Monday, February 28, 2005

for those coming from the 814orum

If anyone reads this from 814orum, I have not been posting about politics under aliases in the 814orum (I'd have no reason to hide behind an alias since I've been pretty clear about my opinions in the past), for the same reason I don't start political conversations with friends and family who aren't going to agree with me no matter how much we argue. I haven't been writing any more political articles for "Yinz Say Yall" either, because it's kinda retarded to write about politics in a column with that title. So, if you want to know what I think about world affairs and the US government, you can come here and no where else, and please don't hesitate to leave comments...you can be anonymous

Friday, February 25, 2005

hit counter

Corporate Media continues to sell Iran War

Official: Iran May Hide Nukes in Tunnels

This is clearly propaganda. The AP says "Nukes" in the headlines, and in the story refers to "nuclear technology".

When I think of "nuke", I don't think of uranium enrichment, and neither does the popular mind.

Corporate media ignores Gannongate

Salon article here. If folks like the New York Times and CBS News were members of the "liberal media" (an idea invented by the corporate media, incidentally), they'd be all over this story to make the president look bad, wouldn't they? Instead, virtually no mention of it, no coverage, other than an odd editorial here and there:

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page recently wrote, "If America's mainstream media really were as liberal as conservatives claim we are, we would be ballyhooing the fiasco of James D.
Guckert, aka Jeff Gannon, with Page 1 banner headlines and hourly bulletins."

...

What's also curious is that last December another media controversy erupted over the role a journalist played in posing a controversial question to top White House officials. It involved a reporter for the Chattanooga Free Times Press, Edward Lee Pitts, who helped a National Guardsman craft a tough question posed to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld regarding the lack of body armor for U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq. Rumsfeld's at-times-cavalier response created a small firestorm. ("You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time.") The revelation that Pitts was involved in formulating the question, and the debate over whether he overstepped a journalistic boundary, soon became a story onto itself in the mainstream press. Unlike Guckert, who was criticized for bending the rules to toss softball questions to administration officials, Pitts was accused of bending the rules to ask a question that was too hard.

Although the Pitts story lasted for only one 24-hour news cycle, it was covered by virtually every major news outlet, including ABC, CBS, Fox, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Francisco Chronicle -- the very same news organizations that, three weeks into the Guckert saga, have failed to acknowledge the story even exists.


Also, Jeff Gannon returns to whine about not living in a fascist country where you have state controlled media.

You think the Party Press, aka News Corporation, would have ignored a scandal like this had Kerry been elected president?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Jesus used as a recruitment tool

Fuck this nazi bullshit.

First off, this is absolutely true and only happened about an hour ago. I am a Christian, a republican and support the war in Iraq, but this pisses me off in ways I cannot explain even to myself.

...

When the final modern troop stepped out too the front and center he thrust his rifle one handed into the air to shouts of approval, the Jesus footage was still playing, and at that particular point even my dad was uncomfortable.

...

Jesus himself only got mad once. It was because merchants were using the church to sell their wares, he flipped their tables, seized a whip, and attacked them. This day the answer to “what would Jesus do?” is grab one of the m-16s laying around and start kneecapping.



There are active ANTI-recruitment campaigns going on, albeit without the help of gigantic corporations and the US treasury, so I don't know how effective they are. Free distribution of literature is still a right in our society. What the civilian administration learned about Iraq is what Colon Powell and other military experts were trying to tell them the whole time: you need hundreds of thousands of troops on the ground to win. If they don't have those troops, they don't have another war.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I have a blog, can I get into the White House?

Please? Can I be picked over veterans like Helen Thomas to ask questions at a press conference? I once worked in a video tape manufacturing plant. That has to do with media. I can change the name of the blog to "Sloover News" - apparently that's all I have to do to make it a Legitimate News Organization.

more on closeted gay prostitute GOPUSA activist and White House propagandist Jeff Gannon aka James Guckert

Friday, February 18, 2005

Shoe thrown at Perle

Protester Throws Shoe at Richard Perle

Perle had just started his comments Thursday when a protester threw a shoe at him before being dragged away, screaming, "Liar! Liar!"

First reaction, is "Good, that's the least this criminal bastard deserves". Then when I calm down and think about it, losing control of your emotions is what got that professor guy, Ward Churchill, in trouble. Despite all the good this guy may have done, News Corporation latches onto his anger, and puts him in the headlines. One little projectile shoe of a comment destroys his whole career as an educator and activist.

People will respond emotionally to the shoe-thrower as they did to that college professor. The military-industrial complex feeds on emotions of anger, and fear, and sadness, and inflates them, and use them as weapons in their war against American culture and peace and other nonprofitable elements of our existance. Learning to control emotions is the first step in eliminating destructive forces with nonviolence.

You can't put out fire with a match, and you can't defeat the masters of violence by throwing a shoe, and just like you can burn down a forest with that same match, the smallest bit of violence can destroy years of work put into nonviolence.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Another good link on Propagannon

Daily Kos has a timeline of the whole Plame thing.

Another terrorist supporter gets a top-level position

CIA is now overtaken by a war criminal. This should be common knowledge taught in high schools around the country.

From 1981 to 1985 Negroponte was US ambassador to Honduras. During his tenure, he oversaw the growth of military aid to Honduras from $4 million to $77.4 million a year. At the time, Honduras was ruled by an elected but heavily militarily-influenced government. According to The New York Times, Negroponte was responsible for "carrying out the covert strategy of the Reagan
administration to crush the
Sandinistas government in Nicaragua." Critics say that during his ambassadorship, human rights violations in Honduras became systematic. Negroponte supervised the construction of the El Aguacate air base where Nicaraguan Contras were trained by the US, and which critics say was used as a secret detention and torture center during the 1980s. In August 2001, excavations at the base discovered 185 corpses, including two Americans, who are thought to have been killed and buried at the site.

Records also show that a special intelligence unit (commonly referred to as a "death squad") of
the Honduran armed forces, Battalion 3-16, trained by the
CIA and Argentine military, kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of people, including US missionaries. Critics charge that Negroponte knew about these human rights violations and yet continued to collaborate with the Honduran military while lying to Congress.


Of course we have an opposing party in congress to put a stop to this right? Like Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY:

"It is my hope that the president will give the resources and authority to Ambassador Negroponte to turn things around in our disconnected intelligence community."


Good dog!

Maureen Dowd on prostitute propagandist Gannon

Bush's Barberini Faun

I'm still mystified by this story. I was rejected for a White House press pass at the start of the Bush administration, but someone with an alias, a tax evasion problem and Internet pictures where he posed like the "Barberini Faun" is credentialed to cover a White House that won a second term by mining homophobia and preaching family values?

At first when I tried to complain about not getting my pass renewed, even though I'd been covering presidents and first ladies since 1986, no one called me back. Finally, when Mr. McClellan replaced Ari Fleischer, he said he'd renew the pass - after a new Secret Service background check that would last several months.

In an era when security concerns are paramount, what kind of Secret Service background check did James Guckert get so he could saunter into the West Wing every day under an assumed name while he was doing full-frontal advertising for stud services for $1,200 a weekend? He used a driver's license that said James Guckert to get into the White House, then, once inside, switched to his alter ego, asking questions as Jeff Gannon.

Mr. McClellan shrugged this off to Editor & Publisher magazine, oddly noting, "People use aliases all the time in life, from journalists to actors."

A couple years ago I was driving around with two friends of mine. One a Navy vet, one an Air Force vet, all of us Catholics. The Navy vet was talking about how many gays there were in the military, and in the priesthood. I mentioned that it might be true about people who rail against gays the most are doing so because the have something to hide. "Exactly," he said to me. It was the same day the story broke about segregationist Strom Thurmond's illegitimate black daughter. "See," said my friend "Thurmond had jungle fever the whole time."

Here's a good article on White House propaganda from the Christian Science Monitor.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Gay hookers with access to confidential material

The real issue is not that a cheerleader president lets gay hookers frolic around the White House. It's that this Jeff Gannon/James Guckert was a hack let into the White House to ask softball questions to the president as a form of propaganda, and possibly had access to confidential information about Valerie Plame. Why is the corporate media ignoring this? Isn't there some security issue here? I wish Clinton was still president so we could get to the bottom of this. Unfortunately it's okay to let gay hookers run around the White House as long as they are propagandists, while fucking female interns with no consequence whatsoever on the American public is horrible. Hypocrits.

Bush not complying with international community

Even though some corporations are.

Here's a good article from the BBC about the Kyoto treaty.

Will the Islamic Republic of Iraq join the front?

Syria and Iran Say Will Build 'Common Front'

Syria's ambassador to the United States, asked by CNN what the common front with Iran entailed, stressed that it was not an anti-American alliance and said Syria was trying to improve its relations with Washington.

"Today we do not want to form a front against anybody, particularly not against the United States," Imad Moustapha said.

"Syria is trying to engage constructively with the United States ... We are not the enemies of the United States, and we do not want to be drawn into such an enmity," he added.

In a reaction to Iran and Syria's possible formation of a unified front to face threats, White House spokesman Scott McClellan called on the both countries to abide by the international commitments.

"It is a fundamental misreading of the issue because their problem is not with the United States, it's with the international community," McClellan told reporters traveling with President Bush to New Hampshire.


Good one Scott. I can't wait to see what the Coalition of the Willing will look like this time.

Which is it Reuters?

9:00 AM headline: Unknown Aircraft Fires Missile in Iran - State TV
10:14 AM headline: Falling Fuel Tank May Have Caused Iran Blast - TV

A fuel tank just happens to fall near an Iranian nuclear energy site. The fuel tank was shaped like a penis and had an American flag decal on it.

*REMINDS ME of this AOL/Time Warner bullshit

The Iron Sheik threatens the camel clutch

Iran Threatens to Shoot Down U.S. Drones

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's intelligence chief on Wednesday accused the United States of flying spy drones over its nuclear sites and threatened to shoot down the unmanned surveillance crafts.

Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi comments backed a report in The Washington Post on Sunday that quoted unnamed U.S. officials as saying the drones have been flying over Iran for nearly a year to seek evidence of nuclear weapons programs.

"U.S. spying activities over Iranian airspace have been going since a long time ago," Yunesi told reporters.

"Most of the shining objects that our people see in Iran's airspace are American spying equipment used to spy on Iran's nuclear and military facilities," the minister told reporters.

He said they would not reveal anything the United States doesn't already know. "Our nuclear activities are open and very transparent. Our military activities are all legal," Yunesi said.

He spoke while visiting a prison for dissidents under the Shah that has been turned into a museum.


Again, Iran probably does not have nukes. Yet they are undoubtedly seeking nukes. I wonder why?

I get's it's because they are all crazy Muslims who hate freedom. That's a reasonable explanation if you're 7 years old and you're into G.I. Joe and Rambo.

Here's a question that will never be asked in the "liberal" media: Why does the US government get to have nukes? The US government has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians over the last 100 years and are the only entity in world history ever to use nuclear bombs to do so. Why should they be trusted any more than Iran or Iraq or North Korea?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Arthur Miller

Playwright Arthur Miller Dies at 89


In 1953, he received a Tony Award for "The Crucible," a play about mass hysteria during the Salem witch trials that was inspired by the repressive political environment of McCarthyism.

That play, still read by thousands of American high-school students each year, is Miller's most frequently performed work.


Of course the AP didn't include much about his run-ins with the ever-freedom loving U.S. government as expressed in this biography:

In 1956 Miller was also awarded honorary degree at the University of Michigan, but also called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Miller admitted that he had attended certain meetings, but denied that he was a Communist. He had attended among others four or five
writers's meetings sponsored by the Communist Party in 1947, supported a Peace Conference at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, and signed many apppeals and protests. Refusing to name others, who had associated with leftist or suspected Communist groups, Miller was cited for contempt of Congress, but the ruling was reversed by the courts in 1958.


Somebody ought to follow in Miller's footsteps and write a screenplay about Germany circa 1937.

ps. I didn't realize how much of a clone Rush Limbaugh is of McCarthy until I pirated a CD from the local library called "Great Speeches of the 20th Century" which contained an old paranoid shameless anti-Communist rant from Joe. The manner of speaking, the fist-pounding, the way Joe said "Commyanusts!" that Limbaugh replaces with "Lllllllibruls"!

They should meet in Scotland, it'll be like Piper's Pit

I guess this blog was supposed to be serious, but if you've gone through the same type of public educational institutions as myself and most Americans have (evident in some of my grammar), you've learned the bulk of your world politics through pro-wrestling, which would explain the popularity of Fox News, CNN and other infotainment companies. If affluent liberal Democrats want to understand this passionate American nationalism they'd be well advised not only to study the media but to get ahold of some old WWF and NWA videos from the 80s.

Report: N. Korea Demands Talks With U.S.

North Korea sees its nuclear programs as a way of ensuring the survival of leader Kim Jong Il's regime. In return for giving up its nuclear ambitions, it seeks massive aid, diplomatic recognition, an end to economic sanctions, and a nonaggression treaty with the United States. North Korea's long-running strategy has been to try to engage the United States in bilateral talks, believing such meetings would boost the isolated country's international status and help it win bigger concessions.

In the current six-nation talks, North Korea has increasingly found itself surrounded by countries, including allies China and Russia, who are critical of its nuclear ambitions. Since 2003, the United
States, the two Koreas, China, Japan and Russia have held three rounds of talks in Beijing, but no significant progress has been made.

The United States has refused to engage in bilateral talks.


Bilateral talks would pretty much be worthless at this point. King Kong Ill isn't going to give up any power in his country, and if the Sgt. Slaughter conceded anything it would send the message that tyrannical societies are okay with him. The Sarge already has enough trouble with his Saudi Arabia alliance (I haven't assigned Saudi Arabia a character yet), and that's the reason why Saudi is faking a democracy.

So I guess Roddy Piper will have to find other guests for the Pit this week.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Joe Wilson interview

Good interview on Daily Kos with CIA veteran Joe Wilson (whose wife was outed by Robert Novak and a top-ranking White House official after Wilson discovered Niger was not selling Iraq material to make WMDs, lied about in the 2003 State of the Union Address). He touches on his Gannon experience which mainstream America will first hear about tonight on the evening news, right before it's twisted and distorted into some victim story by News Corporation.

Wilson sums up the state of American journalism today:
I also believe that the nature of the profession has changed to the detriment of good investigative
journalism. No longer is there a quest for the truth so much as there is this apparent need to present both sides of an issue even if one is nothing but lies and distortions. Giving the same value to fiction as to fact in the interest of so-called fairness is to mislead the American people and the
press has become party to that.

Watch an interview with this guy and you'll realize why they call it the Central Intelligence Agency. The guy just has a vast knowledge of foreign affairs. The extras on the Uncovered DVD feature an extended inteview with him.

Not that the White House needs to pay propagandists

But let's do a run down of the "journalists" paid by the government to promote Bush policies. All quotes from this AOL Time Warner article

  1. "conservative commentator Armstrong Williams apologized for not disclosing that his company had received $240,000 from a public relations agency hired by the Department of Education to promote Bush's No Child Left Behind education overhaul."
  2. "Syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher also apologized to her readers for not disclosing a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help create materials used to promote Bush's $300 million initiative encouraging marriage to strengthen families."
  3. "HHS later disclosed that a third conservative columnist, Mike McManus, had received $10,000 to promote Bush's marriage initiative, according to an Associated Press report. His weekly column appears in about 50 newspapers."

And now

A New York congresswoman asked the White House to explain Wednesday why a man who worked for a news Web site owned by a GOP activist was able to obtain White House press credentials under an assumed name.James Guckert, who reported from the White House for the Talon News Service under the name "Jeff Gannon," announced he was quitting the business "in consideration of the welfare of me and my family."



What business? Propagandizing? Cheers to Louise Slaughter for having the balls to call it what it is. Expect some sort of scandal manufactured by Rove to come out on Rep. Slaughter soon:

"It appears that 'Mr. Gannon's' presence in the White House press corps was merely as a tool of propaganda for your administration," Slaughter wrote.

The White House had no comment.

Mean Gene Okerlund is rolling in his grave

Rabble rousing propaganda from the Iron Sheik and the AP, rabble rousing both redneck Iranians and fundamentalist Americans. Yes, President Mohammed Khatami will henceforth be referred to as the Iron Sheik - out loud in this blog and subtly in US propaganda.

The Iron Sheik grabs the mic off a trembling Mean Gene (the AP):


"Will this nation allow the feet of an aggressor to touch this land?" Khatami
asked at the crowd. "If, God forbid, it happens, Iran will turn into a scorching
hell for the aggressors."


The crowd chants "Iran, numba one. USA, hock too!":


His statements drew chants of "Death to America!" from the crowd.


Meanwhile wrestling fans full of piss and vinegar boo the heel.

$50,000 FOR WHOEVER KILLS KHATAMIby: militant_patriott
(30/M/Montana)
02/10/05 01:48 pmMsg: 2421 of 2448
THATS MY OFFER, KILL THAT FUKKER AND YOULL GET PAID WELL, BUT KEEP IN MIND I AM TRYING TO KILL HIM MYSELF SO ONLY IF YOU BEAT ME TO THE PUNCH WILL YOU GET THE CASH. $5,000 FOR KILLING A CLOSE ADVISOR OF THIS FUKKHEAD.

Now all we have to do is sit, drink our beer, and wait for Sgt. Slaughter to come down the ailse and clean house.

Ain't war entertaining?

Let's review

Iraq - "We don't have nukes"
US Response - "Yeah huh. We know you have weapons of mass destruction." Then bombs them.

Iran - "We don't have nukes, just nuclear energy"
US Response - "Oh really? We doubt it. You better watch your ass, freedom-hating terrorist-lovers."

North Korea - "We have nukes."
US Reponse - "Let's solve this diplomatically."

It's perfectly rational to me. You don't want to attack a country that has any chance of defending itself.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

News Corporation is hilarious

News Corporation via Fox News' Brit Hume writes:

New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller (search), who served as the pool reporter representing the rest of the print media aboard Air Force One today, advised her colleagues that Karl Rove's promotion to deputy chief of staff meant he would be in charge — among other things — of the national security council. In fact, Rove will merely coordinate policy among a number of White House councils.


So, okay, Bumiller was wrong about the details of Rove's new job description. Here's where the comedy happens:

But the Democratic National committee quickly seized on the erroneous report with an e-mail attacking Rove's credentials. DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe (search) accused him "bending the truth and using dirty tricks to get his way."


Yes, if that erroneous report about Rove's job description was never published, then the DNC would have nothing to hold on to about Rove's political history. Yeah that makes sense. Rove's documented behavior of dirty politics going back to the beginning of his career in politics is completely cancelled by the flub by the New York Times being wrong about his job description. Just like I took took that report about punk cliques and ran with it to criticize US government policy towards Saudi Arabia, and then on a roll with that information, I complained about my coffee being too cold. See, all those things are related.


punk clique

Woman Surrenders in Idaho Scalping Case

By REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press Writer

BOISE, Idaho - A member of a punk clique surrendered Wednesday for scalping another member, apparently as punishment for her disrespectful behavior toward women, police said.

...

"When I say this gal was scalped, she was truly scalped," said Bill Braddock, chief deputy of Boise County. "The top of her head, her hair, was completely cut off. The motive, as near as we've been told by witnesses, was retaliation for acting in a way that the adult perceived as being offensive to women as a gender."

Braddock said the victim, Dahle and another teenage girl who witnessed the attack were long-term acquaintances who belonged to the same clique. The victim's mohawk hair cut may have played a role in the assault, he said.

"In their punk group, wearing a mohawk is a sign of being a punker, and according to their creed if you disrespect women you are not allowed to wear a mohawk," he said. "But I don't think the victim had any idea in the world she was going to be scalped."



I once tried to join a punk clique, but I didn't memorize the creed and therefore I offended genders and was barred from getting a mohawk. It sucked because I was really into punking.

Maybe one day AP will have a story that starts like this:

BOISE, Idaho - A guy with a goatee who's into Matchbox 20 surrendered Wednesday for holding down another guy who's into Matchbox 20 and shaving off his goatee, apparently as punishment for his disrespectful behavior towards other shlubs who like bad music.

Some guy named Ward Churchill

News Coporation via Fox News' Bill O'Reilly decides to promote some article by some college professor named Ward Churchill. In the article, ""Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens", Churchill uses some inflammatory and angry language to challenge the conventional wisdom on 9/11, and although his central point is taken, certain passages in the article, (which probably have been repeated again and again by News Corp) serve only as bait for the corporate agenda of getting those "wacky leftist professors" out of colleges, which is why O'Reilly decided to focus on him.

Then there are lines that are just funny:


There were, after all, far more pressing things than the unrelenting misery/death of a few hundred thousand Iraqi tikes to be concerned with. Getting "Jeremy" and "Ellington" to their weekly soccer game, for instance, or seeing to it that little "Tiffany" and "Ashley" had just the right roll-neck sweaters to go with their new cords. And, to be sure, there was the yuppie holy war against ashtrays – for "our kids," no less – as an all-absorbing point of political focus.

So now, News Corporation can hold this guy up as a straw man and say "Look, this is what leftists believe, they are ruining the country, they must be stopped" and other fascist nonsense.

*UPDATE: Yep - Just found this on Bill O'Reilly's website:
There are so many nutty professors around this country Jerry Lewis could sue all
day long. The Ward Churchill controversy is just the headline--the real story is
the radicalization of the nation's college faculties.

News Corp creates the nonstory, and AP follows.

Cheif White House propagandist promoted

Rove gets his reward as he joins the king onstage

The White House adviser Karl Rove, described by George Bush as the "architect" of his re-election last year, has been given new powers by the President with his appointment as White House deputy chief of staff.

In addition to his job as Mr Bush's chief political strategist, Mr Rove will now also have power over policy councils that advise Mr Bush on national security, economics and the environment.


Some good info on Rove's tactics.

More thoughts on Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is at the center of the United States' problem in the middle east. The agreement with Saudi Arabia is that the U.S. government protect them in return for easy access to their oil reserves - the largest in the world - an agreement enacted by FDR and solidified by every American president since. Presence of U.S. military in the country is an affront on traditionalists - they see it as corrupting Western influence on their society. From their history of Western deception and greed following the First World War, Arabs tend to view Westerners suspiciously and many consider them theives. This is Osama bin Laden's gripe.

Despite its anti-Americanism, tyranny, opression and all around anti-democractic practices, authoritarian Saudi Arabia is ignored when it comes to the Bush administration's professed goal of "spreading democracy" and "freedom", which is another pebble on the mountain of evidence that the White House has plans contradictory to its language.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

No criticism of Saudi Arabia?

U.S. Blasts Human Rights Panel Selection

"The United States believes that countries that routinely and
systematically violate the rights of their citizens should not be selected to
review the human rights performance of other countries," State Department press
office Tom Casey said.

Besides Cuba and Zimbabwe, the other members of the so-called "Working
Group on Situations" are Hungary, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

"Despite the inappropriate membership of Cuba and Zimbabwe, we look for the
working group to conduct its procedures in a balanced and transparent manner,"
Casey said.


What about Saudi Arabia?

Casey's statement offered no criticism of the selection of Saudi Arabia, an
authoritarian monarchy. Officials note, however, that a reform movement is under
way in the country, highlighted by village elections set for this week.

Yet the Saudi monarchy still has a secret criminal justice system and routinely blocks human rights watchdogs from entering the country.

Media getting behind Iran war effort

We see the patterns of propaganda being replayed from 2002 almost to a T in World News Agency's choice of words.

Iran tells US nuclear sites cannot be destroyed:

TEHRAN
(AFP) - Iran warned the United States that its nuclear sites cannot
be destroyed by air or missile strikes, as Britain entered the fray by declaring
that Tehran is a state sponsor of terrorism

The phrase "nuclear sites" might lead a casual headline-reader to believe these are active bomb-building sites. I suspect the rhetoric of News Corporation (and others) will be such that an active Iranian bomb-building program is assumed to exist without question, like the assumption that Saddam Hussein definately had WMD was echoed throughout mass media channels in the build up to the Iraq war.

Also, these kinds of stories rile up American nationalists. There's a sort of pro-wrestling interview feel to these things.

Here's an example of a person easily manipulated by this kind of subtle propaganda:

OH SURE WE CAN BUST THERE NUKES by: eggydip2002
02/08/05 03:43
pmMsg: 561 of 582
just watch us camel monkeys

Angry, racist, illiterate, thinks Iran has "nukes", and probably is thinking of the Iron Sheik when he reads the headline.

This time, however, it might be reasonable to assume Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb, their only hope of maintaining power in the region and defending themselves against the US and UK.

If the White House is smart, it will wait and see what the implications of a religious fundamentalist Shia-controlled Iraq will be before it continues war with Iran. I doubt that will happen, since they didn't seem to consider the implications of a free election in Iraq.

House of Saud

There's a documentary tonight at 9pm on PBS about the country whose citizens attacked the United States on 9/11/01.

FRONTLINE explores how the Al Saud family maintains its hold on power in the face of growing tensions between Islam and modernity. Through interviews with members of the royal family, government officials, and other experts from Saudi Arabia and the U.S., the two-hour documentary also traces America's relations with the Saudi royal family from their first alliance in the 1930s through September 11 and beyond to the present day.


Also this from PBS.org
Today, Saudi television broadcasts programs on which children read poems against Jews and in praise of Islamic martyrs. Twenty-six Saudi clerics recently issued a fatwa, or edict, encouraging Muslims to fight the Americans in Iraq. And in December 2004, gunmen attacked the American consulate in Jeddah.


Monday, February 07, 2005

The Coming Wars

In case you haven't seen Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article, there it is. He examines negotiations going on between the EU and Iran in an attempt to prevent Iran from developing nukes:

For more than a year, France, Germany, Britain, and other countries in the European Union ... have been negotiating with the Iranian leadership to give up its nuclear-weapons ambitions in exchange for economic aid and trade benefits. Iran has agreed to temporarily halt its enrichment programs, which generate fuel for nuclear power plants but also could produce weapons-grade fissile material. . . But the goal of the current round of talks, which began in December in Brussels, is to persuade Tehran to go further, and dismantle its machinery. Iran insists, in return, that it needs to see some concrete benefits from the Europeans—oil-production technology, heavy-industrial equipment, and perhaps even permission to purchase a fleet of Airbuses. (Iran has been denied access to technology and many goods owing to sanctions.)

The Europeans have been urging the Bush Administration to join in these negotiations. The Administration has refused to do so. The civilian leadership in the Pentagon has argued that no
diplomatic progress on the Iranian nuclear threat will take place unless there
is a credible threat of military action.


Hersh reports on alleged secret US govt ops in Iran:

The Administration has been conducting secret reconnaissance
missions inside Iran at least since last summer. Much of the focus is on the
accumulation of intelligence and targeting information on Iranian nuclear,
chemical, and missile sites, both declared and suspected. The goal is to
identify and isolate three dozen, and perhaps more, such targets that could
be destroyed by precision strikes and short-term commando raids

The White House predictably responded to Hersh's piece by calling it lies. News World Communcations, Inc. via a Washington Times Op Ed by Tony Blankly accused Hersh of espionage.

Meanwhile, World News Agency releases an this AFP report on the Anti Terror conference being held in Saudi Arabia, apparently without irony.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Islamic Republic of Iraq?



Shiites Show Strong Lead in Iraq Returns

The United Iraqi Alliance, which has the endorsement of Iraq's top Shiite
clerics, won more than two-thirds of the 3.3 million votes counted so far, the
election commission said. Allawi's ticket was running second with more than
579,700 votes.


I don't get it. Was this an actual election? If so, why? An Iraq dominated by Shia clerics with ties to Iran will almost certainly seek a nuclear weapons plan to defend itself against Israel, going completely against US government interests. Read this Newsday article by Edwin Black regarding post-election possibilities.

An US govt. war against Iran would most likely lead to an Iran-Shia-dominated Iraq confederation, and countless more dead.

Iran War propaganda

There's very little doubt in my mind that the White House wants war with Iran, based on the propaganda that we've been seeing. Also, if you take a look at a map of Iran you'll see the country is technically surrounded by US-occupied territory, Afghanistan to the east and Iraq to the west, with easy access through the Persian Gulf via US government allies in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, where the US has many military bases. In the last few months, especially in the last few days we've seen a buildup of propaganda against Iran that's very similar to the propaganda leading up to the Iraq war.

2/2/05 In the State of the Union Address, Bush calls Iran a terrorist state and threat to America and claims solidarity with the Iranian People:

"Iran remains the world's primary state sponsor of terror -- pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve. We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium re-processing, and end its support for terror. And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you."


This time he avoids the mistake of saying that they outright possess weapons, preferring the safer term pursuing.

2/4/05 The inevitable threatening response from the evil-doer: Iran's Supreme Leader hits back at Bush speech

"...[Bush] will be as successful as Jimmy Carter, (Ronald) Reagan, (George) Bush senior and (Bill) Clinton," [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] added, referring to the five previous U.S. presidents who have held office since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

...

Showing pictures of civilians killed in neighbouring Iraq, state television demanded Washington rethink policies which it said were creating anger in the Middle East.

2/5/05 Two days after Bush pounds the war drums, Dr. Rice says, "Nah. Not really.": Rice: U.S. Attack on Iran 'Not on Agenda' Now. While at the same meeting with Tony Blair, also says, in this article:

"They need to live up to their obligations, they need to agree to verification inspection, they need to stop trying to hide activities under cover of civilian nuclear power."

and

"The Iranian regime's human rights behavior and its behavior toward its own population is something to be loathed," she said.

This is the exact rhetoric we heard in the buildup to the Iraq War: the image that a psychotic regime, so nuts that they've killed their "own people", is hiding weapons. I'm not concerned with the extent to which this is true (the reigning Iran clerics are indeed a repressive regime), but the focus on Iran, rather than say Saudi Arabia or North Korea, is what is important here.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Gasoline on the fire of the lib/con dichotomy

This is a story that's sure to cause a strong reaction in people who consider themselves liberal and those who consider themselves conservative.

Marine General Counseled for Comments

Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, an infantry officer who has commanded Marines in both Afghanistan
and Iraq, made the comments Tuesday while speaking to a forum in San Diego about strategies for the war on terror. Mattis is the commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va.

According to an audio recording of Mattis' remarks, he said, "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. ... It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling."


He added, "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis continued. "You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

The news value of this is obviously worthless. It shouldn't be surprising to anyone that a career military person, a trained killer, might enjoy his job, and try to reinforce his duty with the illusion that every man he's killed was a wife beater. The only reason the AP is carrying the story is because it will garner a brief but massive emotional reaction, both from liberals who are shocked and outraged, and conservatives who will be angered because of the reinforcement of the liberal media myth, a myth created by the same companies that run stories like this, promoting liberal outcry and conservative defense, holding the audience to selling a captive audience to, in this case: Hewlett Packard, Accuquote, and if you got into the message board, Priority Club, Netflix, ReliaQuote, HomeGain, and LowerMyBills.

Now let's look at the typical audience response, first by a "conservative", using a strawman argument:

AS A LIBERALby: leftylibtard
02/03/05 03:29 pmMsg: 901 of 950
I DON'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH MEN BEATING THEIR WIVES FOR NOT WEARING VEILS. AFTER ALL, THAT'S THEIR CULTURE AND WE MUST BE TOLERANT. WHO ARE WE TO TELL THEM HOW TO LIVE THEIR LIVES?


Now a typical liberal response:

Who would Jesus kill?by: norcalnative1971
(34/M/Mendocino County, Republi)
02/03/05 04:00 pmMsg: 1772 of 1784
This general goes to church every Sunday.


And, of course, this goes on and on ad nauseum. But it's the intended reaction of Yahoo and the AP, who are in the business of selling audiences to advertisers. The audience is the product, and this has nothing whatsoever to do with journalism or informing the public. If anything, it's in the interest of the manufacturer of this story to keep his audience misinformed.

Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War

This film can be viewed for free here. This is what prompted me to start this blog, and the purpose of this blog is to examine government and media the way this film did - by sober, fact-based analysis rather than through speculation and emotion - not to suggest it will be devoid of opinions - far from it. But I want to base my opinions not on corporate media and government propaganda, but on evidence and fact-based analysis.

Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War should have gotten the attention that Fahrenheit 9/11 did. If the mainstream media had promoted this film as much as it did the Bush administration's call for war in Iraq, public support for the war would have been weak at best.

Despite its weak title this is a very concise hour-long documentary, driven by fact-based analysis rather than the emotionally-based quasi advertising that comes with attaching a liberal/conservative dichotomy to issues. Uncovered entails a string of interviews with very sober-looking, straight-laced experts, including highly decorated 25+ year veterans of the CIA and expert nuclear weapons physicists, all part of a movement within the intelligence community against the blatant exaggerations leading the US into a war with Iraq.

Unlike Fahrenheit 9/11, the film does not go into speculation about why the US government is engaged in the war, does not examine Bush administration links to energy and defense industries, and does not examine the human toll (which Moore effectively did) - Uncovered simply and powerfully deconstructs the Bush administration arguments given for pre-emptive invasion, and also examines the ignorance of geopolitical complexities in Iraq displayed by the administration and common in the American population. One illustration of this ignorance of history came from one expert’s story about young soldiers finding vast cemeteries in Iraq, filled with nothing but dead British soldiers who were killed decades ago, and wondering what it was about.

Because of the legitimacy of the experts and the vast amount of knowledge they demonstrate in the interviews, it’s quite impossible for the corporate media to attach a conservative/liberal dichotomy to this film, which it constantly does to any issue it deems entertaining enough for the purpose of holding an audience by exploiting emotion, rather than by providing information. The lack of entertainment value is probably one of the reasons this film didn’t get any kind of significant distribution, and Moore’s film did.

Joe Wilson is featured in this film – he was the CIA agent who's wife, Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA operative was illegally outed by the White House through conservative columnist Robert Novak, and other agents of White House propaganda.


Here is a list of experts featured in the film, From
http://www.truthuncovered.com/images/presskit.pdf. I abbreviated each of their bios, and only included those with intelligence experience (there were also a couple journalists interviewed which I left out).

David Albright - physicist, nuclear weapons expert, and former weapons inspector with the
IAEA Action team, President of the Institute for Science and International Security.
Robert Baer - former CIA operative who served for twenty-five years in Iraq and Lebanon. In
1998 the CIA awarded him the Career Intelligence Medal.
Milt Bearden - one of the CIA’s most highly decorated operations officers in its Senior Service. He retired from the CIA after a thirty-year career working against the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe, Pakistan, Afganistan.
Rand Beers - former Special Assistant to President Bush and Senior Director for combating
terrorism. 30 year-plus intelligence veteran who has held various positions in the
State Department’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs.
Bill Christison – 28 year CIA veteran. He ended his CIA career as the Director of the Office of Regional and Political Analysis, an office of over 200 experts on all nations and global problems of the world.
Philip Coyle - assistant secretary of defense and director of operational test and evaluation at the Pentagon from 1994 to 2001. He is currently a senior adviser to the Center for Defense
Information in Washington, D.C.
Patrick Eddington - former CIA imagery analyst, and is currently a private researcher, author,
and international security consultant. Eddington resigned in 1996 after working on a book
(“Gassed in the Gulf”) that exposed the gulf war syndrome.
Chas Freeman - Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas Freeman is currently the President of the Middle East Policy Council and Chairman of Projects International, Inc., a Washington D. C. - based business development firm. served as Assistant Secretary of Defense and earned the highest DOD public service awards for his role in designing a NATO-centered post Cold War European security system and in re-establishing defense and military relations with China.
Graham Fuller - As the former Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, he served 20 years in the Foreign Service mostly in the Muslim world.
Mel Goodman - professor of International Security at the National War College and a Senior
Fellow at the Center for International Policy. From 1966-1986 he was a senior CIA soviet
analyst.
Larry C. Johnson - worked with the U.S. State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism from
1989-1993, and prior to that with the Central Intelligence Agency.
Dr. David Kay – President Bush directed that the hunt for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction be
transferred to the CIA who appointed Dr. David Kay to lead that search and direct the activities of the 1,400 members Iraq Survey Group. In January 2004 he concluded there were no weapons stockpiles and resigned.
John Brady Kiesling - former member of Bush’s Foreign Service Corps and Political Counselor to the American Embassy in Greece. Kiesling has been a diplomat for 20 years, a civil servant to four
Presidents. He was the first diplomat to resign in a symbolic move to protest the administration’s
contempt for diplomacy.
Karen Kwiatkowski - specialist on the Middle East and a recently retired USAF lieutenant
colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon, worked
from May 2002 through February 2003 in the office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy,
Near East/South Asia and Special Plans at the Department of Defense. In the March 10, 2004,
online edition of Salon, Karen Kwiatkowski’s 4-page article, “The New Pentagon Papers”
revealed how Defense Department extremists suppressed information and twisted the truth to
drive the country to war.
Patrick Lang - strategic military and political intelligence analyst. As an independent
consultant he is an expert trainer of U.S. and other personnel in requirements of operations in
Muslim countries. From 1979 to 1985 he served as the senior U.S. military officer in the
embassy in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. From 1985 to 1992 Lang was the Defense Intelligence
Officer for the Middle East, South Asia and Terrorism.
Dr. David C. MacMichael - former CIA Analyst who started The Association of National Security
Alumni. ANSA is an organization that seeks to expose and curtail covert actions because they
“are counterproductive and damaging to the national interest of the United States, inimical to the
operation of an effective national intelligence system, corruptive of civil liberties... and they
contradict the principles of democracy, national self-determination and international law to which
the United States is publicly committed.” David MacMichael resigned from the CIA rather than
falsify his reports for political reasons.

Ray McGovern - CIA analyst from 1964 to 1990, and regularly reported to the vice
president and senior policy-makers on the President’s Daily Brief from 1981 to 1985. McGovern
is a member of the steering group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) which
is a non-partisan group of retired intelligence professionals who believe that the Bush
Administration lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and inappropriately pressured
the CIA to “cook the books” on the matter.
Scott Ritter - a former marine captain from a military family, was the UN’s top weapons inspector
in Iraq until 1998. During the first Gulf War Ritter served as a ballistic missile expert under
General Schwarzkopf and joined UNSCOM in 1991.
The Rt Honorable Clare Short - recently resigned her position as Tony Blair’s secretary for international development because Blair did not support a UN coalition to rebuild Iraq.
Stansfield Turner - Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International and Security
Studies at Maryland. He served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1977-1981. As such, he
headed both the Intelligence Community (composed of all of the foreign intelligence agencies of
the United States) and the Central Intelligence Agency. He

Thomas E. White became the 18th Secretary of the Army on May 31, 2001, after nomination to
that post by President Bush and confirmation by the United States Senate. He served in the US
Army for 23 years from 1967-2000 and retired as a brigadier general. After a series of highprofile
clashes with Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz over Iraq planning and army
modernization issues, White resigned from his post as army secretary in early 2003.

Joseph C. Wilson - Joe Wilson is the former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. More recently, Wilson served as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. At the behest of Vice President Cheney, Wilson went to Niger to determine the credibility of documents claiming that Sadaam Hussein had purchased “yellow cake” uranium from that country. Wilson debunked the claims as false yet the accusation appeared in President Bush’s State of the Union address. Wilson claims the White House deliberately leaked his wife’s identity as a covert CIA operative after he wrote an article for the NY Times revealing that the Niger-uranium claims made by the White House were false.

Colonel Mary Ann Wright - diplomat for 15 years and the Deputy Chief of Mission in the
U.S. Embassies in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, and Afghanistan as part of the rebuilding team
after the recent war.
Peter Zimmerman - Chief Scientist of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from August 2001 until January 2003. Before assuming his duties in the U.S. Senate, he was a senior fellow in arms control and verification at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former technical adviser to the U.S. delegation to the START talks.