Friday, October 30, 2009

Kipling Haunts Obama’s Afghan War

Kipling Haunts Obama’s Afghan War by Ray McGovern

" Without batting an eyelash, Brzezinski noted that within three months the war in Afghanistan will be the "longest war in U.S. history," and warned that the United States could be "bogged down there for another decade or so." At the same time, he argued, the world impact of an early U.S. departure "would be utterly devastating." "

Now try to imagine a soldier on the battlefield in Afghanistan today, hearing that his leaders in Washington will not consider a departure because it would be utterly devastating.

That is: if he gets killed or crippled tomorrow, it will be "no problem" because he died or will live the rest of his life as a cripple so our departure wouldn't be utterly devasting.

Excuse me - but would our departure have been utterly devasting if we never arrived in the first place? Of course it couldn't be devasting - because there would be nothing to undo. So what he's saying is that undoing what we've done would be devastating. Doesn't that make anyone think that we should revisit what we did in the first place?

Referring to Jeff Huber's article "Our mission in Afghanistan has no bearing on our national security or vital national interests. If we really wanted to root out the source of the 9/11 attacks, we’d invade and occupy Germany, home of the Hamburg cell where the attacks actually originated. But wait; we’re already occupying Germany. We have been since the end of World War II. That didn’t prevent 9/11 from happening, did it? Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the supposed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was in the Philippines when he proposed the plan to Osama bin Laden. We occupied the Philippines for a long time, but they kicked us out. Most of the 9/11 thugs came from Saudi Arabia, who don’t want us in their country, and kissing the Saudis’ keister is our virtual national pastime."


Summing up Afghanistan

Please read Bob Gates’ Bad Bet by Jeff Huber

The one part Jeff Huber misses, I think, is that nobody ever thought we were going to win anything in Afghanistan, but it makes excellent cover for getting Iraq off the "news". After a few years of dicking with Afghanistan, we'll surely pull out, and by then the neocons figure we'll have forgotten about Iraq, so they'll escape their well deserved punishment.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Liberty, and the lessons

Every now and then someone reminds us of the Liberty story, and today Counterpunch ran a link to this website, as it's 'Website of the day':

The Liberty Affair and the Problem with the Truth of History

Over the years, I've read a few narratives about this event, but this one is the most complete, well written and compelling of all.

Alan Hart has written a book about Zionism that I'd like to read when I get a chance.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Get a load of this ...

From Is the End Near for the Right-Wing's Vice Grip on U.S. Israeli Policy? By Joshua Holland

"... Rosenberg, who has firsthand knowledge of Ben-David's political tactics, called him "a feckless character, if there ever was one": "

"I knew him during his AIPAC days (he worked there for 25 years before being handed his gold watch and shown the door). At AIPAC, Lenny was in charge of the AIPAC version of oppo research. Lenny compiled files on everyone who criticized Israeli policies in any way and used the material he gathered to destroy careers. Lenny loved his files. He loved sending college kids out to gather negative information about journalists, politicians, rabbis, whatever. … Lenny now lives in Israel in the Efrat settlement. He's been on the payroll of the governments of Turkey, Georgia, oil companies, whoever will pay. He also was a Netanyahu aide. He remains close to AIPAC and to Netanyahu… "

That fucking war

Neocons and Pentagon Rage Against the Dying of the Fight by Jeff Huber

"Despite the public relations campaign that has so many folks convinced the surge was a success, Iraq is still a zoo."


"The more we give in to the agenda of a very bad group of people who should have been discredited years ago, the more difficult it will become to turn back from the path they have set us on. "

Is the End Near for the Right-Wing's Vice Grip on U.S. Israeli Policy? By Joshua Holland

"A more open discourse would reveal how the policies advocated by the traditional lobbying groups have damaged U.S. Interests and unintentionally harmed Israel as well," Harvard's Steven Walt, co-author of The Israel Lobby, said in an email-exchange. "And that is not something that AIPAC and the other hard-line groups want to have exposed."

So - the 2% of the population who contributed at least 50% of the duping of America into a military invasion of the Middle East, is now split into two, I guess 1% size pieces, and they are fighting over our future.

Please, please read The Age of Reason.

The Danger of Towing the Line Behind Israel By BOUTHAINA SHAABAN

"Israel was the main stoker of doubts in recent years about Iran’s nuclear projects. It was also behind drumming up war against Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza, and promoting a military strike against Iran following the same strategy it followed before the war on Iraq. It was the main power behind the decision of the United States and some Western states to launch this war which failed to convince any one of its real objectives since claims of the existence of mass destruction weapons proved to be false. "

"Towing the line behind Zionism is no longer a danger to Arabs alone, it has become a danger to international justice and the sanctity of human rights and dignity. "


Monday, October 26, 2009

Ten trillion and counting

Please see this PBS video:
Ten trillion and counting

This is very disturbing stuff, but we need to know it.

Let this presentation also remind us that there are really smart people who genuinely care about the world around us, and are capable of describing it. My hat is off, once again, to Public Broadcasting and Frontline.

If you watch this video, and others, very hopefully you will feel moved to do something about it. Even if it's only talking with your family and friends, it's better then doing nothing.

If you want a plan, here's one:

- put the people who duped America into the invasion of Iraq on trail for war crimes

- remove money from the election process (public funding + Internet = elections that will help us find and put the right people into public office)

- end the military invasion of the Middle East and it's mission to achieve military superiority in the region. It's a sinkhole that has accomplished nothing and continues to suck our blood, treasure and the very soul of this country.

- cease the "special relationship" with Israel. Denouce Zionism.

- seek balanced relationships with all countries

- support the United Nations and World Court

- assign responsibility for int'l terrorism to the UN. Assume there will be more terrorist acts here and abroad. Commit equally with all countries to support UN actions to deal with this problem.

- acknowledge that we cannot kill and destroy our way into people heart's, and that by trying we only create the terrorists we so fear. There are more people in the world that hate us today then ever before. In a world brimming with wmd's, it's only a matter of time before someone who hates us gets his hands on one of those terrible weapons. The best we can do to stop it is to show the world we mean business by putting the people responsible for the hatred of America in jail, where they belong.

- Universal health care is a basic human right, not a for-profit enterprise. For profits can leech all they want, but not for the basics. Use the military sick-bay concept as a minimal approach.

- negotiate with health care providers under threat of nationalizing the industry if a fair and equitable agreement cannot be reached between they and our representatives (who, due to reforms, actually represent us).

- bust up every company that is too big to fail. This was what anti-trust was supposed to be about. Put it back and make it work.

- use tariffs to bring jobs back to America. Achieving equilibrium and harmony with the world is vital, but it must happen at the right rate, not overnight as has happened. We need to back off and do it slowly.

- promote the Internet for "Made in America" products

- establish a world class legal reference and support library on the Internet. That is, get rid of most of the blood-sucking lawyers. If the gov't makes a law, the gov't must provide a sufficient explanation and whatever support is required to understand and work with - or challenge - that law. Forcing us pay lawyers to understand the law is unacceptable. Besides, all of this can be done right on the Internet, with existing technologies and for relatively small cost. Considering it's payback value to society, this is one of the best investments in history.

- Reduce military spending by 50%. Our greatest enemy is fear. Fear has driven the military budget to staggering, colossal heights. We cannot live in fear, and we cannot let fear do this to us. As we adjust from fear-based to "confidence based on doing the right thing", we will have fewer enemies to fear. And as we rid the world of terrible weapons, we'll have fewer people with fewer weapons.

- transform the military into rotations that provide our fair share of support to UN forces, otherwise training while performing public service and humanitarian missions.

- assist small businesses willing to provide training

- achieve 100% nuclear and wmd disarmament, worldwide

- achieve clean energy

- legalize and tax marijuana. Gov't never had the right to make it illegal in the first place. Re-educate the boozers, if you must, but if half the things on this list are done, there will be far fewer people turning to booze in the first place.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Will Israel Ensure That History Repeats Itself?

Will Israel Ensure That History Repeats Itself? by Jeff Gates

Jeff Gates argues the same case I've been writing about for years - but he does it much better then I ever could.

Please take the few minutes it takes to read this article.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Brooksley Born, a rare American hero

If you care at all about the economy and what's happened (and happening!), please see the PBS FrontLine show on TV or at "The Warning"


Zooming In on the Year’s Biggest Hoax

Zooming In on the Year’s Biggest Hoax By Robert Scheer

"The rationale for saving Goldman and the other too-big-to-fail usurers was that the rescue would increase lending to businesses and consumers and thus revive the economy. But Goldman made money last quarter by shunning such loans and instead putting the government-guaranteed low-interest money it now can borrow toward acquisitions and bond and stock trading. As The New York Times reported: “Titans like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase are making fortunes in hot areas like trading stocks and bonds, rather than the ho-hum business of lending people money.” "


The Dark Side of the ‘Special Relationship’

The Dark Side of the ‘Special Relationship’ by Justin Raimondo

"The nature and extent of Israeli spying in the U.S. is not a subject you’ll see the "mainstream" media very often touch with so much as a 10-foot pole, but when it does the results can be ominously disturbing. I, for one, haven’t forgotten Carl Cameron’s four-part series on Israeli spying in the U.S., broadcast by Fox News in December 2001. According to Cameron, his sources in law enforcement told him the Israelis had been following the 9/11 hijackers and had foreknowledge of their plans but somehow neglected to tell us. And then there were those dancing Israelis, leaping for joy at the sight of the Twin Towers burning…"

"This is the dark side of the "special relationship," so dark that hardly anyone wants to acknowledge it, let alone consider its implications."


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Traditional Americans are losing their nation

Traditional Americans are losing their nation by Patrick Buchanan

"They see a government in Washington that cannot balance its books, win our wars or protect our borders. The government shovels out trillions to Fortune 500 corporations and banks to rescue the country from a crisis created by the government and Fortune 500 corporations and banks."

"America was once their country. They sense they are losing it. And they are right."


Bill Moyers: How Can the U.S. Be an Empire and a Democracy at the Same Time?

Bill Moyers: How Can the U.S. Be an Empire and a Democracy at the Same Time? By Bill Moyers


Afghanistan elections

Afghanistan: anatomy of an election disaster by Jon Boone

"Polling day was fast approaching – with an electoral register grossly inflated by millions of fake votes, thousands of polling stations set to open in insecure areas, a partisan Afghan election commission running the show and an international community anxious not to upset the president."


Sunday, October 11, 2009

What Lies Beneath the War in Afghanistan

What Lies Beneath the War in Afghanistan by Eric Margolis

"Truth is war's first casualty. The Afghan war's biggest untruth is, "we've got to fight terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them at home." "

"Many North Americans still buy this lie because they believe the 9/11 attacks came directly from the Afghanistan-based al-Qaida and Taliban movements."

"False. The 9/11 attacks were planned in Germany and Spain, and conducted mainly by U.S.-based Saudis to punish America for supporting Israel."


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Photos of Gaza

If you haven't seen photos of the slaughter in Gaza (I haven't until today), click here

And if you want to try and get your mind around the scourage of our times, the American Free Press is something you should check out. Be sure to see their article on The Zionist Elephant In The Room

If you're interested, and you should be, this publication's archives are online.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Greenwald Film on Afghanistan

Greenwald Film on Afghanistan Destroys the Logic of the War, Leading the New York Times to Whine by Jeremy Scahill,

"Perhaps more than any other major corporate news outlet, The New York Times played a central role in promoting the Bush administration's fraudulent case for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The "reporting" of Judith Miller and Michael Gordon basically served as a front-page fiction laundering factory for Dick Cheney’s fantasy of a “mushroom cloud” threat from Saddam Hussein looming on the immediate horizon, topped off with a celebratory slice of yellowcake. More recently, the paper’s propagandists, William Broad and David Sanger, have aimed their sights on reporting dubious claims about Iran’s nuclear program."

Please be sure to see Glenn Greenwald's excellent films at


Monday, October 5, 2009

Celebrating Slaughter: War and Collective Amnesia

Celebrating Slaughter: War and Collective Amnesia By Chris Hedges

"War memorials and museums are temples to the god of war. The hushed voices, the well-tended grass, the flapping of the flags allow us to ignore how and why our young died. They hide the futility and waste of war. They sanitize the savage instruments of death that turn young soldiers and Marines into killers, and small villages in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq into hellish bonfires. There are no images in these memorials of men or women with their guts hanging out of their bellies, screaming pathetically for their mothers. We do not see mangled corpses being shoved in body bags. There are no sights of children burned beyond recognition or moaning in horrible pain. There are no blind and deformed wrecks of human beings limping through life. War, by the time it is collectively remembered, is glorified and heavily censored. "


Obama’s Afghanistan Dilemma

Obama’s Afghanistan Dilemma By Stanley Kutler

"During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly called for expanding the war in Afghanistan. Be careful what you wish for."

Be that as it may, my studies tell me that:

1. Winning in Afghanistan is a not even a remote possibility. No matter what else is said about it, it will serve as a magnet for the countless enemies we've made in the Middle East. In the best of cases it will be a long, drawn out drain of our blood and treasure. The worst of cases begins with people actually feeling the pain of war.

Why, then?

2. Afghanistan is being used as giant smoke screen to mask withdrawal from the debacle of the military invasion of Iraq (which was to serve as launching point for other conquests in the region in the larger mission to establish military authority in the Middle East - for the benefit of Big Money and Power in the MI Complex, and Israel's supporters in Washington and the "news", which I think of as a "machine").

So, no matter what happens with Afghanistan, it will take time and loads of attention, thereby achieve the goal of moving attention away from the failure of Iraq. When every semblence of victory in Iraq is crumbled, it will be featured on page 32 because everyone's attention has been diverted. Thus win or lose isn't the way to understand the Afghanistan strategy in the first place.

As it's happening today, a big moment in world history is at hand in the form of Obama's pending decision on escalating our military presence in Afghanistan. The decision is expected, and probably will be made very soon.

There is no middle of the road for him to take: it's either escalate the military approach or leave. The middle of the road is being packed with IED's.

If he obeys the machine and escalates, his worthlessness as a President and a human being will be apparent to all. If he takes a stand on behalf of the American people, the "news" machine will begin the process of eating him alive, probably using the thousand little cuts (negative "news" stories) approach, or maybe they'll try some other way.

I believe that if Obama does take a stand against this machine on behalf of the American people (the American spirit), we must disspell the power and influnce of the "news" machine (which psyched the people to launch the Iraq invasion and is now pumping up escalation in Afghanistan) by turning our heads away from it and to information sources being groomed on the net today, start with commondreams. And when we do turn our heads, we will see that the wind in their sails disappears, causing their mighty weapon to sink into the abyss with other scourages that mankind has had to overcome through history to stay the course as builders.

In the big picture of mankind's existance, the trend of civilization has consistantly favored the builders over the destroyers, i.e. an upward trend of progress. Evidentally we cannot exist without "the opposites" (Yin and Yang, with one playing the role of builder, the other destroyer, it doesn't matter which one) in our nature, but when these entities grown strong and one of the opposites becomes arrogant, belligerent and destructive, a mighty clash occurs with the other. Such a clash is brewing again today in the form of the the crusade for military authority in the Middle East. There was no "exit strategy" because there was no plan to exit.

Ask yourself: are you a builder, or a destroyer? Once again in the grand scheme of mankind's development, as has happened before, we're called again to stand up and choose.

Given the power accumulated by the forces at work, we are in a historical moment, of equal or greater significance then any in history. We must choose now, and we must choose correctly. Looking at mankind's history, I think that we will stand as builders is a no-brainer, but we still have to make it happen - it wouldn't happen by itself. It's really a question of how much pain we'll suffer before acknowledging it's time.

We've allowed ourselves to accept that frame of reference is "right" versus "left", which set us arguing in circles. We need a different and more accurate frame of reference, and that is "builder" versus "destroyer". If you're intrigued by this notion, I invite you to read C. J. Jung's excellent analysis on the subject. Most unfortunately his works are not published on the net, but can be found in your library.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Debunking the War Party

Debunking the War Party Greenwald Slaps Down Huffington by Justin Raimondo

"Odds are that, at this time in 2010, we’ll still be talking about Iran’s completely nonexistent nuclear weapons program, with rival versions of what Tehran is really up to battling it out within the administration and in the arena of public opinion. The opening shots of that war have been fired, and,while the War Party, spearheaded by the powerful Israel lobby, is bound and determined to strike at Iran, the news out of Geneva is not good for the "bomb bomb bomb Iran" crowd. "


"Unlike our last emperor, this one is no dummy: he knows perfectly well that Israel’s possession of weapons of mass destruction is the real issue that hangs over the entire region, a nuclear sword of Damocles in the hands of whatever rabid rightist holds the reins of power in Tel Aviv. Also unlike Bush, Obama is not beholden to the Israel lobby in the same way the Republicans were and are: not that Democrats are immune to the Lobby’s power. Far from it: on the eve of this apparent breakthrough in the US-Iranian stand-off, the Democratic majority in congress voted to impose sanctions on foreign companies that import gasoline into Iran. "


"It was great watching Glenn Greenwald take Arianna apart with his hardheaded appeal to both realism and common sense – and his mention of the Unmentionable Israeli nuclear arsenal. Greenwald demolished her talking points, methodically and unmercifully, and he did it by simply sticking to the facts: look, he said, at what Iran and the US have actually done. It is the US that has occupied nations on Iran’s borders, in Iraq and Afghanistan, while you have to go back a thousand years to pin down the last time the Iranians (then the Persians) crossed their borders and invaded another country. It was the US that backed Saddam Hussein when he invaded Iran, in a war in which hundreds of thousands were slaughtered. So who is the real aggressor here? "


Friday, October 2, 2009

Who Decides About War? What About the People?

In this article: Who Decides About War? What About the People? by John Nichols

Manski and his colleagues ask core questions that deserve thoughtful consideration.


Bitter Fruits of Mideast Wars

Bitter Fruits of Mideast Wars by Patrick J. Buchanan

"Impending today are two of the most critical decisions Barack Obama will ever make, which may determine the fate of his presidency, as well as the future of the United States in the Near and Middle East. "

"The first is whether to approve Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for thousands more U.S. troops he says he needs to prevent "mission failure" — i.e, to stave off a U.S. defeat in Afghanistan. "

"The second is whether Obama will start up the road of "crippling sanctions" to war with Iran, to prevent Tehran from moving closer to a capacity to produce nuclear weapons. "

Please read the article for Buchanan's clear analysis.

Neocon Artist by Jeff Huber

"That Kagan, and by extension the entire neocon cabal, still has such influence is not only alarming, it is dangerous. Even worse is the manner in which the neocons have aligned themselves with the Pentagon in its power struggle with the Obama administration."

Marijuana in America: More Mainstream Than Ever, More Arrests Than Ever By Tony Newman

"You might be surprised to learn that in the United States more than 750,000 people are arrested every year on marijuana possession. In New York, under "moderate" Bloomberg, there were 40,000 pot arrests last year, and the city now has the unfortunate distinction of being the marijuana-arrest capital of the world."

"... In 2008, 87 percent of those charged with pot possession in New York were black or Latino"