WI, WA, HI Primary Results 02.19.08 (updated)

Dandelion Salad

Will update this later tonight. ~ Lo

Primary Results
Feb. 19, 2008

source

Wisconsin Democratic Primary Results
Candidate Votes %
Barack Obama 583,075 58%
Hillary Clinton 415,869 41%
John Edwards 6,098 1%
Dennis Kucinich 2,341 0%
Uninstructed 773 0%
Joe Biden 676 0%
Mike Gravel 537 0%
Bill Richardson 483 0%
Chris Dodd 444 0%
Key: Red Checkmark Winner
Precincts: 92% | Updated: 12:34 AM ET | Source: AP

source

Wisconsin Republican Primary Results
Candidate Votes %
John McCain 205,023 55%
Mike Huckabee 139,849 37%
Ron Paul 17,483 5%
Mitt Romney 7,201 2%
Fred Thompson 2,486 1%
Rudy Giuliani 1,911 1%
Uninstructed 796 0%
Duncan Hunter 744 0%
Tom Tancredo 170 0%
Key: Red Checkmark Winner
Precincts: 92% | Updated: 12:34 AM ET | Source: AP

***

source

The Washington Democratic Party will hold a caucus on Feb. 9 to choose delegates to the national convention. Delegates will be awarded to candidates based on that candidate’s support among caucus goers.

No Democratic delegates will be awarded as the result of Washington’s Feb. 19 primary election.

Washington State Democratic Primary Results  
Candidate Votes %
Barack Obama 259,323 50%
Hillary Clinton 243,306 47%
John Edwards 9,082 2%
Dennis Kucinich 2,816 1%
Bill Richardson 1,493 0%
Joe Biden 1,465 0%
Mike Gravel 793 0%
Chris Dodd 475 0%
Key: Red Checkmark Winner
Precincts: 57% | Updated: 12:24 PM ET | Source: AP
Washington State Democratic Caucus Results  
Candidate Votes %
Barack Obama 21,629 68%
Hillary Clinton 9,992 31%
Uncommitted 363 1%

source

The Washington Republican Party will hold caucuses on Feb. 9. Around half of the party’s delegates to the Republican national convention will be awarded as the result of the caucuses. The other half will be awarded based on the results of the state’s presidential primary election on Feb. 19.

Washington State Republican Primary Results  
Candidate Votes %
John McCain 187,051 49%
Mike Huckabee 82,253 22%
Mitt Romney 75,548 20%
Ron Paul 28,260 7%
Rudy Giuliani 3,901 1%
Fred Thompson 3,277 1%
Alan Keyes 1,520 0%
Duncan Hunter 691 0%
Key: Red Checkmark Winner
Precincts: 57% | Updated: 12:29 PM ET | Source: AP
Washington State GOP Caucus Results  
Candidate Votes %
John McCain 3,191 26%
Mike Huckabee 2,898 24%
Ron Paul 2,666 22%
Mitt Romney 1,903 15%
Uncommitted 1,662 13%
Key: Red Checkmark Winner
Precincts: 96% | Updated: 4:15 PM ET | Source: AP

source

Democratic Caucus in Hawaii

Hawaii Democratic Caucus Results  
Candidate Votes %
Barack Obama 28,347 76%
Hillary Clinton 8,835 24%
Dennis Kucinich 138 0%
Uncommitted 65 0%
John Edwards 41 0%
Key: Red Checkmark Winner
Precincts: 100% | Updated: 12:28 PM ET | Source: AP

Republican Party Caucus (May. 16)

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.

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DC, MD & VA Primary Results 02.12.08 + Obama Speech (updated)

Obama takes ME 02.10.08 results

NE, WA & LA Primary Results 02.09.08 + Obama Clean Sweep (video)

Romney Wins Maine Caucus

Democrat and Republican Delegates 02.05.08 (updated)

Results

Saboteurs may have cut Mideast telecom cables: UN agency

Dandelion Salad

Breitbart
Feb 18 06:17 PM US/Eastern

Damage to several undersea telecom cables that caused outages across the Middle East and Asia could have been an act of sabotage, the International Telecommunication Union said on Monday.

“We do not want to preempt the results of ongoing investigations, but we do not rule out that a deliberate act of sabotage caused the damage to the undersea cables over two weeks ago,” the UN agency’s head of development, Sami al-Murshed, told AFP.

…continued

h/t: ICH

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.

Fort Hood soliders breaking the silence in war in Iraq (video link)

Dandelion Salad

By Chelsea Hover
2/17/2008 10:53 PM

A growing number of active duty soldiers or recent Iraq war veterans are speaking up about the war in Iraq.

And with the number of soldiers speaking up about their experiences in Iraq via online forums, blogs and pamphlets, some vets feel it’s their duty to let the American public know the truth.

…continued and video

h/t: ICH

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.

see

blogswarm March 19, 2008

Full Listing of Blogs in the March 19 Blogswarm Against the Iraq War

Anti-War Protest meets IRS protest at headquarters DC 03.19.08 + videos

Stop-loss Congress (video; over 18 only)

Take Action against the war March 19th, 2008 (video)

Slouching Towards Petroeurostan By Pepe Escobar

Dandelion Salad

By Pepe Escobar
19/02/08 “ICH

It was a discreet, almost hush hush affair, but after almost three years of stalling and endless delays, it finally happened. Now more than ever, it may also signal a true geoeconomic earthquake – way beyond a potentially shattering blow to US dollar hegemony.

This Sunday, the Iranian Oil Bourse – the first-ever oil, gas and petrochemical exchange in the Islamic Republic, and the first within OPEC – was launched by Iran’s Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari, flanked by Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs Davoud Danesh Ja’fari, the man who will head the bourse.

The bourse’s official name is Iranian International Petroleum Exchange (IIPE), widely known in Iran and the Persian Gulf as the Kish bourse. Kish island is a free zone (declared by the Shah) in an ideal laissez faire setting: lots of condos and duty-free malls, no Khomeini mega-portraits and hordes of young honeymooners shopping for made-in-Europe home appliances.

There was frantic speculation all over the world that the bourse would start trading in euros. But according to Nozari transactions at this early stage will be in Iran’s currency, the rial. Anyway the Iranian ambassador to Moscow Gholam-Reza Ansari has already advanced that “in the future, we’ll be able to use the ruble, Russia’s national currency, in our operations”. He added that “Russia and Iran, two major producers of the world’s energy, should encourage oil and gas transactions in various non-dollar currencies, releasing the world from being a slave of dollar”. Russia’s first deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said last week that “the ruble will de facto become one of the regional reserve currencies.”

Slowly but surely

This is just what the Iranians are calling the first phase. Ultimately, the bourse is to directly compete against London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) as well as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), both owned by US corporations (since 2001 NYMEX is owned by a consortium which includes BP, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley). What Iran plans to do in the long run is quite daring: to directly challenge Anglo-American energy/corporate banking domination of the international oil trade.

There’s a lot hanging on the balance to assure the success of the bourse already in this first phase. Other OPEC members, and especially Iran’s neighbors, the Persian Gulf petro-monarchies, must be supportive, or at least “catch the drift”.

It makes total sense for OPEC member countries to support an alternative to both NYMEX and the IPE, which exercise a de facto, unhealthy monopoly of the oil and gas market, are always very comfortable to exploit volatility for profit, and are always able to wreak havoc against the interests of producer countries. An avalanche of contracts related to Iranian or Saudi oil, for instance, are still indexed to the price of the UK’s North Sea Brent oil, whose production is terminally declining.

In the summer of 2005, at the Petroleum Ministry in central Tehran, this correspondent interviewed Mohammad Javed Asemipour, then the executive in charge of establishing the Kish bourse. Asemipour stressed the road map, which remains unchanged: the bourse would start dealing with petrochemical products, and then with what everybody really craves – light-sulfur Caspian Sea crude. This was not going to be an Iranian-style exchange, but “an international exchange, fully integrated in the world economy”. The ultimate goal is very ambitious: the creation of a new Persian Gulf benchmark oil price.

Today, Minister Nozari admits Iran’s share of global oil trade is still very low. Enter the bourse, which is the solution to eliminate the middlemen. Everyone in the oil business knows that high oil prices are not really due to OPEC – which supplies 40% of the world’s crude – or “al Qaeda threats”. The main profiteers are middlemen – “traders” to put it nicely, “speculators” to put it bluntly.

The Petroleum Ministry’s immediate priorities remain the same: to attract much needed foreign investment in the energy sector in Iran, and to expand its address book of oil buyers. Iran – like so many developing countries – does not want to depend on Western oil trading firms such as Philip Brothers (owned by Citicorp), Cargill or Taurus. Enron – until its debacle – used to be one of the most profitable. Some powerful oil companies – such as Total and Exxon – trade under their own names.

The empire will strike back

At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, mega-speculator George Soros was adamant, stressing we are at the end of the dollar era and a “systemic failure” may be upon us.

On February 8 in Dubai OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri told the London-based Middle East Economic Digest that OPEC may inevitably switch to the euro within a decade.
 Iran and Venezuela – supported by Ecuador – are actively campaigning inside OPEC for oil to be priced at least in a basket of currencies.
According to OPEC’s current president, Chakib Khelil, OPEC Finance ministers will soon meet to discuss the possibility in depth. According to Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani, a committee will “submit to OPEC its recommendation on a basket of currencies that OPEC members will deal with.”

There’s no evidence – yet – that ultra-cautious iron clad US ally Saudi Arabia would incur Washington’s wrath by supporting such a move. As for Iran, it is OPEC’s second largest exporter. According to minister Nozari Iran’s oil revenue will reach $63 billion by the end of the current Iranian year, which ends on March 20. Crude oil production is at 4,1million barrels a day, the highest level since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran does not trade a single barrel of oil in dollars anymore. Since December 2007 it converted all its oil export payments to other currencies. Iran now sells oil to Japan in yen. That makes sense: Japan is the top importer of Iranian oil, and Iran is Japan’s third-largest supplier. Worryingly for the dollar, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani has already announced that the tiny oil-rich emirate would abandon the dollar for the Qatari riyal before summer. There’s a strong possibility the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may also switch to their own currency.

As the Kish bourse picks up momentum, more and more oil and gas trading will happen in a basket of currencies – and more and more the US dollar will lose its paramount status. Quite a few Middle East analysts expect the Persian Gulf petro-monarchies to end their dollar peg sooner rather than later – some say as early as next summer, as their black gold will increasingly not be traded in dollars. Iranian economist Hamid Varzi stresses that the “psychological effect” of Iran’s move away from the US dollar is “encouraging others to follow suit.

Iranian officials have always maintained Washington has threatened to disrupt the oil bourse – via an online virus, attempting regime change or even the dreaded, unilateral pre-emptive nuclear strike. On the other hand, the possible success of the bourse may be crucial to signal the US’s waning power in a world evolving towards multi-polarity. The Saudis and the Persian Gulf petro-monarchies have already decided to reduce their US dollar holdings. It’s not far-fetched to imagine Washington, sooner or later, having to pay for its oil and gas imports in euros.

No wonder Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is so demonized by Washington as he keeps repeating that the empire of the dollar is falling. But even ultra-cautious Prince Saudi al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, has admitted during the latest OPEC summit in Riyadh that the dollar would collapse if OPEC decided to switch to euros or a basket of currencies. During a crucial closed meeting – with the microphones on, by mistake – Prince Saudi said “My feeling is that the mere mention that OPEC countries are studying the issue of the dollar is itself going to have an impact that endangers the interests of the countries. There will be journalists who will seize on this point and we don’t want the dollar to collapse instead of doing something good for OPEC.”

The trillion-dollar question is if, and when, most European and Asian oil importers may stampede towards the Iranian oil bourse. OPEC members as well as oil producers from the Caspian may be inevitably seduced by the advantages of selling at Kish – with no dreaded middlemen. If they can buy oil with euros, yen or even yuan, Europeans, Chinese and Japanese won’t need US dollars – and the same applies for their central banks.

It would take only a few major oil exporters to switch from the dollar to the euro – or the yen – to fatally bomb the petrodollar mothership. Venezuela, Norway and Russia are all ready to say goodbye to the petrodollar. France officially supports a stronger role for the euro in international oil trade.

It may be a long way away, but ultimately the emergence of a new oil marker in euros in Kish will lead the way to the petroeuro global oil trade. It makes total sense. The European Union imports much more oil from OPEC than the US, and 45% of Middle East imports also come from the E.U.

The symbolism of the Iranian oil bourse is stark; it shows that the flight from the US dollar is irreversible – and so would, sooner rather than later, the capacity of Washington to launch wars on credit. But at this early stage in the game, only one thing is certain: the Empire will strike back.

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.

see

Sibelgate: US officials visiting Turkey NOW by Virginia Simson

The fall of the Dollar Empire by Hamid Varzi

Iran to launch oil and gas exchange on Feb. 27

Pepe Escobar: Can the US accept Iran as a regional power? (video)

Crusade of Surge & Siege: Homeland Born & Bred By Manuel Valenzuela

Dandelion Salad

By Manuel Valenzuela
02/19/08 “ICH

Part One of Three

Sojourn into the outer recesses of a nation bordering on madness, into a land deeply disturbed and emotionally bewildered, a world of anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism, of fanaticism and fundamentalism, entering a case study into fantasyland and escapism, taking a pilgrimage into realms both of purposeful ignorance and blindness, of electing lifelong incompetents based on wanting to have a beer with them, walking through the dark valley of indifference, climbing the monolithic mountain of hubris, finally reaching the hallowed halls of smoke and mirrors, a place where only the blind lead the blind and where the deafening roars of death and destruction are easily suppressed in delusion and denial. Journey, if you will, into a nation that lost its moral compass inside the dungeons of fear and hatred.

Enter what fascists call the Homeland, what patriots used to call the United States of America, now named, simply, and appropriately, Amerika, a place where corporations enjoy more rights and protections than the People, where corporations – through their products and policies – help kill hundreds of thousands of human beings every year in the name of profit over people, making them mass murderers on a scale reserved only for humanity’s worst; a land controlled by the military-energy-industrial complex, with war the engine for unimaginable profits; a nation now without a Constitution, nor a moral standing; a country that has developed a thirst for human blood and an appetite for destruction; a land of Manifest Destiny leaving death, suffering and destruction in its wake; a sadist entity that develops and refines its crimes against humanity it inflicts upon the people of the world by first practicing them on its own citizenry.It is inside the bowels of the Homeland that the malignant cancer that afflicts the country can be seen. The inner tumor inflicting constant pain can be seen through the eyes of a people so psychologically damaged by the never-before seen pressures on the human mind caused by capitalism run amok— conditioned to live to work and not work to live, thinking that work will set them free – that no nation on Earth has more citizens taking anti-depression and mind-numbing drugs in order to bandage an otherwise perpetually open gash. It can be seen through a people so internally despondent that only escapism through hours of fantasy-television watching or ceaseless consumption of materialistic goods, a modern version of bread and circus, can alleviate the stress and the pressures and the fatigue and the frustration and the anger developed in the pursuit of empty promises, of fictional dreams, in a world of the unreal.

Crisscross the land of the free and the home of the brave to see those who serve and protect abuse the people they serve. Tour Taser Nation, a land where authorities routinely inflict electroshock torture on the People, pulling the trigger first, asking questions later, as always enjoying inflicting pain and suffering on both innocent and guilty. Students, suspects, the infirm, the handicapped, pregnant women, motorists, the elderly, those asking questions, those protecting their rights and yes, now even children, all can be electroshocked into submission in a legalized form of torture that seems to grow by the day.

Taser Nation has become Torture Nation, zapping one unsuspecting citizen at a time, conditioning the population towards the new normal of police brutality and state-sanctioned intimidation. Welcome to the Land of the Brownshirts, a place where respect for human rights and loving your neighbor as yourself is now frowned upon, a place where bullying, intimidation, harassment and a budding police state are the new normal.

Take an excursion into the vast hinterlands of the Empire’s prison system, a network of concentration camps holding over two million human beings, most imprisoned for petty drug violations, most black or Latino or working class white, many suffering serious mental health problems, many trapped in a vicious circle of indigence, unemployment, incarceration and oppression at the hands of the state. Ostensibly designed to rehabilitate, these jails do the opposite, exacerbating mental anguish, frustration and anger, easing the transformation of human beings into rotting manifestations of lives lost and altered. It is here where Guantanamo and Bagram and Abu Ghraib find their genesis.

These prisons, these cages of solitude and loneliness and madness and survival and violence, are where American society discards itself of the unwanted, the undesirable, those not comporting to the mores of Puritanical code. America’s vast prison system is where those fated from birth to the lower echelons of society’s caste system end up, those millions tattooed with the shackles of American society’s perpetual enslavement, destined to forever live in ghettos, inner city reservations and Bantustans, devoid of opportunity and a future, forced to dwell upon the realities of metaphysical imprisonment, desperate to survive either by illegality or escapism, oppressed and subjugated by authorities, marginalized by society, discriminated against by the state.

It is here, in these rotting machinations of rusted iron, metal bars and decrepit institutionalization, of fetid squalor and sadistic reality, where America’s brigade of automatons makes its problems disappear, creating an entire state and privatized prison-industrial complex dependent on crime, guilt, sentencing and prisoners. It is inside these penal institutions that America’s sadists and authoritarian personalities work, brutalizing and torturing inmates, oppressing and exploiting individuals, fomenting racism and hatred.

It is here where America trains her torturers and her malevolent warriors, her “bad apples” and her fascist enablers, exporting lessons learned abroad, infecting the innocent of occupied lands with the cruel and inhuman punishment that is as American as apple pie. It is here, in these creations of human hell, that crimes against humanity are perfected. It is inside the gates of hell that experimentation becomes indoctrination and where brutality becomes legalized torture.

Rise of a New Crusade

Enter the periphery of the Empire, where fear and hatred together form silent acquiescence to myriad crimes against humanity, where indifference and unconcern leads to war crimes going unpunished, where ignorance of the outside world leads to ignorance of forgotten occupations, where ballots cast help ease into power corruption and criminality and mass murder, where the two headed hydra of the Corporatist Party colludes to condemn millions in Muslim lands to premature death and wretched suffering, where critical thinking is shunned and backwardness embraced, and where progressive, humanist ideals find castration by the knives owned by those living inside the bubble of primitive and extinct days long since passed.

Traverse a nation conditioned to hate the Arab and Muslim world – a land of a billion strong – with its corresponding depravity of jingoism and xenophobia boiling beneath the surface, ready at a moment’s notice, or upon the happenstance of new Pearl Harbor events, to explode in searing anger, for a populace injected with the venom of fear and ignorance easily unleashes its wrath on the chosen dark-skinned scapegoats of the undeveloped world. Programmed fear and molded hatred born of inside jobs and false flag events have unlocked the flames of bigotry from the inner demons of the Empire, creating sub-human scapegoats whose only crime is inhabiting lands the vampire of hegemony needs in order to satiate its ceaseless craving for power and control. Thus, in the lands where black blood flows and the devil’s excrement spills you will find the Empire’s dripping, black stained fangs.

Enter, if you will, the land of Christian soldiers and born-again leaders, a terrain belonging to the army of Jesus and to the vengeful, disastrous deity of Old Testament belief, marching off to victory with a cross in one-hand and an M-16 in the other; a nation of bible camps, bible conventions, bible thumpers and Bible Belts; of mega-churches, mega- proselytizers and mega-hypocrisy; of fanaticism and fundamentalism; of illogical – and damaging – belief in the myth of creationism and the delusions of abstinence; of agents of intolerance, thirst for conversions and theocratic fantasy; of protection and respect of life only if life is that of a zygote, not an actual human being caught in war, terminal disease or endemic suffering; a place where belief in myth and fable and of the never seen is given prominence over reality and reason and modernity’s treatises; of blind faith trumping sound science; of a nation self-professing and monopolizing blessings by humankind’s archaic and historically grossly incompetent divinity; of extremist theism, evangelical psychosis and reactionary emotion; and of evangelical sheep being led to pasture by wolves dressed in shepherd’s clothing.

Indeed, enter the eye of the Middle East storm, the creator of hatred and blowback, the father and mother of the fictional war on terror, the epicenter of the crusade of surge and siege, the fulcrum of Christian extremism, the home of the American Taliban, the disseminator of the self-fulfilling prophesy of a so-called clash of civilizations. From the Cathedrals of Consumerism to the Enormous Edifices of Evangelism, from the Hubris of Imperialism to the Arrogance of Righteousness, it is the Empire itself, holding debauched neoliberal capitalism in one hand, the mutated, distorted principles of the Cross on the other, that has birthed this latest of Crusades into the lands of ancient history.

For it is America, through military might and the power of its weapons, though financial intimidation and market colonialism, that has proclaimed itself heir to the throne of Western imperialism, arrogantly declaring itself the next in line, of humankind’s great historical powers, to reach the apex of Empire. And so, as the maker of mankind’s new reality, as the molder of human destiny, the Pax Americana, through its legions of neoliberal capitalists, religious extremists, corporatist stooges and delusional neocons, has created a collision all its own making, a vicious cycle of hatred born and vengeance sought, of cause and effect, of boomeranging blowback, of making an enemy where none existed, of declaring war on an entire region of the planet.

Thus the fictional war on terror builds the momentum for it to invariably become real, for one billion Muslims – the vast majority peaceful and moderate – to see, and firmly believe, that a Crusade of Surge and Siege has thus been thrust upon them by Christian and uber-capitalist Amerika. By this method the fictional war on terror feeds itself, growing from an invention of fascist Amerika in search of enemies into a mature manifestation of anger and hatred, a true, and artificially engendered clash of civilizations gorging on the boiling animosity of East versus West.

Through momentum that has been building since September 2001, the architects of creative chaos, the designers of bogeymen, the fathers of shock capitalism, and the makers of artificial fear have coalesced into an amalgam of malevolence, planting the seed they hope will sprout a perpetual battle between Muslim and Christian, America and Middle Easterners. In the desert landscape of Muslim lands they have found an oasis from which to plant and grow a modern day crusade, not to reclaim the Holy Land, but to simply claim the vast fields of the Devil’s Excrement; not to rain freedom and democracy on uncivilized people, but to firmly plant permanence in strategic lands; not to bring Christianity to barbarians, but to violently force neoliberal capitalism down the throats of the Muslim world. Such is the method to the madness of the Crusade of Surge and Siege.

First they came for the Muslims…

Navigate from coast to coast, witnessing the persecution of Arab and Muslim groups, most set up by the same government that later concocts charges and smears against them in the usually unsuccessful attempt at maintaining the illusion of insecurity within the greater population. The state propagandists realize that in order to maintain the chimera of an enemy, that in order for the idea of terror to coagulate in the minds of the people, the illusion must be maintained that indeed an enemy exists. It must be made to look as though the enemy lives among us, that it is domestic as well as foreign, that it is planning to attack our way of life. This, of course, also creates the fantasy that the state is our protector, and that in order to protect us, we must sacrifice even more rights and freedoms for security.

The use of scapegoats, in this case the use of naïve, oftentimes incompetent, illiterate, indigent and sometimes even mentally deficient groups of Arab or Muslim men, usually with no political power and no financial resources, is part of a formula of fear designed inside the rubble of the Twin Towers that has been used to terrorize the American people into submitting to a fascist, despotic state. With every persecution of Arab and Muslim groups, charged with planning terrorist activity, usually with little or no proof, usually later found innocent by a court of law, the state further cements the fiction of fear and the illusion of perpetual insecurity in the citizenry. Propaganda makes bogeymen of scapegoats and scapegoats make obedient cowards of us all.

Of course every new persecution is met by a thunderous manifestation of corporate media coverage, bombarding the airwaves with the fictions and illusions of the charade that is the war on terror. There are enemies in our midst, we are told, dreaded bogeymen intent on killing us, trying to shoot up a mall, or blow up a building, or murder our children. Yet, as usually happens, when the alleged plot is discovered for the lie that it is, when the state is forced to drop charges, when a court of law throws out the case, when the innocent’s voice is validated and the condemned are once again free, there is not one camera or reporter or journalist ready or willing to bombard us with the truth. The blitzkrieg of guilt is suddenly replaced with the utter silence of innocence.

The damage, however, has already been done, for in the eyes of tens of millions the parade of fictions and the presumption of guilt that has so readily been beamed by the corporate media have already established the fear and insecurity that America is under siege by the barbarian horde and its evil religion. The illusion has thus been established, the excuse to erode yet more liberties has been successful, and the scapegoat has again been made the object of growing hatred. The people have again been manipulated, conditioned to hate the very idea of a Muslim or an Arab. The enemy has again been vilified, dehumanized and ostracized, the very term “Muslim” becoming denigrated, its practitioners and believers made to wear an invisible crescent moon on their breasts, becoming in many eyes unwelcome pariahs in the land of immigrants and the home of freedom.

Every new so-called uncovered plot, every new so-called uncovered threat, every new depiction of evil incarnate is, of course, used by the Ministry of Truth to validate the belief that the state is protecting us, that our sacrifice of freedoms and rights, that our submission to a police state has been of great service, that it is indeed working and must therefore continue, no matter how intrusive it becomes, no matter how much it destroys the Constitution and no matter how large Big Brother continues to grow. In the end, the formula of illusion, of imaginary enemies, of chosen scapegoats, works to create a harmonious narrative of terror abroad and terror at home, of a war on terror that must be perpetual and ceaseless, of a state working diligently to secure our freedom, our way of life, the American way.

The formula creates a submissive, compliant and acquiescent citizenry, one that does not blink at the mass murder of millions in the Middle East, at innumerable war crimes, at the use of torture and the creation of gulags. The scapegoating of Arab and Muslims by the state and the corporatist media has succeeded in fomenting a xenophobic hatred and anger against those people emanating from and residing in the Middle East. The mission has been accomplished, for the masses, thinking that the shredding of the Constitution has not affected them because they are not terrorists and have done nothing wrong, have voluntarily eviscerated their own rights and freedoms, for eventually, the crimes and horrors and human rights violations and erosion of liberties committed against the scapegoat class inevitably is imputed onto the majority. In a proto-fascist nation such as America, it is only a matter of time.

First the state comes for the chosen scapegoats, using them as the key to unlocking the rights and freedoms of the masses. The scapegoat is the excuse, the mirage to eviscerate the Constitution in the shadows, with the masses blinded to reality, and creating a new normal of fascism and tyranny. Thinking they are safe from the claws of the state, the masses eagerly give up more power and freedom and liberty in the belief that only the enemy is being targeted. Eventually, before the blink of a collective eye, the masses themselves are being eavesdropped, spied on, surveilled upon, interrogated, harassed, controlled, tortured and disappeared. Eventually, it is their rights and freedoms and liberties that no longer exist.

Told today’s eavesdropping and illegal wiretapping by the state is to spy on the few Muslim terrorists, and that immunity for state and corporations is needed for our vital security, we later learn that all Americans have been illegally spied on, that Big Brother is watching and listening and monitoring us all and that we have no recourse to halt or file suit or seek accountability against the same companies doing the spying. Thus yesterday’s malfeasance and criminality become the present’s new normal, and the closer we approach the precipice of despotism.

The formula works every time authoritarian entities are determined to destroy the fabric of a free and democratic people. It is written in humankind’s history books, yet it remains ignored and unlearned by those who refuse to know the history of man. It is in our history that our tendencies are deciphered. It is in our past that our patterns can be anticipated. In the end, compliant Americans become good Americans, freedom is replaced by tyranny, rights and liberties are usurped by a police and surveillance state and a constitutional past becomes a new normal of authoritarianism and corporatism.

This is what happens when the majority ignores the plight of a scapegoated minority that is powerless to fight the claws of a despotic state. This is what happens when the first signs of smoke over the horizon are seen and ignored, only later realizing, much too late to escape its wrath, that a raging inferno enveloping everything in its path has arrived. First they come for Muslims, then they come for us all.

Part Two of Three, “Cages of Conquest,” will be posted on 20th February, 2008

Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic, commentator, Internet essayist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by Authorhouse.com . His essays appear regularly at various alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at manuel@valenzuelas.net . He encourages readers to surf the collection of over 100 essays he has written which can be found visiting his archives and by searching the Internet. His next book, Beyond the Smoking Mirror: Reflections on America and Humanity, a collection of his essays, will be published in early 2007.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. 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.

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The Year of Living Dangerously Part 1 By Manuel Valenzuela

The Year of Living Dangerously Part 2 By Manuel Valenzuela

What Do We Stand For? By Paul Craig Roberts

New Bill To Allow Police Misconduct Be Hidden From Public + videos

Repress U – How to Build a Homeland Security Campus in 7 Steps By Michael Gould-Wartofsky

‘Why Talk When You Can Shock,’ says Taser Opponent by Robyn Doolittle

Valenzuela-Manuel

Manuel Valenzuela

Valenzuela’s Veritas

CIA Attacks Inside Pakistan Without Approval

Dandelion Salad

By Joby Warrick and Robin Wright
ICH
02/
19/08 “Washington Post

Unilateral Strike Called a Model For U.S. Operations in Pakistan

In the predawn hours of Jan. 29, a CIA Predator aircraft flew in a slow arc above the Pakistani town of Mir Ali. The drone’s operator, relying on information secretly passed to the CIA by local informants, clicked a computer mouse and sent the first of two Hellfire missiles hurtling toward a cluster of mud-brick buildings a few miles from the town center.

The missiles killed Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda commander and a man who had repeatedly eluded the CIA’s dragnet. It was the first successful strike against al-Qaeda’s core leadership in two years, and it involved, U.S. officials say, an unusual degree of autonomy by the CIA inside Pakistan.

Having requested the Pakistani government’s official permission for such strikes on previous occasions, only to be put off or turned down, this time the U.S. spy agency did not seek approval. The government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was notified only as the operation was underway, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities.

Officials say the incident was a model of how Washington often scores its rare victories these days in the fight against al-Qaeda inside Pakistan’s national borders: It acts with assistance from well-paid sympathizers inside the country, but without getting the government’s formal permission beforehand.

…continued


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.

Mosaic News 2/18/08 – World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad

Warning

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

linktv

For more: http://linktv.org/originalseries
“Pakistanis Cast Votes Amidst Fear,” Dubai TV, UAE
“More than 100 Killed in Kandahar,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Lebanese Showdown Continues,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Progress Made in Releasing Gilad Shalit,” IBA TV, Israel
“Eight Killed in Gaza,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Anniversary of French Nuclear Tests in Algeria,” Algeria TV, Algeria
“Iran Hosts International Women Conference,” IRIB2 TV, Iran
“Jordan Ranks First in Education,” Jordan TV, Jordan
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

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Just When You Think The Media Couldn’t Get Any Worse… By Dave Lindorff

Dandelion Salad

By Dave Lindorff
After Downing Street
February 19, 2008

I would not have thought that the coverage of the US presidential campaign could get more shallow and meaningless, and then, along comes the plagiarism story.

OMG! Barack Obama, the silver-tongued front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, lifted a couple of lines and an idea from the black governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick. Patrick, himself something of a wordsmith, had been hit with the same attack by a wooden opponent, and responded by saying that words matter, and citing Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” line and the Declaration of Independence’s ringing “all men are created equal.”

Obama, whose oratorical skills have left the robotic and monotonous Hillary Clinton sounding like a pull-string Barbie on the stump (remember “Math is hard!”?), has had the Clinton campaign frantically casting around for a rejoinder, and the best they could come up with to date was a charge that he’s “all hat and no cattle” (itself a line lifted, uncredited, from Texas populist Jim Hightower, if I recall, though I think it has an older lineage among Texans, and has been appropriately applied to President Bush on numerous occasions). Obama decided to respond using some of Patrick’s lines.

Now, one could argue that Obama would have been better advised to give fair attribution to Gov. Patrick, but since when have politicians gone around putting footnotes on their public speeches? Most political speeches are exercises in cut and paste, full of regurgitated pablum and lifted quotes. If plagiarism were a political crime, 90 percent of members of Congress would be out on their ears. (For that matter, if plagiarism were a crime, Hillary Clinton herself would be behind bars. Her book, “It Takes a Village,” was largely written by Barbara Feinman, a Georgetown University journalism prof who was reportedly offered $120,000 for the job, but her name appeared nowhere in the volume, which Clinton still claims as her own work.)

Besides, come on now! We’re not nominating an English professor, god knows. If we were, how in hell would we have had Bush for president for the last what seems like eternity, with his maddening use of the word “nukular,” his drunken “sh” slurs all over the place, his grammatical atrocities, and his mangled quotes (remember “if you fool me once…”?)?

Excuse me, but we have a criminal $1-trillion war raging in Iraq that is sucking the lifeblood out of the American economy, killing American troops by the day and slaughtering innocent Iraqis by the hundred thousands, we have an economy that’s racing for the toilet like a party-goer who ate too many bad shrimps, we have bridges collapsing, we have the North Pole ice vanishing faster than Bush’s credibility, and the media are focussed laser-like on what? The momentous question of whether Obama lifted a quote from Gov. Patrick without acknowledgment?

We have Democrats trying to decide whether to select a woman senator who used insider information to make a killing in cattle futures, who has accepted massive donations from the healthcare industry and military contractors, who voted enthusiastically if cynically for George Bush’s Iraq War, and whose husband wants nothing more than a new shot at some eager White House interns, or a black senator who spoke out against that war before it happened, when to do so was to risk being called a traitor by the Commander in Chief and his minions, and the best our vaunted “independent” media pundits can do is what? Accuse Obama of plagiarism?

We could use some reporting on Clinton’s and Obama’s corporate backing, on the key people advising them on foreign affairs and domestic economic policy, some serious challenges on how each candidate will actually address climate change issues, and on how they can do anything without attacking the out-of-control military budget. Instead we get this “big” plagiarism story as the main event of the Wisconsin primary.

Thank you, Fourth Estate, for making us a well-informed citizenry.
_________________
DAVE LINDORFF is a PHiladelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). His work is available at http://www.thiscantbehappening.net

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.

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On our man Obama the plagiarist & the media teeny weenie by Michael

Sibelgate: US officials visiting Turkey NOW by Virginia Simson

Dandelion Salad

Reposted with permission by the author.

by Virginia Simson
LadyBroadoak Visionary Planetary Healing Tutorial
Feb. 19, 2008

Sibelgate: US officials visiting Turkey NOW

Here we have a series of high-level visits between Turkish and US military forces before us this week. Very hard to detect just reading the mainstream news.

Continue reading

Large Potential Albanian Oil & Gas Discovery Underscores Kosovo’s Importance by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, February 19, 2008

On January 10, Swiss-based Manas Petroleum Corporation broke the news. Gustavson Associates LLC’s Resource Evaluation identified large prospects of oil and gas reserves in Albania, close to Kosovo. They are in areas called blocks A, B, C, D and E, encompassing about 780,000 acres along the northwest to southeast “trending (geological) fold belt of northwestern Albania.”

Assigned estimates of the find (so far unproved) are up to 2.987 billion barrels of oil and 3.014 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. However, because of their depth, oil deposits may be capped with a layer of gas. If so, Gustavson calculates the potential to be 1.4 billion barrels of light oil and up to 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Further, if only gas is present, the discovery may be as much as 28 trillion cubic feet. In any case, if estimates prove out, it’s a sizable find.

In its statement, Gustavson reported: “The probability of success for a wildcat well in a structurally complex area such as this is relatively high (because) it is in a structurally favorable area (and) proven hydrocarbon source and analogous production exists only 20 to 30 kilometers away.”

Currently, the Balkans region has small proved oil reserves of about 345 million barrels, of which an estimated 198 million barrels are in Albania. Proved natural gas reserves are much larger at around 2.7 trillion cubic feet.

In December 2007, Albania’s Council of Ministers allowed DWM Petroleum, AG, a Manas subsidiary, to assist in the exploration, development and production of Albania’s oil and gas reserves in conjunction with the government’s Agency of Natural Resources.

This development further underscores Kosovo’s importance and the cost that’s meant for Serbia. Since the 1999 US-led NATO war, it’s been all downhill for the nation, the region and its people:

–Kosovo is part of Serbia; at least it was; since 1999 it’s been a Washington-NATO occupied colony stripped of its sovereignty in violation of international law;

— it’s been run by three successive US-installed puppet Prime Ministers with known ties to organized crime and drugs trafficking;

— it’s the home of one of America’s largest military bases in the world, Camp Bondsteel; the province/country is more a US military base than a legitimate political entity;

— its part of Washington’s regional strategic objective to control and transport Central Asia’s vast oil and gas reserves to selected markets, primarily in the West;

— on February 17 during a special parliamentary session, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence; the action violates international law; Kosovo is as much part of Serbia as Illinois is one of America’s 50 states; to no surprise, Washington and dominant western countries support it; opposed are Serbia, Russia, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Malta, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus;

— might makes right; the issue is a fait accompli; the February 17 declaration ignores EU division pitting one-third of its 27 members in opposition; and

— unilateral western-supported independence mocks the 1999 UN Security Council Resolution 1244; it only permits Kosovo’s self-government as a Serbian province; the resolution recognizes the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;” only a new UN resolution in compliance with international law can change that legally; nonetheless, it happened anyway on another historic day of infamy when Washington again trashed international law and the rules and norms of civil society.

Global Research Associate Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at www.lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on www.RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussion of world and national topics with distinguished guests.

Stephen Lendman is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

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.

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8129

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Kosovo: conflict through the centuries

The Global Research News Hour with Michel Chossudovsky & Stephen Lendman (audio link)

The People Speak (video trailer; Zinn)

Dandelion Salad

replaced video 6.03.09

animalprimate
August 29, 2008

This is the trailer for the upcoming film “The People Speak” based on Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.”

Added: February 12, 2008

Continue reading

Vote for Gravel Today in Hawaii, Washington & Wisconsin (video)

Dandelion Salad

representativepress

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29sF4S…

http://representativepress.googlepage…
Gravel for President of the United States
Please pass this link on to others:
http://representativepress.googlepage…
Help spread the word, let’s use the power of the Internet, do what mainstream media has refused to do.

http://www.rockthevote.com/2008-presi…

http://www.gravel2008.us/

http://www.votesmart.org/bio.php?can_…

http://www.jackshepardforpresident.com/

Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul
https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2…

Vote for Gravel Today in Hawaii, Washington and Wisconsin

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

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NPR’s All Things Considered left out Mike Gravel (action alert)

Fraud on Voters by The Nation & Chris Hayes (videos) (updated)

Mike Gravel 01.31.08 Pepperdine University (videos)

MoveOn.org left Mike Gravel’s name off in their online poll (updated)

MoveOn.org Pushes the Worst, Ignoring Gravel for President (video)

Chomsky Applauds Mike Gravel (video)

Gravel-Mike

Mike Gravel For President 2008

Report: Nonlethal Weapons Could Target Brain, Mimic Schizophrenia

Dandelion Salad

By Sharon Weinberger
Wired
February 18, 2008

Of all the crazy, bizarre less-lethal weapons that have been proposed, the use of microwaves to target the human mind remains the most disturbing. The question has always been: is this anything more than urban myth? We may not have the final answer to this question, but a newly declassified Pentagon report, Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons, obtained by a private citizen under the Freedom of Information Act, provides some fascinating tidbits on a variety of exotic weapons ideas.Among those discussed are weapons that could disrupt the brain, as well as my longtime obsession, the “Voice of God” device, which creates voices in people’s heads. As the report notes, “Application of the microwave hearing technology could facilitate a private message transmission. It may be useful to provide a disruptive condition to a person not aware of the technology. Not only might it be disruptive to the sense of hearing, it could be psychologically devastating if one suddenly heard ‘voices within one’s head.'”

Voices in your head disturbing? Heck, yeah, considering it’s something most people associate with schizophrenia. The age-old question is whether such a weapon is possible.

Sadly, there’s little context for the report, which is dated 1998, and no specific references to current programs or research, if any, about such weapons.

…continued

h/t: Shane (Infoseekr)

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.

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Death Ray Replaced By The Voice of God (ADS; LRAD)

Hear Voices? It May Be an Ad By Andrew Hampp

Hi-tech Torture by Rosemarie Jackowski (ADS) + Pioneering ‘heat wave’ gun may be used in Iraq

Olbermann: The Oswald “Transcripts”? + Will Gore Get Into It? + Pilot Era

Dandelion Salad

Ryokibin

Feb. 18, 2008

The Oswald “Transcripts”? 

Keith speaks with Gary Mack.

Secrecy breeds conspiracies… and not all conspiracy theorist are false. A potent blend that still fuels speculation about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. And in our number one story on the Countdown, when a transcript of a purported conversation between Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and the man who shot Oswald — Jack Ruby — is released… A transcript, pre-dating the Kennedy assassination… in which the two men discuss the assassination… It is bound to churn conspiracy theories anew… Even though the transcript has been deemed by the FBI to be a fake.

Will Gore Get Into It? 

Keith speaks with Jonathan Alter.

Can the man who was robbed of the presidency in the year 2000… ensure that Democrats are not robbed of a nominee… in the year 2008? In our fourth story tonight, word from Al Gore to the deadlocked presidential race… don’t make me stop this car and come back there… because I will.

Pilot Era

Keith speaks with Jim Moore.

It’s official, the whole Bush clan hearts John McCain. In our third story tonight, it’s not just Jeb, any more…

World’s Worst –

Worse: Glenn Beck

Worser: The Heritage Foundation.

Worst: George W. Bush

Bush’s Dirty Secret: Bribing Iraq Insurgents Not to Fight By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
February 18, 2008

It is impossible to keep up with all the Bush regime’s lies. There are simply too many. Among the recent crop, one of the biggest is that the “surge” is working.

Launched last year, the “surge” was the extra 20,000-30,000 US troops sent to Iraq. These few extra troops, Americans were told, would finally supply the necessary forces to pacify Iraq.

This claim never made any sense. The extra troops didn’t raise the total number of US soldiers to more than one-third the number every expert has said is necessary in order to successfully occupy Iraq.

The real purpose of the “surge” was to hide another deception. The Bush regime is paying Sunni insurgents $800,000 a day not to attack US forces. That’s right, 80,000 members of an “Awakening group,” the “Sons of Iraq,” a newly formed “US-allied security force” consisting of Sunni insurgents, are being paid $10 a day each not to attack US troops. Allegedly, the Sons of Iraq are now at work fighting al Qaeda.

This is a much cheaper way to fight a war. We can only wonder why Bush didn’t figure it out sooner.

The “surge” was also timed to take account of the near completion of neighborhood cleansing. Most of the violence in Iraq during the past five years has resulted from Sunnis and Shi’ites driving each other out of mixed neighborhoods. Had the two groups been capable of uniting against the US troops, the US would have been driven out of Iraq long ago. Instead, the Iraqis slaughtered each other and fought the Americans in their spare time.

In other words, the “surge” has had nothing to do with any decline in violence.

With the Sunni insurgents now on Uncle Sam’s payroll, with neighborhoods segregated, and with al Sadr’s militia standing down, it is unclear who is still responsible for ongoing violence other than US troops themselves. Somebody must still be fighting, however, because the US is still conducting air strikes and is still unable to tell friend from foe.

On February 16, the Los Angeles Times reported that a US air strike managed to kill 9 Iraqi civilians and 3 Sons of Iraq.

The Sunnis are abandoning their posts in protest, demanding an end to “errant” US air strikes. Obviously, the Sunnis see an opportunity to increase their daily pay for not attacking Americans. Soon they will have consultants advising them how much they can demand in bribes before it pays the Americans to begin fighting the war under the old terms.

If Sunnis are smart, they will split the gains. Currently, the Sunnis are getting shafted. They are only collecting $800,000 of the $275,000,000 million it costs the US to fight the war for one day.  That’s only about three-tenths of one percent, too much of a one-sided deal for the Americans.

If the Sunnis negotiate their cut to between one-quarter and one-half of the daily cost to the US of the war, the Sunnis won’t need to share in the oil revenues, thus helping the three factions to get back together as a country. Even 10% of the daily cost of the war would be a good deal for the Sunnis. A long-term contract in this range would be expensive for Uncle Sam, but a great deal cheaper than John McCain’s commitment to a 100-year Iraqi war.

If Bush’s war turns out to be as big a boon for the Sunnis as it has for Tony Blair, we might have a modern-day version of The Mouse That Roared—a movie about an impoverished country that attacked the US in order to be defeated and receive foreign aid—only this time the money comes as a payoff for not fighting the occupiers.

As the world now knows, Blair’s “dodgy dossier” about the threat allegedly posed by Iraq was a contrivance that allowed Blair to put British troops at the service of Bush’s aggression in the Middle East. Now that Blair is out of his Prime Minister job, he has been rewarded with millions of dollars in sinecures from financial firms such as JP Morgan and millions more in speaking engagements. As part of the payoff, the Bush Republicans have even put Mrs. Blair on the lucrative lecture circuit.

Ask yourself, do you really think Blair knows enough high finance to be of any value as an advisor to JP Morgan, or enough about climate change to advise Zurich Financial on the subject? Do you really believe that after hearing all the vacuous speeches Blair has delivered in those many years in office anyone now wants to pay him huge fees to hear him give a speech? Even when it was free, people were sick of it.

Blair is simply collecting his payoff for selling out his country and sending British troops to die for American hegemony.

The Sunnis seem inclined to do the same thing if Bush will pay them enough.

Is the next phase of the Iraq war going to be a US-Sunni alliance against the Shi’ites?

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.  He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. 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. 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.

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Report critical of army in Iraq suppressed (video)

Secret Iraq Dossier Published By Chris Ames

What Do We Stand For? By Paul Craig Roberts