Bush Puts Iran in Crosshairs

Not another warning about war with Iran! Well, suck it up. President George W. Bush's speech Tuesday makes clear his plan to attack Iran, and how the intelligence, as was the case before the attack on Iraq, is being "fixed around the policy."

It's not about putative Iranian "weapons of mass destruction" – not even ostensibly. It is about the requirement for a scapegoat for U.S. reverses in Iraq, and the felt need to create a casus belli by provoking Iran in such a way as to "justify" armed retaliation – perhaps extending to an attempt to destroy its nuclear-related facilities.

Bush's Aug. 28 speech to the American Legion came five years after a very similar presentation by Vice President Dick Cheney. Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Aug. 26, 2002, Cheney set the meretricious terms of reference for war on Iraq.

Full article...

punditman says: Time is running out, folks. Time to wake from summer slumbers and stop these criminals from unleashing a global conflagration.


Bush to request $50 billion more for Iraq war: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush is preparing to ask Congress for as much as $50 billion in additional funding for the war in Iraq, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing a White House official.

The request signals increasing White House confidence that it can fend off mounting congressional pressure to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, the Post reported.

The additional funds would come on top of about $460 billion in the fiscal 2008 defense budget and $147 billion in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Post said.

Full Report...


Right-Wing Extremism, Neo-Nazism and Xenophobia on the Rise in Germany?

by- Suzie-Q @ 12:55 PM MST

It's been a week since eight Indian men were chased through the small eastern town of Muegeln, Germany, by a drunken mob while people looked on.

In the last seven days, speculation about why it happened, finger-pointing, soul-searching, worries and concerns over the violent incident have followed and brought back to the forefront issues of right-wing extremism, neo-Nazism and xenophobia in Germany.

In a country that has taken great pains to highlight recent historical transgressions and where Nazi activities are outlawed, the question arises once more: Is Germany facing the return of neo-Nazism?

After a brawl at a street festival, the eight Indian men suddenly found themselves being attacked by dozens of angry German youths shouting "Foreigners out" and "foreigners go back where you belong."



Police provocateurs at Montebello Summit?

QPP admit to 'agents' but not 'provocateurs'

Critics demand RCMP review


Globe and Mail Update

August 24, 2007 at 1:25 AM EDT

Opposition parties are calling on the RCMP to review how it handled security at this week's Montebello summit after Quebec's provincial police force admitted late Thursday that three undercover officers had disguised themselves as demonstrators during a protest.

A video of the demonstration broadcast on the Internet – which shows three men with bandanas across their faces and large rocks in their hands taunting union members before being handcuffed and escorted away by police in riot gear – was at the centre of a controversy that erupted following the North American leaders meeting.

Those at the protest said the officers were acting like agents provocateurs by provoking violence from within the crowd.

Full article...

punditman says: Well folks, we now have a confirmation and an admission on the part of the Quebec Provinvial Police that these guys were infiltrators. How far up the chain of command does this go?


Labeling of Iran's Revolutionary Guards: Another step toward military confrontation

by Daniel Pourkesali

The unprecedented move by the United States to designate a branch of another sovereign nation's armed forces, in this case Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a "terrorist" organization [1], is only the latest episode of a menacing plan that has taken years to implement.

Most commonly accepted definition for "terrorism" is "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, civilian population, or any segment thereof, in order to achieve specific political, social, or economic objectives".

Note that the only thing causing the above to be characterized as an act of "terror" is the word "unlawful". If the very same act of aggression is given a resemblance of being justified on legal grounds then it is magically transformed to an "operation" and given a code name (i.e. Panama attack was called Operation Just Cause and the current Iraq invasion began as Operation Iraqi Freedom). In fact there is a website dedicated to generating such code names [2]. Just choose the area and type of action from the two drop down menus and you'll instantly have a nice label to put on your operation. An air strike on Iran, for example, returned a very catchy name of "Intense Sword" and the same act on Russia was sanitized as "Silent Angel".

So how does a country like the U.S. go about taking care of that little "unlawful" problem? Simple; first task a few bureaucrats or political pundits who've not served a day in uniform with writing a paper to be used as blueprint for global domination through pre-emption and military intervention and call it the "The National Security Strategy of the United States."[3] Then label all those persons, organizations, or even states not readily submitting to your will as "terrorists" and strong-arm the international community, the U.N. and the Congress into supporting that strategy in violation of both U.S. and international laws.

Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution establishes that ratified treaties, such as the U.N. Charter, are the "supreme law of the land."

Article 1 of the U.N. Charter [4] states that "The purposes of the United Nations are to maintain international peace and sovereignty, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removals of threats to peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace. . . "

Article 2 states that all member states, "shall act in accordance with the following Principles: ...All members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered". "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations...."

One can see that under such a framework, all acts of aggression are to be suppressed and force can only be used as a last and unavoidable resort. The U.N. Charter was enacted in 1945 in the aftermath of the devastation from World War II in order to bring an end to acts of aggression and "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind."

Branding of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization is a blatantly illegal and deliberate act to prepare the ground for waging a pre-emptive war of aggression against yet another sovereign government and its civilian population in order to achieve specific political, social, or economic objectives.



[1] http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20269253/

[2] http://www.ubique.ch/codename/

[3] http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html

[4] http://www.un.org/aboutun/charter/


Backspin for War: The Convenience of Denial

by Norman Solomon

The man who ran CNN's news operation during the invasion of Iraq is now doing damage control in response to a new documentary's evidence that he kowtowed to the Pentagon on behalf of the cable network. His current denial says a lot about how "liberal media" outlets remain deeply embedded in the mindsets of pro-military conformity.

Days ago, the former CNN executive publicly defended himself against a portion of the War Made Easy film (based on my book of the same name) that has drawn much comment from viewers since the documentary's release earlier this summer. As Inter Press Service reported, the movie shows "a news clip of Eason Jordan, a CNN News chief executive who, in an interview with CNN, boasts of the network's cadre of professional 'military experts.' In fact, CNN's retired military generals turned war analysts were so good, Eason said, that they had all been vetted and approved by the U.S. government."

Inter Press called the vetting-and-approval process "shocking" – and added that "in a country revered for its freedom of speech and unfettered press, Eason's comments would infuriate any veteran reporter who upholds the most basic and important tenet of the journalistic profession: independence."

Full article...

punditman says:
So much for the so-called "Liberal" media.


A New Tactical Twist in the Coming War on Iran

by Chris Floyd

An American strike on Iran is coming closer. It probably won't take place in the next few weeks, because Bush is on vacation and will not want to be disturbed. And it probably won't take the form that many have expected (including this writer). But Bush himself has raised the ante in recent days, warning of vague punishments for alleged Iranian misdeeds – and unleashing an outright lie that Iran has openly "proclaimed its desire for nuclear weapons," when of course the very opposite is true. And now McClatchy Newspapers brings fresh confirmation that the decider behind the Decider – Dick Cheney – is calling for airstrikes against Iran. Indeed, it seems Cheney has already chosen the casus belli for such an attack – a provocation that we will doubtless see occurring any day now.

Full Article...

punditman says: This author explains how a small-scale raid, purportedly to stop "suspected Iranian training camps in Iraq," would not only be more palatable to the American public, it also would not require the usual propaganda build-up needed for a major frontal assault against targets within Iran. In this way, the *Cheney administration* would get their war with Iran via the back door--as escalation would likely follow. For a generally stunned and confused US public, it would then be too late.


Is the United States Killing 10,000 Iraqis Every Month? Or Is It More?

by Prof. Michael Schwartz

While the atlantist media is reporting more than 3 000 GI’s killed in Iraq and many civilian victims of inter-confessional violences, it looks away from the daily slaughter of civilians by US patrols conducting their search operations for suspects. Professor Michael Schwartz estimates that their number reached 10 000 a month in the first 3 years of occupation. And much more since Bush ordered his surge of operations.

A state-of-the-art research study published in October 12, 2006 issue of The Lancet (the most prestigious British medical journal) [1] concluded that — as of a year ago — 600,000 Iraqis had died violently due to the war in Iraq. That is, the Iraqi death rate for the first 39 months of the war was just about 15,000 per month.

Full article

punditman says:
This may seem like a high figure at first glance--until you read the article and understand the nature of the US war in Iraq. For the past four years, the US military has conducted over 1,000 patrols every day in hostile territory. With the surge, that number has increased to nearly 5,000 per day, including allied Iraqi troops. These patrols currently mean just under 3,000 firefights every month, or just under 100 per day, plus 25 or so involving Iraqi troops. While it is true that the rules of engagement include avoiding killing civilians, hot pursuit of insurgents clearly takes precedence over civilian safety.

So why don't we hear about the appalling number of civilian deaths at the hands of the US military? Granted, it is highly dangerous for reporters to venture out into the field of operations, (to confirm these numbers), but this only partially explains the lack of reporting on this astounding level of violence. There is certainly enough evidence from official government sources and from reputable scholars and organizations to "do the math," as this writer has done. Instead, the media choose complicity. Hence the criminal enterprise that is the Iraq War continues...


Flags Of Freedom documentary

Today's the day our younger son
Is going off to war
Fightin' in the age old battle
We've sometimes won before
Flags that line old main street
Are blowin' in the wind
These must be the flags of freedom flyin'

Church bells are ringin'
As the families stand and wave
Some of them are cryin'
But the soldiers look so brave
Lookin' straight ahead
Like they know just where they're goin'
Past the flags of freedom flyin'

Sister has her headphones on
She hears the music blasting
She sees her brother marchin' by
Their bond is everlasting
Listening to Bob Dylan singin' in 1963
Watching the flags of freedom flyin'

She sees the president speakin'
On a Flat-screen TV
In the window of the old appliance store
She turns to see her brother again
But he's already walkin' past
The flags of freedom flyin'

Have you seen the flags of freedom?
What color are they now?
Do you think that you believe in yours
More than they do theirs somehow?
When you see the flags of freedom flyin'

Today's the day our younger son
Is goin' off to war
Fightin' in the age old battle
We've sometimes won before
Flags that line old main street
Are blowin' in the wind
These must be the flags of freedom flyin'


CSIS suspected U.S. would deport Arar to be tortured: documents

Previously blacked-out portions of the Maher Arar report state that Canadian security officials believed the United States might send the Syrian-born Canadian to a foreign country to be questioned under torture.

"I think the U.S. would like to get Arar to Jordan where they can have their way with him," a Canadian Security Intelligence Service officer based in Washington wrote in a report dated Oct. 10, 2002, according to documents released Thursday.

The note was written days after the United States deported Arar, who was returning to Canada from a vacation in 2002 when he was detained during a flight stopover in New York, accused of links to al-Qaeda and sent to Syria, where he was jailed for months and tortured.

The newly released documents also say the CSIS operative "spoke of a trend they had noted lately that when the CIA or FBI cannot legally hold a terrorist subject, or wish a target questioned in a firm manner, they have them rendered to countries willing to fulfill that role. He said Mr. Arar was a case in point."


punditman says: Who in CSIS knew what, when did they know it, and why did they sit on the information?


Afghan president counters US rhetoric on Iranian role in country

WASHINGTON: Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a key US ally, contradicted US assessments of the threat posed by Iran and insisted in an interview aired Sunday that Tehran played a beneficial role in his region. "So far, Iran has been a helper and a solution," Karzai told CNN on the eve of a visit here Sunday to meet with President George W. Bush for talks on the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.

"Iran has been a supporter of Afghanistan, in the peace process that we have and the fight against terror, and the fight against narcotics in Afghanistan," said Karzai, who became president with US backing in 2002.

His remarks differed markedly from the US stance, which sees Iran as a major menace that bankrolls terrorists, supplies arms to insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, and seeks to develop nuclear weapons.


punditman says: Note the major difference between how the US characterizes Iran in the region, and how a key ally does. The propaganda is transparent.


Government Agency Criticizes Bush Plan To Ignore Criminal Contempt Charges

by- Suzie-Q @ 12:12 PM MST

A report issued last week by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service casts doubt on the Bush administration's claim that assertions of executive privilege protect current and former White House officials from criminal contempt citations by Congress.

"Factual, legal, and constitutional aspects of these OLC opinions are open to question and potentially limitations," write Morton Rosenberg, a Specialist in American Public Law and Todd B. Tatelman, a Legislative Attorney, both in the CRS's American Law Division.

The CRS is a non-partisan agency of the Library of Congress that responds to inquiries on policy questions offered by Members of Congress and their staffs. The agency's findings are not officially made available for public consumption.

Three current or former White House staff members are possibly facing criminal contempt charges from the House or Senate. Current White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten ignored a Congressional subpoena to deliver documents to the House Judiciary Committee on the firing of a group of US Attorneys. Additionally, both Harriet Miers, former White House Counsel, and Karl Rove, a top White House adviser, ignored subpoenas to testify before the House and Senate Judiciary Committees respectively. All three acted on the basis of the President's assertion of executive privilege.



Blue Rodeo--Hasn't Hit Me Yet

The audio could be better, but this great song by Canadian legends, Blue Rodeo, still inspires!


Afghanistan: Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time

punditman says: The following excerpt puts the lie to the bogus claim that the Taliban are drug peddlers...

...Nobody has denied the sincerity of the Taliban's crazy religious zeal, and they were as unlikely to sell you heroin as a bottle of Johnnie Walker.

They stamped out the opium trade, and impoverished and drove out the drug warlords whose warring and rapacity had ruined what was left of the country after the Soviet war.

That is about the only good thing you can say about the Taliban; there are plenty of very bad things to say about them. But their suppression of the opium trade and the drug barons is undeniable fact.

Now we are occupying the country, that has changed. According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger.

Full article...

The above article tells a tale of rampant corruption within Afghanistan's Western-installed Karzai government, which is comprised of brutal warlords who are up to their necks in the heroin trade. This has led to record crops and cheap prices on the streets of our major cities.

So, I have an idea for a new ribbon for the pro-war crowd to attach to the back of their hummers (though I doubt they would understand):
"Support the Troops, the War and the Heroin Trade."