about their own direct US historical past than the general US public at large either.

Still, Sasan does help some of us with our much needed history brush ups. Many of us were getting degrees in Business Management back in the ’80s, and the history courses didn’t quite fit in with your ‘education’ at the old Alma Maters, Dudes. Heck, many of you Reaganite Era Beavises and Buttheads were getting credentialed, and didn’t have much time to get an actual education, did yuh? It wasn’t pragmatic enough… Of course, many of you dumb Buttheads will be wanting to get tuf, tuf, tuf against a country whose country your government has terrorized all along. Doh!

Hey, get EXTRA points on your history exam if you can guess why Donald Rumsfeld’s photo graces this commentary with its presence?

Global economic rapists are at it again

G8 protest
Why protest the G8 Summit July 7-9? Those hoodlums always look so determined. Here’s the rationale by the Emergency Exit Collective:

The 2008 G8 on Hokkaido, a Strategic Assessment
Emergency Exit Collective
Bristol, Mayday, 2008

The authors of this document are a collection of activists, scholars, and writers currently based in the United States and Western Europe who have gotten to know and work with each other in the movement against capitalist globalization. We’re writing this at the request of some members of No! G8 Action Japan, who asked us for a broad strategic analysis of the state of struggle as we see it, and particularly, of the role of the G8, what it represents, the dangers and opportunities that may lie hidden in the moment. It is in no sense programmatic. Mainly, it is an attempt to develop tools that we hope will be helpful for organizers, or for anyone engaged in the struggle against global capital.

I
It is our condition as human beings that we produce our lives in common.

II
Let us then try to see the world from the perspective of the planet’s commoners, taking the word in that sense: those whose most essential tradition is cooperation in the making and maintenance of human social life, yet who have had to do so under conditions of suffering and separation; deprived, ignored, devalued, divided into hierarchies, pitted against each other for our very physical survival. In one sense we are all commoners. But it’s equally true that just about everyone, at least in some ways, at some points, plays the role of the rulers—of those who expropriate, devalue and divide—or at the very least benefits from such divisions.

Obviously some do more than others. It is at the peak of this pyramid that we encounter groups like the G8.

III
The G8’s perspective is that of the aristocrats, the rulers: those who command and maintain that global machinery of violence that defends existing borders and lines of separation: whether national borders with their detention camps for migrants, or property regimes, with their prisons for the poor. They live by constantly claiming title to the products of others collective creativity and labour, and in thus doing they create the poor; they create scarcity in the midst of plenty, and divide us on a daily basis; they create financial districts that loot resources from across the world, and in thus doing they turn the spirit of human creativity into a spiritual desert; close or privatize parks, public water taps and libraries, hospitals, youth centers, universities, schools, public swimming pools, and instead endlessly build shopping malls that channels convivial life into a means of commodity circulation; work toward turning global ecological catastrophe into business opportunities.

These are the people who presume to speak in the name of the “international community” even as they hide in their gated communities or meet protected by phalanxes of riot cops. It is critical to bear in mind that the ultimate aim of their policies is never to create community but to introduce and maintain divisions that set common people at each other’s throats. The neoliberal project, which has been their main instrument for doing so for the last three decades, is premised on a constant effort either to uproot or destroy any communal or democratic system whereby ordinary people govern their own affairs or maintain common resources for the common good, or, to reorganize each tiny remaining commons as an isolated node in a market system in which livelihood is never guaranteed, where the gain of one community must necessarily be at the expense of others. Insofar as they are willing to appeal to high-minded principles of common humanity, and encourage global cooperation, only and exactly to the extent that is required to maintain this system of universal competition.

IV
At the present time, the G8—the annual summit of the leaders of “industrial democracies”—is the key coordinative institution charged with the task of maintaining this neoliberal project, or of reforming it, revising it, adapting it to the changing condition of planetary class relations. The role of the G8 has always been to define the broad strategic horizons through which the next wave of planetary capital accumulation can occur. This means that its main task is to answer the question of how 3?4 in the present conditions of multiple crises and struggles 3?4 to subordinate social relations among the producing commoners of the planet to capital’s supreme value: profit.

V
Originally founded as the G7 in 1975 as a means of coordinating financial strategies for dealing with the ‘70s energy crisis, then expanded after the end of the Cold War to include Russia, its currently face a moment of profound impasse in the governance of planetary class relations: the greatest since the ‘70s energy crisis itself.

VI
The ‘70s energy crisis represented the final death-pangs of what might be termed the Cold War settlement, shattered by a quarter century of popular struggle. It’s worth returning briefly to this history.

The geopolitical arrangements put in place after World War II were above all designed to forestall the threat of revolution. In the immediate wake of the war, not only did much of the world lie in ruins, most of world’s population had abandoned any assumption about the inevitability of existing social arrangements. The advent of the Cold War had the effect of boxing movements for social change into a bipolar straightjacket. On the one hand, the former Allied and Axis powers that were later to unite in the G7 (the US, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Japan)—the “industrialized democracies”, as they like to call themselves—engaged in a massive project of co-optation. Their governments continued the process, begun in the ‘30s, of taking over social welfare institutions that had originally been created by popular movements (from insurance schemes to public libraries), even to expand them, on condition that they now be managed by state-appointed bureaucracies rather than by those who used them, buying off unions and the working classes more generally with policies meant to guarantee high wages, job security and the promise of educational advance—all in exchange for political loyalty, productivity increases and wage divisions within national and planetary working class itself. The Sino-Soviet bloc—which effectively became a kind of junior partner within the overall power structure, and its allies remained to trap revolutionary energies into the task of reproducing similar bureaucracies elsewhere. Both the US and USSR secured their dominance after the war by refusing to demobilize, instead locking the planet in a permanent threat of nuclear annihilation, a terrible vision of absolute cosmic power.

VII
Almost immediately, though, this arrangement was challenged by a series of revolts from those whose work was required to maintain the system, but who were, effectively, left outside the deal: first, peasants and the urban poor in the colonies and former colonies of the Global South, next, disenfranchised minorities in the home countries (in the US, the Civil Rights movement, then Black Power), and finally and most significantly, by the explosion of the women’s movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s—the revolt of that majority of humanity whose largely unremunerated labor made the very existence “the economy” possible. This appears to have been the tipping point.

VIII
The problem was that the Cold War settlement was never meant to include everyone. It by definition couldn’t. Once matters reached tipping point, then, the rulers scotched the settlement. All deals were off. The oil shock was first edge of the counter-offensive, breaking the back of existing working class organizations, driving home the message that there was nothing guaranteed about prosperity. Under the aegis of the newly hatched G7, this counter-offensive involved a series of interwoven strategies that were later to give rise to what is known as neoliberalism.

IX
These strategies resulted in what came to be known as “Structural Adjustment” both in the North and in the South, accompanied by trade and financial liberalization. This, in turn, made possible crucial structural changes in our planetary production in common extending the role of the market to discipline our lives and divide us into more and more polarized wage hierarchy. This involved:

· In the immediate wake of ‘70s oil shock, petrodollars were recycled from OPEC into Northern banks that then lent them, at extortionate rates of interest, to developing countries of the Global South. This was the origin of the famous “Third World Debt Crisis.” The existence of this debt allowed institutions like the IMF to impose its monetarist orthodoxy on most of the planet for roughly twenty years, in the process, stripping away most of even those modest social protections that had been won by the world’s poor—large numbers of whom were plunged into a situation of absolute desperation.

· It also opened a period of new enclosures through the capitalist imposition of structural adjustment policies, manipulation of environmental and social catastrophes like war, or for that matter through the authoritarian dictates of “socialist” regimes. Through such means, large sections of the world’s population have over the past thirty years been dispossessed from resources previously held in common, either by dint of long traditions, or as the fruits of past struggles and past settlements.

· Through financial deregulation and trade liberalization, neoliberal capital, which emerged from the G7 strategies to deal with the 1970s crisis aimed thus at turning the “class war” in communities, factories, offices, streets and fields against the engine of competition, into a planetary “civil war”, pitting each community of commoners against every other community of commoners.

· Neoliberal capital has done this by imposing an ethos of “efficiency” and rhetoric of “lowering the costs of production” applied so broadly that mechanisms of competition have come to pervade every sphere of life. In fact these terms are euphemisms, for a more fundamental demand: that capital be exempt from taking any reduction in profit to finance the costs of reproduction of human bodies and their social and natural environments (which it does not count as costs) and which are, effectively, “exernalized” onto communities and nature.

· The enclosure of resources and entitlements won in previous generations of struggles both in the North and the South, in turn, created the conditions for increasing the wage hierarchies (both global and local), by which commoners work for capital—wage hierarchies reproduced economically through pervasive competition, but culturally, through male dominance, xenophobia and racism. These wage gaps, in turn, made it possible to reduce the value of Northern workers’ labour power, by introducing commodities that enter in their wage basket at a fraction of what their cost might otherwise have been. The planetary expansion of sweatshops means that American workers (for example) can buy cargo pants or lawn-mowers made in Cambodia at Walmart, or buy tomatoes grown by undocumented Mexican workers in California, or even, in many cases, hire Jamaican or Filipina nurses to take care of children and aged grandparents at such low prices, that their employers have been able to lower real wages without pushing most of them into penury. In the South, meanwhile, this situation has made it possible to discipline new masses of workers into factories and assembly lines, fields and offices, thus extending enormously capital’s reach in defining the terms—the what, the how, the how much—of social production.

· These different forms of enclosures, both North and South, mean that commoners have become increasingly dependent on the market to reproduce their livelihoods, with less power to resist the violence and arrogance of those whose priorities is only to seek profit, less power to set a limit to the market discipline running their lives, more prone to turn against one another in wars with other commoners who share the same pressures of having to run the same competitive race, but not the same rights and the same access to the wage. All this has meant a generalized state of precarity, where nothing can be taken for granted.

X
In turn, this manipulation of currency and commodity flows constituting neoliberal globalization became the basis for the creation of the planet’s first genuine global bureaucracy.

· This was multi-tiered, with finance capital at the peak, then the ever-expanding trade bureaucracies (IMF, WTO, EU, World Bank, etc), then transnational corporations, and finally, the endless varieties of NGOs that proliferated throughout the period—almost all of which shared the same neoliberal orthodoxy, even as they substituted themselves for social welfare functions once reserved for states.

· The existence of this overarching apparatus, in turn, allowed poorer countries previously under the control of authoritarian regimes beholden to one or another side in the Cold War to adopt “democratic” forms of government. This did allow a restoration of formal civil liberties, but very little that could really merit the name of democracy (the rule of the “demos”, i.e., of the commoners). They were in fact constitutional republics, and the overwhelming trend during the period was to strip legislatures, that branch of government most open to popular pressure, of most of their powers, which were increasingly shifted to the executive and judicial branches, even as these latter, in turn, largely ended up enacting policies developed overseas, by global bureaucrats.

· This entire bureaucratic arrangement was justified, paradoxically enough, by an ideology of extreme individualism. On the level of ideas, neoliberalism relied on a systematic cooptation of the themes of popular struggle of the ‘60s: autonomy, pleasure, personal liberation, the rejection of all forms of bureaucratic control and authority. All these were repackaged as the very essence of capitalism, and the market reframed as a revolutionary force of liberation.

· The entire arrangement, in turn, was made possible by a preemptive attitude towards popular struggle. The breaking of unions and retreat of mass social movements from the late ‘70s onwards was only made possible by a massive shift of state resources into the machinery of violence: armies, prisons and police (secret and otherwise) and an endless variety of private “security services”, all with their attendant propaganda machines, which tended to increase even as other forms of social spending were cut back, among other things absorbing increasing portions of the former proletariat, making the security apparatus an increasingly large proportion of total social spending. This approach has been very successful in holding back mass opposition to capital in much of the world (especially West Europe and North America), and above all, in making it possible to argue there are no viable alternatives. But in doing so, has created strains on the system so profound it threatens to undermine it entirely.

XI
The latter point deserves elaboration. The element of force is, on any number of levels, the weak point of the system. This is not only on the constitutional level, where the question of how to integrate the emerging global bureaucratic apparatus, and existing military arrangements, has never been resolved. It is above all an economic problem. It is quite clear that the maintenance of elaborate security machinery is an absolute imperative of neoliberalism. One need only observe what happened with the collapse of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe: where one might have expected the Cold War victors to demand the dismantling of the army, secret police and secret prisons, and to maintain and develop the existing industrial base, in fact, what they did was absolutely the opposite: in fact, the only part of the industrial base that has managed fully to maintain itself has been the parts required to maintained the security apparatus itself! Critical too is the element of preemption: the governing classes in North America, for example, are willing to go to almost unimaginable lengths to ensure social movements never feel they are accomplishing anything. The current Gulf War is an excellent example: US military operations appear to be organized first and foremost to be protest-proof, to ensure that what happened in Vietnam (mass mobilization at home, widespread revolt within the army overseas) could never be repeated. This means above all that US casualties must always be kept to a minimum. The result are rules of engagement, and practices like the use of air power within cities ostensibly already controlled by occupation forces, so obviously guaranteed to maximize the killing of innocents and galvanizing hatred against the occupiers that they ensure the war itself cannot be won. Yet this approach can be taken as the very paradigm for neoliberal security regimes. Consider security arrangements around trade summits, where police are so determined prevent protestors from achieving tactical victories that they are often willing to effectively shut down the summits themselves. So too in overall strategy. In North America, such enormous resources are poured into the apparatus of repression, militarization, and propaganda that class struggle, labor action, mass movements seem to disappear entirely. It is thus possible to claim we have entered a new age where old conflicts are irrelevant. This is tremendously demoralizing of course for opponents of the system; but those running the system seem to find that demoralization so essential they don’t seem to care that the resultant apparatus (police, prisons, military, etc) is, effectively, sinking the entire US economy under its dead weight.

XII
The current crisis is not primarily geopolitical in nature. It is a crisis of neoliberalism itself. But it takes place against the backdrop of profound geopolitical realignments. The decline of North American power, both economic and geopolitical has been accompanied by the rise of Northeast Asia (and to a increasing extent, South Asia as well). While the Northeast Asian region is still divided by painful Cold War cleavages—the fortified lines across the Taiwan straits and at the 38th parallel in Korea…—the sheer realities of economic entanglement can be expected to lead to a gradual easing of tensions and a rise to global hegemony, as the region becomes the new center of gravity of the global economy, of the creation of new science and technology, ultimately, of political and military power. This may, quite likely, be a gradual and lengthy process. But in the meantime, very old patterns are rapidly reemerging: China reestablishing relations with ancient tributary states from Korea to Vietnam, radical Islamists attempting to reestablish their ancient role as the guardians of finance and piety at the in the Central Asian caravan routes and across Indian Ocean, every sort of Medieval trade diaspora reemerging… In the process, old political models remerge as well: the Chinese principle of the state transcending law, the Islamic principle of a legal order transcending any state. Everywhere, we see the revival too of ancient forms of exploitation—feudalism, slavery, debt peonage—often entangled in the newest forms of technology, but still echoing all the worst abuses of the Middle Ages. A scramble for resources has begun, with US occupation of Iraq and saber-rattling throughout the surrounding region clearly meant (at least in part) to place a potential stranglehold the energy supply of China; Chinese attempts to outflank with its own scramble for Africa, with increasing forays into South America and even Eastern Europe. The Chinese invasion into Africa (not as of yet at least a military invasion, but already involving the movement of hundreds of thousands of people), is changing the world in ways that will probably be felt for centuries. Meanwhile, the nations of South America, the first victims of the “Washington consensus” have managed to largely wriggle free from the US colonial orbit, while the US, its forces tied down in the Middle East, has for the moment at least abandoned it, is desperately struggling to keep its grip Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean—its own “near abroad”.

XIII
In another age all this might have led to war—that is, not just colonial occupations, police actions, or proxy wars (which are obviously already taking place), but direct military confrontations between the armies of major powers. It still could; accidents happen; but there is reason to believe that, when it comes to moments of critical decision, the loyalties of the global elites are increasingly to each other, and not to the national entities for whom they claim to speak. There is some compelling evidence for this.

Take for example when the US elites panicked at the prospect of the massive budget surpluses of the late 1990s. As Alan Greenspan, head of the Federal Reserve at the time warned, if these were allowed to stand they would have flooded government coffers with so many trillions of dollars that it could only have lead to some form of creeping socialism, even, he predicted, to the government acquiring “equity stakes” in key US corporations. The more excitable of capitalism’s managers actually began contemplating scenarios where the capitalist system itself would be imperiled. The only possible solution was massive tax cuts; these were duly enacted, and did indeed manage to turn surpluses into enormous deficits, financed by the sale of treasury bonds to Japan and China. Conditions have thus now reached a point where it is beginning to look as if the most likely long term outcome for the US (its technological and industrial base decaying, sinking under the burden of its enormous security spending) will be to end up serve as junior partner and military enforcer for East Asia capital. Its rulers, or at least a significant proportion of them, would prefer to hand global hegemony to the rulers of China (provided the latter abandon Communism) than to return to any sort of New Deal compromise with their “own” working classes.

A second example lies in the origins of what has been called the current “Bretton Woods II” system of currency arrangements, which underline a close working together of some “surplus” and “deficit” countries within global circuits. The macroeconomic manifestation of the planetary restructuring outlined in XIX underlines both the huge US trade deficit that so much seem to worry many commentators, and the possibility to continually generate new debt instruments like the one that has recently resulted in the sub-prime crisis. The ongoing recycling of accumulated surplus of countries exporting to the USA such as China and oil producing countries is what has allowed financiers to create new credit instruments in the USA. Hence, the “deal” offered by the masters in the United States to its commoners has been this: ‘you, give us a relative social peace and accept capitalist markets as the main means through which you reproduce your own livelihoods, and we will give you access to cheaper consumption goods, access to credit for buying cars and homes, and access to education, health, pensions and social security through the speculative means of stock markets and housing prices.’ Similar compromises were reached in all the G8 countries.

Meanwhile, there is the problem of maintaining any sort of social peace with the hundreds of millions of unemployed, underemployed, dispossessed commoners currently swelling the shanty-towns of Asia, Africa, and Latin America as a result of ongoing enclosures (which have speeded up within China and India in particular, even as “structural adjustment policies” in Africa and Latin America have been derailed). Any prospect of maintaining peace in these circumstances would ordinarily require either extremely high rates of economic growth—which globally have not been forthcoming, since outside of China, growth rates in the developing world have been much lower than they were in the ‘50s, ‘60s, or even ‘70s—or extremely high levels of repression, lest matters descend into rebellion or generalized civil war. The latter has of course occurred in many parts of the world currently neglected by capital, but in favored regions, such as the coastal provinces of China, or “free trade” zones of India, Egypt, or Mexico, commoners are being offered a different sort of deal: industrial employment at wages that, while very low by international standards, are still substantially higher than anything currently obtainable in the impoverished countryside; and above all the promise, through the intervention of Western markets and (privatized) knowledge, of gradually improving conditions of living. While over the least few years wages in many such areas seem to be growing, thanks to the intensification of popular struggles, such gains are inherently vulnerable: the effect of recent food inflation has been to cut real wages back dramatically—and threaten millions with starvation.

What we really want to stress here, though, is that the long-term promise being offered to the South is just as untenable as the idea that US or European consumers can indefinitely expand their conditions of life through the use of mortgages and credit cards.

What’s being offered the new dispossessed is a transposition of the American dream. The idea is that the lifestyle and consumption patterns of existing Chinese, Indian, or Brazilian or Zambian urban middle classes (already modeled on Northern ones) will eventually become available to the children of today’s miners, maquila or plantation laborers, until, ultimately, everyone on earth is brought up to roughly the same level of consumption. Put in these terms, the argument is absurd. The idea that all six billion of us can become “middle class” is obviously impossible. First of all there is a simple problem of resources. It doesn’t matter how many bottles we recycle or how energy efficient are the light bulbs we use, there’s just no way the earth’s ecosystem can accommodate six billion people driving in private cars to work in air-conditioned cubicles before periodically flying off to vacation in Acapulco or Tahiti. To maintain the style of living and producing in common we now identify with “middle classness” on a planetary scale would require several additional planets.

This much has been pointed out repeatedly. But the second point is no less important. What this vision of betterment ultimately proposes is that it would be possible to build universal prosperity and human dignity on a system of wage labor. This is fantasy. Historically, wages are always the contractual face for system of command and degradation, and a means of disguising exploitation: expressing value for work only on condition of stealing value without work— and there is no reason to believe they could ever be anything else. This is why, as history has also shown, human beings will always avoid working for wages if they have any other viable option. For a system based on wage labor to come into being, such options must therefore be made unavailable. This in turn means that such systems are always premised on structures of exclusion: on the prior existence of borders and property regimes maintained by violence. Finally, historically, it has always proved impossible to maintain any sizeable class of wage-earners in relative prosperity without basing that prosperity, directly or indirectly, on the unwaged labor of others—on slave-labor, women’s domestic labor, the forced labor of colonial subjects, the work of women and men in peasant communities halfway around the world—by people who are even more systematically exploited, degraded, and immiserated. For that reason, such systems have always depended not only on setting wage-earners against each other by inciting bigotry, prejudice, hostility, resentment, violence, but also by inciting the same between men and women, between the people of different continents (“race”), between the generations.

From the perspective of the whole, then, the dream of universal middle class “betterment” must necessarily be an illusion constructed in between the Scylla of ecological disaster, and the Charybdis of poverty, detritus, and hatred: precisely, the two pillars of today’s strategic impasse faced by the G8.

XIV
How then do we describe the current impasse of capitalist governance?

To a large degree, it is the effect of a sudden and extremely effective upswing of popular resistance—one all the more extraordinary considering the huge resources that had been invested in preventing such movements from breaking out.

On the one hand, the turn of the millennium saw a vast and sudden flowering of new anti-capitalist movements, a veritable planetary uprising against neoliberalism by commoners in Latin America, India, Africa, Asia, across the North Atlantic world’s former colonies and ultimately, within the cities of the former colonial powers themselves. As a result, the neoliberal project lies shattered. What came to be called the “anti-globalization” movement took aim at the trade bureaucracies—the obvious weak link in the emerging institutions of global administration—but it was merely the most visible aspect of this uprising. It was however an extraordinarily successful one. Not only was the WTO halted in its tracks, but all major trade initiatives (MAI, FTAA…) scuttled. The World Bank was hobbled and the power of the IMF over most of the world’s population, effectively, destroyed. The latter, once the terror of the Global South, is now a shattered remnant of its former self, reduced to selling off its gold reserves and desperately searching for a new global mission.

In many ways though spectacular street actions were merely the most visible aspects of much broader changes: the resurgence of labor unions, in certain parts of the world, the flowering of economic and social alternatives on the grassroots levels in every part of the world, from new forms of direct democracy of indigenous communities like El Alto in Bolivia or self-managed factories in Paraguay, to township movements in South Africa, farming cooperatives in India, squatters’ movements in Korea, experiments in permaculture in Europe or “Islamic economics” among the urban poor in the Middle East. We have seen the development of thousands of forms of mutual aid association, most of which have not even made it onto the radar of the global media, often have almost no ideological unity and which may not even be aware of each other’s existence, but nonetheless share a common desire to mark a practical break with capitalism, and which, most importantly, hold out the prospect of creating new forms of planetary commons that can—and in some cases are—beginning to knit together to provide the outlines of genuine alternative vision of what a non-capitalist future might look like.

The reaction of the world’s rulers was predictable. The planetary uprising had occurred during a time when the global security apparatus was beginning to look like it lacked a purpose, when the world threatened to return to a state of peace. The response—aided of course, by the intervention of some of the US’ former Cold War allies, reorganized now under the name of Al Qaeda—was a return to global warfare. But this too failed. The “war on terror”—as an attempt to impose US military power as the ultimate enforcer of the neoliberal model—has collapsed as well in the face of almost universal popular resistance. This is the nature of their “impasse”.

At the same time, the top-heavy, inefficient US model of military capitalism—a model created in large part to prevent the dangers of social movements, but which the US has also sought to export to some degree simply because of its profligacy and inefficiency, to prevent the rest of the world from too rapidly overtaking them—has proved so wasteful of resources that it threatens to plunge the entire planet into ecological and social crisis. Drought, disaster, famines, combine with endless campaigns of enclosure, foreclosure, to cast the very means of survival—food, water, shelter—into question for the bulk of the world’s population.

XV
In the rulers’ language the crisis understood, first and foremost, as a problem of regulating cash flows, of reestablishing, as they like to put it, a new “financial architecture”. Obviously they are aware of the broader problems. Their promotional literature has always been full of it. From the earliest days of the G7, through to the days after the Cold War, when Russia was added as a reward for embracing capitalism, they have always claimed that their chief concerns include

· the reduction of global poverty

· sustainable environmental policies

· sustainable global energy policies

· stable financial institutions governing global trade and currency transactions

If one were to take such claims seriously, it’s hard to see their overall performance as anything but a catastrophic failure. At the present moment, all of these are in crisis mode: there are food riots, global warming, peak oil, and the threat of financial meltdown, bursting of credit bubbles, currency crises, a global credit crunch. [**Failure on this scale however, opens opportunities for the G8 themselves, as summit of the global bureaucracy, to reconfigure the strategic horizon. Therefore, it’s always with the last of these that they are especially concerned. ]The real problem, from the perspective of the G8, is one of reinvestment: particularly, of the profits of the energy sector, but also, now, of emerging industrial powers outside the circle of the G8 itself. The neoliberal solution in the ‘70s had been to recycle OPEC’s petrodollars into banks that would use it much of the world into debt bondage, imposing regimes of fiscal austerity that, for the most part, stopped development (and hence, the emergence potential rivals) in its tracks. By the ‘90s, however, much East Asia in particular had broken free of this regime. Attempts to reimpose IMF-style discipline during the Asian financial crisis of 1997 largely backfired. So a new compromise was found, the so-called Bretton Woods II: to recycle the profits from the rapidly expanding industrial economies of East Asia into US treasury debt, artificially supporting the value of the dollar and allowing a continual stream of cheap exports that, aided by the US housing bubble, kept North Atlantic economies afloat and buy off workers there with cheap oil and even cheaper consumer goods even as real wages shrank. This solution however soon proved a temporary expedient. Bush regime’s attempt to lock it in by the invasion of Iraq, which was meant to lead to the forced privatization of Iraqi oil fields, and, ultimately, of the global oil industry as a whole, collapsed in the face of massive popular resistance (just as Saddam Hussein’s attempt to introduce neoliberal reforms in Iraq had failed when he was still acting as American deputy in the ‘90s). Instead, the simultaneous demand for petroleum for both Chinese manufacturers and American consumers caused a dramatic spike in the price of oil. What’s more, rents from oil and gas production are now being used to pay off the old debts from the ‘80s (especially in Asia and Latin America, which have by now paid back their IMF debts entirely), and—increasingly—to create state-managed Sovereign Wealth Funds that have largely replaced institutions like the IMF as the institutions capable of making long-term strategic investments. The IMF, purposeless, tottering on the brink of insolvency, has been reduced to trying to come up with “best practices” guidelines for fund managers working for governments in Singapore, Seoul, and Abu Dhabi.

There can be no question this time around of freezing out countries like China, India, or even Brazil. The question for capital’s planners, rather, is how to channel these new concentrations of capital in such a way that they reinforce the logic of the system instead of undermining it.

XVI
How can this be done? This is where appeals to universal human values, to common membership in an “international community” come in to play. “We all must pull together for the good of the planet,” we will be told. The money must be reinvested “to save the earth.”

To some degree this was always the G8 line: this is a group has been making an issue of climate change since 1983. Doing so was in one sense a response to the environmental movements of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The resultant emphasis on biofuels and “green energy” was from their point of view, the perfect strategy, seizing on an issue that seemed to transcend class, appropriating ideas and issues that emerged from social movements (and hence coopting and undermining especially their radical wings), and finally, ensuring such initiatives are pursued not through any form of democratic self-organization but “market mechanisms”—to effective make the sense of public interest productive for capitalism.

What we can expect now is a two-pronged attack. On the one hand, they will use the crisis to attempt to reverse the gains of past social movements: to put nuclear energy back on the table to deal with the energy crisis and global warming, or genetically modified foods to deal with the food crisis. Prime Minister Fukuda, the host of the current summit, for example, is already proposing the nuclear power is the “solution” to the global warming crisis, even as the German delegation resists. On the other, and even more insidiously, they will try once again to co-opt the ideas and solutions that have emerged from our struggles as a way of ultimately undermining them. Appropriating such ideas is simply what rulers do: the bosses brain is always under the workers’ hat. But the ultimate aim is to answer the intensification of class struggle, of the danger of new forms of democracy, with another wave of enclosures, to restore a situation where commoners’ attempts to create broader regimes of cooperation are stymied, and people are plunged back into mutual competition.

We can already see the outlines of how this might be done. There are already suggestions that Sovereign Wealth Funds put aside a certain (miniscule) proportion of their money for food aid, but only as tied to a larger project of global financial restructuring. The World Bank, largely bereft of its earlier role organizing dams and pipe-lines across the world, has been funding development in China’s poorer provinces, freeing the Chinese government to carry out similar projects in Southeast Asia, Africa, and even Latin America (where, of course, they cannot effectively be held to any sort of labor or environmental standards). There is the possibility of a new class deal in China itself, whose workers can be allowed higher standards of living if new low wage zones are created elsewhere—for instance, Africa (the continent where struggles over maintaining the commons have been most intense in current decades)—with the help of Chinese infrastructural projects. Above of all, money will be channeled into addressing climate change, into the development of alternative energy, which will require enormous investments, in such a way as to ensure that whatever energy resources do become important in this millennium, they can never be democratized—that the emerging notion of a petroleum commons, that energy resources are to some degree a common patrimony meant primarily to serve the community as a whole, that is beginning to develop in parts of the Middle East and South America—not be reproduced in whatever comes next.

Since this will ultimately have to be backed up by the threat of violence, the G8 will inevitably have to struggle with how to (yet again) rethink enforcement mechanisms. The latest move , now that the US “war on terror” paradigm has obviously failed, would appear to be a return to NATO, part of a reinvention of the “European security architecture” being proposed at the upcoming G8 meetings in Italy in 2009 on the 60th anniversary of NATO’s foundation—but part of a much broader movement of the militarization of social conflict, projecting potential resource wars, demographic upheavals resulting from climate change, and radical social movements as potential military problems to be resolved by military means. Opposition to this new project is already shaping up as the major new European mobilization for the year following the current G-8.

XVII
While the G-8 sit at the pinnacle of a system of violence, their preferred idiom is monetary. Their impulse whenever possible is to translate all problems into money, financial structures, currency flows—a substance whose movements they carefully monitor and control.

Money, on might say, is their poetry—a poetry whose letters are written in our blood. It is their highest and most abstract form of expression, their way of making statements about the ultimate truth of the world, even if it operates in large part by making things disappear. How else could it be possible to argue—no, to assume as a matter of common sense—that the love, care, and concern of a person who tends to the needs of children, teaching, minding, helping them to become decent , thoughtful, human beings, or who grows and prepares food, is worth ten thousand times less than someone who spends the same time designing a brand logo, moving abstract blips across a globe, or denying others health care.

The role of money however has changed profoundly since 1971 when the dollar was delinked from gold. This has created a profound realignment of temporal horizons. Once money could be said to be primarily congealed results of past profit and exploitation. As capital, it was dead labor. Millions of indigenous Americans and Africans had their lives pillaged and destroyed in the gold mines in order to be rendered into value. The logic of finance capital, of credit structures, certainly always existed as well (it is at least as old as industrial capital; possibly older), but in recent decades these logic of financial capital has come to echo and re-echo on every level of our lives. In the UK 97% of money in circulation is debt, in the US, 98%. Governments run on deficit financing, wealthy economies on consumer debt, the poor are enticed with microcredit schemes, debts are packaged and repackaged in complex financial derivatives and traded back and forth. Debt however is simply a promise, the expectation of future profit; capital thus increasingly brings the future into the present—a future that, it insists, must always be the same in nature, even if must also be greater in magnitude, since of course the entire system is premised on continual growth. Where once financiers calculated and traded in the precise measure of our degradation, having taken everything from us and turned it into money, now money has flipped, to become the measure of our future degradation—at the same time as it binds us to endlessly working in the present.

The result is a strange moral paradox. Love, loyalty, honor, commitment—to our families, for example, which means to our shared homes, which means to the payment of monthly mortgage debts—becomes a matter of maintaining loyalty to a system which ultimately tells us that such commitments are not a value in themselves. This organization of imaginative horizons, which ultimately come down to a colonization of the very principle of hope, has come to supplement the traditional evocation of fear (of penury, homelessness, joblessness, disease and death). This colonization paralyzes any thought of opposition to a system that almost everyone ultimately knows is not only an insult to everything they really cherish, but a travesty of genuine hope, since, because no system can really expand forever on a finite planet, everyone is aware on some level that in the final analysis they are dealing with a kind of global pyramid scheme, what we are ultimately buying and selling is the real promise of global social and environmental apocalypse.

XVIII
Finally then we come to the really difficult, strategic questions. Where are the vulnerabilities? Where is hope? Obviously we have no certain answers here. No one could. But perhaps the proceeding analysis opens up some possibilities that anti-capitalist organizers might find useful to explore.

One thing that might be helpful is to rethink our initial terms. Consider communism. We are used to thinking of it as a total system that perhaps existed long ago, and to the desire to bring about an analogous system at some point in the future—usually, at whatever cost. It seems to us that dreams of communist futures were never purely fantasies; they were simply projections of existing forms of cooperation, of commoning, by which we already make the world in the present. Communism in this sense is already the basis of almost everything, what brings people and societies into being, what maintains them, the elemental ground of all human thought and action. There is absolutely nothing utopian here. What is utopian, really, is the notion that any form of social organization, especially capitalism, could ever exist that was not entirely premised on the prior existence of communism. If this is true, the most pressing question is simply how to make that power visible, to burst forth, to become the basis for strategic visions, in the face of a tremendous and antagonistic power committed to destroying it—but at the same time, ensuring that despite the challenge they face, they never again become entangled with forms of violence of their own that make them the basis for yet another tawdry elite. After all, the solidarity we extend to one another, is it not itself a form of communism? And is it not so above because it is not coerced?

Another thing that might be helpful is to rethink our notion of crisis. There was a time when simply describing the fact that capitalism was in a state of crisis, driven by irreconcilable contradictions, was taken to suggest that it was heading for a cliff. By now, it seems abundantly clear that this is not the case. Capitalism is always in a crisis. The crisis never goes away. Financial markets are always producing bubbles of one sort or another; those bubbles always burst, sometimes catastrophically; often entire national economies collapse, sometimes the global markets system itself begins to come apart. But every time the structure is reassembled. Slowly, painfully, dutifully, the pieces always end up being put back together once again.

Perhaps we should be asking: why?

In searching for an answer, it seems to us, we might also do well to put aside another familiar habit of radical thought: the tendency to sort the world into separate levels—material realities, the domain of ideas or “consciousness”, the level of technologies and organizations of violence—treating these as if these were separate domains that each work according to separate logics, and then arguing which “determines” which. In fact they cannot be disentangled. A factory may be a physical thing, but the ownership of a factory is a social relation, a legal fantasy that is based partly on the belief that law exists, and partly on the existence of armies and police. Armies and police on the other hand exist partly because of factories providing them with guns, vehicles, and equipment, but also, because those carrying the guns and riding in the vehicles believe they are working for an abstract entity they call “the government”, which they love, fear, and ultimately, whose existence they take for granted by a kind of faith, since historically, those armed organizations tend to melt away immediately the moment they lose faith that the government actually exists. Obviously exactly the same can be said of money. It’s value is constantly being produced by eminently material practices involving time clocks, bank machines, mints, and transatlantic computer cables, not to mention love, greed, and fear, but at the same time, all this too rests on a kind of faith that all these things will continue to interact in more or less the same way. It is all very material, but it also reflects a certain assumption of eternity: the reason that the machine can always be placed back together is, simply, because everyone assumes it must. This is because they cannot realistically imagine plausible alternatives; they cannot imagine plausible alternatives because of the extraordinarily sophisticated machinery of preemptive violence that ensure any such alternatives are uprooted or contained (even if that violence is itself organized around a fear that itself rests on a similar form of faith.) One cannot even say it’s circular. It’s more a kind of endless, unstable spiral. To subvert the system is then, to intervene in such a way that the whole apparatus begins to spin apart.

XIX
It appears to us that one key element here—one often neglected in revolutionary strategy—is the role of the global middle classes. This is a class that, much though it varies from country (in places like the US and Japan, overwhelming majorities consider themselves middle class; in, say, Cambodia or Zambia, only very small percentages), almost everywhere provides the key constituency of the G8 outside of the ruling elite themselves. It has become a truism, an article of faith in itself in global policy circles, that national middle class is everywhere the necessary basis for democracy. In fact, middle classes are rarely much interested in democracy in any meaningful sense of that word (that is, of the self-organization or self-governance of communities). They tend to be quite suspicious of it. Historically, middle classes have tended to encourage the establishment of constitutional republics with only limited democratic elements (sometimes, none at all). This is because their real passion is for a “betterment”, for the prosperity and advance of conditions of life for their children—and this betterment, since it is as noted above entirely premised on structures of exclusion, requires “security”. Actually the middle classes depend on security on every level: personal security, social security (various forms of government support, which even when it is withdrawn from the poor tends to be maintained for the middle classes), security against any sudden or dramatic changes in the nature of existing institutions. Thus, politically, the middle classes are attached not to democracy (which, especially in its radical forms, might disrupt all this), but to the rule of law. In the political sense, then, being “middle class” means existing outside the notorious “state of exception” to which the majority of the world’s people are relegated. It means being able to see a policeman and feel safer, not even more insecure. This would help explain why within the richest countries, the overwhelming majority of the population will claim to be “middle class” when speaking in the abstract, even if most will also instantly switch back to calling themselves “working class” when talking about their relation to their boss.

That rule of law, in turn, allows them to live in that temporal horizon where the market and other existing institutions (schools, governments, law firms, real estate brokerages…) can be imagined as lasting forever in more or less the same form. The middle classes can thus be defined as those who live in the eternity of capitalism. (The elites don’t; they live in history, they don’t assume things will always be the same. The disenfranchized don’t; they don’t have the luxury; they live in a state of precarity where little or nothing can safely be assumed.) Their entire lives are based on assuming that the institutional forms they are accustomed to will always be the same, for themselves and their grandchildren, and their “betterment” will be proportional to the increase in the level of monetary wealth and consumption. This is why every time global capital enters one of its periodic crises, every time banks collapse, factories close, and markets prove unworkable, or even, when the world collapses in war, the managers and dentists will tend to support any program that guarantees the fragments will be dutifully pieced back together in roughly the same form—even if all are, at the same time, burdened by at least a vague sense that the whole system is unfair and probably heading for catastrophe.

XIX
The strategic question then is, how to shatter this sense of inevitability? History provides one obvious suggestion. The last time the system really neared self-destruction was in the 1930s, when what might have otherwise been an ordinary turn of the boom-bust cycle turned into a depression so profound that it took a world war to pull out of it. What was different? The existence of an alternative: a Soviet economy that, whatever its obvious brutalities, was expanding at breakneck pace at the very moment market systems were undergoing collapse. Alternatives shatter the sense of inevitability, that the system must, necessarily, be patched together in the same form; this is why it becomes an absolute imperative of global governance that even small viable experiments in other ways of organizing communities be wiped out, or, if that is not possible, that no one knows about them.

If nothing else, this explains the extraordinary importance attached to the security services and preemption of popular struggle. Commoning, where it already exists, must be made invisible. Alternatives— Zapatistas in Chiapas, APPO in Oaxaca, worker-managed factories in Argentina or Paraguay, community-run water systems in South Africa or Bolivia, living alternatives of farming or fishing communities in India or Indonesia, or a thousand other examples—must be made to disappear, if not squelched or destroyed, then marginalized to the point they seem irrelevant, ridiculous. If the managers of the global system are so determined to do this they are willing to invest such enormous resources into security apparatus that it threatens to sink the system entirely, it is because they are aware that they are working with a house of cards. That the principle of hope and expectation on which capitalism rests would evaporate instantly if almost any other principle of hope or expectation seemed viable.

The knowledge of alternatives, then, is itself a material force.

Without them, of course, the shattering of any sense of certainty has exactly the opposite effect. It becomes pure precarity, an insecurity so profound that it becomes impossible to project oneself in history in any form, so that the one-time certainties of middle class life itself becomes a kind of utopian horizon, a desperate dream, the only possible principle of hope beyond which one cannot really imagine anything. At the moment, this seems the favorite weapon of neoliberalism: whether promulgated through economic violence, or the more direct, traditional kind.

One form of resistance that might prove quite useful here – and is already being discussed in some quarters – are campaigns against debt itself. Not demands for debt forgiveness, but campaigns of debt resistance.

XX
In this sense the great slogan of the global justice movement, “another world is possible”, represents the ultimate threat to existing power structures. But in another sense we can even say we have already begun to move beyond that. Another world is not merely possible. It is inevitable. On the one hand, as we have pointed out, such a world is already in existence in the innumerable circuits of social cooperation and production in common based on different values than those of profit and accumulation through which we already create our lives, and without which capitalism itself would be impossible. On the other, a different world is inevitable because capitalism—a system based on infinite material expansion—simply cannot continue forever on a finite world. At some point, if humanity is to survive at all, we will be living in a system that is not based on infinite material expansion. That is, something other than capitalism.

The problem is there is no absolute guarantee that ‘something’ will be any better. It’s pretty easy to imagine “other worlds” that would be even worse. We really don’t have any idea what might happen. To what extent will the new world still organized around commoditization of life, profit, and pervasive competition? Or a reemergence of even older forms of hierarchy and degradation? How, if we do overcome capitalism directly, by the building and interweaving of new forms of global commons, do we protect ourselves against the reemergence of new forms of hierarchy and division that we might not now even be able to imagine?

It seems to us that the decisive battles that will decide the contours of this new world will necessarily be battles around values. First and foremost are values of solidarity among commoners. Since after all, every rape of a woman by a man or the racist murder of an African immigrant by a European worker is worth a division in capital’s army.

Similarly, imagining our struggles as value struggles might allow us to see current struggles over global energy policies and over the role of money and finance today as just an opening salvo of an even larger social conflict to come. For instance, there’s no need to demonize petroleum, for example, as a thing in itself. Energy products have always tended to play the role of a “basic good”, in the sense that their production and distribution becomes the physical basis for all other forms of human cooperation, at the same time as its control tends to organize social and even international relations. Forests and wood played such a role from the time of the Magna Carta to the American Revolution, sugar did so during the rise of European colonial empires in the 17th and 18th centuries, fossil fuels do so today. There is nothing intrinsically good or bad about fossil fuel. Oil is simply solar radiation, once processed by living beings, now stored in fossil form. The question is of control and distribution. This is the real flaw in the rhetoric over “peak oil”: the entire argument is premised on the assumption that, for the next century at least, global markets will be the only means of distribution. Otherwise the use of oil would depend on needs, which would be impossible to predict precisely because they depend on the form of production in common we adopt. The question thus should be: how does the anti-capitalist movement peak the oil? How does it become the crisis for a system of unlimited expansion?

It is the view of the authors of this text that the most radical planetary movements that have emerged to challenge the G8 are those that direct us towards exactly these kind of questions. Those which go beyond merely asking how to explode the role money plays in framing our horizons, or even challenging the assumption of the endless expansion of “the economy”, to ask why we assume something called “the economy” even exists, and what other ways we can begin imagining our material relations with one another. The planetary women’s movement, in its many manifestations, has and continues to play perhaps the most important role of all here, in calling for us to reimagine our most basic assumptions about work, to remember that the basic business of human life is not actually the production of communities but the production, the mutual shaping of human beings. The most inspiring of these movements are those that call for us to move beyond a mere challenge to the role of money to reimagine value: to ask ourselves how can we best create a situation where everyone is secure enough in their basic needs to be able to pursue those forms of value they decide are ultimately important to them. To move beyond a mere challenge to the tyranny of debt to ask ourselves what we ultimately owe to one another and to our environment. That recognize that none this needs to invented from whole cloth. It’s all already there, immanent in the way everyone, as commoners, create the world together on a daily basis. And that asking these questions is never, and can never be, an abstract exercise, but is necessarily part of a process by which we are already beginning to knit these forms of commons together into new forms of global commons that will allow entirely new conceptions of our place in history.

It is to those already engaged in such a project that we offer these initial thoughts on our current strategic situation.

Chomsky: the US public is irrelevant

Al Jazeera’s INSIDE USA has a recent interview with Noam Chomsky. Chomsky: US public irrelevant. The partial transcript is mirrored below, as is the 2-part video: part 1 and part 2.

Part 2 of the interview:

Partial transcript:

AVI LEWSI: I’d like to start by talking about the US presidential campaign. In writing about the last election in 2004, you called America’s system a “fake democracy” in which the public is hardly more than an irrelevant onlooker, and you’ve been arguing in your work in the last year or so that the candidates this time around are considerably to the right of public opinion on all major issues.

So, the question is, do Americans have any legitimate hope of change this time around? And what is the difference in dynamic between America’s presidential “cup” in 2008 compared to 2004 and 2000?

NOAM CHOMSKY: There’s some differences, and the differences are quite enlightening. I should say, however, that I’m expressing a very conventional thought – 80 per cent of the population thinks, if you read the words of the polls, that the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves not for the population [and] 95 per cent of the public thinks that the government ought to pay attention to public opinion but it doesn’t.

As far as the elections are concerned, I forget the exact figure but by about three to one people wish that the elections were about issues, not about marginal character qualities and so on. So I’m right in the mainstream.

There’s some interesting differences between 2004 and 2008 and they’re very revealing, it’s kind of striking that the commentators don’t pick that up because it’s so transparent.

The main domestic issue for years … is the health system – which is understandable as it’s a total disaster.

The last election debate in 2004 was on domestic issues … and the New York Times the next day had an accurate description of it. It said that [former Democratic presidential candidate John] Kerry did not bring up any hint of government involvement in healthcare because it has so little political support, just [the support of] the large majority of the population.

But what he meant was it was not supported by the pharmaceutical industry and wasn’t supported by the financial institutions and so on.

In this election the Democratic candidates all have [health] programmes that are not what the public are asking for but are approaching it and could even turn into it, so what happened between 2004 and 2008?

It’s not a shift in public opinion – that’s the same as before, what happened is a big segment of US corporate power is being so harmed by the healthcare system that they want it changed, namely the manufacturing industry.

So, for example, [car manufacturer] General Motors says that it costs them maybe $1,500 more to produce a car in Detroit then across the border in Windsor, Canada, just because they have a more sensible healthcare system there.

Well, when a big segment of corporate America shifts its position, then it becomes politically possible and has political support. So, therefore, you can begin to talk about it.

AL: But those aren’t changes coming from pressure from below?

CHOMSKY: No, the public is the same, it’s been saying the same for decades, but the public is irrelevant, is understood to be irrelevant. What matters is a few big interests looking after themselves and that’s exactly what the public sees.

AL: And yet, you can see people agitating against the official story, even within the electoral process. There is definitely a new mood in the US, a restlessness among populations who are going to political rallies in unprecedented numbers.

What do you make of this well branded phenomenon of hope – which is obviously part marketing – but is it not also part something else?

CHOMSKY: Well that’s Barack Obama. He has his way, he presents himself – or the way his handlers present him – as basically a kind of blank slate on which you can write whatever you like and there are a few slogans: Hope, unity …

AL: Change?

CHOMSKY: Understandable that Obama is generating “enthusiasm” [Reuters]
For most people in the US the past 30 years have been pretty grim. Now, it’s a rich country, so it’s not like living in southern Africa, but for the majority of the population real wages have stagnated or declined for the past 30 years, there’s been growth but it’s going to the wealthy and into very few pockets, benefits which were never really great have declined, work hours have greatly increased and there isn’t really much to show for it other than staying afloat.

And there is tremendous dissatisfaction with institutions, there’s a lot of talk about Bush’s very low poll ratings, which is correct, but people sometimes overlook the fact that congress’s poll ratings are even lower.

In fact all institutions are just not trusted but disliked, there’s a sense that everything is going wrong.

So when somebody says “hope, change and unity” and kind of talks eloquently and is a nice looking guy and so on then, fine.

AL: If the elite strategy for managing the electorate is to ignore the will of the people as you interpret it through polling data essentially, what is an actual progressive vision of changing the US electoral system? Is it election finance, is it third party activism?

CHOMSKY: We have models right in front of us. Like pick, say, Bolivia, the poorest county in South America. They had a democratic election a couple of years ago that you can’t even dream about in the US. It’s kind of interesting it’s not discussed; it’s a real democratic election.

A large majority of the population became organised and active for the first time in history and elected someone from their own ranks on crucial issues that everyone knew about – control of resource, cultural rights, issues of justice, you know, really serious issues.

And, furthermore, they didn’t just do it on election day by pushing a button, they’ve been struggling about these things for years.

A couple of years before this they managed to drive Bechtel and the World Bank out of the country when they were trying to privatise the war. It was a pretty harsh struggle and a lot of people were killed.

Well, they reached a point where they finally could manifest this through the electoral system – they didn’t have to change the electoral laws, they had to change the way the public acts. And that’s the poorest country in South America.

Actually if we look at the poorest country in the hemisphere – Haiti – the same thing happened in 1990. You know, if peasants in Bolivia and Haiti can do this, it’s ridiculous to say we can’t.

AL: The Democrats in this election campaign have been talking a lot, maybe less so more recently, about withdrawing from Iraq.

What are the chances that a new president will significantly change course on the occupation and might there be any change for the people of Iraq as a result of the electoral moment in the US?

CHOMSKY: Well, one of the few journalists who really covers Iraq intimately from inside is Nir Rosen, who speaks Arabic and passes for Arab, gets through society, has been there for five or six years and has done wonderful reporting. His conclusion, recently published, as he puts it, is there are no solutions.

This has been worse than the Mongol invasions of the 13th century – you can only look for the least bad solution but the country is destroyed.

The war on Iraq has been a catastrophe, Chomsky says [AFP]
And it has in fact been catastrophic. The Democrats are now silenced because of the supposed success of the surge which itself is interesting, it reflects the fact that there’s no principled criticism of the war – so if it turns out that your gaining your goals, well, then it was OK.

We didn’t act that way when the Russians invaded Chechnya and, as it happens, they’re doing much better than the US in Iraq.

In fact what’s actually happening in Iraq is kind of ironic. The Iraqi government, the al-Maliki government, is the sector of Iraqi society most supported by Iran, the so-called army – just another militia – is largely based on the Badr brigade which is trained in Iran, fought on the Iranian side during the Iran-Iraq war, was part of the hated Revolutionary Guard, it didn’t intervene when Saddam was massacring Shiites with US approval after the first Gulf war, that’s the core of the army.

The figure who is most disliked by the Iranians is of course Muqtada al-Sadr, for the same reason he’s disliked by the Americans – he’s independent.

If you read the American press, you’d think his first name was renegade or something, it’s always the “renegade cleric” or the “radical cleric” or something – that’s the phrase that means he’s independent, he has popular support and he doesn’t favour occupation.

Well, the Iranian government doesn’t like him for the same reason. So, they [Iran] are perfectly happy to see the US institute a government that’s receptive to their influence and for the Iraqi people it’s a disaster.

And it’ll become a worse disaster once the effects of the warlordism and tribalism and sectarianism sink in more deeply.

Election year 9/11 Kool-aid inoculation

Why is it that people who want to re-investigate the official 9/11 account are thought to be dragging their heels in the past, but publishing industry flag-wavers can trot out the orthodox 9/11 dogma every election cycle to repave America’s jack-boot stay-the-course resolve?
Pentagon hit by something smaller than a jet plane

This week it’s Firefight, a book about the firefighting aspect of the still-veiled 9/11 attack on the Pentagon which destroyed Department of Defense offices which contained, of all darned things, their budget data. NPR’s Fresh Air featured an interview of the Firestorm co-authors, one of them a volunteer firefighter and Iraq veteran, with nary a question about the peculiarities of the Pentagon disaster, but plenty of evocative details. Jet fuel, plenty of it, spreading all over the roof, etc, etc. with nothing of bodies, aircraft parts, or unbroken glass, un-scorched lawns, no etcetera.

If I was a too-devious-for-my-own-good Neocon stink-tank thinkee at Presidio Press, I’d concentrate on a detail to make this story recall the audience’s own false-memory of the event. Being so clever I’d know that the most powerful memory trigger is smell. But how to reference a smell if everyone’s experience was primarily through television visuals -not even that, actually? Perhaps the suggestive power of radio could evoke the illusion of smell if enough radio land characters were to belabor its significance…

For the Pentagon story in Firefight, that detail would be “horse hair” in the ceiling insulation. Not only was this apparently a striking memory for the firefighters, but interviewer Terry Gross reaffirmed that America’s 2001 media audience had fixated on the curious detail as well. Had you?

Oddly today the subject didn’t lead to explanations about the use of horse hair insulation, or the impediment it might have created for firefighting. Nope, just the smell. On top, added the co-author, of the smell of all that jet-fuel don’t you know. Of course.

They’re hoping for our sense of smell-memory to kick in, because of course our sight-memory wasn’t there either. We have only print-news accounts to go by, the still photos themselves dispute the official story.

But there was video we didn’t see, and haven’t yet seen.

The book begins with a reference to the adjacent Citgo gas station, but not its cameras. Why did federal agents immediately confiscate all security camera video that had captured the incident and subsequently release only a couple seconds of footage that actually shows nothing? If an American readership is sought for this new book, by guys who’ve taken this long to do the research, would there be no interest in answering the predominant curiosity out there? Was it a jet that pierced the Pentagon?

The Firefight book is re-writing the emerging 9/11 narrative, re-branding, re-imprinting the 9/11 mythology for the election year John McCain Neocon reelection.

The reason for the timing of this coincidental to election year publication was that one of the authors was waylaid by a couple deployments to Iraq. Wonderful! An alibi AND a not-unsubtle tying of 9/11 to Iraq. Host Terry Gross preempted listener skepticism by asking what the soldier author thought of what’s been shown to be a debunked linking of Saddam Hussein to 9/11. His answer of course, a soldier’s duty to his nation’s call, regardless the leadership’s methods.

Throw in the author’s IED head-trauma injury that has left his memory impaired. Now he’s a wounded vet, deserving of our patronage, and his personally responsibility to these 9/11 untruths will be inoculated from the eventual debunking of this treasonous 9/11 lie.

What a thoroughly wrapped package! Unfortunately for the clever stinkers a not inconsiderable portion of the American public believe the Pentagon was hit by a missile, and their smell-memory is of fish.

Liberal scholars make palatable same lie

Do you remember this ignoble sequence of events in the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq? America demanded Iraq cease their nuclear research projects, they did. We insisted they fess up about all their weapons programs, so they released a tower of documents, 75% of which we redacted before passing it on to the UN. We subjected Iraq to weapons inspectors, and called for Saddam to produce and dismantle his long range missiles. When the embargo-depleted, oft-bombarded nation complied, the way was clear for our troops to move in.

If a cowboy did that in a western, which color hat would he be wearing? Throw down your gun so I can shoot you.

Middle East scholar Steven Zunes recounted this episode in his presentation at CC on Thursday. Iraq’s early subjugation would certainly be influencing Iran’s current nuclear strategy. North Korea presented the alternate scenario. Their nuclear program moved forward undeterred, they tested long distance rockets, and they didn’t get invaded. Iran is governed by a repressive regime, but even Iran’s dissidents advocate rushing their nation’s nuclear efforts forward.

Stephen Zunes spoke about the ongoing war and The Mess Bush Leaves Behind, reminding the students of his originally dire predictions before the war started. He made the same point in his CC appearance the year before. In 2003 Zune had predicted failure in Iraq. Much as he would like to have been proven wrong, he says, we have failure. Still unchanged was the narrative that the US adventure in Iraq has been an unmitigated fiasco. The outcome is tragic, the irreversible destruction and loss of life, lamentable. But otherwise Zunes’ liberal theme is pernicious falsehood.

Bush’s history-making sure does look like a mess, but Neocon pocketbooks can only be described as messy in being flush with cash. When will analysts reframe the fiasco for what it still is, a continual mugging of the American taxpayer. Oil profits are up, the weapons industry has windfalls to rival cyclones, and private militia forces are outgrowing the democratic mechanisms to hold multinationals in check. Having a preeminent scholar characterize the GWOT developments as mistakes is to mislead Americans with criminal negligence.

Would he do it all over again?

Khalil, My Brother, would you do it all over again? Khalil regrets toppling statue of Saddam

Now, let’s think of all those who pulled the lever for Bush and Cheney in 2000? Many would hardly today do it once again if given the choice. Most Russians would not support Gorbachev again, either. It seems it’s so very hard for many people of all nations to retrace their steps once again without regrets… so many un-seeing actions.

Humanity is often led astray by those with power, where the mob is then often led to do stupid things. We are about to see a mob form in the US for something being promoted as ‘Change’, yet one time more once again. Beware!

‘Change’ most often is the same stupid thing done again and again, over and over. The promise of change often leads to even worse. Khalil learned that the hard way.

Beware the mob celebrating ‘change’. We often time have horrible non-choices forced upon us, so beware the pretense of ‘Change’ forced from above. That type of ‘change’ can bring even worse. And it can even come as promise of a new day.

The mixed up Peace Community

The Peace Community is just plain mixed up. They are always ‘commemorating’ false anniversaries, and have a great ability to count by thousands (though not by hundreds of thousands, or millions). ‘This is the 5th year of The War, and this is 4,000 down, etc. and yada, yada, yada’ …, however, they don’t really seem to have even a clue.

What I am getting at, is that The War date to remember really is January 17, 1991. That’s when the US went to war with Iraq. That’s the date the Peace Community should be commemorating, but doesn’t, simply because most of those years the so called Peace Community was MIA, or advocating even a US war against Yugoslavia. Congratulations, People, you are really on the ball! You were to busy with the Rush Limbaugh War those days, I guess?

Even now, many of the clueless people want to go campaigning to stop the Olympics, save the Fur people and give them a Dar, and to chop off a fifth of Chinese territory and make a new country out of it. Whoopeee!!!!!

Let’s think about the US some more, shall we? When did the US government go to war with the Afghan people? Come on, Peace Buddies! Hey, was it way back when Osama was still considered a Freedom Fighter? You guys are really quite clueless! Even today, you hardly are campaigning for America to end that war, now are you?

And when did the US go to war against Iran? Hey, wasn’t that back when Saddam Hussein was our government’s good friend? See the Wikipedia some about our history here… The Gulf War

Shoot, that was when most of the Peace Community was part of the porra (cheerleaders) for Daniel Ortega and team. They didn’t really have time to think about how Saddam was being backed by the US government to wage war on the Iranian people. They didn’t have time, as they took their revolutionary vacations elsewhere.

Yes, the Peace Community is just mixed up most of the time. So this election year, we’ll keep that in mind. Americans are always on Cloud Nine…. for an eternity it seems. And that includes the Peace Community. If I they didn’t forget to oppose the Drug War so much even, they might not be so drugged out? Who knows?

I guess what I am saying with this rambling rant, is that it is so sad that much of the Peace (and Justice, too) Community misses about 99% of what goes on around them, about 99% of the time. The corporate media just screws with their minds too much for most to follow what goes on in the world. The Peace People can see that in the conservative element of the population, but is quite oblivious to their own propensity to be manipulated, and about 99% of the time.

It certainly is frustrating to try to work with these people. It might be easier to work with Jehovah’s Witnesses, or some other hard-to-have-success project? Lord only knows? But I continue to work with Unitarians instead. It’s a Unitarian Peace Community.

Peace.

Meester Vice-president, we’ve been friends a long time…

Dick ‘Shotgun’ Cheney is in the Middle East cheering up our government’s allies there.

‘Everything going by game plan, and American State terrorism is really healthy, Guys!’ YES! … Cheney in oil talks with Saudis

…You just gotta love these people, don’t you?

They remind me a lot of Saddam Hussein himself, who never for a minute lacked confidence. Maybe Cheney and The King will someday meet the same fate, though unfortunately I think they will go the way of Franco, Pinochet, and Richard Nixon instead. There’s such little real justice in the world, and it’s a shame.

I am firmly in favor of torturing to death Dick Cheney (for useful information, of course, therefore I can say such a thing, because the US Empire is such a grand democracy!) Gotta love our great people! Wave the flag! Pray for America and all that.