Dick Cheney WAS right!


back in 1994 when he talked about Iraq and the first Gulf war

Notice how all the things he talked about might possibly happen if they invaded Iraq then actually DID happen! The difference between Dick Cheney first Gulf war and Vice President Dick Cheney is Halliburton.  When the first Gulf war was waged and when he gave this interview in 1994 Cheney was not involved with Halliburton; it wasn’t until 1995 when he became chairman and CEO of the company that had a tremendous financial interest in waging war.  One more example of people who place their financial gain above the society’s.

Let’s hope none of the respondents were Americans


 

tentAli Abunimah ran the above photograph and chronicled the response of some Israelis and to read what they wrote was quite disturbing.  Look at some of them and tell me whether their suggestions don’t remind you of something that has already happened

Run the tent over with a truck/Merkava tank/a bus/ whatever it takes to crush and kill these children (Rachael Corrie)….

I’d have thrown nerve gas into the tent and closed it and made them breath it until the end…… (Saddam Hussein)

Put a couple of bullets in their heads and we’re done (Adam Lanza)

My point is these people are suggesting things be done that have been done to or by people that we acknowledge as social psychopaths, deviants who have been killed by us or whose death we cheered.  If you read Abunimah’s article you’ll find who some of the people who responded are and its scary because many of them have the means and opportunity to do what it is they are suggesting be done.

What Happened to the US Press Corps?


U.S. President George W. Bush meets with troop...

U.S. President George W. Bush meets with troops and serves Thanksgiving Day Dinner at the Bob Hope Dining Facility, Baghdad International Airport, Iraq

Beautiful article written by Robert Parry asks the rhetorical question about the ineptness of the American media and then brilliantly answers it and it’s not a pretty answer, but it’s real and honest. Below is an excerpt to remind everyone while we talk about the ten year anniversary of the Iraq invasion of the how complicit media was in that war crime.

Why this history is relevant today, as the United States commemorates the tenth anniversary of the disastrous Iraq War, is that it was the Reagan administration’s success in housebreaking the Washington press corps that guaranteed that only a handful of mainstream journalists would ask tough questions about President George W. Bush’s case for invading Iraq.

Put yourself in the shoes of an aspiring Washington correspondent in 2002-2003. Your immediate editors and bureau chiefs were people who succeeded professionally during the 1980s and 1990s. They climbed the ladder by not reaching out for the difficult stories that challenged Republican presidents and earned the wrath of right-wing attack groups. They kept their eyes firmly on the backsides of those above them.

The journalists who did the hard work during that era suffered devastating career damage, again and again. Indeed, they had been made into object lessons for others. Even progressive publications, which wanted some “credibility” with the mainstream, turned away.

In other words, a decade ago – as in the 1980s and 1990s – there was little or no reward in challenging the Bush administration over its claims about Iraq’s WMD, while there was a very big danger. After all, what if you had written a tough story questioning Bush’s case for war and had managed somehow to pressure your editors to run it prominently – and then what if some WMD stockpiles were discovered in Iraq?

Your career would end in ignominy. You would forever be “the Saddam Hussein apologist” who doubted the Great War President, George W. Bush. You would probably be expected to resign to spare your news organization further embarrassment. If not, your editors would likely compel you to leave in disgrace.

People may forget now but it took guts to challenge Bush back then. Remember what happened to the Dixie Chicks, a popular music group, when they dared to express disagreement with Bush’s war of choice. They faced boycotts and death threats.

At Consortiumnews.com in 2002-2003, we ran a number of stories questioning Bush’s WMD claims and his other arguments for war – and even though we were only an Internet site, I got angry e-mails every time the U.S. invading forces found a 55-gallon drum of chemicals. The e-mails demanded that I admit I was wrong and telling me that I owed Bush an apology. [For details on the wartime reporting, see Neck Deep.]

When I would read those comments, I would flash back to the stomach-turning angst that I felt as a correspondent for AP and Newsweek when I published a story that I knew would open me to a new round of attacks. At those moments, all I had was confidence in my tradecraft, the belief that I had followed the rules of journalism in carefully assessing and presenting the evidence.

Still, there is no certainty in journalism. Even the most careful reporting can contain imprecision or errors. But that imperfection becomes a major problem when the rewards and punishments are skewed too widely, when the slightest problem on one side leads to loss of your livelihood while gross mistakes on the other carry no punishment at all.

That was the core failure of the U.S. news media on the Iraq War. By 2002-2003, a generation or more of American journalists had absorbed this career reality. There was grave danger to question Bush’s claims while there was little risk in going with the flow.

And, if you made that assessment a decade ago, you were right. Even though you were wrong journalistically in promoting or staying silent on Bush’s assertions about Iraq’s WMD, you almost surely continued your career climb. If questioned about why you got the WMD question wrong, you could simply say that “everyone got it wrong” – or at least everyone who mattered – so it would be unfair to single anyone out for blame.

But most likely, no one who mattered would even ask the question because those folks had been traveling in the same pack, spouting the same groupthink. So, if it seems odd to some Americans that today they are reading and watching the same pundits who misled them into a catastrophic war a decade ago, it shouldn’t.

Why are these people celebrating?


palestinians-celebrate-the-uns-upgrade-on-thursday-of-the-palestinian-authoritys-status-to-nonOstensibly, Palestinians think they have a right to celebrate because the UN endorsed the idea of an independent Palestine, ‘giving sweeping international backing to their demands for sovereignty over lands Israel occupied in 1967.’ While we’re happy Palestinians have some sense of optimism about that prospect the truth is the present Israeli government as well as the American one have no intentions of honoring that worldwide consensus and have even begun to scuttle it with the announcement of even more settlements in the ‘occupied territories’…..which have now become known as ‘disputed territories’ as if ownership was ever in doubt.

There is no mystery to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict; it is not some complicated, alien entanglement whose answer lies in an esoteric application of laws, resolutions and formulae.  The solution boils down to the willingness of an Israeli government to honor international law and UN resolutions or have the international community impose its  will upon the Israelis even up to and including the imposition it made upon the likes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban.  Obviously, the former is preferred.

If you want to know another perspective about this conflict, Miko Peled a veteran of the Israeli Defense Force and son of zionism who recognizes the perils of the Israeli position had an hours long lecture on the topic, an excerpt of which  appears below.

Remember the Peace Dividend? You don’t?


How fast time and certain unpopular ideas fly. The peace dividend was a political slogan popularized by US President George H.W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the early 1990s, purporting to describe the economic benefit of a decrease in defense spending.  The term was frequently used at the end of the Cold War, when many Western nations, except ours, significantly cut military spending.  In fact even after the “Cold War” and the Gulf Wars you would think there would be plenty of opportunities for a “peace dividend”.  We killed Saddam Hussein….no peace dividend, we got rid of bin laden, no peace dividend. President Obama’s Pentagon 2011 budget was the most its ever been, over $700 billion.  Stay tuned.

Stick and Carrot diplomacy


The wingnut “right” does have a place in American politics.  If one is perceptive enough you can vaguely see an outline of the foreign policy objectives of Washington spewing from the mouthpieces of right wing pundits/racists. Despite the apparent “hate” relationship between the present occupant of the White House and those on the vociferous “right” the pundits of insanity, plunder and racism give government an idea of just how far it, government, can go in its never ending battle for empire and dominion. It is not necessary for diplomacy or policy to be carried out in just the same way the racist homo/Islamophobes express but it probably comes close.  Case in point, Sean Hannity’s latest imperialistic diatribe.

With rising gas prices and a stagnant economy, Hannity’s solution of taking over another country’s natural resources because we can most likely strikes a chord in the minds of many a besieged listener who wants to settle scores with the Islamic/Muslim hordes they’ve so assiduously been warned about this last decade.  Current Washington probably has entertained the same ideas while former Bush administration officials said as much when making their case for war with Iraq.  The Obama administration on the other hand, supposedly carries a carrot not a stick, unlike its predecessor.  It must have the appearance of  remaining true to the kinder, gentler prescription for diplomacy, hence this from the Secretary of State, Clinton.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered a scalding critique of Arab leaders here on Thursday, saying their countries risked “sinking into the sand” of unrest and extremism unless they liberalized their political systems and cleaned up their economies.

Speaking at a conference in this gleaming Persian Gulf emirate, Mrs. Clinton recited a familiar litany of ills: corruption, repression and a lack of rights for women and religious minorities. But her remarks were striking for their vehemence, and they suggested a frustration that the Obama administration’s message to the Arab world had not gotten through.

Secretary Clinton, taking a page from the wingnuts, makes many in the Middle East who are victims the cause of their victimization.  Lest one forget, there were no WMDs in Iraq which was invaded after a decade long blockade that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis; Gaza is an outdoor prison camp, with the West Bank merely an enclave within the modern state of Israel with no territorial sovereignty or integrity and the second largest recipient of US aid is a 30 year long dictatorship.  Notice the tone of the above article.  Words like “vehemence” and “frustration” are designed to send signals that unless things change diplomacy may give way to something harsher.  Let’s not forget that in the 80s Saddam Hussein was Washington’s leader of choice for Iraq, but only 20 years later encouraged and cheered on his execution.  That shouldn’t be lost on the leaders of oil producing countries that serve an insatiable American public the oil which fuels the American economy.  Hannity’s arrogant bluster and frustration regrettably is probably  an outline for future American policy.

Bush and Blair lied intentionally


So says Tariq Aziz in a moment of candor that we’ve all come to know is correct.  That lie led to the total destruction of Iraq and the United States and allowed for the propaganda against Islam and Muslims all over the world which has further plunged America into an abyss of poverty and weakness.

We’ve heard a lot of claims about recidivism of Guantanamo Bay detainees much of it hyped to keep Gitmo Bay open. One of the questions I’ve never seen asked is if the people placed in Gitmo Bay are the worst of the worst, why isn’t recidivism 100% instead of the more reliable 4% to the exaggerated 20%?  It would appear terrorists dedicated to their cause plucked from their homeland would relish the opportunity to return to battle.  This guy,Izatullah Nasrat Yar imprisoned at Gitmo for 5 years,  however has decided to take the battle to the enemy to a higher level. Let’s hope such attempts at change will go down better than the offense which originally put him in Gitmo Bay, which was another lie…..they just seem to follow the efforts of the US government around wherever it goes.

Neo-Conservatives are bad for America


neocons+straussIt’s been extraordinary watching how neocons have made everything up, down, everything black, white and everything evil, good and back again.  In the process they have managed to weaken America, tarnish her image in the world community and imperil the world.  In my wildest of conspiratorial dreams, I surmise they are responsible for the election of Barack Obama in order to undo some of the damage they have done, but they have not kept themselves out of the policy making apparatus of government; they are rather firmly entrenched there and have installed gate keepers at every door of the branches of government.  Rahm Emmanuel in the executive, and policy wonks at State, two previously mentioned here on the pages of Miscellany101.  They are not working in the best interests of the US; American interests take a back seat to interests feuled by tribalism and history they want to rewrite in order settle old scores at the expense of an unconcerned and uninitiated American public.  Sure most of it is based on OIL, oil, Israel and logistics, but personal aggrandizement and wealth also play a part in their deception.

So while going through my daily reading I wandered on this article which reinforced these notions above.  What picqued my interest and aggravated my anger was the explicit statement that Saddam wanted the help of America and would have entered into a defense pact with the US in order to defend him against Iran.  That’s not altogether surprising since Saddam fought the Iranians before in the 80s for eight years, at no expense to US personnel or materiel.  Saddam wanted to talk to Bush about that and if he had been successful in pitching the idea all the American lives killed and money wasted at great expense to the country could have been avoided with an even better policy result!  But Bush was convinced to ignore Saddam’s overtures, no doubt with the blessings of the many neocons entrenched in his government who advised against such acceptance.  Instead these people using fascist tactics of deception and the increased powers of the state  got Bush to promote the lie of WMDS and consequently,  America has  installed  a pro-Iranian regime, and destabilized one of the largest Arab speaking countries of the region.  All this happened because neocons have been pitching the idea of regime change to Democrats and Republicans alike since the mid 90s.

They have managed to pitch war at the expense of peace before, when they similarly got Bush to ignore Iranian attempts at rapprochement with America in 2003.  Now a second US administration is being led by the nose with the help of a belligerent ally, Israel, that wants a war and ostensibly drag America into it, with a country that wants peace and is willing to  make major concessions towards that aim.  Such a war would not be in the interests of America and could prove to be more costly than even the Iraq debacle.  The authors of American government advised this country in its infancy from foreign entanglements and that advice still reverberates throughout time but there are few in government who are able to hear it because of the noise being made by neoconservatives and their spin doctors.  The fact that Obama has further embraced them, making government positions a revolving door for the enemies of America to spin, deceive and escalate and involve this country in military adventures means there isn’t much that has changed with his election.  It’s time for Americans to show neocons the door.

Response to the No Comment video below


dollarsGoing against my No Comment column rules, I have decided to address the raw and racist nature of the remarks in the video below.  Not because of what is said, I believe in the right of people to say whatever they want to say, and if I don’t like their speech, I simply don’t listen, but I’m addressing who is saying it.  Basically it boils down to not biting the hand that feeds you.

Israeli Jews are free to vent and display their true thoughts about the President of the United States, but they should remember we, American citizens are footing their bill and as such don’t take too kindly to outward signs of disrespect for the institutions which are making it possible for them to live in peace and security while sowing the seeds of destruction and murder they do on a daily basis with their neighbors.   If you don’t like the President, tell him to stop giving you, yes that’s right giving you, because we all know you aren’t paying any of it back, the more than 30 billion dollars in US aid you hope to get over the next decade.  While I know that’s not as much as Uncle Bernie probably gave you in his heist of US wealth, it’s still more than a pay check of mine or two which I could use to educate my own children instead of some ungrateful spoiled brat who’s double dipping.  Yes I heard the reference in the video to “our country” and wondered which one you were talking about!

And if you insist on pissing people off like you have us, with your disrespect of the President….then don’t expect us to look the other way when you break the law.  Expect that we’ll be as hard with you on enforcing the law as we are with your enemies.  All those blockades we supported when you cried terrorist this and that will be used against you when you engage in illegal activity in much the same way as your opponents.  It’s only fair because when you don’t give any quarter you shouldn’t expect any, right!!  So, give back all the free military hardware you received with a wink and nod….it’s not yours in the first place, it’s ours and by ours I mean America’s!

To show you how democratic we are, when you try to take away the right of people living in your borders to express themselves without violence, we’re going to call you on it and start boycotting those institutions of yours that support such racist laws as those your foreign minister wants to pass against Palestinians, because that’s not democratic, and we won’t call you our only democratic ally in the Middle East any longer.  Please don’t cry about this being interference in your internal affairs.  The world is a smaller place and made smaller by the billions of dollars of loans that go back and forth across borders, and you for the moment are not a truly independent state.  We’ve invaded countries where people living there have said far less than the petulant lads and lasses in this video, so don’t get snippy with US.  You are here today, but can easily be gone tomorrow!  Remember Saddam Hussein?

Finally, I refer you all to Glen Greenwald’s excellent blog on this subject.  It’s another smack down for those who want their cake and eat it too when it comes to Israel and her indiscretions.

War Crimes-A mounting body of evidence


FlightSuitWe the people have had placed before us a mounting body of evidence that suggests the war in Iraq was not fought for the purposes stated, was executed illegally and perhaps for the interests of a foreign power, and all the players from the President on down knew every mechanism they would use to get the country to accept war would be deceptive and illegal.

The latest news is that a biographer for George W. Bush claims Bush told him, Mickey Herskowitz in 1999, if elected he would invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein. Herskowitz supposedly had a personal relationship with Bush and had worked with him on several projects before so it’s significant Bush would confide in someone about something so imminent.  It’s apparent Bush had already signed on to the idea of getting rid of Saddam Hussein long before 911 and in keeping with both Bill Clinton’s Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 and Project for a New American Century’s plans to overthrow Iraq; all he needed was an excuse.  Did one just happen to fall into his hands, i.e. 911 or was it created for the excuse to invade Iraq?  Everything we now know about Iraq is a lie.  There were no weapons of mass destruction despite the persistent claims to the contrary, there was no link between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein or any global terror organization, despite the best efforts of the US to torture such information out of people, but there was Bush’s strong desire to initiate a war to overthrow  a toothless dictator made so by a decades old sanction regimen which depleted Hussein’s power and decimated his countrymen……for what?

According to Herskowitz, who has authored more than 30 books, many of them jointly written autobiographies of famous Americans in politics, sports and media (including that of Reagan adviser Michael Deaver), Bush and his advisers were sold on the idea that it was difficult for a president to accomplish an electoral agenda without the record-high approval numbers that accompany successful if modest wars…..

According to Herskowitz, George W. Bush’s beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House – ascribed in part to now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. “Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade.”………

Republicans, Herskowitz said, felt that Jimmy Carter’s political downfall could be attributed largely to his failure to wage a war. He noted that President Reagan and President Bush’s father himself had (besides the narrowly-focused Gulf War I) successfully waged limited wars against tiny opponents – Grenada and Panama – and gained politically. But there were successful small wars, and then there were quagmires, and apparently George H.W. Bush and his son did not see eye to eye.

In other words to make candidate Bush look good, presidential.  Wars were resume enhancers, according to some in George Bush’s Republican party.  There was no issue of national security, national interests, protection of the “homeland”; wars were a way to get ahead, and the everyday soldier was the one on whose backs such wars were a key to politicians’ success.  In other words, as Christopher Hedges has realized and aptly written about, ‘war is a force that gives us meaning’.  We find glory in war and fight them because it defines us, not because we need to preserve freedom or security.  Today’s politician uses war as a way to shape a nation’s identity, not its borders or save its citizens.  Such an attitude leads me to wonder how much of what we see today is really us against them, or is it all just “us”?

NeoCon cons-The Ultimate Holocaust Deniers


perle-02-20Few people have raised my hackles more than the group of people dubbed “neocons”  who were responsible for the misguided adventure in Iraq and Richard Perle stands at the top of that list of evil, lying, traitors to all that is America.  But even Perle has outdone himself in his latest attempts to shed the “neocon” title and his responsibility for the Iraq war.  Sounding ever so much like every other Holocaust denier, Perle asserts

I know of no statement, public or private by any neoconservative in or near government, advocating the invasion of Iraq primarily for the purpose of of promoting democracy or advancing some grand neoconservative vision.

This is what he said in the days before the invasion of Iraq

My own view is that Iraq is more capable of democratic reform than almost any other country in the region, and so I would hope that if there is military action, our objective should not be to simply to remove Saddam Hussein, but to replace him with a decent regime ideally a regime that, at least, in the long term could become pluralist and democratic.

Perle is a liar, and part of his pathology is he really enjoys  pissing people off with his lies, and watching them scurrying around trying to document them.  It’s a form of entertainment for him.

There was this grand meeting he held recently,  like a ruler summoning his court, where he sat at the head of the table and beguiled all assembled with the many lies he has made a career making, and afterwards he probably sat back to read the reviews of what he said and chuckled; it’s  entertainment.  The man is mad and perverted and it’s a shame a President of the United States allowed him, Perle, to shape American influence as disastrously as he did, and who now sits back and claims he is innocent.  It’s  pathological. He’s a denier much like the Holocaust Revisionist who claims the Holocaust  never happened.  They  can be forgiven for time has erased the evidence they say never existed and people have rebuilt what was destroyed during the dark days of human history and WWII; Perle can’t be forgiven because he still makes the claim that he had nothing to do with the destruction of Iraq and its destruction wasn’t his aim, while millions of Iraqis have died or been displaced and thousands of American soldiers have died and are still dying in a remote land of his, Perle’s choosing, for no reason  except regime change.  Perle is rabid, and like most rabid animals, he should be put out of his misery and spare us ours.