- Peace Garden: 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006

Lebanon Burning

Thursday, July 27, 2006

... and our Nero keeps fiddling around. Ramzi Kysia is an Arab-American essayist and peace activist. He is currently living in Lebanon. He wrote this commenting on Condi's recent trip.

Yesterday, CNN reported that before meeting with Israeli leaders Condoleezza Rice said that it was time for "a new Middle East...time to say to those who do not want a different kind of Middle East that we will prevail, they will not."
To my complete horror, she apparently means exactly what she says.
Instead of the ten-thousand strong NATO force that Israel was calling for, CNN reported that the United States is insisting on a thirty-thousand member force, and that Bush and Rice are demanding that either Hezbollah accept such a force, or first be defeated militarily.
Hezbollah will never accept that many foreign troops in Southern Lebanon - even ten-thousand was pushing it. And "defeating" Hezbollah will take weeks of intense fighting, if not months, and cause tens-of-thousands more civilian casualties.
The terrifying thing is that the Lebanese government might accept such a plan - as angry as they are at Hezbollah, as desperate as they are to stop Israel's bombs. But European countries would be insane to contribute their troops to such a force.
Thirty-thousand foreign combat troops in Southern Lebanon is more than a face-saving measure, and much more than just a deterrent to future rocket attacks against Israel.
Thirty-thousand foreign combat troops in Southern Lebanon means knocking down every door, in what homes remain standing, to search for militants and weapons. Thirty-thousand troops means arbitrary arrests and indefinite detentions. Thirty-thousand troops means turning the South into Lebanon's very own "Shi'a Triangle," with a bitter insurgency and massive violence at every turn.
Thirty-thousand troops means turning Hezbollah into a world-wide organization that will certainly try and sponsor attacks against any country sponsoring those troops.
Thirty-thousand troops means uniting Shi'a militants with their Sunni counterparts in Al-Qaeda's view of the world.
The tactics used by many Arab militants should be resoundingly condemned. Both for targeting innocents and for bringing disaster on their own peoples. Even so, underneath America's scorn for Hezbollah and Hamas lies an incredible racism that pretends to believe that no Arab could possibly have any legitimate grievance with Israel. Even as Israel smashes their nations into oblivion. To deliver a solution to this crisis from out that racism is to birth a monster.
For a short time this week I allowed myself to feel some hope. But America's plan for "peace" amounts to throwing gasoline on an already raging fire and standing back while we all burn.
A "New Middle East" made in the image of our Dark Lord. An image that clearly is based on racist thoughts and dreams of power, glory and riches for a certain few.


Do as we say, not as we do!

Condi made it clear - don't interfere.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has cautioned Syria and Iran that they face further isolation if they try to scupper US-led attempts to get a ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel.
But haven't we been the guilty party? Haven't we been slow in calling for a stop to the action? Haven't we given the green light to Israel to keep bombing and attacking?

The actions of this regime are getting more strange every day.


Call your Representative

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

H. Con. Res 450 needs help...

Calling upon the President to appeal to all sides in the current crisis in the Middle East for an immediate cessation of violence and to commit United States diplomats to multi-party negotiations with no preconditions.
This was introduced by Kucinich and the following:


U.S. Gives Israel Timeline for Assault on Hezbollah

FAUX News reports that Big Brother (the great Decider) has done his job - decided the future of the world.

The United States has given Israeli forces between 10 and 14 days to finish dealing Hezbollah "a strategic blow," a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official told FOX News, as both Israeli forces and Hezbollah guerrillas continued to volley rockets across the Lebanon-Israel border.
Who the F**K are we to "grant" two more weeks of killing and destruction? Has the world designated us as the Supreme Nation?


Bahrain News Agency

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bahrain News Agency had an interesting report that did not see too much light in our media.

The Lebanese Hezbollah movement announced Wednesday the arrest of two Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon.
Lebanese police said that the two soldiers were arrested as they entered the town of Aitaa al-Chaab inside the Lebanese border. Israeli aircraft were active in the air over southern Lebanon, police said, with jets bombing roads leading to the market town of Nabatiyeh, 60 kilometers south of Beirut.
So if they were in Lebanon a couple of questions are raised: What were they doing there? Why call it a kidnapping, shouldn't it (as this article states) be called an arrest? What were they doing bombing in Lebanon before their "declared war?"

If this is true, can we blame Hezbollah and Lebanon for fighting back? We talk about the missiles striking Israel. But what actions came first?

Time to look at all sides, all stories, all actions.


The tangled web we wove...

Will Turkey FollowIsrael's Lead? Will they follow our lesson plan - preemptive strikes? Their enemy - the Kurds.

From Turkey's perspective, they are an Iraqi problem. Kurdish rebels use Iraq as a springboard for their terrorist activities, causing Prime Minister Erdogan to line up 250,000 troops, a number nearly twice as large as the American contingent, along the Iraq border. Last weekend, 14 soldiers were killed by Kurdish guerillas. And now, eyeing the Bush doctrine at work in the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, Erdogan strains at the bit to enter the war.
Blasting Bush's double standard on the sovereign use of force to combat terrorism, Erdogan has announced troop "contingency plans" to storm over the border.
The ramifications of Turkey waging war against the PKK in Iraq amid the chaos of so many armed soldiers could certainly lead to confrontation and skirmishes between U.S. and Turkish forces, similar to what happened in Sulaymaniyah in 2003. The Turkish army is no ragtag outfit, having forcibly ousted four governments in the last 45 years.
Should we be afraid?
The Turks proved their ferocity in World War I when they repelled the Allies at Gallipoli, a battle that resulted in 250,000 dead.
And of course we can always ask the Armenians if we should be wary.


The other wars - lest we forget...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Attention is focused on Lebanon recently. So how gioes the war in Afghanistan? Not too good!

The most senior British military commander in Afghanistan today described the situation in the country as "close to anarchy" with feuding foreign agencies and unethical private security companies compounding problems caused by local corruption.
The stark warning came from Lieutenant General David Richards, head of Nato's international security force in Afghanistan, who warned that western forces there were short of equipment and "running out of time" if they were going to meet the expectations of the Afghan people.
Okay. but I am sure the situation in Iraq is rosy, right? Wrong! Gloom has set in...
Iraqi leaders have all but given up on holding the country together and, just two months after forming a national unity government, talk in private of "black days" of civil war ahead.
Signalling a dramatic abandonment of the U.S.-backed project for Iraq, there is even talk among them of pre-empting the worst bloodshed by agreeing to an east-west division of Baghdad into Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim zones, senior officials told Reuters.
Tens of thousands have already fled homes on either side.
"Iraq as a political project is finished," one senior government official said -- anonymously because the coalition under Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki remains committed in public to the U.S.-sponsored constitution that preserves Iraq's unity.
Boy this was a tough few weeks for the neo-cons and their dreams of world domination. But there is a light still shining. We can always invade Venezuela or how about Grenada - that was easy pickings so many years ago,


The view from Egypt

Watching America cites this editorial from Egypt:

The Middle East peace process breathed its last breath, the day Israel attacked Lebanon. The offensive followed days of barbaric assaults against Gaza and other Palestinian areas. And now we're back at square one. Negotiations are all but forgotten and no one dares speak of peace efforts anymore. All we have now is fury, with Israel bringing its vengeance to bear on its foes.
The Lebanese people, without help from the Arabs, are once again left with little option but to fight and resist. Israel, meanwhile, is killing and dismembering in the hope of restoring its lost dignity. Israel still thinks it can sort things out with fire and bloodshed. This war has nothing to do with the freeing of the two captured soldiers. Israel has a plan for Lebanon and the region, and this is just one part of it.
Israel wants to turn the Lebanese public against the resistance. It wants Lebanon to aid and abet American hegemony in the region. Some parties in Lebanon have been of two minds about the resistance, and Israel wants them to do Washington's bidding. Israel is bombing, shelling and settling accounts, and in its attempts to eliminate the Lebanese resistance is being aided by Arab silence, global indifference and American backing. Israel is seeking to avenge its humiliating withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and wants to remove Hezbullah from the equation, thereby weakening Arab and Islamic resolve. It seeks to undermine any confidence Arabs may have gained when American schemes in Afghanistan and Iraq came crashing down on the heads of the U.S. administration.
Ahhh - our ally helping us create the New World.


The reality of war in Lebanon...

Friday, July 21, 2006

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Thanks to The Cat's Blog for making us aware of the horrors of this war - any war.


The Happy Ending?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

That's our man. Not great with diplomacy. Not great at running a country. Not great at running a company. Not great at telling the truth.

But what a way with women. Such a stud!


The Clandestine war - a lesson from the U.S.?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

DEBKAfile -

Israeli spokesmen speak only of small ground crossings into the south and air strikes against several war material trucks crossing in from Syria. However, according to DEBKAfile’s military sources, those ground incursions extend to central and eastern Lebanon as well as the south, targeting Hizballah strongholds and launching sites, and include several cross-border raids into Syria in pursuit of fleeing Hizballah terrorists and for the interception of incoming groups. Weapons convoys destined for Hizballah are also being struck on the Syrian side of the border. To conceal the extent of their losses, Hizballah has instructed its people not to hold burials.
I wonder how much pushing until the other pushes back? The problem is if Syria pushes back we all know who W and O(lmert) will blame.

Place the bomb, light the fuse, point the finger at your neighbor after it explodes.


Senseless destruction...

Catastrophe may be the word that fits best.

The United Nations warned of a humanitarian "catastrophe" in Lebanon as Israel launched more deadly air attacks on the seventh day of an assault that has killed at least 245 and displaced half a million people.
Helicopters, ferries and cruise liners began taking foreign nationals to safety but Lebanese civilians remained trapped in a cycle of violence that has left them in fear of each new attack and their infrastructure in tatters.
"The situation is both alarming and catastrophic. There are about 500,000 people displaced already. The situation is extreme" the representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Beirut, Roberto Laurenti, told AFP.
Lebanon's grim body count continued to mount as Israeli pressed on with its campaign to defeat fighters of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, killing 28 people in attacks that flattened homes and hit an army barracks.
Will Lebanon ever recover from the Israeli bombings? Will Iraq ever recover from our occupation? Will the world ever recover from our own regime's policies?


The Distance from Guernica to Lebanon

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ramzi Kysia on learning from history.

As I write this, over two hundred Lebanese have been killed. Almost all of them were civilians.
I think of Guernica.
On April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the German Air Force, siding with fascist dictator Francisco Franco, began a bombing campaign against the city of Guernica. Some 1,600 people were killed, and the city was reduced to rubble. Guernica is remembered as the first time air power was used against a civilian population with the intent of causing complete destruction.
When it happened, Guernica shocked the world. Today, we do not shock so easily. Lebanon is being sacrificed without so much as a casual protest.
Israel has bombed power plants, roads, and bridges all across Lebanon. Israel has bombed gas stations and fuel depots, grain silos, lighthouses, the seaports in Beirut, Tripoli, Jounieh and Tyre. Beirut's airport is in flames. Beirut's Shi'a suburbs have been almost completely demolished. Firefighters are pleading for help, because they do not have enough water to put out the blazes.
I think of Guernica.
Too many Guernicas lately.


The root of all Evil...

Monday, July 17, 2006

What do the following have in common?

  1. Witch burnings
  2. The Inquisition
  3. Today's Mid East problems
  4. Beheadings in Saudi Arabia
  5. Bombings in India
  6. Civil unrest in Iraq
  7. Waco
  8. Jonestown
  9. Assassination of doctors performing legal abortions
Answer: RELIGION The only solution to the majority of today's problems: Ban All Religions. No more Jew, Sunni, Catholic, Buddhist, Shiite, Hindu, Lutheran... Just one people who have to get together to survive.
Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too... Imagine by John Lennon
Religion first-countries next.


A little help for my friends...

GoodSearch cause banner

Just a little change from my usual rants. I hope all readers would consider using GoodSearch.com the next time they are looking for a site or information. Designate Earthplace, a Connecticut environmental education center, as the non-profit you are supporting. Every search you perform puts $.01 into the programs at Earthplace.

An easy way to help them out - no fees, no sign-ups, no hassles.

Remember to designate Earthplace.


Pretext to Confront Iran

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wildly Disproportionate Attack on Lebanon Seems Like Pretext to Confront Iran or Syria or both.

The U.S. and Israel, on the other hand, are very keen to attack Iran. In a recent series of articles in New Yorker magazine, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has detailed Washington's plans to attack Iran. Israel has called Iran a "major threat" that "must be stopped" from developing nuclear weapons.
But the U.S. and Israel don't want to look like aggressors. They insist their intentions are purely defensive. Recall that Washington also claimed its invasion of Iraq was purely defensive — to protect itself from Iraq's arsenal of deadly weapons, which, it turned out, didn't exist.
So when Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon seized two Israeli soldiers last week, a perfect opportunity arose. Since Hezbollah has links to Iran, presto, here was a prima facie case that Iran was gunning for confrontation.
Did the Western pundits who quickly embraced this theory ever consider that the Hezbollah militants, as well as the Palestinian militants in Gaza who captured a single Israeli soldier last month, might have had their own motives for striking Israel?
If Israel is simply trying to "defend" itself, its actions are wildly disproportionate.
On the other hand, if Israel and the U.S. are looking for an excuse to attack Iran, the capture of the Israeli soldiers is as good as any.
The Perfect Storm.


IAF strikes kill 13 Lebanese

13 Lebanese, among them eight soldiers killed. Our news channels (CNN, MSNBC, FAUX) love to report about the 8 Israelis killed by a rocket and hurriedly speculate on the rocket's manufacturer - Iran? Syria? (Hell let's throw in North Korea or one of Saddam's WMDes). THey report that these 8 lives represent the largest death toll.

Really? I guess if you are reporting from an Israeli viewpoint. But...

Israel lobbed missiles at targets across Lebanon early Monday, killing 13 and wounding 53 in a surge of reprisals after Hezbollah rockets slammed into new targets deep inside Israel.
Eight of the dead were Lebanese soldiers who were killed when aircraft attacked a small fishing port at Abdeh in northernmost Lebanon near a highway, about six kilometers from the border with Syria. Witnesses and security officials said 12 others were wounded after the early Monday attack destroyed the position. There was no immediate comment from the military.
No one is safe...
Eight Canadians were killed in Lebanon on Sunday when an Israel Air Force aircraft attacked their house in a south Lebanon village, Foreign Minister Peter MacKay told CTV television.
"All we can say is that there are eight confirmed casualties and six who have been critically injured," he said. Asked to confirm whether this meant eight Canadians had died, he replied: "That's the information that we have to date."
An Indian soldier taking part in the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon was wounded late Sunday when two Israel Defense Forces tank shells hit his position in the border village of Houla, a UN spokesman said. Another base run by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)in a southern village near Bint Jbeil was also hit, but no one was wounded.
"The wounded soldier was evacuated to a medical facility," spokesman Milos Strugar told Reuters. UNFIL was created in 1978, after Israel's first major incursion into southern Lebanon and has been there ever since.
Also late Sunday, IAF aircraft fired missiles at fuel tanks in Beirut's international airport, airport sources said.
Read the entire article for more casualties. Simply collateral damage?

This is why the action is called disproportionate.


The latest about Pitt and Jolie's baby...

Add to the mother's front page: news about the condition of the race horse, which apprentice was fired, the latest fashion trend, baseball scores.... To that skull feel free to add: Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Darfur, Global Warming...

Let's keep the American citizen in the dark.


Whose War?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Whose War? is a 2003 article by Pat Buchanan. Not my favorite guy but he weighed in on our MidEast escapades quite prophetically in light of what is happening today.

Goldberg (Jonah Goldberg of National Review) endorsed “the Ledeen Doctrine” of ex-Pentagon official Michael Ledeen, which Goldberg described thus: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.” (When the French ambassador in London, at a dinner party, asked why we should risk World War III over some “shitty little country”—meaning Israel—Goldberg’s magazine was not amused.)
Ledeen, however, is less frivolous. In The War Against the Terror Masters, he identifies the exact regimes America must destroy:
First and foremost, we must bring down the terror regimes, beginning with the Big Three: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. And then we have to come to grips with Saudi Arabia. … Once the tyrants in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have been brought down, we will remain engaged. …We have to ensure the fulfillment of the democratic revolution. … Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize...
Robert Kagan and William Kristol were giddy with excitement at the prospect of Armageddon. The coming war “is going to spread and engulf a number of countries. … It is going to resemble the clash of civilizations that everyone has hoped to avoid. … [I]t is possible that the demise of some ‘moderate’ Arab regimes may be just round the corner.”
Three years later - knocking on the door to their future world.


From My Home, I Saw What the "War on Terror" Meant

From My Home, I Saw What the "War on Terror" Meant is by Robert Fisk. Some very insightful comments and qusetions...

The Lebanese are always left to their fate. Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, says he holds the Lebanese government responsible for the attacks on the border that breached the international frontier on Wednesday.
But Mr. Olmert and everyone knows that the weak and fractious government of the Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora isn't capable of controlling a single militiaman, let alone the hezbollah.
Yet wasn't this the same set of Lebanese political leaders congratulated by the United States last year for its democratic elections and its freedom from Syria? Indeed, a man who sees Bush as a friend - perhaps "saw" is a better word - is Saad Hariri, son of the ex-Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri who built much of the infrastructure that Israel is now destroying and whose murder last year - by Syrian agents? - supposedly outraged Mr Bush.
Yesterday morning, Saad Hariri, the son, was flying into Beirut when America's Israeli allies arrived to bomb the airport. He had to turn round as his aircraft skulked off to Cyprus for refuge.
But it was the undercurrent of terror-speak that was particularly frightening yesterday.
Lebanon was an "axis of terror," Israel was "fighting terror on all fronts." During the morning, I had to cut across an interview with an Australian radio station when an Israeli reporter stated - totally untruthfully - that there were Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon and that not all Syria's troops had left.
And the reason why the Israelis had attacked Beirut's infinitely secure and carefully monitored airport, used by diplomats and European leaders, a facility as safe as any in Europe? Because, so said the Israelis, it was "a central hub for the transfer of weapons and supplies to the hezbollah terrorist organisation." If the Israelis really want to know where that hub is, they should be looking at Damascus airport. But they do know that, don't they?
And so it is terror, terror, terror again and Lebanon is once more to be depicted as the mythic terror center of the Middle East along, I suppose, with Gaza. And the West Bank. And Syria. And, of course, Iraq. And Iran. And Afghanistan. And who knows where next?
Those hoping for the End-Times must be salivating. Me - just amazed at how this is all turning out. There must be some secret deals between Israel and this regime. So many of the actions of both are intertwined with the other. That's something that should be looked at closely.

Our future should not dependent solely on Israel's future but on the future of all.


Here we go

Israel gives Syria ultimatum.

The London-based Arabic language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Saturday that “Washington has information according to which Israel gave Damascus 72 hours to stop Hizbullah’s activity along the Lebanon-Israel border and bring about the release the two kidnapped IDF soldiers or it would launch an offensive with disastrous consequences.”
The report said “a senior Pentagon source warned that should the Arab world and international community fail in the efforts to convince Syria to pressure Hizbullah into releasing the soldiers and halt the current escalation Israel may attack targets in the country.”
“It is no coincidence that the Hizbullah operation comes at a time when the international community is working to impose sanctions on Iran due to its nuclear program and settle the score with Syria by establishing an international court to try those behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri,” the Pentagon source said.
But wait there's more "good news." Iran's being accused of helping...
Hezbollah fire the missile that damaged an Israeli warship off the Lebanese coast the night before.
One sailor was killed and three remain missing after the attack, reports CBS News correspondent Robert Berger in Jerusalem.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said about 100 Iranian soldiers are in Lebanon and helped fire the Iranian-made, radar-guided C-102 at the ship that killed one and left three missing.
It seems that the Israeli troops have... learned much from us.
At least 15 people were killed Saturday in an Israeli air strike on a minibus in southern Lebanon, Lebanese security sources said.
The vehicle was travelling on a coastal road between Sharmaa and Bayada. According to the security sources, those inside were civilians fleeing the violence.
Images of recent atrocities by our forces in Iraq buzz around my head.



Thursday, July 13, 2006

A lot of talk on the TV by some talkingheads that WWIII is around the corner. With today's escalation of violence by Israel and our targeting of Iran and Syria - they couldn't be more right.

I couldn't agree more with the European Union's comments:

“The European Union is greatly concerned about the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Lebanon in response to attacks by Hezbollah on Israel,” according to a statement issued by Finland, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency. “The presidency deplores the loss of civilian lives and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. The imposition of an air and sea blockade on Lebanon cannot be justified.”
In the EU’s strongest comment on the escalating violence, the statement said “actions, which are contrary to international humanitarian law, can only aggravate the vicious circle of violence and retribution, and cannot serve anyone’s legitimate security interests.”
Three soldiers taken - Lebanese civilians killed. The scales are slightly askew.

But all this seems to fit into our regime's plans for the region. For so long I have been talking about and expecting incursions into Iran or Syria and trying to figure out which will be next. Now it seems that they may be hit at the same time - by our stand-in Israel.

Oh what a lovely world we live in. Ready to bend over and kiss your ass bye-bye?


Heating up...

and I am sure there are many who are loving this. Israel previously had targeted Syria as a co-conspirator. Now, to the further delight of neo-cons...

... an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said the country has information that the Lebanese guerrillas who captured the two Israeli soldiers are trying to transfer them to Iran.
"We have concerns that they could be taken out of Lebanon to Iran. Those concerns have a basis," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. He did not disclose the source of his information.
Israel maintains Hezbollah is financed and equipped by Iran, with backing by Syria.
Gee, maybe they're planning to take those soldiers to a nuclear testing site. Bomb it before they get there.

Perfect idea.

Perfect for some but not the world.


America's Nuclear Arsenal

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ben & Jerry's - American Pie has a great clip that demonstrates the absurdity of our nuclear (or nucular in W-speak) stockpile.

Do we really need to destroy all nations a few times over? Isn't once enough?


Japan learns a lesson from Big Brother

Monday, July 10, 2006

Japan threatens North Korea.

Japan said Monday it was considering whether a pre-emptive strike on North Korea’s missile bases would violate its constitution, signaling a hardening stance ahead of a possible Security Council vote.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters his government wants a vote on the measure “as soon as possible.”
“I think we must send a message that’s as clear as possible” to North Korea, he said.
Japan was badly rattled by North Korea’s missile tests and several government officials openly discussed whether the country ought to take steps to better defend itself, including setting up the legal framework to allow Tokyo to launch a pre-emptive strike against Northern missile sites.
“If we accept that there is no other option to prevent an attack ... there is the view that attacking the launch base of the guided missiles is within the constitutional right of self-defense. We need to deepen discussion,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said.
W must be proud. Others have accepted his notions of pre-emptive war. Boy, the future really looks bright, doesn't it?


Vietnam and Iraq - Same Old S***

Thanks to Shannon who sent me a copy of this article from The Salt Lake Tribune. (Never thought of Utah as a bastion of liberal thought.

They report on some aspects of the VietNam War that have similarities to our Iraqi occupation of today. Hell - even some of the principals are the same.

Recent headlines from Iraq are ugly: Marines charged with murdering Haditha civilians. A crippled man killed by Americans, who then planted a rifle and shovel near the body as if he had been burying roadside bombs. And a particularly gruesome charge that U.S. soldiers raped and killed an Iraqi woman, killed her family, and burned the bodies to cover the crime.
If these atrocities are carefully investigated, the likely deficiency may be sufficient command leadership and discipline. A recent book (May 2006) speaks to the issue of leader accountability with stunning eloquence. Tiger Force is a documented account of 120 U.S. soldiers who, between May and November of 1967, rotated through an Army special operations platoon. This platoon, Tiger Force, wreaked its vengeance in the vicinity of Duc Pho and Chu Lai in South Vietnam.
Operating largely on their own and only passingly accountable to a chain of command that rarely ventured into the jungles and paddies, these soldiers ruthlessly murdered hundreds of unarmed men, women and children. One soldier cut off a baby's head with a knife. Victims' ears were regularly sliced off, collected and fashioned into necklaces which some soldiers proudly wore. Other victims were scalped. Some were tortured. Teeth were kicked out to retrieve the gold from fillings. Virtually all of the civilian deaths were reported as "Viet Cong," even though, oddly, no weapons were ever found and none were ever reported. No officer in command ever questioned this glaring disparity.
That part of Tiger Force is grim enough. What the Army then did with the evidence is shocking, and what was covered up in 1974-75 may have sowed the headlines we are reaping in 2006. One of the most thorough Criminal Investigation Division (CID, the Army's internal FBI) investigations ever conducted, meticulously gathered the facts surrounding the war crimes committed by Tiger Force. The evidence was voluminous, certain and had been obtained at the risk of a few investigators' lives.
An open and shut case? Not so fast. The A-Team sprang into action.
In 1974-75, Richard Cheney was a special assistant to President Ford. Ford's chief of staff was Donald Rumsfeld. The secretary of defense from 1973-75 was James Schlesinger. The case was made to disappear by these men who served presidents Nixon and Ford - probably out of considerations of politics. There were never any charges filed against the soldiers or the officers who ordered and participated in the routine killing of civilians.
Thirty years later, Mr. Rumsfeld refuses to discuss the Tiger Force case. Mr. Cheney declines to discuss much of anything. Mr. Schlesinger conducted one of the see-no-evil investigations at Abu Ghraib. The senior leadership of the Army and the nation prefers to characterize war crimes as the work of a few "bad apples." My Lai was pinned to Lt. William Calley, who suited the bad apple role.
Tiger Force was far larger, killed three times as many people, but involved too many "bad apples" and too much gore to maintain the right story line.
The common thread which runs from Tiger Force through My Lai, to Guantanamo, Bagram and Abu Ghraib, to a hundred episodes of sadistic brutality inflicted by U.S. soldiers in Iraq, is the remarkable fact that the official responsibility for all these tragedies never runs higher than the lowest-level trigger-pullers or body-stackers.
Same Old Crap - Different Years - Same men in charge.


Pat Oliphant's Latest

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Kingdom of Darkness is upon us.


Follow Up II - Truth rears its head

One former intelligence field officer says, and two other CIA officials confirm, that the alleged plot by Muslim extremists to bomb the Holland Tunnel in New York City was nothing more than chatter by unaffiliated individuals with no financing or training in an open forum already monitored extensively by the United States Government, RAW STORY has learned.
“The so-called New York tunnel plot was a result of discussions held on an open Jihadi web site,” said Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer and contributor to American Conservative magazine, in a late Friday afternoon conversation. Although Giraldi acknowledges that the persons involved – “three of whom have already been arrested in Lebanon and elsewhere - are indeed extremists," their online chatter is considerably overblown by allegations of an actual plot.
“They are not professionally trained terrorists, however, and had no resources with which to carry out the operation they discussed," Giraldi added. "Despite press reports that they had asked Abu Musab Zarqawi for assistance, there is no information to confirm that. It is known that the members discussed the possibility of approaching Zarqawi but none of them knew him or had any access to him.”
Two other intelligence officials with experience in the field on extremist operations concurred--and expressed concern that what could have been an operation to eventually track known extremists (should they eventually make actual contact with funds and training,) seems to have been exposed for political gain.
Some see this latest “ploy” as a direct challenge to a New York Times report earlier this week of the disbandment of Alec Station, the CIA unit responsible for tracking Osama bin Laden since before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Moreover, the article contends that officials say the unit was “disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center.”
The alleged bomb plot, sources suggest, may have been to alleviate Bush administration concerns that the Alec Station story would make them appear to be "weak on terror." It is not clear this early on, however, how much of a real and immediate threat the bomb plot may have been.
“In sum, the plot, if that is what we would call it, was not well conceived, and there was no possibility of flooding Wall Street," Giraldi added. "There was no connection to a cell in the US. Finally, professional terrorists generally do not discuss targeting on open channels. As it was being monitored from the beginning of the open discussion, there was little chance anything concrete would have developed."
A former CIA man and contributor to American Conservative. Truth rears its head from all corners.

Lies for poltical purposes? A pattern from this regime?

You bet your ass!


Follow-up: N.Y.C. Transit Bomb Plot Thwarted

Saturday, July 08, 2006

All talk...

Despite the FBI's announcement that it disrupted a terror plot against New York City-area commuter trains Friday, CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart has learned that the plans were mere "jihadist bravado," according to one senior official.
However, the senior official tells Jim Stewart that the men arrested are "far less threatening and dangerous than the Canadian cell," and unlike the Torrance, Calif. cell, which had begun conducting holdups to further their terrorist plans, these individuals had done nothing but talk over the Internet.
So how come this is still the big news - the scenarios still being played out on TV? That's right - ratchet up the fear quotient just in time for the elections and some new rounds of spying on citizens.

"Don't question our spying programs, we're doing it to protect you. Look we uncovered another plot by foreign terrorists. We have to listen to everyone's conversations, including yours with Aunt Edna, to find these dastardly villains. Don't worry about civil liberties - that is a concept no longer needed in this endless war. Be a patriot and stop whining. Let us lie to you. Let us make up stories. Let us spy on you. It's new truth, new justice and the New American Way."


Hate Groups Are Infiltrating the Military

Neo-Nazis find a perfect training ground.

A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.
Just a little mistake or oversight? Not in the mind of a former Special Forces officer.
As a professional soldier, my goal is to fill the ranks of the United States Army with skinheads. As street brawlers, you will be useless in the coming race war. As trained infantrymen, you will join the ranks of the Aryan warrior brotherhood.
A new breed of U.S. soldier? One that certain members of W's regime have been hoping for? Can this explain some of the atrocities that have been taking place in Iraq? A total disregard for anyone different from oneself - skin color, culture, religion...-part of the new basic training?


Three held in New York tunnel plot -

Friday, July 07, 2006

Three held in New York tunnel plot. So how extensive were their plans?

Mershon (FBI) said the plan was "what we believe was the real deal," a scheme involving al Qaeda members on three continents.
Mershon was reticent about specific details of the plot, but he said none of the suspects has been to the United States. The investigation remains classified, he said.
"They were about to go to a phase where they would attempt to surveil targets, establish a regimen of attack and acquire the resources necessary to effectuate the attacks," Mershon said. "At that point I think it's entirely appropriate to take it down."
So they never came to the US, did not have the weapons, no plans - similar to the Miami 7. Arrest them to build up the fear before November elections. You never know.

The interesting point is that there was a leak of this story and the NY Daily News broke it open.

Mershon expressed disappointment at what he called the "unprofessional behavior" of whomever leaked it to the paper.
The leaker was "clearly someone who doesn't understand the fragility of international relations," he said, adding that there have been a "number of uncomfortable questions" from the foreign intelligence services that participated in the investigation.
So where are the cries of treason for reporting this leak? When the NY Times reported on illiegal wiretaps, the gallows were being erected. Maybe this leak is okay - builds the fear of "terrorists" rather than our own government.

Fear this regime!


"All Hail King George's Non-Birthday...And If You Have Time, Some 'Props' for the Nation Too"

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

King George's Non-Birthday...

Though born on July 6, Bush will celebrate his birth on the Nation's birthday. The symbolism and message couldn't be clearer - Dear Leader's day of birth is as important, in his mind anyway, as the day America declared itself a new nation.
The last King George created a hub-bub here. When will the hub-bub increase here.

.Totally depressed. W's birthday is the 6th, mine in July 7. I don't want to be a fellow Cancerian with King W.


Unit that hunted bin Laden closed

Unit that hunted bin Laden closed

ntelligence officials said the realignment reflects a view that al-Qaida is no longer as hierarchical as it once was, as well as a growing concern about al-Qaida-inspired groups that have begun carrying out attacks independent of bin Laden and his top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
W knew this years ago in 2002 when he said:
"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
Targets are constantly changing to keep "fear" high. New enemies around every corner. Today's enemy: NY Times.


A New Fourth of July Needed?

Monday, July 03, 2006

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, having its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient suffrance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
What would our Founders think of W? Are they turning in their graves at the abuse this regime has foisted on this nation?

Time for a new Declaration of Independence. Time for some modern-day Thomas Paines, Adams, Jeffersons, Franklins, Henrys....


Mid East Heats Up

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Israel is upping the ante.

Israel holds Khaled Mashal, the leader of Hamas' Syrian branch, responsible for the abduction of two Israeli soldiers and wants Syria to expel Palestinian leaders from the country.
Israel threatened to kill Hamas militants based in Damascus.
Al-Jazeera television said Public Security Minister Avi Dichter claimed they knew the locations of HAMAS and Islamic Jihad leaders in Syria and will not hesitate to kill them.
For so long it was a race whether we would go after Syria or Iran. Iran was leading the way for so long - now Syria has the dubious stance of Number One on the Hit Parade.

Will W help out Israel by taking action against Syria as well? There were always reports that the WMDes were taken to Syria - W may want to find those spectres.

The Arab League

...called on the United States to “revise its position” on Saturday after its ambassador to the United Nations held Syria partly responsible for a crisis over a captive Israeli soldier.
The pieces are falling into place. Perfect opportunity for W to withdraw some troops from Iraq - and place them over the border into Syria. Hey - it's the War on Terrorism stupid!


Air strike on Palestinian PM's HQ

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Air strike on Palestinian PM's HQ

Israeli aircraft have launched an attack on Gaza City, hitting the office of the Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.
The attack comes during an Israeli incursion into Gaza after one of their soldiers was abducted last week.
Witnesses said two missiles hit the south side of the offices of the Hamas-led cabinet, starting a fire.
This comes just hours after The Australian reported
ISRAEL last night threatened to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh if Hamas militants did not release a captured Israeli soldier unharmed.
Elected officials targeted? Boy this will surely screw with W's Iranian plans. The unprecedented warning was delivered to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a letter as Israel debated a deal offered by Hamas to free Corporal Gilad Shalit.
Elected officials now being targeted? Taking lessons from our Saddam files.

This will surely screw with W's Iranian plans. Though still time before the elections.


Did Bush Commit War Crimes?

Did Bush Commit War Crimes?

The Supreme Court on Thursday dealt the Bush administration a stinging rebuke, declaring in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld that military commissions for trying terrorist suspects violate both U.S. military law and the Geneva Convention.
But the real blockbuster in the Hamdan decision is the court's holding that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention applies to the conflict with Al Qaeda — a holding that makes high-ranking Bush administration officials potentially subject to prosecution under the federal War Crimes Act.
Under federal criminal law, anyone who "commits a war crime … shall be fined … or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death." And a war crime is defined as "any conduct … which constitutes a violation of Common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva." In other words, with the Hamdan decision, U.S. officials found to be responsible for subjecting war on terror detainees to torture, cruel treatment or other "outrages upon personal dignity" could face prison or even the death penalty.
Don't expect that to happen anytime soon, of course. For prosecutions to occur, some federal prosecutor would have to issue an indictment. And in the Justice Department of Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales — who famously called the Geneva Convention "quaint" — a genuine investigation into administration violations of the War Crimes Act just ain't gonna happen.
The answer to the question - You bet he is? The bigger question is - why are he and his henchmen still around?


Media as terrorist

The media now joins anti-war advocates and peace proponents as aiding and abetting the terrorists. The crticism goes beyond the NY Times.

US could lose in Iraq due to negative media coverage.

Aiding and abetting? How?

A US combat commander suggested the United States could lose the war in Iraq if public support for it at home is sapped by negative media coverage.
Snow, whose own troops have come under stepped-up insurgent attacks this month, criticized media coverage as too focused on insurgent roadside bombings, kidnappings and assassinations.
"So when the news is not balanced and it's always bad, that clearly leads to negative perceptions back home," he said.
"Balanced" - he forget "fair". I guess FAUX News is on his A-team.

Think about this. If the press are there to report all news, shouldn't we hear about the roadside bombs, atrocities, secret deals, stumbles and failures? Isn't it the responsibility of the press to report it all - not just the regime's "good news" or the latest about Britney. Don't we need all facts to come to a decision that our occupation of Iraq must end?

Maybe the reports look like "it's always bad..." because it is. Reality check time Colonel.


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