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Is Bush planning an attack on Iran in March?


Douglas Caddy
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The US state department said it would not be holding bilateral talks with Iran or Syria on 10th March, but did not rule out the possibility US officials might hold talks with Iranians on the conference sidelines. The US has agreed to attend the meeting while Iran said it was still considering the invitation. The official Syrian news agency SANA confirmed Syria would attend. "There will not be bilateral talks between the United States and Iran, or the United States and Syria, within the context of these meetings," Tony Snow, White House spokesman, told reporters. "We are not engaging in diplomatic recognition of Iran. We are not engaging in bilateral talks with Iran," he said. But, he added, "There are multilateral forums where, if the Iranians are there, we're not going to walk out."

How does this fit-in with the stories that the US and Israel were planning to bomb Iran? My view is that Bush is trying to give the impression that this "tough-talk" has forced Iran to the negotiating table. It is the same tactic that was used by Nixon before he ordered the retreat from Vietnam (he increased the bombing and rumours were spread that Nixon had lost his mind and that he might use nuclear weapons in the region).

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The US state department said it would not be holding bilateral talks with Iran or Syria on 10th March, but did not rule out the possibility US officials might hold talks with Iranians on the conference sidelines. The US has agreed to attend the meeting while Iran said it was still considering the invitation. The official Syrian news agency SANA confirmed Syria would attend. "There will not be bilateral talks between the United States and Iran, or the United States and Syria, within the context of these meetings," Tony Snow, White House spokesman, told reporters. "We are not engaging in diplomatic recognition of Iran. We are not engaging in bilateral talks with Iran," he said. But, he added, "There are multilateral forums where, if the Iranians are there, we're not going to walk out."

How does this fit-in with the stories that the US and Israel were planning to bomb Iran? My view is that Bush is trying to give the impression that this "tough-talk" has forced Iran to the negotiating table. It is the same tactic that was used by Nixon before he ordered the retreat from Vietnam (he increased the bombing and rumours were spread that Nixon had lost his mind and that he might use nuclear weapons in the region).

I think this guy has a fairly accurate take on Bush's dilemma and the current see-saw in Washington between neocons and old fashioned neo colonialists.

Like Edward Heath and Malcolm Fraser, I never appreciated the old school neocols until I saw what came after. :rolleyes:

I would say, however, that I think the article ends poorly. There are very tangible potential benefits for Israel's regional hegemony if Iran is reduced to the state of Iraq. Egging the USA into war is much more than a matter of 'testing' the USA's affection.

Bush trying to satisfy two masters?

Passive aggressive

Jim Lobe notes the deep contrast between the current neocon propaganda war against Iran and the neocon propaganda war which led to the attack on Iraq. The differences are even more striking if you consider the propaganda coming from the Bush Administration itself. The lies about Iraq were ubiquitous and unrelenting. There was essentially no dissent from the Bush Administration position, either in the reporting of the mainstream media or the statements of the spokesmodels for the Administration.

Iran is completely different. The lies are coming from anonymous sources, as if nobody wants to be associated with them. The New York Times has them re-typed by the joke named Michael Gordon (Pinocchio has a more credible by-line, and it is as if some trickster in the Times is trying to subvert the Zionist lies of the ownership by having someone as obvious as Gordon do the re-typing). Important officials, often strikingly from the higher levels of the Pentagon (hardly an anti-war crowd), are obviously off-message. Even Bush can’t keep a consistent hard-line position.

The deep structure of the propaganda war is different. Remember Feith and the lies produced by the office of Special Plans? There is an equivalent lying group for Iran, but there is nothing like the same quantity and quality of ‘stovepiping’. Indeed, almost all the manipulation of intelligence, which formed the base story of the preamble to the attack on Iraq, is missing. So what’s going on?

I think Bush is trying to satisfy two masters. A passive-aggressive drunk like Bush can’t say no to anybody. The Zionists, both Christian and Jewish, blood dripping – as always – from their fangs, are screaming for yet another murderous attack. At the same time, Bush’s father’s friends have decided that American Establishment interests require an obvious effort by the U. S. to calm the Middle East. Bush tells the Zionists he is working as fast as he can within the limits of the powerful anti-Semites around him. The propaganda war, such as it is, is intended to make it seem that he is doing something for them. On the other hand, he is telling his father’s friends not to worry, that he is managing the Zionists. The ‘surge’ and the usual abandonment of the Palestinians is the sop he is throwing to the Zionists to assuage their lust for blood while he delays them on Iran.

Of course, if Bush keeps delaying, the Establishment wins and the Zionists lose. The Establishment feels comfortable that they can avert the ultimate disaster of an attack on Iran, but fears a traitorous Gulf of Tonkin incident arranged by Zionists in the Gulf (thus the peculiar ‘conspiracy theory’ warning by Brzezinski).

The history of American Establishment views is interesting in itself, and also explains the blood-thirstiness of American Zionists. The recent military loss of Israel in Lebanon was a disaster for Israel for many reasons, not the least of which was that it highlighted to the American Establishment, asleep at the wheel for years, that:

1. Israel’s judgment could no longer be trusted; and

2. Israel’s interests in the Middle East were not the same as American Establishment interests, and constant Israeli meddling in aid of Zionist colonialism would soon imperil American money, thus necessitating a change in American policy towards the Middle East.

Suddenly, in the wake of Lebanon, the Walt-Mearsheimer paper made perfect sense. The only other time in the last thirty years that the United States hasn’t blindly followed Zionist policies in the Middle East came after the previous disastrous attack by Israel on Lebanon (unrelenting Israeli avarice for Lebanese land and water may end up being the real cause of the end of Israel). That small window of American sanity and independence in the 80’s came at the instance of a Reagan Administration official named James Baker!

The history explains why the American Zionists are so crazed about Iran, sometimes literally, in the case of Pipes and Dershowitz, foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs. The Zionists have put all their eggs in the basket of American support. Israel, easily the most hated nation in the world, has only one friend, and apparently no prospect of any others. Everybody, including the Zionists, knows that Iran poses no real threat to Israel. If Iran is very lucky in its science, changes its research interests, and has no moderation in its politics for the next ten years, there is a small chance that it might end up with a few bombs that would create, at most, the beginnings of mutually assured destruction with Israel and its nukes. So why all the Zionist preoccupation with Iran? The United States has to ‘prove its love’. The insecure Zionists quite properly fear the loss of American servitude. Israel keeps setting higher and higher tests for the Americans to follow if they are to remain tools of the Zionists. Lebanon was such a test and, for the first time ever, the Americans failed to take the Israeli bait. Thus the need to create the most insane test of all, an attack on Iran that would permanently destroy American wealth and power.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Thanks for posting that Doug. I agree that Bush will increase troop numbers in Iraq and that he will give Israel the go-ahead to bomb Iran. The timing of this is going to be very important. Bush will want to do it before Blair leaves office. It is also significant that Blair moved Jack Straw from the post of minister of defence. Straw had already made it clear that he was opposed to taking military action against Iran. When Blair made this decision in May, 2006, I posted on the forum that this was a sign that he was willing to go along with Bush over his military plans concerning Iran.

Interestingly, the reason why Clinton refused to sanction a US invasion of Iraq was his belief, that if he did so, the US would eventually become involved in a war with Iran. Ironically, this judgment was based on intelligence provided by the CIA.

Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran

http://www.truthdig.com/interview/item/200..._war_with_iran/

Posted on Feb 27, 2007

Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski (ret.), a veteran of the Pentagon with firsthand experience of the administration’s cherry-picking of intelligence, reveals why Bush thinks he can win a war with Iran, why few politicians are serious about withdrawal and why “when they call Iraq a success, they mean it.”

Listen: Download MP3 audio file (running time: 32:41 / 29.9 MB)

Transcript:

J

AMES HARRIS: This is TruthDig. James Harris sitting down with Josh Scheer, and on the phone we have a special guest. She is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, formerly working for the Pentagon, The National Security Agency. Needless to say, she knows a lot about intel and a lot about what took place and what went on before we went into Iraq and what went on with that intel. Many questions have been asked in recent weeks, obviously in recent years about what we knew, what was fabricated, what was made up. On the phone we have somebody who has been vociferous in her effort to out the wrongdoings of people like Douglas Feith and people like Donald Rumsfeld. So, Karen Kwiatkowski, welcome to TruthDig.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Thanks for having me.

JAMES HARRIS: It’s our pleasure. I want to start, not talking about Douglas Feith, but I want to get your opinion about Iraq. We know that British troops and Tony Blair have decided that they’re out. We’ve seen the commitment of other nations drop by 17 countries and our biggest partner, England, is now out. Why do you think they’re out and Bush is still in? Well we know why Bush is still in. Why now?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: It is towards the end of Tony Blair’s long, long term of duty there as the Prime Minister. And the other thing is, the British very much oppose, in spite of the fact that there are some Murdoch newspapers in Great Britain, some conservative papers, pseudo conservative I should say, not truly conservative. Truly conservatives, true conservatives have opposed this venture form the beginning. But in spite of the small, loud pro-war faction in London, most people in Britain recognize this for what it is. They have some experience in this kind of thing with, both in Middle East, particularly in Iraq years ago when they left in dishonor. LAUGHS Another time when they tried to occupy Baghdad, years and years ago, and also their experience with terrorism and movements of independents or what have you with Ireland, much more recent memory for many of the people in Great Britain. I don’t think Britain’s economy can afford it. Certainly they see the writing on the all, why get, why not get out now while George Bush is still there than be stuck with, stuck holding the bag when a Democratic president takes over and pulls the troops out abruptly in 2008, 2009. So I think there’s many reasons why they’re doing it. Some people say it is, it is because of Tony Blair’s concern over his legacy. If he doesn’t bring the troops home, his legacy will be that he left Britain in a quagmire. They are in a quagmire now and maybe he doesn’t want to leave office with that being on his record. Mainly it’s the right thing to do, the people of Britain want those troops home. And I guess their government is listening. Unlike ours.

JAMES HARRIS: The highly speculative people have said they’re out because we’re going into Iran. You might’ve read the news…

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Well yeah, I don’t… I had not seen that connection made, but I certainly am alarmed at the daily signs that indeed this country is getting ready to instigate an attack on Iran. All the signs are there, the suggestions that Iranian bombs are killing American soldiers, that’s not true, but it’s certainly been made in, I think every American newspaper, the suggestion that Iran is somehow killing Americans. The suggestion that Iran has nuclear weapons, is imminently close to nuclear weapons. That is not true but that’s been, those claims are made, even by this Administration. The idea that we have two carrier battle groups currently in the region and in fact I just saw today, Admiral Walsh, one of the big guys in the Navy said that we’re very concerned about what Iran is doing even more so than Al Qaeda. So there, all the signs are there that we are being, we’re going to wake up one morning soon, very soon, and we will be at war with Iran. We will have bombed them in some sort of shock and awe campaign destroying many lives and setting back US relations even further than we’ve already done it with Iraq.

JOSH: I want to continue on Iran. You spent obviously many years in the military and you talk in those kind of terms that many people maybe not know about. Can we not just politically, and not just in the region, but can we support another war in another country? Right now we’re in Afghanistan, we’re in Iraq. Can we feasibly actually go into Iran, or is this going to be a shock and awe campaign?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: You know, I think the, one of the big reasons that Bush and Cheney think they can do Iran is that they believe, what they’re hearing from the Air Force and the Navy, two of the three main branches of our military, the two that have been left out of the glory of Iraq, you see. And those guys want a piece of the action, and so they’re advertising to the Administration and publicly, I mean you can read it for yourself, the Air Force and the Navy have targets they believe they can overwhelmingly hit their targets, deep penetration, weapons, possibly nuclear weapons, I mean, nothing is off the table as Dick Cheney is off the table, Dick Cheney says “nothing is off the table.” And the delivery of these weapons, whether they’re conventional or nuclear will be naval and Air Force. They’ll be Navy from the sea and Air Force form long range bombers and some of the bases that we have around the… so I don’t think, certainly, I don’t know, I’m not in the Army, wasn’t in the Army, I was in the Air Force, I don’t think the Army could support any type of invasion of Iran and they wouldn’t’ want to. I’m sure that they’ve, they’ve had enough with Iraq and our reserves are in terrible condition. We’ve got huge problems in the Army and in the Reserve system. So I don’t think there’s any intention to go into Iran, but simply to destroy it and to create havoc and disruption and humanitarian crisis and topple perhaps the government of [Ahmadinejad]. We want to topple that government. Yeah, we’ll do it with bombs from a distance. I don’t know if you call that shock and awe, we’ve been advertising it for a long, long time. It will not be a surprise to the Iranians if we do it.

JAMES HARRIS: That was your former boss, the shock and awe campaign. I’m still shocked and I’m awed.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: [laughs] He shocked and awed all of us.

JAMES HARRIS: As a means of understanding the level of deceit that you claim took place and I agree took place before the war. Because it, the things that are going on in and around Iran sound a lot like the things that went on in 2002…

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Sure do.

JAMES HARRIS: And I always note Scott Ritter, because I spoke to him, and I couldn’t believe that we didn’t take the advice of people like him that were saying that there’s nothing there, there’s nothing. Can you describe for us a typical day, if we went in around March, we’re approaching that anniversary, we went in around March of ‘03. What was it like in The Pentagon?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Well, I worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and up until mid February I was in Near East South Asia, which is the office that owns the Office of Special Plans, they were our sister office. And so Iraq is one of the areas. And there’s a great degree of excitement, there’s a, we didn’t know when we would invade Iraq, and many people thought it would be in February, late February, early March and it actually was like I think march 23 is when we actually conducted that attack on Baghdad and that kind of thing. Most people in the Pentagon, there’s 23,000 people worked in the Pentagon. Most of those people were as in the dark as any of the Americans. They believed what they read in the papers, and what they read in the papers, particularly The New York Times and The Washington Post had been, for the most part, planted by The Administration. We know this now, the whole Congress knows this now, they’ve had a number of hearings publicly faltered, I think even the DODIG just recently faltered, Doug Feith and his whole organization for planting and mis-, providing misleading stories, many of which were later leaked on purpose to the press. A friendly press, of course, Judith Miller was not, was not hostile to the intentions of this administration. They wanted to go into Iraq, and they intended to go into Iraq. We did go into Iraq, and all that was really needed was to bring onboard the American people, and to bring onboard the Congress. But not necessarily to declare war. Congress has never been asked to declare war on Iraq. And they won’t be asked to declare war on Iran even though we will conduct that war. These guys had an agenda. In fact, one of the things that I did learn as a result of having my eyes opened in that final tour in the Pentagon is that neo-conservatives, their foreign policy is very activist, you could say that’s a nice way to say it, very activist, it’s very oriented towards the Untied States as a benevolent dictator, a benevolent guiding hand for the world, particularly the Middle East. And it’s very much a pro-Israel policy, and it’s a policy that says, we should be able to do whatever we want to do, if we see it in our interest. Now, Americans don’t see any value, most Americans, 75 percent of Americans want the troops home now. They don’t see any value to having our troops in Iraq. They didn’t see any value in that in 2002. But, they had a story sold to them, which was of course that Saddam Hussein somehow was involved with 9/11, had WMDs, and was a serious threat, an imminent threat, a grave threat to the United States.

JAMES HARRIS: For those people that think somehow that government officials, even though you work for the government, were complicit in this effort to move into Iraq. I want you to be clear, as a worker there, you were doing what you thought was right at the time. Is that a safe thing to say?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: We were doing, I’ll tell ya, there’s two parts of how the story is sold, how the propaganda was put forth on the American people, and how it’s been put forth on them today in terms of Iran. You have political appointees in every government agency, and they switch out every time you get a new president, and that’s totally normal. Usually those, the numbers increase after every president, they always get a few more. So Bush was no different. He brought in a number of political appointees: Doug Feith, certainly Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. But also a number of political appointees at what you would call a lower level, like my level - Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel level. And they’re not military officers, they’re civilians. And they’re brought in, and this is where the propaganda was kind of put together, this is where the so-called alternative intelligence assessments were put together by the civilian appointees of the Bush Administration. Most of which, in fact, probably all of the Pentagon shared a neo-conservative world vision, which has a particular role for us, and that included the topping of Saddam Hussein, and it includes the toppling of the leadership in Tehran. These guys are the ones doing it, they’re doing it. They’re putting all the propaganda, they’re spreading stories, planting stuff in the media. They’re doing that to people in The Pentagon, the civil, the Civil Service core in The Pentagon, which is about half of them, and the other half which are uniformed military officers serving anywhere from three to four, five years, sometimes tours in The Pentagon. We’re looking at regular intel, we’re looking at the stuff the CIA and the DIA, Defense Intelligence Agency produces. And that stuff never said, that stuff never said Saddam Hussein had WMDs, had a delivery system, was a threat to the United States. It never said that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11 or that Saddam Hussein worked with Al Qaeda. That intelligence never said that.

JAMES HARRIS: Did they tell you to shut up?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Absolutely! [Laughs] That’s a funny thing, and of course, here’s how it worked. Once the Office of Special Plans was set u formally, now they were informally set up prior to the fall of 2002, but formally they became an office with office space and that whole bit. And the first act to follow that setup of the Office of Special Plans, we had a staff meeting, and our boss, Bill Ludy, who was the boss of Special Plans technically, not in reality but on paper. And he announced to us that from now on, action officers, staff officers such as myself and all my peers, at least in that office, and I presume this went all the way through the rest of policy, but we were told that when we needed to fill in data, putting it in papers that we would send up, doing our job, as we did our daily job, we were no longer to look at CIA and DIA intelligence, we were simply to call the Office of Special Plans and they would send down to us talking points, which we would incorporate verbatim no deletions, no additions, no modifications into every paper that we did. And of course, that was very unusual and all the action officers are looking at each other like, well that’s interesting. We’re not to look at the intelligence any more, we’re simply to go to this group of political appointees and they will provide to us word for word what we should say about Iraq, about WMD and about terrorism. And this is exactly what our orders were. And there were people [Laughs] a couple of people, and I have to say, I was not one of these people who said, “you know, I’m not gonna do that, I’m not gonna do that because there’s something I don’t like about it, it’s incorrect in some way.” And they experimented with sending up papers that did not follow those instructions, and those papers were 100 percent of the time returned back for correction. So we weren’t allowed to put out anything except what Office of Special Plans was producing for us. And that was only partially based on intelligence, and partially based on a political agenda. So this is how they did it. And I’ll tell you what, civil servants and military people, we follow orders, okay. And we buy into it. And we don’t suspect that our leaders are nefarious, we don’t suspect that. They, they quite frankly have to go a long way to prove to us that they are nefarious. That’s how it worked, and I imagine it’s working much the same way there in terms of Iran.

JAMES HARRIS: Obviously you’ve been in the military for quite a while. Has this every happened to your knowledge in any other Pentagon, where a political appointees have the power to just control the…

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Sure, well sure, Vietnam is filled with examples. And Daniel Ellsberg’s information and his Pentagon paper that he released factual information that contradicted what political appointees at the top of the Pentagon were saying to Congress and saying to the American people. Yeah, this is typical of how it works. Now, having said that, most people who serve and wear the uniform or give a career of service to the military, whether civilian, civil service or military, we don’t think that our bosses will do that. We don’t think that our military will do that. But in fact history is full of examples of bald-faced lies being told to sell particular agendas. Often times those agendas include war making, certainly in Vietnam they did, under LBJ and a few other presidents. Look at the thing that Reagan did. I mean, I actually don’t dislike Reagan, he deployed very few troops overseas, but when he went in to that little island down there… what is the name of that island that he invaded, Grenada. [Laughs] Remember that? Remember the Invasion of Grenada.

JOSHUA SCHEER: All eight hours?

JAMES HARRIS: It was a short one.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: I mean, God, shortly thereafter, come to find out, well actually, some of the stuff they said about the threat and the Cubans and all that wasn’t really true. So politicians and their politically appointed military leaders will lie, historically do lie when it has to do with making war, particularly making a war that they want. And what has happened in the Bush Administration is the war that they want was Iraq. And the war that they want is Iran, and the war that they want is Syria, okay? That’s the war they want. They don’t want Vietnam. I don’t know why, they don’t want Vietnam, they want these places, this is what the neo-conservatives are particularly interested in. So we have war. And they make up stories and we’re seeing the exact same thing in terms of Iran, which is quite alarming because it seems as if we can’t stop this, we can’t prevent this.

JOSH: You were talking about these political appointees and pushing us into war. Why haven’t people like Paul Wolfowitz, I mean these guys seem to feather their own nests.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: [Laughs] That’s an understatement.

JOSH: They lead us into war, Mark Zell, Doug Feith’s partner was in bed with Chalabi. It falls apart and then it seems that these guys disappear into the woodwork. What happens?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Well, a big part of what happens is these guys have top cover, the names of the top cover are Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. These guys like what Wolfowitz has done. And here’s the other thing. While we as American citizens do not like being lied to, particularly being lied to into a stupid quagmire that makes no sense. We don’t’ like being lied to. Congress doesn’t like being lied to. However, many in Congress, and certainly in this administration agree, and this is Democrats and Republicans, like the idea that we have gone into Iraq, we have built four mega bases, they are complete. Most of the money we gave to Halliburton was for construction and completion of these bases. We have probably, of the 150,000, 160,000 troops we have in Iraq probably 110,000 of those folks are associated with one of those four mega bases. Safely ensconced behind acres and acres of concrete. To operate there indefinitely, no matter what happens in Baghdad, no matter who takes over, no matter if the country splits into three pieces or it stays one. No matter what happens, we have those mega bases, and there’s many in Congress and certainly in this administration, Republican and Democrat alike that really like that. Part of the reason I think that we went into Iraq was to reestablish a stronger foothold than we had in Saudi Arabia, but also a more economical, a more flexible, in terms of who we want to hit. If you want to hit Syria, can you do it from Iraq? Of course you can. And now you can do it from bases that will support any type of airplane you want, any number of troops in barracks. I mean we can do things from Iraq. And this is what they wanted. So, yeah, we don’t like being lied to. But quite frankly, many people in the Congress, and certainly this administration, when they call Iraq a success, they mean it, and this is why.

We’re in Iraq to stay. And can we strike Iran from Iraq? Well, I don’t know if we’ll do that next week, but we can.

JAMES HARRIS: We’re there to stay in the sense that even, let’s say somebody takes office in await, do you think that we’re gonna be occupying those bases still?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Absolutely! And we don’t even have status of forcive agreements with any legitimate government in Iraq to support those bases. They are illegal bases, okay. But yes, they’re gonna stay, absolutely, they’re gonna stay. And I’ll tell you, there are guys that have been with this administration for awhile, people, in fact one of the guys was an Air Force General that was involved with the Kurds ten years ago, he’s retired now, but he was actually the guy, his name escapes me for the moment, but he was Jerry Bremer’s predecessor (Jay Garner?) for a short period of time. And he was fired, and Bremer came in and took over in Baghdad as part of the reconstruction phase. This is in the Spring of 2003. And this guy gave an interview in Government Exec Magazine, February 2004, he said “we will be in Iraq, and the American people need to get with this program, we will be in Iraq like we were in the Philippines for anywhere from 20 to 30 more years. That’s the time frame that we’re looking at. And that is the life span of the bases that we’ve constructed there. Yeah, we are not leaving these bases, and a Democratic president, I don’t care who they are, will keep those basses there. They will justify them and they will use them and we love that. We love it. So it’s not about what the American people think is right or wrong, it’s not about if we got lied to, what matters is, they did what they wanted to do, and as bush says, and as Cheney says, “it’s quite the success.” And this is very frightening. Because none of this has ever been admitted to the American people, it’s only been hinted at by people that know. And of course the facts speak for themself. The facts are, we are in Iraq, we have the finest military installations in the world, the newest military installations in the world, and we’re not leaving them. We’re not turning them over to a Shiite government, we’re not turning them over to a Sunni government, we’re not turning them over to a Kurdish government. We’re not doing that. They are American bases. We’ve got our flag there. And this is kind of the way they used to do things, I guess back in the Middle Ages. Maybe the Dark Ages. A king decided he wanted to go do something, he went and did it. And this is George Bush. We call him an elected president. I mean, he’s operating much as kings have operated in the past.

JAMES HARRIS: You called him “the war pimp” in your essay. “He’s behaving,” as you put it, “a lot like a pimp would treat a prostitute, ‘you do like I tell you to do.’”

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: that’s right, and over the money. “Get back to work.” We’re using these, we use these bases, we use these people, the country, it matters not one whit to us.

JAMES HARRIS: With all we see in the news on a daily basis, is there any reason to hope? Every day I lose more and more sleep, about soldiers who are dying. You’re talking about being there another 30 years. How many more soldiers are going to be injured and killed? How much more money is this war going to cost?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Well the money, yeah, sure, the money’s a problem. The number of soldiers being killed will probably actually reduce in many ways because we will withdraw to our bases and we will not interface with Iraqis who hate us. This idea of what they’re doing right now, this so called three-block program, let’s meet more Iraqis so they’ll like us, that’s totally for show. The more Iraqis meet us, the more they hate us. So I actually do think though, over time, fewer Americans will die, and look how easily, look how easily this country has accepted the loss of those 3,200 soldiers that have died. I think something like 90 women, maybe more have died, mothers [Laughs] mothers of children. They’ve died, and America has eaten it up, we have not complained one bit. They’re spread out over 50 states, hey, it’s no big deal. So I think we can certainly, as a country, accommodate future deaths and I think the death rate will drop. The problem is, it’s immoral, it’s illegal, it engenders hatred for Americans, contempt for Americans. It makes every American in the world a target for terrorism. It’s just plain wrong, it’s unconstitutional. I mean, there’s a lot of problems with it. Dead Americans, unfortunately doesn’t seem to be the problem for most of us, which is a shame. We don’t like looking at ugly people, I will say that. And we’re seeing a lot of folks come back pretty deformed, mentally and even more obviously physically, deformed from their experiences in Iraq. And I think that could, that might give, I hate to say give hope, but realize the real moral price that we’re paying for this, that that can help. But quite frankly, I have no hope of us leaving Iraq. I think the intention was for us to put bases there, to stay there, operate militarily from there. And I think that’s what we’re going to do, Democrat, Republican, Independent, I can’t imagine anybody but Ron Paul, if you elect Ron Paul as president, those bases will be closed down. Otherwise…

JAMES HARRIS: Or Dennis Kucinich.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Or Kucinich, there you go, Kucinich would do it too. So these are the guys we are able to elect, but chances are, I hate to say, the machine is not behind these men. So yeah, we got a problem. Now is there anything optimistic? Yeah. I’m a God fearing Christian. God has the power. How He might express that, I don’t know. But yeah, can the average American do anything about it? I’m just not, I’m pretty not very, I’m not optimistic, I’m pessimistic that any single American can do much to prevent what seems to be going to happen here, attacking Iran and also this terrible thing we’ve done to Iraq which I think will continue to go on for many years. It will fester, fester for many years.

JAMES HARRIS: I’m one that believes the price of terrorism, I’m interested to get your perspective on this as one who watched us engage on this terrorist enemy, an enemy like we’d never seen before, at least from a military standpoint. I look at terrorism, and I see it tearing us apart. And in a lot of ways I look at it and say, we’ve already lost this war because we now have a president who’s bending the Constitution. We’re looking over our shoulders. We question our whereabouts. This whole thing that went on in Boston with the advertisement, “is it a bomb?” There’s always that question. Perhaps the goal of Osama, perhaps the goal of these people was to make us afraid, and they’ve succeeded at that. My question to you is, in your mind, what is the true price of terrorism been for you?

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: The military has been broken in most respects into the extent that it worked, it worked because it’s a mercenary force. We were so contracted out, we hired people that are beyond the law, that are not accountable to rules of war. And that’s how we function. So the whole military system, the idea of a defensive force, forget it, that’s done with. Constitution has been hurt by many presidents, but this president has done huge damage to understanding of the Constitution, its idea that it should restrain presidential power, that we should be conservative, small “c” conservative when we go out and engage in these adventures, the Congress has the right to declare war, we’ve ignored that for many decades. Just continued down that path. Te idea that the Bill of Rights is an option, the Bill of Rights is a set of suggestions has become almost mainstream belief. And this is terrible, this is a terrible thing. But I don’t think Osama Bin Laden did that. Terrorism is, obviously it has a political intent, but terrorism almost always, in fact I think in every case, when the political solutions are offered, when the politics change, when the people themselves change, terrorism stops. Terrorism to the extent that it is a crime, should’ve been treated like a crime, but instead we made it a war. Well there is no war with terror, terrorism is a tactic, you don’t make war against a tactic. So yeah, a lot of things have happened, I don’t think Osama had much to do with it, quite frankly, I think this administration, many of the people in Washington are quite comfortable with reduced freedoms for America and this is a good way to get those reduced freedoms, to basically break down and deconstruct the Bill of Rights and say, “well we didn’t mean that, we didn’t mean this.” It’s a problem. Our country has changed, and I think what people have to do now is kind of stand up and separate themselves from a government to the extent that they don’t agree with it and prepare themselves for real battle. Because we are gonna need to stand up very, I can use the word “vociferously,” I think that’s what we have to do, cause our own country is at risk, but not from terror, not from buildings being knocked down, that’s not what our country is at risk from, it’s at risk from our politics, from our abandonment of the Constitution, our devaluing of the Bill of Rights. We’ve lost our freedom. Osama probably couldn’t have dreamed that George Bush would help him out so much. I don’t think even that was his intention, I don’t think Osama could care less about our freedom, Osama’s issues have to do with Islam and the Holy land, Saudi Arabia, his issues are much more narrow than anything that he’s so called achieved. And I think George Bush has achieved this in a very weak and LAUGHS debased Congress has achieved this for this country. And so, it’s a big problem. I’m quite depressed about it. I don’t really have a solution or a remedy. I think we just need to wake up and see what’s being done, and then we need to decide if we want to be a part of it. It’s like that old thing, I’m not a child of the 60s, but you’re either working to fix the problem or you are the problem.

JAMES HARRIS: Why have the neo-cons been allowed, they’re not, to me, they don’t seem like the Republicans that I grew up with.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: No, no, they’re not. And if you look at the history of neo-conservatism, it really traces its roots, well back to Trotsky, but if you go more recent, back to who was the guy, Senator from Boeing (Henry Jackson) they used to call him… big Democratic, 30 year Senator out of Washington State. And Richard Perle was on his staff, Wolfowitz I think was inspired by him. And he was a Democrat during the Cold War. And he was a pro, or I should say strongly anti-Communist democrat, kind of a strong defense democrat. And these guys migrated, particularly after Jimmy Carter, because Jimmy Carter, remember, what was he doing, he was trying to make peace. Remember that, somebody got a Peace Prize out of it, I don’t know what it was, some kind of approach between Arabs and Israelis, and Carter was part of that. And that alienated a great many of these folks who now we know as neo-conservatives because they have two things that they care about, one is strong defense, for whatever reason they like that, an activist foreign policy, and pro-Israel, no questions asked policy. So many of these conservative, pro-defense democrats, anti-Communist democrats abandoned the democratic party at the time of Jimmy Carter, particularly after the time of Jimmy Carter and his summit working on Middle East peace. And they came over to eth Republican party, and of course they came over with a great deal of money and a great deal of political influence and a great deal of voters. So now they’re in the Republican party, and absolutely, this happened, late 1970s. so it is not, these are not the Republicans that we grew up thinking about, but they are in the Republican party now. Of course the Republican party now isn’t anything like what I thought it was, it’s certainly no Goldwater party, it’s a party of big spending, it’s a party of corruption. What do you want me to say? They love big government, they haven’t seen a big government plan they didn’t write.

JAMES HARRIS: Henry “Scoop” Jackson was the guy you were looking for. As we continue to search for the truth, and that’s pretty much the motto of TruthDig, we don’t believe we have the answer, but we believe that we should at least be looking for the answers. So as we approach that truth around the issues that take place in Iraq and perhaps Iran, we think you might be a good friend to have close to the TruthDig family so we’d like to check in from time to time.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Sure, I’d be delighted, it’s great fun talking. And hopefully maybe in a couple of months some of these negative things I think are going to happen, maybe they won’t happen.

JAMES HARRIS: Maybe we’ll all be proven wrong… whatever the case…

JOSH: I’m praying for it.

JAMES HARRIS: We’re both praying, even though Josh is not a religious man.

JOSH: Excuse me, I am a religious man.

KAREN KWIATKOWSKI: Maybe we’re in a foxhole together. You know what they say, there are no atheists in a foxhole, and I think in political sense, many true conservatives and classical liberals, people that love freedom, unlike George Bush, people that really love freedom, we are in a foxhole. We are threatened. And so we gotta call on every possible help we can get.

JOSH: I believe in God, I don’t believe in big religion, just like I don’t believe in big government.

JAMES HARRIS: There you go, we’re in a foxhole, so we’re on the same team.

I just read up on the US Constitution;

To fund groups which have, on their agenda, the US targeted as an enemy, is a clear violation of the 14th amendment to the constitution. To give aid to the enemy consitutes treason in the war on terror, don't ya know!

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US accused of drawing up plan to bomb Iran

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

Monday February 26, 2007

The Guardian

President George Bush has charged the Pentagon with devising an expanded bombing plan for Iran that can be carried out at 24 hours' notice, it was reported yesterday.

An extensive article in the New Yorker magazine by the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh describes the contingency bombing plan as part of a general overhaul by the Bush administration of its policy towards Iran.

It said a special planning group at the highest levels of the US military had expanded its mission from selecting potential targets connected to Iranian nuclear facilities, and had been directed to add sites that may be involved in aiding Shia militant forces in Iraq to its list.

That new strategy, intended to reverse the rise in Iranian power that has been an unintended consequence of the war in Iraq, could bring the countries much closer to open confrontation and risks igniting a regional sectarian war between Shia and Sunni Muslims, the New Yorker says.

Elements of the tough new approach towards Tehran outlined by Hersh include:

· Clandestine operations against Iran and Syria, as well as the Hizbullah movement in Lebanon - even to the extent of bolstering Sunni extremist groups that are sympathetic to al-Qaida

· Sending US special forces into Iranian territory in pursuit of Iranian operatives, as well as to gather intelligence

· Secret operations are being funded by Saudi Arabia to avoid scrutiny by Congress. "There are many, many pots of black money, scattered in many places and used all over the world on a variety of missions," Hersh quotes a Pentagon consultant as saying.

As in the run-up to the Iraq war, the vice-president, Dick Cheney, has bypassed other administration officials to take charge of the aggressive new policy, working along with the deputy national security adviser, Elliott Abrams, and the former ambassador to Kabul and Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Mr Cheney is also relying heavily on Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, who spent 22 years as ambassador to the US, and who has been offering his advice on foreign policy to Mr Bush since he first contemplated running for president.

The New Yorker revelations, arriving soon after Mr Cheney reaffirmed that war with Iran remained an option if it did not dismantle its nuclear programme, further ratcheted up fears of a military confrontation between Washington and Tehran.

Such concerns deepened further with the warning from the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that there could be no stopping or rolling back of his country's nuclear programme. "The train of the Iranian nation is without brakes and a rear gear," Iranian radio reported Mr Ahmadinejad as saying.

Hersh, who made his reputation by breaking the story of the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, was among the first US journalists to report on the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib. Although the most explosive material was supplied by unnamed sources, his status in US journalism made his latest report an immediate talking point on yesterday's TV chatshows.

His assertion that the Bush administration was actively preparing for an attack on Iran was denied by the Pentagon. "The United States is not planning to go to war with Iran. To suggest anything to the contrary is simply wrong, misleading and mischievous," the Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, told reporters.

Hersh was just as adamant. "This president is not going to leave office without doing something about Iran," he told CNN. Hersh claims that the former director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, resigned his post to take a parallel job as the deputy director of the state department because of his discomfort with an approach that so closely echoed the Iran-contra scandal of the 1980s.

In seeking to contain Iranian influence - and that of its most powerful protege, the Hizbullah leader, Hassan Nasrallah - the US has worked with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Israel. Both countries see a powerful Iran as an existential threat, and the Saudis suspect Tehran's hand behind rising sectarian tensions in its eastern province, as well as a spate of bombing attacks inside the kingdom.

One prime arena for the new strategy is Lebanon where the administration has been trying to prop up the government of Fouad Siniora, which faces a resurgent Hizbullah movement in the aftermath of last summer's war with Israel.

Some of the billions of aid to the Beirut government has ended up in the hands of radical Sunnis in the Beka'a valley, Hersh writes. Syrian extremist groups have also benefited from the new policy. "These groups, though small, are seen as a buffer to Hizbullah; at the same time, their ideological ties are with al-Qaida," Hersh writes.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2021436,00.html

I just read up on the US Constitution;

To fund groups which have, on their agenda, the US targeted as an enemy, is a clear violation of the 14th amendment to the constitution. To give aid to the enemy consitutes treason in the war on terror, don't ya know!

(I accidently tagged the wrong quote in they prior post)

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Share on other sites

US accused of drawing up plan to bomb Iran

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

Monday February 26, 2007

The Guardian

President George Bush has charged the Pentagon with devising an expanded bombing plan for Iran that can be carried out at 24 hours' notice, it was reported yesterday.

An extensive article in the New Yorker magazine by the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh describes the contingency bombing plan as part of a general overhaul by the Bush administration of its policy towards Iran.

It said a special planning group at the highest levels of the US military had expanded its mission from selecting potential targets connected to Iranian nuclear facilities, and had been directed to add sites that may be involved in aiding Shia militant forces in Iraq to its list.

That new strategy, intended to reverse the rise in Iranian power that has been an unintended consequence of the war in Iraq, could bring the countries much closer to open confrontation and risks igniting a regional sectarian war between Shia and Sunni Muslims, the New Yorker says.

Elements of the tough new approach towards Tehran outlined by Hersh include:

· Clandestine operations against Iran and Syria, as well as the Hizbullah movement in Lebanon - even to the extent of bolstering Sunni extremist groups that are sympathetic to al-Qaida

· Sending US special forces into Iranian territory in pursuit of Iranian operatives, as well as to gather intelligence

· Secret operations are being funded by Saudi Arabia to avoid scrutiny by Congress. "There are many, many pots of black money, scattered in many places and used all over the world on a variety of missions," Hersh quotes a Pentagon consultant as saying.

As in the run-up to the Iraq war, the vice-president, Dick Cheney, has bypassed other administration officials to take charge of the aggressive new policy, working along with the deputy national security adviser, Elliott Abrams, and the former ambassador to Kabul and Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Mr Cheney is also relying heavily on Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, who spent 22 years as ambassador to the US, and who has been offering his advice on foreign policy to Mr Bush since he first contemplated running for president.

The New Yorker revelations, arriving soon after Mr Cheney reaffirmed that war with Iran remained an option if it did not dismantle its nuclear programme, further ratcheted up fears of a military confrontation between Washington and Tehran.

Such concerns deepened further with the warning from the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that there could be no stopping or rolling back of his country's nuclear programme. "The train of the Iranian nation is without brakes and a rear gear," Iranian radio reported Mr Ahmadinejad as saying.

Hersh, who made his reputation by breaking the story of the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, was among the first US journalists to report on the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib. Although the most explosive material was supplied by unnamed sources, his status in US journalism made his latest report an immediate talking point on yesterday's TV chatshows.

His assertion that the Bush administration was actively preparing for an attack on Iran was denied by the Pentagon. "The United States is not planning to go to war with Iran. To suggest anything to the contrary is simply wrong, misleading and mischievous," the Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, told reporters.

Hersh was just as adamant. "This president is not going to leave office without doing something about Iran," he told CNN. Hersh claims that the former director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, resigned his post to take a parallel job as the deputy director of the state department because of his discomfort with an approach that so closely echoed the Iran-contra scandal of the 1980s.

In seeking to contain Iranian influence - and that of its most powerful protege, the Hizbullah leader, Hassan Nasrallah - the US has worked with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Israel. Both countries see a powerful Iran as an existential threat, and the Saudis suspect Tehran's hand behind rising sectarian tensions in its eastern province, as well as a spate of bombing attacks inside the kingdom.

One prime arena for the new strategy is Lebanon where the administration has been trying to prop up the government of Fouad Siniora, which faces a resurgent Hizbullah movement in the aftermath of last summer's war with Israel.

Some of the billions of aid to the Beirut government has ended up in the hands of radical Sunnis in the Beka'a valley, Hersh writes. Syrian extremist groups have also benefited from the new policy. "These groups, though small, are seen as a buffer to Hizbullah; at the same time, their ideological ties are with al-Qaida," Hersh writes.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2021436,00.html

I just read up on the US Constitution;

To fund groups which have, on their agenda, the US targeted as an enemy, is a clear violation of the 14th amendment to the constitution. To give aid to the enemy consitutes treason in the war on terror, don't ya know!

(I accidently tagged the wrong quote in they prior post)

But who takes any notice of the Constitution anymore, Peter?

It's just there for old times sake!

After all, on the basis you have cited, all US aid to Israel has been illicit since the early 1950s (Lavon affair) - and unquestionably illicit since the deliberate Israeli bombing attack on the USS Liberty in 1967.

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Share on other sites

US accused of drawing up plan to bomb Iran

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

Monday February 26, 2007

The Guardian

President George Bush has charged the Pentagon with devising an expanded bombing plan for Iran that can be carried out at 24 hours' notice, it was reported yesterday.

An extensive article in the New Yorker magazine by the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh describes the contingency bombing plan as part of a general overhaul by the Bush administration of its policy towards Iran.

It said a special planning group at the highest levels of the US military had expanded its mission from selecting potential targets connected to Iranian nuclear facilities, and had been directed to add sites that may be involved in aiding Shia militant forces in Iraq to its list.

That new strategy, intended to reverse the rise in Iranian power that has been an unintended consequence of the war in Iraq, could bring the countries much closer to open confrontation and risks igniting a regional sectarian war between Shia and Sunni Muslims, the New Yorker says.

Elements of the tough new approach towards Tehran outlined by Hersh include:

· Clandestine operations against Iran and Syria, as well as the Hizbullah movement in Lebanon - even to the extent of bolstering Sunni extremist groups that are sympathetic to al-Qaida

· Sending US special forces into Iranian territory in pursuit of Iranian operatives, as well as to gather intelligence

· Secret operations are being funded by Saudi Arabia to avoid scrutiny by Congress. "There are many, many pots of black money, scattered in many places and used all over the world on a variety of missions," Hersh quotes a Pentagon consultant as saying.

As in the run-up to the Iraq war, the vice-president, Dick Cheney, has bypassed other administration officials to take charge of the aggressive new policy, working along with the deputy national security adviser, Elliott Abrams, and the former ambassador to Kabul and Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Mr Cheney is also relying heavily on Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, who spent 22 years as ambassador to the US, and who has been offering his advice on foreign policy to Mr Bush since he first contemplated running for president.

The New Yorker revelations, arriving soon after Mr Cheney reaffirmed that war with Iran remained an option if it did not dismantle its nuclear programme, further ratcheted up fears of a military confrontation between Washington and Tehran.

Such concerns deepened further with the warning from the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that there could be no stopping or rolling back of his country's nuclear programme. "The train of the Iranian nation is without brakes and a rear gear," Iranian radio reported Mr Ahmadinejad as saying.

Hersh, who made his reputation by breaking the story of the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, was among the first US journalists to report on the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib. Although the most explosive material was supplied by unnamed sources, his status in US journalism made his latest report an immediate talking point on yesterday's TV chatshows.

His assertion that the Bush administration was actively preparing for an attack on Iran was denied by the Pentagon. "The United States is not planning to go to war with Iran. To suggest anything to the contrary is simply wrong, misleading and mischievous," the Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, told reporters.

Hersh was just as adamant. "This president is not going to leave office without doing something about Iran," he told CNN. Hersh claims that the former director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, resigned his post to take a parallel job as the deputy director of the state department because of his discomfort with an approach that so closely echoed the Iran-contra scandal of the 1980s.

In seeking to contain Iranian influence - and that of its most powerful protege, the Hizbullah leader, Hassan Nasrallah - the US has worked with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Israel. Both countries see a powerful Iran as an existential threat, and the Saudis suspect Tehran's hand behind rising sectarian tensions in its eastern province, as well as a spate of bombing attacks inside the kingdom.

One prime arena for the new strategy is Lebanon where the administration has been trying to prop up the government of Fouad Siniora, which faces a resurgent Hizbullah movement in the aftermath of last summer's war with Israel.

Some of the billions of aid to the Beirut government has ended up in the hands of radical Sunnis in the Beka'a valley, Hersh writes. Syrian extremist groups have also benefited from the new policy. "These groups, though small, are seen as a buffer to Hizbullah; at the same time, their ideological ties are with al-Qaida," Hersh writes.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2021436,00.html

I just read up on the US Constitution;

To fund groups which have, on their agenda, the US targeted as an enemy, is a clear violation of the 14th amendment to the constitution. To give aid to the enemy consitutes treason in the war on terror, don't ya know!

(I accidently tagged the wrong quote in they prior post)

But who takes any notice of the Constitution anymore, Peter?

It's just there for old times sake!

After all, on the basis you have cited, all US aid to Israel has been illicit since the early 1950s (Lavon affair) - and unquestionably illicit since the deliberate Israeli bombing attack on the USS Liberty in 1967.

Sid,

I don't know anything about this attack on the USS Liberty but Israel has been either our ally or neutral since they were a nation.

If we gave funding to Al-queda wouldn't you consider that giving aid to our (mutual) enemy?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

US accused of drawing up plan to bomb Iran

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

Monday February 26, 2007

The Guardian

President George Bush has charged the Pentagon with devising an expanded bombing plan for Iran that can be carried out at 24 hours' notice, it was reported yesterday.

An extensive article in the New Yorker magazine by the investigative journalist Seymour Hersh describes the contingency bombing plan as part of a general overhaul by the Bush administration of its policy towards Iran.

It said a special planning group at the highest levels of the US military had expanded its mission from selecting potential targets connected to Iranian nuclear facilities, and had been directed to add sites that may be involved in aiding Shia militant forces in Iraq to its list.

That new strategy, intended to reverse the rise in Iranian power that has been an unintended consequence of the war in Iraq, could bring the countries much closer to open confrontation and risks igniting a regional sectarian war between Shia and Sunni Muslims, the New Yorker says.

Elements of the tough new approach towards Tehran outlined by Hersh include:

· Clandestine operations against Iran and Syria, as well as the Hizbullah movement in Lebanon - even to the extent of bolstering Sunni extremist groups that are sympathetic to al-Qaida

· Sending US special forces into Iranian territory in pursuit of Iranian operatives, as well as to gather intelligence

· Secret operations are being funded by Saudi Arabia to avoid scrutiny by Congress. "There are many, many pots of black money, scattered in many places and used all over the world on a variety of missions," Hersh quotes a Pentagon consultant as saying.

As in the run-up to the Iraq war, the vice-president, Dick Cheney, has bypassed other administration officials to take charge of the aggressive new policy, working along with the deputy national security adviser, Elliott Abrams, and the former ambassador to Kabul and Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Mr Cheney is also relying heavily on Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser, who spent 22 years as ambassador to the US, and who has been offering his advice on foreign policy to Mr Bush since he first contemplated running for president.

The New Yorker revelations, arriving soon after Mr Cheney reaffirmed that war with Iran remained an option if it did not dismantle its nuclear programme, further ratcheted up fears of a military confrontation between Washington and Tehran.

Such concerns deepened further with the warning from the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that there could be no stopping or rolling back of his country's nuclear programme. "The train of the Iranian nation is without brakes and a rear gear," Iranian radio reported Mr Ahmadinejad as saying.

Hersh, who made his reputation by breaking the story of the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, was among the first US journalists to report on the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib. Although the most explosive material was supplied by unnamed sources, his status in US journalism made his latest report an immediate talking point on yesterday's TV chatshows.

His assertion that the Bush administration was actively preparing for an attack on Iran was denied by the Pentagon. "The United States is not planning to go to war with Iran. To suggest anything to the contrary is simply wrong, misleading and mischievous," the Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, told reporters.

Hersh was just as adamant. "This president is not going to leave office without doing something about Iran," he told CNN. Hersh claims that the former director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, resigned his post to take a parallel job as the deputy director of the state department because of his discomfort with an approach that so closely echoed the Iran-contra scandal of the 1980s.

In seeking to contain Iranian influence - and that of its most powerful protege, the Hizbullah leader, Hassan Nasrallah - the US has worked with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Israel. Both countries see a powerful Iran as an existential threat, and the Saudis suspect Tehran's hand behind rising sectarian tensions in its eastern province, as well as a spate of bombing attacks inside the kingdom.

One prime arena for the new strategy is Lebanon where the administration has been trying to prop up the government of Fouad Siniora, which faces a resurgent Hizbullah movement in the aftermath of last summer's war with Israel.

Some of the billions of aid to the Beirut government has ended up in the hands of radical Sunnis in the Beka'a valley, Hersh writes. Syrian extremist groups have also benefited from the new policy. "These groups, though small, are seen as a buffer to Hizbullah; at the same time, their ideological ties are with al-Qaida," Hersh writes.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2021436,00.html

I just read up on the US Constitution;

To fund groups which have, on their agenda, the US targeted as an enemy, is a clear violation of the 14th amendment to the constitution. To give aid to the enemy consitutes treason in the war on terror, don't ya know!

(I accidently tagged the wrong quote in they prior post)

But who takes any notice of the Constitution anymore, Peter?

It's just there for old times sake!

After all, on the basis you have cited, all US aid to Israel has been illicit since the early 1950s (Lavon affair) - and unquestionably illicit since the deliberate Israeli bombing attack on the USS Liberty in 1967.

Sid,

I don't know anything about this attack on the USS Liberty but Israel has been either our ally or neutral since they were a nation.

If we gave funding to Al-queda wouldn't you consider that giving aid to our (mutual) enemy?

Well, in any case, I do.

As Bin Laden had specifically taken credit for the 9/11 attacks on Al Jazeera and alot of positive press has been alloted the hijackers from al Queda, if, as has been suggested, we would actually support them, then that should be brought to the US court system. You would agree with that?

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Sid,

I don't know anything about this attack on the USS Liberty but Israel has been either our ally or neutral since they were a nation.

If we gave funding to Al-queda wouldn't you consider that giving aid to our (mutual) enemy?

Don't know anything about the USS Liberty?

Then I suggest you do some reading.

You could do worse than start HERE

There also a reasonable summary HERE

Regarding 'Al-queda', where to start?

I think I'll simply ask a question.

Whether or not one believes this alleged organisation actually exists, and whether or not one accepts that some folk now identified as 'Al-queda' worked closely with western intelligence agencies before the latter unilaterally changed a shadowy ally into an archetypal arch-enemy... please answer me this.

What does the so-called 'Al-queda' have to do with Iran?

As Bin Laden had specifically taken credit for the 9/11 attacks on Al Jazeera and alot of positive press has been alloted the hijackers from al Queda, if, as has been suggested, we would actually support them, then that should be brought to the US court system. You would agree with that?

Please give a reference to your claim that Bin Laden took credit for the 9/11 attacks.

HERE is an interview where he explicitly denies involvement:

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle.
Edited by Sid Walker
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Sid,

I don't know anything about this attack on the USS Liberty but Israel has been either our ally or neutral since they were a nation.

If we gave funding to Al-queda wouldn't you consider that giving aid to our (mutual) enemy?

Don't know anything about the USS Liberty?

Then I suggest you do some reading.

You could do worse than start HERE

There also a reasonable summary HERE

Regarding 'Al-queda', where to start?

I think I'll simply ask a question.

Whether or not one believes this alleged organisation actually exists, and whether or not one accepts that some folk now identified as 'Al-queda' worked closely with western intelligence agencies before the latter unilaterally changed a shadowy ally into an archetypal arch-enemy... please answer me this.

What does the so-called 'Al-queda' have to do with Iran?

As Bin Laden had specifically taken credit for the 9/11 attacks on Al Jazeera and alot of positive press has been alloted the hijackers from al Queda, if, as has been suggested, we would actually support them, then that should be brought to the US court system. You would agree with that?

Please give a reference to your claim that Bin Laden took credit for the 9/11 attacks.

HERE is an interview where he explicitly denies involvement:

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle.

Is this good enough or is this also part of the conspiracy Sid?

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2004/10/29/b...sage041029.html

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Sid,

I don't know anything about this attack on the USS Liberty but Israel has been either our ally or neutral since they were a nation.

If we gave funding to Al-queda wouldn't you consider that giving aid to our (mutual) enemy?

Don't know anything about the USS Liberty?

Then I suggest you do some reading.

You could do worse than start HERE

There also a reasonable summary HERE

Regarding 'Al-queda', where to start?

I think I'll simply ask a question.

Whether or not one believes this alleged organisation actually exists, and whether or not one accepts that some folk now identified as 'Al-queda' worked closely with western intelligence agencies before the latter unilaterally changed a shadowy ally into an archetypal arch-enemy... please answer me this.

What does the so-called 'Al-queda' have to do with Iran?

As Bin Laden had specifically taken credit for the 9/11 attacks on Al Jazeera and alot of positive press has been alloted the hijackers from al Queda, if, as has been suggested, we would actually support them, then that should be brought to the US court system. You would agree with that?

Please give a reference to your claim that Bin Laden took credit for the 9/11 attacks.

HERE is an interview where he explicitly denies involvement:

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle.

In answer to your question "what does this have to do with Iran",

The original post I made was in response to alleged funding of Sunni insurgents in Iran by the US,

and it has been alleged some of the insurgents have ties to Al Queda...

Note: Only an allegation, ......

Also read Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article.

You might read the actual post I originally responded to....

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In answer to your question "what does this have to do with Iran",

The original post I made was in response to alleged funding of Sunni insurgents in Iran by the US,

and it has been alleged some of the insurgents have ties to Al Queda...

Note: Only an allegation, ......

Also read Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article.

You might read the actual post I originally responded to....

I didn't ask "what does this have to do with Iran"

I asked "What does the so-called 'Al-queda' have to do with Iran?"

The connection you have re-iterated is so tenuous it is laughable.

This might not matter so much if it was not part of the case being made by war monguers in Washington and Tel Aviv for launching an unprovoked nuclear attack on a nation of some 70 million people.

No laughing matter, really.

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In answer to your question "what does this have to do with Iran",

The original post I made was in response to alleged funding of Sunni insurgents in Iran by the US,

and it has been alleged some of the insurgents have ties to Al Queda...

Note: Only an allegation, ......

Also read Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article.

You might read the actual post I originally responded to....

I didn't ask "what does this have to do with Iran"

I asked "What does the so-called 'Al-queda' have to do with Iran?"

The connection you have re-iterated is so tenuous it is laughable.

This might not matter so much if it was not part of the case being made by war monguers in Washington and Tel Aviv for launching an unprovoked nuclear attack on a nation of some 70 million people.

No laughing matter, really.

As with your typical flair for circular logic, I think you've wrapped yourself around the axle again

Sid, if you knew as much as you pretend you'd be rich.

I have read some of your pre-edu-forum posts (like Indy-media, mydiary, etc), so I have some reservation about your talents in this topic. So I'll just call it a day as to this and the 9/11 threads before I start to lose my sense of humor.

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Please give a reference to your claim that Bin Laden took credit for the 9/11 attacks.

HERE is an interview where he explicitly denies involvement:

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle.

Is this good enough or is this also part of the conspiracy Sid?

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2004/10/29/b...sage041029.html

Ah, Bin Laden's pre-election special?

It makes interesting viewing in historical perspective.

No, I don't think that's a credible "confession".

I am not alone, either.

Check out THIS or THIS.

Edited by Sid Walker
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The pathetic parade of US Presidential candidates pledging their unswerving loyalty to the Zionist agenda is now well underway.

Barak Obama is the latest. He may feel that he has no choice if he wants to stand a chance of winning the nomination.

It would be hard to find a clearer example of servility, bias and double-standards than Obama's display of obeisance to AIPAC.

As well as adding his personal endorsement to the bullying of Iran - up to and including a US military attack - he apparently felt compelled to evince complete lack of concern for the plight of the Palestinians and their democratic rights.

Prominet Dems such as Barak and Clinton thus present a Janus-like face to the peace movement.

They are shocked and awed by the Iraq War, which they (are encouraged to) present as Bush's War.

Yet they eshew anti-war rhetoric that might make a real difference NOW - instead giving the nod to another unprovoked attack on a major nation that's at the top of Israel's hitlist.

US should never dictate what's best for Israel

WASHINGTON - In a powerfully pro-Israel speech, Democratic presidential candidate US Senator Barack Obama clarified that Israel and the United States do not have the luxury to ignore the exhortations of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and “no option, including military action, (should be taken) off the table” in the effort to stop Iran's nuclear armament.

Regading the Middle East peace process, Obama declared that Israel should never feel "dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table" by the United States.

Senator Obama appeared Friday in Chicago before an audience of hundreds of lobbyists from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)

“The world must work to stop Iran's uranium enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy,” he said.

Even though all options were on the table, Obama said the utmost efforts should be devoted to “sustained and aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions”.

Obama stressed the importance of preventing Iran’s nuclear armament, which could lead weapons of mass destruction into the hands of terrorists, inevitably causing other Middle East nations to join the race for nuclear weapons. “To prevent this worst-case scenario, we need the United States to lead tough-minded diplomacy,” he said.

“This includes direct engagement with Iran similar to the meetings we conducted with the Soviets at the height of the Cold War, laying out in clear terms our principles and interests,” he said.

Obama also said pressure must be applied to Egypt to crack down on the smuggling of weapons and Iranian money into the hands of terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

“We must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs. This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza,” he said.

Obama stressed that “when Israel is attacked, we must stand up for Israel's legitimate right to defend itself.” To illustrate his point, the Illinois senator used the example of last summer’s war in Lebanon, and reiterated the United States’ commitment to press for the full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resoultion 1701.

“In moments like these, true allies do not walk away. For six years, the administration has missed opportunities to increase the United States' influence in the region and help Israel achieve the peace she wants and the security she needs. The time has come for us to seize those opportunities,” Obama noted.

Kidnapped soldiers’ family members meet with Democratic presidential candidate, congress members, UN secretary-general in effort to bring soldiers home

Obama said he was concerned by the agreement reached last month in Mecca between Fatah and Hamas to establish a coalition government in the Palestinian Authority.

“This should concern us all because it suggests that Mahmoud Abbas, who is a Palestinian leader I believe is committed to peace, felt forced to compromise with Hamas. However, if we are serious about the Quartet's conditions, we must tell the Palestinians this is not good enough,” he declared.

Obama referred to past peace efforts, saying, “Rabin had the vision to reach out to longtime enemies. Ariel Sharon had the determination to lead Israel out of Gaza. These were difficult, painful decisions that went to the heart of Israel's identity as a nation.”

The senator promised to act with determination to advance peace and to send diplomatic delegations with true goals to the Middle East, rather than “continuing to have trips consisting of little more than photo-ops with little movement in between.”

“But in the end,” he added, “we also know that we should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests. No Israeli prime minister should ever feel dragged to or blocked from the negotiating table by the United States.”

Edited by Sid Walker
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Noam Chomsky

Friday March 9, 2007

The Guardian

In the energy-rich Middle East, only two countries have failed to subordinate themselves to Washington's basic demands: Iran and Syria. Accordingly both are enemies, Iran by far the more important. As was the norm during the cold war, resort to violence is regularly justified as a reaction to the malign influence of the main enemy, often on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Unsurprisingly, as Bush sends more troops to Iraq, tales surface of Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Iraq - a country otherwise free from any foreign interference - on the tacit assumption that Washington rules the world.

In the cold war-like mentality in Washington, Tehran is portrayed as the pinnacle in the so-called Shia crescent that stretches from Iran to Hizbullah in Lebanon, through Shia southern Iraq and Syria. And again unsurprisingly, the "surge" in Iraq and escalation of threats and accusations against Iran is accompanied by grudging willingness to attend a conference of regional powers, with the agenda limited to Iraq.

Presumably this minimal gesture toward diplomacy is intended to allay the growing fears and anger elicited by Washington's heightened aggressiveness. These concerns are given new substance in a detailed study of "the Iraq effect" by terrorism experts Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, revealing that the Iraq war "has increased terrorism sevenfold worldwide". An "Iran effect" could be even more severe.

For the US, the primary issue in the Middle East has been, and remains, effective control of its unparalleled energy resources. Access is a secondary matter. Once the oil is on the seas it goes anywhere. Control is understood to be an instrument of global dominance. Iranian influence in the "crescent" challenges US control. By an accident of geography, the world's major oil resources are in largely Shia areas of the Middle East: southern Iraq, adjacent regions of Saudi Arabia and Iran, with some of the major reserves of natural gas as well. Washington's worst nightmare would be a loose Shia alliance controlling most of the world's oil and independent of the US.

Such a bloc, if it emerges, might even join the Asian Energy Security Grid based in China. Iran could be a lynchpin. If the Bush planners bring that about, they will have seriously undermined the US position of power in the world.

To Washington, Tehran's principal offence has been its defiance, going back to the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 and the hostage crisis at the US embassy. In retribution, Washington turned to support Saddam Hussein's aggression against Iran, which left hundreds of thousands dead. Then came murderous sanctions and, under Bush, rejection of Iranian diplomatic efforts.

Last July, Israel invaded Lebanon, the fifth invasion since 1978. As before, US support was a critical factor, the pretexts quickly collapse on inspection, and the consequences for the people of Lebanon are severe. Among the reasons for the US-Israel invasion is that Hizbullah's rockets could be a deterrent to a US-Israeli attack on Iran. Despite the sabre-rattling it is, I suspect, unlikely that the Bush administration will attack Iran. Public opinion in the US and around the world is overwhelmingly opposed. It appears that the US military and intelligence community is also opposed. Iran cannot defend itself against US attack, but it can respond in other ways, among them by inciting even more havoc in Iraq. Some issue warnings that are far more grave, among them the British military historian Corelli Barnett, who writes that "an attack on Iran would effectively launch world war three".

Then again, a predator becomes even more dangerous, and less predictable, when wounded. In desperation to salvage something, the administration might risk even greater disasters. The Bush administration has created an unimaginable catastrophe in Iraq. It has been unable to establish a reliable client state within, and cannot withdraw without facing the possible loss of control of the Middle East's energy resources.

Meanwhile Washington may be seeking to destabilise Iran from within. The ethnic mix in Iran is complex; much of the population isn't Persian. There are secessionist tendencies and it is likely that Washington is trying to stir them up - in Khuzestan on the Gulf, for example, where Iran's oil is concentrated, a region that is largely Arab, not Persian.

Threat escalation also serves to pressure others to join US efforts to strangle Iran economically, with predictable success in Europe. Another predictable consequence, presumably intended, is to induce the Iranian leadership to be as repressive as possible, fomenting disorder while undermining reformers.

It is also necessary to demonise the leadership. In the west, any wild statement by President Ahmadinejad is circulated in headlines, dubiously translated. But Ahmadinejad has no control over foreign policy, which is in the hands of his superior, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The US media tend to ignore Khamenei's statements, especially if they are conciliatory. It's widely reported when Ahmadinejad says Israel shouldn't exist - but there is silence when Khamenei says that Iran supports the Arab League position on Israel-Palestine, calling for normalisation of relations with Israel if it accepts the international consensus of a two-state settlement.

The US invasion of Iraq virtually instructed Iran to develop a nuclear deterrent. The message was that the US attacks at will, as long as the target is defenceless. Now Iran is ringed by US forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and the Persian Gulf, and close by are nuclear-armed Pakistan and Israel, the regional superpower, thanks to US support.

In 2003, Iran offered negotiations on all outstanding issues, including nuclear policies and Israel-Palestine relations. Washington's response was to censure the Swiss diplomat who brought the offer. The following year, the EU and Iran reached an agreement that Iran would suspend enriching uranium; in return the EU would provide "firm guarantees on security issues" - code for US-Israeli threats to bomb Iran.

Apparently under US pressure, Europe did not live up to the bargain. Iran then resumed uranium enrichment. A genuine interest in preventing the development of nuclear weapons in Iran would lead Washington to implement the EU bargain, agree to meaningful negotiations and join with others to move toward integrating Iran into the international economic system.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/st...2030015,00.html

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