zaterdag 15 april 2006

Iran 28

De Guardian bericht: 'Britain Took Part in Mock Iran Invasion. Pentagon planned for Tehran conflict with war game involving UK troops. British officers took part in a US war game aimed at preparing for a possible invasion of Iran, despite repeated claims by the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, that a military strike against Iran is inconceivable. The war game, codenamed Hotspur 2004, took place at the US base of Fort Belvoir in Virginia in July 2004. A Ministry of Defence spokesman played down its significance yesterday. "These paper-based exercises are designed to test officers to the limit in fictitious scenarios. We use invented countries and situations using real maps," he said. The disclosure of Britain's participation came in the week in which the Iranian crisis intensified, with a US report that the White House was contemplating a tactical nuclear strike and Tehran defying the United Nations security council. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, who sparked outrage in the US, Europe and Israel last year by calling for Israel to be wiped off the face of the Earth, created more alarm yesterday. He told a conference in Tehran in support of the Palestinians: "Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation. The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."
The senior British officers took part in the Iranian war game just over a year after the invasion of Iraq. It was focused on the Caspian Sea, with an invasion date of 2015. Although the planners said the game was based on a fictitious Middle East country called Korona, the border corresponded exactly with Iran's and the characteristics of the enemy were Iranian. A British medium-weight brigade operated as part of a US-led force. The MoD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, which helped run the war game, described it on its website as the "year's main analytical event of the UK-US Future Land Operations Interoperability Study" aimed at ensuring that both armies work well together. The study "was extremely well received on both sides of the Atlantic". According to an MoD source, war games covering a variety of scenarios are conducted regularly by senior British officers in the UK, the US or at Nato headquarters. He cited senior military staff carrying out a mock invasion of southern England last week and one of Scotland in January. However, Hotspur took place at a time of accelerated US planning after the fall of Baghdad for a possible conflict with Iran. That planning is being carried out by US Central Command, responsible for the Middle East and central Asia area of operations, and by Strategic Command, which carries out long-range bombing and nuclear operations. William Arkin, a former army intelligence officer who first reported on the contingency planning for a possible nuclear strike against Iran in his military column for the Washington Post online, said: "The United States military is really, really getting ready, building war plans and options, studying maps, shifting its thinking."' Lees verder:,,1754307,00.html Of:

Martelen 35

De New York Times bericht: ' Crunch Weeks Ahead for Europe's CIA Probes. Berlin - After months without a breakthrough, European investigators probing alleged CIA abuses in the war on terrorism are starting to sound more hopeful and will seek new evidence in the next few weeks. A Washington Post report last November that the US Central Intelligence Agency had run secret prisons in Eastern Europe for al Qaeda suspects unleashed a spate of investigations which have so far failed to produce a "smoking gun." But after several months when the issue largely faded from view, two developments in the past eight days have generated new headlines. First Amnesty International detailed the case of three Yemeni men who were held for 13 months until May 2005 at a secret US facility, possibly in Eastern Europe. Then the Council of Europe, a human rights organization, said on Wednesday at least one European state had admitted to handing over terrorism suspects to foreign agents. "We have received official acknowledgement of 'handing over' individuals to foreign officials" in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, Council head Terry Davis said, declining to name the country involved. He may have been referring to Sweden, where a parliamentary ombudsman has criticized the security services over the expulsion of two Egyptian terrorism suspects who were handed over to US agents and flown home aboard a US government-leased plane in 2001. Human Rights Watch has said there is credible evidence they were later tortured.
The Swedish government declined this week to comment, but opposition lawmaker Cecilia Wikstrom told Reuters: "I would put some money on Sweden. I would not be surprised if it's Sweden that he (Davis) meant." Sarah Ludford, a British Liberal Democrat member of a European Parliament committee investigating CIA prisons and secret flights across Europe, agreed Sweden was an obvious possibility but it would be "intriguing" if Davis was on to something new.' Lees verder: Of:

De Pro Israel Lobby 8

De Amerikaanse journalist Norman Solomon schrijft: 'Foreclosing a Media Debate on U.S. Policies Toward Israel. Weeks after a British magazine published a long article by two American professors titled “The Israel Lobby,” the outrage continues to howl through mainstream U.S. media. A Los Angeles Times Op-Ed article by Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Max Boot helped to set a common tone. He condemned a working paper by professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt that was excerpted last month in the London Review of Books. The working paper, Boot proclaimed, is “nutty.” And he strongly implied that the two professors—Mearsheimer at the University of Chicago and Walt at Harvard—are anti-Semitic. Many who went on the media attack did more than imply. On April 3, for instance, the same day that The Philadelphia Inquirer reprinted Boot’s piece from the L.A. Times, a notably similar Op-Ed appeared in The Boston Herald under the headline “Anti-Semitic Paranoia at Harvard.” And so it goes in the national media echo chamber. When a Johns Hopkins University professor weighed in Wednesday on the Op-Ed page of The Washington Post, the headline was blunt: “Yes, It’s Anti-Semitic.” The piece flatly called the Mearsheimer-Walt essay “kooky academic work”—and “anti-Semitic.” But nothing in the essay is anti-Semitic. Some of the analysis from Mearsheimer and Walt is arguable. A number of major factors affect Uncle Sam’s Middle East policies, in addition to pro-Israel pressures. But no one can credibly deny that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, where politicians know that they can criticize Israel only at their political peril. Overall, the Mearsheimer-Walt essay makes many solid points about destructive aspects of U.S. support for the Israeli government. Their assessments deserve serious consideration. For several decades, to the present moment, Israel’s treatment of Palestinian people has amounted to methodical and despicable violations of human rights. Yet criticism of those policies from anyone (including American Jews such as myself) routinely results in accusations of anti-Jewish bigotry.' Lees verder:

Klimaatverandering 32

De Washington Post bericht: 'Warming Arctic Is Taking a Toll. Peril to Walrus Young Seen as Result of Melting Ice Shelf. The rapid melting of Arctic sea ice appears to be separating walrus young from their mothers, leaving them likely to die at sea, a team of researchers said.
During a two-month cruise off northern Alaska in 2004, a Coast Guard icebreaker came across nine lone walrus calves swimming in the deep waters -- what the scientists called a highly unusual sighting. They report in the journal Aquatic Mammals that the pups most likely fell into the sea when a shelf of sea ice that they lived on with their mothers collapsed because of an influx of unusually warm water. "We were on a station for 24 hours, and the calves would be swimming around us crying," said Carin Ashjian, a biologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and a member of the research team. "We couldn't rescue them."
Walrus mothers and their young rarely separate during the first two years of life, which they spend mostly on sea ice that covers shallow continental shelf waters. The adult walruses feed on crabs and clams on the sea bottom and return to the ice and their cubs, who survive on mother's milk.' Lees verder:

Martelen 34

Het onafhankelijke Salon.Com bericht: 'New Report: Rumsfeld ''Personally Involved'' In Torture Allegations at Gitmo. Salon reports new evidence that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was intimately involved in prisoner abuse at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
According to a Dec. 20, 2005 Army inspector general's report on Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commanding general in charge of Gitmo, Rumsfeld approved an interrogation plan for Mohammed al-Kahtani, the alleged 20th hijacker: In a sworn statement to the inspector general, [Lt. Gen. Randall] Schmidt described Rumsfeld as "personally involved" in the interrogation and said that the defense secretary was "talking weekly" with Miller. Rumsfeld developed an interrogation plan that required the Gitmo detainee to "stand naked in front of a female interrogator, was accused of being a homosexual, and was forced to wear women's underwear and to perform 'dog tricks' on a leash." Schmidt said that the open-ended policies Rumsfeld approved, and that the apparent lack of supervision of day-to-day interrogations permitted the wide-scale abuse to take place. The report contradicts Rumsfeld's earlier statements. The people down there at Guantanamo Bay, under the President's orders, have been treated humanely and they should be treated humanely…There's no torture going on down there and there hasn't been. [WPHT-AM Philadelphia, 6/21/05] And let there be no doubt, the treatment of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay is proper, it's humane, it's appropriate, and it is fully consistent with international conventions. No detainee has been harmed, no detainee has been mistreated in any way. [DoD Briefing, 1/22/02] Only relatively low-ranking military officials have been punished but the abuse of detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere started at the top.' Lees verder: Of:

Iran 27

Na het enorme succes in Irak roepen de Amerikaanse neoconservatieven op tot nog meer oorlog. Inter Press Service bericht: 'To Battle Stations! To Battle Stations! WASHINGTON - In a veritable blitz of editorials and opinion pieces published Wednesday and Thursday, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard and the National Review warned that Tehran had passed a significant benchmark in what they declared was its quest for nuclear weapons and that the administration must now plan in earnest to destroy Iran's known nuclear facilities, as well as possible military targets to prevent it from retaliating. Comparing Iran's alleged push to gain a nuclear weapon to Adolf Hitler's 1936 march on the Rhineland, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol called for undertaking "serious preparation for possible military action -- including real and urgent operational planning for bombing strikes and for the consequences of such strikes". "(A) great nation has to be serious about its responsibilities," according to Kristol, a leading neo-conservative champion of the Iraq war and co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, "even if executing other responsibilities has been more difficult than one would have hoped." The National Review, another prominent right-wing weekly, echoed the call. "Any air campaign should coupled with aggressive and persistent efforts to topple the regime from within," advised its lead editorial, entitled "Iran, Now", and almost certainly written by Michael Ledeen of the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). "Accordingly, it should hit not just the nuclear facilities, but also the symbols of state oppression: the intelligence ministry, the headquarters of the Revolutionary Guard, the guard towers of the notorious Evin Prison." The hawks' latest campaign appeared timed not only to the alarm created by Iran's nuclear achievement and by a spate of reports last weekend regarding the advanced state of U.S. war plans, but also to counter new appeals by a number of prominent and more mainstream former policy-makers for Washington to engage Iran in direct negotiations. ' Lees verder:

vrijdag 14 april 2006

John Pilger 7

Voor ITV maakte John Pilger de volgende documentaire over het Westerse terrorisme. 'Breaking The Silence. A hard hitting special report into the "war on terror"Award winning journalist John Pilger.
Both Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, and Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's closest adviser, made clear before September 11 2001 that Saddam Hussein was no threat - to America, Europe or the Middle East.
In Cairo, on February 24 2001, Powell said: "He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours."This is the very opposite of what Bush and Blair said in public.Powell even boasted that it was the US policy of "containment" that had effectively disarmed the Iraqi dictator - again the very opposite of what Blair said time and again. On May 15 2001, Powell went further and said that Saddam Hussein had not been able to "build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction" for "the last 10 years". America, he said, had been successful in keeping him "in a box".Two months later, Condoleezza Rice also described a weak, divided and militarily defenceless Iraq. "Saddam does not control the northern part of the country," she said. "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."' U kunt de hele documentaire hier zien:

Colin Powell

Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Independent Media TV and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government. In Information Clearing House schrijft ze: 'This week I read an article by Rorbert Sheer, that said Colin Powell now says that he and his department's top experts never believed that Iraq posed an imminent nuclear threat, but that Bush followed misleading advice from Dick Cheney and the CIA in making the claim. To that I say, not so fast Mr Powell, the time to come clean has long passed. In fact, the window of truth-telling time for you ended when the first US soldier was killed in Iraq. This admission proves that Colin knew the truth and could have stopped the freight train long before it made it to Iraq. Picture this. The day before Congress is to vote on the resolution, Colin Powell, the only Bush administration official with any hands-on experience with war, schedules a public news conference on all the major television networks, and says: "Saddam does not pose an imminent threat, I do not believe we need to go to war in Iraq, and I am quitting my job today because the administration is about to engage us in a war I cannot support." Think about that for a minute. And then think about how many members of Congress would have voted differently if Colin Powell had stepped up to the plate. But no, he just kept right on lying. For whatever reason, it matters not. Mr Sheer asked Colin about the Niger statement in Bush's State of the Union speech. "That was a big mistake," Colin said. "It should never have been in the speech." "I didn't need Wilson to tell me that there wasn't a Niger connection," he told Mr Sheer. "He didn't tell us anything we didn't already know," Colin said. "I never believed it." When Mr Sheer asked why Bush played up the nuclear threat, he responded like a little kid tattling on another kid to save his own butt, and pointed the finger at the Vice President. "That was all Cheney," he said.' Lees verder:

Jackson Browne

Iraqi children cry next to the body of a boy killed in U.S. airstrikes in Ramadi, Iraq, in this Monday Oct. 17 2005 file photo. U.S. warplanes and helicopters bombed two villages near the restive city of Ramadi, killing an estimated 70 militants, the military said Monday, though witnesses said at least 39 of the dead were civilians. The number of Iraqis who have died violently since the U.S.-led invasion is many times larger than the U.S. military death toll of 2,000 in Iraq. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Jackson Browne: Stop killing children. Lives In The Balance (Exclusive Video) From Jackson Browne Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1 Zie:

John Pilger 6

John Pilger schrijft: 'Freedom dies quietly. The bill marks the end of true parliamentary democracy; it is as significant as Congress abandoning the Bill of RightsBy John Pilger 04/13/06 "ICH" -- -- People ask: can this be happening in Britain? Surely not. A centuries-old democratic constitution cannot be swept away. Basic human rights cannot be made abstract. Those who once comforted themselves that a Labour government would never commit such an epic crime in Iraq might now abandon a last delusion, that their freedom is inviolable. If they knew. The dying of freedom in Britain is not news. The pirouettes of the Prime Minister and his political twin, the Chancellor, are news, though of minimal public interest. Looking back to the 1930s, when social democracies were distracted and powerful cliques imposed their totalitarian ways by stealth and silence, the warning is clear. The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill has already passed its second parliamentary reading without interest to most Labour MPs and court journalists; yet it is utterly totalitarian in scope. It is presented by the government as a simple measure for streamlining deregulation, or "getting rid of red tape", yet the only red tape it will actually remove is that of parliamentary scrutiny of government legislation, including this remarkable bill. It will mean that the government can secretly change the Parliament Act, and the constitution and laws can be struck down by decree from Downing Street. Blair has demonstrated his taste for absolute power with his abuse of the royal prerogative, which he has used to bypass parliament in going to war and in dismissing landmark high court judgments, such as that which declared illegal the expulsion of the entire population of the Chagos Islands, now the site of an American military base. The new bill marks the end of true parliamentary democracy; in its effect, it is as significant as the US Congress last year abandoning the Bill of Rights. Those who fail to hear these steps on the road to dictatorship should look at the government's plans for ID cards, described in its manifesto as "voluntary". They will be compulsory and worse. An ID card will be different from a driving licence or passport. It will be connected to a database called the NIR (National Identity Register), where your personal details will be stored. These will include your fingerprints, a scan of your iris, your residence status and unlimited other details about your life. If you fail to keep an appointment to be photographed and fingerprinted, you can be fined up to £2,500. Every place that sells alcohol or cigarettes, every post office, every pharmacy and every bank will have an NIR terminal where you can be asked to "prove who you are". Each time you swipe the card, a record will be made at the NIR - so, for instance, the government will know every time you withdraw more than £99 from your bank account. Restaurants and off-licences will demand that the card be swiped so that they are indemnified from prosecution. Private business will have full access to the NIR. If you apply for a job, your card will have to be swiped. If you want a London Underground Oyster card, or a supermarket loyalty card, or a telephone line or a mobile phone or an internet account, your ID card will have to be swiped. In other words, there will be a record of your movements, your phone calls and shopping habits, even the kind of medication you take. These databases, which can be stored in a device the size of a hand, will be sold to third parties without you knowing. The ID card will not be your property and the Home Secretary will have the right to revoke or suspend it at any time without explanation. This would prevent you drawing money from a bank. ID cards will not stop terrorists, as the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, has now admitted; the Madrid bombers all carried ID. On 26 March, the government moved to silence parliamentary opposition to the cards, announcing that a committee would investigate banning the House of Lords from blocking legislation contained in a party's manifesto. The Blair clique does not debate. Like the zealot in Downing Street, its "sincere belief" in its own veracity is quite enough. When the London School of Economics published a long study that in effect demolished the government's case for the cards, Clarke abused it for feeding a "media scare campaign".' Lees verder:

Het Nieuwe Fascisme

Dr. Gary Alan Scott is an associate professor of philosophy at Loyola College in Maryland and he is currently the Director of Loyola’s International Study Abroad Program in Leuven, Belgium. In Common Dreams begint hij zijn artikel over de opkomst van het fascisme in Amerika met een citaat van de Amerikaanse columnist Chris Floyd: '"Fascism in America won’t come with jackboots, book burnings, mass rallies, and fevered harangues, nor will it come with black helicopters or tanks on the street. It won’t come like a storm—but as a break in the weather, that sudden change of season you might feel when the wind shifts on an October evening: Everything is the same, but everything has changed. Something has gone, departed from the world, and a new reality will have taken its place. All the old forms will still be there: legislatures, elections, campaigns—plenty of bread and circuses. But “consent of the governed” will no longer apply; actual control of the state will have passed to a small and privileged group who rule for the benefit of their wealthy peers and corporate patrons. To be sure, there will be factional conflicts among the elite, and a degree of debate will be permitted; but no one outside the privileged circle will be allowed to influence state policy. Dissidents will be marginalized—usually by “the people” themselves. Deprived of historical knowledge by a thoroughly impoverished educational system designed to produce complacent consumers, left ignorant of current events by a corporate media devoted solely to profit, many will internalize the force-fed values of the ruling elite, and act accordingly. There will be little need for overt methods of control. The rulers will act in secret, for reasons of “national security,” and the people will not be permitted to know what goes on in their name. Actions once unthinkable will be accepted as routine: government by executive fiat, state murder of “enemies” selected by the leader, undeclared wars, torture, mass detentions without charge, the looting of the national treasury, the creation of huge new “security structures” targeted at the populace. In time, this will be seen as “normal,” as the chill of autumn feels normal when summer is gone. It will all seem normal." --Chris Floyd, November 10, 2001 Moscow Times (English edition)
04/12/06 "Common Dreams" -- -- Since the 1970’s, American businesses have grown larger and more monopolistic, helped along by deregulation, the repeal of anti-trust laws, and a steady transformation from manufacturing to capital management (dare I say, “capital manipulation”?). As Paul Bigioni puts it in his excellent essay entitled “The Real Threat of Fascism”: “If we are to protect ourselves from the growing political influence of Big Business, then our antitrust laws must be reconceived in a way which recognizes the political danger of monopolistic conditions.” Bigioni continues by emphasizing that “Antitrust laws do not just protect the marketplace, they protect democracy.” It is well to remember that conditions like these led to fascism in both Germany and Italy in the 1930’s, and Bigioni points out that the transformation toward fascism occurred in both countries while they were still liberal democracies. In America, since at least 1971, the rich have gotten much, much richer and the poor have become poorer and far more numerous, largely because our government now sees its primary function as serving the interests of Big Business and its Big Money. As of 2003, according to a Congressional Budget Office report, the top one percent of households in America accounted for 57.5% of America’s wealth, up from 38.7% only twelve years earlier. And this does not take into account the last three years of the Bush tax-cuts. In the U.S. today, there are 374 billionaires, approximately 25,000 deca-millionaires ($10,000,000-$999,000,000) and 2.5 million millionaires; and this does not even take into account the wealth of corporations! Under such conditions, competition is minimized or thwarted, and capital is exalted over labor, the consummation of Marx’s contention that “Capital is dead labor.” In every industry, huge monopolistic cartels dominate the playing field, following the spate of mergers and acquisitions throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. To cite just two examples: (1) Four media giants (AOL-Time Warner, Viacom, Disney, and Rupert Murdoch’s NewsGroup) control everything we read, view, listen to, see at movie houses, and do at entertainment parks. Just four conglomerates, which have oh so much in common with one another, produce (for profit) every newspaper, magazine, major internet site, movie, cd, dvd, television program, and so on. The pressure to stay within fairly narrow bounds of covering and the fear of losing one’s job should one “think outside the box” is detailed succinctly in Danny Schechter’s March 27, 2006 column the title of which is taken from a line Edward R. Morrow utters in the movie “Good Night and Good Luck”: “The Fear is in the Room: Inside our Unbrave Media World”; Robert Fisk’s March 19 column, “The Farcical End of the American Dream”; and Bill Gallagher’s March 28th column, “There is No ‘Good News’ in Iraq."' Lees verder: Of: Zie ook interview met Lewis Lapham over onder andere het Amerikaans fascisme:

Irak 65

De BBC bericht: 'US offers Babylon damage apology. A senior US marine officer says he is willing to apologise for the damage caused by his troops to the ancient Iraqi site of Babylon. US forces built a helicopter pad on the ancient ruins and filled their sandbags with archaeological material in the months following the 2003 invasion. Colonel Coleman was chief of staff at Babylon when it was occupied by the First Marine Expeditionary Force. Babylon's Hanging Gardens were among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Roof collapsed. Col Coleman told the BBC that if the Iraqis wanted an apology for the destruction caused by his men he was willing to give one.
The 2,000 troops who were deployed there did immense damage as they set up camp amidst the ruins of old temples. A helicopter pad was constructed at the site. The vibration from landings led the roof of one building to collapse. The soldiers also filled their sandbags with archaeological artefacts, just because they were lying around and easy to pick up.' Lees verder:

Het Gangstermeisje

Even roddelen. Kunt u zich nog dat sensationele artikel in de Volkskrant herinneren waarin ene Ottolien Lels, de boezemvriendin van Mabel Wisse Smit, verklaarde dat zij en niet Mabel de vriendin van de gangster Klaas Bruinsma was geweest? De hoofdredactie van de Volkskrant had toen via prins Bernhard hechte banden met het Koningshuis en wilde dat artikel best wel ongecheckt prominent plaatsen. Vandaag bericht de Volkskrant een opnieuw ongecheckt verhaal van een andere vriendin van Mabel, ene Daniela Hooghiemstra: 'Hooghiemstra was vanaf haar jeugd bevriend met Mabel Wisse Smit. Ze schreef voor NRC Handelsblad over het koninklijk huis. "Toen kwam Mabel ineens aan met Friso." In de aanloop naar de verloving bleek haar dat Johan Friso wist van Mabels verleden. Hooghiemstra vond dat ze daarover niet konden zwijgen. "Ik was een van de velen uit Mabels omgeving die wisten dat het geen oppervlakkig zeilcontact was met Bruinsma", zegt Hooghiemstra. "Het was een opvallend hechte kameraadschap." Ze wijst erop dat van Mabel een staat van vlekkeloosheid werd verwacht toen ze wilde trouwen met prins Johan Friso. "Je wordt onderdeel van de koninklijke theatervoorstelling. Zo wordt het verleidelijk je geschiedenis te herschrijven." De omgeving moest meewerken, zo zegt Hooghiemstra. "Kritiek is lastig als de troon op het spel staat. Er ontstaat een sfeer van: wie niet vóór is, is tegen." Discussie daarover was niet mogelijk.' Lees verder: Een gerechtvaardigde conclusie is dat het gangstermeisje Mabel haar vrienden en vriendinnen niet met zorg uitkoos tot ze natuurlijk ons prinsje ontmoette. Een andere conclusie is dat de waarheid bij de Volkskrant elke dag weer anders kan zijn. Prins Bernhard is dood en de Volkskrant lezers krijgen een ander verhaal voorgeschoteld. De vraag is alleen hoe de Volkskrant het nieuws uit het buitenland checkt als het niet eens de binnenlandse werkelijkheid op waarheid kan controleren? In elk geval is uit lucratief oogpunt het inderdaad uiterst verleidelijk om de geschiedenis te herschrijven. Wat dat betreft heeft Daniela geen woord teveel gezegd.

donderdag 13 april 2006

Iran 26

De Asia Times bericht: 'The ominous signs are "on the table" for all to see. The Pentagon has its Long War, the rebranded "war on terror" that Vice President Dick Cheney swears will last for decades, a replay of the war between Eastasia and Oceania in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. President George W Bush issued a "wild speculation" non-denial denial that the US was planning strategic nuclear strikes against Iran, but Iran considerably upped the ante on Tuesday with President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's announcement that Iran had enriched uranium for the first time. In a nationally televised speech, Ahmadinejad urged the West to stop pressuring Tehran, saying that Iran was seeking to develop nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes. Iranian nuclear officials say the country has produced 100 tonnes of uranium gas, an essential ingredient for enrichment. The United Nations Security Council has demanded that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activity by April 28. Iran has rejected the demand. From the point of view of the Pentagon's Long War, a strategic nuclear attack on Iran can be spun to oblivion as the crucial next stage of the war on "radical Islam". From the view of a factionalized European Union, this is (very) bad business; the Europeans prefer to concentrate on the factionalized nature of the Iranian government itself and push for a nuclear deal. Iranian government officials claim that the Germans and the Italians - big trade partners with extensive economic interests in the country - are pushing for a deal more than the French and much more than the British. As much as the EU cannot possibly agree on a unified foreign policy, Europeans in fact reject both sanctions and/or a possible US military strike.' Lees verder: Of:

Irak 64

Common Dreams bericht: 'US Like Nazis: British Iraq Refusnik. ALDERSHOT - A British Air Force doctor on trial for refusing to go to Iraq because he thought the war was illegal said on Wednesday he believed the United States was the moral equivalent of Nazi Germany.
Australian-born Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith could face an unlimited jail sentence for disobeying an order to go to Iraq last year and four orders to prepare for his deployment, in the first British case of its kind. "As early as 2004 I regarded the United States to be on a par with Nazi Germany as regards its activities in the Gulf," he told the court. Prosecutor David Perry asked: "Are you saying the U.S. is the moral equivalent of the Third Reich?" to which Kendall-Smith replied "That's correct." The judge in the case has already ruled that orders for British troops to deploy to Iraq in 2005 were legal because the British presence was covered by a United Nations Security Council resolution passed after the fall of Saddam Hussein.' Lees verder:

Irak 63

Yahoo News bericht: 'Retired US Iraq General Demands Rumsfeld Resign. A recently retired two-star general who just a year ago commanded a U.S. Army division in Iraq on Wednesday joined a small but growing list of former senior officers to call on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign. "I believe we need a fresh start in the Pentagon. We need a leader who understands teamwork, a leader who knows how to build teams, a leader that does it without intimidation," Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the Germany-based 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, said in an interview on CNN. In recent weeks, retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton and Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni all spoke out against Rumsfeld. This comes as opinion polls show eroding public support for the 3-year-old war in which about 2,360 U.S. troops have died. "You know, it speaks volumes that guys like me are speaking out from retirement about the leadership climate in the Department of Defense," Batiste said. "But when decisions are made without taking into account sound military recommendations, sound military decision making, sound planning, then we're bound to make mistakes." Batiste, a West Point graduate who also served during the previous Gulf War, retired from the Army on November 1, 2005. While in Iraq, his division, nicknamed the Big Red One, was based in Tikrit, and it wrapped up a yearlong deployment in May 2005. Critics have accused Rumsfeld of bullying senior military officers and disregarding their views. They often cite how Rumsfeld dismissed then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki's opinion a month before the 2003 invasion that occupying Iraq could require "several hundred thousand troops," not the smaller force Rumsfeld would send.' Lees verder: Of:

Irak 62

De Amerikaanse journalist Dahr Jamail schrijft: 'Learning to Count: The Dead in Iraqwould say 30,000, more or less, have died as a result of the initial incursion and the ongoing violence against Iraqis.- George W. Bush, December 12, 2005, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Does it count? How many Iraqis have died as the result of the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of their country remains an unresolved question in the anti-war movement. It is a question the pro-war camp avoids. Yet what more important question is there? The above quote made by the "compassionate conservative" shows a disturbing trend in the corporate media and amongst the spokespersons of the current powers that be, to camouflage the true cost of the illegal occupation of Iraq - the cost in blood paid by Iraqis. It is a trend that ensures that the enormity of the atrocity goes unnoticed. Mr. Bush has cited a figure which is obviously taken from the popular anti-war web site Iraq Body Count (IBC), which proudly refers to its work on its home page as "The worldwide update of reported civilian deaths in the Iraq war and occupation." This project estimates a minimum and maximum death count, which as of April 12 had the minimum number of Iraqi dead at 34,030 and the maximum at 38,164. We shall provide a brief description of their biased and flawed methodology after looking at the true level of casualties in Iraq. We begin with a more accurate number provided by the British medical journal The Lancet on October 29, 2004. The published results of their survey "Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey" stated, "Making conservative assumptions, we think about 100,000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths." The report also added that "Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children," and that "Eighty-four percent of the deaths were reported to be caused by the actions of Coalition forces."' The report, whose findings have been strongly criticized, not surprisingly, by pro-war camps as well as, surprisingly, by researchers at Iraq Body Count, has been backed by established, credible sources. Not long after the Lancet released their findings, on November 19, 2004, the Financial Times wrote: "This survey technique has been criticized as flawed, but the sampling method has been used by the same team in Darfur in Sudan and in the eastern Congo and produced credible results. An official at the World Health Organization said the Iraqi study 'is very much in the league that the other studies are in.'" The lead author of the Lancet report, Les Roberts, reported more recently on February 8, 2006, that there may be as many as 300,000 Iraqi civilian deaths. One of the world's top epidemiologists who lectures at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Roberts has also worked for the World Health Organization and the International Rescue Committee.' Lees verder:

Islamitisch Activisme

'Dynamiek in islamitisch activisme' is de titel van een in rustige bewoordingen geschreven rapport van de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid, dat als volgt werd aangekondigd: 'Manifestaties van de islam als politieke factor van betekenis – islamitisch activisme – en de reacties hierop hebben de laatste decennia tot grote internationale spanningen en botsingen geleid. Dergelijke internationaal-politieke confrontaties hebben ook negatieve gevolgen voor de verhouding tussen moslims en niet-moslims binnen Europese landen. Het idee heeft postgevat dat de islam slecht samengaat met democratie en mensenrechten. De Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid onderzoekt in dit rapport hoe het islamitisch activisme zich sinds de jaren zeventig in de moslimwereld heeft ontwikkeld. De nadruk ligt op intellectuele ontwikkelingen de veranderende opstelling van islamitische politieke bewegingen en de betekenis van de sharia (islamitisch recht).' Lees verder: PDF Klik hier voor het document. Of: Nog voordat ze het rapport helemaal hadden kunnen lezen reageerden sommige politici furieus op de inhoud ervan. Vooraan natuurlijk Hirsi Ali van de Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie die met een serie botte kwalificaties kwam. Ik pluk er een paar uit het Reformatorisch Dagblad: 'Hirsi Ali noemt de uitlatingen van de WRR dinsdag „geen wetenschap maar kwakzalverij"... Hirsi Ali ziet van de kant van de WRR „geen wetenschappelijk onderzoek, maar een politiek pamflet. Deze onderzoekers moeten zich gewoon melden bij een politieke partij".' Mevrouw Ali is er voorts tegen dat er officiele contacten worden onderhouden met 'organisaties als Hamas, Hizbollah of de Moslim Broederschap. „Dat staat gelijk aan het sponsoren van neonazi’s of de Hofstadgroep", aldus de VVD–politica. „Dat is ’appeasement’ (verzoeningspolitiek, red.) in zijn zuiverste vorm". Ze heeft zich ook gestoord aan de opmerkingen van arabist Maurits Berger, maandag in Netwerk, die stelde dat de politiek zich maar eens een paar jaar moet stilhouden over de islam.' Zie:
Hirsi+Ali+en+Wilders+eisen+opheldering+over+WRR-rapport.html De soms hyperventilerende reacties doen me denken aan een journalistieke grap waarbij een hoofdredacteur China voor de laatste maal waarschuwt, daarmee aangevend hoe absurd het is als Nederland de rest van de wereld zijn wil op wil leggen en de realiteit weigert te accepteren. Zelfs Amerikaanse beleidsbepalers zoeken al langere tijd naar een realistische manier om met islamisten om te kunnen gaan. Zo citeert de Amerikaanse onderzoeksjournalist Robert Dreyfuss in zijn uitgebreid gedocumenteerde boek 'Devil's Game' een Amerikaanse functionaris van de National Secutiry Council die in 1995 verklaarde: 'The United States views Islamists as integral players among the broad social forces operating in the region. Thus, to survive, the dominant ruling elites will have to broaden their social base by integrating Islamists into the political field. This reality explains the rationale for the Clinton administration's early decision to maintain a discreet dialogue with the Algerian and Egyptian Islamists.' Deze uitspraak dateert uit de tijd dat Hirsi Ali nog lid was van de fundamentalistische Moslim Broederschap, en nog niet tot de Westerse parlementaire democratie was bekeerd. In die periode vond ze het, volgens eigen zeggen, volkomen terecht dat de schrijver Salman Rushdie als gevolg van een fatwa zou worden vermoord. Net zo volkomen terecht als ze nu het isoleren vindt van honderden miljoenen islamieten. Het komt allemaal uit hetzelfde extremistische temperament voort.

woensdag 12 april 2006

De Pro Israel Lobby 7

Inter Press Service bericht: 'Iran Showdown Tests Power of "Israel Lobby" One month after the publication by two of the most influential international relations scholars in the United States of a highly controversial essay on the so-called "Israel Lobby", their thesis that the lobby exercises "unmatched power" in Washington is being tested by rapidly rising tensions with Iran. Far more visibly than any other domestic constituency, the Israel Lobby, defined by Profs. John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt, academic dean of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, as "the loose coalition of individuals and organisations who actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction", has pushed the government -- both Congress and the George W. Bush administration -- toward confrontation with Tehran. Leading the charge has been a familiar group of neo-conservatives, such as former Defence Policy Board (DPB) chairman Richard Perle and former Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey, who championed the war in Iraq but who have increasingly focused their energies over the past year on building support for "regime change" and, if necessary, military action against Iran if it does not abandon its nuclear programme.' Lees verder:

De Bush Bende 2

De Washington Post bericht: 'Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War. Administration Pushed Notion of Banned Iraqi Weapons Despite Evidence to Contrary. On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction." The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true. A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement. The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.' Lees verder:

Iran 25

De Independent bericht: 'Iran announces it has joined world's nuclear nations The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said his country had joined the group of nations possessing nuclear technology in a move that is certain to aggravate Tehran's nuclear stand-off with the West. "At this historic moment, with the blessings of God almighty and the efforts made by our scientists, I declare here that the laboratory-scale nuclear fuel cycle has been completed and young scientists produced enriched uranium needed to the degree for nuclear power plants on Sunday," the President said in a nationally-televised address yesterday. Standing on a stage before military officers and clerics in the north-western holy city of Mashhad, he added: "I formally declare that Iran has joined the club of nuclear countries." It is the first time Iran has produced enriched uranium since resuming centrifuge work in February. Even though Iran may still be some way from full industrial production of enriched uranium, the step, if it is confirmed, means the country has crossed a highly significant threshold towards achieving its ambition of harnessing nuclear technology. Iran continues to insist it is pursuing the production of enriched uranium to enable it to begin nuclear power generation. The programme has triggered fears in Western nations, however, that Tehran's true ambition lies in making nuclear weapons.' Lees verder:

Iran 24

Amy Goodman van Democracy Now interviewt de bekende onderzoeksjournalist Seymour Hersh over het dreigende Amerikaanse geweld tegen Iran. 'We are joined today by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh. In the latest issue of the New Yorker, Hersh reports that the Bush administration has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack. Sources told Hersh that Air Force planning groups are drawing up lists of targets, and teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups. One of the military's initial option plans calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon against suspected underground nuclear sites. On Monday, President Bush dismissed Hersh's article saying, "What you're reading is wild speculation." Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld refused to comment on possible plans for military action against Iran at a press conference on Tuesday. Rumsfeld told reporters, "We have, I don't know how many, various contingency plans in this department and the last thing I am going to start telling you, or anyone else in the press or the world, at what point we refresh a plan or don't refresh a plan, and why. It just isn't useful." Meanwhile Iran is moving forward on its nuclear program. On Tuesday Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that the country had succeeded for the first time in enriching uranium on a small scale. The Iranian president insisted that the country's nuclear program is for peaceful means and not to build nuclear weapons.' Lees verder:

Het Israelisch Terrorisme 5

Dit is het dappere door het Westen gesteunde Israelische leger in actie tegen Palestijnse burgers, onder wie kinderen. Defence for Children International bericht: 'Another innocent child dies in Israeli bombardment of northern Gaza. At 5.30pm on Monday 10 April 2006, at least six artillery shells fired by the Israeli military fell on the family house of Mohammed Rabe'eya Ghaban in Beit Lahiya, in the north of the Gaza Strip. Shrapnel from the shells pierced the skull of Mohammed's eight-year old daughter Hadeel, killing her instantly. The shelling also resulted in the injury of eight other family members, including Hadeel's brothers and sisters:
Rawan Ghaban 1 and a half years old Rana Ghaban 3 years old Munir Ghaban 4 years old Amneh Ghaban 9 years old Ghassan Ghaban 11 years old Bassam Ghaban 15 years old Tahrir Ghaban 17 years old
The children's mother, 35-year old Sofia, was the eighth family member wounded in the attack.
Several neighbours were also injured including:
Jaqueline Mo'ein Maarouf 11 years old Mariam Maher Al-‘Assi 15 years old
The killing of Hadeel and the wounding of her siblings and friends is the latest crime to come out of Israel's escalating aggression against the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip. Despite the physical withdrawal of the Israeli military from the area in August 2005, Israeli occupation forces continue to exercise military control over the entire Strip – intensifying assassination attacks against Palestinian activists, shelling residential areas and imposing a virtual siege on the whole strip by sealing entry and exits points to goods and people.
Since the beginning of this year, 15 Palestinian children have been killed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including eight from the Gaza Strip. Four of the eight were passers by - killed in Israeli extra-judicial assassination attempts against Palestinian activists; two Gaza children were killed by gunfire; one by unexploded ordinance while Hadeel is the eighth Gaza child to die so far this year.' Lees verder: Ondertussen proberen de Israelische strijdkrachten met alle mogelijke terreur de Hamas beweging uit te lokken met tegenterreur te komen. Wanneer dat gebeurt heeft Israel zijn zin en kan het nog meer land van de Palestijnen stelen zonder dat de Westerse leiders hiertegen protesteren. De terreur van Israel wordt door onder andere Europa beloond en de contraterreur van Hams bestraft. Dat is politiek. En onze commerciele massamedia met de mond vol vrijheid van meningsuiting zwijgen in alle talen.

Het Israelisch Terrorisme 4

Aan de dagelijkse Israelische terreur tegen de Palestijnse burgerbevolking komt geen eind. De Westerse media besteden er geen aandacht aan. Via Justwatch kreeg ik dit bericht: '
This is Mohammed, normally a very patient and brave guy, photograph and student, who makes the site
Ana Valdés

Dear XXX
Every 16 seconds, the tank shells hit Gaza and the north by one rocket,
is very difficult times here. Hamas has been trying to be quite and not respond, but it seems the Israelis really wanted Hamas to respond. Then I'm afraid the choices will be so littlie, and death is the nearest and the easiest. Now there is no AID. Even the cold Norway cut AID to PA. this is just annoying! I'm so sad to see a 9 years old child girl got killed and
other 15
were injured. The media is so awful, I understand now, it's an open war
Palestinians. I'm so sad and feeling very frustrated!
I wish if I could get out and have some break from this hell. I'm tired
of the
daily shelling. I have been taking photos and my T-shirt full of blood
and I
smell burned flesh- yes don’t be astonished, it's the children's flesh.
I was
almost dead the other day by the helicopters!
I don’t know what more to say, it's the best to sit alone in the dark
and not
see people. I'm tired, tired, tired, tired!

Dear XXX
It's horrible! Crazy here. people's flesh, heads, arms and legs are all scattered into the Palestinian street. I have taken photos of children
injured and killed. One of the children was with no head, no arms and no
Yes, this is the truth! Only pieces of flesh. I was smelling blood the
yesterday. I toke photos of the children and the whole massacre, this
my photos are in all the news agencies and newspapers around. I have got
exclusive from FRANCE PRESS!

Gush Shalom

Vandaag werd een grote advertentie geplaatst in de Israelische kwaliteitskrant Haaretz en de rechtse Jerusalem Post. Een advertentie van de Israelische Vredes Groepering Gush Shalom:


We, Israeli patriots concerned about the future of our state, hereby call upon you, the leaders of the European Union and the heads of European governments:

Stop the blockade on the Palestinian government!

Don't starve a whole people in order to overthrow its elected government!

Only three months ago, European monitors supervised the Palestinian elections. They confirmed Palestine as the first democracy in the Arab world (holding its second democratic elections, the first having been won by the Fatah movement.)

This time, a Parliament with a Hamas majority was elected. Now you are giving the Palestinians a lesson in democracy: you are telling them that, unless they overthrow the government they have just elected, there will be no milk for their children, no medicines for their sick, no work for their unemployed, no salaries for their doctors and teachers.

You are fulfilling the cynical prescription of the advisor to our Prime Minister: "We need to make them lose weight, but not to die."

This is not only a barbaric policy, it is also a terrible mistake: no people in the world would submit to such brutal and humiliating pressure from outside. The inevitable result will be a further radicalization of Palestinian opinion, and a deepening of the hatred for Israel and the West in the whole of the Arab and Muslim world.

That will make the prospect of peace even remoter, the peace we all need like air to breathe. It will lead to a bloodbath, which will cost the lives of thousands - Israelis, Palestinians, Europeans and Americans.

Talk to the Palestinian government!

Start a dialogue with Hamas!

Certainly, they must recognize the State of Israel's right to exist, just as Israel must recognize the right of the State of Palestine to exist. But such recognition will grow out of negotiations, not the other way round.

Certainly, they have to stop violence, just as Israel must do so. But even at this stage a prolonged armistice can be achieved.

Certainly, they must accept the Two-State solution, and so must Israel. But their leaders have already hinted that they are ready for it - and this must be put to the test of negotiations.

We call upon you, leaders of Europe:

It is in the interest of Europe, as it is in the interest of Israel and Palestine, to achieve peace. Don't succumb to pressure from outside interests, whose policy has already led to several recent disasters in the Middle East.

For the sake of all of us: follow an independent line, guided by wisdom and morality!

The Israeli Peace Bloc

P.O.Box 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 * *

De Dollar Hegemonie 8

Al langer wordt door deskundigen gewaarschuwd voor de wankelende dollar. Volgens een recent gepubliceerd rapport van de Franse bank Cheuvreux, onderdeel van Credit Agricole, moeten we rekening houden met een ongekende stijging van de prijs van goud en goudaandelen. Goudprijs. Op dit moment kost een ounce (ongeveer 30 gram) goud 570 dollar. Maar volgens Cheuvreux stijgt de goudprijs naar minimaal 900 dollar. Uiteindelijk kost een ounce mogelijk zelfs meer dan 2000 dollar, zo valt te lezen in het rapport van de Franse bank. Oorzaak is het grote gat tussen vraag en aanbod de komende jaren. Dat gat werd de laatste jaren opgevuld door (geheime) verkopen van centrale bankvoorraden. Volgens het rapport bezitten de centrale banken 10 tot 15.000 ton minder goud dan er officieel in de boeken staat. Uitgeleend goud. Het Internationaal Monetair Fonds (IMF) zou namelijk toestemming hebben gegeven zogenaamd 'uitgeleend' goud op de balans te laten staan, terwijl het in feite gewoon verkocht is. Nu meer en meer centrale banken hun goud terug willen hebben of zelfs goud bijkopen, komt de goudmarkt klem te zitten.Inflatie VSHet rapport onthult ook dat de inflatiecijfers in de VS door middel van allerlei statistische trucs meer dan 2,5% te laag wordt weergegeven. Het stoppen van de publicatie van de M3-geldgroeicijfers door de Federal Reserve geeft Wallstreet nu, volgens het rapport, de mogelijkheid koersen fors te ondersteunen zonder dat dit zichtbaar is in de cijfers. Hier kunt u het officiele Cheuvreux Rapport lezen. Interessant om te volgen het eerst komend halfjaar. Zie onder teksten: Cheuvreux Gold Report

Chalmers Johnson 3

Gisteravond heb ik via de telefoon de Amerikaanse geleerde Chalmers Johnson langdurig geinterviewd over het Amerikaans Imperium. Voor de lezers die hem niet kennen eerst even een korte biografie: 'Chalmers Johnson is president of the Japan Policy Research Institute, a non-profit research and public affairs organization devoted to public education concerning Japan and international relations in the Pacific. He taught for thirty years, 1962-1992, at the Berkeley and San Diego campuses of the University of California and held endowed chairs in Asian politics at both of them. At Berkeley he served as chairman of the Center for Chinese Studies and as chairman of the Department of Political Science. His B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in economics and political science are all from the University of California, Berkeley... He was chairman of the academic advisory committee for the PBS television series "The Pacific Century," and he played a prominent role in the PBS "Frontline" documentary "Losing the War with Japan." Both won Emmy awards. His most recent books are, as editor and contributor, Okinawa: Cold War Island (Cardiff, Calif.: Japan Policy Research Institute, 1999); and Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire (New York: Holt Metropolitan Books, 2000). The latter won the 2001 American Book Award of the Before Columbus Foundation. His new book, The Sorrows of Empire:Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic was published by Metropolitan in January 2004. Professor Johnson has just finished writing his new book in this trilogy about the American Empire and will be published at the end of 2006 under the title: Nemesis.' U kunt hier naar Chalmers Johnson luisteren in de sectie Interviews:> Of via mijn audioblog waar u ook interviews met andere deskundigen kunt vinden.

dinsdag 11 april 2006

Politieke Kippendrift

Wetenschappers bepleiten een gematigde houding van politici en zoals te verwachten is zijn de politici meteen in kippendrift ontstoken, met vooraan natuurlijk de onvermijdelijke mevrouw Ali. Overigens zonder het rapport helemaal gelezen te hebben. De NRC bericht: 'WRR: banden met Hamas aanknopen. Nederland moet gematigde islamitische organisaties in de Arabische wereld niet uitsluiten, maar steunen. Ook met de radicale Palestijnse partij Hamas en de islamitische beweging Hezbollah moeten westerse landen banden aanknopen. Dat staat in het rapport Dynamiek in islamitisch activisme van de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid (WRR), het belangrijkste wetenschappelijke adviesorgaan van de regering. Nederland en andere Europese landen moeten democratisering in islamitische landen steunen, en zich niet langer concentreren op niet-islamitische organisaties en partijen. De politiek in Nederland is volgens de WRR medeverantwoordelijk voor „een klimaat van confrontatie en sjabloondenken” over moslims en de islam. Islamitisch activisme is verscheidener en moderner dan wordt geacht, en biedt kansen voor verbetering van democratie en mensenrechten. Woordvoerders van de regeringspartijen CDA en VVD hebben vanochtend woedend gereageerd op het ruim tweehonderd pagina's tellende rapport van de WRR, dat morgen officieel wordt aangeboden aan minister Bot (Buitenlandse Zaken, CDA). Fractievoorzitter Verhagen (CDA) laat weten „zeer verbaasd” te zijn over uitspraken van WRR-stafmedewerker Schoonenboom tegenover het ANP. Volgens Schoonenboom heeft Verhagen zich met zijn pleidooi partijen te verbieden die de sharia willen invoeren, schuldig gemaakt aan stemmingmakerij. „De WRR baseert zich niet op feiten, maar doet onjuiste, politieke uitspraken”, aldus de CDA-woordvoerder. Volgens Tweede-Kamerlid Hirsi Ali (VVD) staat de ‘W’ van WRR voor ‘wereldvreemd’. Zij wil een spoedreactie van het kabinet vragen, om te horen of premier Balkenende afstand neemt van de conclusies van het rapport.' Lees verder:

Milieu Atlas

De Engelstalige editie van Le Monde Diplomatique heeft een milieu-atlas samengesteld: 'Planet in Peril: Atlas of Current Threats to People and the Environment is the English translation of Le Monde diplomatique’s recently published Atlas 2006. It is the result of a long-standing cooperation between Le Monde diplomatique and GRID-Arendal. These pages offer a holistic and well-researched analysis of today’s global issues and their impact on human population and the environment. Written by an international team of specialists, these pages from the Atlas illustrate through text and maps, graphics and diagrams the interplay between population and the world’s ecosystems and natural resources both in the short and long terms. It brings together a wealth of information from the most up-to-date sources on such key issues as climate change, access to water, exploitation of ocean resources, nuclear energy and waste, renewable energy, weapons of mass destruction, causes of industrial accidents, waste, export, hunger, genetically modified organisms, urban development, access to health care and ecological change in China. With its expansive scope, richly detailed information, and inviting design, the Atlas is an indispensable resource for understanding the planet we live in.' Lees verder:

maandag 10 april 2006

Irak 61

De Independent bericht: 'Three Years After Saddam's Fall, US Report Says Iraq Is in Turmoil. A confidential assessment of the security situation across Iraq carried out by US officials has portrayed a country beset by violence and sectarian division and where the stability of six of its 18 provinces is considered "serious" and one is said to be "critical". The Basra region, controlled by British troops, is one of those where the situation is described as serious and the report says crime, intimidation, assassinations and smuggling are commonplace. Three years after the fall of Saddam Hussein and on the third anniversary of the day when US Marines organised the toppling of his statue in central Baghdad, the publication of the report carried out by the US embassy in Iraq reveals the chaos and violence now faced by large numbers of the Iraqi population. Reflecting the recent upsurge in sectarian violence - leading many observers to believe Iraq is heading towards a civil war - the report also suggests that the overall security situation in parts of the country is getting worse. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak became the latest leader to suggest that Iraq was close to civil war. In damaging comments over the weekend, he also claimed that Shia inside Iraq were more loyal to Iran than to their own country. The Egyptian leader's televised comments about the influence of Iran, at a time when Iraqi leaders are struggling to form a government that would allow the Sunni minority to join a national unity cabinet, were dismissed by Iraqi leaders. President Jalal Talabani said yesterday he was surprised and annoyed by the remarks. "Reality and historical facts show that the Shia always have been patriotic and genuine Iraqis. This unfair accusation against Shia is baseless," he said. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also took issue with Mr Mubarak's comments, sayin? that there was a "high level of slaughter" in Iraq but that the country had not descended into civil war. Yesterday, at least six bombs exploded in Iraq on the so-called Freedom Day holiday. The roadside bombings and a blast on a minibus left at least five people dead. US forces killed eight people they accused of being insurgents - five by troops in northern Baghdad and three in an airstrike.' Lees verder: Of:

Irak 60

De New York Times bericht: 'Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out Washington - The three-star Marine Corps general who was the military's top operations officer before the invasion of Iraq expressed regret, in an essay published Sunday, that he did not more energetically question those who had ordered the nation to war. He also urged active-duty officers to speak out now if they had doubts about the war. Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, who retired in late 2002, also called for replacing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and "many others unwilling to fundamentally change their approach." He is the third retired senior officer in recent weeks to demand that Mr. Rumsfeld step down. In the essay, in this week's issue of Time magazine, General Newbold wrote, "I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat - Al Qaeda." The decision to invade Iraq, he wrote, "was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions - or bury the results." Though some active-duty officers will say in private that they disagree with Mr. Rumsfeld's handling of Iraq, none have spoken out publicly. They attribute their silence to respect for civilian control of the military, as set in the Constitution - but some also say they know it would be professional suicide to speak up. "The officer corps is willing to sacrifice their lives for their country, but not their careers," said one combat veteran who says the Pentagon's civilian leadership made serious mistakes in Iraq, but has declined to voice his concerns for attribution. Many officers who served in Iraq also say privately that regardless of flawed war planning or early mistakes by civilian and military officers, the American public would hold the current officer corps responsible for failure in Iraq. These officers do not want to discuss doubts about the mission publicly now. General Newbold acknowledged these issues, saying he decided to go public only after "the encouragement of some still in positions of military leadership" and in order to "offer a challenge to those still in uniform."' Lees verder: Of:

Propaganda 18

De Washington Post bericht: 'Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi. Jordanian Painted As Foreign Threat To Iraq's Stability. The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The documents state that the U.S. campaign aims to turn Iraqis against Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian, by playing on their perceived dislike of foreigners. U.S. authorities claim some success with that effort, noting that some tribal Iraqi insurgents have attacked Zarqawi loyalists. For the past two years, U.S. military leaders have been using Iraqi media and other outlets in Baghdad to publicize Zarqawi's role in the insurgency. The documents explicitly list the "U.S. Home Audience" as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign.
Some senior intelligence officers believe Zarqawi's role may have been overemphasized by the propaganda campaign, which has included leaflets, radio and television broadcasts, Internet postings and at least one leak to an American journalist. Although Zarqawi and other foreign insurgents in Iraq have conducted deadly bombing attacks, they remain "a very small part of the actual numbers," Col. Derek Harvey, who served as a military intelligence officer in Iraq and then was one of the top officers handling Iraq intelligence issues on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an Army meeting at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., last summer.' Lees verder:

Francis Fukuyama

Ik heb gisteravond gekeken naar het uitstekende VPRO-Programma Tegenlicht. Ditmaal werd de Amerikaanse hoogleraar Francis Fukuyama geinterviewd door Chris Kijne, die ik ken als een doorgaans goed geinformeerde journalist. Maar het probleem was ditmaal een schrikbarend gebrek aan historische kennis waardoor Fukuyama ongestoord allerlei aperte nonsense kon spuien. Enkele voorbeelden. Fukuyama stelde dat 'In American history military power has often been assosciated with moral goals, beginning with the American Revolution.' Een onjuiste bewering zoals ook Fukuyama weet aangezien hij een half jaar eerder al had verklaard dat 'The United States was founded in a revolution against the English monarchy. It was an anti-tax revolution. I mean they didn't want King George III to tax the colonies without being represented.' Fukuyama had met deze uitspraak geconfronteerd moeten worden, zodat de kijker had geweten hoe betrekkelijk zijn zienswijze is. Vervolgens zei de geinterviewde: 'The United States have engaged in a lot of nation-building exercises,' en noemde in 1 adem de Filippijnen. Feit is dat de Filippijnen door de VS werd veroverd en geannexeerd na een uitermate gewelddadig onderdrukte volksopstand. De officiële schattingen lopen uiteen van 200.000 vermoorde Filippino's als gevolg van de directe oorlogshandelingen tot in totaal 1 miljoen dode Filippino’s, die door de onvoorstelbare verwoestingen massaal crepeerden. Tijdens de genocide vroeg Mark Twain zich in een van zijn vele ‘anti-imperialistische’ essays sarcastisch af of ‘het zo zou kunnen zijn dat er twee soort beschavingen bestaan – één voor binnenlandse consumptie en één voor de heidense markt?’ Fukuyama werd niet geconfronteerd met dit gegeven, waardoor opnieuw 1 van zijn theorietjes overeind bleef. Nog een voorbeeld: 'If you think that it is an economically motivated agenda where the US oil-industry wanted to have special acces to middle eastern oil I don't think that that is correct at all.' Feit is dat de gezaghebbende Amerikaanse onderzoeksjournalist Robert Dreyfuss na een reeks gesprekken met betrokkenen oliemensen schreef dat 'cautiously, the oil industry sees a war in Iraq as a way to win back what's been lost.' Een hooggeplaatste bewindsman van de olie industrie gaf toe dat 'especially the US oil companies... look forward to the idea that Iraq will be open for business.' Fukuyama's opmerkingen werden niet aan deze feiten getoetst waardoor de kern van zijn betoog niet ter discussie werd gesteld. Het ging almaar over 'spreading democracy.' En ook na het enorme neoconservatieve debacle in Irak blijft dit het toverwoord, nu onder een nieuwe theorie: 'realistic Wilsonianism,' in de woorden van Chris Kijne 'Wilsonianism, after former American president Wilson, an internationalist, who shaped the world after World War I.' Ook dit is onjuist, niet de Amerikanen, maar de Britten en Fransen verdeelden de wereld na 1918, onder andere via de Sykes-Picot Overeenkomst uit 1916. Wilsons gedachte van een Volkenbond was prachtig, alleen niet goed genoeg voor de Amerikaanse Senaat die weigerde eraan mee te doen. Los daarvan werd die bond door Wilson aan zijn achterban verkocht als een manier om de Amerikaanse macht in de wereld te vergroten, immers ‘als we erin zitten, dan zullen we de beslissende factor worden in de ontwikkeling van de beschaving.’ Belangrijker nog is Wilson's opmerking uit1912 toen hij aan de vooravond van zijn presidentschap verklaarde dat ‘aangezien… de fabrikant erop staat de hele wereld als een markt te hebben, de vlag van deze natie hem [moet volgen] en de deuren van de naties die voor hem gesloten zijn moeten worden ingebeukt. Concessies verkregen door financiers moeten worden beschermd door de ministers van buitenlandse zaken zelfs wanneer de soevereiniteit van onwillige naties daarbij geschonden wordt.’ Met betrekking tot Latijns Amerika was zijn regering de mening toegedaan dat de bevolking daar ‘ondeugende kinderen zijn die de privileges en rechten van volwassenen uitoefenen’ en die derhalve ‘een krachtige, en gezagafdwingende hand’ nodig hadden. In Wilsons visie werd Amerika gedreven door ‘verheven idealen’ en richtte het zich op ‘stabiliteit en rechtvaardigheid.’ Het had daarom een onbetwistbaar recht op de hegemonie en was het niet meer dan normaal dat het imperialistisch is. De genocidale verovering van de Filippijnen was volgens hem gerechtvaardigd, omdat ‘onze belangen voorwaarts moeten marcheren, hoe altruïstisch we ook mogen zijn; andere naties moeten ervoor zorgen dat ze op een afstand blijven, en niet proberen ons tegen te houden.’ De ware redenen achter de woorden van de 'internationalist' Woodrow Wilson waren economische, het telkens terugkerende probleem van de overproductie. De toenmalige president McKinley verwoordde dit zonder omwegen toen hij tijdens de grote depressie in de VS aan het eind van de negentiende eeuw verklaarde: ‘Wij hebben goed geld… maar wat we nodig hebben is nieuwe markten,’ omdat, zoals de invloedrijke voorzitter van de Senaats Commissie voor Buitenlandse Betrekkingen Henry Cabot Lodge, hem nog eens duidelijk had gemaakt, de binnenlandse markten ‘niet voldoende zijn voor onze op volle toeren draaiende industrieën.’ Met het oog daarop verklaarde de invloedrijke Senator Albert Beveridge: 'The Philippines are ours forever... and just beyond the Philippines are China's illimitable markets... The Pacific is ours.' Telkens weer was het argument tijdens het debat in het Congres over de annexatie van de Filippijnen dat dit land als de 'stepping-stones to China' moest functioneren, een potentiele markt van destijds 400 miljoen consumenten. Natuurlijk werd deze noodzaak met nobel klinkende propaganda aan de man gebracht. De VS had de plicht om het christendom en de blanke beschaving te verspreiden onder wat Beveridge noemde 'savage and senile peoples.' Een wonderlijk argument, al was het maar omdat de meeste Filippinos na eeuwen Spaanse overheersing al katholiek waren. Het ging en gaat om goedkope grondstoffen en nieuwe markten voor Amerikaanse producten. Dat werd nog eens onderstreept door de Amerikaanse generaal Smedley Butler. Terug kijkende op zijn ruim 33 jaar actieve militaire dienst verklaarde in 1933 deze oud bevelhebber van het Korps Mariniers: 'Oorlog is misdaad. Hij wordt gevoerd ten voordele van de zeer weinigen ten koste van de massa. Ik ben heel lang een eersteklas uitsmijter geweest voor het bedrijfsleven. Voor Wall Street en voor de banken. Ik was in feite een misdadiger, een gangster voor het kapitalisme. Ik heb in 1914 Mexico veilig gemaakt voor de Amerikaanse oliebelangen. Ik hielp bij het verkrachten van een half dozijn Midden Amerikaanse republieken voor het profijt van Wall Street. In China heb ik ervoor gezorgd dat Standard Oil ongestoord zijn weg kon gaan. Al Capone is niet verder gekomen dan drie wijken. Mijn werkterrein omvatte drie continenten.' Wat Fukuyama bedoelde met zijn al dan niet 'realistisch Wilsonianisme' bleef in het interview volstrekt onduidelijk. De Amerikaanse auteurs Roger Burbach en Jim Tarbell schrijven in 'Imperial Overstretch': 'As President, Wilson was as agressive as his predecessors, seizing control of the Mexican port of Vera Cruz, sending General Pershing to pursue Pancho Villa's rebels in northern Mexico, and ordering US troops into Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Honduras and Panama... the United States acted as a sovereign power in the Caribbean and much of Latin America, intervening with troops thirty-one times in the region between 1901 and 1925 (see Collier 1993). And US foreign investments during the first quater of the twentieth century expanded in tandem with the advance of the US flag, just as Wilson had advocated. In 1900 investments abroad stood at 500 million dollar, in 1909 at 2 billion dollar, in 1913 2.5 billion dollar, and by 1924 they had reached about 8 billion.' Het Amerikaanse expansionisme werd door de beleidsbepalers gezien als een onvermijdelijkheid, als een vorm van 'manifest destiny,' een als het ware door God gegeven recht om te heersen. Daarbij speelde democratische opvattingen geenszins een centrale rol, maar wel het racisme van de blanke elite. Ook bij Woodrow Wilson: 'Like many other progressives in the early 1900's, Woodrow Wilson showed little interest in the plight of African Americans. In fact, he shared many of the racist attitudes prevalent at the time. Although Wilson denounced the Ku Klux Klan's "reign of terror", he sympathized with its motives to restore white rule in the postwar South and to relieve whites of the "ignorant and hostile" power of the black vote. In his early years as a student of the prestigious Princeton, Wilson had declared that "universal suffrage is the foundation of every evil in this country." He sharply opposed giving the vote to uneducated whites, but he detested the enfranchisement of blacks, arguing that Americans of Anglo-Saxon origin would always resist domination by "an ignorant and inferior race." He believed that white resistance to black rule was "unalterable". Later, as a politician, Wilson courted black voters, but he rarely consulted African-American leaders and repeatedly avoided opportunities to associate with them in public. Many of the southerners he appointed to his cabinet were uncompromising racists who systematically began segregating the employees in their agencies, even though the agencies had been integrated for over fifty years. Workplaces were segregated by race, as were toilets, drinking fountains, and areas for work breaks. When black leaders protested these actions, Wilson replied that such racial segregation was intended to eliminate "the possibility of friction" in the federal workplace... James Loewen, professor of sociology at the University of Vermont, has written that Wilson "appointed southern whites to offices traditionally reserved for blacks" and "personally vetoed a clause on racial equality in the Covenant of the League of Nations." The NAACP launched a public protest in 1913 against Wilson for "introducing segregation into the Federal Government." Zie: Duidelijk is dat het de VS niet in de eerste plaats ging en nog steeds niet gaat om het verspreiden van democratie, maar om het verdedigen van de goedkope grondstoffen en afzetmarkten, zoals bij elk imperium het geval is. Dat alles moet natuurlijk met mooie woorden worden omkleed en daarvoor worden rechtse intellectuelen als Fukuyama betaald. In 'The Sorrows of Empire' schrijft de vooraanstaande Amerikaanse geleerde Chalmers Johnson: 'Wilson... provided an idealistic grounding for American imperialism, what in our time would become "global mission" to "democratize" the world. More than any other figure, he provided the intellectual foundations for an interventionist foreign policy, expressed in humanitarian and democratic rhetoric. Wilson remains the godfather of those contemporary ideologists who justify American imperial power in terms of exporting democracy.' Een betere typering van de neoconservatief Fukuyama is nauwelijks denkbaar. Dit moet Kijne allemaal niet geweten hebben anders had hij Fukuyama's nieuwe theorie met de historische feiten geconfronteerd. Het betreft hier geen futiliteiten, maar wezenlijke opmerkingen die de kern van zijn betoog raken. Chris zelf sprak over een 'blinde vlek' bij zijn gespreksgenoot, maar geen woord over al deze omissies. Geen woord ook over 1 van de belangrijkste elementen voor de Amerikaanse hegemonie en dat is dat de VS financieel failliet is en steeds meer schulden maakt. Zelfs mooie woorden en theorietjes moeten gefinancierd worden. Eind vorig jaar was de buitenlandse schuld van Washington opgelopen tot acht biljoen dollar. Elke dag weer moet de VS meer dan 3 miljard dollar lenen om het imperium draaiende te houden. Alleen al aan rente was de Amerikaanse belastingbetaler in 2004 ruwweg 80 miljard dollar kwijt.
Het fundamentele probleem van het interview met Fukuyama was dat hij niet met de werkelijkheid werd geconfronteerd, dat het hele gesprek maar bleef steken op goede bedoelingen, op 'spreading democracy.' Beter was het geweest als de voormalige spreekbuis van de neocons het volgende citaat voorgelegd had gekregen van George Kennan, de architect van de containment politiek, die als geen ander het Amerikaans buitenlands beleid van na de Tweede Wereldoorlog heeft vorm gegeven. In 1948 schreef hij in een geheim memorandum dat de Verenigde Staten ‘ongeveer 50 procent van de rijkdommen in de wereld’ bezat, ‘maar slechts 6,3 procent van haar bevolking.’ Als hoofd van het planningsbureau wees hij het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken erop dat: ‘In deze omstandigheden we niet in staat (zullen) zijn te voorkomen dat wij het voorwerp worden van jaloezie en haat. Onze werkelijke taak in het komende tijdperk is om een netwerk van betrekkingen op te bouwen die ons in staat stelt deze positie van ongelijkheid te handhaven.’ En vervolgens adviseerde hij de Amerikaanse beleidsbepalers ‘alle sentimentaliteit en dagdromen opzij’ te zetten omdat ‘onze aandacht overal geconcentreerd (moet) zijn op onze directe nationale doelstellingen. […] We moeten ophouden te spreken over vage en […] imaginaire doelstellingen als mensenrechten, het verhogen van de levensstandaard, en democratisering. De dag is niet veraf dat we in pure machtconcepten moeten handelen. Hoe minder we daarbij gehinderd worden door idealistische slogans, des te beter het is.’ Die werkelijkheid staat in schril contrast met de verhaaltjes over 'soft power' van het 'realistic Wilsonianism.' Enigszins tekenend voor het niveau van het interview was dat tegen het einde Kijne zijn gesprekspartner confronteerde met een mening van - of all people - een Nederlandse columnist over Fukuyama, terwijl er zoveel Amerikaanse intellectuelen zijn die gedocumenteerd en met feiten zijn theorieen onderuit hebben gehaald. Helaas werden die niet geciteerd.

Yeats: The Wheel

The Wheel THROUGH winter-time we call on spring, And through the spring on summer call, And when abounding hedges ring Declare that winter&#...