William Fallon, Ex-US head in Afghanistan speaks on tactics

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

Taliban fighters have told Al Jazeera they welcome the extra 17,000 US troops being deployed to Afghanistan and will relish the battle. On Tuesday US vice-president Joe Biden said the war there was not being won and called on Nato for additional help. Retired Admiral William Fallon, the former US commander in Iraq and Afghanistan told Al Jazeera about US tactics against the Taliban.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “William Fallon, Ex-US head in Afghani…“, posted with vodpod

You Need Uncle Sam, Iraq Told By Gareth Porter

Dandelion Salad

By Gareth Porter
ICH
25/07/08 “IPS

WASHINGTON – Instead of moving toward accommodating the demand of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for a timetable for United States military withdrawal, the George W Bush administration and the US military leadership are continuing to pressure their erstwhile client regime to bow to the US demand for a long-term military presence in the country.

The emergence of this defiant US posture toward the Iraqi withdrawal demand underlines just how important long-term access to military bases in Iraq has become to the US military and national security bureaucracy in general.

From the beginning, the Bush administration’s response to the Maliki withdrawal demand has been to treat it as a mere aspiration that the US need not accept.

The counter-message that has been conveyed to Iraq from a multiplicity of US sources, including former Central Command (CENTCOM) commander William Fallon, is that the security objectives of Iraq must include continued dependence on US troops for an indefinite period. The larger, implicit message, however, is that the US is still in control, and that it – not the Iraqi government – will make the final decision.

That point was made initially by State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos, who stated flatly on July 9 that any US decision on withdrawal “will be conditions-based”.

In a sign that the US military is also mounting pressure on the Iraqi government to abandon its withdrawal demand, Fallon wrote an op-ed piece published in the New York Times on July 20 that called on Iraqi leaders to accept the US demand for long-term access to military bases.

Fallon, who became something of a folk hero among foes of the Bush administration’s policy in the Middle East for having been forced out of his CENTCOM position for his anti-aggression stance, takes an extremely aggressive line against the Iraqi withdrawal demand in the op-ed. The piece is remarkable not only for its condescending attitude toward the Iraqi government, but for its peremptory tone toward it.

Fallon is dismissive of the idea that Iraq can take care of itself without US troops to maintain ultimate control. “The government of Iraq is eager to exert its sovereignty,” Fallon writes, “but its leaders also recognize that it will be some time before Iraq can take full control of security.”

Fallon insists that “the government of Iraq must recognize its continued, if diminishing reliance on the American military”. And in the penultimate paragraph he demands “political posturing in pursuit of short-term gains must cease”.

Fallon, now retired from the military, is obviously serving as a stand-in for US military chiefs for whom the public expression of such a hardline stance against the Iraqi withdrawal demand would have been considered inappropriate.

But the former US military proconsul in the Middle East, like his active-duty colleagues, appears to actually believe that the US can intimidate the Maliki government. The assumption implicit in his op-ed is that the US has both the right and power to preempt Iraq’s national interests to continue to build its military empire in the Middle East.

As CENTCOM chief, Fallon had been planning on the assumption that the US military would continue to have access to military bases in both Iraq and Afghanistan for many years to come. A July 14 story by Washington Post national security and intelligence reporter Walter Pincus said that the army had requested US$184 million to build power plants at its five main bases in Iraq.

The five bases, Pincus reported, are among the “final bases and support locations where troops, aircraft and equipment will be consolidated as the US military presence is reduced”.

Funding for the power plants, which would be necessary to support a large US force in Iraq within the five remaining bases, for a longer-term stay, was eliminated from the military construction bill for fiscal year 2008. Pincus quoted a congressional source as noting that the power plants would have taken up to two years to complete.

The plan to keep several major bases in Iraq is just part of a larger plan, on which Fallon himself was working, for permanent US land bases in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Fallon revealed in congressional testimony last year that Bagram air base in Afghanistan is regarded as “the centerpiece for the CENTCOM master plan for future access to and operations in Central Asia”.

As Fallon was writing his op-ed, the Bush administration was planning for a video conference between Bush and Maliki, evidently hoping to move the obstreperous Maliki away from his position on withdrawal. Afterward, however, the White House found it necessary to cover up the fact that Maliki had refused to back down in the face of Bush’s pressure.

It issued a statement claiming that the two leaders had agreed to “a general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals” but that the goals would include turning over more control to Iraqi security forces and the “further reduction of US combat forces from Iraq” – but not a complete withdrawal.

But that was quickly revealed to be a blatant misrepresentation of Maliki’s position. As Maliki’s spokesman Ali Dabbagh confirmed, the “time horizon” on which Bush and Maliki had agreed not only covered the “full handover of security responsibility to the Iraqi forces in order to decrease American forces” but was to “allow for its [sic] withdrawal from Iraq”.

An adviser to Maliki, Sadiq Rikabi, also told the Washington Post that Maliki was insisting on specific timelines for each stage of the US withdrawal, including the complete withdrawal of troops.

The Iraqi prime minister’s July 19 interview with the German magazine Der Speigel, in which he said that Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama’s 16-month timetable “would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes”, was the Iraqi government’s bombshell in response to the Bush administration’s efforts to pressure it on the bases issue.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack emphasized at his briefing on Tuesday that the issue would be determined by “a conclusion that’s mutually acceptable to sovereign nations”.

That strongly implied that the Bush administration regarded itself as having a veto power over any demand for withdrawal and signals an intention to try to intimidate Maliki.

Both the Bush administration and the US military appear to harbor the illusion that the US troop presence in Iraq still confers effective political control over its clients in Baghdad.

However, the change in the Maliki regime’s behavior over the past six months, starting with the prime minister’s abrupt refusal to go along with General David Petraeus’ plan for a joint operation in the southern city of Basra in mid-March, strongly suggests that the era of Iraqi dependence on the US has ended.

Given the strong consensus on the issue among Shi’ite political forces of all stripes, as well as Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the Shi’ite spiritual leader, the Maliki administration could not back down to US pressure without igniting a political crisis.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006.

(Inter Press Service)

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

RRN: Gareth Porter: The Iraq war debate

Decoding Obama on Iraq by Anthony Arnove

Iraq

Mideast Nuclear Saber Rattling by Eric Margolis

Dandelion Salad

by Eric Margolis
July 7, 2008

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The US, Israel and Iran are playing a very dangerous game of chicken that could soon result in a new Mideast war.

To the chagrin of President George Bush and VP Dick Cheney, the combined US intelligence agencies concluded late last year that Iran was not working on nuclear weapons. UN nuclear weapons experts, who have been inspecting Iran’s nuclear facilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT), concur with US intelligence.

However, Israel, which refused to sign the NNPT, and has a large, undeclared nuclear weapons program, claims that Iran is within 18 months of developing a nuclear weapon and must be stopped at all costs.

The Bush administration and Israel, recently joined by France, are issuing increasingly loud threats of military action to frighten Iran into halting its nuclear enrichment program which they claim sets the stage for a possible Iranian break-out to develop nuclear weapons. To do so, Iran would have to boost enriching its uranium from 5-6% to over 93%.

Iran insists its nuclear program is entirely for civilian use to generate electrical power. Iran’s once vast oil reserves have peaked and are going into decline while its population continues to rise. Washington dismisses Iran’s need for civilian nuclear power as `preposterous,’ though in the 1970’s Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney went to Tehran to try to sell 27 US nuclear reactors to the Shah of Iran.

Tehran is alternating between conciliatory statements and threats of inflicting economic chaos on the global economy in retaliation for any attack. Europe mostly fears the economic damage a war against Iran would bring far more than Iran’s nuclear program.

Senior Israeli officials are openly threatening to attack Iran’s nuclear installations before President George Bush’s term expires. Early, this month, Israel staged a large, US-approved exercise using F-15’s and F-16’s to rehearse an attack over 900 miles – precisely the distance to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The highly regarded American journalist Seymour Hersh just confirmed that the US Congress authorized a $400 million plan to overthrow Iran’s government and incite ethnic unrest. This column reported a year ago that US and British special forces were operating in Iran, preparing for a massive air campaign. Israel’s destruction of an alleged Syrian reactor last fall was a warning to Iran.

This week, an unnamed senior Pentagon official claimed an Israeli attack on Iran was coming before year end. Other Pentagon and CIA sources say a US attack on Iran is imminent, with or without Israel.

The Bush administration is even considering using small tactical nuclear weapons against deeply buried Iranian targets.

Senior American officers Adm. William Fallon and Air Force chief Michael Mosley were recently fired for opposing war against Iran. According to Israel’s media, President Bush even told Israel’s prime minister Ehud Olmert that he could not trust America’s intelligence community and preferred to rely on Israeli intelligence.

Intensifying activity is evident at US bases in Europe and the Gulf, aimed at preparing a massive air blitz that may include repeated attacks on 3,100 targets in Iran. These would include air defenses, nuclear installations and reactors, telecommunications, government and military HQ, transport nodes, airfields, naval bases and barracks, ports, military industries, pumping stations and oil terminals, and `high value government targets’ – ie. leadership. In short, a total air blitz delivered in successive waves over days if not weeks.

Other sources say Iranian Revolutionary Guards installations will be barraged by cruise missiles as a warning to Tehran.

In Washington, Congress, under intense pressure from the Israel lobby, is about to adopt a resolution calling for a naval blockade of Iran, an overt act of war. When Egypt closed the Strait of Tiran to Israeli shipping in 1956, Israel deemed this an act of war.

Interestingly, the same Congressional Democrats who claimed they were duped into supporting Bush’s war against Iraq have all joined the rush to war against Iran. In Washington, wisdom only seems to come in hindsight.

Pro-Israel groups in Washington have been airing alarmist TV commercials claiming Iran is attacking American troops in Iraq and threatening the US.

The Bush administration’s last desperate act, its `Gotterdammerung,’ could be war with Iran. Even though there is no proof Iran is working on nuclear arms, the neocon war party in Washington is determined to loose a final Parthian shaft by striking Iran.

Israel asserts the right to maintain its Mideast nuclear monopoly by destroying all fissile-producing reactors in the region. In return, Iran vows to retaliate against Israel with its inaccurate, conventionally-armed Shahab missiles. Israel’s new anti-missile defense system could shoot down most of the Shahab warheads. But there is a danger that Israel could over-react and order its invulnerable triad of air, land and sea-based nuclear weapons to strike at Iran.

Should Iran be attacked, Tehran also threatens to shut the 23-mile wide strait of Hormuz, and mine the Gulf, producing worldwide financial panic, severe fuel shortages, and $400-500 dollars per barrel oil. Iran will likely attack US forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, and strike Saudi and Kuwaiti oil facilities.

The embattled Bush administration’s bunker mentality is leading to war that will gravely damage long-term US Mideast interests. A single Iranian missile hit on Israel’s reactor would do more damage to the Jewish state than all its previous wars. Besides, Israel cannot totally destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. A US or Israeli attack on Iran will absolutely guarantee that Tehran decides to build nuclear weapons. Israel and Iran have turned their regional rivalry into a deadly confrontation that now threatens all.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khomenei, who controls that nation’s military, not its bombastic president, Mahmoud Ahamdinejad, insists Iran will not produce nuclear weapons. Israel claims it faces imminent attack. Iran counters that Israel’s nuclear saber rattling threaten its existence. The dogs of war are being unleashed.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2008

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

What gives Bush the right to destabilize Iran by covert military operations?

Hersh: Congress Agreed to Bush Request to Fund Major Escalation in Secret Operations Against Iran

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!

June 30, 2008

Hersh: Congress Agreed to Bush Request to Fund Major Escalation in Secret Operations Against Iran

Congressional leaders agreed to a request from President Bush last year to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing Iran’s leadership, according to a new article by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine. The operations were set out in a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which, by law, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders. The plan allowed up to $400 million in covert spending for activities ranging from supporting dissident groups to spying on Iran’s nuclear program. Hersh joins us from Washington DC.

Real Video Stream

Real Audio Stream

MP3 Download

transcript

***

Congress funds 400 mil in covert spy ops against Iran

IWantDemocracyNow

see

Preparing the Battlefield by Seymour M. Hersh

Morning Joe: Andrew Card & Katrina vanden Heuvel on the Sy Hersh Leak

Sy Hersh on Late Edition: Inside Iran

Ron Paul: Iran war will triple energy prices

Iranians Float an Offer the West Should Not Refuse

Military official: Iran digging 320,000 graves for invaders

Seymour Hersh (older posts)

Hersh-Seymour (newer posts)

The Proper Questioning Of General Petreaus by Guadamour (humor)

Digg It

GUADAMOUR

by Guadamour
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Guadamour’s blog post
Apr. 9, 2008

“The Chair yields to Senator Lotzballz from the Great State of Disbelief.”

“I thank the Chair, and I would also like to thank all my esteemed colleagues for this opportunity to question the General.”

“And General Petreaus I would like to personally thank you for the service that you have performed for this great country of ours, and for the service that you continue to provide.”

“I would also like to take time to thank all the brave men and women in uniform serving in the armed forces who continue to perform admirably in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.

“Recently Admiral Fallon retired as the chief of staff for the armed forces. Did you, General Petreaus, admire and respect Admiral Fallon?”

“I have a deep and abiding respect for Admiral Fallon. He has much more experience than myself. His experience goes all the way back to having served as an officer in Vietnam.”

“Thank you General. I also have a great respect for Admiral Fallon. He is a man not afraid to call the shots as he sees them.”

“That is correct Senator. He is very forthright in his opinions, and is generally correct. As a matter of fact, I have never known him to be incorrect.”

“That is very interesting General. Then you will probably understand and agree when he calls General David Petreaus, and I’m reading a direct quote here, “A kiss ass chicken shit.”

General Petreaus sits there stunned. Ambassador Crocker jumps up and shouts, “This is an outrage. I demand an apology.”

“Ambassador, I am not speaking to you. You don’t warrant speaking to. You are an administration lackey intellectually on par with the President, which is a polite way of saying you are a complete idiot. Sit down and shut up until I’m through.”

“This is highly disrespectful,” says the chair.

Senator Lotzballz smiles and says, “But it is totally accurate.”

“General Kiss Ass Chicken Shit, could it be that the highly distinguished, respected and extremely honest Admiral refers to you in these terms, because you are also a political lackey, willing to do anything to please his superiors, even if it involves lying to the American public, putting a positive spin on things that are not easily or rightly spun. We, Sir, have had recent testimony here in these chambers from members of the military who have spoken out against the war, both in military and political terms. These men, Sir, have much more accumulated experience than yourself. I grant you, they may not be as intellectually astute or adroit as yourself, and surely they don’t speak as well as you. You, who seem to be a master at only answering what you want to hear. Even after you have been prodded any number of times.”

“You, Sir, bring to mind something I heard that is attributed to Harry Truman. When asked how it felt to be a Senator, he is supposed to have said, ‘When I first arrived in the Senate, I wonder how I managed to get there. And after I was there a while, I wondered how the other Senators managed to get there.”

“I, Sir, wonder how you managed to get to be where you are. Since I’m not a military man, and have great respect for Admiral Fallon, as you yourself do, I will have to assume that you arrived at your current position because, in the Admiral’s words, “You are a Kiss Ass Chicken Shit.”

“I would like to thank the Chair, and my colleagues. I have no further questions.”

see

Did Petraeus part ways with the neocons? + Sadr will disarm Mahdi Army if US leaves

Tomgram: Patrick Cockburn: Petraeus’s Ghost

Ayatollahs Decline to Ban Militia – Hundreds Flee Baghdad Clashes

Winter Soldier posts listed on: It’s March 19 and Blogswarm Day! Posts on Iraq War by Lo

Iraq Hearings: Questions + Petraeus’ & Crocker’s Presentations

.

.

A Third American War Crime in the Making By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
03/31/08 “ICH

The US Congress, the US media, the American people, and the United Nations, are looking the other way as Cheney prepares his attack on Iran.

If only America had an independent media and an opposition party. If there were a shred of integrity left in American political life, perhaps a third act of naked aggression–a third war crime under the Nuremberg standard–by the Bush Regime could be prevented.

On March 30, the Russian News & Information Agency, Novosti, cited “a high-ranking security source: “The latest military intelligence data point to heightened US military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran.” Russian Intelligence Sees U.S. Military Buildup on Iran Border According to Novosti, Russian Colonel General Leonid Ivashov said “that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran’s military infrastructure in the near future.”

The chief of Russia’s general staff, Yuri Baluyevsky, said last November that Russia was beefing up its military in response to US aggression, but that the Russian military is not “obliged to defend the world from the evil Americans.” http://www.mnweekly.ru/national/20071115/55289883.html

On March 29, OpEdNews cited a report by the Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz, which was picked up by the German news service, DPA. The Saudi newspaper reported on March 22, the day following Cheney’s visit with the kingdom’s rulers, that the Saudi Shura Council is preparing “national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom following experts’ warnings of possible attacks on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactors.” Worried Yet? Saudis Prepare for “Sudden Nuclear Hazards” After Cheney Visit by Chris Floyd

And Admiral William “there will be no attack on Iran on my watch” Fallon has been removed as US chief of Central Command, thus clearing the way for Cheney’s planned attack on Iran.The Iranians don’t seem to believe it, despite the dispatch of US nuclear submarines and another aircraft carrier attack group to the Persian Gulf. To counter any Iranian missiles launched in response to an attack, the US is deploying anti-missile defenses to protect US bases and Saudi oil fields.

Two massive failures by the American media, the Democratic Party, and the American people have paved the way for Cheney’s long planned attack on Iran. One failure is the lack of skepticism about the US government’s explanation of 9/11. The other failure is the Democrats’ refusal to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush for lying to the Congress, the American people, and the world and launching an invasion of Iraq based on deception and fabricated evidence.

If an American president can start a war exactly as Adolf Hitler did with pure lies and not be held accountable, he can get away with anything. And Bush and his evil regime have.Hitler launched World War II with his invasion of Poland after staging a “Polish attack” on a German radio station. On the night of August 31, 1939, a group of Nazis disguised in Polish uniforms seized a radio station in Germany. Hitler announced that “last night Polish troops crossed the frontier and attacked Germany,” a claim no more true than the Bush Regime’s claim that “Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction.” Hitler’s lie failed, because his invasion of Poland, which began the next day allegedly in reprisal for the Polish attack, had obviously been planned for many months.

Iran is a beautiful and developed country. It is an ancient civilization. It has attacked no one. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Iran is permitted by the treaty to have a nuclear energy program. The Bush Regime’s case against Iran is based on the Bush Regime’s desire to deny Iran its rights under the treaty.

The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have repeatedly reported that they have found no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Despite all the disinformation from US Gen. Petraeus and other Bush Regime military lackeys, Iran is not arming the Iraqis who are resisting the American occupation.

If Iran were arming insurgents, the insurgents would have two weapons that would neutralize the US advantage in the Iraqi conflict: missiles to knock down US helicopter gunships and rocket-propelled grenades that knock out American tanks. The insurgents do not have these weapons and must construct clumsy anti-tank weapons out of artillery shells. The insurgents are helpless against US air power and cannot mass forces to take on the American troops.

Indiscriminate American violence has reduced Iraq to rubble. The civilian infrastructure is essentially destroyed–electricity, water and sewer systems, medical care and schools. Depleted uranium is everywhere poisoning everyone, including US troops. There is no economy, and half or more of Iraqis are unemployed. Literally no Iraqi family has escaped an injury or a death as a consequence of the US invasion. Millions of Iraqis have become displaced persons. A developed country with a professional middle class has been destroyed because of lies told by the President and Vice President of the US. The Bush Regime’s lies are echoed by a neoconservative media, and have gone unchallenged by the opposition party and an indifferent American public.

In Afghanistan, death and destruction rains on even the smallest village from the air. America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are wars against the civilian populations.

Just as the world could not believe Hitler’s next horror and thus was always unprepared, the Iranians despite all the evidence cannot believe that even the Great Satan would gratuitously attack Iran based on nothing but lies about non-existent nuclear weapons.

Iran’s only chance would be to strike before the US delivers the first blow. Instead of using its missiles to take out the Saudi oil fields and to sink the US aircraft carriers, instead of closing the Strait of Hormuz, instead of arming the Iraqi Shi’ites and moving them to insurgency, Iran is perched like a sitting duck in denial even as the US and its Iraqi puppet Maliki move to eliminate Al Sadr’s Iraqi Shi’ite militia in order to avoid supply disruptions and a Shi’ite rebellion in Iraq when the US attack on Iran comes.

It is important to emphasize that Iran is making no moves toward war. Having tamed, blackmailed, and purchased Congress, the US media, and US allies and puppets, Cheney might delight in the arrogance with which he can now attack Iran free of any restraint or fabricated provocation. On the other hand, he might cover himself by orchestrating an “Iranian provocation” to justify his attack as a response. But like Hitler’s planned attack against Poland, Cheney’s attack on Iran has long been in the works.

On March 29 the Associated Press reported that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi “poured contempt on fellow Arab leaders” at the Arab summit that day. Gadhafi told the Arab “leaders,” many of whom are on the American payroll, that their American masters would turn on them all, just as America turned on Saddam Hussein after using him to fight a proxy war against Iran.

Saddam had once been an ally of Washington, Gadhafi reminded the Arabs, “but they sold him out.” Gadhafi told the American puppets, “Your turn is next.”

Gadhafi asked, “Where is the Arabs’ dignity, their future, their very existence?” If Arabs remain disunited, he predicted, “they will turn themselves into protectorates. They will be marginalized and turn into garbage dumps.”

Indeed, it is this disunity that permits the US to bomb and murder at will in the Middle East.

Paul Craig Roberts a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how Americans lost the protection of law, is forthcoming from Random House in March, 2008.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Bush’s Legacy Leads to Iran By Heather Wokusch

Worried Yet? Saudis Prepare for “Sudden Nuclear Hazards” After Cheney Visit

Kadhafi warns US allies could suffer Saddam’s fate

Was Polonium-210 Being Smuggled for a Dirty Bomb? By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
March 25, 2008

In the recently published thriller, The Shell Game, Steve Alten weaves a tale of a neoconservative plot to attack Iran. To overcome resistance, a black op group associated with a Republican administration arranges for nuclear devices to be exploded in two American cities, with planted evidence pointing to Iran.

Recent developments make one wonder if fact is following fantasy.

The Bush regime’s propaganda against Iran is going full blast and obviously has a purpose. The foreign press reports that the reason for Cheney’s latest trip abroad is to cajole, threaten, and purchase support for a US attack on Iran.

The Israeli government continues to see an Iranian nuclear weapon on the horizon and to agitate for US action against Iran.

According to John McGlynn in Japan Focus (March 22, 2008), the Bush regime is already attacking Iran with Treasury Department actions to cut off Iran’s banking system from all international banking relationships, thereby preventing Iran from importing and exporting. McGlynn calls the US Treasury’s action a “US declaration of war on Iran.”

…continued

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.see

The March 20, 2008 US Declaration of War on Iran by John McGlynn

America’s Next 9/11 – A Little Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down

Litvinenko case: interview with Edward Epstein (videos)

Litvinenko

Alexander Litvinenko/Ex-KBG Spy

The Coming Uncertain War against Iran by Ramzy Baroud

Dandelion Salad

by Ramzy Baroud
Global Research, March 21, 2008

When Admiral William J “Fox” Fallon was chosen to replace General John Abizaid as chief of US Central Command (CENTCOM) in March 2007, many analysts didn’t shy from reaching a seemingly clear-cut conclusion: the Bush administration was preparing for war with Iran and had selected the most suitable man for this job. Almost exactly a year later, as Fallon abruptly resigned over a controversial interview with Esquire magazine, we are left with a less certain analysis.

Fallon was the first man from the navy to head CENTCOM. With the US army fighting two difficult and lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and considering the highly exaggerated Iranian threat, a war with Iran was apparently inevitable, albeit one that had to be conducted differently. Echoing the year-old speculation, Arnaud de Borchgrave of UPI wrote on 14 March 2007 that an attack against Iran “would fall on the US Navy’s battle carrier groups and its cruise missiles and Air Force B-2 bombers based in Diego Garcia”.

Fallon is a man of immense experience, having served equally high-profiled positions in the past (he was commander of US Pacific Command from February 2005 to March 2007). The Bush administration probably saw him further as a conformist, in contrast to his predecessor Abizaid who promoted a diplomatic rather than military approach and who went as far as suggesting that the US might have to learn to live with an Iranian nuclear bomb.

Fallon’s recent resignation may have seemed abrupt to many, but it was a well-orchestrated move. His interview in Esquire depicted him as highly critical of the Bush administration’s policy on Iran; the magazine described him as the only thing standing between the administration and their newest war plan. Further, his resignation and “Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s handling of [it] is the greatest and most public break in the Bush team’s handling of preparations for war against Iran that we are ever likely to see,” wrote respected commentators and former CIA analysts Bill and Kathy Christison on 12 March. “Gates has in fact publicly associated himself with the resignation by saying it was the right thing for Fallon to do, and Gates said he had accepted the resignation without telling Bush first.”

Fallon’s resignation represents a bittersweet moment. On the one hand it’s an indication of the continued fading enthusiasm for the militant culture espoused by the neo-conservatives. On the other, it’s an ominous sign of the Bush administration’s probable intentions during the last year of the president’s term. Sixty-three-year-old Admiral Fallon would not have embarked on such a momentous decision after decades of service were it not for the fact that he knew a war was looming, and — having considered the historic implications for such a war — chose not to pull the trigger.

Unlike the political atmosphere in the US prior to the Iraq war — shaped by fear, manipulation and demonisation — the US political environment is now much more accustomed to war opposition, which is largely encouraged and validated by the fact that leading army brass are themselves speaking out with increasing resolve. Indeed pressure and resistance are mounting on all sides; those rooting for another war are meeting stiff resistance by those who can foresee its disastrous repercussions.

The push and pull in the coming months will probably determine the timing and level of US military adventure against Iran, or even whether such an adventure will be able to actualise (one cannot discount the possibility that as a token for Israel, the US might provide a middle way solution by intervening in Lebanon, alongside Israel, to destroy Hizbullah. Many options are on the table, and another Bush-infused crisis is still very much possible).

In an atmosphere of hyped militancy, Fallon’s resignation might be viewed as a positive sign, showing that the cards are not all stacked in favour of the war party. Nonetheless, it is premature to indulge in optimism. Prior signs have indicated a serious rift among those who once believed that war is the answer to every conflict. Yet that didn’t necessary hamper the war cheerleaders’ efforts.

Last December, the National Intelligence Estimate — an assessment composed by all American intelligence agencies — concluded that Iran halted its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, and that any such programme remained frozen. Meanwhile the “bomb-first-ask-questions-later” crowd suggested that such an assessment is pure nonsense. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain has since then sung the tune of “bomb Iran”, — literally — and Israel’s friends continue to speak of an “existential” threat Israel faces due to Iran’s “weapons” — never mind that Israel is itself a formidable nuclear power.

According to Borchgrave, “McCain’s close friend Senator Joe Lieberman… invoking clandestine Iranian explosives smuggled into Iraq, has called for retaliatory military action against Tehran. He and many others warn that Israel faces an existential crisis. One Iranian nuclear-tipped missile on Jerusalem or Tel Aviv could destroy Israel, they argue.”

In fact, Lieberman, and other Israel supporters need no justification for war, neither against Iran nor any of Israel’s foes in the Middle East. They have promoted conflicts on behalf of that country for many years and will likely continue doing so, until enough Americans push hard enough to restack their government’s priorities.

An attack on Iran doesn’t seem as certain as the war against Iraq always did. Public pressure, combined with courageous stances taken by high officials, could create the tidal wave needed to reverse seemingly determined war efforts. Americans can either allow those who continue to speak of “existential threats” and wars of a hundred years to determine and undermine the future of their country, and subsequently world security, or they can reclaim America, tend to its needy and ailing economy, and make up for the many sins committed in their name and in the name of freedom and democracy.

Ramzy Baroud is an author and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle (Pluto Press, London).

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

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

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Ramzy Baroud, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8410

see

Crisis Over Teheran’s Alleged Nuclear Plans Nearing Climax

A Less than Grand Strategy: NATO’s New Vision, The Preemptive Use of Nuclear Weapons

Republicans Plan Double-Whammy by Michael Carmichael

Why the US sees Iran as a threat (video)

Fallon falls: Iran should worry by Gareth Porter

Threat of Iran War More Real: End the World for What? By Liam Bailey

Republicans Plan Double-Whammy by Michael Carmichael

Dandelion Salad

Note: Passover starts next month. ~ Lo

by Michael Carmichael
Global Research, March 21, 2008
The Planetary Movement

It has been a long Good Friday even though Easter arrives early this year. Today’s full moon coincides with yesterday’s vernal equinox to deliver a very early Passover and Easter.

This holiday weekend, elite political circles will be charged with talk of a Republican “Double Whammy,” the internal nomenclature for a top secret plan to deliver the White House to the hand-picked candidate of the Bush-Cheney junta.

While the media is filled with stories analyzing and dissecting the White House plans for war with Iran in the wake of the sacking of Admiral William Fallon, only a select few politicians and their minions will be privy to a plan that it is arresting in its boldness and predicated on the establishment of an ironclad pretext for the forthcoming US hard-power attack on the regime in Tehran.

Some Republican strategists have become apoplectic at the rise of Barack Obama. Sagacious Republicans now see Obama as the most dangerous threat their party has faced since the Great Depression, when FDR relieved them of power for the next twenty years.

Republicans have never been as motivated to maintain their weakening grasp on power as they are today. The new era of Republican ruthlessness launched in 2000, when James Baker and his cronies, John Roberts and John Bolton, engineered the legal coup d’etat to rescue their lost election and place the Bush-Cheney junta in power.

Karl Rove is deemed to be a mastermind of political strategy, but Rove’s presidential campaigns have both resulted in colossal failures. In 2000, Gore won the popular vote, a factor that tarnished the first Bush-Cheney administration with the taint of illegitimacy. In 2004, Rove’s plan led to what appeared to be a narrow margin for the re-election of a sitting president in time of war – in fact, it was the smallest proportional margin for a presidential re-election since 1828. It eventually became apparent that Rove and his Republican operatives had manipulated votes across the red and blue spectrum of states using a veritable cornucopia of tactics for rigging and fixing the outcome.

So where’s the Rovian beef? As Greg Palast informs us, Rove’s beef is there in several dubious achievements in which he has established himself as a master:

• the suppression of Democratic votes by racial discrimination;

• vote rigging via ‘spoiled’ paper ballots;

• purges of voter rolls of eligible voters with names similar to convicted felons and

• hacking elections via clandestine manipulation of electronic voting machines.

At this point in the current campaign, Democrats are still engaged in settling the matter of the presidential nomination. In actual point of fact, Barack Obama has won the nomination as Hillary Clinton cannot reasonably expect to overtake his lead in delegates in the remaining primaries. Neither can she hope that a majority of the superdelegates will violate the will of the primary voters and opt for her over Obama – after he has won the majority of delegates available in the primaries and the majority of their votes, as well.

In short, the Clinton campaign has actually morphed into some sort of political zombie, dead yet seemingly alive or half-alive and apparently undead according to the latest polls. The Time cover said it best. With a flattering picture of Hillary Clinton, the cover proclaims her, “The Fighter: How she came back and why it could be too late.”

The editors at Time were being polite with Senator Clinton; the arithmetic of her campaign is now clear. She is no longer a viable contender for the Democratic presidential nomination even though polls say she is now more popular than she was one month ago. Her Chief Strategist, Mark Penn, trumpets her marginal improvements over the last month reflecting her apparent victories in Texas and Ohio, as he would be expected to do.

But, the professional prognosis of Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects is entirely different from Penn’s rosy picture of his client’s faltering but apparent rejuvenation. It came too late. Obama has a palpable lead in the delegate count and the votes, and her lingering popularity is not capable of overwhelming his lead. Finally, her “victories” in Texas and Ohio were barely that – for they were won only through massive influxes of Republicans who voted for Clinton under command from Rush Limbaugh and his ventriloquist, Karl Rove.

The Republicans are more than well aware of the shape of the Democratic nomination. They were hoping and praying and manipulating to the best of their abilities for their chance to destroy Hillary Clinton. Now that Clinton’s viability has been eroded by the Democratic base itself, the Republicans are moving swiftly to Plan B – an insidious plot to shock and awe the body politic with a double blow to the psyche of America.

For several years, Seymour Hersh has elucidated the ominous plans of the Bush-Cheney junta to complete their conquest of the Middle East by attacking Iran. Iran is now in the grip of an enormous and extremely uncomfortable American vise. The US occupies both Afghanistan to Iran’s east and Iraq to her west. The rich oilfields of Iran are arrayed in a belt near her south-western coast just over the border from Basra on the west. And, there is an enormous US flotilla now stationed just off the coast of Iran in the Persian Gulf.

While the story of Bush and Cheney’s designs on Iran are well known to international audiences, most of America remains oblivious to the impending expansion of the unpopular war. Fewer still are aware of the political motivations now calculating the moves in the global game of chess. The players are not really Bush and Cheney on the one hand and Ahmadinejad and his mullahs on the other. The opposing forces are now the Republicans against the Democrats, for the stakes are quite simple: the presidency of America and the key factor in its bristling portfolio of power – Commander-in-Chief of America’s vast arsenal.

Karl Rove has a powerful force arrayed on the field: the Pentagon, Central Command and the White House with its lame duck presidency encompassing overall command and control of the US military and, therefore, foreign policy. On the other hand, the Democrats have little to oppose the massive bureaucratic power of the Republican forces: slender majorities in both the House and the Senate – where Democratic support for ending the war is fragmented by blocs of “Blue Dog” Democrats who faithfully follow every command they perceive from the Republicans in the White House.

In his perceptive paper, Guy Saperstein has proposed that the Democrats could respond to a Republican-dominated attack on Iran by assembling Congressional investigations that could subpoena Admiral William Fallon and other stalwart patriots in the US military who oppose a US attack on Iran. Saperstein’s suggestion is certainly a good one, and it has the added distinction of being the only one on the table. But, the truth remains as Saperstein points out, the Democrats do not have a viable Iran strategy, nor are they likely to settle upon one anytime soon for they are preoccupied with the struggle between Obama and Clinton for the nomination.

The geopolitical ramifications of a US attack on Iran will be grave. It will signal the end of America’s global domination as the sole superpower. A triumvirate of nations: China, Iran and Russia will arise to challenge the US for global supremacy launching a new cold war and its concomitant arms race. The next phase of geostrategic military rivalry will extend to the astronomically expensive region of outer space, where Donald Rumsfeld has already made the preliminary moves to establish US supremacy in an area that was supposed to be permanently disarmed by the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. The US aerospace industry will be pleased, and their profits will surge.

While that scenario is bad enough, it does, indeed, get worse. Much worse, as a matter of fact. A sagacious retired US military professional, Captain Eric May, has warned that a false-flag attack could trigger public panic and mobilize massive political backing for the next phase of neocon belligerence. Thanks to Seymour Hersh and others, we know that the next phase of neocon expansion of conflict is their well-planned launch of the Iran War.

That is the “Double Whammy” now enthralling top-level Republican strategists – a counterfeit attack on US soil (a typical false-flag operation modeled on Hitler’s burning of the Reichstag) followed swiftly by a shock and awe bombing campaign against Iran. At this point, there is no Democratic response on the drawing boards for such a crisis. It is obvious that the presidential nominee should lead the protest to expand the war. But, what will he or she do if there is a traumatic false-flag operation as Captain May proposes?

That opening move and the sequence of moves to follow are transparently obvious: both Clinton and Obama should lock arms and decry the total failure of Bush-Cheney and their neocon junta to protect Americans from the onslaught of terrorism. Congress should immediately convene to launch impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney and simultaneous investigations of the latest act of “terrorism” and its predecessor: 9/11. All 9/11 files currently classified should be immediately opened to public scrutiny by the Congressional investigators.

If the Republicans make the mistake and open with the False Flag-Iran Gambit, the Democrats should be ready to repudiate it in unison. At this point in the political calendar, there is no clear indication that they will be able to do more than rubber stamp the next Republican moves to ensure that national security will determine the outcome of this November’s election. That is what Karl Rove predicts.

In several televised interviews, Karl Rove has predicted that national security will be the defining issue of the next election and that the Republican nominee will prevail over the Democrat. That is why the top-drawer Republicans are so enthralled with their marvelous new toy – the “Double Whammy.”

SOURCES

Survey finds McCain would defeat both Obama and Clinton in latest prospective General Election match-ups

The Shift to Hillary by Mark Penn

Why we want to keep Hillary alive by Rush Limbaugh

The Boston Globe / Many voting for Clinton to boost GOP: Seek to prolong bitter battle

Rush Limbaugh Explains Why He’s Urging Republicans in Texas and Ohio to Vote for Hillary Clinton on Super Tuesday 2

The New Yorker / Annals of National Security – The Iran Plans by Seymour Hersh

Guy Saperstein, The Dems Need an Iran Strategy ASAP

The resignation of Admiral Fallon will provoke renewed fighting in Iraq

False Flag Prospects, 2008: Top 3 US Target Cities by Captain Eric H. May

The Shock and Awe of Bombing Iran: The Bush-Cheney Grand Finale of Destruction

Outer Space Treaty (1967)

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

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

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Michael Carmichael, The Planetary Movement, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8412

Beware an Attack on Iran by Prof. Marjorie Cohn

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Global Research, March 17, 2008

Is the Bush administration ramping up for an attack on Iran? The signs seem to point in that direction. On March 11, Navy Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East, retired early because of differences with Washington on Iran policy. And now, Dick Cheney’s current Middle East tour may be designed to prepare our Arab allies for an imminent “preemptive” war against Iran.

Bush and Cheney have long been rattling the sabers in Iran’s direction. The disaster they created in Iraq isn’t going well, no matter how they spin it. They may feel that engaging the United States militarily in Iran would make it harder to elect anyone other than the seasoned military man, John McCain. The Republican presidential candidate just happens to be touring Iraq with Sen. Joe Lieberman, one of the strongest advocates of a U.S. military strike on Iran. Lieberman is likely on McCain’s short list for a vice-presidential running mate.

Admiral Fallon took early retirement after making comments that contradicted the Bush administration’s aggressive stance on Iran. Fallon told the Arab television station Al Jazeera last fall that a “constant drumbeat of conflict” from the administration against Iran was “not helpful and not useful.” After Fallon announced his retirement, the New York Times reported a senior administration official as saying Fallon’s comments about U.S. Iran policy “left the perception he had a different foreign policy than the president.” If Fallon wants to talk to Iran rather than attack it, then his policy differs from Bush’s.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Miller, however, has downplayed the significance of Admiral Fallon’s abrupt retirement. Admiral Miller proclaimed recently, “In my view, this should not be seen as a sign – at all – towards any kind of conflict with Iran.” Perhaps the chairman doth protest too much.

The White House has been spewing pugilistic rhetoric toward Iran. In spite of the unanimous conclusion of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies that Iran is not developing nukes, Bush immediately declared, “I have said Iran is dangerous, and the NIE estimate doesn’t do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world – quite the contrary.”

(See http://marjoriecohn.com/2007/12/bush-still-spinning-nukes-in-iran.html).

News reports on Monday announced that Dick Cheney is on a surprise weeklong visit to Iraq, Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Turkey. High on Cheney’s agenda is the topic of U.S. policy toward Iran.

Connect the dots. They paint a very frightening picture.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the President of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of “Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law.” Her articles are archived at www.marjoriecohn.com.

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

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

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Marjorie Cohn, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8371

see

Iran’s Conservatives Take Lead in Election, End Nuclear Negotiations By Liam Bailey

Threat of Iran War More Real: End the World for What? By Liam Bailey

The resignation of Admiral Fallon will provoke renewed fighting in Iraq

Disagreements by Top Military Brass regarding Bush-Cheney War Plans by Michel Chossudovsky

Iran’s Conservatives Take Lead in Election, End Nuclear Negotiations By Liam Bailey

Liam

By Liam Bailey
featured writer
Dandelion Salad

The Bailey Mail
March 16, 2008

2008-03-15

Iran’s hardliners led by Ahmadinejad have taken a massive early lead according to the count thus far. With results from 190 of the 290 seats revealed, Iran’s hardliners had taken 60 seats and the reformists only 33.

Iran’s hardliners celebrated taking a massive early lead in the country’s parliamentary elections by announcing that talks with the west over their nuclear program are over. This is a huge blow to anyone who still hoped this crisis could be resolved peacefully, and takes us one massive step closer to a US military attack on Iran.

It is unsurprising that the conservatives have taken such a lead in the provincial seats, because more than half of the reformists were banned from standing by the un-elected Guardian council of religious clerics, on the grounds that they lacked loyalty to the Islamic system.

One shimmer of light of the election, is that, according to so far unconfirmed reports, Ali Larijani has been elected in the parliamentary elections for the seat of Qom, an important religious city in Iran. Larijani is the former Iranian chief negotiator in the nuclear crisis, and advocate of a peaceful agreement with the West.

Larijani was a conservative and a supporter of Ahmadinejad, but their difference over the handling of the nuclear row led to Larijani and others breaking away and forming a political group now known as revisionists. Basically they don’t want the sweeping changes to the political system that the reformists do, but they hate the way Ahmadinejad has allowed the economy to collapse, the main reason for which being UN resolutions targeting the economy, because of his failure to peacefully resolve the nuclear row. The reformists have taken 48 seats of the results so far revealed.

Last week’s resignation of long-standing Naval Officer and central commander in the Middle East, General Fallon was widely regarded as a sign that war with Iran may be just around the corner. Another sign is Israel’s preparations to go to war with Hezbollah, an Iranian backed terror group in Lebanon who would attack Israel in retaliation for any US strike on Iran. Iran’s conservatives winning the provincial elections, and calling of negotiations over the nuclear row, I’m afraid to say, takes us far too close to war with Iran for my liking.

see

Threat of Iran War More Real: End the World for What? By Liam Bailey

The resignation of Admiral Fallon will provoke renewed fighting in Iraq

Disagreements by Top Military Brass regarding Bush-Cheney War Plans by Michel Chossudovsky

Bailey-Liam

.

.

The resignation of Admiral Fallon will provoke renewed fighting in Iraq

Dandelion Salad

by Thierry Meyssan
Global Research, March 15, 2008
voltairenet.org

Contrary to what has been written so far in the mainstream media, Admiral William Fallon was not removed because he was opposing President Bush on an attack against Iran. He resigned from his own initiative after the agreement he had negotiated and concluded with Tehran, Moscow and Peking was sabotaged by the White House. This decision by the Bush administration will provoke renewed fighting in Iraq and exposes gravely the GI’s to a new Resistance this time supported without restraints from the outside.

It was nearly 22h GMT, on Tuesday March 11th 2008 when commander in chief of Central Command, Admiral William Fallon announced from Iraq that he was presenting his resignation. Immediately afterwards in Washington, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and also his friend, declared, in an improvised press conference that he accepted that decision with regrets. In fact, the resignation of the admiral was apparently demanded by the White House following the publication of an article in the monthly Esquire [1] reporting “frank” comments of the officer concerning President Bush. In the same article one could read that the removing of the Admiral would be the last signal before the war.

Yet this interpretation is erroneous. It ignores the evolution of the equilibrium of forces in Washington. To understand what is at stake, let us go back a little bit. Our readers, which have been regularly informed in our columns of the ongoing debates in Washington, will remember Fallon’s threats to resign [2], the mutiny of high level officers [3], the inside story of Annapolis [4], and the infiltration of NATO in Lebanon [5] which we reported in our columns before everybody else; revelations which were contested when first published and which later well fully confirmed. We add here unpublished information on the negotiations conducted by Fallon.

The Fallon plan

While the United States establishment had approved going to war against Iraq hoping to gain substantial economic profits, progressively it lost all such illusions. The direct and indirect costs generated by this operation are beyond measure and only profits to a very few. Since 2006, the ruling class, worried, decided to bring this adventure to an end. It contested the over-deployment of soldiers, the increasing diplomatic isolation and the financial hemorrhage This opposition expressed itself through the Baker/Hamilton report which condemned the US plan for a Greater Middle East and proposed a military withdrawal from Iraq and a diplomatic rapprochement with Teheran and Damas.

Under this amiable pressure, President Bush was forced to fire Donald Rumsfeld and replace him with Robert Gates (member himself of the Baker/Hamilton commission). A bi partisan work group – the Armitage-Nye commission – was created to define consensually a new policy. But it turned out that the Bush/Cheney tandem had not renounced its projects and used this group to allay its rivals while at the same time continuing to wield its weapons against Iran. Cutting short those maneuvers Robert Gates gave carte blanche to a group of high level officers he had frequented in the times of Bush father. On December 3rd 2007, they published a secret services report discrediting the White House lies concerning the so called Iranian threat. Beyond, they tried to impose on President Bush a rebalancing of his Middle East policy, to the detriment of Israel.

Admiral William Fallon exerts a moral authority over that group which includes Mike McConnell (National Director of Intelligence), general Michael Hyden (CIA director), general George Casey (chief of staff of the lad army), and later Mike Mullen (head of the joints chief of staff). Cold blooded, and gifted with brilliant intelligence, he is one of the last great bosses of the armed forces to have served in Vietnam. Worried by the multiplication of operation theatres, by the dispersion of forces and the usury of troops, he openly contested a civilian leadership whose policies can only lead the US to defeat.

In the continuation of that mutiny, that group of high level officers was authorized to negotiate an honorable end to the crisis with Iran and to prepare the withdrawal from Iraq. According to our sources, they conceived an agreement in three phases:

  • the US would have had the Security council to adopt a last resolution against Iran in order not to lose face. But this resolution would be empty and Teheran would accommodate to it.
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would go to Iraq where he would reaffirm the regional interests of Iran. But that trip would be purely symbolic and Washington would accommodate to it.
  • Teheran would use all its influence to normalize the situation in Iraq, and to lead the groups of the armed resistance it supports towards political integration.

This stabilization would allow the Pentagon to withdraw its troops without defeat. In exchange, Washington would cease its support to armed groups of the Iranian opposition, in particular the Moudjahedine of the people.

Still according to our sources, Robert Gates and that group of officers, lead by General Brent Scowcroft (former National Security Adviser), solicited support from Russia and China for this process. In perplexity, before responding positively, Moscow and Peking first confirmed with the White House its forced agreement (to this process, noe), relieved to be able to avoid an uncontrollable conflict.

Vladimir Putin engaged himself not to seek advantage militarily from the US withdrawal, but demanded that the political consequences be drawn. I was agreed upon then that the Annapolis conference would lead to symbolic results, while a large conference on the Middle East would be organized in Moscow to unblock all the dossiers that the Bush administration had been poisoning. The same Putin accepted to facilitate the Iran-US compromise, but worried about a too strong Iran on its Russian borders. As guarantee, it was agreed upon that Iran would accept what it had always refused so far: not to fabricate alone its nuclear fuel.

Negotiations with Hu Jintao were more complex, the Chinese leaders being shocked to discover to what extent the Bush administration had lied a propos the so called Iranian threat. So, first, bilateral trust had to be re-established. Luckily Admiral Fallon who until recently commanded the PacCOM (pacific zone), had kept courtesy relations with the Chinese. It was decided that Peking would let a formal anti-Iranian resolution pass at the Security Council but that the formulation of that text would in no way hinder the Sino Iranian trade.

The sabotage

At first glance, all seemed to function. Moscow and Peking accepted to play roles at Annapolis and to vote resolution 1803 against Iran, while president Ahmadinejad savored his official visit to Baghdad where he secretly met US heads of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, to plan reduction of tensions in Iraq. But the Bush/Cheney tandem did not declare itself defeated. It sabotaged as soon as it could this well oiled mechanic.

Firstly, the Moscow conference disappeared in the moving sands of oriental mirages, before even having existed. Secondly, Israel launched its assault against Gaza and NATO deployed its fleet off the coast of Lebanon as a means to provoke the setting on fire of the Greater Middle East region, while Fallon was attempting to put out the fires one by one. Thirdly, the White House, usually so prompt to fire its own employees, refused to dump the People’s Mouhadjidines.

Exasperated, the Russians massed their fleet south of Cyprus to survey the NATO ships and send Sergei Lavrov on tour to the Middle East with mission to arm Syria, Hamas and the Hezbollah to reestablish the equilibrium in Levant. While the Iranians, furious of having been cheated, encouraged the Iraqi resistance to break the GIs. Seeing his efforts reduced to nothing, Admiral Fallon resigned as the only means for him to save his honor and his credibility vis a vis his interlocutors. The Esquire interview, published two weeks ago is only a pretext here.

The hour of truth

In the next three weeks, the Bush/Cheney tandem will play all its cards in Iraq in an attempt to have weapons determine the outcome of the situation. General David Petraeus, will push to the extreme his counterinsurgency program in order to be able to come up to the next US congress, beginning in April, as victorious. Simultaneously, the Iraqi resistance, now supported by Teheran, Moscow and Peking, will multiply its ambushes and seek to kill a maximum occupiers.

It will then be up to the US establishment to draw the conclusions of the situation in the battle field. Either the Petraeus’ results on the ground will be deemed acceptable and the Bush/Cheney tandem will finish its mandate without further difficulties. Or, to avoid the spectrum of defeat, it will have to condemn the White House and restart in one way or the other, the negotiations that Admiral Fallon had carried out.

Simultaneously, Ehud Olmert will interrupt the negotiations started with Hamas via Egypt. He will heat up the region up to Bush’s visit in May.

This regional fever should stimulate the Bush apparatus, either through investments in the military-industrial domain of the Carlyle fund, whose real estate branch is on the verge of bankruptcy, or via the electoral campaign of McCain.

Thierry Meyssan, Journalist and best-selling author is president of the Paris based Voltaire Network.

English translation: Christine Bierre

[1] « The Man Between War and Peace » par Thomas P.M. Barnett, Esquire, mars 2008.

[2] « The Neoconservative Agenda to Sacrifice the Fifth Fleet – The New Pearl Harbor », by Michael Salla, Voltaire Network, 19 november 2007.

[3] « Washington décrète un an de trêve globale », par Thierry Meyssan, et « Pourquoi McConnell a-t-il publié le rapport sur l’Iran ? », Réseau Voltaire, 3 et 17 décembre 2007

[4] « La ‘solution à deux États’ sera bien celle de l’apartheid », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 13 janvier 2008.

[5] « La discrète arrivée de l’OTAN au Liban », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 10 mars 2008.

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

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

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Thierry Meyssan, voltairenet.org, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8351

see

Fallon falls: Iran should worry by Gareth Porter

Disagreements by Top Military Brass regarding Bush-Cheney War Plans by Michel Chossudovsky

Threat of Iran War More Real: End the World for What? By Liam Bailey

New UN Sanctions Make US-Iran War More Likely

‘Fox’ Fallon Fired – And we’re f*cked… By Justin Raimondo

Defense Sec Gates Announces Resignation of Admiral Fallon + More on Fallon’s Resignation

Fallon falls: Iran should worry by Gareth Porter

Dandelion Salad

by Gareth Porter
Global Research, March 13, 2008
IPS

WASHINGTON – Admiral William Fallon’s request to quit his position as head of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) and to retire from the military was apparently the result of a George W Bush administration decision to pressure him to resign.

Announcing the resignation, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he believed it was “the right thing to do”, thus indicating the administration wanted it. Gates added that it would be “ridiculous” to suggest that Fallon’s resignation signaled that the US planned to go to war with Iran.

Gates said Fallon’s position would be filled by his top deputy, Army Lieutenant General Martin Dempsey, until a permanent replacement was confirmed by the Senate.

On Monday, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell, asked whether Gates still had full confidence in Fallon, would only say that Fallon “still enjoys a working – a good working relationship with the secretary of defense”, and then added, “Admiral Fallon serves at the pleasure of the president.”

The resignation came a few days after the publication of an Esquire magazine article profiling Fallon in which he was described as being “in hot water” with the White House and justified public comments departing from the Bush administration’s policy toward Iran. The publicity that followed the article – titled The Man Between War and Peace – accelerated the pressure on Fallon to resign.

But “Fox” Fallon almost certainly knew that he would be fired when he agreed to cooperate with the Esquire magazine profile. On Tuesday, Fallon issued a statement, “Recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the president’s policy objectives have become a distraction at a critical time and hamper efforts in the CENTCOM region.”

The resignation brings to an end a year during which Fallon clashed with the White House over policy toward Iran and with General David Petraeus and the White House over whether Iraq should continue to be given priority over Afghanistan and Pakistan in US policy.

Fallon’s greatest concern appears to have been preventing war with Iran. He was one a group of senior military officers, apparently including most of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were alarmed in late 2006 and early 2007 by indications that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were contemplating a possible attack on Iran.

Gates chose Fallon to replace General John P Abizaid as CENTCOM chief shortly after a December 13, 2006 meeting between Bush and the Joint Chiefs at which Bush reportedly asked their views on a possible strike against Iran.

Colonel W Patrick Lang, a former intelligence officer on the Middle East for the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Washington Post last week that Fallon had said privately at the time of his confirmation that an attack on Iran “isn’t going to happen on my watch”. When asked how he could avoid such a conflict, Fallon reportedly responded, “I have options, you know.” Lang said he interpreted that comment as implying Fallon would step down rather than follow orders to carry out such an attack.

As Inter Press Service (IPS) reported last May, Fallon was also quoted as saying privately at that time, “There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the box.” That was an apparent reference to the opposition by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to an aggressive war against Iran.

Even before assuming his new post at CENTCOM, Fallon expressed strong opposition in mid-February to a proposal for sending a third US aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, to overlap with two other carriers, according to knowledgeable sources. The addition of a third carrier was to be part of a broader strategy then being discussed at the Pentagon to intimidate Iran by making a series of military moves suggesting preparations for a military strike. The plan for a third carrier task force in the Gulf was dropped after Fallon made his views known.

Fallon reportedly made his opposition to a strike against Iran known to the White House early on in his tenure, and his role as CENTCOM commander would have made it very difficult for the Bush administration to carry out a strike against Iran, because he controlled all ground, air and naval military access to the region.

But Fallon’s role in regional diplomacy proved to be an even greater source of friction with the White House than his position on military policy toward Iran. Personal relations with military and political leaders in the Middle East had already become nearly as important as military planning under Fallon’s predecessors at CENTCOM.

Fallon clearly relished his diplomatic role and did not hesitate to express views on diplomacy that were at odds with those of the administration. Last summer, as Cheney was maneuvering within the administration to shift US policy toward an attack on bases in Iran allegedly connected to anti-US Shi’ite forces in Iraq, Fallon declared in an interview, “We have to figure out a way to come to an arrangement [with Iran].”

When Sunni Arab regimes in the Middle East became alarmed about the possibility of a US war with Iran, Fallon made statements on three occasions in September and November ruling out a US attack on Iran. Those statements contradicted the Bush administration’s policy of keeping the military option “on the table” and soured relations with the White House.

Fallon also antagonized administration officials by pushing for a faster exit from Iraq than the White House and Petraeus wanted. Fallon had a highly-publicized personal and policy clash with Petraeus, for whom he reportedly expressed a visceral dislike. Sources familiar with reports of his meetings with Petraeus in Baghdad last March told IPS last spring that he called him an “ass-kissing little chickenshit” in their first meeting.

Fallon later denied that he had used such language, suggesting to Esquire that the sources of the report were probably army officers who were indulging in inter-service rivalry with the navy. In fact, however, the sources of the report were supporters of Fallon.

Fallon’s quarrel with Petraeus was also related to the latter’s insistence on keeping US troops in Iraq, even while the North Atlantic Treaty Organization position in Afghanistan was growing more tenuous. Fallon was strongly committed to a strategy that gave priority to Afghanistan and Pakistan as the central security challenges to the United States in the Middle East and Asia.

Fallon made his distaste for a long war in Iraq very clear from the beginning. He ordered subordinates to stop using the term “long war”, which had been favored by the Bush administration. He was reported to be concerned that the concept would alienate people across the Middle East by suggesting a US intention to maintain troops indefinitely in Muslim countries.

Fallon’s policy positions made him unpopular among neo-conservative supporters of the administration. One neo-conservative pundit, military specialist Max Boot, criticized Fallon last November for his public comment ruling out a strike against Iran and then suggested in January that Petraeus should replace the “unimpressive” Fallon at CENTCOM.

Fallon was playing a complex political game at CENTCOM by crossing the White House on the two most politically sensitive issues in Middle East policy. As a veteran bureaucratic infighter, he knew that he was politically vulnerable. Nevertheless, he chose late last year not to lower his profile but to raise it by cooperating fully with the Esquire article.

IPS has learned that Fallon agreed to sit for celebrity photographer Peter Yang at CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa on December 26 for the Esquire spread, despite the near-certainty that it would exacerbate his relations with the White House. That may have been a signal that he already knew that he would not be able to continue to play the game much longer and was ready to bring his stormy tenure at CENTCOM to an end.

Gareth Porter is an historian and national security policy analyst. The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006.

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

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

For media inquiries: crgeditor@yahoo.com
© Copyright Gareth Porter, IPS, 2008
The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8324

see

NBC Makes Mockery of US Constitution & Rule of Law (video)

Disagreements by Top Military Brass regarding Bush-Cheney War Plans by Michel Chossudovsky

Threat of Iran War More Real: End the World for What? By Liam Bailey

New UN Sanctions Make US-Iran War More Likely

‘Fox’ Fallon Fired – And we’re f*cked… By Justin Raimondo

Why Fallon’s Resignation is Frightening (video)

Fears of strike on Iran rise as Admiral Fallon quits by Chris Stephen

6 Signs the U.S. May Be Headed for War in Iran by Terry Atlas

Watching the Dollar Die By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
13/03/08 “ICH

I’ve been watching the dollar die all my life. I sometimes think I will outlast it.

When I was a young man, gold was $35 an ounce. Today one ounce gold bullion coins, such as the Canadian Maple Leaf, cost more than $1,000.

Our coinage was silver. Our dimes, quarters, and half dollars had purchasing power. Even the nickel could purchase a candy bar, ice cream cone or soft drink, and a penny could purchase bubble gum or hard candy. If a kid could collect 5 discarded soft drink bottles from a construction site, the 2 cents deposit on the returnable bottles was enough for the Saturday afternoon movie. Gasoline was 32 cents a gallon. A dollar’s worth was enough for a Saturday night date.

Our silver coinage was 90% silver. People sometimes melted coins in order to make silver spoons, known as coin silver, which can still be found in antique shops. Except for the reduced silver (40%) Kennedy half dollar which continued until 1970, 1964 was the last year of America’s silver coinage. The copper penny departed in 1982. As Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, I opposed the demise of America’s last commodity money, but I couldn’t prevent the copper penny’s death.

During World War II (1941-1945), nickel was diverted from coinage to war, and the US mint issued a wartime silver (35%) nickel.

It is not easy to find items to purchase with today’s US coins, but the silver coins of the same face value still have purchasing power. The 10 cent piece of my youth contains $1.42 worth of silver at today’s silver price. The quarter is worth $3.55, and the half dollar contains $7.10 of silver. The silver dollar is worth 15.2 times its face value. These are just the silver values of coins that might be worth far more depending on condition and rarity. The silver in the wartime nickel is worth $1.10, which is 22 times the coin’s face value. Even the copper penny is worth 2.5 cents.

When I was a young man enjoying travels in Europe, the German mark or Swiss franc traded four to one US dollar. The euro, which is today’s equivalent to the mark or franc, costs $1.55.

People who haven’t accumulated much age have little idea of the corrosive power of “acceptable” inflation. Unlike gold and silver, fiat money has no intrinsic value. When money is created faster than goods and services it drives up prices, thus driving down the value of the money. If freely traded currencies are excessively printed or if inflation, budget deficits, and trade deficits drive currencies off their fixed exchange rates, prices of imports rise as the foreign exchange value of the currency falls.

Today the US, heavily dependent on imports, is subject to double-barrel inflation from both domestic money creation and decline in the dollar’s foreign exchange value.

The US inflation rate is about twice as high as the government’s inflation measures report. In order to hold down Social Security payments, the government changed the way it measures inflation. In the old measure, inflation measured the nominal cost of a defined standard of living. If the price of steak rose, up went the inflation rate. Today if the price of steak rises, the government assumes that people switch to hamburger. Inflation doesn’t go up. Instead, the standard of living it measures goes down.

This is just one of the many ways that the government pulls the wool over our eyes.

With the dollar value of the euro rising through the roof, today a vacation in Europe is far more costly than in the past. Thanks to China, so far Americans have been sheltered from the greatest effects of the dollar’s declining value. Our greatest trade deficit is with China. The prices of the goods from China have not risen, because China keeps its currency pegged to the dollar. As the dollar goes down, China’s currency goes with it, thus holding down price rises.

The resignation of Admiral William Fallon as US military commander in the Middle East probably signals a Bush Regime attack on Iran. Fallon said that there would be no US attack on Iran on his watch. As there was no reason for Fallon to resign, it is not farfetched to conclude that Bush has removed an obstacle to war with Iran.

The US is already over stretched both militarily and economically. An attack on Iran is likely to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.


Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Change for a penny? With pennies, nickels costing more to make than they’re worth, Congress considers metal makeover h/t: Speaking Truth to Power