Turning truth on its head By Abbas Edalat and Mehrnaz Shahabi

Dandelion Salad

By Abbas Edalat and Mehrnaz Shahabi
10/30/07 “
The Guardian

Condoleezza Rice’s declaration of Iran’s complicity in terrorism looks like another step on the White House’s march to war.

The US has opened up a new front in its now sharply accelerated war drive on Iran. The announcement last week by Condoleezza Rice, branding Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organisation, and imposing the strongest sanctions yet since 1979 Iranian Revolution, alarmed several democratic presidential candidates who described it as an indication that the White House had begun its “march to war”.
In his article in today’s Guardian, Max Hastings correctly predicts that within six months these sanctions could only lead to a military attack on Iran, a prospect that he opposes. However, he plays right into the hands of warmongers by giving unequivocal support to the two main US accusations against Iran:

“Few strategists dispute either that Iranian revolutionaries are playing a prominent role in frustrating the stabilisation of Iraq, or that Iran is doing its utmost to build nuclear weapons.”

These are precisely the allegations that are used by the neoconservatives and Israel to demonise the Revolutionary Guards and the government of Ahmadinejad, justify the latest sanctions and pave the way for a military attack.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is an army of 125,000 and an indispensable part of the Iranian military. It was formed during the eight-year war waged against the Islamic Republic by Saddam Hussein, who was at the time fully supported by the US and its European allies. With this historic role in defeating foreign aggression, the Corps occupies a special place in the Islamic Republic, has a large domain of operation and runs a significant part of the economy.

The US designation is the first time in international relations that a military body of a sovereign state is branded as terrorist. Given the Revolutionary Guards’ credibility in defending the country, the US measures will be seen in the eyes of ordinary people as an attack by the US on Iran’s sovereignty, along the lines of the US-UK engineered coup against the democratically elected government of Dr Mossadegh in 1953.

As a justification for the new sanctions against Iranian banks, companies and individuals, Rice accused the Revolutionary Guards of being “proliferators of WMD”. This accusation has been repeatedly contradicted by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr ElBaradei’s unambiguous assertions that there is absolutely no evidence of a nuclear weaponisation programme in Iran. In August, the IAEA cleared Iran of its plutonium experiments and confirmed the peaceful nature of all of Iran’s declared enrichment activities.

“We have not come to see any undeclared activities or weaponisation of their programme”, Dr Mohammad ElBaradei said in September, “Nor have we gotten intelligence to that effect.” This Sunday, he repeated the same assertion in a CNN interview.

But Rice’s accusation against the Revolutionary Guards is not only totally unfounded, it turns the truth outrageously on its head. Throughout its eight-year war of aggression, the Iraqi army used chemical weapons on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, soldiers and civilians. The US was complicit in both the proliferation and the use of WMD against the Revolutionary Guards, who were amongst the 52,000 Iranian victims of this war crime.

In response to the latest US measures against Iran, Vladimir Putin, who along with the Chinese, has refused to back further sanctions against Iran, saying: “Running around like a mad man with a blade in one’s hand is not the best way to solve such problems.”

Also, Rice’s accusation against the Quds force, a division of the Revolutionary Guards, of support for terrorism in Iraq and beyond, is in sharp contrast to British government’s own evidence. David Miliband, the foreign secretary, in an interview with the Financial Times in July admitted that there was no evidence of Iranian involvement in the violence and instability in Iraq. Afghanistan’s foreign minister has recently contradicted the US accusations against Iran by pointing out that there is no evidence for Iran arming the Taliban forces. Prime Minister Maliki and President Karzai too have repeatedly stressed Iran’s positive role in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The unfounded allegations by the US and Rice’s declaration to the Congress that Iran was “perhaps the single greatest challenge” for US security, is part of the unmistakable chorus of war from the US administration, following Bush’s invocation of the “World War III” and Cheney’s threat of “serious consequences” for Iran, the week previously. It is an ominous indication that the voices of dialogue have been decidedly drowned by the war camp who are pushing for a military attack on Iran.

In Britain, Gordon Brown has been quick to support the latest US measures and refused to rule out the military option. The new sanctions will not avert the military option by the US, as a number of leading politicians in the UK, France and Germany claim, but would only be the prelude to a military attack. Brown is placing Britain in the path of another unprovoked and illegal war with catastrophic consequences for the people of Iran, the region and the whole world.

Seymour Hersh wrote in a recent article in the New Yorker that this summer in a closed circuit video discussion between Bush and Ian Crocker, the US ambassador in Iraq, Bush said that he wanted all along the border inside Iran to be bombed and that “the British were on board”.

The British public should wake up to the disastrous foreign policy the UK government is continuing to pursue after the invasion of Iraq and urgently demand their MPs to table an emergency motion in the House of Commons to oppose sanctions and any military attack on Iran

Abbas Edalat is professor of computer science and mathematics at Imperial College London and founder of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. Mehrnaz Shahabi is a journalist and executive editor of www.campaigniran.org

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Kucinich: Administration Needs To Heed Advice Of IAEA Director


Immoral Relativism By Jon Ponder

Dandelion Salad

By Jon Ponder
10/30/07 “Pensito Review

Mukasey Won’t Say Waterboarding Is Torture But in 1947 the U.S. Called It a War Crime, Sentenced Enemy Officer to 15 Years Hard Labor

George Bush’s nomination of Michael Mukasey for U.S. attorney general — once thought to be smooth sailing — is experiencing a bit of turbulence. The problem is, Mukasey can’t bring himself to say whether or not waterboarding is torture:

During his confirmation hearings earlier this month, Mukasey said he believes torture violates the Constitution, but he refused to be pinned down on whether he believes specific interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, are constitutional.

“I don’t know what’s involved in the techniques. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional,” he said.

But after World War II, the United States government was quite clear about the fact that waterboarding was torture, at least when it was done to U.S. citizens:

[In] 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. “We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II,” he said.

Mukasey’s non-answer has raised doubts among Democrats, and even some Republicans, on the Senate Judiciary Committee:

[The] Democrats on the committee signed a joint letter to Mukasey, making sure that he knew what’s involved, and demanded an answer to the question as to whether waterboarding is torture.

Then two days later, the doubts grew louder. Two key Democrats, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT ) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) both said publicly that their votes depended on Mukasey’s answer to the waterboarding question.

Then it was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who saw an opening after Rudy Giuliani refused to call waterboarding torture (”It depends on who does it.”). Most certainly it’s torture, McCain said. When pressed, he stopped short of saying that he would oppose Mukasey’s nomination if he didn’t say the same, but he added to the chorus of those who professed to be interested in what Mukasey’s answer to follow-up questions will be.

Yesterday, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said that if Mukasey “does not believe that waterboarding is illegal, then that would really put doubts in my own mind.”

Rep. Arlen Specter (R-PA) has also thrown in his lot of doubts and concerns.

Of course, if the past is a guide, Mukasey will easily win nomination, and nearly all these senators who have expressed concern will vote for him.

Waterboarding has become an isssue because the Bush White House signed off on it as an interrogation technique — and thus moved the United States into the company of pariah states that permit torture — after the 9/11 attacks.

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King Abdullah flies in to lecture us on terrorism By Robert Fisk + Boycott of Saudi State Visit to the UK

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Fisk
10/30/07 “The Independent

In what world do these people live? True, there’ll be no public executions outside Buckingham Palace when His Royal Highness rides in stately formation down The Mall. We gave up capital punishment about half a century ago. There won’t even be a backhander – or will there? – which is the Saudi way of doing business. But for King Abdullah to tell the world, as he did in a BBC interview yesterday, that Britain is not doing enough to counter “terrorism”, and that most countries are not taking it as seriously as his country is, is really pushing it. Weren’t most of the 11 September 2001 hijackers from – er – Saudi Arabia? Is this the land that is really going to teach us lessons?

The sheer implausibility of the claim that Saudi intelligence could have prevented the ondon bombings if only the British Government had taken it seriously, seems to have passed the Saudi monarch by. “We have sent information to Great Britain before the terrorist attacks in Britain but unfortunately no action was taken. And it may have been able to maybe avert the tragedy,” he told the BBC. This claim is frankly incredible.

The sad, awful truth is that we fete these people, we fawn on them, we supply them with fighter jets, whisky and whores. No, of course, there will be no visas for this reporter because Saudi Arabia is no democracy. Yet how many times have we been encouraged to think otherwise about a state that will not even allow its women to drive? Kim Howells, the Foreign Office minister, was telling us again yesterday that we should work more closely with the Saudis, because we “share values” with them. And what values precisely would they be, I might ask?

Saudi Arabia is a state which bankrolled – a definite no-no this for discussion today – Saddam’s legions as they invaded Iran in 1980 (with our Western encouragement, let it be added). And which said nothing – a total and natural silence – when Saddam swamped the Iranians with gas. The Iraqi war communiqué made no bones about it. “The waves of insects are attacking the eastern gates of the Arab nation. But we have the pesticides to wipe them out.”

Did the Saudi royal family protest? Was there any sympathy for those upon whom the pesticides would be used? No. The then Keeper of the Two Holy Places was perfectly happy to allow gas to be used because he was paying for it – components were supplied, of course, by the US – while the Iranians died in hell. And we Brits are supposed to be not keeping up with our Saudi friends when they are “cracking down on terrorism”.

Like the Saudis were so brilliant in cracking down on terror in 1979 when hundreds of gunmen poured into the Great Mosque at Mecca, an event so mishandled by a certain commander of the Saudi National Guard called Prince Abdullah that they had to call in toughs from a French intervention force. And it was a former National Guard officer who led the siege.

Saudi Arabia’s role in the 9/11 attacks has still not been fully explored. Senior members of the royal family expressed the shock and horror expected of them, but no attempt was made to examine the nature of Wahhabism, the state religion, and its inherent contempt for all representation of human activity or death. It was Saudi Muslim legal iconoclasm which led directly to the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban, Saudi Arabia’s friends. And only weeks after Kamal Salibi, a Lebanese history professor, suggested in the late 1990s that once-Jewish villages in what is now Saudi Arabia might have been locations in the Bible, the Saudis sent bulldozers to destroy the ancient buildings there.

In the name of Islam, Saudi organisations have destroyed hundreds of historic structures in Mecca and Medina and UN officials have condemned the destruction of Ottoman buildings in Bosnia by a Saudi aid agency, which decided they were “idolatrous”. Were the twin towers in New York another piece of architecture which Wahhabis wanted to destroy?

Nine years ago a Saudi student at Harvard produced a remarkable thesis which argued that US forces had suffered casualties in bombing attacks in Saudi Arabia because American intelligence did not understand Wahhabism and had underestimated the extent of hostility to the US presence in the kingdom. Nawaf Obaid even quoted a Saudi National Guard officer as saying “the more visible the Americans became, the darker I saw the future of the country”. The problem is that Wahhabi puritanism meant that Saudi Arabia would always throw up men who believe they had been chosen to “cleanse” their society from corruption, yet Abdul Wahhab also preached that royal rulers should not be overthrown. Thus the Saudis were unable to confront the duality, that protection-and-threat that Wahhabism represented for them.

Prince Bandar, formerly Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington, once characterised his country’s religion as part of a “timeless culture” while a former British ambassador advised Westerners in Saudi Arabia to “adapt” and “to act with the grain of Saudi traditions and culture”.

Amnesty International has appealed for hundreds of men – and occasionally women – to be spared the Saudi executioner’s blade. They have all been beheaded, often after torture and grossly unfair trials. Women are shot.

The ritual of chopping off heads was graphically described by an Irish witness to a triple execution in Jeddah in 1997. “Standing to the left of the first prisoner, and a little behind him, the executioner focused on his quarry … I watched as the sword was being drawn back with the right hand. A one-handed back swing of a golf club came to mind … the down-swing begins … the blade met the neck and cut through it like … a heavy cleaver cutting through a melon … a crisp moist smack. The head fell and rolled a little. The torso slumped neatly. I see now why they tied wrists to feet … the brain had no time to tell the heart to stop, and the final beat bumped a gush of blood out of the headless torso on to the plinth.”

And you can bet they won’t be talking about this at Buckingham Palace today.

© 2007 Independent News and Media Limited

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Boycott of Saudi State Visit to the UK


Liberal Democrat acting leader Vince Cable is boycotting the state visit to Britain of Saudi King Abdullah.

Mr Cable says he will not attend any of the planned ceremonial events – as would be normal for the leader of one of the main opposition parties.

Mr Cable told the BBC’s Today programme that by any assessment of Saudi Arabia, “the human rights record is appalling”.
Added: October 30, 2007


Tarting Up for the Tyrant: A Royal Flush of Hypocrisy by Chris Floyd

Saudi king’s visit met by protests h/t: ICH

With friends like these h/t: ICH

Kucinich: Administration Needs To Heed Advice Of IAEA Director + Questions Bush’s Mental Health

Dandelion Salad

Says There Is No Concrete Evidence Iran is Working To Build Nuclear Weapons


OCTOBER 30, 2007
12:37 PM

CONTACT: Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Natalie Laber (202) 225-5871 (o);
(202) 365-1040 (c)

WASHINGTON – October 30 – This past weekend, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said he hasn’t seen any concrete evidence that there is a clandestine, secret nuclear weapons program under way in Iran.

“The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is disputing the Administration’s rush to judgment on Iran. He is reiterating that the Administration must listen and negotiate,” Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said.

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “Late Edition,” IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei, strongly advised the Bush Administration to tone down its rhetoric on Iran. He stated: “So we are not talking about Iran having today a nuclear weapon. We are trying to make sure that the future intention of Iran is peaceful, and that’s really what we are talking about. Risk assessment of possible future intention by Iran, if they have the technology to develop nuclear weapon. I say that because at this stage we need to continue to work through creative diplomacy. We have the time. Because I don’t see any other solution, Wolf, except through diplomacy and inspection.”

The Bush Administration has been busy this month ratcheting up the rhetoric to take us to war with Iran. President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Rice have all been making statements to convince the American public that a war with Iran is inevitable.

“The IAEA chief’s persistence and resolve to bring Iran into compliance is admirable. There is no military solution that brings a safer world. We need to change the collision course that we are on with Iran and enter into high-level diplomatic negotiations,” Kucinich said.

“Congress must exercise the power granted to it under the Constitution and rein in the President’s power. This county and this world cannot afford another war based on lies.”

Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

h/t: ICH


Kucinich questions Bush’s mental health

PHILADELPHIA – Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich questioned President Bush’s mental health in light of comments he made about a nuclear Iran precipitating World War III.

“I seriously believe we have to start asking questions about his mental health,” Kucinich, an Ohio congressman, said in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial board on Tuesday. “There’s something wrong. He does not seem to understand his words have real impact.”

continued: Kucinich questions Bush’s mental health

h/t: amsmith_dmycm

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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Secret move to upgrade air base for Iran attack plans by Ian Bruce

What will World War IV cost? By Paul B. Farrell

Bush, Cheney, Rice and Kucinich on Iran By John Nichols

Kucinich: Bush Wants More War – This Time With Iran

Kucinich: Bush Close to Igniting WWIII by Monisha Bansal

Dennis Kucinich for President – Contribute

Should Anyone Join the Military? by Laurence M. Vance

Dandelion Salad

by Laurence M. Vance
October 26, 2007

I have maintained in a number of articles over the past several years that no Christian – whether he terms himself a conservative, an evangelical, a fundamentalist, or a Bible-believer – has any business in the U.S. military, including the National Guard and the chaplaincy.

Although the same goes for anyone else who names the name of Christ, I have always emphasized these particular Christian groups because of the unholy relationship that exists between them and the military.

But what about American Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus? Would it be okay if they joined the military? And what about the members of the various cults and sects that abound in the United States? Is the military a good place for them? And let’s not forget about atheists, agnostics, infidels, witches, Satanists, and the irreligious. Should they be discouraged from joining the military as well?

Should anyone join the military? Here are seven reasons why I think that no one, regardless of his religion or lack of it, should join today’s military.

1. Joining the military may cost you your limbs, your mind, or even your life. There is no end in sight to the Iraq war. Over 3,800 U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Many thousands more have been wounded. Hundreds of these have had limbs amputated. An increasing number of soldiers are committing suicide. Untold numbers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Some soldiers will spend the rest of their lives unable to work or drive a car. Others will live out their days as physical and/or emotional basket cases. What makes you think that you or one of your loved ones will not be sent to Iraq or will emerge unscathed in body and mind? Don’t trust the recruiter who tells you that you won’t be sent to Iraq. They are getting so desperate for cannon fodder that they are blatantly lying to potential recruits.



What will World War IV cost? By Paul B. Farrell

Dandelion Salad

By Paul B. Farrell
After Downing Street

How about $32,000 each, $5 gas and a military draft for your kids

First, let’s clear the air: Someone please tell the White House we’re already fighting World War III. Yes, they’re great at picking buzzwords, but the truth is our global “war on terror” has engaged (or enraged) every nation on the planet.

And according to the latest Congressional Budget Office estimates it’s costing America a whopping $2.4 trillion. That’s $8,000 for each of us. So what’ll the coming WWIV add? And how will it impact your retirement? Scary huh!

WWIV already? Yes, the White House is preparing us for an invasion of Iran. That case has been made by many neocons, most recently by Norman Podhoretz in his new book, “World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism.” And as Pat Buchanan reacted on MSNBC’s “Hardball” about all their warning signals: “I don’t see how [the White House] can avoid attacking Iran and retaining their credibility going out of office.”

So what will WWIV cost you and me personally? This is crucial, folks, because every dollar spent on expanding our global “wars on terror” will be one less dollar for your retirement nest egg, your health care, your kids education, your grandkids lifestyle — all of which are being outsourced to a free market system that’s forcing you to take personal responsibility rather than get benefits from government or Corporate America.

Shortly after I posted a column on “Disaster Capitalism” (outsourcing government and military operations to mercenaries and Corporate America) the President did threaten Iran about starting “World War III.” See previous Paul B. Farrell.

And suddenly, before you can say “veto,” Congress and the media have once again caved, accepting the inevitability of WWIV in 2008, beginning with an attack on Iran.

Estimating costs easy, but politicians in denial

OK folks, I’m not a Pentagon strategist, but have some experience, starting with volunteering for the Marines in Korea. Since then stuff like military strategies, weapons, economics and financing wars have fascinated me. Everything: Big stuff like Alexander Hamilton’s commitment to repay Revolutionary War debt, detailed by a Goldman Sachs vice chairman. And little stuff like the Civil War when J.P. Morgan financed a deal to buy old rifles from the U.S. Army for $3.50, refit them and sell them back to the Army for $22 each, proof “Disaster Capitalism” is nothing new for Wall Street!

Economic forecasting is also not new for me. Over the years I’ve had to estimate the cost impact of a Navy Weapons Systems Research Lab and the debt load of the N.Y. State New Towns Development Corporation. At Morgan Stanley I analyzed the Federal New Town Program for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and some troubled banks, even predicting that deregulation would create a debt bubble and collapse the S&L industry.

In fact, such estimates are quite simple, just politically inconvenient. One was even classified secret by the government. So let’s estimate the potential economic costs of the coming WWIV:

1. Demographics

Economic costs can be estimated by extrapolating from demographics. We’re already fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have a combined population of 60 million. Generals are already telling us our volunteer military and equipment are near “broken,” strategically unable to engage on new fronts.

Still we are planning to attack Iran, a country of 65 million, at a time when its neighbor Pakistan, a country of 165 million, is rapidly destabilizing and it is a country that already has nuclear weapons and also offers sanctuary to Taliban and al-Qaida extremists. Others will be stirred to retaliate. So we could increase our exposure to hostile enemies by four times.

2. Geography

In addition to demographics, land mass is another factor in estimating military costs: Remember, we haven’t been able to find Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan for four years, even with a $50 million “dead or alive” bounty. And today our so-called ally Pakistan is offering him and his warriors a safe haven.

If we attack Iran our battlefield terrain exposure increases by 635,000 square miles on top of the 420,000 square miles in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, plus another potential 340,000 square miles in Pakistan and others. The geography alone could overwhelm a military already stretched thin. The costs will go through the roof. A military draft will be essential.

Will they listen?

I have no illusions that our political leaders will give more than lip service to any estimates of war costs. After all, they are already ignoring estimates from the CBO as well as the Government Accountability Office, driven by an ideology convinced that “deficits don’t matter.”

But living in denial can’t erase the fact that the added debt of WWIV will have an enormous impact on America. And it will certainly have a profound personal impact on every single investor, far, far more damaging than any failure to save “enough” for retirement. Or failure to pick the right index funds. Or failure to set up a diversified portfolio.

Why? Because the cost of WWIV will overwhelm all those other mistakes we make as individual investors.

So what can you personally expect as your cost from WWIV? We know an attack on Iran will also trigger widespread insurgencies in other Muslim nations siding with Iran, likely Pakistan and Syria. We can also expect Russia and China to increase their indirect support to insurgents, to keep the war fires burning and keep the price of oil high, further undermining America’s credibility and diminishing the value of the dollar as a reserve currency.

The added debt costs of World War IV seem obvious: An estimated cost of $10 trillion to fight for a decade is not unreasonable, four times the cost of the current fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and the global “wars on terror.” And personally that will add roughly $32,000 more debt for every American — which is more than half what the average American currently has saved for retirement.

History lesson

Underneath all these numbers, however, I feel a deep sense of sadness. Since the President’s “WWIII” threat, the economic lobe in my brain has been flashing new danger signals, reminding me of a warning by Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips in “Wealth & Democracy:” “Most great nations, at the peak of their economic power, become arrogant and wage great world wars at great cost, wasting vast resources, taking on huge debt, and ultimately burning themselves out.”

Once again, the lessons of history have been lost on the posturing of macho egos.

Halloween’s a great time for spooky warnings, even if no one listens. But maybe you also hear a growing drum beat, echoing the Iraq war run-up. Unfortunately, no new leaders seem willing to stand up to the coming “darkness” … to use Robert Redford’s recent comment in The Week magazine on the release of his new film, “Lions for Lambs:”

“I had great hopes that people would see movies like ‘The Candidate’ and ‘All the King’s Men’ and say ‘Hey if we’re not careful, we might get snookered.’ I discovered we Americans enjoy the distraction of entertainment but aren’t really interested in the deeper message. We don’t like to look inward; we don’t like the darkness.”

And that’s what really saddens me: Because, paradoxically, by not looking within the darkness gets darker until it consumes our souls, like in “The Night of the Living Dead.” Happy Halloween! End of Story

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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Secret move to upgrade air base for Iran attack plans by Ian Bruce

Don’t believe everything that you read, moral of today’s post, imo.

I did find an error is this article, it stated the base was in Barksdale, MO. Read a comment saying that “the B-2s are at Whiteman AFB in Knob Noster, Missouri. Barksdale is in Louisiana”.

Just a note, we had a very loud plane (stealth, probably) go over this past Sat or Sun morning, it was the second that I recall in the last month or two. I live about an hour and half away from the base and have seen the stealth bomber while visiting a family stationed at the AFB as well as in my town. I will definitely be on the lookout. I will say that it has an unmistakably loud sound. ~ Lo

PS: Please take a look through the comments, looks like there are more errors to this article.

Dandelion Salad

Secret move to upgrade air base for Iran attack plans by Ian Bruce

h/t: Speaking Truth to Power


No Evidence Iran Building Nuclear Weapons: Mohamed ElBaradei

The Thunder of Turkish War Drums By Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

By Eric Margolis
Oct 29, 2007

The current crisis between Turkey and the Kurds has been building up for decades. In recent weeks, Turkish-Kurdish tensions burst into flames. Marxist-nationalist PKK guerillas fighting for an independent nation for Turkey’s 20 million or so Kurds killed a score of Turkish soldiers and captured eight.

Hundreds more Turkish soldiers have been killed in eastern Anatolia by increasingly effective Kurdish fighters known as ‘pesh-merga,’ who have been receiving more and better weapons from fellow Iraqi Kurds.

Fiercely nationalist Turks demand their armed forces invade Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish mini-state to destroy PKK bases. The Turks have massed 100,000 troops and armor on their mountainous border with Iraq. Limited Turkish air attacks and ground probes inside Iraq began last week.

A decade ago, I covered the brutal guerilla war in the hills of bleak, windswept Eastern Anatolia between Kurdish PKK guerillas (Turks brand them ‘terrorists’) and the Turkish Army. At the time, the world ignored this ugly conflict in which 35,000 people had by then died. I came away torn by sympathy for both sides in this tragic conflict.

No one should be surprised by this crisis. Critics long warned the US invasion of Iraq would inevitably release the genii of Kurdish nationalism. Creation of a virtually independent, US-backed Kurdish state in northern Iraq was certain to provoke a violent reaction by Turkey.

Ankara has warned for a decade it would never tolerate creation of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq which it fears would quickly spark demands by Turkey’s restive Kurds for their own state.

Washington has been piously urging ‘restraint’ on Turkey, a key US-ally. By contrast, after two Israeli soldiers were captured last year in a routine border clash with Hezbullah guerillas, the White House gave Israel a green light to bomb and invade Lebanon, killing over 1,100 civilians and caused $4 billion of damage.

This crisis is a huge mess for all concerned. Turkey provides 70% of air-delivered supplies to US forces in Iraq and allows US military aircraft to use its airspace. Turkey also quietly allows Israel certain overflight rights, which may eventually include the right to launch an air blitz against Iran through Turkish air space. Israel’s recent air attack on a mysterious Syrian building was flown over Turkish territory. Turkey’s military approved the Israeli overflight; its civilian government knew nothing about the attack until afterwards.

Meanwhile, anti-Americanism is peaking in Turkey. Turkey’s powerful army and civilian government make conflicting policies. Turkey’s popular democratic government wants no part of America’s war in Iraq and is loathe to attack Iraq, fearing getting embroiled in the US-created debacle. But Turkey’s powerful military establishment, a state within the state with very close links to the Pentagon and Israel, is pressing for an invasion of Iraq.

Iraq’s Kurds, America’s only ally in that strife-torn nation, discreetly back the PKK, and are working for fully independent Kurdish state. The Kurdish mini-state in northern Iraq is already de facto independent, with its own government, finances, army, and flag. The feeble US-installed regime in Baghdad has almost no influence over the Kurds, even though its president, Jalal Talabani, is also one of the two senior Kurdish leaders.

Turkey’s government must respond to surging public outrage, but fears major military action in Iraq will foreclose its hopes of getting into the European Union, and put it on a collision course with the US in Iraq. Interestingly, US forces in Iraq have turned a blind eye to the PKK’s operations there and to its cross-border attacks into Turkey.

Israel, which has its eye on Mesopotamia’s oil, is secretly backing Iraq’s Kurdish mini-state and hopes one day to build an oil pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan to Haifa, either via Jordan or through a splintered Syria – which is also high on Israel’s hit list. But Israel is also a close ally of Turkey’s right-wing generals who hate Kurds as much as their own democratic government led by able PM Recep Erdogan. The Israelis are thus caught in the middle of the Turkish-Kurdish conflict, just as they were recently during the bitter dispute between Turkey and the Armenians.

A new danger looms. The US invasion devastated Iraq and effectively split into three pieces – fulfilling the first step in Israel’s grand strategy of fragmenting Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. Iraq’s Mosul oil region, which formerly belonged to the Ottoman Empire, is a mere 119 kms from Turkey’s border. Kirkuk is only a bit further. After World War I, the British Empire grabbed this oil-rich region, cobbling together the unnatural state of Iraq to safeguard the oil.

If Iraq slides further into the abyss, Turkey and Iran may partition Iraq. Today, Turkey has no oil. Its fragile economy is hammered by having to earn US dollars to buy oil. But if Turkey repossessed Iraq’s northern oil fields, this nation of 70 million with 515,000 men at arms would become an important power that would reassert traditional Turkish influence in the Mideast, Balkans, Caucasus, and Central Asia.

`Pan-Turanism,’ the idea of spreading Turkish influence from its eastern border across the Turkic lands of Central Asia to the Great Wall of China remains dear to the hearts of many Turkish nationalists and far rightists. Iraq’s huge oil reserves are a big temptation Ankara cannot ignore. After all, if the US can invade Iraq for oil, why not neighboring, ex-owner Turkey?

Meanwhile, Washington mutters about launching attacks on PKK, which it also brands `terrorists.’ But with the glaring double standards typical of US Mideast policy, Washington closes its eyes – and may be secretly arming- Iraqi Kurds who are attacking Iran. Turkey insists it is fighting `terrorism’ and has every right to strike into Iraq to protect its national security – one of President George Bush’s justifications for invading Iraq.

This Kurdish fracas comes just as Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush are fanning hysteria over Iran and threatening war. Their latest claim: Iran ‘might’ have nuclear knowledge, so is a world danger.

Welcome to Washington’s new bogeyman: ‘thoughts of mass destruction(tmd’s).’

Throw in the growing crisis in key US ally Pakistan, and we face one unholy mess.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2007

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Who’s Behind the PKK? In a word: Washington by Justin Raimondo

10.29.07 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

Oct. 29, 2007


Iraqi Army Takes Control of Karbala,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Iraqi Army Uncovers Weapon Caches,” Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq
Tourist Area Transformed into a Huge Refugee Camp,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
Will Turkey Invade Northern Iraq?” Dubai TV, UAE
Somali PM Calls it Quits,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
Olmert Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer,” IBA TV, Israel
The Judification of the Golan Heights,” Syria TV, Syria
Long History of Animosity,” Al-Alam TV, Iran
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Olbermann: Obama & Clinton + Giuliani + FEMA + Worst (videos)

Dandelion Salad


October 29, 2007

Now on to part one in which much of the discussion takes place about Barack Obama and his decision to attack Hilary more often. There is also mention made of Barack’s use of an anti-gay homophobic preacher at a fund raising concert. I don’t often criticize Keith but I will here and state my own opinion about that.

As for Mr. Obama’s attack on Hilary, I could care less. They have both shown me that they are nothing more than birds of a feather that flock together. Obama and Clinton both try to play both sides of an issue whenever it suits them. In other words they will talk the talk but not walk the walk. And when they do walk they zig zag all over the place.

Hilary of course has her corporate lobbyists war chest, much in the same way that The Shrub did when he ran. And then they say, “But I’m not influenced by it.” Yes you are.

And her vote on the Kyl/Liebermann amendment is another example of Hilary setting herself up for the general election by catering to the right on a principle she knows will be a disaster. So we can expect at least four years of her trying to play both sides of the fence in the name of “compromise” no matter how wrong or immoral that policy may be. By comparison, take President Clinton’s promise to allow gays into the military. Well, we ended up with Don’t ask, don’t tell which was basically the same old same old relabled.

As for Obama, this whole gay issue has turned me off from him. It’s very nice that you come out and denounce homophobia, but then you invite someone to run your concert who promotes homophobia and bigotry to the black community. Yes, Obama’s friend McClurkin once said that homosexuals were trying to kill your children.

***”The gloves are off and if there’s going to be a war, there’s going to be a war. But it will be a war with a purpose? I’m not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children.”***

It disappointed me that Keith didn’t delve more into how much hatred has been promoted by Donnie McClurkin over the years, and for Obama to let him up on stage to do more of the same is shameful for any Democratic Candidate. McClurkin statements have gone far beyond the “I’m cured crap.” That seems to be what the MSM, including Keith, believes this to be about without look at McClurkin’s continual linking of homosexuality to pedeophilia. That’s what this is about.

It’s the kind of crap one would expect from a Republican. In essence, Obama told the black community that their intolerance and hatred of gays is fine by him as he lavishly heaped the praise on Mr. McClurkin. Shame on you, Barack.

But let’s face it. These two front runners were anointed the day after the polls closed last year by your ever vigilant mainstream news media that is looking out only for your bests interests. And with Iowa and New Hampshire deciding who the rest of us can vote for, what chance does this country really have to survive on the principles upon which it was founded? The United States of America: Corporate owned, corporate sponsored.

In the conclusion of Keith’s opening segment, Eugene Robinson discusses the man who would like to be king: Rudy Giuliani. Rudy, like Bush, sees nothing in the constitution or in the bill of rights that can’t just be tossed in the paper shredder in order for him to rule over us in all of his wisdom. All so he can keep us safe from the boogerman.

I honestly had some trouble with this segment. I just didn’t get it. FEMA does a major idiotic thing and somebody actually gets fired over it. And this is supposed to somehow make amends for all the other crap? Lawrence O’Donnell joins Keith to talk about this and baseball.

Oddball: A guy who pulls a helicopter with his ear and why cheerleaders should not walk behind banners.

Best Persons: Fred Thompson, who made a living hunting down Jed Clampett in Tennessee, Mark Taxel, for a not so anti-drug message, and Andrew Quah, who should know his own sex organ when he sees it.

Quick Quiz:

In the third segment on Countdown, we have a segment about: a) The Boston Red Sox b) The New Yankees Manager c) Alex Rodriquez or d) all of the above.

The answer of course is D) all of the above. In other words if you are a baseball fanatic, a yankee fanatic, or a Red Sox fanatic, you will be entertained. Everybody else will just have to yawn their way through it. I guess that includes me.

A brief story on Oprah,who apologizes and cries over some bad things going on at the Oprah school.

Keeping Tabs: Another day, another defendent decides to squeal on poor O.J.

Worst Persons:
Bronze: Billo, who is whining because Barack Obama won’t go on his show.
Silver: Right Wing Lunatic Fringer David Horowitz
Gold: Department of Homeland Security

Finally, it’s not Britney, it’s not Paris, and it’s not Lindsay who occupies the final segment of tonight’s Countdown. It’s Bigfoot Junior. He’s hanging out at the Burger King In Pennsylvania with Elvis. Have a good day everyone.

Israel Cuts Gaza Fuel: To End the Qassam Rocket Attacks? By Liam Bailey


By Liam Bailey
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
War Pages
Monday, October 29, 2007

The Israeli Defense Force knows its latest policy will fail, so what is the real reason for going ahead with it?

Sunday 28 October began Israel’s latest measure to end the relentless barrage of Qassam rockets fired into Israel, by reducing the amount of fuel delivered into the Hamas run Gaza where the rockets are fired from, a measure that openly defies the 4th Geneva Convention since it collectively punishes the Palestinian people as a whole for the actions of the Qassam squads.

Everyone who knows anything about this conflict knows that this, as part of a larger drive which will eventually see Israel cut power to the Gaza strip every time a rocket lands in Israel, does not have a chance in hell of ending the Qassam attacks. In fact by increasing Palestinian resolve for resistance against the occupier bent on making their day to day lives miserable in every way it can, it might actually bring about an increase in the number of rocket attacks and even foster a new generation of suicide bombers among Palestinian children. frighteningly, statements in the Israeli press reveal that even the Israel Defense Force (IDF) knows this measure won’t halt the Qassams..

So why enact a measure with a better chance of making things worse than it has of achieving its intended aim?

I can’t answer this question definitively, but I will put forward several possibilities, one of which or all of which could well be the reason behind Israel’s current behaviour.

The most recent and relevant possibility is Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s explanation (from an interview on Israel radio) that the policies have nothing to do with halting the rocket fire but are simply another step in Israel’s disengagement from Gaza following the withdrawal of troops and settlers in 2005.

Vilnai’s exact words were:”This is the continuation of our disengagement, since the troops pulled out. This is not connected to Qassams (rockets), it is a deeper, broader disengagement.”

Some analysts, such as Haaretz correspondents Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff believe the move is partly further disengagement, but mainly an outward display that the IDF and Israeli government are doing everything in their power to end the Qassam’s in preparation for and to justify a planned and massive ground operation deep into the Gaza strip to end the rocket attacks.

Of course, we must throw into the mix the long-running accusation that a majority in Israel’s government do not want to return Palestinian land and do not want a peace deal that would inevitably lead to them having to return the land; therefore, a majority of the government wants to perpetuate the conflict. The best way for them to do so is to continually stir up Palestinian anger with these kinds of measures. Maintaining the fervent Palestinian resistance allows them to ensure that the conflict will be perpetuated from the Palestinian side, allowing Israel to claim self-defense in their measures, which again further stirs up Palestinian anger. Put simply, it allows Israel to perpetuate the conflict and to remain the good guys in the eyes of the outside world.

Finally, another possible explanation was revealed during the recent Israeli air-strike on what was claimed to be a fledgling Syrian nuclear program a few weeks ago: that Israel is poking and prodding at the boundaries of the international community’s patience, seeing just how far it can go before the international community responds so strongly that the U.S. is forced to do something about it — all in the aim of working out how much of a response a strike on Iran might provoke.

I believe one, two, or perhaps all of the above reasons, — and possibly more factors –explain Israel’s current policies of forcing yet more pressure on a population already racked by poverty from the original Israeli-imposed and internationally followed financial embargo, which has already brought the small coastal strip to the brink of a humanitarian disaster.