The FBI’s selective release of documents in the anthrax case by Glenn Greenwald

Dandelion Salad

by Glenn Greenwald
Aug. 6, 2008

(updated below – Update II – Update III)

After obtaining a federal judge’s approval to unseal the documents in the anthrax investigation, the FBI has released selected documents relating to its case against Bruce Ivins. Those documents can be viewed here.

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Suskind Revisited by Philip Giraldi

Dandelion Salad

by Philip Giraldi
August 7th, 2008

An extremely reliable and well placed source in the intelligence community has informed me that Ron Suskind’s revelation that the White House ordered the preparation of a forged letter linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda and also to attempts made to obtain yellowcake uranium is correct but that a number of details are wrong.

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The Forged Iraqi Letter: What Just Happened? By Ron Suskind

Dandelion Salad

By Ron Suskind
07/08/08 “Huffington Post

What just happened? Evidence. A secret that has been judiciously kept for five years just spilled out. All of what follows is new, never reported in any way:

The Iraq Intelligence Chief, Tahir Jalil Habbush — a man still carrying with $1 million reward for capture, the Jack of Diamonds in Bush’s famous deck of wanted men — has been America’s secret source on Iraq. Starting in January of 2003, with Blair and Bush watching, his secret reports began to flow to officials on both sides of the Atlantic, saying that there were no WMD and that Hussein was acting so odd because of fear that the Iranians would find out he was a toothless tiger. The U.S. deep-sixed the intelligence report in February, “resettled” Habbush to a safe house in Jordan during the invasion and then paid him $5 million in what could only be considered hush money.

In the fall of 2003, after the world learned there were no WMD — as Habbush had foretold — the White House ordered the CIA to carry out a deception. The mission: create a handwritten letter, dated July, 2001, from Habbush to Saddam saying that Atta trained in Iraq before the attacks and the Saddam was buying yellow cake for Niger with help from a “small team from the al Qaeda organization.”

The mission was carried out, the letter was created, popped up in Baghdad, and roiled the global newcycles in December, 2003 (conning even venerable journalists with Tom Brokaw). The mission is a statutory violation of the charter of CIA, and amendments added in 1991, prohibiting CIA from conduction disinformation campaigns on U.S. soil.

So, here we go again: the administration full attack mode, calling me names, George Tenet is claiming he doesn’t remember any such thing — just like he couldn’t remember “slam dunk” — and reporters are scratching their heads. Everything in the book is on the record. Many sources. And so, we watch and wait….

Pulitzer Prize-winner Ron Suskind is the author of The Way of the World. See

Copyright © 2008, Inc.

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Countdown: Suskind Interview + Worse than Watergate + Miss Buffalo Chip

New Book Claims Bush White House Used Forged Documents In Case For Iraq War


Does This Make You a Proud American? American Insouciance By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
08/07/08 “ICH”

Now that military officers selected by the Bush Pentagon have reached a split verdict convicting Salim Hamdan, a onetime driver for Osama bin Laden, of supporting terrorism, but innocent of terrorist conspiracy, do you feel safe?

Or are we superpower Americans still at risk until we capture bin Laden’s dentist, barber, and the person who installed the carpet in his living room?

The Bush Regime with its comic huffings and puffings is unaware that it has made itself the laughing stock of the world, a comedy version of the Third Reich.

Hamdan was not defended by the slick lawyers that got O.J. Simpson off, and he most certainly did not have a jury of his peers. Hamdan was defended by a Pentagon appointed US Navy officer, and his jurors were all Pentagon appointed US military officers with an eye on their careers. Even in this Kangaroo Court, Hamdan was cleared of the main charge.

The US Navy officer who was Hamdan’s appointed attorney is certainly no terrorist sympathizer. Yet even this United States officer said that the rules Bush designed for the military tribunals were designed to achieve convictions. He also said that the judge allowed evidence that would not have been admitted by any civilian or military US court. He said that the interrogations of Hamdan, which comprised the basis of the Bush Regime’s case, were tainted by coercive tactics, including sleep deprivation and solitary confinement.

Does this make you a proud American?

Do you think you are made more safe when you stand there while “your” government implements its own version of Joseph Stalin’s show trials?

The trial and conviction of Hamdan has made every American very unsafe.

The one certain fact about US law is that it is expanded until it applies to everyone. Consider RICO, for example, the asset freeze law that was intended only in criminal cases involving the Mafia; it wasn’t long before RICO found its way into civil divorce proceedings.

Bush’s multi-year, multi-billion dollar “war on terror” has been reduced to railroading a low level employee, a driver, for “terrorism.”

One would hope that the Hamdan verdict would be enough shame and ridicule for the US in one day. But no, Bush didn’t stop there. On his way to the Beijing Olympics, President Bush expressed “deep concerns” for the state of human rights in China.

But not in Guantanamo, nor in Abu Ghraib, nor in the CIA’s torture dungeons used for “renditions,” nor in Iraq and Afghanistan where the US is expert at bombing weddings, funerals, children’s soccer games, and every assortment of civilians imaginable.

As the good book says, clean the beam from your own eye before pointing to the mote in your brother’s eye.

But Americans, the salt of the earth, have neither beams nor motes. We are the virtuous few, ordained by God to impose our hegemony on the world. It is written, or so say the neocons.

What would President Bush say if, heaven forbid, the Chinese were as rude as he is and asked Mr. Superpower why the land of “freedom and democracy” has one million names on a watch list. China with a population four times as large doesn’t have a watch list with one million names.

What would President Bush say if China asked him why the US, with a population one-fourth the size of China’s has hundreds of thousands more of its citizens in prison? The percentage of Americans in prison is far higher than in China and is a larger absolute number.

What would President Bush say if China asked him why he used lies and deception to justify his invasion of Iraq. China, unlike Bush, is not responsible for 1.2 million dead Iraqis and 4 million displaced Iraqis.

China’s human rights policy is not perfect. China’s greatest human rights failing is that China is the Bush Regime’s prime enabler of its war crimes and human rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan. By financing Bush’s budget deficit, China is financing Bush’s gratuitous wars. Indeed, China can be said to finance the weaponry that the US gives Israel to enable the suppression of the Palestinians and with which to bomb the civilian population of Lebanon.

China is a serious human rights abuser, because China is complicit in Bush’s human rights abuses.

If we are honest about who is actually murdering and abusing people, it is the US, Israel, and the UK. There’s your “axis of evil.”

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.


Bin Laden’s driver gets 66 months

Bin Laden’s driver gets 66 months

Dandelion Salad

By Carol Rosenberg
Miami Herald

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — A six-member U.S. military jury Thursday sentenced Osama bin Laden’s driver to 66 months in prison.

With credit extended by the judge for time already served, that likely means he will serve five months before being sent back to the normal population.

Jurors deliberated just 70 minutes after a sentencing hearing in which Salim Hamdan, 40, expressed regret and apologized for any pain his actions caused victims of al Qaeda.


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.

The Future of the Internet

Dandelion Salad

19 min – Jul 28, 2008
Tom Foremski

The best panel (by far) at Fortune Brainstorm was “2018: Life on the Net.” It was moderated extremely well by Quincy Smith, CEO of CBS Interactive. On the podium was Lawrence Lessig, professor of Law at Stanford Law School, Joichi Ito, CEO of Creative Commons and Chairman of Six Apart Japan, and Philip Rosedale, founder and chairman of Linden Lab, (Second Life).

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Mosaic News – 8/6/08: World News from the Middle East

Dandelion Salad



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


Mosaic needs your help! Donate here:
“Mauritanian Army Stages Coup,” Dubai TV, UAE
“Iraqi Parliament Fails to Agree on Election Law,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Israel Releases Five More Prisoners in Swap Deal,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Settlers to Take Over Homes in Palestinian Neighborhood,” Palestine TV, Ramallah
“Hezbollah May Acquire Anti-Aircrafts Missiles,” IBA TV, Israel
“Life Returns to Normal in Beirut,” NBN TV, Lebanon
“New Sanctions Against Iran,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Bin Laden’s Driver Found Guilty,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

US Mortgage Crisis: Fannie and Freddie. Give Away the Farm

by Dr. Ellen Hodgson Brown
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Ellen’s blog post
August 7, 2008

Last week, Congress passed a housing bill that gave the Treasury Department a blank check to inject billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars into mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, snatching them from insolvency. To accommodate this blank check, Congress obligingly raised its debt ceiling by $800 billion. Ouch! That’s nearly a trillion dollars. Why was it necessary to incur this potentially crippling public debt to bail out two completely private, for-profit behemoths, which have run themselves into bankruptcy with their own risky investment schemes? Policymakers said it was essential to maintain the country’s creditworthiness with foreign lenders, which today hold about one-fifth of Fannie and Freddie securities. According to a July 21 report by Heather Timmons in The New York Times:

One out of 10 American mortgages is, in effect, in the hands of institutions and governments outside the United States.1

Ten percent of American mortgages are now owned by foreigners? Doesn’t that defeat the whole purpose of Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Mortgage Corporation)? They were supposedly set up to fund “the American dream” – home ownership by Americans. Today, American homes are owned by anonymous pools of private investors, many of whom are foreign governments and foreign central banks. How did we manage to give away the farm? And why are we bowing to the interests of foreign investors to the point of driving our own government into bankruptcy? The federal debt is already nearly ten trillion dollars, more than the government can ever possibly repay with taxes.

According to analysts, the bailout of the two mortgage giants is necessary “because America’s relations with a host of countries are intricately tied to Fannie and Freddie,” and because we need to assure “Americans’ future ability to gain access to credit. If foreign companies and governments abandon United States investments, home, auto and credit card loans will be much more difficult to come by.”2

The same sort of argument was once made by U.S. banks to get Third World countries to pay up on their foreign loans. The U.S., it seems, has finally achieved Third World debtor-nation status. For the last half century, the push for “free trade” has been all about preserving profitable opportunities for investment, finding ways to “make money” without actually making anything, exploiting the work of others by buying up corporations around the world and drawing profits off the top. But now the tables have turned. We have gone from being the world’s largest creditor to the world’s largest debtor. We spent our dollars abroad and now they are coming back to shop for our own real estate and corporate assets. Timmons observes:

Asian institutions and investors hold some $800 billion in securities issued by Fannie and Freddie, the bulk of that in China and Japan. China held $376 billion and Japan $228 billion as of June 2007 . . . . Russian buyers hold $75 billion. Sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East are also believed to be big investors in Fannie and Freddie debt.

Sovereign wealth funds (investment funds of sovereign nations and their central banks) are now busily buying up U.S. assets, in what Bill Bonner has called “the biggest transfer of wealth in history.” Writing in The Daily Reckoning on July 11, he observed:

[T]he balance sheet of the U.S. Fed shows $2.3 trillion of US treasury debt held in custody for foreign central banks. The harder the Fed fights the [economic] correction . . . the more money and credit it puts out. This monetary inflation causes prices for oil and imports to rise . . . and more money goes into foreign reserves and Sovereign Wealth Funds in the East, to be used to buy more assets in the West. Thanks to America’s mad monetary policy, these private assets are being taken into public ownership. Some of America’s most important properties are being nationalized . . . but by other nations.3

The ultimate irony is that these other nations may be buying our federal bonds and mortgage-backed securities with money they simply created on a printing press. John Succo is a hedge fund manager who writes on the Internet as “Mr. Practical.” He estimates that as much as 90 percent of foreign money used to buy U.S. securities comes from foreign central banks, which print their own local currencies, buy U.S. dollars with them, and then use the dollars to buy U.S. securities.4 These nations are doing what Congress itself has declined to do: exercising the sovereign right of governments to print their own money.

Unlike the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is wholly owned by a consortium of private banks, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is actually owned by the Chinese government. When Chinese merchants, awash with U.S. dollars, cash them in for local currency to pay their workers, the PBoC obliges by swapping dollars for government-issued renminbi. The workers get paid in local currency, and the PBoC gets the dollars for the cost of printing the renminbi. The PBoC then uses the dollars to buy either U.S. interest-bearing bonds or Fannie and Freddie securities, which have conveniently opened up U.S. real estate to foreign investment. In effect, American citizens are paying a foreign government to turn U.S. debt into money, using currency the foreign government issued by fiat (Latin for “let it be” or “so be it” – money simply ordered into existence by the sovereign).

Why doesn’t the U.S. government just issue its own fiat money? That solution may seem radical now, but it could start to look better if Congress has to do what President Roosevelt did in 1933 – declare national bankruptcy and call for a plan of reorganization. There is simply not enough money in the public till to bail out Bear Stearns, IndyMac, and now the private mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as pay $500 billion annually to service a gargantuan federal debt, and still have enough money left over to repair our failing infrastructure, develop sustainable energy systems, and generally provide for the Common Wealth. The cookie jar is empty, and it is empty because private profiteers have been helping themselves to the cookies.

If the Federal Reserve were made a truly “federal” agency, Federal Reserve Notes (dollar bills) could simply be issued by the U.S. government, instead of being borrowed from a private banking system that creates them with accounting entries and charges interest for the privilege. (See E. Brown, “Putting the ‘Federal’ Back in the Federal Reserve,”, July 26, 2008.) Rather than scrambling to find foreign investors to roll over a $10 trillion debt, Congress could just pay off the debt as the bonds came due, using the same sort of money that foreign central banks used to purchase the bonds in the first place – government-issued national currency. Congress would just be giving them their fiat money back.

As for Fannie and Freddie, they are too big to fail; but they aren’t too big to be nationalized. If we the people are paying the bills, we should get the stock. Fannie Mae began in the 1930s as a truly federal agency, funded by a wholly government-owned bank. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) advanced its own federal credit, which was used to fund not only the New Deal but the rapid industrialization that led to victory in World War II.5 The result was to make America the world leader in industry and productivity for most of the rest of the century. It may be time to try that experiment again. The RFC had some flaws, but they could be worked out. That is another subject, to be covered in another article. The bottom line here is that the deed to the farm needs to remain on these shores, and so does the sovereign power to issue money and credit. The existing system of banking and credit creation is teetering on the brink of a collapse brought about by its own internal contradictions and corruption. The system has long since failed in its primary mission of channeling this country’s resources towards investment in a sustainable future. As it stumbles from crisis to crisis, we have neither the time nor the resources to give it yet another chance to do the job. The time has come to clear the boards and begin a new game with new rules.


1. Heather Timmons, “Trouble at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Stirs Concern Abroad,” The New York Times (July 21, 2008) (emphasis added).

2. Ibid.

3. Bill Bonner, “The Biggest Transfer of Wealth in History,” The Daily Reckoning (July 11, 2008) (emphasis added).

4. Mike Shedlock, “Global Savings Glut Revisited,” Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis (December 26, 2006).

5. Richard Freeman, “How Roosevelt’s RFC Revived Economic Growth, 1933-45,” Economic Intelligence Review (March 17, 2006).

Ellen Brown,
J.D., developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles.  In Web of Debt, the latest of eleven books, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.”  She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves and how we the people can get it back.  Her websites are and

© Copyright Ellen Hodgson Brown,, 2008


Putting the Federal Back in the Federal Reserve

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

Federal Reserve

Racism and Genocide: Lies of Our Times by James Petras

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. James Petras
Global Research, August 6, 2008

One of the hallmarks of totalitarian ideologues is the use of the big lie: a virulent attack on a defenseless group and then a categorical denial turning victims into executioners and executioners into victims.

Zionist genocide promoter, Benny Morris practices the Big Lie1. He claims, “I have never supported the brutal expulsion of all Palestinians…I have said, repeatedly, that the expulsion of the Palestinians is immoral and impracticable.”

In a recent interview in Israel, Morris states, “Under some circumstances, expulsion is not a war crime. I don’t think that the expulsions of 1948 (of nearly a million Palestinians) were war crimes. You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands. Moreover, if he (Israeli Prime Minister Ben Gurion) was already engaged in expulsion, maybe he should have done a complete job. I know that this stuns the Arabs and the liberals and the politically correct types. But my feeling is that this place would be quieter and know less suffering if the matter had been resolved once and for all. If Ben-Gurion had carried out a large expulsion and cleaned the whole country – the whole land of Israel, as far as the Jordan River. It may yet turn out that this was his fatal mistake. If he carried out a full expulsion – rather than a partial one – he would have stabilized the State of Israel for generations.” In its extremism, Morris’ promotion of Judeo-fascist ethnocide of Palestine/Jordan exceeds that of any expressed by a secular public Jewish figure in Israel.

Uprooting, massacring and driving 3 million Palestinians from their homes, land and communities, according to Morris, lessens suffering – for Jews – and promises a quieter life for Israeli Jews! This is the same rationale that Hitler pronounced in his project to ‘purify’ Nazi Germany.

Morris fabricates a tale about Israel’s peaceful role in the Middle East when in fact it has been the most aggressive, militarist, expansionist state in the entire Middle East. He writes, “I am completely unaware that Zionism ever aimed to ‘rule the Middle East’…Zionism simply wanted to establish and maintain a (miniscule) Jewish state in the Land of Israel/Palestine, the patrimony of the Jews…conquered by savage Muslim Arab invaders.”

The history of the Israeli state tells us otherwise. Israel has expanded and colonized over three quarters of Palestine since the original partition in 1948. Israel has invaded Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and seized and occupies territory from three of the four countries. Israel is the only country in the Middle East, which has repeatedly invaded Lebanon, destroyed its infrastructure, slaughtered Palestinian refugees in camps and attempted to establish a puppet regime in South Lebanon. Israel is the only Middle Eastern country, which shot down a Libyan commercial airliner carrying pilgrims to Mecca killing all aboard.

Israel’s ‘lobby’ – the Zionist power configuration in the US – has secured over $120 billion dollars of US military aid and the most advanced military technology for Israel, to insure Israel’s ‘overwhelming military superiority’ in the region. The military superiority of Israel has served the Jewish state to threaten, pressure, destabilize and influence Arab states.

The biggest nuclear threat in the Middle East and the sole nuclear power (over 200 nuclear bombs) and the only country, which publicly threatens to attack with nuclear weapons – is Israel. Israel has engaged in cross border terrorist assassinations throughout the Middle East, training death squads in Northern Iraq (Kurdistan) to Colombia and recognizes no sovereign borders in pursuit of its hegemonic goals.

Morris’ style is as revelatory as the substance of his totalitarian beliefs. He claims, “Israel has been threatened by Iran with destruction and the Iranian nuclear project appears to have Israel as its target.” Apart from a vague remark, which was grossly mistranslated, of Iranian President Ahmadinejad about Israel “Disappearing from the page of history” (a remark pointing to a political change of the ethnic nature of the state), the Iranian government has never threatened to nuke Israel. Morris, the prophet of Armageddon, with special powers to delve into the “self-sacrificing mindset of the mullahs who run Iran,” knows that deterrence will not work. No evidence founded on action is presented. No history of Iranian foreign policy over the past 50 years is presented.

The key to understanding Benny Morris’ proposal for nuclear genocide is his totalitarian-racist view of Arabs, Muslims and Iranians. In an interview in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (2004) regarding Israeli-Palestinian relations he asserted, “Something like a cage has to be built for them…There is no choice. There is a wild animal there that has to be locked up in one way or another.” According to Morris, Palestinians are “barbarians who want to take our lives…At the moment that society is in the state of being a serial killer. It is a very sick society. It should be treated the way we treat individuals who are serial killers.” To Morris, the dispossessed Palestinians are the killers while the Israeli colonial state, which dispossessed millions, tortured tens of thousands, jailed hundreds of thousands and killed thousands and is building a huge ghetto wall destroying the livelihood of 3 million, is a sane, healthy society. Dehumanizing the victims and the use of sub-human analogies is common practice of totalitarian ideologues. Considering Muslims as sub-human eases the way to incinerating them with nuclear weapons.

Benny Morris bases his argument for launching a nuclear attack against Iran on two boldface lies: (1) “Every intelligence agency in the world believes the Iranian program is geared to making weapons, not to the peaceful application of nuclear power”; and (2) “Everyone knows that such measures (economic sanctions) have so far led nowhere and are unlikely to be applied.” The sixteen leading US intelligence agencies released a National Intelligence Estimate in 2007 based on all available high tech sources and inside informants, stating that Iran was not preparing enriched uranium for weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has permanent on site inspectors and makes continuous visits to Iranian nuclear facilities over the past decade, has not found any evidence of a weapons program. Every country, except Israel and the Zionist-dominated US Congress and White House believe that negotiations should continue. China, Russia, the states of the Middle East have supported sanctions among other countries. Iran’s uranium enrichment program is legal and is practiced by dozens of countries around the world. Only Israel, the US and the EU have arbitrarily decided to exclude Iran from developing nuclear enrichment programs for peaceful uses. Morris and the Israelis equate Iran’s legitimate activity with nuclear weapon production and extrapolate the latter to an immediate threat against Israel’s very existence.

Morris’ most laughable assertion is his claim that he “never advocated a genocidal attack on Iran with the aim of killing 70 million Iranians.” In his own words, just a few weeks earlier in a July 18 editorial in the New York Times he wrote, “Iran’s leaders would do well to re-think their gamble and suspend their nuclear program. Barring this, the best they could hope for is that Israel’s conventional air assault will destroy their nuclear facilities. To be sure, this would mean thousands of Iranian casualties and international humiliation. But the alternative is an Iran turned into a nuclear wasteland.”

By posing the question to Iran as one of ‘no choice’ but surrendering national sovereignty to an “Israeli nuclear threat’ Morris has pre-determined the result: Israel will have to engage in a genocidal nuclear assault on Iran. Morris’ double talk and utter confusion in claiming to oppose Iranian genocide while supporting ‘limited’ nuclear strikes against Iran revels his total ignorance of the most elementary consequences of the long-term, large-scale effects of radiation, contamination, economic devastation and widespread social trauma, not to mention the immediate effects of a thermonuclear attack on a populous nation. A nuclear strike against a country is genocidal in its effects on that nation – involving millions of human beings in Iran and throughout the entire region with widespread global contamination.

Benny Morris’ rant, in itself, is of no great concern were it limited to some Israeli version of a Munich beer hall. But the fact that ‘respectable’ capitalist print media, like the New York Times among others…publish and circulate blatant advocacy of nuclear genocide as ‘just another opinion’ is of prime political concern: It tells us how far imperial-militarism has infected Western political discourse; we have moved from a scratch to gangrene.

1 see NYT July 18, 2008

Postnote: A declaration signed by over 200 Israeli academics and peace activists was released August 5, 2008 stating:

There is no military, political or moral justification to initiate war with Iran. A constant flow of information bears witness to the fact that the Israeli government is seriously considering attacking Iran, in order to disrupt its nuclear plans. We do no disregard irresponsible actions by the Iranian government – we also oppose atomic weapons of mass destruction in the region. However, it is clear that the main source of the immediate danger of a new, widespread war stems from the policies of the Israeli government and the flow of threats from it, backed by provocative military maneuvers.

After serious consideration, we reiterate our position that all the arguments for such an attack are without any security, political or moral justification. Israel might get caught up in an act of adventurism that could endanger our very existence, and this without any serious effort to exhaust the political and diplomatic alternatives to armed conflict.

We are not certain that such an attack will occur. But the very fact that it is being weighed as a reasonable option makes it imperative that we warn and caution against the destructive results of an offensive strike against Iran.


Professor Petras is the author of Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of US Power (Clarity Press 2008) and The Power of Israel in the US (Clarity Press 2006).

© Copyright James Petras, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is:


The NYT: Making Nuclear Extermination Respectable

War with Iran – On, Off or Undecided? by Stephen Lendman

NYT Op-Ed: Israel Will Attack Iran

Iran Benny Morris’ response to Petras’ previous story h/t: Terry

Should ABC News reveal its anonymous sources? by Simon Owens

Posted with permission by the author.

by Simon Owens
guest blogger
Dandelion Salad
Simon’s blog post
Aug 7, 2008

In 2001 the news organization referenced “three well-placed but separate sources” in a story that later turned out to be false. Is it still obligated to protect these sources’ identities?

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War with Iran – On, Off or Undecided? by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, August 7, 2008

There’s good news and bad, mostly the latter but don’t discount the good. On May 22, (non-binding) HR 362 was introduced in the House – with charges and proposals so outlandish that if passed and implemented will be a blockade and act of war. It accused Iran of:

— pursuing “nuclear weapons and regional hegemony” that threatens international peace and America’s national security interests;

— overtly sponsoring “several terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah;”

— having close ties to Syria;

— possibly sharing “its nuclear materials and technology with others;”

— developing “ballistic technology” and ICBMs exclusively to deliver nuclear weapons;

— calling for the “destruction of Israel;”

— refusing to suspend its uranium enrichment program despite its legality;

— using its banking system to support proliferation and terrorist groups;

— supporting Hezbollah to dominate Lebanon and wage war on its government (of which Hezbollah is part);

— helping Hamas “illegally seize control of Gaza” (and) continuously bombard Israeli civilians with rockets and mortars;”

— financing Iraqi “Shia militant groups (and) Afghan warlords (to) attack American and allied forces;”

— destabilizing the Middle East “by underwriting a massive rearmament campaign by Syria;” and

— seeking regional hegemony to undermine “vital American national security interests.”

While stopping short of overtly declaring war, it proposes Congress:

— prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons “through all appropriate economic, political and diplomatic means;”

— urges the President to impose sanctions on:

(1) Iran’s Central Bank and all others supporting proliferation and terrorist groups;

(2) international banks that do business with proscribed Iranian banks;

(3) energy companies with $20 million or more investments in Iran’s oil or natural gas sectors since the 1996 Iran Sanctions Act; and

(4) all companies doing business with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

It further:

— demands that the President prohibit export of all refined oil products to Iran; impose “stringent inspection requirements” on everything entering and departing the country, including international movement of its officials;

— aims to deny foreign investors greater access to Iran’s economy and give US companies preferential treatment if and when sanctions are lifted; and

— enlists regional support against Iran and makes clear that America will protect its “vital national security interests in the Middle East,” implying by war if necessary.

Sanctions As A Form of War

Under the UN Charter’s Article 41, the Security Council (SC) may impose economic sanctions to deter (as Article 39 states) “any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.” Specific measures “may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.” Prior to imposition, however, the SC should determine if they’re warranted, “call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures,” make appropriate recommendations, and decide which specific ones, if any, to use short of armed force.

Under appropriate circumstances, and if imposed responsibly, sanctions may be warranted and have greater impact than diplomatic protests or posturing. They’re also hugely less problematic and costly than conflict. However, when irresponsibly used, for imperial gain, or as acts of vengeance or political punishment, they become siege warfare and should be judged accordingly. Most often, US pressure is for these purposes in violation of the UN Charter’s intent and spirit. As a result, grievous harm is caused – nowhere more horrifically than in Iraq from 1990 – 2003 when around 1.5 million Iraqis died and millions more suffered tragically and needlessly.

In far less extreme form, a similar strategy is being used against Iran – with no justification whatever. Last March, after a year of deliberations, the Security Council approved SC 1803 – a third set of Iranian sanctions for refusing to suspend its legal right to enrich uranium as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty allows. It followed two earlier rounds in July 2006 (SC 1696) demanding that Iran suspend uranium enrichment by August 31. When it refused, SC 1737 passed in December imposing limited sanctions. SC 1747 then tightened them in March 2007. It imposed a ban on arms sales and expanded a freeze on Iranian assets.

New sanctions extend the earlier ones but not as harshly as Washington wanted. Still they restrict dual-use technologies and authorize cargo inspections to and from the country suspected of carrying prohibited equipment and materials. They also tighten the monitoring of Iranian financial institutions and extend travel bans and asset freezes against persons and companies involved in Iran’s nuclear program.

On August 5, AP reported that Germany and the SC’s five permanent members (the so-called P5 + 1) “agreed yesterday to ‘seek’ new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program after the country failed to meet a weekend deadline to respond to an offer” discussed below. Its source is US State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos saying “we have no choice but to pursue further measures against Iran.”

Now the good news. By mid to late June, HR 362 had 169 co-sponsors. More were being added, and by August 1, 252 were on board. For a time it looked sure to pass quickly. Then anti-war groups reacted – with a tsunami of emails, phone calls, letters and visits to congressional members and their staffs. In spite of heavy AIPAC pressure for the resolution it wrote, they suspended action until the bill’s language is softened, so for now it’s stalled in committee (but not halted), and Congress is on recess until September 7 after both parties hold their conventions.

Talking Peace, Planning War

On July 16, the New York Times called Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns’ presence at the July 19 Geneva talks “the most significant diplomatic contact with Iran since” the 1979 revolution. It followed a June meeting (attended by no US representative) at which Germany and the Security Council’s five permanent members presented a package of “economic and diplomatic incentives” that failed to impress the Iranians. Predictably, neither did the July 19 meeting that ended in “deadlock” because America doesn’t “negotiate.” It demands.

In this case, the proposal offered a so-called “freeze-for-freeze” formula, with imprecise terms, under which Iran would stop enriching uranium in return for no additional sanctions for six weeks. At that point, formal negotiations would begin with no promises of concessions or compromise. Iran was given two weeks to reply. The US delegation said that Burns’ appearance was a one-time event, and by so doing revealed its deceit. For its part, Iran rejects deadlines, and its IAEA representative, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, expressed “grave concern” over America’s double standards on nuclear policy.

For the Bush administration, Iran’s nuclear program isn’t the issue. It’s mere subterfuge for what’s really at stake, but first a little background. Under Reza Shah Pahlevi, Iran undertook a nuclear program in 1957 and got a US research reactor in 1967. After the 1974 oil shock, and in spite of the country’s vast oil reserves, he established the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to use nuclear power generation for a modern energy infrastructure that would transform the entire Middle East’s power needs. He also wanted to reduce Iran’s dependence on oil, lessen its pressure to recycle petrodollars, and ally more closely with European companies through investments.

In the 1970s, W. Germany began Iran’s Bushehr civilian reactor complex. In 1978, Iran had the world’s fourth largest nuclear program, the largest in the developing world, and planned to build 20 new reactors by 1995. That year, it contracted with Russia to complete the Bushehr project, supply it with nuclear fuel, and transfer potentially dangerous technology, including a centrifuge plant for fissile material. Washington became alarmed. It got the Yeltsin government to back out, but Iran’s efforts continued with Russia supplying nuclear fuel, and it still does.

Earlier in 2002, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI – the opposition parliament in exile) claimed the country was pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program – including a Natanz uranium enrichment facility and an Arak heavy water one. US – Iranian confrontation followed using Iran’s nuclear program as pretext. Here’s what’s really at issue:

— Iranian sovereignty;

— its independence from US control;

— its immense proved oil reserves – third or fourth largest in the world by most estimates; also its vast proved natural gas reserves – ranked second largest in the world after Russia;

— America’s resolve to control and have veto power over them;

— Big Oil’s desire to profit from them;

— Iran’s size and location in the strategically important Middle East; its chokehold over the Strait of Hormuz through which millions of barrels of oil flow daily – about 20% of world production of around 88 million barrels;

— its strategic ties to Russia and China on energy, other commercial, and weapons deals; both countries are Iran’s largest foreign investors; Iran has vital security ties with them as well;

— these relationships’ spillover for control of Eurasia and the Caspian region’s vast oil and gas reserves through two organizations – the Asian Security Grid and more important Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a counterweight to an encroaching US-dominated NATO;

— its power and influence in a region the US and Israel want to dominate; and

— the immense power of the Israeli Lobby to influence US policy, including a possible war on Iran or minimally the harshest measures just short of one.

Congress On Board with the Israeli Lobby

At AIPAC’s June 2008 annual conference, most congressional members (over 300 attended), the leadership, and both parties’ presidential candidates expressed uncompromising support for Israel. They also backed harsh sanctions against Iran and even war if they prove ineffective.

For its part, AIPAC’s action agenda urged:

— stopping Iran’s nuclear program; getting Congress to pass HR 362 and the Senate’s equivalent SR 580; “calling on the administration to focus on the urgency of the Iranian threat and to impose tougher sanctions on Tehran;”

— urging the Senate to pass the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007 (S.970) – “to enhance United States diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by imposing additional economic sanctions against Iran, and for other purposes;” on September 25, 2007, it passed the House overwhelmingly; the Senate Finance and Banking Committees passed key provisions of the Senate version in two Iran sanctions bills;

— supporting the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007 (HR 2347) that “authorize(s) State and local governments to direct divestiture from, and prevent investment in, companies with investments of $20,000,000 or more in Iran’s energy sector;” and

— urging additional aid for Israel as the president requested, “support(ing) Israel’s quest for peace, (and) press(ing) the Arab states to do more to support Israeli-Palestinian talks.”

An earlier August 14, 2007 AIPAC “Issue Brief” is titled “Iran’s Support for Terrorism.” It claims that:

— “the radical regime in Iran has sponsored terrorism against the United States, Israel and the West for decades;”

— the State Department designates Iran “the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, noting its support for groups such as Hamas, ‘Hizballah’ and Islamic Jihad;”

— Tehran also sponsors the “insurgency in Iraq, supplied arms to the Taliban and hosted al-Qaeda terrorists;”

— it also “relentlessly pursu(es) nuclear weapons (and thus is) a particularly implacable and lethal regime;” and

— “only a sustained, unified international effort to isolate and sanction Iran is likely to convince it to give up these dangerous activities.”

The Bush administration agrees. So do most members of Congress, the leadership, and both parties’ presumptive presidential candidates in speeches at the June AIPAC conference. Obama oozed obeisance – “speaking from the heart as a true friend of Israel….when I visit with AIPAC, I am among friends. Good friends….who share my strong commitment (that) the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, tomorrow, and forever.” Though far less eloquent, McCain was equally supportive.

Obama assured attendees that he stands “by Israel in the face of all threats..speak(s) up when Israel’s security is at risk (and voices concern that) America’s recent foreign policy (hasn’t) made Israel more secure. Hamas now controls Gaza. Hizbollah has tightened its grip on southern Lebanon, and is flexing its muscles in Beirut. Because of the war in Iraq, Iran – which always posed a greater threat to Israel than Iraq – is emboldened and poses the greatest strategic challenge to the US and Israel in the Middle East in a generation….We must isolate Hamas….Syria continues its support for terror and meddling in Lebanon (and) pursu(es) weapons of mass destruction….There is no greater threat to Israel – or to the peace and stability of the region – than Iran. (It) supports violent extremists….pursues a nuclear capability….and threatens to wipe Israel off the map….my goal will be to eliminate this threat.”

AIPAC attendees loved it and his receptivity to attacking Iran. McCain’s comments no less plus his bad humor earlier in singing “bomb, bomb Iran” to the tune of a popular song on a May campaign stop. At AIPAC, he was just as supportive as Obama, wants increased military aid for Israel in FY 2009, and “foremost in (his mind) is the threat posed by the regime in Tehran….The Iranian President calls Israel a stinking corpse….it uses violence to undermine Israel in the Middle East peace process….(it supports) extremists in Iraq (killing) American soldiers….remains the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism….(and its) pursuit of nuclear weapons poses an unacceptable risk, a danger we cannot allow” with clear implications of what he means and what he may do as president.

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) on the “Iranian Threat”

Along with the Israeli Lobby, Bush neocons, and most Washington officials, Christian extremists from organizations like CUFI cite the “Iranian threat” as a recurrent theme, the country’s hostility to Israel and desire to “eliminate” the Jewish state, the danger it may do so if it acquires nuclear weapons, and the need to confront Iran preemptively – through sanctions, isolation and war if other measures fail.

Controversial Pastor and John McCain supporter John Hagee is its founder and national chairman, and his influence is considerable. He has 18,000 supporters in his San Antonio Cornerstone Church and far more through CUFI and his global television ministry. His ideology is chilling, and as the most powerful and influential American Christian Zionist, he’s a man to be reckoned with. He calls Muslims “Islamic fascists,” claims they’re at war with western civilization, and believes preemptive countermeasures, including belligerent ones against Iran, are a proper defense.

As keynote speaker at AIPAC’s 2007 conference, he called Iran “the most dangerous regime in the Middle East (characterized by its) cruel despotism (and) fanatic militancy. If this regime (acquires) nuclear weapons this would presage catastrophic consequences not only for my country, not only for the Middle East, but for all of mankind….The fact that Iran is building nuclear weapons is beyond question….and they may be the world’s first ‘un-deterable’ nuclear power….So the danger is clear and the question is what do we do about it…My message to you is….divest Iran,” impose sanctions, isolate the country, and if these measures fail choose a “second course,” the other two being “nothing” or “non-military action.” From his rhetoric at AIPAC and fundamentalist preaching to his followers, it’s clear which one Hagee prefers and may get if enough others in high places share his views.

Israeli Defense Minister and former Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barak may one of them. On July 30, he told top US officials that Israel won’t rule out a military strike against Iraq, but there’s still time to pursue diplomacy. Like other Israeli officials (past and present), he stressed Iran’s global threat so that for Israel “no option would be removed from the table.”

Israeli Deputy Defense Minister (and possible next Prime Minister) Shaul Mofaz stated similar views. In an August 1 speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (a pro-Israeli think tank), he called Iran an existential threat, recommended diplomacy first, then added “all options are on the table” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons – “as soon as 2010” as some in Israel claim.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (and Mofaz rival for Prime Minister) may be one of them. On CNN August 3, she called for a fourth round of sanctions against Iran and urged the world community to support them. “Iran doesn’t pay attention to talks,” she said, and “time is of the essence.” On the same day, US spokesperson for the US’s UN mission, Richard Grenell, (in a Reuters report) voiced the same view in saying “Iran has not complied with the international community’s demand to stop enriching uranium (so) the Security Council (has) no choice but to increase the sanctions….”

High Level US Opposition to War on Iran

Key Obama foreign policy advisor and former Carter administration National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is one of them. In a Washington Post March 2008 op-ed, he called the Iraq war a “national tragedy, (demagogically justified), an economic catastrophe, a regional disaster, and a global boomerang for the United States.” Earlier in February 2007, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he said it was “a historic, strategic, and moral calamity. Undertaken under false assumptions, it is undermining America’s global legitimacy….tarnishing (our) moral credentials (and) intensifying regional instability.”

He then laid out a “plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran (based on) Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran, culminating in a ‘defensive’ US military action” in response. This would plunge “a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Brzezinski’s remarks were an unmistakable warning that the Bush administration may try to stampede the country into a calamitous conflict it must avoid, and it’s up to Congress to stop it. He also practically called Bush neocons a cabal and warned Congress to be alert.

Later last September, Brzezinski repeated the same warning on CNN – that the Bush administration (Bush and Cheney mainly) is “hyp(ing) the atmosphere (and) “stampeding” the country to war with Iran. “When the president flatly asserts (Iran is) seeking nuclear weapons, he’s overstating the facts….we have very scant (supportive) evidence (and after the Iraq calamity he) should be very careful about the veracity of his public assertions.” Based on his own experience in Afghanistan in the 1980s, he’s also very leery about “running the (same) risk of unintentionally” falling into Russia’s trap – overreaching, paying “little regard for civilian casualties,” turning Afghans against us, and being defeated and forced out of the country.

Brzezinski supports a less confrontational occupation and had this to say about a McCain administration: “if his Secretary of State is Joe Lieberman and his Secretary of Defense is (Rudy) Giuliani, we will be moving towards the WW IV (counting the Cold War as WW III) that they have been both favoring and predicting….an appalling concept” he says must be avoided.

It will be if global intelligence company Stratfor founder and head George Friedman is right. In an August 4 Barrons interview (reported on Iran’s Press TV), he called Israeli war games and tough US talk geopolitical head-fake leading to an “amicable endgame in Iran.” Why? Because given today’s global economy, the alternative risks far outweigh potential benefits. Besides, Iran poses at most a “negligible nuclear threat” and nowhere near reason enough to go to war over.

Further, Iran has helped reduce sectarian violence in Iraq by reigning in Shia militias, and that’s a key reason for lower US casualties. Barrons noted that Stratfor has a record of making accurate assessments and gained a large client base as a result. Friedman believes the US and Israel are using psychological warfare to intimidate Iran to make it more accommodative to their policies. He also says a major attack would have grave repercussions for the global economy at a time when it’s most vulnerable. Iran’s potential retaliatory strength might cripple a sizable amount of world oil trade, cause prices to skyrocket, and exacerbate an already shaky situation at the worst time.

He says the Pentagon has war-gamed an attack, and believes it can make short work of Iran’s shore-based missile batteries and attack ships. De-mining operations would take much longer. In the meantime, oil prices could hit $300 a barrel, shipping insurance and tanker lease rates would soar, and economic stability would collapse. In the near-term, it would be “cataclysmic to the global economy and stock market.”

Up to now, two years of talks on Iran’s nuclear program have been more “Kabuki theater” than a real effort at serious negotiation. In addition, Friedman says Iran is “decades away” from developing a credible nuclear weapons capacity even if it intends to pursue one. At best, in his judgment, it may be able to come up with a crude device like the North Koreans managed and apparently tested in 2006. No reason to go to war over if he’s right and one among many more vital issues that influential American figures cite to oppose one.

Pentagon Crosscurrents on Iran

In late June, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Michael Mullen, visited Israel – his second trip there since his October 1 appointment, but this time with a clear (official US) message according to defense analyst and former Pentagon official Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). It was that “the US did not give the green light for an Israeli attack on Iran….George Bush made it clear to all parties that the first option is diplomacy,” and no attack should be undertaken without White House approval. Mullen further suggested that US policy likely will remain unchanged under George Bush, and that future plans will be up to the next incumbent – a strong hint that cooler high-level Washington figures know the folly of a wider Middle East war and want no part of one.

Nonetheless, there’s no assurance they’ll win out, and analyst Michael Oren of the Shalem Centre told CBS News that Bush administration officials assured Israelis that Iran wouldn’t be allowed to develop a nuclear weapons capacity with strong hints of an attack if one continues. Then on March 11, CENTCOM commander William Fallon was sacked following reports that he sharply disagreed with Bush administration Middle East policy. On April 24 Iraq commander, and noted super-hawk, David Petraeus was named to replace him, and following an easy Senate confirmation will take over in September.

In June 2007, another change of command occurred when George Bush replaced Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace because of his public disagreement over policy. On February 17, 2006 at a National Press Club luncheon, he responded to a question: “It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral.” He later added that commanders should “not obey illegal and immoral orders to use weapons of mass destruction….They cannot commit crimes against humanity.” Nor should they go along with wrong-headed illegal schemes of remaking the Middle East and other regions militarily, but until Admiral Mullen’s comments to Israelis it looked like a compliant Pentagon team was in place to pursue it.

Whatever’s ahead, it appears high-level opposition figures have surfaced with practical (past and present) trilateralists among them. Figures like Brzezinski, Jim Baker, Henry Kissinger, George Tenet, Paul Volker, Jimmy Carter, George Soros, David Rockefeller, many other top business executives, and even GHW Bush. Their concern over present policy is having an effect, but there’s no certainty about which side will prevail. However, with Congress out until September, things are on hold, and time is fast running out on a lamer-than-lame duck administration, according to some.

Even The New York Times is sending mixed messages it will have to clarify in coming weeks. In a June 10 editorial, it said: “If sanctions and incentives cannot be made to work, the voices for military action will only get louder. No matter what aides may be telling Mr. Bush and Mr. Olmert – or what they may be telling each other – an attack on Iran would be a disaster,” implying it’s wrong, won’t work and will devastate the economy. Then on July 18, it then gave Israeli historian and apologist Benny Morris op-ed space for a vicious and Orwellian headlined diatribe: “Using Bombs to Stave Off War.”

In it, he states “Israel will almost surely attack Iran’s nuclear sites in the next four to seven months (conventionally).” Should that “assault fail to significantly harm or stall the Iranian program….a nuclear (attack) will most likely follow.” The world has “only one option if it wishes to halt Iran’s march toward nuclear weaponry: the military” one by “either the United States or Israel.” But America is bogged down in two wars, and “the American public has little enthusiasm” for more.

“Which leaves only Israel – the country threatened almost daily with destruction by Iran’s leaders….Iran’s leaders would do well to rethink their gamble and suspend their nuclear program.” Otherwise, an Israeli attack “will destroy their nuclear facilities (even though) this would mean thousands of Iranian casualties and international humiliation.”

It’s high time The New York Times (and other major media voices) took a stand. Is it opposed to further regional conflict, or in James Petras’ words: is it for “the nuclear incineration of 70 million Iranians and the contamination of the better part of a billion people in the Middle East, Asia and Europe” plus an unimaginable amount of retaliatory fallout with the entire Muslim world against the West and Israel.

Yet a June 2008 Presidential Task Force on the Future of US-Israeli Relations statement calls for “Cooperation on the Iranian Nuclear Challenge” and to consider “coercive options” against it, including embargoing Iranian oil and “preventive military action.” It was at the time Haaretz reported that Israel conducted large-scale exercises (focusing on long-range strikes) “that appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack” on Iran. Statfor’s George Friedman downplayed them, called them “psychological warfare” saber-rattling, not preparations for war, and why would Israel telegraph plans if that’s what it has in mind. In 1981, it gave no hint it intended to bomb Iraq’s Osirak reactor, and when it came it was a surprise.

Other Crosscurrents

For brief moments earlier, positive developments surfaced, only to be swept aside by a torrent of anti-Iranian hostility. The Baker Commission December 2006 report recommended engaging Iran and Syria “constructively” and called for a “New Diplomatic Offensive without preconditions,” all for naught. Then last December the National Intelligence Assessment (representing the consensus of all 16 US spy agencies) concluded that Iran “halted” its nuclear weapons program in 2003, and it remains frozen, again without effect.

At the same time, battle plans are in place under code name TIRRANT for Theater Iran Near Term. And under a top secret “Interim Global Strike Alert Order” and CONPLAN (contingency/concept plan) 8022, Washington may preemptively strike targets anywhere in the world using so-called low-yield extremely powerful nuclear bunker buster weapons. Iran is the apparent first target of choice, and US Naval carrier strike groups are strategically positioned in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean to proceed on command.

A recent May World Tribune report cited a second carrier group in the Gulf and secret (approved but not implemented) US naval and air plans for an Iran “counterstrike” in response to “escalating tensions that would peak with an Iranian-inspired insurgency strike against US” forces – that might easily be another Gulf of Tonkin-type incident. So the question remains, are we heading for war or is it just “head-fake” as George Friedman believes?

Sy Hersh On “Preparing the Battlefield”

On June 29 in the New Yorker magazine, Hersh reported more crosscurrents and added to what’s covered above. On the one hand, Congress will fund “a major escalation of covert operations against Iran,” according to his high-level sources. As much as $400 million will go to minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi dissident groups, to “destabilize the country’s religious leadership,” aim for regime change, and gain intelligence on Iran’s “suspected nuclear-weapons program.”

The plan apparently involves stepped up covert CIA and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) operations authorized by a highly classified Presidential Finding about which some congressional leaders have little knowledge and have voiced concern. By law, party leaders and ranking intelligence committee members must be briefed, but apparently it’s been done selectively.

On the other hand, Hersh says Pentagon military and civilian leaders are concerned about “Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” but disagree “whether a military strike is the right solution.” Some oppose one, want diplomacy instead, and apparently Robert Gates is one of them – a former Iraq Study Group member until he became Secretary of Defense in December 2006. In late 2007, he apparently warned the Democrat Senate caucus of grave consequences if the Bush administration preemptively attacked Iran – saying it would create “generations of jihadists, and our grandchildren will be battling (them) in America.”

Admiral Mullen also is “pushing back very hard” against an attack along with “at least ten senior flag and general officers, including combatant commanders” in charge of military operations around the world. One of them is Admiral Fallon who lost his CENTCOM job for opposing an attack even though he agrees on Iran’s possible threat.

Looking Ahead

More good news for what it’s worth. On August 2, tens of thousands across the US and Canada protested against a possible attack on Iran. On the bad side, unprecedented numbers, in vain, did as well ahead of the Iraq war, but this time influential Washington figures support them.

With Congress on recess, it’s too soon to know what’s ahead, but one thing’s for sure. Neocons still run things. Dick Cheney leads them, and he claims Iran intends to destroy Israel, is developing nuclear weapons, and is a “darkening cloud….right at the top of the list” of world trouble spots and needs to be addressed (along with Syria) as the next phase of “the road map to war.” With five months to go and heavy firepower to call on, he and George Bush have plenty of time left (as this writer said earlier) to incinerate Iran and end the republic if that’s what they have in mind. Better hope they don’t or that cooler heads win out for a different way.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM – 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening.

© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008

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A Vote For Military Force Against Iran? AIPAC’s House Resolution, H. Con. Res. 362

HR 362 and the Alarming Escalation of Hostility Towards Iran

Iran always ready for dialogue


Kucinich: Mindless threats imperil millions + Oil companies’ influence over govt

Preparing the Battlefield by Seymour M. Hersh

Bambi vs. Godzilla: Bambi Needs Your Help! by Josh Sidman

by Josh Sidman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Josh’s Blog Post
Aug. 7, 2008

For those who don’t already know, Cindy Sheehan (a well-known anti-war activist who lost her son in the Iraq War) is running against Nancy Pelosi for her Congressional seat in San Francisco. In my opinion, every American who recognizes the tragic crimes that have been perpetrated by the Bush Administration — and which have not been energetically opposed by the Democratic leadership — should line up behind this courageous woman. She is fighting an uphill battle, and she needs and deserves our support.

We all know that Bush & Co. are evil to the core and belong in jail. That’s old news and doesn’t require any further discussion. But, perhaps every bit as responsible for the terrible situation our country is in are the members of Congress who knew that what was going on was wrong but lacked the courage or conviction to put their careers on the line in order to resist the murderous Administration. And, if anyone is emblematic of the complacent, weak-willed “opposition”, it is Nancy Pelosi.

In addition to caving in to the Administration and enabling it to pursue an obviously unjust war and continuing to fund it for 5 years, Pelosi single-handedly took impeachment “off the table”. Now, stop for a second and ask yourself why she would have done such a thing. Do you think she has any doubt that the Administration has committed impeachable offenses? No. Rather, she has made a cold-blooded political calculation that not enough Americans care about the damage that has been done in our names and that pursuing impeachment would be “politically risky”. In other words, she has condoned and enabled mass-murder because she doesn’t want to risk losing her job, and she is counting on you not to notice or care enough to do anything about it.

So, my question to you is, is she right? Is it true that not enough Americans care enough to demand that our government oppose the criminality of the current Administration and hold Bush & Co. accountable for their crimes? Why haven’t you called or e-mailed your representatives in Congress to demand that they support impeachment? Why haven’t you written a check to Cindy Sheehan’s campaign to help her fight for something that is so obviously right?

We have all been asleep at the switch for far too long, and the consequences have been truly horrific. It may not be too late to prevent the collapse of our society, but it is damn close. If you would rather spend that $200 on a new iPhone, or $60 on another eighth of weed, rather than use it to help someone who has paid the ultimate price in her quest to save our country, then you truly don’t deserve all of the privileges and benefits you enjoy as an American citizen — and you probably won’t continue to enjoy them for long.

To join me in contributing to Cindy’s campaign, please visit Cindy Sheehan for Congress.



This is Horsesh** by Cindy Sheehan

Time for Pelosi to go – Vote Independent Cindy Sheehan

The Most Important Election In The United States of America in 2008

The surge means CHARGE! by Bruce Gagnon

Money Bomb For The Peace Mom Aug 6th! + Help Cindy Sheehan Get On The Ballot

New World Order Out Of Chaos: The Coming Economic Depression

Dandelion Salad


Vodpod videos no longer available.

Are we facing Financial Armageddeon?

I can’t say I’ve ever lived through a Depression, but it sure looks like I will be in the near future, and it doesn’t look like some major event is going to be avoided, and as always, the perpetrators will be the saviours once again, bringing the world under a more centralized framework, and thus begins the cashless society and the end of the middle class in the west, and hello to Socialism on a grand scale

It would be nice to envision a society who stands up to this constant raping of our God given rights as Humans to exist on a planet, but really, I try to talk to people all the time who don’t know or care what’s going on, and the conclusion I come to is that things will get a lot worse before they get better….

I don’t know if it’s the TV or the flouride in the water, but I find people have turned into such greedy, callous, petty, little swines…Just look at the faces of people next time you walk down a street…the air of self importance, wearing sun-glasses in the rain, googly eyed & eared over their Blackberries & radiation phones..feels like humanity lost, into a vortex of materialism and illusion.

This recession could easily tip into a depression…

Wall Street fears for next Great Depression…

U.S. Stocks Tumble, Sending Dow to Worst June Since Depression…

Auto sales plunge again…

Chrysler US sales plunge 29 percent in July…

Iowa faces potential $3 billion in crop loss…

U.S. retail sales plunge; gift cards used for basics…

Hundreds of banks will fail, Roubini tells Barron’s…

Slide in house prices is the worst since the Great Depression…

Housing to enter depression phase in Australia…

BIS warns of Great Depression dangers from credit spree…

RBS issues global stock and credit crash alert…

Royal Bank of Scotland poised for biggest loss in UK banking history…

Morgan Stanley warns of ‘catastrophic event’ as ECB fights Federal Reserve…

The global economy is at the point of maximum danger…

Stressed banks borrow record amount from Fed…

US junk-bond defaults may quadruple…

Monetary steps not seen since 1929 Great Depression: RBI…

Ron Paul: “Some Big Events Are About To Occur”…

California foreclosure “surge”: Up 327% from ’07 levels…

Housing bill provision rattles privacy, small business groups…

Cashless society by 2012, says Visa chief…


Ron Paul: Something Big is Happening

The Economy Sucks and or Collapse

False Flags, Lies & Nuclear Missiles

Dandelion Salad


Music: Which Side Are you On?
Natalie Merchant
By Florence Reece (1930)

Bill Hicks: A Choice
We Are

Continue reading

Secret EU security draft risks uproar with call to pool policing and give US personal data

Dandelion Salad

by Ian Traynor in Brussels
The Guardian,
Thursday August 7 2008

Closer links needed to beat terrorism and crime

Blueprint wants new force to patrol world flashpoints

Audio link (interview by Ian Traynor)

Europe should consider sharing vast amounts of intelligence and information on its citizens with the US to establish a “Euro-Atlantic area of cooperation” to combat terrorism, according to a high-level confidential report on future security.

The 27 members of the EU should also pool intelligence on terrorism, develop joint video-surveillance and unmanned drone aircraft, start networks of anti-terrorism centres, and boost the role and powers of an intelligence-coordinating body in Brussels, said senior officials.


Last month the American Civil Liberties Union wrote to MEPs pressing Brussels to reject US pressure because the US is “a country that, in privacy terms, is all but lawless … US privacy laws are weak. They offer little protection to citizens and virtually none to non-citizens.”


h/t: CLG

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