RussiaToday on Mar 17, 2009
Its been heavily contested in the UK that civil liberties have been eroded in recent years to fight terrorism. British journalist Paul Donovan believes it could all stem from the 1970s conflict in Northern Ireland.
Note: new tag for featured writers on DS: Dandelion Salad Featured Writers
“The story of Turkish involvement in transnational jihadism is one of the best kept stories of the war on terror.”
Brian Glyn Williams, associate professor who “has tracked the movement of jihadis for the U.S. military’s Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
A newly released AP article notes that al-Qaida is recruiting many foreign fighters – from Turkey, Central Asia, Chechnya and the Middle East – for the war in Afghanistan. According to the article,
“Turkey appears to have emerged as a source of recruits. Williams estimated as many as 100 Turks had made their way to Pakistan to join the fight in Afghanistan.”
This story directly links to a 1998 DIA report on Al Qaeda’s Central Asia activities obtained by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch which calls the following disclosure a “stunning information point”:
“A good deal of information concerning OBL’s and al Qaeda’s efforts in Chechnya, the Caucuses, Crimea, and the Central Asian Republics is covered in the (report). The confirmed existence of a “direct route to Chechnya from Pakistan and Afghanistan through Turkey and Azerbaijan””
In a related article in November 2007, UK Times covers the case of Turkish Al Qaeda operative, Louai Al-Sakka, an “al-Qaeda Kingpin” who trained the 9/11 hijackers. The article highlights the key role played by Turkey as a center of al-Qaeda-related activities:
“(Sakka’s) ability to keep providing high-quality forged papers made Turkey a main hub for Al-Qaeda movements,” his lawyer says.
Sakka’s lawyer said: “Just like there is money laundering, there is also terrorist laundering and Turkey was the centre of this.””
As mentioned in my earlier piece, a large number of detained and captured terrorists have had Turkish passports – both real and fake. Here is a list of just a few of many documented cases of Turkish terrorists:
* Turkish citizen Soitekin Ollu admitted that he was an active member of an al-Qaeda linked organization from 2001-2005 and had operated in Chechnya (source)
* A German man with a Turkish passport, Zafer Sari, and Turkish-born Adem Yilmaz, both “accused conspirators” in a bomb-making plot in Germany, had received training in Pakistan “to prepare chemical explosives and military-grade detonators” (source)
* Egyptian man, Wael Abdel Rahman Kishk, arrested in 2002 with “a fake Egyptian pilot’s uniform, phony documents identifying him as a pilot and a forged certificate from a Florida flight school” had a fake Turkish passport (source)
* Turkish citizen, Genan Ahmet, was convicted “for organizing several terrorist acts” in Kyrgyzstan in 2000. (source)
Turkey’s involvement in nuclear black-market, illegal weapon trafficking, narcotics, the Islamization of Central Asia, and illegal activities within the US Government are also very well-guarded secrets.
Turkey’s Lead Role in Afghan Heroin Trade is One of the Best Kept Stories of the Wars on Terror & Drugs
According to the State Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs’ 2006 Report:
* Turkey is a major transit route for Southwest Asian opiates to Europe, and serves as a base and refining center for major narcotics traffickers and brokers….
* Turkey is also a base of operations for international narcotics traffickers and associates trafficking in opium, morphine base, heroin, precursor chemicals and other drugs. The majority of these opiates originate in Afghanistan, and are ultimately trafficked to Western Europe.
* Turkey remains a major route, refining center and storage, production and staging area, for the flow of heroin to Europe. Turkish-based traffickers and brokers operate in conjunction with narcotics smugglers, laboratory operators, and money launderers in and outside Turkey. They finance and control the smuggling of opiates to and from Turkey. Afghanistan is the source of most of the opiates reaching Turkey.
* Opiates and hashish also are smuggled to Turkey overland from Afghanistan via Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
In 1997, British Home Office Minister Tom stated that 80% of the heroin seized in Britain came from Turkey, and that his government was concerned by reports that members of the Turkish police, and even of the Turkish government, were involved in drug trafficking.
In 1998 France’s Le Monde Diplomatique reported that:
“he MIT (Turkey’s Intelligence agency) itself accuses its rival organisation, Turkey’s national police, of having “provided police identity cards and diplomatic passports to members of a group which, in the guise of anti-terrorist activities, traveled to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary and Azerbaijan to engage in drug trafficking.
Further, journalist Adrian Gatton quotes Chris Harrison, a senior Customs officer in Manchester, that Customs could not get at the Turkish kingpins because they are “protected” at a high level.
Drug Trafficking Finances Terrorism
With 93% of worldwide heroin supplynow coming from Afghanistan, groups like al-Qaeda and the Taliban necessarily benefit from this trade with their Turkish partners. Despite the odd attempts by the US government to cut off money flows to terrorist groups by focusing on charities, most of the funding comes from trafficking in drugs.
* In 2004, the Washington Times quoted Rep. Kirk-IL, a member of the House Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee saying:
“We now know Al Qaeda’s dominant source of funding is the illegal sale of narcotics.”
* Time Magazine reported in 2004:
“…al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies are increasingly financing operations with opium sales. Anti-drug officials in Afghanistan have no hard figures on how much al-Qaeda and the Taliban are earning from drugs, but conservative estimates run into tens of millions of dollars.”
Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds summed up the situation in Part Two of her Highjacking of the Nation series:
“We know that Al Qaeda and Taliban’s main source of funding is the illegal sale of narcotics. Based on all the reports, facts, and expert statements, we know that Turkey is a major, if not the top, player in the transportation, processing, and distribution of all the narcotics derived from the Afghan poppies, and as a result, it is the major contributing country to Al Qaeda. Yet, to date, more than five years into our over exhaustive ‘war on terror propaganda’, have we heard any mentioning of, any tough message to, any sanction against, or any threat that was issued and targeted at Turkey?”
Turkey’s Active Participation in Nuclear Black-Market and Illegal Weapon Trafficking is one of the Best Kept Stories of the War on Terror & WMD
* As reported in the New York Times, at least two Turkish businessmen were key suppliers to A.Q. Khan’s nuclear proliferation network. Turkey was used to manufacture hardware for the network, and was also used for trans-shipment of nuclear technology on the black market. When authorities intercepted a ship called BBC China as it was delivering nuclear hardware to Libya in 2003, consignments from Turkish Businessman, Gunes Cire and Selim Alguadis, were found on board.
* As far back as 2000, Bill Clinton was forced to halt a deal to supply Turkey with nuclear technology because of Turkey’s role in the nuclear black market.
* In another case covered extensively by the LA Times & PBS: Turkish businessman Zeki Bilmen of Giza Technologies in New Jersey shipped nuclear detonators to the AQ Khan network in Pakistan via South Africa. Both the US mainstream media and the court documents (pdf) in the case, while they named the nationalities of all players and companies involved in this case, they excluded the nationality of Bilmen and Giza Technologies.
* Further proof of Turkey’s involvement in the nuclear black market came in early 2008 in the UK’s Times. The Times reported that:
“Turkish agents in Washington… were selling the information on to (nuclear) black market buyers, including Pakistan.”
* In 2008, Phil Giraldi, former CIA operative stationed in Turkey, discussed Turkey’s role in using:
“falsified end-user certificates on weapons purchased in the United States to enable sales to third countries not allowed access to the technology. Principal recipients include the five “Stans” in central Asia—Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan.”
* According to a report by Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEA), at least 104 nuclear smuggling incidents had occurred in the past eight years in Turkey. For instance, in September 1999, 5 Kilograms of Uranium enriched to 4.6 percent were confiscated from an international smuggling ring in Turkey, which included four Turkish, one Azerbaijani, and three Kazakhstani citizens. The report cites over one hundred incidents like this, and these are only cases that have been intercepted and reported.
Turkey’s Operations in Islamization of Central Asia & Balkans via Mosques and Madrassas is one of the Best Kept Stories in US Pipeline Politics
* In 1999, Washington Times reported that:
“Some members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which has financed its war effort through the sale of heroin, were trained in terrorist camps run by international fugitive Osama bin Laden…
* Similarly, the Wall Street Journal, Europe reported in 2001:
“For the past 10 years, the most senior leaders of al Qaeda have visited the Balkans, including bin Laden himself on three occasions between 1994 and 1996. The Egyptian surgeon turned terrorist leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has operated terrorist training camps, weapons of mass destruction factories and money-laundering and drug-trading networks throughout Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Bosnia. This has gone on for a decade.”
* Turkish organizations such as the Gulen ‘movement,’ a $25 billion economic powerhouse, reportedly financed by the CIA, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, has been establishing madrassas and mosques across Central Asia – including Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – for the past decade.
The construction and operation of these madrassas and mosques appear to serve a number of purposes:
1. Indoctrination and radicalization of students
2. Providing a front for CIA and State Department-sanctioned ‘teachers’ to operate with the protection of Diplomatic passports.
* The Gulen movement itself has “a university, eleven high schools, one primary school and nine education facilities training university applicants” in Azerbaijan, while the Turkish government itself is “sponsoring Islamic educational projects” featuring “a specifically Turkish form of Islam in this Shi‘a majority country.”
* We see the same pattern of mosque building in Kazakhstan. Wikipedia states that:
“Construction of mosques and religious schools accelerated in the 1990s, with financial help from Turkey, Egypt, and, primarily, Saudi Arabia.”
* And we see more of the same in Turkmenistan:
“Since 1990… More religious institutions, including religious schools and mosques, have appeared, many with the support of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Turkey.”
The US government support and use of Turkey as a proxy in Central Asia and the Islamization activities in these ex-Soviet States have been guarded as State Secrets and “covert operations.” I covered this operation and Gulen’s movement in my two previous pieces here and here.
An FBI whistleblower case involving Turkey and Central Asia is one of the most gagged and Best Kept Secrets
Here is how the US government ensured that Edmonds’ case involving Turkey and Central Asia remains a best kept secret:
* The US Justice Dept invoked the State Secrets Privilege on Edmonds case in 2002. Here is the press release from the DoJ announcing the decision.
* The US Justice Dept invoked the State Secrets Privilege a second time in 2003 (pdf) when Sibel was subpoenaed in a 911-related civil case. The Justice Department quashed the subpoena in an emergency motion “in order to protect the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States.”
* New York Times front page story in 2003 reports: Justice Department Gags Congress in Sibel Edmonds case. Senator Grassley said, “This is about as close to a gag order as you can get.”
* When the FBI’s Inspector General issued a report which vindicated Sibel’s case, it was immediately classified. A redacted version of the report which was recently released (pdf) is 90% blacked out. A recent NPR report on Sibel’s case calls this document a “must read.”
* The media and the public are barred from Edmonds’ court appeal, reported Washington Post in 2005. “The court’s unusual decision to close arguments prompted a challenge by Edmonds’s attorneys. That challenge was supported by news organizations, including the Associated Press. ”
Turkey & Central Asia: Best Kept Secrets
Major stories and cases involving Turkey and Central Asia, whether it is Turkish militants entering Afghanistan to join al-Qaeda, or Turkish operatives involved in Islamization and radicalization in Central Asia via mosques and madrassas, or the Turkish dealers running heroin trade and nuclear black market operations, or a US citizen and FBI whistleblower whose case involves Turkish and Central Asian targets in the US, are always, as Professor Williams says, Best Kept Stories.
The “Sacrifice” of Aldo Moro
Through NATO, working with various Western European intelligence agencies, the CIA set up a network of stay behind “secret armies” which were responsible for dozens of terrorist atrocities across Western Europe over decades. This report will focus on the stay behind army in Italy, as it is the most documented. Its codename was Operation Gladio, the ‘Sword’.
July 18, 2008
WASHINGTON – The Bush Administration has come under fire for planning talks with Iran after stating that such a meeting was like appeasing the Nazis before World War II. “Those folks who see this as an apeasication are erroneously wrong,” said President Bush, “The people who we are trying to apeasify are the liberal press who say we should talk first before we shock and awe them, so it is our domesticated criticizers for who we will perform this appeasiotomy.”
“The Bush Administration is giving these talks every opportunity to succeed” said Presidential Press Secretary Dana Perino, “so we’re sending John Bolton and Hulk Hogan to talk some sense into the Iranians.” When asked why she would not join the discussion, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, “what would be the point? They don’t make very good shoes over there.”
Presumed Republican Presidential candidate John McCain, who has scoffed at talking with Iran, said, “talk is cheap, I wish gas prices were. That’s a little joke,” he told a suddenly silent crowd in Colorado Springs, “Look, my friends, what I mean is why bother to have a conversation with them when our bombs will be doing the talking in Iran for at least a hundred years.”
“By staging these talks first,” said Vice President Dick Cheney, “we will always be able to say, we tried before they died.”
Topics that Bush says will be discussed will be who should have won American Idol, whether Hulk Hogan’s wife is a bitch and how Iran will meet the deadline of next Thursday to name George W. Bush the “Decider for Life.” “Nuclear proliferation was originally on the table,” said a White House spokesperson, “but Nancy Pelosi just yanked back that table saying it now may be needed for impeachment.”
July 16, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – When it comes to Latino voters, Senator John McCain has become an equilibrista or tightrope walker. “I need the damn Hispanic votes,” McCain said, “but the Republican voter base hates Latinos, so if I say anything good about them, I’m screwed.” So far on the campaign trail, McCain has been telling Latino groups he still supports his original position of humane immigration reform, while assuring his Republican base voters that he despises the disease-ridden free loaders who don’t want to learn English.
“We have been concentrating on placing advertising on Spanish radio and TV stations which says John supports their concerns,” said Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, “I call it the no diga a Gringo approach, that is I, John McCain support you, but don’t tell whitey that I want to help you. At the same time, we will pound the traditional media with his new stand on how much he wants to have the illegals sent back to wherever they came from, after they vote for him, of course.”
“It pays to be bilingual and bi-positioned,” McCain said.
“Sounds more like McCain is bipolar,” said Howard Dean Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
With the economic news of the week of July 14—the continuing crisis among mortgage lenders, the onset of bank failures, the announced downsizing of General Motors, the slide of the Dow-Jones below 11,000—we are seeing the ongoing collapse of the U.S. economy.
Even the super-rich are becoming nervous as cries for an emergency suspension of short selling ring out.
What is really taking place, however, is that the producing economy of working men and women is being crushed by the overall debt burden on households, businesses, and governments that could reach $70 trillion by 2010. The financial system, including mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is bankrupt, as the debts it is based on cannot be repaid.
This is because the producing economy of people who work for a living simply can no longer generate enough purchasing power for people either to pay their debts or allow them to purchase what is being sold in the marketplace. In turn it is the debt burden and the loss of societal purchasing power that are crashing the stock market. Thus the collapse of the financial economy has started to destroy the producing economy as well.
It’s a “perfect storm,” the result of a 200-year-old financial system where money is largely created by bank lending and where since 1980 our industry and jobs have been increasingly outsourced abroad to cheap labor markets. Thus domestic incomes have stagnated while the nation’s GDP has not been able to keep up with the exponential growth of debt.
While the mainstream media are blind, deaf, and dumb as to the causes, the victims within the middle and working classes are seeing their livelihoods ruined, jobs taken away, pensions eroded, homes foreclosed on, and are being saddled with ever-increasing debt and forced to work under more and more stress due to rising burdens of taxation, gas and food price inflation, and bureaucratic rules and regulations. The only places a more-or-less normal life may still be possible will be the wealthiest imperial centers like Washington, New York, Houston, Chicago, or San Francisco.
All that the current bailouts being engineered by the Federal Reserve are doing is to create more debt to shore up failing financial institutions. No new wealth is being created. It’s band-aids on band-aids.
The problem politically is that control of the U.S. long ago was turned over to the bankers and the financiers of the Western world. It was called financial “deregulation,” accelerated under President Ronald Reagan, and has run amok since then. From a longer historical view, it’s the same phenomenon that first created and then ruined the British Empire, and it’s what created and is now ruining the American Empire today.
A side-effect of control by the bankers and financiers is that they are also Zionists, so we have the added multi-trillion dollar burden of trying to conquer the Middle East on behalf of the international oil interests and the state of Israel.
The situation has deteriorated sharply since the 1970s as U.S. affairs have been managed on behalf of the financial interests by what you might call the “Three Amigos”—Henry Kissinger, Paul Volcker, and Alan Greenspan. Kissinger, while Nixon’s secretary of state, made the U.S. dependent on the Middle East for oil, lavished billions on Israel ’s war machine, and created the petrodollar to support our trade and fiscal deficits. Volcker, while chairman of the Federal Reserve, crashed the U.S. producing economy in the recession of 1979-1983, leading to the rise of the “service economy.” Greenspan, during his own Federal Reserve chairmanship, presided over the bubble economy which was created through massive official fraud in home mortgage lending and is now sinking like the Titanic.
The politicians have enabled these financial crimes. Above all it’s been the Bush family which has served as a political Trojan Horse for the financiers for three generations, with affairs having become much worse since George H.W. Bush invaded Iraq for the first time in 1991. The enablers have included a majority of the members of the U.S. Congress. (See the conclusion of Patrick Buchanan’s new book, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War for an account of how the U.S. since the Bush I presidency has replicated the catastrophic errors of failed British imperialism.)
The American people are not entirely innocent. We have been so lulled to sleep by the financier-owned media that we have allowed these disasters to take place and are now reaping the consequences. We have been the fodder for their wars and the signers of their loans. We have tried to carve out our own piece of the pie which is now crumbling.
What is taking place is not just the collapse of the U.S. , but more than likely the final crash of Western civilization, since we are the last of the world empires to go down the drain. World War I saw the end of the German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Ottoman empires. World War II saw the disappearance of the French, British, Japanese, and Italian empires, along with Nazi Germany. The Soviet empire collapsed in 1991. The American is next. The danger is that we may lash out and start a nuclear World War III out of frustration and to appease the elitists of the world who see war and famine as their pathway to world control. Such a war would also mean a military takeover domestically to manage the pathetically weak nation that we are becoming.
The bankers and financiers do not care if nations and empires destroy themselves and each other, because they are internationalists. In fact, the more war and mass starvation there is the better off they feel. All they need is a base from which to operate. London has been their main base of operations since the Bank of England was founded in 1694, though they have a strong presence in other nations. They have been especially influential in northwest Europe, where elitism in the form of Freemasonry endeavored since the time of the French Revolution to destroy the authority of the Catholic Church.
In fact, World War I was a project of the Freemasons in dismembering Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, both largely Catholic. This destruction allowed the masters of usury to flourish within the atheistic and materialistic culture that Freemasonry fostered across Europe . World War I also resulted in the virus of Communism, largely egged on by the internationalists and Freemasons, though it had such a tragic impact on Russia and Central Europe before spreading to China and East Asia.
It is theoretically possible that the US as a nation could still save itself through an internal revolution, while playing a much reduced role in the world. After all, England, France , and Italy still exist as shadows of their past greatness. But, realistically, all ordinary people can do today is try to survive, perhaps by working with friends and neighbors in planting food and living within the underground economy. At least people might not then have to starve to death, because hard as it is to believe that “it could happen here,” widespread famine in the U.S. seems a real possibility over the next several years. Nations take such risks when they allow capitalist agribusiness to destroy local agriculture.
On a national level, it is likely that as a response to the economic crisis some attempt will be made by desperate politicians to try to replicate the New Deal, but to do this effectively would require political control by a nationalistic reform party. Even then, additional reform measures such as control of credit as a public utility, a basic income guarantee, and a national dividend would be needed for real economic security to replace the current madness that could soon make the U.S. a relic of history.
Richard C. Cook is a former U.S. federal government analyst, whose career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S. Treasury Department. His articles on economics, politics, and space policy have appeared on numerous websites and in Eurasia Critic magazine. His book on monetary reform, entitled We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform, will be published soon by Tendril Press. He is also the author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age, called by one reviewer, “the most important spaceflight book of the last twenty years.” His website is at richardccook.com.
In the over half a century that I have been politically engaged I have never seen such an unqualified presidential candidate as John McCain. There are tens of millions of Americans in their seventies and beyond that have been smart enough to become technology literate, but not McCain, who is unable to even use the Internet. The man has a medical history that makes Dick Cheney look like the picture of great health.
How anyone can still see McCain as a legitimate maverick is insane. The man has switched positions on so many key issues as to make him unbelievable on anything. He routinely says things in public that are totally false. McCain has sold his soul to get the Republican nomination and while Republicans deserve no better, Americans would be beyond stupid to vote for McCain. Yet if polls are to be believed history could repeat itself and nearly half of voters could vote for him. For me this is entirely understandable, because I find Barack Obama a clever charlatan and nothing more than another conventional, dishonest politician with exceptional eloquence and a winning smile. Is he the lesser evil compared to McCain? Sure. But that just depresses me, not motivate me to vote for him.
The contrast between the youthful Obama and the elderly McCain simply on the basis of visible physical and mental sharpness and vigor is remarkable.
Every time I see McCain he looks and sounds pathetic. Anyone who keeps repeating an insipid phrase demonstrates a complete lack of mental competence. With McCain it is constant reference to “my friends” along with his cartoon grin.
It is time to stop thanking McCain for his military service and honoring his stint as a war prisoner by giving him credit for being qualified physically and mentally to be president. We have all seen how being president ages all the men in that office. The before and after photographs of presidents convince you that the office inflicts incredible stress, even on someone as brain-dead as George W. Bush. But Bush was a relatively young man in good health. He may have escaped the price of impeachment that he richly deserves, but he has not escaped the physical deterioration produced by the presidency.
Now imagine McCain aging as all other presidents have in office. It is a frightening prospect. Something akin to some horror movie that shows a transformation from a normal human being to some frightening alien life form.
There must be some way out of this.
It is time for more Americans to face the truth about the two-party plutocracy that has robbed our political system and weakened our democracy. The one important thing that McCain and Obama have in common is that they are both products of and servants to the corrupt, dysfunctional two-party system.
Clearly, the corrupt political system has accommodated itself to only about half of eligible voters actually voting, a disgrace that hardly anyone even bothers to talk about anymore, as if a first class democracy has such a disgusted population. But this is consistent with the fact that some 84 percent of Americans see the country on the wrong track.
Obama is no political messiah. And to simplistically see him mainly as so much more preferable than the decrepit McCain misses the core problem. Obama will do nothing to change the corrupt, unworthy political system. He is a talker, not an agent of change, certainly not systemic political change that requires bucking the elite status quo political powers that pull the strings of the two-party plutocracy.
Make your vote count. Make it a vote against all Democratic and Republican candidates and against the two-party plutocracy that makes a mockery of our democracy, which is as fake and delusional as any in the world. The time is right for Americans to vote for third party or independent presidential and congressional candidates, not because any of them can be elected, but as an action to demonstrate through voting that they reject the two-party duopoly. Nonvoters are ignored, but we need to get on the electoral scoreboard with votes against the two-party status quo.
[Joel S. Hirschhorn can be contacted through www.delusionaldemocracy.com.]
July 15, 2008
WASHINGTON – In the Annual Running of the Bull, many people were injured as they tried to flee from the bull emanating from the Nation’s Capital. “This is the most bull I’ve ever witnessed,” said Tony Clarendon of Teaneck, New Jersey who was on vacation, “I was admiring the Lincoln Memorial when some bull about the reason we invaded Iraq was to bring them democracy just about knocked me off my feet.”
Clarendon’s tale is not a singular one. “The bull that the surge is working pined me up against a wall,” said Brian Dorsey, a DC resident who was treated for cuts and bruises.
“When all that bull about there being no global warming bore down on me, I thought I was a goner,” said Ralph Diamond of Grayson, New Mexico.
“This bull denying climate change has badly gored the planet,” said former Vice President Al Gore.
While there were hundreds of injuries, the most seriously hurt was the Constitution. “Freedom of the Press took it in the shorts,” said Henry Betancourt, Professor of Media at Columbia University. Also taking direct hits were the Fourth Amendment when the bull from the Bush White House said, “we don’t need no stinkin’ warrants,” and the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of right to a fair trial, knowing what you are accused of, and right to an attorney got trampled by the massive bull from Guantanimo.
The Running of the Bull dates back to the founding of the District of Columbia but came to prominence in 1973 when Richard Nixon said, “I am not a crook.” The last fatality in the Running of the Bull was The Truth, which died on September 11, 2001.
It’s amazing isn’t it how the media, given the appropriate cues from the state, so readily slips into a warring state of mind. I’m talking of course about Iran.
All the major media outlets have shifted into top gear over the past couple of weeks and, for the first time, talked about Israel’s role as the frontline ‘dog of war’ on behalf of its paymaster, the US.
You have to ask, what’s changed? I venture to guess that all the war talk coming out of the US has fallen on deaf ears, so let Israel take the heat instead. But make no mistake no matter what some, even on left say about the ‘tail wagging the dog’, the Zionists makes no major move without the nod from the Beltway bandits.
But in order to wind up the anté it was first necessary to erase the UN from the propaganda blitz. Instead, it’s the ‘international community’, BBC code for the US, UK and the EU. This came about because the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency) didn’t ‘play ball’ over Iran’s alleged nuke weapons program. No matter, simply ignore the agency’s findings, which is precisely what’s happened.
And given the blanket and homogenous media coverage, erasing anything that doesn’t fit the current imperial reality is as simple as throwing a switch. Any ‘inconvenient’ fact is simply airbrushed out.
The BBC of course, did its bit for the dogs of war. Here’s the lead para from the BBC’s Website story,
“A day after a major Iranian ballistic missile test provoked international condemnation, the front pages in Iran are covered with pictures of the missiles soaring into the sky.” — ‘Mounting sense of crisis over Iran’ By Jon Leyne, BBC News, Tehran.
Note the use of the phrase “international condemnation” and just in case we don’t get the message, the following paras ram home the message,
“There is a note of pride in the coverage, and perhaps just a little satisfaction that Iran has finally got the world’s attention.
“For days, Iranian military leaders have been issuing ever more blood-curdling warnings about Iran’s response to any attack.”
But no mention of “blood-curdling warnings” in the BBC’s coverage of Israel’s threats to launch pre-emptive strikes against Iran. Instead we read,
“Ehud Barak, speaking in Tel Aviv, said Israel had “proved in the past that it won’t hesitate to act when its vital security interests are at stake”.” — ‘Israel ‘ready to act’ over Iran’
The key phrase is “vital security interests”, which tells us absolutely nothing about Iran’s intentions but speaks reams about Israel’s.
And given all the bellicose threats made by Israel, Iran has every right to test whatever defensive weapons it chooses and moreover, buy whatever it needs to defend itself against the US and Israel.
Yet this obvious and justifed reaction to Israel’s war-mongering escapes the attention of the BBC’s coverage. Instead in the same piece ‘Mounting sense of crisis over Iran’, we read that,
“What seems to have provoked this is a recent Israeli military exercise, apparently a rehearsal for bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.”
So why didn’t the Israeli military exercise receive the same coverage as Iran’s response to it? In fact it deserved even more coverage given the aggressive nature of it (including apparently the use of Iraqi airspace).
Elsewhere on the BBC Website, the ever-faithful (to the empire) Paul Reynolds, the BBC’s world correspondent tells us,
“The warning by the senior US military commander Adm Mike Mullen that an attack on Iran would be “extremely stressful” for US forces must lessen the chances of the US taking part in any strike against Iran.” — ‘America’s Israeli option on Iran’.
The story reveals the reality of the actual relationship between the US and Israel but most importantly, the story also reveals the truth about Iran’s alleged drive to acquire nuclear weapons. Quoting the IAEA’s assessment we read,
“Iran is not making highly enriched uranium suitable for a weapon, only low-enriched uranium useable as nuclear power fuel. (Update 4 July: the evidence for this comes from the 26 May 2008 report from the IAEA, released on 5 June. This states that “the results of the environmental samples… indicate that the [enrichment] plants have been operated as declared. The samples show low-enriched uranium… particles.”)”
So why is the IAEA’s assessment not central to the coverage? Indeed, why is it not the story? Instead, it’s relegated to no more than a footnote, which, for the sake ‘objectivity’ is exactly what the BBC have done.
The issue here is the totally contradictory coverage of Israel and Iran, after all it’s Israel issuing all the threats of pre-emptive attack, not Iran, yet the BBC’s coverage is heavily weighted in Israel’s favour with its talk of “blood-curdling warnings”, though again there is no mention of what these “blood-curdling warnings” consist of, it’s enough to use the phrase as this and every other BBC story on the subject fills in all blank spots.
And with all the talk of Iran’s ‘nuclear ambitions’, it’s Israel alone in the Middle East that has an estimated 200 nuclear weapons, a fact not mentioned in any of the BBC’s so-called coverage.
Of course the question still remains, will they, won’t they bomb Iran? To attempt to answer this question we have to look at the wider context.
Iraq has now formally requested that the US leave and soon and the situation in Afghanistan is now disastrous for the occupying forces. So, the pirates need a diversion—again.
Second, oil. Even talking about trashing Iran jacked up the price of oil a few more dollars, so strategically, attacking Iran (whether it’s the US or Israel makes no difference), is unlikely at least in the near future and indeed the US military have already articulated this view.
But of course the wording leaves open the option of using their proxy, Israel. Would Israel ‘go it alone’? Frankly, without US blessing I find the idea inconceivable but then given that Israel’s giant confidence trick on world opinion is unravelling, it can’t be ruled out.
And then there are those who say that the situation has gotten so desperate for capitalism that only the wholesale destruction of ‘real estate’ will ‘solve’ the problem of the over-accumulation of capital (aka WWI and WWII). A ‘fresh start’ so-to-speak and it would certainly solve the ‘credit crunch’, bank meltdowns and the rest of the assorted crises confronting capitalism.
But such ‘solutions’ take a considerable amount of ‘engineering’. First you need a really credible ‘enemy’ and Iran, in spite of all the effort expended on demonizing Iran still doesn’t quite fit the bill.
Perhaps some kind of ‘Tonkin Gulf’ provocation? Again, we have to look at the context and importantly public sentiment and judging by the BBC’s ‘Have your say’ section on its Website, the great majority of respondents are not fooled by the propaganda blitz. And yes, it’s not ‘scientific’ but then not much on the BBC’s website is.
I still maintain as I have done for the past couple of years that the endless threats are designed primarily for domestic consumption and clearly the public ain’t buying war, war, war, preferring jaw, jaw, jaw (if they express a preference for anything at all given the total alienation between rulers and ruled).
And surely the whole sorry, pathetic story of the pirates’ attempts to (re)build an empire, the sheer ineptitude and incompetence of ‘our’ leaders should surely be apparent to everyone.
Gone are the days of ‘grand plans’ of world domination for one hundred years such as those hatched toward the end of 19th century. Instead, we have a bunch of ignorant and incompetent gangsters purportedly running the show, but who nevertheless, judging by their actions are capable of almost any vile act.
And this is the really scary aspect of the situation where the ‘Chicago School’s Creative Destruction’ takes on a whole new and truly ominous meaning.
Mobilizing public opinion is the obvious response but here in the UK, the Stop The War Coalition have proved incapable of capitalizing on the initial success back in March 2003.
Compare Stop The War to Code Pink in the US for example. Code Pink have been imaginative and innovative in their approach, punching well above their weight.
Here it seems the anti-war movement is trapped in its own inertia and locked in some kind of 20th century time warp, when what is needed is daring and innovative approaches that capture the public’s attention and offer some hope to a public that has lost all belief and trust in the political class.
1. For one analysis of US covert operations against Iran see ‘Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran‘ by Seymour M. Hersh July 7, 2008 but whether these are intended as a precursor to an attack is not clear. And moreover, even covert operations from within Iran by the CIA and its proxies do not have the support of all sections of the US government.
Quoting a Pentagon consultant Hersh informs us that,
“There is huge opposition inside the intelligence community to the idea of waging a covert war inside Iran, and using Baluchis and Ahwazis as surrogates. The leaders of our Special Operations community all have remarkable physical courage, but they are less likely to voice their opposition to policy. Iran is not Waziristan.”
But one thing is clear, the US ruling elite is divided over the issue of whether ‘regime change’ should be achieved by overt or covert means but obviously not over the objective.
For some useful historical background on the history of US-Iranian nuclear relations see,
1. ‘The Nuclear Showdown Between The US And Iran’ By Tim Buchholz,13 July, 2008
2. Will Israel And/Or The U.S. Attack Iran? By Uri Avnery
Anyone who wants to guess whether Israel and/or the United States are going to attack Iran should look at the map of the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. Through this narrow waterway, only 34 km wide, pass the ships that carry between a fifth and a third of the world’s oil, including that from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.Most of the commentators who talk about the inevitable American and Israeli attack on Iran do not take account of this map …
Some other analyses
President Bush Backs Israeli Plan for Strike on Iran By Uzi Mahnaimi in Washington
Despite the opposition of his own generals and widespread scepticism that America is ready to risk the military, political and economic consequences of an airborne strike on Iran, the president has given an “amber light” to an Israeli plan to attack Iran’s main nuclear sites with long-range bombing sorties, the official told The Sunday Times.
British MP : George Galloway Telling It Like It Is
George Galloway talking about the consequences of an attack on Iran.
Iran: Battlefront In The New World War? By Firmin DeBrabander
Iran is no third front in the War on Terror. War with Iran is a step beyond, to a new global conflict- a new Cold War, in a way- where the US plays its cards (in this case, the largest military in the world) to frustrate its opponents indirectly.
This essay is archived at: http://www.creative-i.info/?p=291
by Bruce Gagnon
July 12, 2008
The Greens chose Cynthia McKinney on the first ballot today in Chicago to be the party presidential nominee. Cynthia then nominated Rosa Clemente to be her running mate who was quickly approved by near unanimous acclaim.
Born and raised in the South Bronx she is a graduate of the University of Albany and Cornell University. Clemente is a highly regarded commentator, political activist, community organizer, Hip-Hop activist, and independent reporter.
Chuck D of Public Enemy says that Clemente “is one of this generations’ most important political voices and community organizers.”
In her acceptance speech McKinney defined winning as setting a goal to garner 5% of the national vote which would give the Green Party major party status on the national level. McKinney made it clear that her run for president is all about building an alternative to the two war parties. The corporate parties have to flip-flop on the issues she said “because they have to appear to agree” with our progressive values while they then do the bidding of the corporations who pay their freight.
Maine delegates gave McKinney the 5th most votes of any state during the first round of balloting. Only New York, Illinois, California, and Wisconsin gave her more presidential delegate votes.
Ralph Nader came in a distant second in the presidential balloting which indicated that while people still respect him, his day of gaining the ballot lines via the Green Party across the nation are over. At this point McKinney will be on the ballot in at least 25 states across the nation next November . Greens in other states are still attempting to cross the enormously difficult ballot status barriers that keep the Republicans and Democrats from being challenged.
Just after the nomination process concluded 2004 Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb made a rousing introduction speech of McKinney. It was Cobb, and the Green Party, that challenged the well-documented vote fraud in Ohio in 2004 that put Bush in the White House again. While John Kerry, and the Democratic Party, violated their promise to “fight for every vote” it fell to the Greens to file the legal challenge to protect disenfranchised voters in Ohio.
Before McKinney’s acceptance speech, a video was played on the huge screen above the stage in the Chicago Symphony Center with John Lennon singing his song “Power to the People.” McKinney has adopted that slogan as her campaign theme and it brought tears to me eyes to see her dancing on the stage during the Lennon song.
I felt that it was a moment of liberation for McKinney and the Green Party. McKinney was free of the restraints that come from being a “good” Democratic Party elected official where you are expected to toe the party line and not challenge the party orthodoxy. Now McKinney is free to be herself – to speak truth to power as she so effectively does. In fact on the podium, as McKinney spoke, was a sign that read TRUTH.
With the nomination of McKinney and Clemente the Green Party is now free to become the real radical alternative party that it should be – radical in the sense of “getting to the roots” of the issues at hand and building the political base to make the needed changes. The Green Party took a huge step today in the creation of a multi-ethnic party with leadership from black and Latino communities. This is a must as we look at the coming demographic changes in America. There will be no progressive movement in America without active leadership from people of color working alongside of progressive white activists.
To say the least it was refreshing.
I’ve been a McKinney watcher for years as she was one of the key voices in the Congress who time and again spoke on behalf of “the people”. McKinney has been run out of office twice by the power structure and vilified by the corporate media for having the audacity to speak against war and corporate domination. I am sure her nomination will be greeted with scorn by the corporate masters.
For me today was a revolutionary moment. Since working on the Jesse Jackson presidential campaign in 1984, and seeing the hope of a “Rainbow coalition” whither away, I’ve thirsted for the coming together of the movements. Today’s event clearly indicated the enormous possibilities that exist for revolutionary peace, social justice, and ecological organizing in the U.S. if people are willing to step into this historic moment.
The change we all long for will not come from the Democratic Party. A new positive and earth shaking train has just left the station. The question remains will people who see themselves as progressive have the wisdom to get on-board and not be left behind sorting through the crumbs left behind by the corporate parties.
Cynthia Mckinney Accepts Green Party Nomination
July 13, 2008 C-SPAN
July 14, 2008
WASHINGTON – It was announced today by the real President, Dick Cheney that George W. Bush will get to throw out the first bomb in the 79th annual Invasion Classic. “It was a toss up,” said Cheney, “between Bush and McCain. McCain was the dark horse, but his singing of ‘Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran’ made this one close. In the end, George showed an unwavering dedication to mayhem and an uncanny ability to not take responsibility if anything should go wrong.”
“I am honored and humbled if I were someone who could be humbled,” Bush said, “to be able to throw out the first bomb for the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq and now Iran. This certainly makes up for the only mistake I may have made in my life, trading Sammy Sosa to the Cubs.”
Senator Barack Obama has been roundly criticized for saying he never supported this Invasion Game, most attacking him as anti-American. McCain has said that he supports the Game even if it lasts for 100 innings. The Invasion Game is scheduled sometime before the next election, probably as an October Surprise.
by Josh Sidman
July 13, 2008
As I have argued in previous articles, much of the recent tumult in the economy – from the mortgage crisis to skyrocketing food and energy prices – is due primarily not to imbalances in individual markets for goods and services but rather to instability in the value of money itself. For example, while we are told that the rising price of oil is due to increasing global demand, it is also true that a large part of the increase is due to a decline in the value of the currency used to purchase oil – i.e. the US dollar. Likewise, the current turmoil in the real estate market stems from causes having nothing to do with the specifics of the real estate market. In fact, both the boom and subsequent bust in real estate were both due primarily to monetary factors and not to anything specific to supply and demand for houses. The reason why prices went up so much in the first place wasn’t because there was a sudden increase in demand for housing but rather because the Federal Reserve, in order to avoid recession in 2000, reduced interest rates to unprecedentedly low levels, thereby enabling the speculative frenzy whereby every Tom, Dick, and Harry was getting rich by simply borrowing money, buying property and flipping it. Continue reading
A friend of mine was in dire straights recently. In need of cash. He offered me a ’96 four-wheel drive Suburban for five hundred. I had no use for the vehicle, don’t have that much money myself, but wanted to help a friend out. I thought maybe I could sell it for what I paid for it across the line in Mexico. I bought the vehicle.
It cost me a hundred and sixty dollars to fill it up. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve paid less for running cars at auctions.
What the hell, I have a full tank of gas and four wheel drive, two feet of clearance, I might as well go exploring.
It’s getting to be late afternoon and I head towards Bisbee. I turn right on Double Adobe Road and then hang a hard left onto High Lonesome Road.
In nineteen-ninety-nine I had purchased another Suburban for other reasons. It didn’t have four-wheel drive.
I hadn’t gone down High Lonesome more than a couple of miles when I came to a steep ravine. I didn’t think anything of it. There was lots of clearance and it looked to be good traction.
I entered the ravine and as I started up the other side by rear bumper caught up on the rocks. This left the vehicle suspended without the rear wheels touching. The vehicle was huge and I couldn’t move it myself. I tried piling rocks up to the rear wheels to give them something to grab on, but to no avail. I was screwed. It was dark and I was stuck there with the two toy poodles, Ona La Llorona and Hercules. I would sleep in the monster and go get my Toyota four-wheel drive pickup and pull it out in the morning.
I laid down and tried to get comfortable when the dogs started barking.
A group of about eighty undocumented border crossers were coming down the road. I talked to them and explained the situation and they pushed me out. I thanked them and wished them a safe journey.
At that time there were less than half the complement of Border Patrol agents as there are today, and it was relatively common to see large groups making their way through the desert.
A friend of mine lives and has a hundred acres in a canyon off of High Lonesome. At that time Peter said he never had to buy clothes. He would just pick up and wash what he found discarded along the way.
I shouldn’t have any trouble with this Suburban. It is four-wheel drive and I have a lot more clearance.
I come to the same ravine. I am positive I can make it. I ease into the draw, and the rear bumper gets hung up again. No problem. I get out, lock the hubs, get back in, put it in four-wheel drive and ease the clutch out. The front wheels spin on rock and won’t grab. I’m screwed until I can get my trusty Toyota pickup and pull the beast out in the morning. Maybe, I’ll get lucky and a Border Patrol will come along and pull me out.
I try to get comfortable in the monster. It’s looking to be a long night, and I don’t have any dogs along with me this time.
I’m kicking myself in the head, not believing what an idiot I am, when a troop of ninety-two undocumented immigrants comes along. I talk to them and they push me out and I make it back home.
To see a group of ninety-two border crossers these days is unheard of. There are just too many Border Patrol Agents. People still cross, but they cross in groups of two or three or maybe as many as eight people. Ninety-two is a huge number.
In 1999 it cost five hundred dollars to be taken from the border to Phoenix. Today it cost from twenty-five hundred to three thousand.
I think about all those people. 92 times 2,500 is $230,000.
A number of lower echelon Border Patrol Agents are cooling their heels in prison after being busted for corruption and other charges. This is understandable because the Border Patrol has become the largest police force in the country, and they have to constantly lower their requirements to meet the manpower needs. It seems incredible to me that a Border Patrol Agent with overtime can be making upwards of $80,000 a year, and all that is required is a high school diploma and a clean record.
That still does not account for a group of ninety-two. That could only happen if someone higher up was being paid off, and was directing people to another area purposely, because there are always at least one or two Agents on High Lonesome.
Maybe I’m being too harsh. They could be having a major bust somewhere else along the border that has drawn all the agents. But that would still not account for accumulating 92 people into one group, and the people sending the group would have to know that the agents had been deployed to another area.
This drives me buggy all the way back home.
I check with a friend of mine who has far too much free time on his hands, has a police scanner, and has always been a want-to-be cop.
I ask him if there is anything major happening. “Nah.” he says, “Totally dead tonight.”
July 13, 2008
NEW YORK – Conservative commentators have come out in support of the controversial comments made by top McCain economic advisor Phil Gramm, that the recession was mental and that the US had become a nation of whiners. “Anyone who is negatively effected by this economy,” said Bill O’Reilly, “is effected because they want to be. Me and my friends are doing well, thank you, and no one can dispute the truth that all these naysayers are nothing more than terrorist loving America haters.”
“Gramm is right,” said Rush Limbaugh, “thanks to liberals, Americans complain about all kinds of things that aren’t real. It’s all in their minds that oil prices are high, parents have imagined their sons and daughters have died or were wounded in Iraq and people have illusions that the banks are in a conspiracy to take their homes. These ungrateful feminazis should have real problems like I have,” said Limbaugh, “such as an oxycontin shortage.”
Gramm, a former Texas Senator and currently UBS Investment Bank vice chairman, has been criticized for being out of touch with the American people. “I reject that notion that I am not a man of the people,” Gramm said from his private leer jet, “I stand to lose money too when those whiners who took out mortgages they couldn’t afford lower the stock prices on my personal holdings. Those whiners should have made sure they had the health care and pension that I have after I retired from the Senate. It’s not my fault they chose poverty.”
John McCain, stumping in economically hard hit Michigan, said “I’ll say that I vehemently disagree with Phil’s comments since he got a negative response from the whiners out here, but I need his support because I know nothing about economics, so I’ll keep him on as my economic advisor. Now how is that for straight talk? Oh, I almost forgot. Bomb Iran.”
July 12, 2008
WASHINGTON – Senator John McCain said Wednesday that Denmark’s continued testing of anti-American political cartoons shows the need for an effective cartoon defense shield system while rival Senator Barack Obama said we need aggressive diplomacy combined with sanctions, if necessary. For the second day, Denmark has tested several new cartoons, poking fun at the Bush administration and America. “It was OK when the Danes aimed their cartoons at the Islamofascists, but now they have sided with the terrorists and are preparing weapons of mass cartoons against us,” said Wayne Parsons, a Pentagon spokesman.
“We must unite the world against Denmark’s cartoon threat,” McCain said, “even if we have to continue the Cartoon war for a hundred years.”
Obama, who has been criticized for being soft on cartoons by wanting to negotiate with cartoonists, said he will push for an incentive package that seeks to deter Denmark from its cartoon goals.
“There’s something rotten in Denmark,” said Vice President Dick Cheney, “and we may have to go to the dark side, if you will, so that cartooning will be in its final throes.”
Danish Cartoons have become a major campaign issue, however neither candidate voted on a March 2008 resolution calling on the Bush administration to call the Danish Cartoon Guild a terrorist organization, a measure that some members of Congress believed could lead to war.
“We need to take an aggressive stand against this world threat,” said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, “because would your rather read the cartoons over there or read them over here.”
President Bush said, “I don’t worry about the cartoons so much anymore. I kinda like them cartoons cause they’re easier to read than memos about Bin Laden planning attacks. Now if My Pet Goat had more cartoons I could have read it faster and reaticated to 911 more quicker and had time to use that cod piece in my pants when I bullhorned my way to ground zero to speak to the American people.”