Message of the Day: Caring for the Earth and all God’s Creatures

Dandelion Salad



If you have people who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have people who deal likewise with their fellow human beings.
– Francis of Assisi

(Caring for the earth and all God’s creatures: what does this mean for you?)



Gn 46:1-7, 28-30; Ps 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40; Mt 10:16-23

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.

The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
They are not put to shame in an evil time;
in days of famine they have plenty.

Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones.

The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.


Praying the Daily Gospels
– by Philip St. Romain:

– Matthew 10:16-23 (Persecutions to come)

Because the early Church experienced persecution from Jews and Gentiles, Jesus’ warning in today’s reading offered words of consolation and hope. Persecution is to be expected even from family members, Jesus explains, but the consolation of the Spirit will be given to those in need.

• Do you believe that people today would crucify Jesus if he were to come among us in person as he did years ago?

• How have you been persecuted for Christ’s sake during the past week?

• Pray for the grace of endurance.



– by Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J.

For neither ear has heard nor
eye seen, nor has it entered the mind what things God has planned in His

omniscience, determined in His will, and carried out by His power in the
souls given up entirely to Him. The passive part of sanctity is still more
easy since it only consists in accepting that which we very often have no
power to prevent, and in suffering lovingly, that is to say with sweetness
and consolation, those things that too often cause weariness and disgust.
Once more I repeat, in this consists sanctity. This is the grain of mustard
seed which is the smallest of all the seeds, the fruits of which can neither
be recognised nor gathered. It is the drachma of the Gospel, the treasure
that none discover because they suppose it to be too far away to be sought.
Do not ask me how this treasure can be found. It is no secret. The treasure
is everywhere, it is offered to us at all times and wherever we may be. All
creatures, both friends and enemies pour it out with prodigality, and it
flows like a fountain through every faculty of body and soul even to the
very centre of our hearts. If we open our mouths they will be filled. The
divine activity permeates the whole universe, it pervades every creature;
wherever they are it is there; it goes before them, with them, and it
follows them; all they have to do is to let the waves bear them on.

— Book 1, Chapter 1, Section 3

EXPOSÉ: The Defense Contractors Behind Iraq (video link; Vanity Fair; SAIC)

Dandelion Salad

VANITY FAIR pulls back the curtain on SAIC, the largest government contractor you’ve never heard of. Science Applications International Corporation has a workforce of 44,000, annual revenues that reached $8 billion in 2006, and a list of current and former board members that reads like a who’s who of political and military heavyweights. How is it that even though “several of SAIC’s biggest projects have turned out to be colossal failures,” the company always manages to get paid?

h/t: PoliticsTV


Out, Vile Jelly: The Blinding of America by Chris Floyd

Dandelion Salad

Written by Chris Floyd
Friday, 13 July 2007

“I carry a wounded horizon/In the seasons of my eye.” — Marty Matz

I.”Who’s Your Baghdaddy?”

New York Times Journalist Killed in Baghdad (NYT)

Continue reading

Earth to Bush: “The Chaos in Iraq You Now Decry was Caused By You!” by Walter C. Uhler

Dandelion Salad

by Walter C. Uhler
Posted 13 July 2007

Having watched our pathetic president’s July 12th news conference concerning the “Initial Benchmark Assessment Report,” I felt the urge to applaud Helen Thomas for verbally assaulting George W. Bush for the war criminal and mass murderer that he is. God bless her for asking: “Mr. President, you started this war, this war of your choosing, and you can end it alone, today, at this point…Don’t you accept – don’t you understand, we brought the Al Qaida into Iraq?”
Bush, of course, lied to Ms. Thomas when he claimed Saddam Hussein “chose the course” compelling Bush’s invasion by ignoring the warning from the UN Security Council: “Disclose, disarm or face serious consequences.”

But, “disclose, disarm” what? As virtually every individual on planet earth now knows, Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction to disarm or disclose. More significantly, had it actually been left to the UN Security Council to enforce its resolution – which is to say, had the Bush administration not violated a legally binding international treaty, the UN Charter -Saddam Hussein probably would be alive today and still ruling Iraq, like it or not.

Bush might “firmly believe that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power,” but that’s hardly a justification for committing the worst of all war crimes, unprovoked naked aggression. Moreover, were the world’s population forced to choose between Hussein and Bush, it’s likely that many more millions throughout the world would agree that the world would be better off without George W. Bush in power.

(Imagine our horror, were we to ever find that the world possessed sufficient military power to successfully force its will upon us! Who, then, would be appealing to international law and the protections due to sovereign states?)

But Bush’s lie to Helen Thomas was not the only lie he told during his press conference. Look at the lie he embedded in his discussions about pre-invasion troop strength with General Tommy Franks: “During our discussions in the run-up to the decision to remove Saddam Hussein after he ignored the Security Council resolutions, my primary question to General Franks was: Do you have what it takes to succeed?”

In fact, Saddam Hussein complied with the Security Council Resolution 1441, which afforded Iraq “‘a final opportunity to comply’ with its disarmament obligations, and accordingly it set up an enhanced inspection regime.” [Christine Gray, International Law and the Use of Force, p. 271] As international law scholar Christine Gray has concluded: “The determination of a material breach after Resolution 1441 was unilateral in the sense that it was made by the USA, the UK and Australia rather than by the Security Council.” [Ibid, p. 277]

And, thus, it was the war mongering Bush regime that cut the inspections short, lest UN weapons inspectors demonstrate that Iraq possessed no WMD – or lest the weather in Iraq would become too hot for invading troops.

Bush’s third lie at the press conference was his biggest – and he stumbled while defending it. When Bush asserted, “the same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th,” one reporter called him to task. “What evidence can you present to the American people that the people who attacked the United States on September 11th are, in fact, the same people who are responsible for the bombing taking place in Iraq…And also, are you saying sir, that Al Qaida in Iraq is the same organization being run by Osama bin Laden himself?”

After asserting “Al Qaida in Iraq has sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden,” Bush was forced to retreat. “And the guys who had perpetuated (sic!) the attacks on America – obviously the guys on the airplane are dead. And the commanders, many of those are either dead or in captivity – like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.” Unfortunately, Bush did not retreat to the entire truth.

Had he been entirely honest, Bush would have asserted that U.S. intelligence still has no evidence of operational ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaida prior to 9/11, that his administration – especially Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney — despicably seized upon already discredited shards of evidence to make such a connection and that he and Cheney continue trying to establish a link in order to persuade the American public that the invasion of Iraq was necessary in order to combat international terrorism.

Had he been entirely honest, Bush would have mentioned the intelligence reports, which concluded: (1) the U.S. invasion of Iraq inspired numerous otherwise middle class Muslims to become jihadists and (2) the U.S. invasion of Iraq is creating more al Qaida terrorists than the U.S. is killing in Iraq.

Had he been entirely honest, Bush would have noted that only 15 percent of the average daily attacks in Iraq are launched by al Qaida. Some 70 percent come from Sunni insurgents who are determined to rid their country of a foreign invader and occupier. Shiites militias launch the remaining 15 percent.

Thus, had Bush been entirely honest, he would not have claimed “the same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th.”

Nevertheless, after devoting much of his news conference to either exaggerating the progress described in the “Initial Benchmark Assessment Report” or resurrecting old lies to defend his indefensible illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq, Bush brandished the astonishing chutzpa to complain about both the chaos in Iraq created by al Qaida and the “tragic escalation of sectarian violence, sparked by [al Qaida’s] bombing of the golden mosque in Samarra.”

Chutzpa? Yes! Experts had predicted such chaos and sectarian violence long before Bush ordered the invasion. Thus, Mr. President, precisely because “you started this war,” which “brought the Al Qaida into Iraq,” you alone are ultimately responsible for all the chaos, death, destruction, dislocation and sectarian violence committed in its wake. It’s a verdict fairly screamed from virtually all points on planet earth and one you’ll never escape.

Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.


Bush Press Conference (if you can stomach it) (5 videos; propaganda)

The Media on ‘Global Terror’ by William Bowles

Dandelion Salad

by William Bowles
Friday, 13 July 2007

You know… it’s amazing really, considering that for centuries Europeans have been invading other countries, enslaving their peoples, ripping off their resources and in the process impoverishing much of the planet. And what is more, moving in and taking up residence without so much as a ‘by your leave’ let alone being put through an intensive examination upon their arrival.

Inevitably therefore, a time would come when through sheer force of circumstances, the descendents of our former overseas possessions would make the hazardous and brave trek to these shores in search of a better life or even to save their lives, largely as a result of the economic policies pursued by the West.

In what are regarded as better times, our former colonial subjects were even ‘welcome’—that is to say, their bodies were. The reception they got however was, to put it mildly, less than cordial for ‘the loyal subjects of the Dominion’.

Five centuries of colonialism and imperialism have left a legacy of a deeply ingrained racism which expresses itself at every level of society but which is most insidiously expressed by the state and its mouthpieces, the corporate and state-run media.

Taken as individual expressions, they appear to be innocuous, or at least not directly offensive but when viewed contextually, that is to say as visible articulations of official policy, their impact over time reinforces whatever prejudices people have already absorbed.

Take for example the following quote from Channel 4 News (10/7/07) about the siege of the Red Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan made by Jon Snow as he allegedly reported on events there. Snow tells us that Pakistan is,

“a breeding ground for global terror”

There are so many implications embedded in these six words that they need to be exposed for what they are: inflammatory and racist and simply untrue.

On what did Snow base his unequivocal utterance that Pakistan is “a breeding ground for global terror”? Well we learned nothing from the ‘news’ report, for Snow failed to mention that the Pakistani dictatorship of Musharaff is a client of both the US and the UK, that it is supported financially by both states as well as being the recipient of arms and other strategic support. In a deal worth $5 billion,

“On June 28 [2006], the Pentagon detailed plans to provide Pakistan with 36 F-16C/D combat aircraft, an assortment of F-16 engines and upgrade kits, and thousands of bombs and missiles, including 500 advanced air-to-air missiles. Describing Pakistan as a “vital ally” the Pentagon stated the arms would be used in fighting terrorists, such as al Qaeda.” — ‘Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Cleared for U.S. Arms Buys’, Arms Control Association Website, September 2006

Thus, if Pakistan is indeed a “breeding ground for global terror” then it is the US and UK who are directly responsible for it being so. The terror however, is that of the state which tortures and ‘disappears’ its opponents and is directly implicated in support for Kashmiri separatists not to mention it’s involvement with the Taliban and the CIA and MI6 in all kinds of dirty deeds.

“Soon after New Labour came to power in 1997, the then Foreign Secretary Robin Cook announced an “ethical dimension” to foreign policy. He said that the Government “will not issue an [arms] export licence if there is a clearly identifiable risk that the intended recipient would use the proposed export aggressively against another country” or if there was a threat to “regional stability.”” — ‘How Britain’s Armaments Fuel War And Poverty’ by John Pilger

But talk is cheap. The then foreign secretary Jack Straw in July 2002 defended the decision to resume arms sales to Musharraf’s dictatorship (and what an irony the statement is in the light of present-day events!)

“…we are not a pacifist country and I do not believe that we would make the world a safer place by Britain not being involved in defence expenditure here nor in responsible defence exports”, — BBC News Website, 9 July, 2002.

As a point of fact, UK laws banned the sale of weapons to countries where they could be used for internal repression or external aggression but as Straw said,

“We have clear criteria predicated on the basis that we will only export arms when the criteria are met.”

But Straw added that the criteria needed changing because they did

“not take full account of a very fast changing situation”.

Easy come, easy go eh.

But there is also the issue of Snow’s use of the phrase “global terror”. Is there such a thing? The phrase “global terror” evokes the vision of an organised network of international terrorists, able to coordinate attacks anywhere on the planet, but is there any proof of the existence of such a network? None that I or anybody else knows about.

And where is the evidence that Pakistan is a “breeding ground” for the non-existent “global terror” network? Snow was not forthcoming, instead the bulk of his report concerned whether or not Musharraf’s dictatorship could survive the latest crisis, unless of course Snow was referring to the US and the UK’s continuing support for Musharraf as the source of the problem, but as this aspect was not referred to, we can only assume that Snow was linking the internal struggles of Pakistan to the illusory “global terror network”.

The phrase also reveals a set of assumptions about Pakistan, itself the result of Britain’s imperial machinations on the Indian sub-continent.

Given the fact that there is a substantial population of British citizens of Pakistani descent, Snow’s ‘throwaway’ comment has serious ramifications, especially when one takes into account the demonisation of Muslims in the UK by both the government and the media which taps directly into five centuries of imperial rule which assumes the moral superiority of Western ‘civilisation’ and ‘inferiority’ of a culture that has been in continuous existence for over 5000 years.

Snow’s ‘throwaway’ comment contains an entire universe of prejudices and assumptions and as such is an essential element in a propaganda war that reinforces attitudes about ‘them’—the ‘other’ and directly contributes to creating a climate of fear by linking the latest amateurish attempt at bombing in London and Glasgow by a group of people (10 or 12 in all), most of whom are in any case of Indian, not Pakistani descent, but why quibble, ‘they’ all look alike don’t ‘they’.

Since writing this, the events at the Red Mosque in Islamabad have reached their denouement. For those wishing to read different points of view on the situation, I’ve added a bunch of links to stories that won’t be found in the mainstream press.

1. Bring the Musharraf-Aziz-Altaf Crime Mafia to Legal Justice

2. Black Day in Pakistan: Muslims Grieve as the Propagandists Try to Dirty the Heros

3. Black Day in Pakistan

4. Hundreds Feared Killed in Mosque Siege

5. Nation Would Take Revenge From Dictatorial Rulers After My Martyrdom: Abdul Rasheed Ghazi Shaheed

6. The Rules Change When Dictators Serve U.S. Interests By IMRAN KHAN – Chairman – Pakistan Justice Movement

7. Terrorist Army of Pakistan

8. Mosque Massacre: Washington’s “War of Terror” Shakes Pakistan

9. Surrender or Die – Pakistan’s Dictator Threatens Massacre at Islamabad Mosque

10. Bush Administration Rushes to Pakistani Dictator’s Aid

11. Pakistan Army Made Prisoner of Conscience After Lal Masjid Carnage: Qazi

12. Elections in the Presence of Musahrraf Would Strengthen Military Dictatorship: Qazi

13. Text of the All Parties Conference (APC) of Opposition Political Parties of Pakistan

14. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – Justice Movement

15. Afghans Still Dying as the Bush-Cheney Junta Tries to Defeat Popular Taliban (Students)

16. Kick the Killer Out of UK

17. MQM Watch

18. Kick Altaf Out


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Lessons from the Lal Masjid tragedy by Robert Jensen
Logic Bomb by Ted Rall (Pakistan)

Alive in Baghdad: Uncut – On Patrol with Iraqi Neighborhood (video; 2006)

Brian Conley discusses the Iraqi’s doing what they can to protect themselves. From original AIB episode on 09.09.2006


Alive in Baghdad: Uncut – Another Rocket in Baghdad (video)

Alive in Baghdad: Uncut – Surging Around the House + FPS, Another Iraqi Militia? (vids)

Alive in Baghdad: Uncut- Car Bomb Survivors, No Longer Stats (vid; over 18 only)

Bush Admits Leak of CIA Operative Probably Came From White House By Manila Ryce (video) (Iraq; Iran)

Dandelion Salad

By Manila Ryce
Published Friday, July 13th, 2007, 4:58 am

Yesterday, President Bush publicly acknowledged for the first time that someone in his administration likely leaked the identity of CIA operative, Valarie Plame. The matter is brought up after around 2 minutes into this video.

Despite initially claiming that he would fire anyone in his administration found to have publicly disclosed the name of Mrs. Plame, President Bush now says that he will “move on” from the “tough issue for a lot of people in the White House”.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.


Bush’s optimism is impossible to square with the situation in Iraq By Patrick Cockburn

Bush Press Conference (if you can stomach it) (5 videos; propaganda)

The Real Nuclear Threat by Anthony Gregory

Dandelion Salad

by Anthony Gregory
July 10, 2007

Most Americans, even many Iraq war doves, seem to agree that the US government should “do something” about Iran.

Those who don’t advocate bombings or ground invasions will still often defend harsh sanctions against Iran, but this too is a coercive measure, a war by other means. Blockades have long been regarded as acts of war.

Why can’t the United States just leave Iran alone?

Specifically, the fear is that Iran will have nuclear weapons, which just might be used by Islamist terrorists against Americans or US allies. Supposedly, Iran is one of the very worst regimes in human history. Its evil has risen to levels unparalleled since the Third Reich. It is a chief sponsor of terror, the command center from which our enemies conspire to strike. It is lying about its nuclear ambitions. It is thumbing its nose at the international community, and so on.

How can anyone fall for this nonsense? It’s the exact same propaganda we heard five years ago, except the last letter in the name of the enemy nation.

Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons, and even if they did, it’s none of the US government’s business. Of course I don’t believe the Iranians should have nukes, but I don’t think anyone should have them. This touches on the real nuclear threat, which is not getting enough attention.

The US government has thousands of nuclear weapons. Americans worry about Iran getting one or two. But only one government has ever used them against civilians, and it happens to be the one that continues to maintain and modernize its enormous arsenal and claims the right to preemptively use them against other nations that it considers a threat. It also happens to have a tragically bad record at determining what constitutes a threat. Furthermore, it happens to be the government whose nuclear policy Americans have the most business being concerned about, as well as the most chance of changing peacefully. After all, these demonic weapons are financed with our tax money.

Why is there so little outrage about this? By what respectable moral standard can the US claim the right to own and brandish such unspeakably petrifying ordnance?

We don’t need too active an imagination to see the problem here. All it would take is a terrible accident to bring on nuclear devastation or even war. It has almost happened before. Atomic holocaust is only one truly mad president or a short series of cataclysmic human errors away.

The astounding number of nuclear weapons is as urgent an issue as any. Environmentalists worrying about carbon emissions, conservatives complaining about kids these days, libertarians riled up by a local zoning code – if any of these people are overlooking these thousands of armaments designed only for slaughter on a colossal scale, they need to get their priorities in order.

Conservatives and liberals will sometimes say to me, “Ahah! How can you oppose nuclear weapons but believe in the right to bear arms?” The liberal’s purpose is to show the logic of gun control. The conservative seeks to show the logic of owning enough explosives to blow up the earth.

Indeed, coercive, government-implemented WMD control is as problematic as gun control. Look at Iraq. We don’t want the state to be in the business of disarming others through force.

As for the objects themselves, a gun is qualitatively different from a nuke. A gun is more like a knife, or a slingshot, or even a pencil, when compared to a nuke. You can kill innocent people with guns, it’s true, but you can also use them in self-defense without inflicting any collateral damage. It happens all the time. A nuke can’t be pinpointed. It’s not designed to be. It was created for atrocity. Nukes are thus different from guns, grenades, tanks and anti-aircraft missiles – the ownership of which can easily be defended on libertarian grounds. Nuclear weapons fashioned for strategic bombing are inherently statist and threatening to innocent life.

The world is held hostage by the US arsenal. This has only encouraged rogue states to seek WMD. If a state doesn’t have any, it gets treated like Iraq. If it has some, it gets diplomacy. The US government has in the nuclear age only picked fights with countries that couldn’t effectively fight back, except through terrorism and fourth-generation warfare.

The debate on an American missile defense system has spanned decades, but what about a defense against American missiles? Bush and Putin recently met to discuss a Star Wars shield, supposedly to protect against the Iranians. But Moscow understandably might feel more threatened by the United States than by Iran. It’s the US that’s been intimidating Russia with its interceptor missiles in Eastern Europe and, reportedly, staging nuclear exercises.

In terms of deploying missiles and bombs, the US is obviously a bigger threat than Iran. Which state has bombed nearly as many people as the US government? Other regimes have killed more in concentration camps, by shootings and beatings, and by starvation. But when it comes to wholesale airborne homicide, the US government has nearly cornered the market for half a century.

The US government is responsible for nukes, this bane on mankind. Franklin Roosevelt introduced nuclear weapons technology to the world and then Harry Truman introduced nuclear warfare to humanity. For this alone, both these men deserve our eternal contempt.

These weapons couldn’t have been developed without forcibly extracting $2 billion from the American people, back when that was a lot of money. They are a product of socialism. The US has since proceeded to encourage their proliferation and now they’re everywhere.

Returning to the issue of Iran, the US government has been wielding its saber for a while now. It has broadcasted its desire for Iranian regime change, which, as in the case of Iraq, is the real reason the neocons want war, rather than a genuine fear of terrorist WMD. Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter (who was famously right about Iraq) was asked by’s Scott Horton if he believed that “nuclear disarmament is the excuse” for “the policy of regime change,” to which Ritter answered: “That’s correct. The Bush administration has made it clear that when it comes to the Middle East, the policy is regional transformation.” As for the weapons, Ritter says,

“Well, actually the government knows that Iran is not about to have an armful of nuclear weapons. When you hear someone say that Iran is ten years away from having a nuclear weapon, that means that they are at zero right now, because ten years is about how long it takes in this day and age – that’s what it takes to put in place the technology, develop the infrastructure, pump out the fissile material, etc.”

The US has made preparations within Iran to use nukes against the country. It has disregarded Iran’s peace overtures, attempts at diplomacy, and offers to assist in battling al Qaeda. It has demonized the Iranian people, who came out in droves in candlelight vigils to show their solidarity with American victims shortly after 9/11, and who have been very forgiving of the United States despite its legacy of backing the totalitarian Shah, teaching his goons how to torture and terrorize, and then sponsoring Saddam’s invasion of their country.

Former CIA Officer Philip Giraldi, who reported back in August, 2005, “that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack,” has recently told Scott Horton that he believes the plan is to use nuclear weapons both to destroy Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons facilities and also to threaten massive retaliation against Iran should it decide not to take the punches lying down.

With the heroic and outspoken Ron Paul being the only Republican dissenter and Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich the only dissenting Democrats, all other major presidential candidates keep unprovoked nuclear war on the table. Iran is in no way threatening the United States, but the United States is threatening to unleash terrible destruction on Iran. This is the real nuclear threat right now. If we want to seriously talk about something we can do to make the world a safer place, disarming the American empire of its nuclear stockpile would be the most logical place to start. As a very first step, the American people need to demand that their politicians stop threatening Iranians or others with nuclear warfare, as if this could ever be moral or civilized.

Some will say America can’t lower its defenses so long as the world is a dangerous place. US nukes, however, don’t make us safer in the least. They have only emboldened our imperialist government to go pushing people around in all corners of the globe. They only incite suspicion, fear and hatred, and encourage violence, nuclear weapons proliferation and terrorism. If we are attacked by terrorists or a foreign state, all these apocalyptic munitions can be used for is to murder foreigners by the thousands or millions. Really, what kind of a defense is that? Yes, MAD “worked,” in that America, Russia and the rest of humanity are still here. But this kind of policy has also brought us to the brink of mutual destruction too often.

Unconditional, unilateral disarmament is the only answer. Ideally, no state should have such weapons, but war in the name of disarming foreign states is a recipe for wide international aggression. The US ought to begin rapidly disarming itself if it really has any interest in a more peaceful world. The rest of the countries are most likely to follow suit when they see that the one state ever to engage in nuclear terrorism is no longer such a threat.

Anthony Gregory [send him mail] is a writer and musician who lives in Berkeley, California. He is a research analyst at the Independent Institute. See his webpage for more articles and personal information.

Copyright © 2007


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

Is War With Iran Inevitable? Yes. by Justin Raimondo

Bush’s optimism is impossible to square with the situation in Iraq By Patrick Cockburn

Dandelion Salad

By Patrick Cockburn in Arbil
Published: 13 July 2007

Scrambling to shore up crumbling support for the war in Iraq, President George Bush released a report yesterday claiming sufficient political and military progress to justify the presence of 170,000 US troops in the country.

President Bush said he still believed victory in Iraq was possible.

“Those who believe that the battle in Iraq is lost will likely point to the unsatisfactory performance on some of the political benchmarks,” he said.

“Those who believe the battle in Iraq can and must be won see the satisfactory performance on several of the security benchmarks as a cause of optimism.” He added it was too early to say if his new strategy in Iraq was working.

But in Iraq as in the US there is a sense that Washington is playing its last cards. “I assume the US is going to start pulling out because 70 per cent of Americans and Congress want the troops to come home,” Mahmoud Othman, a veteran Iraqi politician, said. “The Americans are defeated. They haven’t achieved any of their aims.”

The report itself admits to a sense in Iraq that the US, one way or another, is on the way out more than four years after its invasion in 2003.

It says that political reconciliation in Iraq is being hampered by “increasing concern among Iraqi political leaders that the United States may not have a long-term commitment to Iraq”.

The White House yesterday sought to suggest possible change for the better in Iraq by saying that there had been satisfactory progress on eight of the 18 goals set by Congress. Unsatisfactory progress is reported on six, unsatisfactory but with some progress on two and “too early to assess” on a further two.

The picture it hopes to give – and this has been uncritically reported by the US media – is of a mixture of progress and frustration in Iraq.

The wholly misleading suggestion is that the war could go either way. In reality the six failures are on issues critical to the survival of Iraq while the eight successes are on largely trivial matters.

Thus unsatisfactory progress is reported on “the Iraqi security forces even handedly enforcing the law” and on the number of Iraqi units willing to fight independently of the Americans. This means that there is no Iraqi national army but one consisting of Kurds, Shia and Sunni who will never act against their own communities. Despite three years of training, the Iraqi security forces cannot defend the government.

Set against these vitally important failures are almost ludicrously trivial or meaningless successes. For instance, “the rights of minority political parties are being defended” but these groups have no political influence. The alliance of Shia religious and Kurdish nationalist parties that make up the government is not keen to share power with anybody. This is scarcely surprising since they triumphantly won the election in 2005.




The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness by Chris Hedges & Laila Al-Arian

Is War With Iran Inevitable? Yes. by Justin Raimondo

Dandelion Salad

by Justin Raimondo
July 13, 2007

We didn’t just invade Iraq – when we launched “Operation Iraqi Freedom” the American people not only signed on to an occupation that resembles, in many respects, Israel’s occupation of Palestine, we also bought into a serial war strategy, the first of which was Gulf War I. Gulf War II landed us in our present predicament. Gulf War III – involving, at a minimum, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon – is about to break out, and no one seems willing to stand against it.Indeed, the third Gulf War has already begun, and all that remains is for the aerial phase of it to commence. The presence of three U.S. carriers in the Gulf is a prelude to a much larger operation, and, as if on cue, accusations of Iranian interference in Iraq have escalated, with the US military now echoing earlier assertions by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney that the Iranians stood behind the Iraqi insurgency. We are, of course, never allowed to see the “evidence” for this claim, and, in the long, anguishing reappraisal of the “intelligence” that rationalizes a strike at Tehran the real paucity of concrete facts backing up these statements will doubtless come out. In the meantime, however, we are supposed to accept the veracity of the charges on faith: foreign policy is this administration’s most successful faith-based program, at least in terms of getting politicians of both parties, the media, and the general public to willingly suspend their disbelief until well after the shooting starts.

The political build-up to the actual fireworks reached a crescendo of hypocritical cant in the Senate the other day, with the passage of an amendment – 97 to nada – deploring alleged Iranian perfidy in Iraq, including purported attacks on U.S. soldiers. This, while we hold their diplomats hostage in a bizarrely inverted replay of the 1970s Iranian hostage crisis that brought down Jimmy Carter. Perhaps the regime-changers in Washington are hoping the same fate awaits Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If so, they are bound to be disappointed: such provocations only enhance the authority of Iranian hard-liners, and make the prospect of conflict with the U.S. more likely. On the other hand, maybe that’s exactly the point …

The bipartisan band is striking up a war tune, as “antiwar” Senator Carl Levin co-sponsors with Joe Lieberman the Iran Amendment to the defense appropriations bill, joining with Republican Senators McCain, Kyl, and Graham in a rousing chorus of rattling sabers. The amendment accuses Iran of murdering American soldiers, and of committing other acts of war: it is, in effect, a declaration of war, and Senator Lieberman was quite clear about this on the Senate floor the other day.


Indian – Israeli Ties Could Neutralize Delhi’s Palestinian Policy by Nicola Nasser

Dandelion Salad

A seminar on “Palestine: 1967 and After” organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and the mission of the League of Arab States (LAS) in New Delhi on June 22 highlighted India’s still unwavering historical support for the Palestinian people, but failed to address the potential political effects of the growing Indian – Israeli ties on New Delhi’s more than ten – decade old policy on the Arab – Israeli conflict in Palestine.

Only the criticism of those ties by the participating Indian intellectuals, university professors and journalists made up for ignoring the factor of the Indian – Israeli ties by the major speakers like the Indian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for West Asia and the Middle East Peace Process, Chinmaya R. Gharekhan, the Director General of the ICWA and the newly – appointed ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Talmiz Ahmad, and M.P. Sitaram Yechury as well as the Secretary General of the LAS, Amr Moussa, whose contribution was read by ambassador Ahmed Salem Saleh Al-Wahishi.

Similarly all attending Arab and non–Arab ambassadors and diplomats, except for the Palestinian ambassador Osama Mousa Al-Ali, also diplomatically avoided raising up the issue, which could not but affect positively or negatively India’s role in any Arab – Israeli peace process, which was the main concern of all speakers.

Diplomats of the Palestinian embassy in the Indian capital proudly showed this writer a four – dumum plot of land in the diplomatic corps neighborhood of New Delhi donated by the Indian government as a “present from the Indian people to the Palestinian people” to build a complex for the embassy of the “state of Palestine.”

It was part of a package of a $15 million grant donated to the Palestinian Authority during the visit of President Mahmoud Abbas to New Delhi in May 2005. $ 2.25 million of the grant was allocated for building the complex and the rest went to infrastructural projects in the Israeli – occupied Palestinian territories, Palestinian ambassador Al-Ali said.

In addition to political and diplomatic support, $20 million volume of bilateral trade and several shipments of medical supplies for Palestinian hospitals, India was careful to cement her Palestinian ties culturally and had completed two – Indian aided projects in the Gaza Strip, namely the Jawaharlal Nehru library at Al-Azhar University and the Mahatma Gandhi library at the Palestine Technical College in Deir Al-Albalah; a third project, a center of Indian studies, is also being planned at Al-Quds University.

Historically India’s Palestinian policy has been drawing on the ideological guidance set by the world’s spiritual leader of non-violence and the father of Indian independence, the Mahatma Gandhi, who consistently rejected Zionism over a period of nearly twenty years despite unrelenting Zionist lobbying, because according to Paul Power: “First, he was sensitive about the ideas of Muslim Indians who were anti-Zionists because of their sympathy for Middle Eastern Arabs opposed to the Jewish National Home; second, he objected to any Zionist methods inconsistent with his way of non-violence; third, he found Zionism contrary to his pluralistic nationalism, which excludes the establishment of any State based solely or mainly on one religion; and fourth, he apparently believed it imprudent to complicate his relations with the British, who held the mandate in Palestine.” (1)

Although his sympathies were all with the Jews, who as a people were subjected to inhuman treatment and persecution for a long time, Gandhi wrote, “My sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me… Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood?”

“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs… Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home,” he wrote in a widely circulated editorial in the Harijan of 11 November 1938, which was a major statement that has decided the Indian foreign policy on Palestine and the Jewish question to this day.

Accordingly, India was among 13 nations who voted against the UN General Assembly resolution 181 for the partition of Palestine in 1947. In the same year, as a member of the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), India proposed a minority plan which called for the establishment of a federal Palestine with internal autonomy for the Jewish illegal immigrants. She was also among the first non-Arab nations to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in 1974 and the first non-Arab country to recognize Palestine as an independent state in 1988; in 1996 India opened a diplomatic representative office with the autonomous Palestinian Authority.

Talmiz Ahmad’s reference in his opening remarks of the New Delhi seminar to the “resurgence of imperialism” in West Asia would undoubtedly assure Arabs that India would continue Mahatma Gandhi’s heritage of dealing with the Palestinian – Israeli conflict within the context of the international national liberation movements against colonialism, but the pragmatism which marked the Indian foreign policy in dealing with Israel, particularly since 1992, would potentially compromise this approach sooner or later. Arab and Palestinian strategists should not underestimate this possible strategist shift in the foreign policy of the world’s largest democracy, which a CIA study in 2005 envisaged as the second rising world power after China during the next two decades.

New Delhi is very well aware of her rising international status and that’s why she has been vying with Japan and Germany for a permanent seat at the Security Council of the United Nations. “The most important development of the 21st century will be the rise of Asia. India’s independence from colonial rule and the gradual evolution of a strong, stable, dynamic and democratic India has also contributed to Asia’s resurgence… Our Government has re-activated the Indian Council of World Affairs and has offered support to other think tanks to invest in the study of Asia, Africa and our neighbourhood… We have imparted new energy to our “Look East Policy”, launched in the early 1990s. This has contributed to a comprehensive re-engagement with Asia to our East,” said the incumbent Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, when his book, “The New Asian Power Dynamic,” was released recently.

An indicator of the new Indian strategic shift is the Indian focus on the Palestinian – Israeli peace process more than on the struggle of the Palestinian people for liberation, a development that was highlighted by the appointment of the veteran diplomat and former assistant to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, C. R. Gharekhan, as India’s Special Envoy for the Middle East Peace Process.

Accelerated Pace of Ties with Israel

Since Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao decided in January 1992 to establish full and normal diplomatic relations with Israel, Indian diplomats felt it necessary to “brief” Arab ambassadors in the Indian capital at regular intervals of India’s ties with Israel, but India is now Israel’s second largest trading partner in Asia after Hong Kong and Israel is now India’s second largest supplier of military equipment after Russia.

Official Israeli figures show that Israeli exports to India valued $1.270 billion in 2006 and imports $1.433 billion, to double the bilateral trade to more than tenfold since 1992. India’s Ambassador to Israel, Arun Kumar Singh, said recently that Israeli investments in India top $1b. Agricultural, water and IT technologies in addition to fertilizers and diamonds are major mutual trade concerns. The State Bank of India (SBI) became in June the first foreign bank to open a branch in Israel’s diamond exchange.

However both countries are careful to remain discreet about the defense component of their relations and trade. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Limited is looking for Indian partners to build two types of aircraft and jets in India and set up software and aeronautical engineering companies in Bangalore, according to The Hindu on July 2. The Times of India on June 14 reported that a top-level Israeli Army delegation, led by Israeli deputy chief of general staff Major-General Moshe Kaplinsky, was to visit Jammu & Kashmir after wide-ranging discussions with the top Indian military brass.

In August 1994, Israeli Defense Ministry’s Director-General David Ivry visited New Delhi and Indian Defense Secretary T. K. Banerji visited Tel Aviv. In March the following year the Israeli Air Force chief visited India and his Indian counterpart was in Israel in July 1996, one month after a strategic visit by the leading defense scientist, Abdul Kalam. In April 1996 the first Indian defense attaché, an air force officer, arrived in Israel. Prolonged cooperation between India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and its Israeli counterpart, the Mossad, is also reported; the RAW reportedly arranged in the late 1970s a visit by former Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan to India.

Defense also figured high on the agenda of visits by President Ezer Weizman in December 1996 and the then Foreign Minister (now President) Shimon Peres in May 1993. Comatose Ariel Sharon became the first Israeli prime minister to visit New Delhi in 2003. However, late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat used for decades to visit New Delhi on a two-hour notice.

Several factors contributed to the Indian pragmatic shift in foreign policy. Internally India in the early 1990s started her “look Asia policy” towards West and East Asia. Internationally the collapse of the former Soviet Union, which led to the emergence of the United States as the unipolar world power and globalization were the most prominent factors. Regionally the nuclear and technological race with China and Pakistan made New Delhi more responsive to more opening to the US, Israel and Japan. The Indian – Pakistani conflict was another regional factor. Except for the Baath-led Iraq and Syria, most conservative Arab governments were leaning towards Pakistan; the historical visit to New Delhi of the Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in 2005 had however balanced their imbalanced policy.

Diplomats of the ruling Congress party like to blame the Israeli shift policy on the former ruling conservative Janata (“people’s” in Hindi) party and the war with Pakistan in the Kargil district of Kashmir in 1999, when Israel reportedly promptly supplied the Indian army with much needed military equipment, including night vision devices, thus kicking off a growing defense cooperation ever since.

But in September 1950 Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (1947-64), a founding father of the Congress, granted Israel de jure recognition. A few months later, Israel opened a trade office in Bombay which gradually became a consular mission, and the first Israeli consul took over in June 1953; in early 1952, Nehru expressed his willingness to establish diplomatic relations. Another Congress leader, Rajiv Gandhi (1984-89), initiated a few direct and indirect contacts with Israel. (2)

Arab ‘Green Light’

Arab and Palestinian diplomacy’s ambivalent refrain from publicly warning against the growing Indian – Israeli ties could be interpreted as a refrain from demanding from friendly countries what Palestinians and Arabs have “green-lighted” for themselves when they collectively chose the Arab Peace Initiative as their “strategic option” with Israel in an Arab summit meeting held in Beirut, Lebanon in 2002; non-Arab countries could not be more Arab and Palestinian than Arabs and Palestinians themselves. It is noteworthy that the Indian – Israeli relations accelerated pace in 1992, a year after the Arab – Israeli peace conference in Madrid, Spain.

However the presence of more than five million strong expatriate Indian labor force in Arab countries, three million of whom are to be found in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the more than $25 billion value of Arab – Indian trade, including 60 percent of Indian oil and gas imports worth $20 billion, are enough pragmatic reasons not to be politically compromised by the newly-found pragmatic approach of Indian foreign policy.

“When we recognized Israel and normalized relations with her we did that after taking the approval of the Palestinian leadership; we said, after you agree we’ll recognize (Israel) … the Palestinian leadership told us: There are signed accords between us (and Israel) and we are now talking to the Israelis; your establishing relations with Israel helps us,” the Indian representative to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, Zikrur Rahman told the London-based Al-Haqeq newspaper on May 12, 2007.

Zikrur Rahman is a grandson of the Indian Muslim Mujahed Muhammed Ali Al-Hindi who died in battle in defense of the Palestinian people against the British mandate-protected Zionist paratroops early in the twentieth century, before Israel was created. His burial place alongside the graves of other Arab and Palestinian prominent freedom fighters is still standing as a symbol of Indian solidarity and friendship in the backyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site in Jerusalem.


(1) Quoted by Professor A.K. Ramakrishnan, “Mahatma Gandhi Rejected Zionism”, Released August 15, 2001, The Wisdom Fund, Website:

(2) P.R. Kumaraswamy, “India and Israel Evolving Strategic Partnership,” Begin – Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, September 1998.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist in Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Palestine. He is based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.

Nicola Nasser is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Nicola Nasser

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Made in Israel: The Crisis in Gaza by Michael Warschawski

Dandelion Salad

Global Research, July 12, 2007


The old dream of Ariel Sharon is becoming a reality: Palestinians are killing Palestinians, and Israel is counting the number of victims with great satisfaction. The tears of Israeli leaders are crocodile tears, and their claims that they are sorry for the tragic developments in Gaza are mere hypocrisy. The bloody confrontations were predictable, and the Israeli-US responsibility and active involvement are crystal clear.

Many Israeli journalists are analyzing Israel’s responsibility as indirect: “1.4 million people closed in a small territory like Gaza, without any possibility to have normal economic life, but also without the possibility of escape, are doomed to kill each other… like mice closed in a box.” That zoological explanation is not only typically racist, but also based on a huge understatement. For, the Israeli and US role in the present confrontations was much more than simply “creating the conditions” for an inner-Palestinian conflict.

For months, the US State Department has been pushing the Fatah leadership to launch a military offensive against Hamas, and two weeks ago, Israel was giving a green light to the entry of huge quantity of arms for Fatah militias in Gaza. In that sense, the Israeli part in the present situation is not only conjectural, but an active role.

Who is the Aggressor?

“Hamas is taking over,” “A Hamas coup d’etat”-these are some of the headlines from the Israeli newspapers in the last days, repeating the big lies of the Tel Aviv and Washington administrations. It appears that there is a need to make clear what should be obvious: Hamas smashed Fatah in the last Palestinian elections, after an electoral process that the whole international community, including Washington, hailed as “the most democratic ever in the Middle East.” Unquestionable democratic process and massive popular support, few regimes can claim such legitimacy.

Despite their huge victory, Hamas accepted to share the power with Fatah in a national unity government formed under the hospices of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and hailed by the entire international community, with the exception of Washington and Israel. The political platform of the new government gave de facto recognition the State of Israel and endorsed the strategy of peaceful negotiations, based on the mechanism of Oslo.

The priority of the new government was to deal with the burning domestic issues-economic improvement, restoration of law and order in Gaza, fighting the endemic corruption of the old Fatah-led administration-while allowing President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO to continue the negotiation process, if and when Israel would accept to renew it.

Hamas’ moderate government platform, however, was confronted by two powerful enemies: a segment of the Fatah cadres who are not ready to renounce their monopoly in the political power, and the material privileges connected to that monopoly, and the US-Israeli neoconservative governments, which are conducting a global crusade against political Islam. Muhammad Dahlan, former Preventive Security chief and present Security Adviser of Mahmoud Abbas represent both: they are the executioners of Washington’s plans in the Palestinian leadership, as well as the representatives of those corrupt Fatah leaders who are ready to do everything in order not to lose their economic resources.

Since the electoral victory of Hamas, Dahlan’s militia has been provoking the government, attacking Hamas militias and refusing to let the government control the Palestinian police forces. Despite Dahlan’s aggression, Hamas has been doing its best to reach an agreement with Dahlan, asking its own activists to refrain from counter-violence. However, when it became clear that Dahlan was not looking for a compromise, but indeed attempting to liquidate Hamas, the Islamic organization had no alternative but to defend itself and fight back.

The Algerian Model

The US-Israeli plan is part of a global strategy aimed at imposing governments which are loyal to their interests, against the will of the local population. Algeria provides an example of such a strategy, but also of its failure and its colossal human cost: the unquestionable electoral victory of the FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) over the corrupted and discredited FLN, in 1991, was followed by a coup d’etat, supported by France and the US, which paved the way for a civil war that lasted for more than a decade and provoked more than one hundred thousand civilian victims.

Hamas has clearly learned from the Algerian tragedy, and decided not to let Dahlan’s plans succeed in his attempt to take power by force. Enjoying the support of the majority of the local population, Hamas militants smashed Fatah in less than two days, despite the arms supplied, indirectly, by Israel: a corrupt militia without any popular support could not face a relatively disciplined and highly motivated organization.

Even after its smashing victory on Fatah, Hamas leadership has reiterated its intention to keep a national unity government and not to exploit the failed coup d’etat of Fatah as a pretext to eradicate the organization or to exclude it from the government. Fatah leadership, however, decided to cut any kind of relation with Hamas, and to establish a government without Hamas… in the West Bank. Another dream of Ariel Sharon is becoming a reality: total separation between the West Bank and Gaza, the later being considered a hopeless “Hamastan,” a terrorist entity in which there are no civilians, but only terrorists which can be put under a total state of siege, and doomed to starvation.

Washington, which fully endorses this policy, promised its full support to Mahmoud Abbas and his new Bantustan in the West Bank, and Ehud Olmert decided to release some of the Palestinian money that is in the Israeli government hands.

Not a Civil War

One of the Israeli and US administrations’ objectives failed however: there is no chaos in Gaza. On the contrary. As one Palestinian security officer told Haaretz (17 June): “For a very long time the city has not been quiet. I prefer the present situation to the previous one. I can, finally, go out from my house…” The eradication of Fatah gangs from Gaza may put an end to a long period of anarchy, and allow for a return to a certain level of normal life. The latest events confirmed that Hamas does have the power to impose it.

Israeli talks about a “Palestinian civil war” are no more than wishful thinking. The armed confrontation was between armed militia only, and if, unfortunately, there were civilian casualties, there were what the US army calls “collateral damage.” The population is indeed politically divided-in the West Bank as well as in Gaza-but not fighting each other, in the meantime at least.

With Gaza being defined as a hostile entity and its whole population as allied to Hamas, there is no doubt that it will be, in the near future, the target of a brutal Israeli aggression: eventual military incursions, bombardments and starvation.

This is why our top priority, in Israel as well as throughout the world, is to organize solidarity with Gaza and its population.

Michel Warschawski is a journalist and writer and a founder of the Alternative Information Center (AIC) in Israel. His books include On the Border (South End Press) and Towards an Open Tomb – the Crisis of Israeli Society (Monthly Review Press).

 Global Research Articles by Michael Warschawski

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