• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

zaterdag 25 februari 2006

Irak 34

Ook de onafhankelijke Amerikaanse journalist Dahr Jamail, die acht maanden lang vanuit Irak berichtte, schrijft over het Irakese verzet tegen de Amerikaanse bezetting die het land in totale chaos deed belanden: 'Widespread sectarian violence generated by the recent bombing of the Shia Golden Mosque in Samarra has also brought widespread demonstrations of solidarity between Sunnis and Shias across Iraq. The revered Al-Askariyya Mosque in Samarra, 135 km northwest of Baghdad, is one of four sacred places for Shias in Iraq. The mosque was bombed at 6:55am Feb. 22 by men who tied up the guards and planted the explosives. This being the third attack on the Shias in as many days, outrage was immediate, violent and widespread. Bloody retaliatory attacks took the lives of three Sunni Imams and scores of civilians, while over 50 Sunni mosques were attacked.Yet the violence led also to demonstrations of solidarity after Shia and Sunni leaders called for calm and restraint. Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani called for "easing things down and not attacking any Sunni mosques and shrines." Sistani's office was quick to issue a statement: "We call upon believers to express their protest...through peaceful means. The extent of their sorrow and shock should not drag them into taking actions that serve the enemies who have been working to lead Iraq into sectarian strife." Muqtada Al-Sadr, arguably the second most influential Shia cleric in Iraq told reporters: "It was not the Sunnis who attacked the shrine of Imam Al-Hadi, God's peace be upon him, but rather the occupation (forces) and Ba'athists...God damn them. We should not attack Sunni mosques. I have ordered the Al-Mahdi Army to protect both Shia and Sunni shrines." Sadr returned promptly from Lebanon and called on the Iraqi parliament to vote the departure of occupation forces from Iraq.
Sunni religious authorities called for peace and asked people to confront those trying to generate a sectarian war. Many Arab media outlets blamed the floundering Iraqi government for failing to provide the security needed to prevent the attacks. But thousands of people who joined demonstrations blamed American troops for failing to protect the Iraqi people. Sunnis were quick to demonstrate solidarity with the Shias in Samarra and to condemn the mosque bombings. Demonstrations of solidarity between Sunnis and Shias followed all over Iraq. Some of the bigger demonstrations were held in Basra, Diwaniyah, Nasiriyah, Kut, and Salah Al-Din.
Much of the Shia anger was directed at U.S. forces. In the primarily Shia city of Kut south of Baghdad, thousands marched through the streets burning U.S. and Israeli flags. Thousands of Shias marched through Sadr City, the huge Shia slum area of Baghdad, shouting anti-American slogans. Sadr City has almost half the population of Baghdad.' Lees verder: http://www.dahrjamailiraq.com/hard_news/archives/hard_news/000366.php#more

Irak 33


Na een levenlang nauwelijks van de officiele presidentiele versie van de werkelijkheid te zijn afgeweken, blijkt nu ook de beroemde Amerikaanse tv-journalist Ted Koppel wakker te worden. 'Ted Koppel in 'NYT': Iraq for U.S. Is 'About the Oil.' In a surprisingly strong Op Ed on Friday, Ted Koppel, the former "Nightline" host who is now an occasional columnist for The New York Times, argues that when it comes right down to it, the U.S. adventure in Iraq is, as some charge, "about the oil." He likened the situation to H.L. Mencken's statement that when someone says something is "not about the money" it is indeed "about the money." The same is true in this case relating to oil. While it's wrong to say that we invaded the country to take over its oil supply, Koppel writes in the Times, "the construction of American military bases inside Iraq, bases that can be maintained long after the bulk of our military forces are ultimately withdrawn, will serve to replace the bases that the United States has lost in Saudi Arabia. There may be other national security reasons that the United States cannot now precipitously withdraw its forces from Iraq, including the danger that the country would become a regional terrorist base; but none is greater than forestalling the ensuing power vacuum and regional instability, and the impact this would have on oil production...."Perhaps the day will come when the United States is no longer addicted to imported oil; but that day is still many years off. For now, the reason for America's rapt attention to the security of the Persian Gulf is what it has always been. It's about the oil."Noting arguments for many years about the importance of oil to our economy, Koppel observes, "If those considerations did not enter into the Bush administration's calculations when the president ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it would have been the first time in more than 50 years that the uninterrupted flow of Persian Gulf oil was not a central element of American foreign policy. "' Zie:
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002074604 Nu de Nederlandse commerciele media nog. Het is mogelijk, niet bang zijn jongens en meisjes, journalisten kunnen onafhankelijk zijn. Het is moeilijk, ik weet het, maar toch, het kan. Onthoudt dat met het oog op de huidige overheidspropaganda over de noodzaak om Iran te bombarderen. Dus als jullie het volgende bericht lezen, vergeet dan niet dat het propaganda is, net zoals de Irakese massavernietigingswapens propagandaleugens waren. 'Washington. US President George Bush accused Iran of financing terror groups, AFP reported. According to Bush, Iran is “the main sponsor of terrorism”. He warned that the USA would not allow Tehran to produce nuclear weapons.“The Iranian authorities, which finance terrorist activities, can’t have the most dangerous weapons”, the US President stated.' En als jullie lezen dat volgens de Amerikaanse bevolking Iran volksvijand nummer 1 is, dan weten jullie dat de propaganda werkt. 'Poll: Americans see Iran as enemy no. 1. WASHINGTON - Iran has replaced Iraq as the country Americans consider to be their greatest enemy, according to a Gallup Poll. Canada and Great Britain were ranked as America's best friends.' Zie:
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispo/news/breaking_news/13953083.htm

Martelen 22



Onze bondgenoot in de 'war on terror' heeft zijn gevangenis in Afghanistan uitgebreid. Daar zullen binnenkort ongetwijfeld de belangrijkste gevangenen van de Nederlandse militairen in Uruzgan gemarteld worden. De New York Times bericht: 'An Afghan Prison Expands, Filling Guantánamo's Role. While an international debate rages over the future of the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the military has quietly expanded another, less-visible prison in Afghanistan, where it now holds some 500 terror suspects in more primitive conditions, indefinitely and without charges. Pentagon officials have often described the detention site at Bagram, a cavernous former machine shop on an American air base 40 miles north of Kabul, as a screening center. They said most of the detainees were Afghans who might eventually be released under an amnesty program or transferred to an Afghan prison that is to be built with American aid. But some of the detainees have already been held at Bagram for as long as two or three years. And unlike those at Guantánamo, they have no access to lawyers, no right to hear the allegations against them and only rudimentary reviews of their status as "enemy combatants," military officials said. Privately, some administration officials acknowledge that the situation at Bagram has increasingly come to resemble the legal void that led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling in June 2004 affirming the right of prisoners at Guantánamo to challenge their detention in United States courts. While Guantánamo offers carefully scripted tours for members of Congress and journalists, Bagram has operated in rigorous secrecy since it opened in 2002. It bars outside visitors except for the international red cross and refuses to make public the names of those held there. The prison may not be photographed, even from a distance. From the accounts of former detainees, military officials and soldiers who served there, a picture emerges of a place that is in many ways rougher and more bleak than its Cuban counterpart. Men are held by the dozen in large wire cages, the detainees and military sources said, sleeping on the floor on foam mats and, until about a year ago, often using plastic buckets for latrines. Before recent renovations, they rarely saw daylight except for brief visits to a small exercise yard. "Bagram was never meant to be a long-term facility, and now it's a long-term facility without the money or resources," said one Defense Department official who has toured the detention center. Comparing the prison with Guantánamo, the official added, "Anyone who has been to Bagram would tell you it's worse." Former detainees said the renovations had improved conditions somewhat, and humans rights groups said reports of abuse had declined steadily there since 2003. Nonetheless, the Pentagon's chief adviser on detainee issues, Charles D. Stimson, declined to be interviewed on Bagram, as did senior detention officials at the United States Central Command, which oversees military operations in Afghanistan. The military's chief spokesman in Afghanistan, Col. James R. Yonts, also refused to discuss detainee conditions, other than to say repeatedly that his command was "committed to treating detainees humanely, and providing the best possible living conditions and medical care in accordance with the principles of the Geneva Convention." Other military and administration officials said the growing detainee population at Bagram, which rose from about 100 prisoners at the start of 2004 to as many as 600 at times last year, according to military figures, was in part the result of a Bush administration decision to shut off the flow of detainees into Guantánamo after the Supreme Court ruled that those prisoners had some basic due-process rights under United States law. The question of whether those same rights apply to detainees in Bagram has not yet been tested in court. Until the court ruling, Bagram functioned as a central clearing house for the global fight against terror. Military and intelligence personnel there sifted through captured Afghan rebels and suspected terrorists seized in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, sending the most valuable and dangerous to Guantánamo for extensive interrogation, and generally releasing the rest.' Lees verder:
http://nytimes.com/2006/02/26/international/26bagram.html?hp&ex=1140930000&en=5ecf85c2251c315d&ei=5094&partner=homepage

Irak 32

Sami Ramadani vluchtte voor het Saddam regime en is momenteel als hoofddocent verbonden aan de London Metropolitan University. Hij schrijft in 'De Guardian': 'Exit without a strategy. The popular response to Iraq's latest atrocities has been to blame the occupation, not rival sects. The shattered golden dome of Samarra is yet another milestone in George Bush's "long war" - in which a civil war in Iraq shows every sign of being a devastating feature. But what sort of civil war? I am convinced it is not the type of war that politicians in Washington and London, and much of the western media, have been anticipating. The past few days' events have strengthened this conviction. It has not been Sunni religious symbols that hundreds of thousands of angry marchers protesting at the bombing of the shrine have targeted, but US flags. The slogan that united them on Wednesday was: "Kalla, kalla Amrica, kalla kalla lill-irhab" - no to America, no to terrorism. The Shia clerics most listened to by young militants swiftly blamed the occupation for the bombing. They included Moqtada al-Sadr; Nasrallah, leader of Hizbullah in Lebanon; Ayatollah Khalisi, leader of the Iraqi National Foundation Congress; and Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's spiritual leader. Along with Grand Ayatollah Sistani, they also declared it a grave "sin" to attack Sunnis - as did all the Sunni clerics about attacks on Shias. Sadr was reported by the BBC as calling for revenge on Sunnis - in fact, he said "no Sunni would do this" and called for revenge on the occupation.' Lees verder:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1716598,00.html

Propaganda 10

Begin 2003, nog voor de Amerikaanse aanval op Irak, schreef ik voor het tijdschrift de Humanist: 'Intussen had een dag na de aanslagen (van 11 september 2001) minister Rumsfeld, zonder zelfs ook maar één enkel bewijs van wie de daders precies waren, tijdens een kabinetsvergadering al geëist dat Irak ''een hoofddoel van de eerste ronde in de oorlog tegen terrorisme'' zou zijn, aldus de journalist Bob Woodward van de Washington Post die een boek schreef over de eerste 100 dagen na 11 september, vol vertrouwelijke informatie die hij van hoog geplaatste autoriteiten kreeg.' http://home.planet.nl/~houck006/oorlogomolie.html De Nederlandse commerciele media besteedden destijds geen aandacht aan Woodwards feitelijke verslag. Waarom zouden ze? De Bush regering had immers verklaard dat het Saddam-regime massavernietigingswapens bezat en daarom ten val moest worden gebracht. Journalisten die van mening waren dat de oorlog niet om niet bestaande massavernietigingswapens ging maar om olie en de dollar hegemonie waren geschifte complotdenkers in de ogen van onder andere mijn Hilversumse collega's. Intussen beschikken we over nog meer bewijzen dat de beweringen van de Bush-bende allemaal propaganda was. De Guardian bericht: 'Hours after a commercial plane struck the Pentagon on September 11 2001 the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was issuing rapid orders to his aides to look for evidence of Iraqi involvement, according to notes taken by one of them. "Hard to get good case. Need to move swiftly," the notes say. "Near term target needs - go massive - sweep it all up, things related and not." The handwritten notes, with some parts blanked out, were declassified this month in response to a request by a law student and blogger, Thad Anderson, under the US Freedom of Information Act. Anderson has posted them on his blog at outragedmoderates.org.
The Pentagon confirmed the notes had been taken by Stephen Cambone, now undersecretary of defence for intelligence and then a senior policy official. "His notes were fulfilling his role as a plans guy," said a spokesman, Greg Hicks. "He was responsible for crisis planning, and he was with the secretary in that role that afternoon." The report said: "On the afternoon of 9/11, according to contemporaneous notes, Secretary Rumsfeld instructed General Myers [the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff] to obtain quickly as much information as possible. The notes indicate that he also told Myers that he was not simply interested in striking empty training sites. He thought the US response should consider a wide range of options. "The secretary said his instinct was to hit Saddam Hussein at the same time, not only Bin Laden. Secretary Rumsfeld later explained that at the time he had been considering either one of them, or perhaps someone else, as the responsible party." ' Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1716668,00.html Of: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0224-01.htm

Dick Cheney

Het spoor leidt naar Dick Cheney. Truthout bericht: 'The White House turned over last week 250 pages of emails from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Senior aides had sent the emails in the spring of 2003 related to the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald revealed during a federal court hearing Friday. The emails are said to be explosive, and may prove that Cheney played an active role in the effort to discredit Plame Wilson’s husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s prewar Iraq intelligence, sources close to the investigation said. Sources close to the probe said the White House “discovered” the emails two weeks ago and turned them over to Fitzgerald last week. The sources added that the emails could prove that Cheney lied to FBI investigators when he was interviewed about the leak in early 2004. Cheney said that he was unaware of any effort to discredit Wilson or unmask his wife’s undercover status to reporters. Cheney was not under oath when he was interviewed. He told investigators how the White House came to rely on Niger documents that purportedly showed that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from the African country. Cheney said he had received an intelligence briefing on the allegations in late December 2003, or early January 2004, and had asked the CIA for more information about the issue. Cheney said he was unaware that Ambassador Wilson was chosen to travel to Niger to look into the uranium claims, and that he never saw a report Wilson had given a CIA analyst upon his return which stated that the Niger claims were untrue. He said the CIA never told him about Wilson's trip. However, the emails say otherwise, and will show that the vice president spearheaded an effort in March 2003 to attack Wilson’s credibility and used the CIA to dig up information on the former ambassador that could be used against him, sources said.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/022406Y.shtml

Martelen 21

Onze bondgenoot in de 'war on terror' martelt en de bewijzen stapelen zich op. Het Amerikaans persagentschap Knight Riddder bericht: 'FBI memos reveal allegations of abusive interrogation techniques. Military interrogators posing as FBI agents at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, wrapped terrorism suspects in an Israeli flag and forced them to watch homosexual pornography under strobe lights during interrogation sessions that lasted as long as 18 hours, according to one of a batch of FBI memos released Thursday. FBI agents working at the prison complained about the military interrogators' techniques in e-mails to their superiors from 2002 to 2004, 54 e-mails released by the American Civil Liberties Union showed. The agents tried to get the military interrogators to follow a less coercive approach and warned that the harsh methods could hinder future criminal prosecutions of terrorists because information gained illegally is inadmissible in court. Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who was in charge of the prison at the time, overrode the FBI agents' protests, according to the documents. The memos offer some of the clearest proof yet that the abuses and torture of prisoners in U.S. military custody weren't the isolated actions of low-ranking soldiers but a result of policies approved by senior officials, the ACLU said. "These documents show that the abuse at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib was not caused by rogue elements but rather it was the consequence of policies that were deliberately adopted by senior military and Pentagon officials," said Jameel Jaffer, an ACLU lawyer. "We think this should provide further reason to hold senior officials, not just low-ranking soldiers, accountable for the torture of prisoners." One of the memos said: "Although MGEN (Maj. Gen.) Miller acknowledged positive aspects of (the FBI's) approach, it was apparent that he favored (military) interrogation methods, despite FBI assertions that such methods could easily result in the elicitation of unreliable and legally inadmissible information," said one memo from May 2003, by an agent with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit.' Lees verder: http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/13945827.htm Of:
http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/politics/13945800.htm

vrijdag 24 februari 2006

Nederland en Afghanistan 40

De beginnende oorlog in Afghanistan gaat jaren zoniet decennia duren en gaat miljarden kosten. Desondanks wil de NAVO en de Nederlandse regering die oorlog voeren. Deze absurde strijd zal gefinancierd worden door bezuinigingen elders. De Guardian bericht: 'Nato Will Be in Afghanistan for Years, Says Military Chief. Afghanistan has huge problems and Nato forces will be there for "years and years", the commander of Canada's expeditionary forces, which have taken a lead role in the hostile south of the country, warned yesterday. More than 3,000 British troops will join the Canadians in southern Afghanistan over the coming months. It is the latest move in Nato's commitment to deploy troops throughout Afghanistan in what is widely regarded as a hugely risky test for the alliance. The build-up of Nato forces in the south of the country is the alliance's "biggest operational, and perhaps strategic, challenge in years, if not decades", Major General Michel Gauthier said in a telephone interview with the Guardian. He will be based in Ottawa overseeing more than 2,000 Canadian troops in Kandahar, which will come under the overall leadership of Nato and a British commander, General Sir David Richards, this summer. The government has said the deployment of the 3,000-plus strong British brigade, based in Helmand province, next to Kandahar, will last for three years. It is not clear what happens then, but Gen Gauthier said Nato troops would still be needed. Gen Gauthier commanded the first UN forces deployed in the Balkans in 1992. He said no one had expected thousands of UN and Nato troops to be there 14 years later. Asked if Nato troops would be in Afghanistan, a country he described as having "huge problems", for decades, he replied: "For years and years." He described southern Afghanistan as an "unpermissive environment", but said Canadian and British troops were well trained. Nine Canadians have been killed in Afghanistan since 2002, including a diplomat killed in a suicide attack. Some 214 American service personnel have been killed since the US invaded the country in 2001. Attacks have increased in recent months, partly as a result of changing tactics by Taliban and foreign fighters. Yesterday a bomb exploded near a Nato peacekeeping convoy in northern Afghanistan, killing one Afghan civilian and wounding 12 people, including a German peacekeeper, officials told Associated Press. The bomb, on a bicycle, went off at about 1.30pm near a bazaar in the northern city of Kunduz, said the provincial police chief.' Lees verder: http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,,1715962,00.html Of: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0223-07.htm

De Prijs van een Oorlog

Hoeveel kost de oorlog van de neoconservatieven? De New Yorkse publicist Mark Engler schrijft: 'In the center of the CostOfWar.com home page, an upward-racing ticker, presented in a large, red font, keeps a steady tally of the money spent for the U.S. war in Iraq. Every time I visit, it takes a moment to sort through the counter's decimal places and make sense of it. The hundreds of dollars fly by too quickly to track. The thousands change a little faster than once a second. As I write, the ticker reads $239,302,273,144. It is worth staring at the site for a while to see the vast sums accumulate. Yet this exercise in wartime accounting quickly becomes unsatisfying. First of all, few Americans have any frame of reference for evaluating a number like $239 billion. The National Priorities Project, the organization hosting the counter, attempts to remedy this by allowing visitors to compare war costs with expenditures on pre-school, health care, and public housing, noting, for example, that this much money could provide basic immunizations for every child born worldwide in the next 79 years. Even then, the incomprehensibly large number ticking away on screen turns out to be no measure at all of what we will eventually pay for the war. Depending on what estimate you use, it could be off by almost a factor of ten. After all, it lacks a place for the trillions. So how much will the war cost? The question occasionally appears in the media, never a new issue, never a settled one either. Still, there are some certainties about the costs of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. One is that it keeps going up. The President has now submitted a "guns over butter" budget to Congress that increases Pentagon spending to $440 billion, while taking away funds from social services at home and development assistance abroad. One of the great curiosities of this huge sum is that it does not include funding for the wars we are actually fighting. Those are appropriated separately -- this year, the White House will reportedly be asking for another $120 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, roughly equal to what it spent in 2005. Another certainty of wartime accounting is that the cost of the war in Iraq will remain far higher than the Bush administration wants anyone to think. It's already stratospherically beyond the initial estimate of $50-60 billion used to sell its war to the public. That number was meant to conjure memories of the previous Gulf War -- Operation Desert Storm -- an engagement Americans recall as swift and relatively painless, in part because an array of allies helped pay for it. The U.S. ponied up only $7 billion for that conflict. The administration's other magic trick was taking Larry Lindsey, the White House economic advisor who publicly suggested in late 2002 that a military return to Iraq would cost closer to $100-200 billion, and making him disappear.' Lees verder: http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=62903

De Handelaren in Angst
















De regering Bush zakt steeds verder weg in het moeras van leugens en bedrog. De New York Times-columnist Paul Krugman schrijft: 'Osama, Saddam and the Ports. The storm of protest over the planned takeover of some U.S. port operations by Dubai Ports World doesn't make sense viewed in isolation. The Bush administration clearly made no serious effort to ensure that the deal didn't endanger national security. But that's nothing new - the administration has spent the past four and a half years refusing to do anything serious about protecting the nation's ports. So why did this latest case of sloppiness and indifference finally catch the public's attention? Because this time the administration has become a victim of its own campaign of fearmongering and insinuation. Let's go back to the beginning. At 2:40 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld gave military commanders their marching orders. "Judge whether good enough hit S. H. [Saddam Hussein] @ same time - not only UBL [Osama bin Laden]," read an aide's handwritten notes about his instructions. The notes were recently released after a Freedom of Information Act request. "Hard to get a good case," the notes acknowledge. Nonetheless, they say: "Sweep it all up. Things related and not." So it literally began on Day 1. When terrorists attacked the United States, the Bush administration immediately looked for ways it could exploit the atrocity to pursue unrelated goals - especially, but not exclusively, a war with Iraq. But to exploit the atrocity, President Bush had to do two things. First, he had to create a climate of fear: Al Qaeda, a real but limited threat, metamorphosed into a vast, imaginary axis of evil threatening America. Second, he had to blur the distinctions between nasty people who actually attacked us and nasty people who didn't. The administration successfully linked Iraq and 9/11 in public perceptions through a campaign of constant insinuation and occasional outright lies. In the process, it also created a state of mind in which all Arabs were lumped together in the camp of evildoers. Osama, Saddam - what's the difference? Now comes the port deal. Mr. Bush assures us that "people don't need to worry about security." But after all those declarations that we're engaged in a global war on terrorism, after all the terror alerts declared whenever the national political debate seemed to be shifting to questions of cronyism, corruption and incompetence, the administration can't suddenly change its theme song to "Don't Worry, Be Happy."' Lees verder:
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/022406Z.shtml

John Pilger 4

De onderzoeksjournalist John Pilger schrijft: 'The Next War -- Crossing The Rubicon. Has Tony Blair, the minuscule Caesar, finally crossed his Rubicon? Having subverted the laws of the civilised world and brought carnage to a defenceless people and bloodshed to his own, having lied and lied and used the death of a hundredth British soldier in Iraq to indulge his profane self-pity, is he about to collude in one more crime before he goes? Perhaps he is seriously unstable now, as some have suggested. Power does bring a certain madness to its prodigious abusers, especially those of shallow disposition. In The March of Folly: from Troy to Vietnam, the great American historian Barbara Tuchman described Lyndon B Johnson, the president whose insane policies took him across his Rubicon in Vietnam. "He lacked [John] Kennedy's ambivalence, born of a certain historical sense and at least some capacity for reflective thinking," she wrote. "Forceful and domineering, a man infatuated with himself, Johnson was affected in his conduct of Vietnam policy by three elements in his character: an ego that was insatiable and never secure; a bottomless capacity to use and impose the powers of his office without inhibition; a profound aversion, once fixed upon a course of action, to any contradictions." That, demonstrably, is Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the cabal that has seized power in Washington. But there is a logic to their idiocy - the goal of dominance. It also describes Blair, for whom the only logic is vainglorious. And now he is threatening to take Britain into the nightmare on offer in Iran. His Washington mentors are unlikely to ask for British troops, not yet. At first, they will prefer to bomb from a safe height, as Bill Clinton did in his destruction of Yugoslavia. They are aware that, like the Serbs, the Iranians are a serious people with a history of defending themselves and who are not stricken by the effects of a long siege, as the Iraqis were in 2003. When the Iranian defence minister promises "a crushing response", you sense he means it.' Lees verder: http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2006-02/11pilger.cfm

donderdag 23 februari 2006

De Dollar Hegemonie 4

Al in 2004 wezen goed geinformeerde Amerikanen erop dat een belangrijke reden voor de Bush-regering om het Saddam-regime omver te werpen het feit was dat de Irakezen wilden overstappen op de euro als munteenheid om de olie te laten betalen. Dat zou een geweldige klap voor de Amerikaanse dollar-hegemonie betekenen en voor de federale begroting van het wereldrijk dat de grootste buitenlandse schuld in de geschiedenis der mensheid heeft. Meer dan een jaar lang hebben de commerciele massamedia dit feit genegeeerd, omdat het niet pastte binnen de officiele versie van de werkelijkheid, die voorschreef dat de Verenigde Staten een altruistische natie is die overal de democratie wil brengen. Maar door internet is de vrije nieuwsgaring weer nieuw leven ingeblazen en dat kunnen de commerciele media niet langer meer negeren. Het wordt namelijk dan te duidelijk dat ze alles behalve neutraal en onafhankelijk berichten. Vandaar dat de Volkskrant na een jaar nadrukkelijk stilzwijgen vanochtend enige aandacht aan de oliedollars besteedde: 'Iraanse olie-euro verhit geopolitieke gemoederen. Volgende maand, op 20 maart, moet de Iraanse Olie Beurs zijn deuren openen. Afrekenen kunnen oliehandelaren uitsluitend in euro’s… De Iraanse promotie van de olie-euro kan evenwel desastreus zijn voor de VS. Aan het feit dat olie vrijwel zonder uitzondering in dollars wordt afgerekend, heeft de Amerikaanse munt immers zijn hegemonie te danken. Olie-importeurs zijn daardoor gedwongen altijd dollars in reserve te hebben. De VS kunnen daardoor rustig dollarbiljetten blijven bijdrukken. Maar slaan de Iraanse plannen aan, dan moeten de VS de persen stoppen en komt de Amerikaanse economie op zijn gat te liggen. ‘Dit is onderdeel van een zeer intelligente, creatieve strategie – op ieder denkbare manier in de aanval gaan en andere actoren mobiliseren tegen de VS’, zegt George Perkovich van de Amerikaanse denktank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace… de centrale banken zouden dus willen voorkomen dat de cijfers openlijk aantonen hoe de rest van de wereld de dollar laat vallen. Volgens dezelfde complotdenkers, onder wie de Amerikaanse veiligheidsanalist William Clark en de journalist Ed Haas, waren soortgelijke – zei het minder concrete – plannen van Saddam Hoessein de échte reden waarom de VS in 2003 Irak aanvielen.' Lees verder: http://www.volkskrant.nl/economie/article228319.ece Ondanks de door hem geciteerde feiten distantieert de Volkskrant-verslaggever zich van die feiten door tot viermaal toe in het piepkleine stukje zijn bronnen af te schilderen als louter en alleen 'complotdenkers.' Dat onder hen zich de Amerikaanse veiligheidsanalist William Clark bevindt (die in 2003 een prijs kreeg voor zijn analyse van de ware redenen waarom de VS het olierijke Irak binnenviel) en de befaamde Amerikaanse onderzoeks-journalist Ed Haas maakt niets uit voor de Volkskrant-journalist Olav Velthuis, die voor zover ik weet niet bekend staat als een gedegen onderzoeker op het gebied van de 'geopolitieke gemoederen.' Desondanks weet hij het allemaal veel beter. Je kunt aan Olav's artikeltje precies zien welke websites hij heeft bezocht. Al deze informatie ineens moet hem overdonderd hebben, want hij vertoont het bekende provinciale reflex van de polderbewoner zodra die geconfronteerd wordt met de geopolitieke grote mensenwereld. Olav raakt onmiddellijk helemaal in de war en alles is voor hem ineens een complot. Dit soort mensen realiseert zich niet dat er naast complotten ook onvermijdelijkheden bestaan. Elk imperium kent zijn eigen onvermijdelijkheden zodra het om het handhaven van de hegemonie gaat, zo blijkt keer op keer uit de geschiedschrijving. Onvermijdelijkheden zijn geen complotten, maar functioneren in de praktijk wel als zodanig. Zie ook: http://www.newswithviews.com/public_comm/public_commentary31.htm En:
http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/17450
http://www.energybulletin.net/2913.html En:
http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2006/01/de-dollar-hegemonie.html En: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2006/01/de-dollar-hegemonie-2.html En:http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2006/02/de-dollar-hegemonie-3.html

P.S. Olav Velthuis is naast 'onze verslaggever' ook econoom die zijn lezers ervan probeert te overtuigen dat de keuzemaatschappij waar we nu in lijken te zitten, kan doorschieten en dat het soms beter is als de overheid ('Den Haag') keuzes voor haar burgers maakt. Olav is co-auteur van het vorig jaar zomer verschenen boek "Vrijheid verplicht" over tevredenheid en de grenzen van keuzevrijheid. Hij verdedigde de stelling "Libertair paternalisme," zo las ik net. That explains it all! Libertair paternalisme van een econoom die als journalist van de Volkskrant er rotsvast van over overtuigd is dat 'het soms beter is als de overheid (''Den Haag") keuzes voor haar burgers maakt' en dat mensen die feiten aandragen 'complotdenkers' zijn. Wat doet die Olav in de journalistiek? Journalistiek is een vak niet voor hobbyisten maar voor professionals.

Iran 16

De goed geinformeerde auteur Dilip Hiro schrijft in Tom Dispatch over Iraans nucleaire activiteiten: 'These days, however, Iranian leaders are learning that transparency has its virtues. Following the publication in the March 13 Sunday Times of a leak from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office regarding his country's possible plans to raid Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, President Muhammad Khatami escorted a party of 30 local and foreign journalists to the underground facility. That dispelled some of the fear-filled mystique about the place created by the story Israeli officials had planted. Among the structures the visiting journalists saw was a huge empty hall meant for the installation of thousands of centrifuges at some future date. A few weeks later, Iran broke another taboo. It took Elahe Mohtasham, a representative of the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies, on a day-long visit to the Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan. In a long report she published in the Sunday Times on May 1, she described not just the equipment and buildings she saw, but also her conversations in Persian with scientists and other officials at the site. The facility, completed in March 1998, is visited by the IAEA every three or four weeks. It was there that, in March 2004, the Iranians converted yellow cake into uranium hexafluoride gas UF6 for the first time. Iran thus became the tenth country in the world to do so -- the five members of the initial nuclear club, the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, and China; and later, Israel, India, Pakistan, and Brazil.' Lees verder: http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=2452

Israelisch Expanionisme 4









De Israelische Vredes Groepering B'tselem bericht: 'Under the Guise of Security: Routing the Separation Barrier to Enable Israeli Settlement Expansion in the West Bank. The fact that the Separation Barrier cuts into the West Bank was and remains the main cause of human rights violations of Palestinians living near the Barrier. Israel contends that the Barrier's route is based solely on security considerations. This report disputes that contention and proves that one of the primary reasons for choosing the route of many sections of the Barrier was to place certain areas intended for settlement expansion on the "Israeli" side of the Barrier. In some of the cases, for all intents and purposes the expansion constituted the establishment of a new settlement. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the expansion plans of four settlements and the connection between the plans and the route of the Separation Barrier. The report also presents the principal findings in eight other cases in which the settlement's expansion plans significantly affected the Barrier's route. The currently approved route of the Barrier leaves fifty-five settlements, twelve of them in East Jerusalem, separated from the rest of the West Bank and contiguous with the State of Israel. Study of a map of the route indicates that in most of the cases discussed in this report, the Barrier's route was set hundreds, and even thousands, of meters from the houses at the edge of the settlement. The route of the Separation Barrier running near each of the twelve settlements discussed in the report more or less follows the borders of the outline development plan for the particular settlement, making it impossible to argue there is no connection between the route and the plan. Thus it is clear that contrary to the picture portrayed by the state, the settlement-expansion plans played a substantial role in the planning of the Barrier's route.' Lees verder: http://www.btselem.org/English/

Irak 31

Waar iedere verstandig deskundige voor waarschuwde dreigt nu werkelijkheid te worden: een Irakese burgeroorlog als indirect gevolg van het gewelddadig beleid van de neoconservatieve extremisten in de regering Bush. De International Herald Tribune bericht: 'Shiite fury explodes in Iraq; scores are killed. At least 47 people, some of them prominent Sunni Arab clerics, were killed in revenge attacks in Baghdad in the chaotic 24 hours following the bombing of one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines, in the town of Samarra, an Interior Ministry official said Thursday. At least 40 more bodies were found south of Baghdad, and more were being discovered throughout the day across Iraq. Sunni Arab politicians broke off talks with Shiite and Kurdish leaders over the formation of a new government, saying they would not engage in discussions until apologies had been made for dozens of attacks that took place Wednesday against Sunni mosques and leaders. Thousand of Shiites took to the streets across Iraq in a second day of protests against the insurgent attack in Samarra, which destroyed the golden dome of Al Askariya, the shrine where two revered Shiite imams are buried…. The attack on the shrine has sparked the worst sectarian conflict in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion, with Iraqi leaders and clerics calling for restraint and trying to steer the country away from exploding into full-fledged civil war. The top U.S. military commanders and the U.S. ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, have been talking with Iraqi leaders to try to defuse the groundswell of anger among Sunni and Shiite Arabs. The violence began on Wednesday morning, when a powerful bomb shattered the golden dome of Al Askariya and set off a day of sectarian fury in which mobs formed across Iraq to chant for revenge and attacked dozens of Sunni mosques. The bombing, 100 kilometers, or 60 miles, north of Baghdad, wounded no one but left the famous golden dome at the site in ruins. The shrine is central to one of the most dearly held beliefs of Shiite Islam, and the bombing, coming after two days of bloody attacks that have left dozens of Shiite civilians dead, ignited a nationwide outpouring of rage and panic that seemed to bring Iraq closer than ever to outright civil war. Shiite militia members flooded the streets of Baghdad, firing rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns at Sunni mosques while Iraqi Army soldiers who had been called out to stop the violence stood helpless nearby. By the day's end, mobs had struck or destroyed 27 Sunni mosques in the capital, killing three imams and kidnapping a fourth, Interior Ministry officials said. In all, at least 15 people were killed in related violence across the country... The Shiite cleric and political leader Moktada al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia led many of the violent protests on Wednesday, placed some blame on what he called the "occupation forces" for the bombing but did not give more details. Sadr told the Arabic satellite network Al Jazeera that he was cutting short his visit in Lebanon because of the bombing... The violence was not confined to big cities. In Salman Pak, a town just south of Baghdad, Shiite militia members evacuated a Sunni mosque and a religious school, warning the imam that he would be killed if he did not leave the town within two days.' Lees verder: http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/02/23/news/iraq.php

Nederland en Afghanistan 39














De Afghaanse papavervelden staan er weer goed bij. Met een beetje goede wil kunnen Nederlandse militairen straks zo aan de slag bij de wederopbouw van de opiumhandel die de Afghaanse krijgsheren nog rijker en machtiger maakt en met wie de Nederlandse troepen gaan samenwerken, zoals ze dat nu al doen in andere delen van het land. Natuurlijk blijft er dan ook wat aan de strijkstok hangen zoals blijkt uit Nederlandse marinemensen die ineens betrokken blijken te zijn bij de cocainehandel die ze hadden moeten bestrijden. Dat is niet zo vreemd want we blijven immers een handelsnatie, die in het verleden via de opbrengsten van onze opiumhandel het koloniaal bestuur van 'ons Indie' financierden. De Independent bericht: 'British Army helpless as Afghan drug crop doubles. The enormity of the problems in tackling Afghanistan's massive opium crop has become apparent as the first wave of British troops are deployed in one of the most dangerous parts of the country. British Government ministers had repeatedly declared that one of the primary tasks of the 5,700- strong expeditionary force was to help end Afghan heroin production, which supplies 90 per cent of the narcotic in Britain. But the commander of the British forces in southern Iraq insisted yesterday that his troops would play no part in destroying poppy fields, while senior British civil servants cautioned that ending cultivation may take years." After all, it took 30 years to end opium production in Thailand under much more benign circumstances," said Nick Kay, the United Kingdom's regional co-ordinator for southern Afghanistan. "Considering the problems in Afghanistan one can see it will not be an easy process." Col Gordon Messenger of the Royal Marines said that British troops deploying to Helmand, the biggest centre of heroin production in the biggest heroin-producing country in the world, would not be involved in a process being considered by President Hamid Karzai's government of eradicating poppies. "There will be absolutely no maroon berets [of the marines] with scythes in a poppy field," he said.' Lees verder:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/article347129.ece

Irak 30



De krijgers staan klaar, de burgeroorlog kan beginnen. De Independent bericht: 'Destruction of holiest Shia shrine brings Iraq to the brink of civil war. Iraq took a lethal step closer to disintegration and civil war yesterday after a devastating attack on one of the country's holiest sites. The destruction of the golden-domed Shia shrine in Samarra sparked a round of bloody sectarian retaliation in which up to 60 Sunni mosques were attacked and scores of people were killed or injured. The bomb attack has enraged the majority Shia population, who regard the shrine in the same way that Roman Catholics view St Peter's in Rome. In a number of respects civil war in Iraq has already begun. Many of the thousand bodies a month arriving in the morgues in Baghdad are of people killed for sectarian reasons. It is no longer safe for members of the three main communities ­ the Sunni and Shia Arabs and the Kurds ­ to visit each other's parts of the country.
"Iraq is in a Weimar period like Germany in the 1920s which will either end with the country disintegrating or in an authoritarian government taking power," said Ghassan Atiyyah, an Iraqi political commentator.' Lees verder: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article347140.ece

De Oorlogsstaat 21

De Oorlogsstaat is sinds de Tweede Wereldoorlog permanent in staat van oorlog. Is een dergelijke staat een democratie of iets anders? Wie profiteert daarvan: zeker niet de miljoenen slachtoffers en ook niet de miljoenen belastingbetalers, maar wie dan wel? Information Clearing House: 'War Corporatism: The New Fascism. A video by Simon Robson aka. Knife Party and friend, Barry McNamara. It's an animated look at the dogs of War Corporatism unleashed upon the world by Bush and the PNAC as stated in the September 2000 document Rebuilding America's Defenses.' Zie: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12017.htm

Martelen 22

Al Jazeera bericht over onze bondgenoot in de 'war on terror': 'Report: Nearly 100 dead in US custody. Nearly 100 prisoners have died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since August 2002, the Human Rights First organisation has said ahead of publication of a new report.
At least 98 deaths occurred, with at least 34 of them suspected or confirmed murder and manslaughter (deliberate or reckless killing), the group of US lawyers told BBC television on Tuesday. Their dossier claims that 11 more deaths are deemed suspicious and that between eight and 12 prisoners were tortured to death. However, charges are rare and sentences are light, the report said. The report comes a week after new photographs of alleged prisoner abuse at Baghdad's US-run Abu Ghraib prison emerged.' Lees verder:
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/0049D873-A7CD-4FF9-8A1B-324E601A2B82.htm Of: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12019.htm

woensdag 22 februari 2006

De Terrorist Mladic



Drie simpele vragen. Deze man is de terrorist Ratko Mladic, onder wiens bevel tenminste 7500 Bosnische moslims vermoord zijn. Meer dan 10 jaar geleden werd de Srebrenica-aanklacht door het Joegoslavie tribunaal uitgebracht, waarvoor deze generaal zich moet verantwoorden in Den Haag. Maar nog steeds is deze oorlogsmisdadiger niet opgepakt door het regime in Belgrado, onder andere omdat hoge Servische militairen erop tegen zijn dat deze terrorist wordt uitgeleverd. Mladic verschuilt zich niet in de Afghaanse grotten van Tora Bora, maar ergens in Servisch gebied in Europa. Vraag: waarom stuurt de Nederlandse regering wel militairen naar Afghanistan om er terroristen op te pakken, en niet naar Servie om de terrorist Mladic te arresteren? Waarom heeft de Europese Unie geen economische boycot afgekondigd tegen Servie om zo de komst naar Den Haag van deze schurk te bespoedigen? En: waarom zijn onze politici zo muisstil over dit onderwerp, terwijl ze normaal niet bij de camera weg te meppen zijn? Wie kan daar antwoord op geven?

Irak 29













Nu Irak aan de vooravond staat van een burgeroorlog is het belangrijk te weten dat ook de Irakese bondgenoten van onze bondgenoot de Verenigde Staten gewoon doorgaan met martelen. De Times of Malta bericht: 'US ''aware'' of Iraq torture. The US is "aware" of torture taking place in Iraqi prisons, according to the outgoing Maltese UN human rights chief in Iraq. "Yes, torture is happening now, mainly in illegal detention places. Such centres are mostly being run by militia that have been absorbed by the police force," says John Pace, who retired last week as human rights chief for the UN assistance mission in Iraq. In a frank interview with The Times, Dr Pace says photos and forensic records have proved that torture was rife inside detention centres. Though the process of release has been speeded up, there are an estimated 23,000 people in detention, of whom 80 to 90 per cent are innocent. He says the Baghdad morgue received 1,100 bodies in July alone, about 900 of whom bore evidence of torture or summary execution. That continued throughout the year and last December there were 780 bodies, including 400 having gunshot wounds or wounds as those caused by electric drills.
Dr Pace expresses deep concern over the progress of the Saddam Hussein trial, saying he would have preferred to see the former dictator tried internationally. After two years serving in Iraq, Dr Pace says that the non-existence of law and order has left society without any protection, clearly reflecting that the US invasion was not properly planned.' Lees verder:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/core/article.php?id=215387

Irak 28

Hoe de neoconservatieven in hun eigen propaganda zijn gaan geloven en Irak er voor boet. Information Clearing House: 'Video Iraq : The ReckoningTonight we reveal the consequences of our misadventure in Iraq: First transmitted Channel 4 - UK - 11/21/05. Peter Oborne, political editor of the Spectator, reports on the West's exit strategy for Iraq. He believes the invasion of Iraq is proving to be the greatest foreign policy failure since Munich. Oborne argues that the plan to transform Iraq into a unified liberal democracy, a beacon of hope in the Middle East, is pure fantasy. Reporting on location with US troops in Sadr City, and through interviews with leading figures in Britain and the US, Oborne argues that the coalition and its forces on the ground are increasingly irrelevant in determining the future of Iraq - a future that's unlikely to be either unified, liberal or democratic. The film includes interviews with Richard Perle, Peter Galbraith, Deputy Chief of Army staff General Jack Keane. Oborne also interviews Rory Stewart, who worked as a deputy governor in Nasyriah and witnessed first hand the rise of the pro-Iranian fundamentalist parties that are now at the heart of the Iraqi government. First broadcast - BBC - 06/17/03' Zie: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article11999.htm

De Oorlogsstaat 20


Jason Miller is a 39-year-old activist writer with a degree in liberal arts. When he is not spending time with his wife and three sons, researching, or writing, he is working as a loan counselor. He is a member of Amnesty International and an avid supporter of Oxfam International and Human Rights Watch. In Information Clearing House schrijft hij: 'Since 9/11, Fox News and the Bush Regime have brain-washed them into believing that terrorists and their sympathizers are lurking around every corner, poised to infect them with a lethal virus, slice them with box cutters or obliterate them with a suicide bomb. In the black and white perspective of the Neo-Tories, you are with us or against us. If you do not fit into their narrow and misguided notion of conservatism, you must be a "liberal". The American media/propaganda machine (which the Empire's power moguls have brilliantly portrayed as "liberal" to obfuscate the fact that six corporate conglomerates own 90% of the mainstream media market) has sharply defined the “treasonous”, “ineffectual” nature of "liberals", portraying them as soft on crime, sympathetic to those demonic terrorists, Socialists and Communists, immoral, and militarily weak.Masters of delusionTo their credit, Israel, AIPAC, the Bush Regime, powerful families (with names like Koch), the numerous multi-millionaires in Congress, powerful lobbyists, think tanks, major corporations, and the 1% of Americans who harbor 38% of the nation's wealth have done a phenomenal job of convincing a majority of the poor and working class that they are fortunate to have the privilege of fighting over the remaining crumbs of the economic pie after the ruling elite gorge themselves. Despite the 13% of Americans living in poverty, 46 million without health insurance, and approximately 3 million homeless wandering our streets, the gallimaufry ruling the United States according to the Golden Rule (he that hath the gold maketh the rules) has artfully convinced "Main Street" that it "doesn't get any better than this". The Empire's Neo-Tories boast that capitalism and the free market are "kicking ass" while Communism and Socialism have been relegated to the dustbin of history. (Obviously they have not been paying much attention to South America lately). With "free market" think tanks like Cato Institute (funded by “humanitarian-environmentalists” like Charles Koch) to provide the propaganda (sorry, I meant to say research), there is virtually no end to the "evidence" supporting the "benefits" of government deregulation of businesses and corporations.' Lees verder: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12015.htm

Irak 27


Information Clearing House maakt de rekening op: '“She opened it and out flew all the terrible things like greed and envy, hatred and cruelty, poverty and hunger, sickness and despair, and more .. .”The fable of Pandora’s Box applies well to Iraq. War supporters wish us to judge the invasion and war on the removal of the brutal Saddam Hussein. A broad up-to-date analysis yields a disturbingly more negative assessment, with implications reaching far into the future.Are the Iraqi people better off today? No. A 2004 Lancet study based on U.S. approved research methods puts the war’s Iraqi death toll at 100,000. However, Johns Hopkins epidemiologist Les Roberts, who led the study, said that the results were based on “conservative assumptions.” Deaths increased 1.5 times since the invasion, mostly among women and children, and caused by diverse factors, like U.S. air strikes and military interventions, devastated water and health care systems, and militia or death squad activities. International news sources cite studies pointing “to about 250,000 excess deaths since the outbreak of the U.S.-led war" when deaths in Falluja are included.Surviving Iraqis confront multiplying tragedies: Poverty rose to 20%; A year-old UN report shows childhood malnutrition doubled; Minority Rights Group International cites Iraq as the country where minority rights are most under threat; the brain-drain of professionals leaving Iraq takes away its future; a rampant "kidnap-and-ransom" industry complicates security; inflation is skyrocketing; the U.S. backed Iraqi constitution privatizes State industries, expatriating profits into Western pockets; and the budget for the highly touted U.S. Iraqi reconstruction has dried up. Iraq is a deadly mess.Even if Iraq overcomes internal maladies, effects reaching beyond its borders make this war a disaster for the world and the U.S.Is the world (including the U.S.) safer? No. Ethnic cleansing in Iraq is pushing the country closer to civil war, risking chaos in the region. The International Institute for Strategic Studies (London) stated “al-Qaeda's recruitment and fundraising was greatly boosted by the U.S. invasion of Iraq.” Militants expanded their influence across the region, be it the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the growing militant threat on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan (New York Times), increased al-Qaeda influence in Afghanistan (noted by its Defense Minister), the recent success by Hamas in Palestine, and the hard-liners in Iran (now also influencing Iraq).Iraq is now a breeding ground for terrorism. An embarrassed State Department discontinued its annual terrorism report because international terrorist attacks are at the highest level since the first report in 1984. The U.S. sponsored National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism counted 3,991 global terrorist attacks in 2005, up 51% from 2,639 in 2004. Ironically, a war intended to produce freedom has, according to Amnesty International, lead to an increase in worldwide human rights violations. Tyrants can legitimately argue that since the U.S. waged pre-emptive war, so can they. In 2003, North Korea stated “preemptive attacks are not the exclusive right of the U.S.”U.S. foreign policy has also suffered, with our reputation at an all time low. We found no WMDs. We just heard from a former CIA chief for the Middle East that the Administration “cherry- picked“ pre-war intelligence. Britain’s Downing Street memo stated that U.S. “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” of invasion. Western Alliances are in tatters, while our self-declared “New American Century” has us creating a world empire, with Iraq being the first step.' Lees verder:
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12016.htm

Fukuyama Ontdekt de Werkelijkheid

De neoconservatieve ideoloog Francis Fukuyama heeft ontdekt wat mensen met enig gezond verstand allang wisten. De New Scotsman bericht: 'NEOCONSERVATISM has failed the United States and needs to be replaced by a more realistic foreign policy agenda, according to one of its prime architects. Francis Fukuyama, who wrote the best-selling book The End of History and was a member of the neoconservative project, now says that, both as a political symbol and a body of thought, it has "evolved into something I can no longer support". He says it should be discarded on to history's pile of discredited ideologies. In an extract from his forthcoming book, America at the Crossroads, Mr Fukuyama declares that the doctrine "is now in shambles" and that its failure has demonstrated "the danger of good intentions carried to extremes". In its narrowest form, neoconservatism advocates the use of military force, unilaterally if necessary, to replace autocratic regimes with democratic ones. Mr Fukuyama once supported regime change in Iraq and was a signatory to a 1998 letter sent by the Project for a New American Century to the then president, Bill Clinton, urging the US to step up its efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from power. It was also signed by neoconservative intellectuals, such as Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, and political figures Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and the current defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. However, Mr Fukuyama now thinks the war in Iraq is the wrong sort of war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. "The most basic misjudgment was an overestimation of the threat facing the United States from radical Islamism," he argues. "Although the new and ominous possibility of undeterrable terrorists armed with weapons of mass destruction did indeed present itself, advocates of the war wrongly conflated this with the threat presented by Iraq and with the rogue state/proliferation problem more generally." Mr Fukuyama, one of the US's most influential public intellectuals, concludes that "it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention [in Iraq] itself or the ideas animating it kindly". Going further, he says the movements' advocates are Leninists who "believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will. Leninism was a tragedy in its Bolshevik version, and it has returned as farce when practised by the United States".' Lees verder: http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=266122006 Of: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12006.htm

Iran 15

Hoe de commerciele media onderdeel zijn geworden van de oorlogspropaganda beschrijft Mike Whitney in Information Clearing House: 'Iran was not referred to the Security Council for Noncompliance. How powerful is the corporate information-system we call the mainstream media? Is it powerful enough, for example, to mislead the public into believing that Iran has been “referred” to the United Nations Security Council for violations to the NPT, thus paving the way for another war on the back of false information? The IAEA DID NOT report on Iran’s “noncompliance” to the Security Council, because there is no evidence that Iran has done anything wrong. In fact, as nuclear physicist Gordon Prather points out in his recent article, “March Madness”, “THE BOARD DIDN’T REPORT ANYTHING.” Then why does the media keep insisting that Iran is being called before the Security Council for noncompliance? Could it be that the media is simply executing an agenda that is deliberately designed to deceive? There was no “referral” and there will be no “punitive action” because there are no violations. “Rather”, as Prather ads, “the IAEA Board ‘REQUESTED’ that Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei report to the Security Council”…”calling on Iran to-among other things-implement ‘transparency measures’”. These “transparency measures” have nothing to do with Iran’s obligations under the NPT. They are additional demands made at the behest of the Bush administration (through strong-arm tactics with nations on the IAEA Board) that will force Iran to provide access to “individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual-use equipment, certain military owned workshops, and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations”. What does this mean? It means that the Bush administration, which has already demonstrated its hostile intentions towards Iran, will be able to operate secretly behind its surrogates in the IAEA to locate all of Iran’s conventional weapons sites, radar facilities, and military installations so they can easily destroy Iran’s defensive capability when the inevitable attack is launched. Isn’t this the same trap that Saddam fell into? So, why is the IAEA facilitating another war by placating the Bush administration instead of condemning its obvious belligerence? The IAEA members are well-aware of the propaganda that is currently circulating in the wire-services and newspapers. Why are they playing along? Do they really believe that war can be averted by capitulation to the superpower?' Lees verder: http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12002.htm

Het failliete Amerika 12

Het aantal armen in de Verenigde Staten ligt naar alle waarschijnlijkheid veel hoger dan de officiele cijfers aangeven. Common Dreams bericht: 'Calculating Poverty in U.S. Fuels Debate. WASHINGTON - Every year, the Census Bureau uses a 40-year-old formula to determine how many poor people there are in America, a method that many experts think was outdated years ago. The Census Bureau acknowledges the issue by also announcing alternative poverty rates based on different measurements of income and poverty. This approach has fueled an academic and political debate, but has yet to produce policy changes. In August, the bureau announced that 12.7 percent of Americans lived in poverty in 2004, making it the official poverty rate. Last week, the bureau said the rate might be as high as 19.4 percent, or as low as 8.3 percent, depending on how income and basic living costs were defined. One outside analyst said he could cut the poverty rate in half using census data and a pocket calculator. But his exercise would change only the definition of poverty. It wouldn't make anyone richer. "I know virtually no one who thinks the current poverty line is an accurate measure of poverty," said Rebecca Blank, co-director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan. Blank served on a National Academy of Sciences panel that recommended changes to the poverty measure 10 years ago. But the issue was too politically sensitive to resolve, she and others said. Some proponents of change want a higher poverty rate to encourage spending on the poor; others want a lower rate to make it easier to cut spending. "Everybody's got their favorite way of measuring it because the outcome fits their needs," said Martha Farnsworth Riche, who headed the Census Bureau under President Clinton. The Office of Management and Budget dictates how poverty is measured. But Congress has a keen interest in the issue because it affects so many programs, dollars and lives, Riche said... ''I know virtually no one who thinks the current poverty line is an accurate measure of poverty.' Rebecca Blank, co-director, National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.''' Leeds verder:
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0221-06.htm

dinsdag 21 februari 2006

De Oorlogsstaat 19

Omdat de oorlogsstaat in permanente staat van oorlog is, wordt het voor het Amerikaanse leger steeds moeilijker om genoeg rekruten te ronselen. De Boston. Com bericht: 'Struggling for recruits, Army relaxes its rules. Fitness, education, age criteria change... With more than 2,200 dead and 16,700 wounded, and a large percentage of Americans disapproving of the war in Iraq, the US military is struggling to meet its recruiting goals. With little fanfare, the Army has eased enlistment restrictions, allowing soldiers previously considered too heavy, too old, too sickly, or too uneducated to head off to basic training. In January, the enlistment age for active-duty Army recruits was raised from 35 to 40. Late last year, a key drug test for recent use of marijuana was softened. Last fall, a high school equivalency program was put in place for high school dropouts. And last spring, a ban on childhood asthmatics was removed. But in a country where the rate of teenage obesity climbed from 5 percent to 16 percent over the last 30 years, perhaps the most significant revision is a loophole that allows recruits who are too heavy to meet weight or body fat limits to take the fitness test anyway. ''There's just a lot of kids sitting around playing Xbox and eating junk food," said Lieutenant Commander Renee J. Squier, who oversees the fitness test in Chicopee. ''We lose a fair amount of people because they're really out of shape."' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/022106G.shtml

Irak 26

Le Monde bericht over het economisch failliet van de Irak bezetting: 'The confession came Thursday in Washington. As the Bush administration prepares to ask Congress for a supplementary expense budget to cover the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came before the Senate Finance Committee to explain that the Iraqi situation was improving in spite of all the difficulties. Ms. Rice was caught out in mid-flight by the Democratic Senator from North Dakota: "The Inspector General for Iraqi construction told us the opposite a few days ago," declared Kent Conrad. "We have the Inspector General saying things are getting worse even though we have provided a lot of money. Who are we to believe?" The Secretary of State mumbled. Then she had to admit the facts. The facts are terrible. Inspector General Stuart Bowen came before the Senate February 8. Nominated by Congress at the end of 2004 to put some order into the delays, the chaos, the fraud, and the seepage that characterized the first months after the American military victory, Mr. Bowen acknowledged that "changes which occurred, notably security conditions, have changed perspectives." The gap between the reconstruction objectives settled upon after Saddam Hussein's overthrow in 2003 and reality only continue to grow. Of the 136 planned water projects, only 49, or 36%, have been completed. "Most of the purification, irrigation and damming projects have had to be abandoned." A total of 2,200 megawatts of supplementary electric capacity have been built, while 3,400 megawatts were necessary. Consequences: Infrastructure has deteriorated compared to the Saddam Hussein era and critical services offered to the population are inferior to what they were. Less electricity is produced and current is only available 3.7 hours a day in Baghdad, compared to 16-24 hours before the war. It's a little better in the rest of the country: 10 hours compared to 4 to 8 hours. Only a third of the population has access to potable water (8.25 million) versus half under Saddam (12.9 million). Five million people have sewer access compared to 6.2 million before. The heaviest failure involves oil: production has only reached 2 million barrels a day (other estimates suggest 1.7 million) although it was 2.58 million previously. Fortunately, with crude prices up to 60 dollars a barrel, revenues have followed.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/022006H.shtml Of in het Frans: http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3232,36-742714,0.html

De Israelische Terreur 5


De dagelijkse Iraelische terreur in Palestijns gebied. De voormalige Amerikaanse president Jimmy Carter waarschuwt in de Washington Post de Palestijnenen niet verder onder druk te zetten door ze te straffen voor hun democratische keuze van Hamas: 'During this time of fluidity in the formation of the new government, it is important that Israel and the United States play positive roles. Any tacit or formal collusion between the two powers to disrupt the process by punishing the Palestinian people could be counterproductive and have devastating consequences. Unfortunately, these steps are already underway and are well known throughout the Palestinian territories and the world. Israel moved yesterday to withhold funds (about $50 million per month) that the Palestinians earn from customs and tax revenue. Perhaps a greater aggravation by the Israelis is their decision to hinder movement of elected Hamas Palestinian Legislative Council members through any of more than a hundred Israeli checkpoints around and throughout the Palestinian territories. This will present significant obstacles to a government's functioning effectively. Abbas informed me after the election that the Palestinian Authority was $900 million in debt and that he would be unable to meet payrolls during February. Knowing that Hamas would inherit a bankrupt government, U.S. officials have announced that all funding for the new government will be withheld, including what is needed to pay salaries for schoolteachers, nurses, social workers, police and maintenance personnel. So far they have not agreed to bypass the Hamas-led government and let humanitarian funds be channeled to Palestinians through United Nations agencies responsible for refugees, health and other human services. This common commitment to eviscerate the government of elected Hamas officials by punishing private citizens may accomplish this narrow purpose, but the likely results will be to alienate the already oppressed and innocent Palestinians, to incite violence, and to increase the domestic influence and international esteem of Hamas. It will certainly not be an inducement to Hamas or other militants to moderate their policies. The election of Hamas candidates cannot adversely affect genuine peace talks, since such talks have been nonexistent for over five years.' Lees verder: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/19/AR2006021901138.html Of: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/022106Z.shtml

Martelen 21


Een extra 340 miljoen euro heeft de Nederlandse regering uitgetrokken om namens ons het misdadige beleid van de regering Bush in het Midden Oosten te steunen. Ondertussen protesteren steeds meer Amerikaanse autoriteiten tegen die terreur. De New York Times bericht: 'One of the Pentagon's top civilian lawyers repeatedly challenged the Bush administration's policy on the coercive interrogation of terror suspects, arguing that such practices violated the law, verged on torture and could ultimately expose senior officials to prosecution, a newly disclosed document shows. The lawyer, Alberto J. Mora, a political appointee who retired Dec. 31 after more than four years as general counsel of the Navy, was one of many dissenters inside the Pentagon. Senior uniformed lawyers in all the military services also objected sharply to the interrogation policy, according to internal documents declassified last year. But Mr. Mora's campaign against what he viewed as an official policy of cruel treatment, detailed in a memorandum he wrote in July 2004 and recounted in an article in the Feb. 27 issue of The New Yorker magazine, made public yesterday, underscored again how contrary views were often brushed aside in administration debates on the subject. "Even if one wanted to authorize the U.S. military to conduct coercive interrogations, as was the case in Guantánamo, how could one do so without profoundly altering its core values and character?" Mr. Mora asked the Pentagon's chief lawyer, William J. Haynes II, according to the memorandum.' Lees verder: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/022006K.shtml

Propaganda 10












Propaganda is soms bijna onzichtbaar. De onafhankelijke journalist William Bowles geeft enkele voorbeelden. 'Media Misinformation RoundupHow the BBC and the Guardian transform torture into bad PR and “history” for the occupiers. The Western propaganda onslaught is relentless and most goes unnoticed largely because it appears to be ‘objective’ reporting. What is important to note with this alleged news is the insidious nature of the way events are presented to us, cloaked in seemingly innocuous language, yet an entire mindset is embedded in the way events are presented. Take this piece on the BBC’s Website, "Oil attacks costing Iraq $6.25bn
Iraqi oil exports have been hit by attacks on oil pipelines. Attacks by insurgents on Iraq’s oil industry cost the country $6.25bn (£3.6bn) in lost revenue during 2005, according to the Iraqi oil ministry. A total of 186 attacks were carried out on oil sites last year, claiming the lives of 47 engineers and 91 police and security guards, a spokesman said. Iraq’s government has been struggling in the wake of a violent insurgency following the US-led invasion in 2003." news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4729178.stm Hidden in this piece of newspeak are a couple of assumptions about the cause of the losses. Firstly, surely it’s the illegal occupation that’s responsible for the losses, not the resistance which has every right to use whatever means necessary to make the USUK occupation untenable, especially depriving them of the oil that belongs to the Iraqi people. Secondly, the piece uses the phrase “violent insurgency following the US-led invasion in 2003". Surely the invasion, which led to at least 100,000 deaths, was violent, so why doesn’t the article say ‘following the violent invasion…’? The “violent insurgency” is in reality a quite legitimate and legal response to an invasion that broke every international treaty the US and the UK are party to.' Lees verder: http://williambowles.info/ini/2006/0206/ini-0395.html

Iran 14

Dit zijn de Bushehr nucleaire reactors. 'In 1974, the German contractor Siemens began construction of two 1,200-1,300 megawatt electric (MWe) pressurized water nuclear reactors near Bushehr. The German program included 2100 German workers and roughly 7000 Iranian workers. The Shah of Iran intended that this program would provide Iran with the infrastructure essential for industrializing the country.' William O. Beeman, a Brown University professor of anthropology and Middle East Studies, is author of "The 'Great Satan' vs. the 'Mad Mullahs': How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other." Hij schrijft: 'U.S. instigated Iran's nuclear policy in the '70s. The White House staff members who are trying to prevent Iran from developing its own nuclear-energy capacity, and who refuse to take military action against Iran "off the table," have conveniently forgotten that the United States was the midwife to the Iranian nuclear program 30 years ago. Every aspect of Iran's current nuclear development was approved and encouraged by Washington in the 1970s. President Gerald Ford offered Iran a full nuclear cycle in 1976. Moreover, the only Iranian reactor currently about to become operative - the reactor in Bushire (also known as Bushehr) - was started before the Iranian revolution with U.S. approval, and cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium... The American push for Iran's nuclear development was carried out with great enthusiasm. Prof. Ahmad Sadri, chairman of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College in Illinois was a young man in Iran when the United States was touting nuclear-power facilities to the government of the Shah in the 1970s. He remembers seeing the American display at the Tehran International Exhibition, which was "dedicated to the single theme of extolling the virtues of atomic energy and the feasibility of its transfer to Iran." Sadri also remembers an encounter with Octave J. Du Temple, executive director emeritus of the American Nuclear Society, who fondly reminisced about half a dozen trips to Tehran in the early '70s to participate in meetings on "transfer of nuclear technology." Donald Weadon, an international lawyer active in Iran during that period, points out that after 1972 and the oil crisis, the United States was rabidly pursuing investment opportunities in Iran, including selling nuclear-power plants. He writes that "the Iranians were wooed hard with the prospect of nuclear power from trusted U.S.-backed suppliers, with the prospect of the reservation of significant revenues from oil exports for foreign and domestic investment." American dissimulation on this point reveals some interesting motives on Washington's part. Iran under the Shah was as much of a threat to its neighbors - including Iraq - as it might be said to be today; its nuclear ambitions then could have been inflated and denigrated in exactly the same way that they are being inflated and denigrated today. But the United States was blissfully unconcerned. The big difference today is that Iran is now perceived to be a threat to Israel, and this fuels much of the threat of military action.' Lees verder: http://www.sacbee.com/24hour/opinions/story/3178566p-11887465c.html

maandag 20 februari 2006

Het failliete Amerika 11



De Observer bericht: '37 Million Poor Hidden in the Land of Plenty. Americans have always believed that hard work will bring rewards, but vast numbers now cannot meet their bills even with two or three jobs. More than one in 10 citizens live below the poverty line, and the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening. The flickering television in Candy Lumpkins's trailer blared out The Bold and the Beautiful. It was a fantasy daytime soap vision of American life with little relevance to the reality of this impoverished corner of Kentucky. The Lumpkins live at the definition of the back of beyond, in a hollow at the top of a valley at the end of a long and muddy dirt road. It is strewn with litter. Packs of stray dogs prowl around, barking at strangers. There is no telephone and since their pump broke two weeks ago Candy has collected water from nearby springs. Oblivious to it all, her five-year-old daughter Amy runs barefoot on a wooden porch frozen by a midwinter chill.
It is a vision of deep and abiding poverty. Yet the Lumpkins are not alone in their plight. They are just the negative side of the American equation. America does have vast, wealthy suburbs, huge shopping malls and a busy middle class, but it also has vast numbers of poor, struggling to make it in a low-wage economy with minimal government help. A shocking 37 million Americans live in poverty. That is 12.7 per cent of the population - the highest percentage in the developed world. They are found from the hills of Kentucky to Detroit's streets, from the Deep South of Louisiana to the heartland of Oklahoma. Each year since 2001 their number has grown.
Under President George W Bush an extra 5.4 million have slipped below the poverty line. Yet they are not a story of the unemployed or the destitute. Most have jobs. Many have two. Amos Lumpkins has work and his children go to school. But the economy, stripped of worker benefits like healthcare, is having trouble providing good wages. Even families with two working parents are often one slice of bad luck - a medical bill or factory closure - away from disaster. The minimum wage of $5.15 (£2.95) an hour has not risen since 1997 and, adjusted for inflation, is at its lowest since 1956. The gap between the haves and the have-nots looms wider than ever. Faced with rising poverty rates, Bush's trillion-dollar federal budget recently raised massive amounts of defence spending for the war in Iraq and slashed billions from welfare programmes.' Lees verder: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329415755-119093,00.html Of: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0219-06.htm Dit is het product van de neoliberale ideologie die overal ter wereld slachtoffers maakt. Daarover horen we nooit iets van het christelijk-liberale kabinet Balkenende, dat dezelfde politiek aanhangt.

Wetenschappelijke Vredesactivisten


De New York Times bericht: 'At a Scientific Gathering, US Policies Are Lamented. David Baltimore, the Nobel Prize-winning biologist and president of the California Institute of Technology, is used to the Bush administration misrepresenting scientific findings to support its policy aims, he told an audience of fellow researchers Saturday. Each time it happens, he said, "I shrug and say, 'What do you expect?' " But then, Dr. Baltimore went on, he began to read about the administration's embrace of the theory of the unitary executive, the idea that the executive branch has the power or even the obligation to act without restraint from Congress. And he began to see in a new light widely reported episodes of government scientists being restricted in what they could say in public. "It's no accident that we are seeing such an extensive suppression of scientific freedom," he said. "It's part of the theory of government now, and it's a theory we need to vociferously oppose." Far from twisting science to suit its own goals, he said, the government should be "the guardian of intellectual freedom."Dr. Baltimore spoke at a session here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Though it was organized too late for inclusion in the overall meeting catalogue, the session drew hundreds of scientists who crowded a large meeting room and applauded enthusiastically as speakers denounced administration policies they said threatened not just sound science but also the nation's research pre-eminence. The session was organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit organization that has been highly critical of the Bush administration... Susan F. Wood, former director of the office of women's health at the Food and Drug Administration, said administration interference with the agency's scientific and regulatory processes had left morale there at a "nadir."' Lees verder:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/19/national/19science.html?pagewanted=print Of:
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0219-04.htm Nu de Nederlandse wetenschappers nog. Geen overbodige luxe gezien het feit dat het Nederlandse parlement het misdadige Bush-beleid steunt door het zenden van nog meer militairen naar Afghanistan.