zaterdag 6 mei 2006

Ray McGovern 2

Hier kunt u zien en horen hoe de Amerikaanse minister van Defensie Donald Rumsfeld door oud CIA-functionaris Ray McGovern publiekelijk geconfronteerd wordt met zijn eigen leugens:

De Oorlogsstaat 48

Een van de helderste analysten van de Amerikaanse politiek is Tom Engelhardt. In TomDispatch schrijft hij: '"This Is Our Destiny." Fantasies of American Preponderance.
"We must perhaps reluctantly accept that we have to help this region become a normal region, the way we helped Europe and Asia in another era. Now it's this area from Pakistan to Morocco that we should focus on… The world has gotten smaller and is getting smaller and smaller all the time... Isolationism, fortress America isn't going to deal with these problems of the kind that we're facing. Willy-nilly, this is our destiny, given our preponderance in the world, our role in the world and because of our successes." Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to Iraq in an April 24th interview with Borzou Daragahi of the Los Angeles Times
"In short, an attack on Iran would be an act of political folly, setting in motion a progressive upheaval in world affairs. With the U.S. increasingly the object of widespread hostility, the era of American preponderance could even come to a premature end." Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Been There, Done That," op-ed, Los Angeles Times, April 23, 2006.
Hmmm… American preponderance. We know that this preponderance dazzled the men who became known as neoconservatives (though only the "neo" part of it seems even faintly accurate as a label) -- and Zalmay Khalilzad, our ambassador to and putative viceroy in Baghdad, was one of them. They wanted to wield that "preponderance" of power preponderantly. They wanted to lower America's terrible, swift sword decisively. Now, preponderance ("superiority in weight, force, influence, numbers, etc.") is a strange word when you think about it, seeming to have both "ponder" and "ponderous" hidden somewhere within. As it happened, while the neocons proposed much from inside Washington's Beltway, from various right-wing think-tanks and later from the inner offices of the Bush administration, while oil-consultant Khalilzad was still trying to sort out energy pipeline deals with the Taliban, and while various Iraqi exile Scheherezades were whispering sweet nothings in their ears about flowers, and liberated populaces, and the glory that was Rome -- oh, sorry, those were pundits on the editorial pages of our major newspapers -- they surely pondered too little. They had been so certain of themselves for so long that they, along with administration mentors Don Rumsfeld and the Veep, had no need to think too deeply. After all, why ponder when you already know? Anyway, when it came to knocking off Iraq, if somebody didn't agree with you -- as was true of almost every expert in the State Department and most elsewhere in the government, as well as numerous generals, not to speak of Father Bush's men like family consigliere James Baker and daddy's former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft -- well, you just kicked them out of your gatherings, or left them out in the cold, to preserve the unanimity of consensus thinking. This lent the old adage, "ignorance is bliss," new meaning in the halls of superpower governance. And then, to make bad worse, all that preponderant American power they were going to shock and awe the world with -- and that would indeed prove devastatingly destructive -- turned out to be so much more ponderous, so much less effective, than any of them ever imagined from their offices in Washington.' Lees verder: Of:

De Bush Bende 10

De Los Angeles Times bericht: 'Washington - When Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld goes on the road to deliver a speech, it's usually in front of a relatively respectful audience: U.S. troops stationed overseas, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation dinner have been among his appearances this year. An audience in Atlanta on Thursday turned out to be a bit different. Rumsfeld was interrupted three times by antiwar protesters during his speech, and during a question-and-answer session afterward he was forced to defend himself against charges by a former high-ranking CIA analyst that he intentionally lied to push the U.S. into war in Iraq. Rumsfeld sought to make light of the flak during his address to the Southern Center for International Studies, a nonprofit educational group, telling the audience the protesters were just a few "close personal friends" of Peter White, the center's president. Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA veteran who once gave then-President George H.W. Bush his morning intelligence briefings, engaged in what became an extended debate with Rumsfeld after asking why the Defense secretary had insisted before the Iraq invasion that there was "bulletproof evidence" linking Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda.
"Was that a lie, Mr. Rumsfeld, or was that manufactured somewhere else? Because all of my CIA colleagues disputed that and so did the 9/11 commission," McGovern asked near the start of the 45-minute question-and-answer session. "Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary?" At the start of the exchange, Rumsfeld remained his usual unflappable self, insisting, "I haven't lied; I did not lie then," before launching into a vigorous defense of the administration's prewar assertions on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. But Rumsfeld became uncharacteristically tongue-tied when McGovern pressed him on claims that he knew where unconventional Iraqi weapons were located. "You said you knew where they were," McGovern said. "I did not. I said I knew where suspected sites were," Rumsfeld retorted. McGovern then read from statements the Defense secretary had made that weapons were located near Tikrit, Iraq, and Baghdad, which led Rumsfeld to briefly stammer. The Defense secretary recovered after admonishing a security guard who was trying to push McGovern away from the microphone.' Lees verder:,1,6829919.story?coll=la-headlines-nation Of:

Martelen 37

De American Civil Liberties Union bericht: 'ACLU, U.S. Government Present Arguments in El-Masri Lawsuit.
CONTACT: Paul Silva, ACLU, (212) 549-2689 or 2666;
ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The American Civil Liberties Union will argue its case on the illegal abduction and detention of Khaled El-Masri May 12 before a federal court in Alexandria. The ACLU said El-Masri is an innocent German citizen who was victimized by the CIA's policy of "extraordinary rendition."
The hearing comes in a landmark lawsuit charging former CIA director George Tenet, other CIA officials and U.S.-based aviation corporations with violations of United States and universal human rights laws. El-Masri was on vacation in Macedonia when he was kidnapped and transported to a CIA-run "black site" in Afghanistan. After several months of confinement in squalid conditions, he was abandoned on a hill in Albania with no explanation, never having been charged with a crime.
Last week, a special committee of the European Parliament issued an interim report concluding that the CIA has on several occasions illegally kidnapped and detained individuals in European countries. The report also found that the CIA detained and then secretly used airlines to transfer persons to countries like Egypt and Afghanistan, which routinely use torture during interrogations.
Members of the European investigative committee will be in the United States from May 8 - 12 to meet with the ACLU and Members of Congress. A parliamentary inquiry into El-Masri's kidnapping is also currently ongoing in Germany.
Background and briefs on the case are online at
WHAT: Hearing on the illegal abduction and detention of Khaled El-Masri
WHO: ACLU Staff Attorney Ben Wizner will argue before Judge T.S. Ellis III
WHEN: Friday, May 12, 2:00 p.m. EST
WHERE: United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
Albert V. Bryan Courthouse401 Courthouse SquareAlexandria, VA 22314.' Zie:

vrijdag 5 mei 2006

Nederland en Afghanistan 67

De NRC bericht: 'Hekmatyar ‘sluit zich aan bij Al-Qaeda.’ Kabul, 5 mei. De Afghaanse krijgsheer Gulbuddin Hekmatyar heeft verklaard zich aan te sluiten bij het terreurnetwerk Al-Qaeda. Gisteren zond het Arabische nieuwsstation Al-Jazeera een videoboodschap uit waarop de voortvluchtige Hekmatyar die aankondiging deed. „We hopen met [Al-Qaeda] deel te nemen in een strijd die zij leiden. [..] Zij dragen het vaandel en wij staan hen bij als supporters”, zei Hekmatyar. Onbekend is waar de video is opgenomen of hoe die in het bezit van Al-Jazeera kwam. Hekmatyar is een van de belangrijkste krijgsheren van Afghanistan. Hij vestigde een reputatie als wreedaard toen hij in de jaren tachtig tegen de Sovjet-bezetting vocht. In die tijd leerde hij Al-Qaeda-leider Osama bin Laden kennen. Dankzij steun van de CIA, die via Pakistan bij Hekmatyar kwam, kon hij een machtige militie oprichten. In 1993 en 1994, voor de komst van het Talibaan-regime, was Hekmatyar president van Afghanistan. Inmiddels staat Hekmatyar, die zich evenals Bin Laden zou ophouden in de grensstreek met Pakistan, op de terroristenlijst van de Verenigde Staten. Hij heeft de afgelopen jaren herhaaldelijk verklaringen uitgebracht waarin hij opriep tot een heilige oorlog tegen de VS en steun aan Al-Qaeda.' Lees verder: In feite is dit geen nieuws. Meer dan twee weken geleden schreef ik: 'Waarom zijn Nederlandse militairen in Afghanistan gelegerd? Het ministerie van Defensie geeft deze verklaring: 'Op 7 oktober 2001 begonnen de Verenigde Staten en Groot-Brittannië met operatie Enduring Freedom, gericht tegen Al Quaida en Taliban-eenheden in Afghanistan. Het Taliban-regime werd uit het land verdreven. Vlak daarna werd de International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) gestart, in eerste instantie bedoeld om de Afghaanse interimregering [van de voormalige oliemaatschappij-adviseur Karzai svh.] te ondersteunen bij het handhaven van de veiligheid. Onder auspiciën van de NAVO moet Afghanistan opnieuw worden opgebouwd tot een veilig en stabiel land. Nederland neemt op dit moment deel aan zowel ISAF als OEF. Hierbij worden militairen ingezet van alle krijgsmachtdelen.' Zie: Het opmerkelijke is dat in deze paar zinnen 1 fout staat en 1 misvatting. De fout is dat het Taliban-regime niet uit Afghanistan is verdreven, maar uit Kaboel. En dat is nu juist ook het probleem. De Taliban zit nog steeds in het land en wordt steeds sterker, vooral ook omdat de Taliban behoort tot de grootste etnische bevolkingsgroep, namelijk de Pashtun. De misvatting is dat het Westen daar nu een 'veilig en stabiel' land kan opbouwen. Een van de machtigste en wreedste krijgsheren van Afghanistan, de Pashtun Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, die in ruil voor miljoenen dollars in 2001 de kant van de Amerikanen koos, schreef al in oktober 2002 in een open brief aan de Democratische Partij van de VS over zijn minachting voor het Karzai regime in Kaboel: 'We do not know what sort of human being with sound wisdom and conscience would consider people rulers of a country whose personal security is also maintained by foreigners - who cannot trust any of their compatriots in the entire country and cannot find any force inside the country to keep them safe inside their own palace; those who go to their own province and to their own countrymen under the protection of American commando's, and even then they are attacked.' De andere grote Pashtun krijgsheer (en oude vriend van Osama bin Laden) Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, die later de kant van de Noordelijke Alliantie koos, verklaarde: 'I do not find a convincing reason for their [Amerikaanse and NAVO troepen svh.] continued presence. We did not get rid of the Soviets to get the Americans in the end.' Op zijn beurt zei de voormalige chef-staf van het Pakistaanse leger, generaal Mirza Aslam Beg: 'The Pashtuns, who have ruled Afghanistan for 250 years, have been pushed into a corner and are brooding over the [mis]treatment of fellow Pashtuns,' door de regering Karzai. De Amerikaan Michael Scheuer die 22 jaar lang voor de CIA werkte concludeert in zijn boek 'Imperial Hubris' dat 'unless U.S.-led foreign forces are massively increased and are prepared to kill liberally and remain in Afghanistan permanently, the current Afghan regime cannot survive... In Afghanistan, above all other places, familiarity with foreigners breeds not just contempt, but war to the death.' Het Nederlandse leger, met zijn Srebrenica verleden, zal in toenemende mate met deze werkelijkheid geconfronteerd worden. De vraag blijft dus: waarom zijn Nederlandse militairen in Afghanistan gelegerd? En wat mag dat uiteindelijk gaan kosten? Ik bedoel, qua levens en geld. Misschien kan het Nederlandse parlement zich daarover eens buigen. Of misschien kunnen mijn collega's bij de omroepen of van de kranten zich daar eens in verdiepen, zodat we straks niet - net als bij Srebrenica - met een mond vol tanden staan.' Zie: De vraag is wanneer de Nederlandse commerciele media de situatie in Afghanistan nu eens serieus gaan bestuderen en er op een volwassen manier over gaan berichten. Scheuer schreef al twee jaar geleden over de Afghaanse krijgsheren als Hekmatyar: 'His prophet, and most of all, the extraordinary pride, stubbornness, tribalism, and xenophobia that are central to the Afghan character, traits making it impossible for Aghans to obey non-Afghans or long tolerate a foreign presence on their soil.' En of de voormalige wethouder van Borculo, minister Kamp van Defensie, dit nu beseft of niet, het is de werkelijkheid waarmee de Nederlandse militairen geconfronteerd gaan worden.

Nederland en Afghanistan 66

De Guardian bericht: 'New Frontline in the War on Terror. Experts fear Pakistan is losing fight against an Islamist militant revolt in its tribal belt. As hideouts go, the Shawal Valley in northern Pakistan is a militant's dream. Lonely goat trails wind through a rocky 25-mile corridor that nudges the Afghan border. Its fiercely conservative tribesmen and forbidding high-walled compounds have sheltered Taliban fighters and probably al-Qaida fugitives. Last weekend Brigadier Imtiaz Wyne, a Pakistani army commander, stood on the top of one of its highest peaks and declared his 5,000 troops had tamed the wild valley - almost. "This border is sealed," he said, pointing to a line of observation posts along the border. But the cornered militants were fighting back, he admitted. His soldiers had suffered five major attacks in the previous month; on one occasion a captured soldier was gruesomely mutilated before being executed. "They are a mix - foreigners, locals, Afghan Taliban, criminals," said the officer. "It's difficult to say who is the leader, but ultimately it is al-Qaida." A vicious mini-war has erupted between the Pakistani army and the "Pakistani Taliban" in North Waziristan, a turbulent tribal area that has moved to the front line of the Pakistani and US "war on terror". Every day sees fresh violence between the army and militants - a loose coalition of radical clerics, tribal leaders and al-Qaida fighters.
The biggest upset occurred in early March, when 1,500 self-styled Taliban assaulted a military base in the main town, Miran Shah. The ensuing four-day battle involved artillery and helicopters gunships and left 145 militants dead, 25 of them foreigners, according to the army figures. The fight is also ideological. Taliban clerics have imposed strict social edicts, such as a ban on music or films, and started to dispense summary justice. Last week Pakistan's military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, told the Guardian he was concerned "Talibanisation" was spilling into the settled areas. "There is an extremist mindset - attacks on barbers, no television or songs," he said. A Pakistani intelligence officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the revolt was led by eight tribal and cleric leaders. Some have direct links to the Afghan Taliban. "We have apprehended people on their way to attack US positions in Afghanistan," he said.
Army generals, who have deployed 45,000 regular and paramilitary troops to quell the revolt, insist they have the upper hand. "I am hurt when anyone says there is no writ of government, because my forces are everywhere," area commander Maj Gen Akram Sahi said. His forces had killed 324 "miscreants", arrested 142 and blown up a madrasa (religious school) used to train jihadi fighters, he said. The death toll may include some civilian deaths, western diplomats believe. Gen Sahi, who admitted that radical Islamic forces were supplanting traditional tribal rule in Waziristan, sought to discredit the revolt's leaders. After searching a house used by cleric Abdul Khaliq his troops found "the most dirty films", he said. "How can they talk of being Taliban?"' Lees verder:,,1767031,00.html?gusrc=rss Of:

De Commerciele Massamedia 6

De Volkskrant bericht: '"Olieprijs op record door speculatie." Van onze verslaggever. AMSTERDAM - "Van een structureel tekort aan olie is geen sprake. De hoge olieprijzen worden veroorzaakt door speculanten en internationale spanningen." Dit zei topman Jeroen van der Veer van Shell gisteren bij de presentatie van de kwartaalcijfers. "Als je kijkt naar de voorraden is er geen reden voor paniek. We moeten constateren dat de toestroom van honderd miljard dollar aan speculatief geld en de geopolitieke spanning een rol spelen bij het bepalen van de olieprijzen." Echte tekorten aan olie zijn er niet, benadrukt Van der Veer. "Toen ik woensdagavond van Rotterdam naar Londen vloog, kon ik zelf zien aan de drijvende daken op de olietanks in Pernis, dat de voorraden goed zijn. Niemand hoeft in de rij te staan voor een benzinestation. Tankauto’s hoeven niet te wachten aan de poort van een raffinaderij en tankers hoeven niet te wachten in het Midden Oosten." De afgelopen week steeg de olieprijs naar een recordprijs van 75 dollar per vat (159 liter). Dat kwam vooral door het nucleaire conflict tussen het Westen en Iran. De spanningen zouden ertoe kunnen leiden dat Iran tijdelijk de kraan dichtdraait.' Weer zo'n prachtig voorbeeld van hoe de Nederlandse commerciele massamedia hun werk niet doen. Honderd miljard aan speculatief geld dat de olieprijzen doet opdrijven? Aan de slag economische redactie. Leg aan jullie lezers uit wie die speculanten zijn. Zijn dat dezelfde concerns die bijvoorbeeld de Volkskrant en de NRC bezitten, of zijn het weer andere speculanten? Waarom worden die speculanten in een parlementaire democratie niet aan banden gelegd? Komt dit omdat de speculanten teveel invloed hebben op het stemgedrag van de Kamerleden? Zo ja, wie koopt wie? Honderd miljard of is het meer dan wel minder aan speculatief kapitaal? Kortom het hele olieverhaal waardoor er nu oorlogen worden uitgevochten in het Midden Oosten en Nederland straks soldaten daarvoor opoffert. Aan de slag Nederlandse pers. Als voorproefje lees en luister naar mijn verhalen over olie en oorlog. Ik heb bij mijn onderzoek geput uit bronnen die openbaar zijn: En: En:

donderdag 4 mei 2006

De Commerciele Massamedia 5

Men kan veel over de Amerikaanse democratie zeggen, maar toch once in a while staat er iemand op en zegt de waarheid tegen de politieke macht en de macht van de masamedia. Was er maar in Nederland een humorist of satiricus die de misselijk makende serviliteit van veel Nederlandse journalisten belachelijk maakte. Sydney Blumenthal schrijft: 'Ridicule and contempt. An imperial president is smothering the system of checks and balances, imperiling free speech. The most scathing public critique of the Bush presidency and the complicity of a craven press corps was delivered at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday by a comedian. Bush was reported afterwards to be seething, while the press corps responded with stone-cold silence. In many of their reports of the event they airbrushed out the joker. Stephen Colbert performed within 10 yards of Bush's hostile stare and before 2,600 members of the press and their guests. After his mock praise of Bush as a rock against reality, Colbert censured the press by flattering its misfeasance. "Over the last five years you people were so good - over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out ... Here's how it works: the president makes decisions ... The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spellcheck and go home ... Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!".' Lees verder:,,1766835,00.html Of:

Honger in de Wereld

En omdat de Nederlandse regering - gesteund door een meerderheid van het parlement - in opdracht van de Bush-bende honderden miljoenen euro's uittrekt om Afghaanse gangsters in het zadel te houden, is er minder geld om de honger in de wereld te bestrijden. De Inter Press Service bericht: 'SPECIAL REPORT-PART I:A World Addicted to Hunger - In Ethiopia, some 12.6 million people require food aid, up from 11.3 million... Donors have pledged enough to meet about 82 percent of food needs, but only 54 percent has been delivered... Sound familiar? This alert was issued three years ago by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, known as FEWS NET. Guess what? Ethiopia appeared again this year on FEWS NET's list of "current emergencies," alongside Somalia, Zimbabwe, and Chad. In a report on Ethiopia issued on Feb. 24, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says that "about fifteen million people are facing food insecurity that is either chronic or transitory in nature." Of these, five to six million people are chronically food insecure (that is, "people who have lost the capacity to produce or buy enough to meet their annual food needs even under normal weather and market conditions"), and the remaining 10 million are vulnerable, "with a weak resilience to any shock," says FAO. According to Oxfam International, a confederation of anti-poverty organisations, more than 850 million people suffer from chronic hunger. Is Ethiopia condemned to suffer hunger regularly? Are others? "Abundance, not scarcity, best describes the world's food supply," said a 1998 paper entitled "12 Myths About Hunger," published by the Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, a U.S.-based non-governmental organisation. "Even most 'hungry countries' have enough food for all their people right now. Many are net exporters of food and other agricultural products." One could talk about the contradictions of hunger. For example, in Nigeria, Brazil or Bolivia, abundant food resources coexist with pockets of famine; while Costa Rica has only half the farmed hectares per person that Honduras has, Costa Ricans enjoy a life expectancy 11 years longer than that of Hondurans.' Lees verder: En:

Nederland en Afghanistan 65

En zowaar, ook enkele kamerleden beginnen hun huiswerk te doen. Nu de Nederlandse journalistiek nog. De NRC bericht: 'Missie Uruzgan mag geen contact met Munib. Door een onzer redacteuren. Den Haag, 4 mei. Hoewel zijn loyaliteit aan de democratisch gekozen president Karzai niet ter discussie staat, komt de nieuwe gouverneur van de Afghaanse provincie Uruzgan, Abdul Hakim Munib, voor op de VN-lijst van terroristen. Daarom schendt Nederland, dat bezig is een contingent van 1.400 militairen naar Uruzgan over te brengen voor een wederopbouwmissie, formeel het anti-terrorismebeleid van de VN, wanneer het met gouverneur Munib samenwerkt. De lijst wordt door het sanctiecomité van de VN volgende week opnieuw besproken. Maar het is geenszins zeker dat Munib dan verdwijnt van de lijst van personen met wie de VN in geen geval contact kunnen onderhouden. Rusland zal zich daartegen verzetten – niet vanwege Munib zelf, maar omdat Moskou zich ergert aan de weinig doorzichtige criteria waarmee de westerse landen personen op- en afvoeren van de lijst met terroristen. Munibs problematische status is aan het licht gekomen door Kamerlid Karimi (GroenLinks), die zich thans in de Afghaanse hoofdstad Kabul bevindt, en wordt door het ministerie van Buitenlandse zaken in Den Haag bevestigd. Het probleem is niet alleen maar theoretisch, meent Karimi vanuit Kabul. De vorige gouverneur, Jan Mohammed Khan, die op verzoek van Nederland was afgelost en nu in Kabul adviseur van Karzai is geworden, had bij zijn vertrek uit de provincie alle hem ter beschikking gestelde auto’s verkocht of weggegeven. Toen Munib aan de VN vroeg of hij twee van hun nog in Uruzgan aanwezige wagens mocht gebruiken, bleek dat niet te kunnen.' Lees verder: Opmerkelijk is dat dit bericht komt van de redactie binnenland van de 'kwaliteitskrant'. Beste collega's van de redactie buitenland: lees Scheuer en als voorproefje mijn 65 berichten over Nederland en Afghanistan. Ik baseer mij op betrouwbare buitenlandse bronnen. Wat ik kan, kan iedere burger met een internet-verbinding. Aan de slag jongens en meisjes! Nu maar even niet de propaganda overschrijven maar gewoon journalistiek onderzoek verrichten. Het gaat immers over leven en dood, oorlog en vrede. En over de Nederlandse samenwerking met terroristen.

Nederland en Afghanistan 64

Ik vermoed dat dit ongeveer het beeld is dat de Nederlandse politici voor ogen hebben zodra ze spreken over de opbouw van een Westerse democratie in Afghanistan. Intussen lijkt de Volkskrant dankzij de berichtgeving van de New York Times wakker te worden: 'Uruzgan is met de dag gevaarlijker. The New York Times, ANP. TIRIN KOT - De veiligheidssituatie in het zuiden van Afghanistan verslechtert in snel tempo. ’s Nachts maken de Taliban en Al Qa’ida de dienst uit in de hoofdstad van Uruzgan; daarbuiten zijn ze ook overdag heer en meester. Dit meldt de Amerikaanse krant The New York Times. Een Nederlandse verkenningspatrouille, die dinsdag is teruggekeerd, is in Uruzgan meerdere malen in vuurgevechten met vijandige eenheden verwikkeld geraakt, aldus een woordvoerder van het ministerie van Defensie woensdag. Er is niet genoeg aandacht besteed aan Uruzgan’, heeft de Amerikaanse generaal Eikenberry onlangs in een toespraak voor clanoudsten in de provinciehoofdstad Tirin Kot gezegd. Op straat in Tirin Kot kreeg hij te horen: ‘Overal zitten mensen van de Taliban en Al Qa’ida.’ Gouverneur Maulavi Abdul Hakim Munib erkende dat de veiligheidssituatie in de provincie ‘niet best’ is. ‘Het aantal Taliban-strijders en andere vijanden is vele malen groter dan dat van de politie en het Afghaanse leger in deze provincie.’ Een Defensiewoordvoerder zegt dat de uitlatingen van Munib een bevestiging zijn van het beeld over de veiligheidssituatie in Zuid-Afghanistan zoals dat aan de Tweede Kamer is geschetst: grimmig en zorgwekkend. Het platteland van Zuid-Afghanistan stroomt vol met wapens en strijders, vlak voordat de Amerikaanse troepen zich terugtrekken uit het gebied en het overdragen aan de NAVO-troepenmacht. De NAVO-troepen zeggen er niet heen te gaan om tegen terroristen te vechten, maar mee te helpen aan de wederopbouw en aan het herstellen van het centrale gezag.' Lees verder:

Waarom de Volkskrant de Defensiewoordvoerder onweersproken aan het woord laat, blijft onduidelijk. Toen het Kamerbesluit werd genomen was nu juist het geschetste beeld dat de situatie niet grimmig en zorgwekkend was. Volgens NOVA was 90 procent van de 'deskundigen' die gehoord werden voorstander van het sturen van nog meer troepen. De enige die een 'grimmige' situatie schetste was de journalist Arnold Karskens die door de commissievoorzitter werd afgebekt toen hij zijn verhaal wilde vertellen. Waarom er zo weinig tegenstanders aan het woord kwamen werd door onder andere de Volkskrant niet onderzocht. Dat vond de redactie kennelijk niet nodig. Waarom de Nederlandse massamedia geen correpondent bij de Nederlandse troepen in Uruzgan heeft is al even onduidelijk. Men vertrouwt kennelijk op de berichtgeving van de Nederlandse autoriteiten, en af en toe de professionele buitenlandse pers. Waarom hun berichtgeving niet veel eerder werd overgenomen is eveneens onduidelijk. De situatie zoals die nu is verschilt niet wezenlijk van de situatie zoals die een jaar geleden was. Zie daarover mijn berichten over Nederland en Afghanistan. Lees vooral ook het boek 'Imperial Hubris' van oud CIA-functionaris Michael Scheuer, die al drie jaar geleden ervoor waarschuwde dat de Taliban en al-Qaida niet verslagen waren en een guerilla waren begonnen.

woensdag 3 mei 2006

Irak 73

De Amerikaanse onafhankelijke journalist Dahr Jamail schrijft: 'Iraqis are at far greater risk when they speak out about the true number of the dead than western journalists. Those who speak out jeopardize their lives, like Faik Bakir, the director of the Baghdad morgue. Bakir fled Iraq fearing for his life in early March, after reporting that over 7,000 people had been killed by death squads in recent months. In an article in the Guardian <,,1721366,00.html> on March 2nd, it was made clear by John Pace, a UN official who worked in Iraq until February, that "The vast majority of bodies showed signs of summary execution - many with their hands tied behind their back. Some showed evidence of torture, with arms and leg joints broken by electric drills." He said that the killings had been ongoing long before the rampant bloodshed that followed the bombing of the Shia shrine in Samarra. The article added, "Mr. Pace, whose contract in Iraq ended last month, said many killings were carried out by Shia militias linked to the interior ministry run by Bayan Jabr, a leading figure in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri)."
This past Saturday I received information from the main morgue in Baghdad from a doctor there, name withheld for security reasons. "Yesterday we received 36 bodies from the police pickups. All of them are unknown, without IDs, and we don't have refrigerators to put them in since all of ours are completely full already. So we had to keep them on the ground. 12 of them were handcuffed, most of them received between 2 and 10 bullets, some many more than 10. We are not going to put them into biopsy. Reason for their death is known. Most of them are between 20 to 30 years … This is the number that was brought directly to us in one day, plus there are the dead who are sent to the hospitals. They will be put in the hospitals' morgues. We don't receive bodies from hospitals nowadays, because we don't have a place to keep them. I can't tell the exact number of killed people now, but it depends on the situation. But what I can assure you of is that since the shrine explosion, deaths have almost doubled. Daily, we receive between 70 to 80 bodies … you can see within these 40 minutes that I've talked with you, we received 9 bodies. Nearly every morning the count will be doubled twice this number, for the police find them at night. Most are either found in the streets or killed without sending them to hospitals. Four days ago we received 24 bodies in just 2 hours." At this same morgue back in June 2004, I interviewed the aforementioned director, Dr. Faiq Bakir, who had to flee for his life. He said that their maximum holding capacity with the freezers was 90 bodies, and since January 2004 an average of well over 600 bodies each month had been brought there. The cause of death for at least half of these were gunshots or explosions. He also pointed out that those numbers did not include the heavy fighting areas of Fallujah and Najaf. In addition, he told me, "We deal only with suspicious deaths, not deaths from natural causes. And so many bodies are buried that never go to a morgue anywhere." According to Dr. Bakir, the rate of bodies brought to the Baghdad Morgue even back then was 3-4 times greater than it ever was during the regime of Saddam Hussein. "I am sure that not all of the bodies that should come here do," he continued before very diplomatically adding, "Because our legal system has some problems right now."' Lees verder:

Iran 47

De New York Times bericht: 'Iran Urges United Nations to Oppose American 'Threats.'
UNITED NATIONS - Iran asked the United Nations on Monday to take a stand against American threats that it said included possible nuclear strikes on its territory and that were "in total contempt of international law." In a letter to Secretary General Kofi Annan, Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, pointed to recent comments by President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on ways to halt Iran's nuclear program and to news reports of Pentagon planning for possible nuclear attacks on nuclear facilities in Iran. "Such dangerous statements, particularly those of the United States president, widely considered in political and media circles as a tacit confirmation of the shocking news on the administration's possible contemplation of nuclear strikes against certain targets in Iran, defiantly articulate the United States' policies and intentions on the resort to nuclear weapons," Mr. Zarif wrote in the letter. He made no mention of any specific news reports, referring only to "recent news in U.S. newspapers." He said the comments by the United States were "matters of extreme gravity that require an urgent, concerted and resolute response on the part of the United Nations, and particularly the Security Council." Mr. Zarif also faulted the United Nations for remaining silent on "these illegal and inexcusable threats" and said the lack of action had "emboldened senior United States officials to go further and even consider the use of nuclear weapons as 'an option on the table.' " American officials have said they are pursuing a diplomatic solution to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, but they have repeatedly said that all options, including military ones, are being considered. Iran says its nuclear program is only for producing energy, but the United States and its European allies contend that Iran is preparing to build weapons.
Mr. Bush, asked at the White House on April 18 if the United States was considering military action against Iran, said, "All options are on the table." Two days later, Ms. Rice echoed the president in a speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. In his letter, Mr. Jarif made specific mention of both comments.' Lees verder:

Martelen 37

Het persbureau Reuters bericht: 'Amnesty: Torture "Widespread" in US Custody. Human rights group says US "creating climate" in which abuse can flourish. Geneva - Torture and inhumane treatment are "widespread" in U.S.-run detention centers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba and elsewhere despite Washington's denials, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.
In a report for the United Nations' Committee against Torture, the London-based human rights group also alleged abuses within the U.S. domestic law enforcement system, including use of excessive force by police and degrading conditions of isolation for inmates in high security prisons. "Evidence continues to emerge of widespread torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees held in U.S. custody," Amnesty said in its 47-page report.
It said that while Washington has sought to blame abuses that have recently come to light on "aberrant soldiers and lack of oversight", much ill-treatment stemmed from officially sanctioned interrogation procedures and techniques. "The U.S. government is not only failing to take steps to eradicate torture, it is actually creating a climate in which torture and other ill-treatment can flourish," said Amnesty International USA Senior Deputy Director-General Curt Goering.
The U.N. committee, whose experts carry out periodic reviews of countries signatory to the U.N. Convention against Torture, is scheduled to begin consideration of the United States on Friday. The last U.S. review was in 2000. It said in November it was seeking U.S. answers to questions including whether Washington operated secret detention centers abroad and whether President George W. Bush had the power to absolve anyone from criminal responsibility in torture cases. The committee also wanted to know whether a December 2004 memorandum from the U.S. Attorney General's office, reserving torture for "extreme" acts of cruelty, was compatible with the global convention barring all forms of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment. In its own submission to the committee, published late last year, Washington justified the holding of thousands of foreign terrorism suspects in detention centers abroad, including Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, on the grounds that it was fighting a war that was still not over. "Like other wars, when they start, we do not know when they will end. Still, we may detain combatants until the end of the war," it said. The U.S. human rights image has taken a battering abroad over a string of scandals involving the sexual and physical abuse of detainees held by American forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Lees verder: Of: Nederland is betrokken bij dit martelen omdat de Nederlandse militairen in Afghanistan gevangenen hebben overgeleverd aan de Amerikanen. Ik ben benieuwd of het Nederlandse parlement nu de Nederlandse regering ter verantwoording roept.

dinsdag 2 mei 2006

Verarmd Uranium 3

Dit artikel was mij ontgaan, maar is belangrijk genoeg om alsnog over te nemen. Het is van CounterCurents: 'Depleted Uranium Contaminates Europe. By Lauren Moret. 27 February, 2006 Uruknet. "Did the use of Uranium weapons in Gulf War II result in contamination of Europe? Evidence from the measurements of the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Aldermaston, Berkshire, UK," reported the Sunday Times Online (February 19, 2006) in a shocking scientific study authored by British scientists Dr. Chris Busby and Saoirse Morgan. The highest levels of depleted uranium ever measured in the atmosphere in Britain, were transported on air currents from the Middle East and Central Asia; of special significance were those from the Tora Bora bombing in Afghanistan in 2001, and the "Shock & Awe" bombing during Gulf War II in Iraq in 2003. Out of concern for the public, the official British government air monitoring facility, known as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), at Aldermaston, was established years ago to measure radioactive emissions from British nuclear power plants and atomic weapons facilities. The British government facility (AWE) was taken over 3 years ago by Halliburton, which refused at first to release air monitoring data to Dr. Busby, as required by law. An international expert on low level radiation, Busby serves as an official advisor on several British government committees, and co-authored an independent report on low level radiation with 45 scientists, the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), for the European Parliament. He was able to get Aldermaston air monitoring data from Halliburton /AWE by filing a Freedom of Information request using a new British law which became effective January 1, 2005; but the data for 2003 was missing. He obtained the 2003 data from the Defence Procurement Agency. The fact that the air monitoring data was circulated by Halliburton/ AWE to the Defence Procurement Agency, implies that it was considered to be relevant, and that Dr. Busby was stonewalled because Halliburton/ AWE clearly recognized that it was a serious enough matter to justify a government interpretation of the results, and official decisions had to be made about what the data would show and its political implications for the military. In a similar circumstance, in 1992, Major Doug Rokke, the Director of the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Cleanup Project after Gulf War I, was ordered by a U.S. Army General officer to write a no-bid contract "Depleted Uranium, Contaminated Equipment, and Facilities Recovery Plan Outline" for the procedures for cleaning up Kuwait, including depleted uranium, for Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton.' Lees verder: Meer over verarmd uranium:

De Commerciele Massamedia 4

Wanneer het Israel betreft dan wordt door de Westerse commerciele media niet eens meer een poging ondernomen om onafhankelijk te lijken. Wanneer 'de joodse natie' dreigt Iran te bombarderen dan wordt dat voor kennisgeving aangenomen en als iets onvermijdelijks gepresenteerd. Zodra evenwel Iran 'de joodse natie' bedreigt dan wordt expliciet gemeld dat Israel bedreigd wordt. Het persbureau Reuters bericht: 'Iran threatens Israel. Tue May 2, 2006 3:19 PM BST... "We have announced that wherever America does something evil, the first place that we target will be Israel," ISNA quoted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander, Rear Admiral Mohammad-Ebrahim Dehqani, as saying on Tuesday. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map". Iran's deputy oil minister said there was "some possibility" of a U.S. attack on his country over its nuclear programme. "I am worried. Everybody is worried," Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian said in New Delhi after talks on a proposed $7-billion pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan. Concerns that Iran's dispute with the West could lead to disruption of its oil output pushed oil prices above $74 a barrel, close to the record of $75.35 touched last month. The United States, Britain and France are expected to introduce a resolution to the Security Council this week that would legally oblige Iran to comply with UN demands. The three countries favour limited sanctions if Tehran remains defiant.
Iran said Russia and China, also veto-wielding permanent council members, would not back any punitive measures. "The thing these two countries have officially told us and expressed in diplomatic negotiations is their opposition to sanctions and military attacks," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told Iran's Kayhan newspaper. China and Russia both have big energy interests in Iran, the world's fourth biggest oil exporter. Russia is also helping Iran build its first atomic power plant in the Gulf port of Bushehr. Nicholas Burns, the U.S. under-secretary of state for political affairs, said in Paris that Tuesday's meeting would seek to keep the Security Council members and Germany united before a meeting of foreign ministers in New York on May 9. Lees verder:

Chalmers Johnson 4

De Amerikaanse geleerde Chalmers Johnson schrijft: 'There is something absurd and inherently false about one country trying to impose its system of government or its economic institutions on another. Such an enterprise amounts to a dictionary definition of imperialism. When what's at issue is "democracy," you have the fallacy of using the end to justify the means (making war on those to be democratized), and in the process the leaders of the missionary country are invariably infected with the sins of hubris, racism, and arrogance. We Americans have long been guilty of these crimes. On the eve of our entry into World War I, William Jennings Bryan, President Woodrow Wilson's first secretary of state, described the United States as "the supreme moral factor in the world's progress and the accepted arbiter of the world's disputes." If there is one historical generalization that the passage of time has validated, it is that the world could not help being better off if the American president had not believed such nonsense and if the United States had minded its own business in the war between the British and German empires. We might well have avoided Nazism, the Bolshevik Revolution, and another thirty to forty years of the exploitation of India, Indonesia, Indochina, Algeria, Korea, the Philippines, Malaya, and virtually all of Africa by European, American, and Japanese imperialists.
We Americans have never outgrown the narcissistic notion that the rest of the world wants (or should want) to emulate us. In Iraq, bringing democracy became the default excuse for our warmongers -- it would be perfectly plausible to call them "crusaders," if Osama bin Laden had not already appropriated the term -- once the Bush lies about Iraq's alleged nuclear, chemical, and biological threats and its support for al Qaeda melted away. Bush and his neocon supporters have prattled on endlessly about how "the world is hearing the voice of freedom from the center of the Middle East," but the reality is much closer to what Noam Chomsky dubbed "deterring democracy" in a notable 1992 book of that name. We have done everything in our power to see that the Iraqis did not get a "free and fair election," one in which the Shia majority could come to power and ally Iraq with Iran. As Noah Feldman, the Coalition Provisional Authority's law advisor, put it in November 2003, "If you move too fast the wrong people could get elected."' Lees verder:

De Israelische Terreur 16

Getrainde moordenaars van het Israelische bezettingsleger. Van joods Israelische vredesactivisten kreeg ik net de volgende email: '"They took six of ours, and we are going to take six of theirs" (from one of the soldiers testimonies)

"Breaking the Silence" briefing on the IDF rules of engagement in the occupied territories:

Breaking the Silence is an Israeli NGO of ex-combatants from the IDF that served in the second Intifada (since September 2000).
Since June 2004 we have been collecting testimonies from young Israelis like ourselves about their service in the occupied territories.
We wish to bring to our society and the world the truth about the reality in the OT.
As part of our testimonial project we have gathered a massive and frightening collection of testimonies on the rules of engagement in the OT.
In Israel the rules of engagement are classified and are not brought to the awareness of the public, politicians or legal arena.
This leads to the reality of a "black hole" surrounding the deadliest activities of the IDF in the OT.
Over 6 months ago "Breaking the Silence" lead a campaign of exposures in the Israeli and foreign media on this issue.
We wish to hold a briefing for the foreign audiance on this issue.
We will address the following issues:
1. Conclusions from the testimonies.
2. What has happened since the exposure in the media.
3. New testimonies on the rules of engagement.
4. What is needed to encourage systematic criticism on the rules and procedures in the OT.
We will present some video materials during this briefing, some of which have never been shown before.
The briefing will take place on:
Tuesday the 9th of May at 18:00
Place- Daila center in Jerusalem (4 Shlomzion Hamalka Street, West Jerusalem).

Please inform us if you intend to arrive to this gathering.
For more information about "Breaking the Silence" you may check out our website.
Attached you can find the testimonial booklet on the rules of engagement.

Avichay Sharon
Breaking the Silence

Vluchtelingen 2

Bas Baltus van de Stichting ASKV/Steunpunt Vluchtelingen emialde me het volgende: 'Beste lezer,Zoals jullie misschien weten zijn Amnesty, Vluchtelingenwerk, Kerkinactie, Unicef, Inlia, de Raad van Kerken, Samah en Defence for Children International een actie begonnen om aandacht te vragen voor de heikele positie van kinderen in vreemdelingenbewaring. Daar horen kinderen namelijk niet. Dat vinden overigens ook de Raad van Europa en Unhcr en inmiddels tienduizenden mensen in Nederland.Ook wij stellen ons natuurlijk achter deze aktie.Wij vragen je dit ook te doen. Dit kan door online de petitie te tekenen op de website
Met vriendelijke groet,
Bas Baltus
Informatie over het ASKV/Steunpunt Vluchtelingen vindt u op zijn bereikbaar op: Frederik Hendrikstraat 111c 1052 HN Amsterdam tel 020-6272408 of 020-4205670 fax 020-4203208 postbank 7913334 tnv Stichting ASKV

De Israelische Terreur 15

Treiteren, intimideren, terroriseren. Dat zijn de kenmerken van het Israelisch militair optreden tegen de Palestijnse burgerbevolking. Defence for Children bericht: 'Five-year old boy detained by Israeli forces. In the early afternoon of 17 April, 33-year old Samer Qabha was sitting with his five-year old son, Motaz, in his lap, talking to his neighbour in front of his house in the northern West Bank village of Tura al-Gharbiya. As the men chatted, they noticed an Israeli military Hummer jeep passing several times up and down along the street in front of them. Samer and his neighbour paid little attention to the vehicle - the sight of the Israeli army in town is nothing new. Israeli forces often enter Tura al-Gharbiya and surrounding villages ostensibly to patrol the Separation Wall which snakes along the western edge of Tura al-Gharbiya, cutting the village off from its land and from the 9,000 residents of neighbouring hamlets in the Barta'a Ash Sharqiya enclave. On around the fifth time of passing, the Hummer stopped and three soldiers got down and started walking towards Samer. Pointing at Motaz, the soldiers asked if the boy was Samer's son and said he'd been throwing stones at the jeep. As Samer started to protest, pointing out that his son was only five years old, other soldiers appeared from an olive grove beside the house. As they walked up to Samer and Motaz, one soldier told the others standing there “That boy was throwing stones”. To the horror of Samer and his neighbour, the soldiers announced that they were going to arrest Motaz. Samer implored them to leave his child alone, but one of the soldiers bent down and tried to pull the by now terrified child out of his father's arms. For almost half an hour, Samer argued with the soldiers that Motaz was only a child and that they couldn't arrest him. However, when it became clear to him that the soldiers were not going to yield, Samer told them that if they were going to detain his child, they would have to take him too. The soldier in charge made a call in which, Samer assumes, he sought permission to bring the father along with the son. The soldiers then dragged Motaz from his father, shouting at the boy who started screaming and begging his father to help him. Samer tried to hold onto and protect Motaz, but his efforts only angered the soldiers further. They turned and beat Samer, separating him from Motaz whom they slapped and yelled at. The soldiers bound Samer's hands and blindfolded him before pushing him into the jeep, shoving Motaz in after him.' Lees verder: Misschien kan het Nederlandse kabinet dat zo begaan lijkt met de mensenrechten Israel eens een keer ter verantwoording roepen. En als onze christelijke-neoliberale regering dat antisemitisch mocht vinden dan kan men altijd nog bedenken dat ook arabieren semieten zijn.

Thom Meens

Bou Berkenbosch wees me op het volgende: 'Deze week gaat de discussie op Zapruder niet langer over 11 september, maar over DU. Op deze site las ik een reactie op een stukje van de Volkskrant-ombudsman, waarin hij ondermeer schreef: 'Nog één keer 11 september. Eerst maar een excuus aan de lezers die ik min of meer had beloofd deze week te schrijven over de Volkskrant als spreekbuis voor de VVD (of niet): mijn stuk over de vele waarheden rond 11 september heeft zo veel reacties losgemaakt, dat ik er niet omheen kan daar nogmaals aandacht aan te besteden. De honderden reacties komen overigens voor het overgrote deel van gelovers in de complottheoriën die rond 11 september de ronde doen.' Vervolgens stelt de ombudsman Thom Meens 'niet tot de gelovers' te behoren. Zie: En dat laatste is een wonderlijke veronderstelling, die men wel meer aantreft bij mensen die er blind van uitgaan de nuchterheid zelve te zijn. Ik heb hem dan ook geschreven: 'geachte heer meens. ook u gelooft in een complot, alleen dat is de officiele versie van de werkelijkheid, namelijk dat een groep van negentien arabieren, van wie enkelen later nog bleken te leven, zonder veel ervaring vier vliegtuigen hebben gekaapt en vervolgens drie ervan in grote gebouwen hebben gevlogen, met een vakmanschap die volgens piloten adembenemend is. het staat u vrij in dat complot te geloven, maar ook dat complot is alles behalve geloofwaardig voor een onafhankelijke vraag is dan ook waarom u de ene complottheorie wel accepteert en de andere afwijst.u zult daar ongetwijfeld goede redenen voor hebben, maar misschien kunt u die wereldkundig maken.
vriendelijke groet
stan van houcke.' Ik ben benieuwd of ik een antwoord krijg.

maandag 1 mei 2006

De Oorlogsstaat 47

De New York Times bericht: 'Warfare as It Really Is. In the first few moments of the documentary film "Baghdad ER," we see a man dressed in hospital scrubs carrying a bloodied arm that has been amputated above the elbow. He deposits it in a large red plastic bag. This HBO production is reality television with a vengeance - warfare as it really is. And while it is frightening, harrowing and deeply painful to watch, it should be required viewing for all but the youngest Americans. It will premiere May 21. For two months in 2005, the directors Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill were given unprecedented access by the Army to the 86th Combat Support Hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad. Working 12-hour shifts, they watched - and taped - the heroic struggle of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to salvage as many lives as possible from what amounted to a nonstop conveyor be?t of bloodied, broken and burned G.I.'s. At one point in the film, a specialist who survived a roadside bomb attack murmurs from a stretcher, "It was the worst thing I ever saw in my life, sir." "What was that?" he is asked. Recalling his last view of a buddy who was killed in the attack, he says, "My friend didn't have a face." The movie is neither pro-war nor anti-war. It is simply a searing record of the ferocious toll that combat takes on real human beings. In an interview, Mr. Alpert described "the shock of seeing human beings twisted into these horrible shapes, with parts missing and parts being detached from them." In the first couple of hours after he and Mr. O'Neill had arrived at the hospital, he said, "We had already seen two amputations and they were prepping someone else for another one." Before long, he said, the effort to document the daily activities became psychologically grueling because "you just knew that every single day that door was going to open up, that the helicopter was going to land, and they were just going to bring in something that looked like hamburger instead of a human being." Above all else, war is about the suffering of individuals. The suffering is endured mostly by the young, and these days the government and the media are careful to keep the worst of it out of the sight of the average American. That way we can worry in peace about the cost of the gasoline we need to get us to the mall.' Lees verder:

Failed States

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog address at In Information Clearing House schrijft hij in een bespreking van Noam Chomsky's nieuwe boek 'Failed States' het volgende: 'The US Has Corrupted the Meaning of Democracy - First How It's Done It Abroad Chomsky discusses how we try selling the notion of "anticipatory self-defense" to the public and the world by claiming it's part of a democracy project - to bring our democratic system to those who don't have it, or don't have enough of it, as part of Bush's "messianic mission" and "grand strategy." As an old marketing MBA and now retired marketer I can appreciate the techniques they use to sell it. They are indeed clever and slick, but they should be as they're designed by advertising and PR experts who know their craft well and execute with precision - even if it is all baloney or worse. Despite our pious rhetoric, the one thing we most don't want and won't tolerate in the states we target is real democracy - meaning, of course, freely elected governments and leaders who then run them to serve the needs and interests of their own people instead of ours. The reason we choose a target country is because they refuse to become a subservient client state. That's intolerable to us so regime change becomes the chosen method to fix the problem including by war if other less extreme methods fail. That's what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. It had nothing to do with leaders in either country who oppressed their people or threatened to attack anyone. Using Iraq as an example, Chomsky shows how allowing real democracy there would undermine every goal the US set out to achieve by invading in the first place. He explains that although Iraqis have no love for Iran, they'd prefer friendly relations to conflict with their neighbor and would cooperate with efforts to integrate Iran into the region. Moreover, the Iraqi Shiite religious and political leadership have close links with Iran, and their success in Iraq is encouraging the Shiite population in Saudi Arabia to want the same freedoms and democracy. The Saudi Shiites just happen to be the majority in the eastern part of the country where most of the Saudi oil is. Should all this happen in a democratic process it would be Washington's worst nightmare - a loose Shiite dominated alliance including Iraq, Iran and the oil rich part of Saudi Arabia. And if that isn't bad enough, Chomsky then explains it could be still worse. This independent bloc might join with Iran in establishing major energy projects jointly with China and India and do it using a basket of currencies to denominate oil instead of only the dollar as most countries now do. Iran is already beginning to do it, so others doing the same would seem quite sensible and likely. Should all that happen, it would be a potential earthquake to the US economy which then would have major consequences for the global economy. It's fair to assume the US would do everything possible to prevent this scenario from ever happening. The same Bush commitment to "democracy promotion" has played out in our one-sided relations with Israel which have so adversely affected the Palestinians for nearly 40 years and especially so post 9/11 and now after the election of Hamas as the Palestinians' democratically chosen government. Despite all the rhetoric to the contrary, there never was a peace process as the US continues to support an illegal Israeli occupation, liberally fund it, and turn a blind eye to the worst abuses committed under it. Those abuses, or more accurately daily war crimes and crimes against humanity, have created the most extreme hardships for a beleaguered people who've been unable to receive any meaningful redress in the UN or world community. They're forced to endure an endless array of daily assaults including targeted and random assassinations, the denial of their most basic rights, and now closed borders and a cutoff of desperately needed funding from the West. Those funds include the tax revenues they pay the Israelis from which they're entitled to receive payments back to provide the means to run their government and provide the essentials of life including food to eat. If it wished to, the US could easily broker a diplomatic solution guaranteeing Israel the security its people want (but the Israeli government doesn't) and the Palestinians a viable state of its own with fixed borders and other major grievances ameliorated and most basic demands satisfied. It would solve the longest running Middle East conflict and make it much easier for both Israel and the US to have a more normal state-to-state relationship with other countries in the region instead of the strained ones both countries now have. It would also go a long way to ending open conflict in the region. It won't happen because neither the US nor Israel want it to, and they both continue to block every effort toward that end despite their pious rhetoric to the contrary. The result is the most basic Palestinian rights are denied and the notion of a democratic Israel is a myth. So much for "democracy promotion" and conflict resolution in the region.' Lees verder:

Iran 46

De Amerikaanse journalist Mike Whitney schrijft: 'There’s no doubt that if the war in Iraq had been the “cakewalk” the neocons expected, Marines would be unfurling “Old Glory” in downtown Teheran right now. Bush has never wavered in his plan to topple the Islamic regime or to put Iran’s vast petroleum reserves under American control. In fact, the administration’s own policy papers, including the National Security Strategy (NSS) as well as the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) assert that the United States has the right to claim these resources if it is in our national interests. Everyone knows Bush’s grand-plan for the Middle East, so why are the IAEA and Security Council pretending that the administration is genuinely interested in Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program? Haven’t they seen this charade before? It’s impossible that the main players don’t understand Bush’s real intentions or know that the nuclear issue is simply a pretext for war. Bush has telegraphed his belligerence at every opportunity even going so far as to announce to the Iranian people that his hostility is not directed at them, but at their government. Bush’s appeal to the Iranian people is absurd. He’s asking them to abandon any sense of national loyalty so that he can violently replace the regime with an American client. It’s crazy. Are the Iranians so simple-minded that they don’t know that the Shah’s son is still living in New York and has met regularly with leading figures in the Bush administration? Imagine a similar situation where Iran provided $75 million (as congress has) to build political organizations within the US with the stated goal of toppling the government; such meddling is tantamount to an act of war and yet the American people shrug it off as “business as usual”. No one in the Middle East is blind to America’s machinations. The landscape is loaded with clients, toadies, and venal monarchs all acting on Washington’s behalf. If Bush was serious about fighting terrorism he’d focus his attention on Riyadh not Tehran. And, if the IAEA was serious about nuclear proliferation, they’d be challenging the Bush administration’s upcoming tests of “Divine Strake”; the Pentagon’s attempt to create a new regime of low-yield, bunker-busting nuclear weapons. According to Defense Dept documents, Divine Strake is intended to “develop a planning tool to improve the warfighters confidence in selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage.” That’s right; the Washington warlords are planning to use nuclear weapons in an offensive attack. So, why is ElBaradei dithering with Iran while this much graver threat is materializing in front of the whole world? Why is the Security Council wasting time with imaginary weapons programs when the REAL danger is plain to see? Lees verder:

Amerikaanse Nucleaire Wapens 2

Newsweek bericht: 'Iraqi Nukes: Fallout From U.S. Strikes. The administration may be making contingency plans to bomb Iran's nuclear sites if diplomacy fails. Apart from the geopolitical fallout of such a strike, there's reason to worry about the environmental impact. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors Tehran's activities, is raising questions about dangers stemming from U.S. strikes on Iraq's biggest nuclear site during the 2003 invasion. In a report to be posted on the IAEA's Web site this week, the agency states that about 1,000 Iraqi men, women and children in a village near the former Tuwaitha nuclear research facility are living inside an area contaminated by radioactive residue and ruin. "I can only guess that a lot of the damage at Tuwaitha was from bombing," Dennis Reisenweaver, an IAEA safety expert, told NEWSWEEK. "Any time you damage a facility that uses radioactive material, you have potential for spreading contamination." He said the agency was looking at other damaged Iraqi sites as well, but did not yet know the overall health impact. Asked to comment on the bombing, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, said, "We have no record of that here."' Lees verder: Meer over Amerikaanse nucleaire wapens: En:

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Robert Fisk schrijft: 'Seen through a Syrian lens,'unknown Americans' are provoking civil war in Iraq In Syria, the world appears through a glass, darkly. As dark as the smoked windows of the car which takes me to a building on the western side of Damascus where a man I have known for 15 years - we shall call him a "security source", which is the name given by American correspondents to their own powerful intelligence officers - waits with his own ferocious narrative of disaster in Iraq and dangers in the Middle East. His is a fearful portrait of an America trapped in the bloody sands of Iraq, desperately trying to provoke a civil war around Baghdad in order to reduce its own military casualties. It is a scenario in which Saddam Hussein remains Washington's best friend, in which Syria has struck at the Iraqi insurgents with a ruthlessness that the United States wilfully ignores. And in which Syria's Interior Minister, found shot dead in his office last year, committed suicide because of his own mental instability. The Americans, my interlocutor suspected, are trying to provoke an Iraqi civil war so that Sunni Muslim insurgents spend their energies killing their Shia co-religionists rather than soldiers of the Western occupation forces. "I swear to you that we have very good information," my source says, finger stabbing the air in front of him. "One young Iraqi man told us that he was trained by the Americans as a policeman in Baghdad and he spent 70 per cent of his time learning to drive and 30 per cent in weapons training. They said to him: 'Come back in a week.' When he went back, they gave him a mobile phone and told him to drive into a crowded area near a mosque and phone them. He waited in the car but couldn't get the right mobile signal. So he got out of the car to where he received a better signal. Then his car blew up." Impossible, I think to myself. But then I remember how many times Iraqis in Baghdad have told me similar stories. These reports are believed even if they seem unbelievable. And I know where much of the Syrian information is gleaned: from the tens of thousands of Shia Muslim pilgrims who come to pray at the Sayda Zeinab mosque outside Damascus. These men and women come from the slums of Baghdad, Hillah and Iskandariyah as well as the cities of Najaf and Basra. Sunnis from Fallujah and Ramadi also visit Damascus to see friends and relatives and talk freely of American tactics in Iraq. "There was another man, trained by the Americans for the police. He too was given a mobile and told to drive to an area where there was a crowd - maybe a protest - and to call them and tell them what was happening. Again, his new mobile was not working. So he went to a landline phone and called the Americans and told them: 'Here I am, in the place you sent me and I can tell you what's happening here.' And at that moment there was a big explosion in his car." Just who these "Americans" might be, my source did not say. In the anarchic and panic-stricken world of Iraq, there are many US groups - including countless outfits supposedly working for the American military and the new Western-backed Iraqi Interior Ministry - who operate outside any laws or rules. No one can account for the murder of 191 university teachers and professors since the 2003 invasion - nor the fact that more than 50 former Iraqi fighter-bomber pilots who attacked Iran in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war have been assassinated in their home towns in Iraq in the past three years.' Lees verder: Of:

Iran 45

De grote Amerikaanse chantage en omkoping is inmiddels weer in volle gang. 'Turkey Refuses U.S. Request To Allow Attack On Iran From Turkish BaseReport: Turkey won’t let U.S. attack Iran from its landBy YNetNews04/30/06 "YNetNews" -- -- Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Sunday that his country refused a request from the United States to attack Iran from its Air Force base in Incirlik, despite the U.S. offer of a nuclear reactor, according to a report in Al Biyan. In an interview for the United Arab Emirates newspaper, Gul noted that America’s efforts to attack Iran are “imaginary” and that Turkey’s stance is “strategic” and refuses the use of its land for any belligerent activity against neighboring countries.' Lees verder: Of:,7340,L-3245382,00.html

zondag 30 april 2006

Klimaatverandering 33

Newsweek bericht: 'Al Gore on why America - and even George Bush - is close to a tipping point on global warming. Al Gore has launched his new campaign-this one to battle the effects of global warming. At its center is a new film, "An Inconvenient Truth," which stars Gore and has been winning surprisingly positive press. It opens May 24. The former vice president, who has abandoned a relatively low profile to promote the movie, spoke to Eleanor Clift about the environment, technology and politics in America. Excerpts:
Newsweek: They say timing is everything. Has the moment arrived for this issue?
Al Gore: I hope it has. I hope that we are close to a tipping point beyond which the country will begin to face this very seriously and the majority of politicians in both parties will begin to compete by offering meaningful solutions. We're nowhere close to that yet, but a tipping point by definition is a time of very rapid change-and I think that the potential for this change has been building up, with the evangelical ministers speaking out, General Electric and Republican CEOs saying we have to address it, grass-roots organizations-all of these things are happening at the same time because through various means people are seeing a new reality. The relationship between our civilization and the earth has been radically transformed. Global warming is by far the most serious manifestation of the collision-and Mother Nature is making the evidence ever more obvious. Scientific studies have been coming out right and left over the last several years that connect various parts of the overall picture to the whole. And by whatever means, a lot of people have been absorbing this message, and they're now saying, "Wait a minute, we really have to do something about this." (…) In 2000 and in 1988 when you ran, you really didn't talk about the environment that much. I think you were counseled that it was not a good issue. Any regrets about that? AG: That's the conventional wisdom that I want to challenge because in both cases I talked about it extensively. And to take 2000 as an example, there were numerous speeches and events and proposals and multipoint plans that were not considered news, and if a tree falls in the forest and it's not heard, then later on people think it didn't happen. John Kerry went thru a very similar experience in '04 because the way the issue has been covered has been plagued with some of the adjectives that you began with-it's marginal, it's arcane, it's irrelevant, ridiculous-and so if a daily news cycle is devoted to that issue, then one candidate has his message out there and the other is mysteriously missing. There's another factor that's often overlooked in 2000. Then governor George W. Bush publicly pledged to regulate CO2 emissions and to forcibly, with the rule of law, reduce them-and publicly said "this is a serious problem and I will deal with it." Now, the other way that issues get covered in the media is if there's conflict, and if there's a sharp difference. And one is tempted to conclude that [Karl] Rove crafted those positions that were immediately abandoned after the election-in the first week after the inauguration, the first week-one is tempted to conclude that Rove wrote those positions in order to take from that issue any sense of contrast or conflict and thereby make it non-newsworthy. It certainly had that effect, whether it was intentional or not. I can't look into their hearts-I'll let the grand jury do that. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that. The mainstream media still ruled during your campaign in 2000. It's a very different world today with the Internet. How do you see the new media changing upcoming campaigns? AG: The old cliché about six months being a lifetime in politics is probably out of date now with the new technology coming wave upon wave. But I have a slightly different view from what I hear a lot. I think that television is still the dominant medium, and I do believe that the Internet has brought about a continuing and accelerating revolution in the technique of politics and the way candidates reach out to connect with individual voters and groups. But where the wholesale messaging is concerned, television is still completely dominant. One statistic that illustrates that is that last year according to this new study Americans watched on average four hours and 39 minutes of television per day-and that's up four minutes from the previous year,even with the increased use of the Internet. And the vast majority of Internet users are watching television while they're using the Internet. I have a television network. I've spent a lot of time looking into these things. And the characteristic of television that is so different from the printing press that was the medium dominating America's birth is that television is one-way. The individual has no way to get into the conversation. My point is that television may not be dominant in 2008, but I wouldn't bet on that. I think that it is still the most powerful medium, and the reason is it's quasi-hypnotic. One of the most valuable things in the television business if you're a content creator is to have a good lead-in show before you. Why?
People don't get up.
Not only do they not get up - a significant percentage are incapable of moving a thumb muscle to hit the remote because there's a quasi-trance that sets in. I don't want to overdramatize it, but the fact is that people just sit there entranced - and that's why most of the money in politics goes to television.' Lees verder: Of:

De Oorlogsstaat 46

De BBC bericht: 'US War Costs "Could Hit $811Bn" BBC News. The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has soared and may now reach $811bn (£445bn), says a report by the Congressional Research Service. It estimates that Congress has appropriated $368bn for the global war on terror, including both conflicts. It says that if the current spending bill is approved, US war costs will reach $439bn, and it estimates that an extra $371bn may be needed by 2016.
On that basis, the two wars would cost more than the $579bn spent in Vietnam. The future costing assumes that US troop levels will drop from the 258,000 currently engaged in all operations to 74,000 by 2010.
Budget Gap
The rising cost of the war is leading to growing concerns in Congress, where attempts to control the budget deficit have been hindered by the "supplementary" requests received each year for war spending. The CRS estimates that the US Department of Defense's annual war funding has risen from $73bn in 2004 to $120bn in 2006, with an increase of 17% this year alone.
There have also been concerns that extra non-related appropriations are often tucked inside the war funding bill. On Thursday Senators deleted funding for a $15m seafood promotion programme that had been tucked away in the current bill. Earlier, Senators diverted $1.9bn in war funds to pay for increased immigration controls at US borders.
Troop Levels
The cost of the war in Iraq has been increasing since US troops have become bogged down in the conflict.' Lees verder: Of:

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De Amerikaanse journalist Mike Whitney schrijft: 'Blood payments for Flawed Leadership "As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Bad news continues to pile up around Don Rumsfeld like garbage at a land fill. The latest blast came from an unlikely source, The Army Times”, which conducted a poll showing that 64% of enlisted men think Rumsfeld should tender his resignation immediately. It would be impossible to find a more conservative publication than the Army Times or a more compelling reason for stepping down. Still, the recalcitrant Rumsfeld shows no sign of caving in or loosening his withered grip on the levers of power. Earlier in the week, an equally devastating article appeared in the New York Times “Criticism of Rumsfeld Widens to Young Officers” echoing that younger officers are just as sick of the glib Rummy as their elders. One anonymous officer noted, “We have not lost a single tactical engagement on the ground in Iraq….The mistakes have all been at the strategic and political levels." Confidence in the Secretary is deflating more rapidly than the air leaving a punctured tire. Most of the grumbling about Rumsfeld seems to center on his two salient attributes; arrogance and ineptitude, the twin-axels of predictable failure. There isn’t one part of the 3 year occupation he hasn’t mishandled, mismanaged or completely bungled. His tenure at the War Dept represents the greatest collapse of leadership in the history of the republic. You’re doin’ a heck-uva job, Rummy. It was Rumsfeld who refused to commit enough troops to the original invasion making it impossible to establish order; just as it was Rumsfeld who left the armories and munitions dumps unattended, disbanded the Iraqi military, and dismantled the government through de-Ba’athification. All these proved to be costly and avoidable mistakes which made reconstruction difficult and security impossible. Rummy has brushed aside such idle criticism saying, “Stuff happens”. Rumsfeld’s only success has been in alienating the Iraqi people by authorizing the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib as well as the gratuitous destruction of Falluja; two events which galvanized the Iraqi resistance and savaged any chance of winning over Iraqi “hearts and minds”. Now, Iraq is in the throes of deadly guerilla war with casualties mounting by the day and not a glimmer of light in the tunnel. The responsibility for the deteriorating situation mainly rests with one man, Don Rumsfeld, the primary architect of America’s desert “cakewalk”. . Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton's summarized Rumsfeld’s abysmal performance best when he said that Rumsfeld was "incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq."' Lees verder:

Nazi Crimes of the Self Proclaimed Jewish State Sulaiman Ahmed @ShaykhSulaiman NEVER FORGET WHAT THEY DID 11:59 a.m. · 15 jun. 202...