09.05.07 Uncensored News Reports From Across The Middle East (video; over 18 only)

Dandelion Salad


This video contains images depicting the reality and horror of war and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

Selected Episode

Sept. 5, 2007


For more programs: http://www.linktv.org/originalseries
Terrorist Plot Foiled in Germany; Al Jazeera
Life in Ramadi Changes; Al Arabiya
British Transfer Security in Basra to Iraqis; Al-Iraqiya
Lebanese Army Ends Operations at Nahr el Bared; Future TV
Muslim Brotherhood at Crossroads; Abu Dhabi TV
Palestinian Villagers Manage to Divert Separation Wall; Dubai TV
Sistani Backs Maliki; IRIB2
Islamists Compete in Moroccan Elections; Al Jazeera English
Producer: Jamal Dajani

As Pentagon Prepares to Shut Down TALON Spying Database, Antiwar Students Group Talks About Being Listed as “Credible Threat” (video link)

Dandelion Salad

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Democracy Now!

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The Pentagon is preparing to shut down its controversial domestic spying database later this month. The database, named TALON, includes scores of reports on nonviolent demonstrations and antiwar rallies. We speak with Kot Hordynski a member of Students Against War that was a TALON surveillance target. [includes rush transcript]

The Pentagon is preparing to shut down its controversial domestic spying database later this month. The database, named TALON, includes scores of reports on nonviolent demonstrations and antiwar rallies. Targets included Quaker and church groups; organizers of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” protests and student activists mobilizing against the Iraq war. One of those groups was Students Against War, based out of the nearby U.C. Santa Cruz.

  • Kot Hordynski, a Santa Cruz senior and member of Students Against War. He found out his group was spied on after MSNBC revealed TALON’s activities in late 2005.


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.

Luciano Pavarotti Dies + Luciano Pavarotti & Meat Loaf: Come Back To Sorrento (music video)

Dandelion Salad

Famed opera tenor Luciano Pavaratti has lost his battle with cancer. The 71-year-old died yesterday in Italy. Pavaratti retired from the opera stage three years ago, but was on a farewell tour of concerts when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year.

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Who Are The Fanatics? By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
September 05, 2007

President Jimmy Carter was demonized for pointing out in his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, that there are actually two sides to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Distinguished American scholars, such as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have suffered the same fate for documenting the excessive influence the Israel Lobby has on US foreign policy. Americans would be astonished at the criticisms in the Israeli press of the Israeli government’s policies toward the Palestinians and Arabs generally. In Israel facts are still part of the discussion. If the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, could replace Fox “News,” CNN, New York Times and Washington Post, Americans would know the truth about US and Israeli policies in the Middle East and their likely consequences.

On September 1, Haaretz reported that Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, which represents 900 Congregations and 1.5 million Jews, “accused American media, politicians and religious groups of demonizing Islam” and turning Muslims into “satanic figures.” [Jewish leader urges US Muslims to condemn violence, Reuters, September 1, 2007]

Rabbi Yoffie is certainly correct. In America there is only one side to the issue. An entire industry has been created that is devoted to demonizing Islam. Books abound that misrepresent Islam as the greatest possible threat to Western Civilization and seek to instill fear and hatred of Muslims in Americans. For example, Norman Podhoretz proclaims World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism. Daniel Pipes shrieks that Militant Islam Reaches America. Lee Harris warns of The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam’s Threat to the West.

Think tanks have well-funded Middle East programs, the purpose of which is to spread Islamophobia. Fear and loathing pour out of the Middle East Forum and the American Enterprise Institute.

In the US it is acceptable, even obligatory in many circles, to hate Muslims and to support violence against them. Pipes has been described as a “leading anti-Muslim hate propagandist.” He is on record advocating the use of violence alone as the solution to the Muslim problem. This won him the endorsement of the Christian Coalition, AIPAC, and the Zionist Organization of America for appointment to the board of the United States Institute of Peace. President George Bush used a recess appointment to appoint this man of violence to the Institute of Peace.

Pipes advocates that the Muslims be beaten into submission by force, the view that has guided the Bush administration. To brainwashed and propagandized Americans, Pipes appointment made perfect sense.

Podhoretz believes that Islam has no right to exist, because it is opposed to Israeli territorial expansion, and that America must deracinate Islam, which means to tear Islam up by the roots.

While neoconservatives, Christian Zionists, and the Bush administration embrace unbridled violence against Muslims, Lee Harris warns that America is much too tolerant and reasonable to be able to defend itself against Muslim fanaticism. America’s “governing philosophy based on reason, tolerance, consensus and deliberation cannot defend itself against a [Muslim] strategy of ruthless violence.”

Islamophobia overflows with such absurdities and contradictions. Harris tells us that the Enlightenment overcame fanatical thinking in the West, leaving the West unfamiliar with fanaticism and helpless to confront it. Harris, who fancies himself an authority on fanaticism, is deaf, dumb, and blind to Communism and National Socialism and is completely ignorant of the fact that neoconservative fanatics are the direct heirs of the Jacobins of the French Revolution, itself a fanatical product of the Enlightenment.

If Americans did rely on reason, tolerance and deliberation, they might free their minds of shrill propaganda long enough to consider the “Muslim threat.” Muslims are disunited. Their disunity makes them a threat to one another, not to the West.

In Iraq most of the fighting and violence is between Sunni and Shi’ite Arabs and between Sunnis and Kurds. If Iraqis were unified, most of the violence, instead of a small part of it, would be directed against the American troops, and the remnants of a US defeated army would have been withdrawn by now. However much Iraqis might hate the American invader and occupier, they do not hate him enough to unite and to drive him out. They had rather kill one another.

Iran, the current focus of demonization, is not Arab. Iranians are the ancient race of Persians. Indeed, Iran would do itself a favor if it changed its name back to Persia. For eight years (1980-1988) the Iranians and Iraqis were locked in catastrophic war with horrendous casualties on both sides. Despite its military exhaustion, Iraq was considered a “threat” by the American Superpower and was bombed and embargoed for the decade of the 1990s, one consequence of which was 500,000 deaths of Iraqi children.

Not content with the complete crippling of Iraq by the Clinton administration, the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003 and has been dealing more death and destruction to Iraq ever since.

Palestine has been under Israeli occupation for decades. Israel has simply stolen most of Palestine, and the remaining Palestinian enclaves are ghettos policed by the Israeli army.

The rulers of Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates are Sunni Arabs. They are more afraid of Shi’ite Arabs than of Israelis. Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan are ruled by bought-and-paid-for American puppets. The Turkish military is also in the American pocket and suppresses any Islamist influence in the civilian government.

Afghanistan is a disunited country of tribal peoples, each holding sway in their area. The Taliban were attempting to unify Afghanistan, and the Bush administration’s fear that the Taliban might succeed was the reason for the US invasion of Afghanistan. The US allied with the defeated Northern Alliance, in part a remnant of the old Soviet puppet government, and turned Afghanistan back over to warlords.

When the facts are considered—Muslim disunity and the absence of modern technology, navies, and strategic reach—the Bush/Cheney/ neoconservative/Zionist propaganda that “we must fight them over there before they come over here” is such a transparent hoax that it is astounding that so many Americans have fallen for it.

To the extent that there is any Muslim threat, it is one created by the US and Israel. Israel has no diplomacy toward Muslims and relies on violence and coercion. The US has interfered in the internal affairs of Muslim countries during the entire post World War II period. The US overthrew an elected government in Iran and installed the Shah. The US backed Saddam Hussein in his aggression against Iran. The US has kept in power rulers it could control and has pandered to the desires of Israeli governments. If America is hated, America created the hate by its arrogant and dismissive treatment of the Muslim Middle East.

There is no such thing as Islamofascism. This is a coined propaganda word used to inflame the ignorant. There is no factual basis for the hatred that neoconservative Islamophobes instill in Americans. God did not tell America to destroy the Muslims for the Israelis.

In America today blind ignorant hate against Muslims has been brought to a boiling point. The fear and loathing is so great that the American public and its elected representatives in Congress offer scant opposition to the Bush administration’s plan to make Iran the third Middle East victim of American aggression in the 21st century.

Most Americans, who Harris believes to be so reasonable, tolerant, and deliberative that they cannot defend themselves, could not care less that one million Iraqis have lost their lives during the American occupation and that an estimated four million Iraqis have been displaced. The total of dead and displaced comes to 20 percent of the Iraqi population. If this is not fanaticism on the part of the Bush administration, what is it? Certainly it is not reason, tolerance, and deliberation.

The Bush supporter will ask, “What about 9/11?” Even those who believe the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report should understand that in the official account the attack was the work of individuals, none of whom were acting in behalf of Muslim governments and none of whom were Iraqi, Afghan, or Iranian. 9/11 provides no justification for attacking Muslim countries.


Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

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.

Surrender Should Not Be an Option By Congressman Ron Paul

Dandelion Salad

By Congressman Ron Paul

Faced with dwindling support of the Iraq War, the warhawks are redoubling their efforts. They imply we are in Iraq attacking those who attacked us, and yet this is not the case. As we know, Saddam Hussein, though not a particularly savory character, had nothing to do with 9/11. The neo-cons claim surrender should not be an option. In the same breath they claim we were attacked because of our freedoms. Why then, are they so anxious to surrender our freedoms with legislation like the Patriot Act, a repeal of our 4th amendment rights, executive orders, and presidential signing statements? With politicians like these, who needs terrorists? Do they think if we destroy our freedoms for the terrorists they will no longer have a reason to attack us? This seems the epitome of cowardice coming from those who claim a monopoly on patriotic courage.

In any case, we have achieved the goals specified in the initial authorization. Saddam Hussein has been removed. An elected government is now in place in Iraq that meets with US approval. The only weapon of mass destruction in Iraq is our military presence. Why are we still over there? Conventional wisdom would dictate that when the “mission is accomplished”, the victor goes home, and that is not considered a retreat.

They claim progress is being made and we are fighting a winnable war, but this is not a view connected with reality. We can’t be sure when we kill someone over there if they were truly an insurgent or an innocent Iraqi civilian. There are as many as 650,000 deaths since the war began. The anger we incite by killing innocents creates more new insurgents than our bullets can keep up with. There are no measurable goals to be achieved at this point.

The best congressional leadership can come up with is the concept of strategic redeployment, or moving our troops around, possibly into Saudi Arabia or even, alarmingly enough, into Iran. Rather than ending this war, we could be starting another one.

The American people voted for a humble foreign policy in 2000. They voted for an end to the war in 2006. Instead of recognizing the wisdom and desire of the voters, they are chided as cowards, unwilling to defend themselves. Americans are fiercely willing to defend themselves. However, we have no stomach for indiscriminate bombing in foreign lands when our actual attackers either killed themselves on 9/11 or are still at large somewhere in a country that is neither Iraq nor Iran. Defense of our homeland is one thing. Offensive tactics overseas are quite another. Worse yet, when our newly minted enemies find their way over here, where will our troops be to defend us?

The American people have NOT gotten the government they deserve. They asked for a stronger America and peace through nonintervention, yet we have a government of deceit, inaction and one that puts us in grave danger on the international front. The American People deserve much better than this. They deserve foreign and domestic policy that doesn’t require they surrender their liberties.


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.


Ron Paul Deprecated by Chris Wallace at GOP Debate (video)

NH Republican Debate Sept. 5, 2007 (videos)

Baghdad Burning – Riverbend Leaving Iraq by Riverbend (Iraqi Girl Blog)

Written by Riverbend
Atlantic Free Press
Thursday, 06 September 2007

… I’ll meet you ’round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend…

Leaving Home…

Two months ago, the suitcases were packed. My lone, large suitcase sat in my bedroom for nearly six weeks, so full of clothes and personal items, that it took me, E. and our six year old neighbor to zip it closed.

Packing that suitcase was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do. It was Mission Impossible:

Your mission, R., should you choose to accept it is to go through the items you’ve accumulated over nearly three decades and decide which ones you cannot do without. The difficulty of your mission, R., is that you must contain these items in a space totaling 1 m by 0.7 m by 0.4 m. This, of course, includes the clothes you will be wearing for the next months, as well as any personal memorabilia — photos, diaries, stuffed animals, CDs and the like.

I packed and unpacked it four times. Each time I unpacked it, I swore I’d eliminate some of the items that were not absolutely necessary. Each time I packed it again, I would add more ‘stuff’ than the time before. E. finally came in a month and a half later and insisted we zip up the bag so I wouldn’t be tempted to update its contents constantly.

The decision that we would each take one suitcase was made by my father. He took one look at the box of assorted memories we were beginning to prepare and it was final: Four large identical suitcases were purchased — one for each member of the family and a fifth smaller one was dug out of a closet for the documentation we’d collectively need — graduation certificates, personal identification papers, etc.

We waited… and waited… and waited. It was decided we would leave mid to late June –  examinations would be over and as we were planning to leave with my aunt and her two children — that was the time considered most convenient for all involved. The day we finally appointed as THE DAY, we woke up to an explosion not 2 km away and a curfew. The trip was postponed a week. The night before we were scheduled to travel, the driver who owned the GMC that would take us to the border excused himself from the trip — his brother had been killed in a shooting. Once again, it was postponed.

There was one point, during the final days of June, where I simply sat on my packed suitcase and cried. By early July, I was convinced we would never leave. I was sure the Iraqi border was as far away, for me, as the borders of Alaska. It had taken us well over two months to decide to leave by car instead of by plane. It had taken us yet another month to settle on Syria as opposed to Jordan. How long would it take us to reschedule leaving?

It happened almost overnight. My aunt called with the exciting news that one of her neighbors was going to leave for Syria in 48 hours because their son was being threatened and they wanted another family on the road with them in another car — like gazelles in the jungle, it’s safer to travel in groups. It was a flurry of activity for two days. We checked to make sure everything we could possibly need was prepared and packed. We arranged for a distant cousin of my mom’s who was to stay in our house with his family to come the night before we left (we can’t leave the house empty because someone might take it).

It was a tearful farewell as we left the house. One of my other aunts and an uncle came to say goodbye the morning of the trip. It was a solemn morning and I’d been preparing myself for the last two days not to cry. You won’t cry, I kept saying, because you’re coming back. You won’t cry because it’s just a little trip like the ones you used to take to Mosul or Basrah before the war. In spite of my assurances to myself of a safe and happy return, I spent several hours before leaving with a huge lump lodged firmly in my throat. My eyes burned and my nose ran in spite of me. I told myself it was an allergy.

We didn’t sleep the night before we had to leave because there seemed to be so many little things to do… It helped that there was no electricity at all — the area generator wasn’t working and ‘national electricity’ was hopeless. There just wasn’t time to sleep.

The last few hours in the house were a blur. It was time to go and I went from room to room saying goodbye to everything. I said goodbye to my desk — the one I’d used all through high school and college. I said goodbye to the curtains and the bed and the couch. I said goodbye to the armchair E. and I broke when we were younger. I said goodbye to the big table over which we’d gathered for meals and to do homework. I said goodbye to the ghosts of the framed pictures that once hung on the walls, because the pictures have long since been taken down and stored away — but I knew just what hung where. I said goodbye to the silly board games we inevitably fought over — the Arabic Monopoly with the missing cards and money that no one had the heart to throw away.

I knew then as I know now that these were all just items — people are so much more important. Still, a house is like a museum in that it tells a certain history. You look at a cup or stuffed toy and a chapter of memories opens up before your very eyes. It suddenly hit me that I wanted to leave so much less than I thought I did.

Six AM finally came. The GMC waited outside while we gathered the necessities — a thermos of hot tea, biscuits, juice, olives (olives?!) which my dad insisted we take with us in the car, etc. My aunt and uncle watched us sorrowfully. There’s no other word to describe it. It was the same look I got in my eyes when I watched other relatives and friends prepare to leave. It was a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness, tinged with anger. Why did the good people have to go?

I cried as we left — in spite of promises not to. The aunt cried… the uncle cried. My parents tried to be stoic but there were tears in their voices as they said their goodbyes. The worst part is saying goodbye and wondering if you’re ever going to see these people again. My uncle tightened the shawl I’d thrown over my hair and advised me firmly to ‘keep it on until you get to the border’. The aunt rushed out behind us as the car pulled out of the garage and dumped a bowl of water on the ground, which is a tradition — its to wish the travelers a safe return… eventually.

The trip was long and uneventful, other than two checkpoints being run by masked men. They asked to see identification, took a cursory glance at the passports and asked where we were going. The same was done for the car behind us. Those checkpoints are terrifying but I’ve learned that the best technique is to avoid eye-contact, answer questions politely and pray under your breath. My mother and I had been careful not to wear any apparent jewelry, just in case, and we were both in long skirts and head scarves.

Syria is the only country, other than Jordan, that was allowing people in without a visa. The Jordanians are being horrible with refugees. Families risk being turned back at the Jordanian border, or denied entry at Amman Airport. It’s too high a risk for most families.

We waited for hours, in spite of the fact that the driver we were with had ‘connections’, which meant he’d been to Syria and back so many times, he knew all the right people to bribe for a safe passage through the borders. I sat nervously at the border. The tears had stopped about an hour after we’d left Baghdad. Just seeing the dirty streets, the ruins of buildings and houses, the smoke-filled horizon all helped me realize how fortunate I was to have a chance for something safer.

By the time we were out of Baghdad, my heart was no longer aching as it had been while we were still leaving it. The cars around us on the border were making me nervous. I hated being in the middle of so many possibly explosive vehicles. A part of me wanted to study the faces of the people around me, mostly families, and the other part of me, the one that’s been trained to stay out of trouble the last four years, told me to keep my eyes to myself — it was almost over.

It was finally our turn. I sat stiffly in the car and waited as money passed hands; our passports were looked over and finally stamped. We were ushered along and the driver smiled with satisfaction, “It’s been an easy trip, Alhamdulillah,” he said cheerfully.

As we crossed the border and saw the last of the Iraqi flags, the tears began again. The car was silent except for the prattling of the driver who was telling us stories of escapades he had while crossing the border. I sneaked a look at my mother sitting beside me and her tears were flowing as well. There was simply nothing to say as we left Iraq. I wanted to sob, but I didn’t want to seem like a baby. I didn’t want the driver to think I was ungrateful for the chance to leave what had become a hellish place over the last four and a half years.

The Syrian border was almost equally packed, but the environment was more relaxed. People were getting out of their cars and stretching. Some of them recognized each other and waved or shared woeful stories or comments through the windows of the cars. Most importantly, we were all equal. Sunnis and Shia, Arabs and Kurds… we were all equal in front of the Syrian border personnel.

We were all refugees — rich or poor. And refugees all look the same — there’s a unique expression you’ll find on their faces — relief, mixed with sorrow, tinged with apprehension. The faces almost all look the same.

The first minutes after passing the border were overwhelming. Overwhelming relief and overwhelming sadness… How is it that only a stretch of several kilometers and maybe twenty minutes, so firmly segregates life from death?

How is it that a border no one can see or touch stands between car bombs, militias, death squads and… peace, safety? It’s difficult to believe — even now. I sit here and write this and wonder why I can’t hear the explosions.

I wonder at how the windows don’t rattle as the planes pass overhead. I’m trying to rid myself of the expectation that armed people in black will break through the door and into our lives. I’m trying to let my eyes grow accustomed to streets free of road blocks, hummers and pictures of Muqtada and the rest…

How is it that all of this lies a short car ride away?

Riverbend blogs at Baghdad Burning She is also the author of Baghdad Burning – available at amazon.com

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.


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Bush administration to “ratchet up pressure” on Iran by Peter Symonds

Dandelion Salad

by Peter Symonds
Global Research, September 6, 2007

The Bush administration’s abrupt dismissal of last Thursday’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear programs is one more sign that Washington has no interest in a diplomatic resolution to its confrontation with Tehran. Following Bush’s bellicose denunciations of Iran last week, the US has reiterated its intention to push for tougher UN sanctions against Tehran this month.

The IAEA report, which is due to be discussed at its board meeting beginning next Monday, sets out its latest assessment of Iran’s nuclear facilities, including the construction of a uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water research reactor at Arak. The report also includes details of an agreement reached with Iran for a timetable to resolve by December all the questions raised by the UN agency over the past four years.

IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei told the media: “This is the first time Iran is ready to discuss all outstanding issues which triggered the crisis in confidence. It’s a significant step. There are clear guidelines, so it’s not, as some people are saying, an open-ended invitation to dallying with the agency or a ruse to prolong negotiations and avoid sanctions.”

Washington quickly dismissed the IAEA-Iran agreement as inadequate and insisted that Tehran comply with US demands for the suspension of all nuclear enrichment programs. US State Department spokesman Tom Casey declared last Thursday: “There is no partial credit here. Iran has refused to comply with its international obligations, and as a result of that the international community is going to continue to ratchet up the pressure.”

This response underscores the hypocrisy of US allegations that Iran is covertly seeking to build nuclear weapons. Tehran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and continues to allow IAEA inspection of the Natanz enrichment plant, which it maintains is to provide fuel for its planned nuclear power reactors. As it has repeatedly insisted, Iran has the right under the NPT to build an enrichment plant, as Brazil for instance is also doing, and to construct research reactors for peaceful purposes.

Bush officials have highlighted Iran’s failure to clarify the IAEA’s outstanding issues as “proof” of Iran’s lack of transparency and of its nuclear weapons’ plans. Some of these “issues” are based on dubious evidence supplied to the IAEA by US and Israeli intelligence. Far from welcoming Iran’s willingness to provide the documentation and access to officials required to deal with the issues, the Bush administration has branded the IAEA agreement as an Iranian ploy to gain time and implied that the IAEA is an Iranian dupe.

The US reaction recalls the lead-up to its invasion of Iraq in March 2003 when Bush officials summarily dismissed the reports of the IAEA and other UN weapons inspectors, which stated that no “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) programs had been found and called for more time to carry out searches, as a ruse by the Hussein regime. The lies that were used as the pretext for war were quickly exposed following the invasion when the US military’s own teams failed to find any evidence of Iraqi WMDs.

Responding to the latest US criticisms, ElBaradei declared last week: “My responsibility is to look at the big picture. If I see a situation deteriorating… [and] it could lead to war, I have to raise the alarm or give my advice.” Prior to the previous IAEA board meeting in June, he frankly told the BBC: “I have no brief other than to make sure we don’t go into another war or that we go crazy into killing each other. You do not want to give [an] additional argument to the new crazies who say ‘let’s go and bomb Iran’.”

Last week’s IAEA report found that Iran’s progress in installing the gas centrifuges required to enrich uranium at its underground hall at Natanz had slowed considerably. Since the previous report three months ago, Iranian technicians had only gotten several hundred new centrifuges up and running. As of August 19, the IAEA reported that 1,968 centrifuges were operating with another 656 in various stages of assembly or testing. The IAEA verified that the level of enrichment was that required for nuclear fuel—well short of the highly enriched uranium required to build a bomb. The IAEA also reported that one outstanding issue related to plutonium experiments was already “closed” after Iran provided access to a key expert, documentation and other data.

Next week’s IAEA meeting promises to be another exercise in US bullying and arm-twisting as the Bush administration prepares for a diplomatic offensive in the UN to demand tougher punitive sanctions on Iran. The White House has already leaked plans to brand the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG) as a “specially designated global terrorist” organisation. Criminalising the IRG, a major part of the country’s armed forces, would clear the way for unilateral US penalties not only against Iran, but any foreign corporation or bank that had relations with any of the IRG’s many businesses.

The US threat to brand the IRG as a “terrorist organisation” is in the first instance aimed at intimidating other UN Security Council members into passing new sanctions against Iran. Russia, China and the European powers all have substantial investment and economic interests in Iran, which could be subject to American penalties if any links were demonstrated to IRG businesses. The UN Security Council, including its permanent members—the US, Britain, France, China and Russia—has previously imposed two rounds of sanctions on Iran, but Russia and China in particular have expressed reluctance to impose harsher penalties.

US preparations for war

Iran’s disputed nuclear programs are just one element of the White House’s mounting propaganda war against Tehran. In a belligerent speech last week, Bush denounced Iran as “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” and declared that “Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons” placed the region “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He condemned the IRG’s alleged training and arming of Shiite militias in Iraq, saying he had authorised the US military to “confront Tehran’s murderous activities”. In an ominous warning, the US president concluded: “We will confront this danger before it is too late.”

A lengthy commentary entitled “Will President Bush bomb Iran?” published yesterday in the conservative British-based Telegraph noted that the US had advanced preparations for military strikes. The article began by pointing out that top US officials, including from the Pentagon and State Department, had recently completed a four-month exercise, held under the auspices of the right-wing Heritage Foundation think tank, designed to simulate the impact of a US war with Iran.

The computer modelling found that if Iran closed the Straits of Hormuz, oil prices would double, $161 billion would be wiped off the US GDP in a single quarter and a million jobs would be lost. The Heritage Foundation nevertheless concluded that the study’s policy proposals “virtually eliminated all of the negative outcomes from the blockade.”

The Telegraph article noted that Bush’s speech was “designed as a threat not just to Iran, but to America’s Western allies, along with Russia and China, who have been slow to support—or who have opposed—UN sanctions against Iran.” James Phillips from the Heritage Foundation told the newspaper: “It [the speech] is simultaneously a shot across Iran’s bows and an appeal for the international community to do more to stop or slow Iran’s nuclear program.”

The article reported that European observers, and some in the American government, believe that Bush has resolved to “do something” about Iran before he leaves office. A State Department source said: “If we get closer to the end of this administration and we are not seeing suitably tough diplomatic actions at the UN… then people will start asking the question: how do we stop our legacy being a nuclear-armed Iran?”

The Telegraph noted that “credible reports” indicated that “the US has stepped up clandestine activities in Iran over the past 18 months, using special forces to gather intelligence about military targets—nuclear infrastructure and airbases, and Revolutionary Guard command centres.” The article pointed out that US military plans to strike Iran with B2 bombers and cruise missiles included “up to 400 sites, only a few dozen of which are linked to the nuclear programs… first in the crosshairs would be the main centrifuge plant at Natanz.”

Yesterday’s British Sunday Times reported the comments of Alexis Debat from the conservative Nixon Centre who told a gathering last week that the Pentagon had drawn up plans for a three-day aerial blitzkrieg against 1,200 targets inside Iran. US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against nuclear facilities, but for “taking out the entire Iranian military,” which Debat described as a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.

As the Telegraph noted, opinion polls reveal that just one in five Americans currently support the bombing of Iran. Moreover, the CIA has told the Bush administration that it has not come up with a “smoking gun” that would create domestic or international support for such a war. “Last autumn, the CIA told the White House that while it believes Iran is running a clandestine nuclear weapons program, it does not have conclusive proof. Radioactivity detention devices placed near suspect facilities did not find the expected results,” the article explained.

None of this will stop the Bush administration from using the IAEA and UN meetings this month to accuse Iran of secretly producing nuclear weapons and backing “terrorists” in Iraq and the region. Washington is once more seeking to stampede public opinion and create the conditions for another criminal military adventure.

Peter Symonds is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Peter Symonds

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© Copyright Peter Symonds, wsws.org, 2007
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When Wishful Thinking Replaces Resistance: Why Bush Can Get Away with Attacking Iran by Prof. Jean Bricmont

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Jean Bricmont
Global Research, September 6, 2007

Many people in the antiwar movement try to reassure themselves: Bush cannot possibly attack Iran. He does not have the means to do so, or, perhaps, even he is not foolish enough to engage in such an enterprise. Various particular reasons are put forward, such as: If he attacks, the Shiites in Iraq will cut the US supply lines. If he attacks, the Iranians will block the Straits of Ormuz or will unleash dormant terrorist networks worldwide. Russia won’t allow such an attack. China won’t allow it — they will dump the dollar. The Arab world will explode.

All this is doubtful. The Shiites in Iraq are not simply obedient to Iran. If they don’t rise against the United States when their own country is occupied (or if don’t rise very systematically), they are not likely to rise against the US if a neighboring country is attacked. As for blocking the Straits or unleashing terrorism, this will just be another justification for more bombing of Iran. After all, a main casus belli against Iran is, incredibly, that it supposedly helps the resistance against U.S. troops in Iraq, as if those troops were at home there. If that can work as an argument for bombing Iran, then any counter-measure that Iran might take will simply “justify” more bombing, possibly nuclear. Iran is strong in the sense that it cannot be invaded, but there is little it can do against long range bombing, accompanied by nuclear threats.

Russia will escalate its military buildup (which now lags far behind the U.S. one), but it can’t do anything else, and Washington will be only too glad to use the Russian reaction as an argument for boosting its own military forces. China is solely concerned with its own development and won’t drop the dollar for non-economic reasons. Most Arab governments, if not their populations, will look favorably on seeing the Iranian shiite leadership humiliated. Those governments have sufficient police forces to control any popular opposition– after all, that is what they managed to do after the attack on Iraq.

With the replacement of Chirac by Sarkozy, and the near-complete elimination of what was left of the Gaullists (basically through lawsuits on rather trivial matters), France has been changed from the most independent European country to the most poodlish (this was in fact the main issue in the recent presidential election, but it was never even mentioned during the campaign). In France, moreover, the secular “left” is, in the main, gung-ho against Iran for the usual reasons (women, religion). There will be no large-scale demonstrations in France either before or after the bombing. And, without French support, Germany–where the war is probably very unpopular — can always be silenced with memories of the Holocaust, so that no significant opposition to the war will come from Europe (except possibly from its Muslim population, which will be one more argument to prove that they are “backward”, “extremist”, and enemies of our “democratic civilization”).

All the ideological signposts for attacking Iran are in place. The country has been thoroughly demonized because it is not nice to women, to gays, or to Jews. That in itself is enough to neutralize a large part of the American “left”. The issue of course is not whether Iran is nice or not ­according to our views — but whether there is any legal reason to attack it, and there is none; but the dominant ideology of human rights has legitimized, specially in the left, the right of intervention on humanitarian grounds anywhere, at any time, and that ideology has succeeded in totally sidetracking the minor issue of international law.

Israel and its fanatical American supporters want Iran attacked for its political crimes–supporting the rights of the Palestinians, or questioning the Holocaust. Both U.S. political parties are equally under the control of the Israel lobby, and so are the media. The antiwar movement is far too preoccupied with the security of Israel to seriously defend Iran and it won’t attack the real architects of this coming war–the Zionists– for fear of “provoking antisemitism”. Blaming Big Oil for the Iraq war was quite debatable, but, in the case of Iran, since the country is about to be bombed but not invaded, there is no reason whatsoever to think that Big Oil wants the war, as opposed to the Zionists. In fact, Big Oil is probably very much opposed to the war, but it is as unable to stop it as the rest of us.

As far as Israel is concerned, the United States is a de facto totalitarian society–no articulate opposition is acceptable. The U.S. Congress passes one pro-Israel or anti-Iran resolution after another with “Stalinist” majorities. The population does not seem to care. But if they did, but what could they do? Vote? The electoral system is extremely biased against the emergence of a third party and the two big parties are equally under Zionist influence.

The only thing that might stop the war would be for Americans themselves to threaten their own government with massive civil disobedience. But that is not going to happen. A large part of the academic left long ago gave up informing the general public about the real world in order to debate whether Capital is a Signifier or a Signified, or worry about their Bodies and their Selves, while preachers tell their flocks to rejoice at each new sign that the end of the world is nigh. Children in Iran won’t sleep at night, but the liberal American intelligentsia will lecture the ROW (rest of the world) about Human Rights. In fact, the prevalence of the “reassuring arguments” cited above proves that the antiwar movement is clinically dead. If it weren’t, it would rely on its own forces to stop war, not speculate on how others might do the job.

Meanwhile, an enormous amount of hatred will have been spewed upon the world. But in the short term, it may look like a big Western “victory”, just like the creation of Israel in 1948; just like the overthrow of Mossadegh by the CIA in 1953; just like the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine seemed to be a big German victory after the French defeat at Sedan in 1870. The Bush administration will long be gone when the disastrous consequences of that war will be felt.

PS: This text is not meant to be a prophecy, but a call to (urgent) action. I’ll be more than happy if facts prove me wrong.

Jean Bricmont teaches physics in Belgium and is a member of the Brussels Tribunal. His new book, Humanitarian Imperialism, is published by Monthly Review Press. He can be reached at bricmont@fyma.ucl.ac.be.

Global Research Articles by Jean Bricmont

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www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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© Copyright Jean Bricmont, Counterpunch.org, 2007
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Life in the US of A by Guadamour (Molly; runaway)

Dandelion Salad

by Guadamour
featured writer
Sept 6, 2007

Blog note: This is not necessarily a political blog. It is a description of a personal incident that raises certain sociological and anthropological questions that I will try to partially address in my own inadequate way in an epilogue.

Life in the US of A

I’m headed east on I-10, driving a brand new white 1999 rental Suburban with an eight cylinder that I picked up in Phoenix. I don’t normally drive eight cylinder vehicles and I’m enjoying the power.

The speed limit is seventy-five and I’m doing eighty and eighty-five just to keep up with the traffic, and oftentimes faster.

Near Sacaton, where the interstate cuts through the Maricopa Indian Reservation, I’m coming up on a 70’s or early 80’s Lincoln in the right hand lane when it swerves to the left.

I hit the brakes, not sure I want to pass it because I don’t know what is happening.

I’m a couple of car lengths behind the weathered metallic gray car and nervous.

There seems to be a struggle going on in the car. From what I can tell there are three people in the car. Things are happening fast and I’m observing this in a flash.

As I watch a person goes flying out the passenger side front window.

The car doesn’t even touch the brakes, and I notice a puff of blue oil burning smoke as the car accelerates away.

I hit my brakes, get onto the shoulder and back up to the body lying on the side of the interstate.

I’ve already switched my emergency lights on, throw the Suburban into park, and race back to what I discover is a young blonde woman.

Amazingly enough, she’s not chewed up. I notice some gravel embedded in the palms of her hands, but other than that you wouldn’t know that she had just come out of a car window at seventy-five miles an hour.

She lying face down and trying to raise her upper body up with her arms. I tell, “Don’t move,” knowing she could have internal injuries.

She has bleached blonde hair in a Dutch-boy haircut, and bright red lipstick on a pale heavily made-up face.

She looks at me with big blue almost un-seeing and uncomprehending eyes, thick with mascara and eye shadow. I know she’s going into shock.

She’s wearing a short violet almost transparent miniskirt and she has no panties on. She has a small black purse still hung over her shoulder even after her flying pitch to the roadside. The purse’s snap has busted open and I note that it is stuffed full of condoms.

By this time someone else has stopped from the continuing stream of vehicles rushing by.

A young clean cut college student looking young man comes up and asks what happened.

I briefly explain. He has a cell phone and calls for help. He asks, “Is there anything more I can do?”

I tell, “There’s really nothing you can do. I’ll wait.”

He gets in his car and takes off after I’ve thanked him for stopping and calling for help.

I go over to the woman, and when she tries to move again, I take her right hand in mine. It seems to calm her.

She looks at me, and I have no idea what she sees.

We end up waiting that way for about fifteen minutes until a tribal police car arrives.

I imagine the woman to be in her late teens or early twenties, though she could be as old as thirty.

I explain to the officer what happened and give him a description of the vehicle she exited.

I tell the officer, “I can’t tell if she was pushed out the window of the car or they were trying to hold her back from jumping out.

They didn’t even touch the brakes.”

Officer Ochoa with the dark full red brown skin and a large belly nods his head sadly and says, “Thanks for stopping and waiting.”

I give him my name and number and take a card from him and say, ‘Let me know what happens.”

I go back to the Suburban and realize my hands are shaking.

Ochoa has his light bar flashing, pulls out into the right hand lane and gives me a chance to enter the heavily traveled highway.

I don’t know what to think. I haven’t been this upset since I was in Vietnam.

I’ve driven tens of thousands of miles across the country and this is the first time anything like this has ever happened.

I hope with all my heart that this girl, this woman will be all right.

Maybe, I should have told Ochoa, I could see that they threw her out. Though, it would have been a lie.

I couldn’t tell. It happened too fast, almost like in a firefight where everything was going down and you were aware of it on one level while at the same time not being sure what was happening.

If I had told Ochoa that I could tell that they threw her out, I know it would never hold up in court, and who knows if they would ever find the Lincoln anyway.

I drive down the highway at seventy, no longer interested in the rush, power and speed of a large motor in a new vehicle.

I receive a call from Ochoa about four the next afternoon. He tells me that they were able to stop the Lincoln, but that they claimed that they were trying to hold the girl, and keep her from jumping out the window.

“Sure,” I say, remembering that they didn’t even touch their brakes. “How is she?”

There is silence on the line for a few seconds, and he gulps and says, “She died.”

I feel sick.

He continues, “She had massive bleeding from the brain.”

I think, you never could have known from looking at her. There was no blood coming out of her mouth or ears. That’s how we used to be able to tell in Nam.

“You find out who she was?” I ask.

“Yes,” Ochoa says with a sad grave voice. “Her name was Molly McKenna from St. Paul. She ran away when she was thirteen. She turned sixteen two weeks ago. A month ago she was picked up for soliciting in Phoenix and she gave her age as twenty-three.”

He adds, “She was also a junky.”

I don’t know what to say, though I manage to mumble, “Thanks for calling.”

As almost a reflex and self-preservation reaction I go to the library and start researching about runaways.

I discover that tens of thousands if not more young girls run away from their families every year in the US of A, and that a fairly large percentage of them end up working as prostitutes, though there are not accurate statistics on this for obvious reasons.

I don’t know what to do with the information I discovered, nor do I know to this day, though I am well aware that something is drastically wrong.

This incident raises numerous questions about out modern US society.

A few of them are:

*Why do we as a society fare so poorly in child raising practices that so many of our children run away from their families?

Is it because with the state of our economy, both mother and father are forced to work?

Or, is it because we have allowed technology to take over the role of human child rearing?

From birth to death, US society now parks their children in front of a television where they become immured to death and violence.

No other society in the world has the large number of runaways as that of the US. This is in absolute numbers as well as percentages.

*How is it that US society so ill equips their children to deal with life’s problems that they feel they must turn to drugs for escape, as opposed to self reflection and internal examination?

To answer this question one must ask how many advertisements any one individual has seen for over-the-counter drugs and prescription “medication.”

If something ails you physically or mentally there is a pill you can take that will always help the situation.

What is not mentioned is that none of these pills cure an illness, but merely mask the symptoms.

*Why is it that our society cannot prosecute someone that threw a prostitute out a car window?

Our legal and “criminal” justice system has become so complex that it is no longer able to distinguish between right and wrong even when it is quite obvious.

Is this because the largest percentage of politicians in this country come from the ranks of the “legal” profession?

*Would it be different if O. J. Simpson threw the woman out of the car, or if the woman had been Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears?

I suspect it would be because American society has developed a fascination for “celebrities.”

They’ve nurtured this obsession while being able to walk past street people and the poor without seeing them.

I did a little research on Molly McKenna. Her father is a very successful Gynecologist/Obstetrician and her mother is an English professor. She was the oldest of three children and at 10 claimed to have been molested by her father.

*What type of society allows adults to molest children and get away with it?

The answer to this is American society and life in the U S of A.

Cindy Sheehan speaker for Multi-Billions. Peace. Sentiments and Endorsement for Dennis Kucinich (video)

Dandelion Salad


Cindy Sheehan announced she will be R…

Cindy Sheehan announced she will be Running against Nancy Pelosi live from Kennebunkport, ME. 4,000+ Peace Rally Aug 25, 2007. Impeachment is our Constitutional right our identity.Pointing out Dennis Kucinich For President and HR 333, Bring back our Troops HR 1234, song “Peace” by Emma’s Revolution “We the People have the right” to party for Peace & challenge authority, Respect = Peace, put Impeachment on the table for crimes against humanity, wire tapping, war crimes, the over write of “havious corpus” protects our rights from cruel and unusual punishment. This is my wish Peace, bring back my 8 years, our Constitution and erase every bit of Bush’s bad appointed and jilted 2 term Diebold elections, bring back diplomacy for Peace.
Sheehan & Kucinich win than we have a chance for humanity.

I have started new site on youtube yoojavision with font corrections of “1 week Millions respond 1 every 30″ seconds” part of the final cut compression blew out the font on this video and I am sorry for any inconveniences.
yoojavision will dedicate video’s of Peace.

h/t: Dennis 4 President in 2008!


Anti-war activists gather in Kennebunkport (link) + McKinney, Sheehan, Tarpley Warn Of New Cheney 911 + Kennebunkport Protest (videos)