Wednesday, February 28, 2007


US to attend key Iraq conference

The US is willing to attend a regional conference in Iraq next month that will include representatives from Iran and Syria, the White House says.

Iraq said the talks in Baghdad were aimed at seeking ways to stabilise the country and would be an "ice-breaker" for Western and regional powers.

Members of the Iraq Study Group, welcomed the move.

An anonymous senior administration official quoted in Wednesday's New York Times said the ratcheting up of confrontational rhetoric against Iran in recent weeks has allowed the US to give the appearance of being in control - not to be talking from a position of weakness.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said: "We hope that all governments seize this opportunity to improve their relations with Iraq and to work for peace and stability in the region."

Ms Rice said: "Success in Iraq requires the positive support of Iraq's neighbours. This is also one of the key findings of the Iraq Study Group."


International Herald Tribune

It's time to start talking

Henry A. Kissinger
Tribune Media Services
Sunday, February 25, 2007

The time has come to begin preparing for an international conference to define the political outcome of the Iraq war. Whatever happens, a diplomatic phase is necessary.

The conflicting interests of various countries must be restrained by a combination of a balance of power and an agreed legitimacy to provide an international sanction.

If America fails to achieve its immediate objectives — if terrorist camps or terrorist regimes emerge on the soil of Iraq, backed by its huge oil resources — no county with a significant Muslim population will be able to escape the consequences: not India, with the second largest Muslim population in the world; not Indonesia, with the largest; not Turkey, already contending with incursions from the Kurdish portion of Iraq; not Malaysia, Pakistan or any of the countries of Western Europe; not Russia, with its Muslim south; nor, in the end, China.

...and an Islamic fundamentalism that can claim to have ejected Russia from Afghanistan and America from Iraq, a period of extreme turbulence verging on chaos is unavoidable,

Yet none of the potential victims of these trends has been required to contribute even ideas, much less been enlisted in the quest for a political solution.

...Wise leaders on all sides are needed to establish an international order that provides security to all participants and respect to all religions.

The best impetus to a serious diplomacy over Iraq is by way of the international conference.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Taliban 'knew of Cheney visit'
27/02/2007 12:07 - (SA)

Islamabad - A suicide attack at an Afghan air base where US vice-president Dick Cheney was staying shows that the Taliban and al-Qaeda have penetrated local intelligence agencies, analysts and officials said.

The blast early on Tuesday at Bagram air base near Kabul also highlights the increasing sophistication of the extremist outfits as they prepare for a feared spring offensive against Western troops, they said.

The day before the explosion Cheney warned President Pervez Musharraf of neighbouring Pakistan to crack down on militants regrouping in Pakistan's tribal areas to mount attacks across the border and further afield.

"This shows how much the militants have penetrated the intelligence of the Afghan security forces. It is a most shocking attack," retired Pakistani general turned analyst Talat Masood told AFP.

Visit unannounced

Cheney's visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan were unannounced and shrouded in even tighter secrecy than when US President George W Bush travelled to the two countries in March 2006.

Author Ahmed Rashid, who has written a book on the Taliban, said the bombing was a "very provocative" move by the Taliban.

"They were waiting for a high-level visit to carry out an attack. This visit, although highly secretive, was known in circles in Kabul and Islamabad," he said.

A senior Pakistani counter-terrorism official said the "sophisticated" attack "indicates the militants' preparedness and the quality of their intelligence collection in the run-up to the so-called spring offensive".

He added: "They must have had information (a) few days before that the US vice-president would be in town and stay at Bagram. This is not something you can plan with 12 hours notice."

The explosion killed 23 people, including two Americans, and delivered a propaganda blow that undercut the U.S. military and the weak Afghan government it supports.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing and said Mr. Cheney was the target of the attack, news agencies reported. Qari Yousef Ahmadi, who claimed to be a Taliban spokesman, told the Associated Press: “We knew that Dick Cheney would be staying inside the base.” He said the bombing was carried out by Mullah Abdul Rahim.

**Cheney had been expected to meet with President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday in Kabul, 30 miles south of Bagram, after a planned meeting on Monday was canceled because of bad weather.


From Asia Times
Pepe Escobar

  • On Monday, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's cabinet in Baghdad approved the draft of the new Iraqi oil law.
  • The key point of the law ... will be under the iron rule of a fuzzy "Federal Oil and Gas Council" boasting "a panel of oil experts from inside and outside Iraq". That is, nothing less than predominantly US Big Oil executives.
  • it represents the death knell of nationalized (from 1972 to 1975) Iraqi resources, now replaced by production sharing agreements (PSAs) - which translate into savage privatization and monster profit rates of up to 75% for (basically US) Big Oil.
  • Sixty-five of Iraq's roughly 80 oilfields already known will be offered for Big Oil to exploit.
  • Oil wealth, in theory, will be distributed directly to Kurds in the north, Shi'ites in the south and Sunnis in the center. For all practical purposes, Iraq will be partitioned into three statelets.
  • The approval of the draft law by the fractious 275-member Iraqi Parliament, in March, will be a mere formality.
  • The law was in essence drafted, behind locked doors, by a US consulting firm hired by the Bush administration and then carefully retouched by Big Oil, the International Monetary Fund, former US deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz' World Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development.
  • It's virtually a US law (its original language is English, not Arabic).
  • Scandalously, Iraqi public opinion had absolute no knowledge of it - not to mention the overwhelming majority of Parliament members.
  • the pro-US Kurds will have all the power to sign oil contracts with whatever companies they want.
  • Sunnis will be more dependent on the Oil Ministry in Baghdad. And
  • Shi'ites will be more or less midway between total independence in the south and Baghdad's dictum (which they control anyway).
  • But the crucial point remains: nobody will sign anything unless the "advisers" at the US-manipulated Federal Oil and Gas Council say so.
  • According to the International Energy Agency, PSAs apply to only 12% of global oil reserves, in cases where costs are very high and nobody knows what will be found
  • No big Middle Eastern oil producer works with PSAs.
  • Russia and Venezuela are renegotiating all of them.
  • Bolivia nationalized its gas.
  • Algeria and Indonesia have new rules for future contracts.
  • Gargantuan profits under the PSA arrangement are in a class by themselves. Iraqi oil costs only US$1 a barrel to extract.
  • What revenue the regions do get will be distributed to all 18 provinces based on population size

From Foreign Policy in Focus
Antonia Juhasz and Raed Jarrar

From Reuters

Edward Wong writes in the Times that

  • Highlights of the draft oil legislation include the pooling of revenues in a central account, to be distributed to each province, allegedly on a per capita basis;
  • regional authority to sign international contracts, subject to review by a central board; and
  • the allowing of controversial production-sharing agreements, arrangements which some have called too generous to foreign oil companies.
  • Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) will be spun off as a private company, presumably to compete with foreign concerns over oil rights, to which it once had exclusive access.
  • The draft law now passes to the parliament for its approval. Iraq’s political parties setting a May 2007 deadline for passage, but debate could be intense.
  • International giants are circling, eager to tap Iraq’s vast reserves but still unsure about the legal and security issues concerned.


From Informed Comment

Note that contrary to US hopes, it does not privatize petroleum, putting it under a government holding company instead. Receipts go to a government account for distribution to the population, a la Alaska. Some critics believe it will make possible deals that are overly generous to the oil companies and which essentially cheat Iraqis, given that the present government is desperate to jump-start new development and foreign companies won't try to operate in blood-soaked Iraq unless the deal is sweetened enormously. On the other hand, Husayn Shahristani, the oil minister, is an Iraqi nationalist close to Grand Ayatollah Sistani, and had no motivation to see Iraq cheated. I will try to get some readings from oil industry experts and report back.

From Missing Links

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


BAGHDAD: In a coordinated assault on an American combat outpost north of Baghdad, suicide bombers drove three cars laden with explosives into the base, killing two American soldiers and wounding at least 17 more, according to witnesses and the American military.

BAGHDAD, Feb. 19 -- A U.S. military facility north of Baghdad was targeted Monday by suicide bombers and other armed men who killed three American soldiers and wounded 17 in an unusually brazen attack.

The facility, a former Iraqi police station in the town of Tarmiyah, came under attack shortly before dawn, according to a witness and the spokesman for the local joint coordination center, Capt. Muhammad Awad.

The outpost, established in the abandoned police headquarters in the center of the town, was fortified by large blast walls. Americans typically keep one company of about 100 soldiers at such outposts.

Monday, February 19, 2007


From Angry Arab

From The pessimist was right, by Uri Dromi; review of "Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait" by Uri Dan (Haaretz):

Speaking of George Bush, with whom Sharon developed a very close relationship, Uri Dan recalls that Sharon's delicacy made him reluctant to repeat what the president had told him when they discussed Osama bin Laden. Finally he relented. And here is what the leader of the Western world, valiant warrior in the battle of cultures, promised to do to bin Laden if he caught him: "I will screw him in the ass!"

Saturday, February 17, 2007


And now let's hear from the man who started it all by arming mujaheddin in Afghanistan (1977) to prompt, and then to counter, a Soviet invasion.

Who wrote two books promoting the global empire - one repeatedly calling for a "pearl harbor" to soften up public opinion (The Grand Chessboard, 1996)

Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski's issued a damning indictment of the Bush Regime in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 1, 2007, which you probably did not see as the United States no longer has a media--only a government propaganda ministry.

Brzezinski damned the Bush Regime's war in Iraq as
  • "a historic, strategic, and moral calamity."
Brzezinski damned the war as
  • "driven by Manichean impulses and imperial hubris."
He damned the war for
  • "intensifying regional instability" and for "undermining America's global legitimacy."

Brzezinski told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that
  • "the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam."
Brzezinski predicts
  • "some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a 'defensive' U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan."

Brzezinski concludes his testimony with the statement that it is
  • "time for the Congress to assert itself."

Of course, Zbig is a realist and what he could have never figured on was that the idiot George W. Bush would let the neocons came through the back door of the Republican party, captured the flag, take over the government (and of particular importance, the Pentagon) and implement their destructive “clash of civilizations” agenda and its attendant Straussian domestic social project.

Jacobin neocons are who are “rigid” with the tension they create “that shatter” the system. Out of control neocons, who are Straussian radicals embracing a reformulated version of Leon Trotsky’s “permanent revolution” with an unhealthy dose of Zionism, who (at least in the rarified air of their leadership) are reactionary Jews espousing the “clash of civilizations” dogma targeting Muslim society and culture

* Brzezinski and Tim Osman (Osama bin Laden) discuss the string of Jihads that Zbigniew never regrets


Laurence Britt wrote an article called "Fascism Anyone?" in which he compares some of the more notorious fascist regimes and came up with 14 commonalities (with examples).

1) Powerful and continuing nationalism
2) Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3) Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause:
4) Supremacy of the Military
5) Rampant Sexism
6) Controlled Mass Media
7) Obsession with National Security
8) Religion and Government are Intertwined
9) Corporate Power is Protected
10) Labor power is suppressed
11) Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
12) Obsession with Crime and Punishment
13) Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14) Fraudulent Elections


Together, the 6 billion of us are bringing about enormous changes in the world -- the growing deserts, receding rain forests, eroding soils, vanishing species, and continuing shortages of food, water, and energy. With planning and forethought, we could stabilize world population at 8 billion by the year 2050. Or, without planning and forethought, we could allow population to reach 14 billion. These alternative population scenarios imply vastly different prospects for the people of the earth. For example, in terms of per capita greenhouse gas emissions 35 years from now, a smaller population growing toward 8 billion would yield about 25% less total emissions than a larger population growing toward 14 billion. This would have as much impact on carbon dioxide emissions as eliminating deforestation entirely.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


From Stratford

Iran: Bombing in Zahedan
February 14, 2007 07 43 GMT

An explosion occurred in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan on Feb. 14, killing 18 people. The bomb, reportedly hidden in a car, exploded as a bus belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) passed by. It has not yet been determined whether those killed were IRGC guards.

Zahedan is the capital of Sistan and Balochistan, a southeastern province where Iran's oppressed Baloch minority is concentrated. The Balochis are mainly Sunni Muslims who share anti-Persian and anti-Shiite sentiments with the Ahvazi Arab separatists in southwestern Khuzestan province. Though the lawless desert province of Sistan and Balochistan is overrun with drug smugglers and bandits who regularly clash with Iranian security forces, this latest attack against IRGC guards was likely carried out by armed Baloch nationalists who have received a boost in support from Western intelligence agencies.

In December 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in Zahedan delivering a speech when alleged local rebels mounted an attack in the region. As Stratfor indicated at the time of that attack, the United States would have a strong interest in using ties to the Baloch insurgency to destabilize the Iranian regime and undermine the confidence of the ruling clerical establishment in dealing with Iraq and the nuclear issue.

The Baloch militant campaign is led by a group named Jundallah, which likely has ties with the Baloch insurgency in neighboring Pakistan. On Feb. 5, Jundallah claimed responsibility for an attack the previous night in Zahedan that had killed four Iranian security officials. The attack, according to a statement by Jundallah, was carried out in commemoration of the 28th anniversary of Iran's 1979 revolution. In June 2005, Jundallah militants abducted a group of Iranian security and intelligence officers traveling in a convoy along the Pakistani border. Three weeks later, they released a video showing the execution of a man they claimed was an Iranian intelligence officer. The group was also involved in the abduction and assassination of Iranian security officials, IRGC members and Islamic Red Crescent aid workers in March 2006.

The U.S.-Iranian standoff over Iraq has reached a high level of intensity. While the hard-line rhetoric and steps toward negotiations absorb the media's attention, a covert war being played out between Iran on one side, and the United States and Israel on the other, will escalate further. While Israel appears to be focused on decapitating Iran's nuclear program through targeted assassinations, the United States has likely ramped up support for Iran's variety of oppressed minorities in an attempt to push the Iranian regime toward a negotiated settlement over Iraq.

From World War 4 Report

Iran has long been accused of sponsoring the Baluch insurgency in Pakistan as a strategy to destabilize the key US ally in the region. But Baluch ethnic nationalism may now pose a threat to Tehran's control of its own internal Baluch population. A unified Baluchistan would threaten Iran and Pakistan alike, and the fact that the Baluch are a Sunni minority in Iran is a further complicating factor. The US and unsavory organizations like Mujahedeen Khalq already seem to be exploiting separtist unrest in Iran's western Khuzestan province, home to the country's Arab minority. Iranian Baluchistan may be straw waiting to burn...

From Belfast Telegraph

Al-Qa'ida group blamed for bus bomb attack on Iranian guards

Thursday, February 15, 2007

By Angus McDowall in Tehran

A Sunni group calling itself the "soldiers of God", with alleged links to al-Qa'ida, has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a military bus in which at least 11 people were killed in a lawless region of Iran close to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The US has in the past accused Iran of sheltering senior al-Qa'ida officials, including Osama bin Laden's son Saad. Iran denies those charges and says Jundollah is itself part of the al-Qa'ida network and is intent on fomenting sectarian strife.

Its leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, is a Baluchi, an ethnic group from the south-eastern corner of Iran.

Shia clerics quickly appeared on television yesterday to say that Sunnis should not be blamed for the bloodshed. Senior Iranian figures have been warning against heightened Shia-Sunni tensions.


From World War Four Report

UFPJ joins Palestine mobilization
Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 03:05.

We've noted before in the US anti-war movement's factional jockeying, how the sectarian-controlled International ANSWER has used Palestine as a "wedge issue" against the more legitimate United for Peace & Justice (UFPJ) coalition—which really has been timid around the question. Now, at long last, UFPJ is seriously addressing Palestine. The Forward may not be happy about this, but we are. Daniel Treiman writes, Feb. 2:

The anti-war group behind the recent demonstration that brought tens of thousands to Washington to protest the Iraq War already has plans for another mass rally in the nation’s capital. This time, though, the target of the protesters’ ire will be Israel.

United for Peace and Justice, the convener of the January 27 march, is joining with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to co-sponsor a two-day “mobilization” in June, titled “The World Says No to Israeli Occupation.” The event will include a mass rally, a “teach-in” and lobbying. It will mark the 40th year since Israel’s capture of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in June 1967.

“The purpose of the event is to hopefully call greater attention both to the ongoing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, but also to call attention to the role that the U.S. plays in supporting that, and specifically the financial role, of course,” said UFPJ’s national coordinator, Leslie Cagan.

The Jewish community has had an uneasy relationship with the anti-war movement...


Reports of the vanishing Mahdi fighters came amid mounting speculation over the whereabouts of Mr Sadr. The chief US military spokesman in Baghdad said the anti-western cleric had fled to Iran. "He is in Iran and he left last month," said Major General William Caldwell. US forces were tracking him "very closely", he said.

The assertion was hotly contested by senior members of the Sadr movement, who said their leader had been in Najaf meeting local officials. One pro-Sadr satellite channel showed footage of Mr Sadr that it said was taken in Najaf three days ago. Falah al-Akaily, a pro-Sadr MP, said: "This is just a rumour sent around to confuse people. Sayid Moqtada is available and has not left Iraq. Why would he need to do so? The movement has declared its support for the security crackdown and its full cooperation in defeating the terrorists."

A statement by the Sadr movement's office in Sadr City accused the US of playing games: "This is a lie put out as part of a psychological and media campaign by the US occupation to hurt the reputation of the brave national leader."


The Mahdi army, also known as Jaish al-Mahdi, was born in the vacuum left by the fall of Saddam Hussein. With no one in charge, Shia clerics organised religious students to distribute food and essentials from the mosques of Sadr City in Baghdad. One of the most popular of the clerics was Moqtada al-Sadr - young, radical and anti-American. The groups soon took on "security duties", and in June 2003 Mr Sadr brought them together as the Mahdi army. The militia rose to prominence in April 2004 when they led the first major Shia confrontation against US forces.
The army has continued to gain in strength since the handover to the Iraqi interim government, feeding on dissatisfaction among Shias who initially welcomed the fall of Saddam. Mr Sadr, despite his anti-Americanism, is a political ally of the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. His fighters, dressed in black, are armed with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, anti-air missiles and other light weapons, and have been known to use IEDs (improvised explosive devices). The size of the force is thought to be between 6,000 and 10,000.


Black Panther founder-leader Huey Newton has become a rallying symbol for dissenting black youths within and without the Black Panther movement since his jailing on a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of any white Oakland, Calif., police officer. While his trial has projected Newton's name and that of his organization to national prominence, relatively little is known about the objectives and ideological underpinnings of the Black Panther organization. In keeping with the policy of presenting diverse shades of opinion found in the black community, Ebony presents in these pages a current article by Newton, in which he sets forth the purpose, methods and philosophy of his controversial organization.

— THE EDITOR (Click)

The Black Panthers HUEY P. NEWTON / Ebony August 1969 1aug69

Imprisoned founder of ultra-militant group sets forth purpose, methods and political ideology of his controversial organization
[More on the Black Panther Party]

The Black Panther Party is the People's party. We are fundamentally interested in one thing, that is, freeing all people from all forms of slavery in order that every man will be his own master. At present men are engaged in a struggle for self-determination on both an ethnic and an international level. People everywhere want to eliminate the slave master in order to gain sacred freedom. People must be involved in this struggle so as to control the decisions that affect them. A basic tenet of this struggle and its object also, is the principle that things we all commonly use and commonly need should be commonly owned. In other words, the people should collectively decide exactly what they need and they should share fully in the wealth they produce. To this end the whole administration of the government should be subject to the dictates of the people, something that doesn't occur in presents capitalistic society. If the needs of the people are neither being met by the present form of government administration nor by the present economic philosophy we call capitalism, both should be replaced...

The historic decline of the United States and the eruption of militarism

The historic decline of the United States and the eruption of militarism
Part three
By Nick Beams
14 February 2007

The following is the third and final part of a report delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, to a meeting of the SEP membership from January 25 to January 27, 2007. The first part was published on February 12 and the second part on February 13.

The World Socialist Web Site has often pointed out that the Bush regime is guilty of the same crime for which the Nazi regime was indicted at Nuremberg, and from which, in the words of the prosecution, all its other crimes flowed: the waging of an aggressive war. I don’t want to make some kind of superficial comparison between the situation in the United States and Nazi Germany. But we can develop a more accurate assessment by focusing on the underlying processes at work.


Thanks Mickey Z Website

The webblog is a comparison between Barack and Huey. This is what Huey said...

Huey P. Newton sez:

(Excerpted from an October 29, 1970 letter to the National Front for Liberation and Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Viet Nam)

“In the spirit of international revolutionary solidarity, the Black Panther Party hereby offers ... an undetermined number of troops to assist you in your fight against American imperialism. It is appropriate for the Black Panther Party to take this action at this time in recognition of the fact that your struggle is also our struggle, for we recognize that our common enemy is U.S. imperialism which is the leader of international bourgeois domination. There is no fascist or reactionary government in the world today that could stand without the support of United States imperialism. Therefore our problem is international, and we offer these troops in recognition of the necessity for international alliance to deal with the problem… Such alliance will advance the struggle toward the final act of dealing with American imperialism. To end this oppression we must liberate the developing nations… As one nation is liberated elsewhere, it gives us a better chance to be free.”


Information Warfare, Psy-ops and the Power of Myth
A look at the bombing of the Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra

by Mike Whitney

The bombing of the Golden Dome Mosque in Samarra is the cornerstone of Bush’s psychological operations (psy-ops) in Iraq. That’s why it is critical to have an independent investigation and discover who is really responsible. The bombing has been used as a "Pearl Harbor-type" event which has deflected responsibility for the 650,000 Iraqi casualties and more than 3 million refugees. These are the victims of American occupation not civil war.

The bombing was concocted by men who believe that they can control the public through perception management. In practical terms, this means that they create events which can be used to support their far-right doctrine. In this case, the destruction of the mosque has been used to confuse the public about the real origins of the rising sectarian tensions and hostilities. The fighting between Sunni and Shiite is the predictable upshot of random bombings and violence which bears the signature of covert operations carried out by intelligence organizations. Most of the pandemonium in Iraq is the result of counterinsurgency operations (black-ops) on a massive scale not civil war.

The Pentagon’s bold new approach to psychological operations (psy-ops) appears to have derived from the theories of former State Dept official, Philip Zelikow (who also served on the 9-11 Commission) Zelikow is an expert on "the creation and maintenance of 'public myths’ or 'public presumptions’. His theory analyzes how consciousness is shaped by "searing events" which take on "transcendent importance" and, therefore, move the public in the direction chosen by the policymakers.

"In the Nov-Dec 1998 issue of Foreign Affairs he (Zelikow) co-authored an article called 'Catastrophic Terrorism’ in which he speculated that if the 1993 bombing of the World Trade center had succeeded 'the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. 'It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet bomb test in 1949. The US might respond with draconian measures scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either future terrorist attacks or US counterattacks. Belatedly, Americans would judge their leaders negligent for not addressing terrorism more urgently". ()

Zelikow’s article presumes that if one creates their own "searing event" (such as 9-11 or the bombing of the Golden Dome Mosque) they can steer the public in whatever direction they choose. His theory depends entirely on a "state-media nexus" which can be depended on to disseminate propaganda uniformly. There is no more reliable propaganda-system in the world today than the western media.

New Clues in the Bombing

New clues have surfaced in the case of the bombing of the Golden Mosque which suggests that the claims of the Bush administration are false. An article by Marc Santora, ("One Year Later, Golden Mosque is still in Ruins", New York Times) provides eyewitness testimony of what really took place one year ago:

"A caretaker at the shrine described what happened on the day of the attack, insisting on anonymity because he was afraid that talking to an American could get him killed. The general outline of his account was confirmed by American and Iraqi officials. The night before the explosion, he said, just before the 8 p.m. curfew on Feb. 21, 2006, on the Western calendar, men dressed in commando uniforms like those issued by the Interior Ministry entered the shrine. The caretaker said he had been beaten, tied up and locked in a room. Throughout the night, he said, he could hear the sound of drilling as the attackers positioned the explosives, apparently in such a way as to inflict maximum damage on the dome".(NY Times)

Clearly, if the men were men dressed in "commando uniforms like those issued by the Interior Ministry", then the logical place to begin an investigation would be the Interior Ministry. But there's never been an investigation and the caretaker has never been asked to testify about what he saw on the night of the bombing. However, if he is telling the truth, we cannot exclude the possibility that paramilitary contractors (mercenaries) or special-ops (intelligence) agents working out of the Interior Ministry may have destroyed the mosque to create the appearance of a nascent civil war.

Isn’t that what Bush wants to divert attention from the occupation and to show that the real conflict is between Shiites and Sunnis?

It's unlikely that the mosque was destroyed by "Sunni insurgents or Al Qaida" as Bush claims. Samarra is predominantly a Sunni city and the Sunnis have nearly as much respect for the mosque as a cultural icon and sacred shrine as the Shiites.

The Times also adds, "What is clear is that the attack was carefully planned and calculated".

True again. We can see from the extent of the damage that the job was carried out by demolition experts and not merely "insurgents or terrorists" with explosives. Simple forensic tests and soil samples could easily determine the composition of the explosives and point out the real perpetrators.

The Times even provides a motive for the attack: "Bad people used this incident to divide Iraq on a detestable sectarian basis."

Bingo! The administration has repeatedly used the incident to highlight divisions, incite acrimony, and prolong the occupation.

Finally, the Times notes the similarities between 9-11 and the bombing of the Golden Mosque: "I can describe what was done as exactly like what happened to the World Trade Center."(NY Times)

In fact, the bombing of the Golden Mosque is a reenactment of September 11. In both cases an independent investigation was intentionally quashed and carefully-prepared narrative was immediately provided. The government’s version of events has been critical in supporting the extremist policies of the Bush administration.

Just as 9-11 has been used to justify the enhanced powers of the "unitary" president, the evisceration of civil liberties, and a permanent state of war; so too, the bombing of the Golden Mosque, has been used to create a fictional narrative of deeply ingrained sectarian animosity that has no historical precedent. Both events need to be exposed by thorough and independent investigations.

The Bush administration has consistently abandoned the limitations of "reality-based" politics. They govern through demagoguery, force and deception. This is no different.

9-11 and the Golden Mosque are the foundation blocks in the Pentagon’s "Strategic Information" program. It is a war that is directed at the American people and it relies heavily on the power of myth.

Forewarned is forearmed.

*The mausoleum of the 10th Imam al-Naqi and 11th Imam al-Askari, peace be on them.

*The city is also home to the Al-Askari Mosque, containing the mausoleums of the Ali al-Hadi and Hasan al-Askari, the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, respectively, as well as the shrine of Muhammad al-Mahdi, known as the "Hidden Imam", who is the twelfth and final Imam of the Shia. This has made it an important pilgrimage centre for Shia Muslims. In addition, Hakimah Khatun and Narjis Khatun, female relatives of the Prophet Mohammed and the Shia Imams, held in high esteem by Shia and Sunni Muslims, are buried there, making this mosque one of the most significant sites of worship for Shia and a venerated location for Sunni Muslims.


The U.K. and the U.S. are the worst places for children’s quality of life and the Netherlands and Sweden are the best, according to a report on 21 industrialized countries by the United Nations Children’s Fund.

The U.S. ranks last in health and safety, with the highest rates of relative child poverty and teenage obesity, according to the report.

It should be noted that the recent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are funded outside the Federal Budget (i.e. are paid for through supplementary spending bills) and are therefore external to the military budget figures listed above. In addition, the United States has long had a history of black budget military spending which is not listed as Federal spending and is not included in published military spending figures. Thus, the true amount spent by the United States on military spending is significantly higher than the given budgetary figures.



Among many reasons, I hate America for the near-extermination and subsequent oppression of its indigenous population. I hate it for its role in the African slave trade and for dropping atomic bombs on civilians. I hate its control of institutions like the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization. I hate it for propping up brutal dictators like Suharto, Pinochet, Duvalier, Hussein, Marcos, and the Shah of Iran. I hate America for its unconditional support for Israel. I hate its bogus two-party system, its one-size-fits-all culture, and its income gap. I could go on for pages but I'll sum up with this: I hate America for being a hypocritical white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

After a paragraph like that, you know what comes next: If you hate America so much, why don't you leave? Leave America? That would potentially put me on the other end of U.S. foreign policy. No thanks.

Since none of my people died to build anything, I rely instead on William Blum, who declares, "I'm committed to fighting U.S. foreign policy, the greatest threat to peace and happiness in the world, and being in the United States is the best place for carrying out the battle. This is the belly of the beast, and I try to be an ulcer inside of it."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Asked by an ABC reporter whether he thought Iraq was roiled by civil war, Bush said, "It's hard for me living in this beautiful White House to give you an assessment, a first hand assessment. I haven't been there. You have, I haven't. But I do talk to people who are and people whose judgment I trust and they would not qualify it as that. There are others who think it is."

"I can say with certainty that the Quds Force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated IEDs that have harmed our troops," Bush said. "I do not know whether or not the Quds Force was ordered from the top echelons of government."