Middle East

The CIA's electronic reading room: Where youz goez to find dem skeletons & plans of the quiet men

This came from an enormous, handy activist link guide I found on Indymedia that I will repost for the locals shortly. The CIA has a searchable declassified document index, with mysterious and doom-laden documents inside. This should get you started. I recommend you also try "barry seal" and a plethora of interesting angles about Iran-contra and drugs will appear. The CIA is far more honest than the mainstream media in this regard. Enter their website and learn what they have to say! -- Dan

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Click below and type in PBSUCCESS in Document Search...

www.foia.cia.gov/Top25PhrasesMonthly.asp

As another example type in the word omega as your search term in DOCUMENT SEARCH, and watch what comes back after clicking GO....

See the Memo from Richard Helms to Central Intelligence for the plan to militarize space for a future war... Code named "Ironbark".

See the Covert Action plans against Castro and Cuba...

Type in Omega for your search term in DOCUMENT SEARCH...

For another example, type in the word eagle in the Document Search.

Or type in SS-2003-00002, in the Document Search to see the covert plans for a coup in Guatemala and plans to murder Jacbo Arbenz, the Ex-President of Guatemala.

The CIA's electronic reading room is a must visit for all activists that need to see what the American Government is really up to...

For Iraq, try Desert Storm in Document Search...

For POWs/MIAs type in F-2000-00640 in Document Search...

For Peru's TUPAC AMARU REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT, try F-1998-01436 in Document Search...

For Bolivia's Nestor Paz Zamora resistance, try F-1999-01931 in Document Search...

American deaths in Guatemala, try F-1993-00897 in Document Search...

Gulf War Made American interests less safe. Try F-1992-01983, in Document Search...

Click below for an education from the CIA electronic reading room...

www.foia.cia.gov/Top25PhrasesMonthly.asp

Mideast Cracker Racism: Secret Elliot Abrams plan against HAMAS, promoting Civil War among Palestinians

It's a grim truism that the Bush White House doesn't care too much about the problems of Palestinians. And, um, well, basically chief nasty enforcer Elliot "Honduran Death Squad Organizer" Abrams dominates American policy, continuously ordering Condi Rice to put a sock in it. Abrams, an Iran-Contra veteran and convicted (but pardoned) felon, is master of the White House Mideast portfolio today.

Here's the basic idea: First, the White House assumes Arabs are a bunch of fucking morons who ought to be set against each other with violence. (See similar racist material among MS Word documents from the old Coalition Provisional Authority. More on that later.) Abrams is now trying to pour cash through Fatah figurehead Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, who then would disperse patronage in an effort to build his own political base. Then the U.S. and Israel provide a mountain of weapons to Fatah gunmen, who will blow Hamas away in a tidy little move.

The problem is that this plan is like most Mideast efforts nowadays: it's a malign effort to kick the can a few yards down the field and avoid putting Israel on the spot for negotiations. It's been the same song-and-dance since at least 1982, when Sharon invaded Lebanon to prevent negotiations with the PLO.

Here is the sinister Abrams plan via Asia Times. Yet again another dumb policy designed to enhance the military-industrial complex that strangles Israel, while facilitating more West Bank settlement construction. Just another day in the Mideast. Here's part one, wherein we learn how the Jordanians have censored this news. Ian Welsh over at the Agonist calls it "the essential insanity." Correct sir! Here's more on the Elliot Abrams plan of doom. Tony Karon aptly notes that Gazan Fatah chieftain Mohammad Dahlan is probably getting into fighting HAMAS because of foreign encouragement. This guy is gearing up to become the U.S./Israeli cats-paw or instrument of power, gendarme, whatever you want to call it.

Matt Yglesias bitterly observed the open anti-Palestinian racism of New Republic editor Martin Peretz. (Those guys are supposed to be liberal!) And then 2 3 4 he goes on and on without noting this whole thing was a consequence of American policy. Ygs:

Gone missing from this analysis is any recognition of the extent to which the current terrible situation is the result of stupid American policy choices. The dynamic on the US-Israeli side has become one of self-fulfilling prophesies, where the failure of ham-handed policy initiatives to produce the desired Palestinian quisling regime becomes the reason for more ham-handed initiatives whose failure then becomes yet another reason there can be no serious push for peace.

There's no end-game. Just wasting more time and blood.

Presidential candidate Ron Paul: The media-suppressed candidate of the year! Even MySpace thinks he's spam!

Here's a good one. Over the last couple weeks, the star of the Internets has been obscure Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, an outspoken Libertarian of the old school, who's been running for president on the GOP ticket for quite a while. You wouldn't know that, of course, because of that funny way the media has of sucking oxygen out of campaigns. Paul has been virtually ignored everywhere in the mainstream, naturally.

I don't have time to insert the links now. Instead enjoy the videos!

The first GOP presidential debate got him more attention, but it immediately became apparent there was a serious and profound media prejudice/filtering effect pressing on Dr. Paul like a ton of bricks. Paul kept winning Internet polls, but this was attributed to his wily hacker constituency. Otherwise he went virtually unmentioned in AP coverage for example. ABC News got caught with its hand in the cookie jar: they refused to even put his name on their online poll. There was a big outcry and they had to add him. Paul won the poll by thousands.

None of this compared to the great, ominously orwellian censorship exercise MySpace spit out days later. Everyone who tried to post Ron Paul bulletins found their accounts instantly suspended for phishing. [ie suspected spammer/hacker activity]. Soon a MySpace moderator spilled the beans: links to Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet.com embedded in the Ron Paul posts trigger the MySpace spam filter. Jones, the noted internet conspiracy guy, has been an outspoken Ron Paul supporter, since he is really, surely, not part of the New World Order/globalist bastard conspiracy/etc. Paul would be the last president to set up Orwellian total control for the corporate masters, so, you know, posts about him get jammed off MySpace instantly.

Here was Ron Paul at the first presidential debate:


Here was video from the second debate, where Ron Paul and Giuliani exploded at each other, probably the highlight of the day. Paul outlines the concept of "Blowback" under heavy fire, and the audience doesn't like it too much. CIA analysts roll their eyes...


Here's the video of the MySpace auto-censorship in action. Nice work MoreRockin!

When you look at it like that, everything makes sense.

Here's Ron Paul talking about adapting to Fourth Generation Warfare AND the prospects of staging Gulf of Tonkin-style Iran war provocations.


Here's Ron Paul telling those damn sonsa bitches that the Federal Reserve board is illegal! "Ron Paul 0wnz the Federal Reserve": "We don't even have M3 statistics" in Congress any more...

Jordanian prince discerns suppressed American/Israeli extremist plan to shatter Arab nationalism into statelets: Re-Ottomanization & Oded Yinon revisited

 Images Hassan

"Hey now... I mean seriously WTF?" this photo seems to say...



A suppressed slice of news from the Mideast: a top member of Jordanian royalty discerns a plan to break up the Middle East into an array of new states with Israel up top. Here's a slice from Kurt Nimmo's Another Day in the Empire blog: Prince Hassan: Neocons and Israel Plan “New 100 Years of War” in the Middle East:

[Despite American media suppression] what does Bin Talal and millions of Arabs know?

“After a keynote speech at the European Policy Centre in Brussels on the ‘coexistence of civilizations’ Prince Hassan Bin Tallal, crown prince of Jordan in the final days of the late King Hussein, spoke to Today’s Zaman…. Prince Hassan made it clear that the idea of breaking Iraq into pieces, as is circulating in some US and Israeli circles, would be a fatal mistake. The Jordanian prince warned that a possible break-up would play into the hands of Israeli ‘extremists,’ making Israel the dominant minority in a region of minorities.”

Prince Hassan “is now one of the leading intellectuals and activists of the Islamic world,” and yet his comments go unreported in this country. “I want to cite the Clean Break paper of 1996 attributed to the conservatives in the US. It seems to me that the concept of pan-Arabism, pan-Islamism, supra-national identity was actually taken to pieces by this paper, arguing somehow that fragmentation was taking place in that part of the world, so let us take full advantage of this. Muslims and Arabs do not need enemies as they are doing an excellent job of destroying each other. Of course this plays into the hands of Israeli extremists that believe Israel should emerge as the dominating minority in a region of minorities or a mosaic of minorities.

The idea of taking “to pieces” Arab nationalism is hardly revelatory. “This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking,” writes Khalil Nakhleh in the publisher’s note to Israel Shahak’s transation of Oded Yinon’s A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties. “Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme,” going back at least to the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former prime minister of Israel, as documented by Livia Rokach (Israel’s Sacred Terrorism: A study based on Moshe Sharett’s Personal Diary). Of course, until the Israelis hit the jackpot with the neocons, who were able to infiltrate the Bush administration and drive U.S. foreign policy, they were unable to carry out their master plan on the scale envisioned.

End of the Westphalian system, the end of the Middle Eastern community of states, the beginning of a Balkanization that could lead, in the words of the former Iraqi Defense Minister Ali Allawi, to a new 100 years of war,” Hassan continues.

In short, a plan perfect for the Israelis and their neocon helpers.

Of course, none of this matters—as we are essentially deaf, dumb, and blind here in America, a condition facilitated by the corporate media—and it appears quite plain we are headed for what Hassan characterizes as a “new 100 years of war,” not simply in the Middle East but across the board.

Who is Oded Yinon? One of those hardcore rightwing Zionists who wanted to see the chips fall where they may in the midst of chaos, leaving Israel as the ascendant regional hegemon. I'm not claiming this is the dominant strategic view in Israel, but it's still tempting as a perceived way for Israel to escape the grim wheels of fate. More sane Israeli analysts and strategists don't favor such madcap schemes, since the ensuing chaos would leave Israel far more vulnerable to nuclear attack, as nuclear proliferation would surely accelerate, probably leaving nukes in the hands of irrational actors.

So it's a chancy scheme. What kind of map are these guys after? Something kinda retrograde, like this:

 Gen Maps 1700S 1721Ottoman3200

More sweet maps here.

Check out The Zionist Plan for the Middle East by Oded Yinon, translated and edited by Israel Shahak, one of those old school kinds of theoretical schemes. Here is Shahak's introduction. Shahak is a leftist dissident Zionist and Israeli professor:

The Association of Arab-American University Graduates finds it compelling to inaugurate its new publication series, Special Documents, with Oded Yinon's article which appeared in Kivunim (Directions), the journal of the Department of Information of the World Zionist Organization. Oded Yinon is an Israeli journalist and was formerly attached to the Foreign Ministry of Israel. To our knowledge, this document is the most explicit, detailed and unambiguous statement to date of the Zionist strategy in the Middle East. Furthermore, it stands as an accurate representation of the "vision" for the entire Middle East of the presently ruling Zionist regime of Begin, Sharon and Eitan. Its importance, hence, lies not in its historical value but in the nightmare which it presents.

The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel's satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation.

This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme. This theme has been documented on a very modest scale in the AAUG publication, Israel's Sacred Terrorism (1980), by Livia Rokach. Based on the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel, Rokach's study documents, in convincing detail, the Zionist plan as it applies to Lebanon and as it was prepared in the mid-fifties.

The first massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978 bore this plan out to the minutest detail. The second and more barbaric and encompassing Israeli invasion of Lebanon on June 6, 1982, aims to effect certain parts of this plan which hopes to see not only Lebanon, but Syria and Jordan as well, in fragments. This ought to make mockery of Israeli public claims regarding their desire for a strong and independent Lebanese central government. More accurately, they want a Lebanese central government that sanctions their regional imperialist designs by signing a peace treaty with them. They also seek acquiescence in their designs by the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and other Arab governments as well as by the Palestinian people. What they want and what they are planning for is not an Arab world, but a world of Arab fragments that is ready to succumb to Israeli hegemony. Hence, Oded Yinon in his essay, "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980's," talks about "far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967" that are created by the "very stormy situation [that] surrounds Israel."

Jundullah: Baluchi ally of the United States... And Al Qaeda... in covert Iran war

A farfetched scenario: American geopolitical wizards pour millions in arms and organizational infrastructure into a band of nomadic raiders in the Central Asian highlands, who firmly promise to fight America's enemies and uphold truth justice and etceteras. It turns out that the militant band are a bunch of retrograde fanatics who use their newfound power to build armed networks all over the region, offering mercenary services to the highest bidder and undermining America's local allied leaders.

Obviously nothing like that has ever happened, (besides the entire 1980s) and it appears today that it won't happen again. Today Washington denies arming and training Jundullah, a band of fundamentalist mercenary lunatics supported by heroin traffickers and shady elements of who-knows-what, all in the service of bombing Iranian military personnel and stirring up trouble. A fourth-generation warfare (4GW) scenario all around.

At times like this, only the sage wisdom of the CIA's top 1980s coordinator, Milt Bearden, really makes sound sense. A 2004 note from him about the region below....

In the big overview of the Iran CIA-sponsored tribal rebellion I posted last week, I'm glad to have inserted a small reference in about Jundullah, a Baluchi-centered Sunni fundamentalist group that apparently desires an independent Sharia-dominated Baluchistan across Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Wikipedia lays it out:

Jundullah (Army of God) is a militant Islamic organization that is based in Waziristan, Pakistan and affiliated with Al-Qaeda. It is a part of the Baloch insurgency in Pakistan and in Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan Province. The goal of the group is to form an independent and united Baluchistan under a hardline Sunni Islamist government similar to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Though Baloch-dominated, the group claims to represent all Sunnis in Iran, regardless of ethnicity. Iran and Pakistan have designated it a terrorist organization and banned it. The militant Sunni group operates inside Iran's southeastern border. The group poses a threat to the country's Shi'ite clerical regime, which already faces a crisis with the West over its nuclear ambitions. The Iranian government has accused the United States of supporting the Sunni group as a destabilizing element against Ahmadinejad's regime. The Jundallah deny any link with the United States.

Evidently the CIA has been giving them a ton of money to blow up shit in Iran and start the next world war, as ABC News reported just about the same time I made that post:

The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.

It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.

U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or "finding" as well as congressional oversight.

Tribal sources tell ABC News that money for Jundullah is funneled to its youthful leader, Abd el Malik Regi, through Iranian exiles who have connections with European and Gulf states.

Reuters and other news agencies are following the case. Other stuff about the case on PrisonPlanet with reasonably backed-up sources. Basically the CIA payoff to Baluchis is historically consistent with typical British and western schemes to meddle in the region: If you offer gold, nomads will go a-raiding for you until you stop paying. These operations probably started when the US Special Forces arrived in Afghani Baluchistan shortly after the 2001 invasion.

Of course, the Congress has approved no such ethnic proxy war schemes, but since these are brown people, their fate is left to the discretion of our wise executive branch.

Really complicated geopolitics there, but Alexander the Great had it all figured out. Here is the scenario of the Pashtuns, the Baluchis' northeastern neighbor who make up the core of the Taliban. While Baluchis and Pashtuns are different in important ways, the tone here from Milt Bearden is pretty accurate: Bearden was the CIA guy who handed out a billion dollars in the 1980s, and he knows what the fuck he's talking about:

The Pashtuns of Afghanistan : Alexander the Great also got in trouble here

....In the 4th century B.C., Alexander the Great fell afoul of Pashtun tribesmen in today's Malakand Agency, where he took an arrow in the leg and almost lost his life. Two millennia later the founder of the Mogul empire, Babur, described the tribesmen of the area now known as Waziristan as unmanageable; his main complaint seemed to center on his inability to get them to pay their taxes by handing over their sheep, let alone stop to attacking his armies. A couple of hundred years later, in the middle of the 19th century, the British experienced disaster after disaster as they tried to bring the same Pashtun tribes to heel, particularly in the agencies of North and South Waziristan. In 1893, after half a century of jockeying for position with Imperial Russia in the "Great Game," the British administrator of the northwest of Queen Victoria's Indian Empire, Sir Mortimer Durand, demarcated the border between India — now Pakistan — and Afghanistan. The Durand line, as it is still known to foreigners — the Pashtuns call it "zero line" and completely ignore it — separated the tribes on both sides of the line into 26 agencies, each with its own laws and tribal councils. It was this area that became the buffer between the British and Russian Empires, an agreed-upon "middle of the lake." The tribes were then left mostly to themselves for about 80 years.

The Soviet adventure in Afghanistan began on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1979, and took a decade to cycle through, ending in exactly the same fashion as all the other foreign enterprises in that land — with failure. It was in the territories to the west of zero line, in the lands of the Wazirs, the Mahsuds, and the Ahmadzais, that the Soviets repeatedly failed in their attempts to establish their authority. They took some of their heaviest casualties not many kilometers to the west of South Waziristan and Wana Fort where the current drama now seems to be winding down after two confused weeks.

.......As the CIA officer overseeing the final years of the war against the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan, I served as a 20th century American version of the British East India Company political agent and quartermaster to these same Waziri Ahmadzai tribesmen as they stymied all Soviet efforts to "exert a little authority." Their leader then was Jalaluddin Haqqani, a man of uncommon personal courage, and a deeply nuanced understanding of guerilla tactics. Though his current whereabouts are unknown — some say he died of wounds from a U.S. air attack — Haqqani has transitioned from America's best friend during the anti-Soviet war to its worst enemy in the current undertaking in Afghanistan. He is at the top of the list of America's most wanted, and it is his spirit and the Pashtun code of honor that continue to drive the Ahmadzai tribesmen against whom both the Pakistani Army and American forces are lined up.

It will be a tough and unrewarding slog. Like most of the great confrontations launched by outsiders in Waziristan over the last 2,000 years, this one will probably end in ambiguity. There have already been claims of "mission accomplished" by the Pakistani army and the Frontier Corps — after all, they lost up to 60 dead — but there will likely be nothing concrete to point to, aside from claims of having destroyed a militant sanctuary. The much ballyhooed "high value targets" we and our Pakistani allies expected to kill or capture will probably remain unknown and unresolved, and the American Operation "Mountain Storm" across zero line in Afghanistan will probably wind down with an equal lack of clarity. Already there seems to be a sense of relief that everyone will quietly go back to fishing on their sides of the lake.

That's the way it's always been in those rugged hills.

Milt Bearden was CIA chief in Pakistan from 1986 until the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989. He is the co-author with James Risen of "The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB."

It is all quite simple really. "Al Qaeda" in the non-conspiratorial sense is an international network of well-armed and well-connected Salafi fundamentalists. Jundullah and Al-Qaeda as we generally know it share major cornerstones of ideology. The United States wants to exploit autonomous Islamic militant groups to attack today's opponents, so they are providing better arms and connections to this Al-Qaeda adjunct. I can't believe anyone would seriously disagree with this.

It's just Afghanistan replayed - and they're keeping it covert so the American voters won't understand where all that blowback is coming from. Another fine long-term strategy from the Beltway Hellhole.

New GeoMap; Kremlin warns of "Operation Bite" American attack on Iran April 6? More rumors etc.

General Ivashov pointed to a partition of Iran along the same lines as Iraq, and a subsequent carving up of the Near and Middle East into smaller regions. "This concept worked well for them in the Balkans and will now be applied to the greater Middle East," he commented.

There's certainly a theory behind General Ivashov's view, that America can just slice and dice ethnic groups and trumpet freedom all the way down ("re-Ottomanization"). Problem is that this can't be done all "tidy" like in Yugoslavia. There, the "Kosovo Liberation Army" was an inspired creation of MPRI and DynCorp, linked with Saudi Wahhabi adventuring fundamentalists, Al Qaeda and financed by the Turkish opium smuggling establishment. Yugoslavia was kinda sweet in that way. Everyone had a piece of the action but it was close enough to responsible Europeans to get tamped down eventually.

Iran, on the other hand, is bracketed by the Persian Gulf, disintegrating Iraq and increasingly destabilized Afghanistan. The border-straddling Pashtuns and Baluchis are both in a troublesome position now, and this spells trouble in nuclear-armed Pakistan. The Baluchis and the U.S. Special Forces have been up to something since 2001. The smaller Central Asian states are at the mercy of bigger forces.

 Vizzini

Classic blunders: At least they have the class to stage war provocations in a Gulf, just like the old days. Before we got SUCKED INTO A LAND WAR IN ASIA. God damn...

Russia is not happy. An American attack would unleash dozens of individual proxy forces (like the MEK, Baluchi mercenaries, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, etc) available to the highest bidder: Chalabi will really be the model here, I'd bet. Get the cash upfront, as it's always been, since Alexander the Great brought gold and opium. That doesn't serve Russia's interests, it seems to me.

I bet you there won't be an American attack on Iran April 6. However, with tensions mounting right alongside oil prices, Big Words ought to be coming from Russia, and apparently the Kremlin's General Staff itself is trying to ward off America's impending Iran war.

Just imagine it. They were prepared to push the button all through the Cold War. Now they're finally sitting back and getting rich a bit, and the United States, already occupying the adjacent two countries to Iran, is now actively stirring up trouble in Khuzestan and Balochistan. I think it's time for a chart!

Mideast-Map-Crop

I drew this little guy when I was having a migraine. I'll put up the rest later.

I think it has most of your basic factors of the situation. If I were the damn Joint Chiefs I sure as hell wouldn't park the carriers in the Persian Gulf. Look at it. The little triangles and X's I drew represent hundreds of clandestine docks full of suicide speedboats and probably very sweet missiles. Really. The US carriers are floating around in that without any room to maneuver. Which is why the Brits have been fucking around on their speedboats over the line in the narrow coastal estuary, the Shatt al-Arab, that Iran and Iraq have been bitching about forever. The local fishermen know exactly where the damn line is, and the British Navy engages in this idiocy?

What the hell, it's my website and I'll repost the material in full. However I'll also try to put half of it on the Read More fold, which should work nice and fast now. [original source in Russian]

Webster Tarpley is one of those conspiracy guys. Etc. I found this posted on the decidedly tinfoil Rense.com. But hey when there's obviously a conspiracy to start a war with Iran, why not see what the hatters have? This is really just a framing of a Russian article, which itself appears a bit of a desperate message from the once-fearsome Kremlin.

Anyhow here's the Tarpley story. Again my view is that everyone is blustering right now but the Russians are pretty fucking serious. For bonus points note that the Russians viewed the removal of Democratic law requiring Bush to visit Congress before an Iran attack as an absolute indicator war is ON. And for triple bonus points the Russians note that AIPAC representing the "Israeli extreme right" was crucial in getting Pelosi to pull that language.

Operation Bite - April 6 Sneak Attack By US Forces On Iran Planned - Russian Military Sources Warn

General Ivashov Calls For Emergency Session Of UN Security Council To Ward Off Looming US Aggression

By Webster G. Tarpley 3-25-7

WASHINGTON DC -- The long awaited US military attack on Iran is now on track for the first week of April, specifically for 4 AM on April 6, the Good Friday opening of Easter weekend, writes the well-known Russian journalist Andrei Uglanov in the Moscow weekly "Argumenty Nedeli." Uglanov cites Russian military experts close to the Russian General Staff for his account.

The attack is slated to last for twelve hours, according to Uglanov, lasting from 4 AM until 4 PM local time. Friday is a holiday in Iran. In the course of the attack, code named Operation Bite, about 20 targets are marked for bombing; the list includes uranium enrichment facilities, research centers, and laboratories.

The first reactor at the Bushehr nuclear plant, where Russian engineers are working, is supposed to be spared from destruction. The US attack plan reportedly calls for the Iranian air defense system to be degraded, for numerous Iranian warships to be sunk in the Persian Gulf, and the for the most important headquarters of the Iranian armed forces to be wiped out.

The attacks will be mounted from a number of bases, including the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Diego Garcia is currently home to B-52 bombers equipped with standoff missiles. Also participating in the air strikes will be US naval aviation from aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf, as well as from those of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Additional cruise missiles will be fired from submarines in the Indian Ocean and off the coast of the Arabian peninsula. The goal is allegedly to set back Iran's nuclear program by several years, writes Uglanov, whose article was re-issued by RIA-Novosti in various languages, but apparently not English, several days ago. The story is the top item on numerous Italian and German blogs, but so far appears to have been ignored by US websites.

Observers comment that this dispatch represents a high-level orchestrated leak from the Kremlin, in effect a war warning, which draws on the formidable resources of the Russian intelligence services, and which deserves to be taken with the utmost seriousness by pro-peace forces around the world.

Asked by RIA-Novosti to comment on the Uglanov report, retired Colonel General Leonid Ivashov confirmed its essential features in a March 21 interview: "I have no doubt that there will be an operation, or more precisely a violent action against Iran." Ivashov, who has reportedly served at various times as an informal advisor to Putin, is currently the Vice President of the Moscow Academy for Geopolitical Sciences.

Ivashov attributed decisive importance to the decision of the Democratic leadership of the US House of Representatives to remove language from the just-passed Iraq supplemental military appropriations bill which would have demanded that Bush come to Congress before launching an attack on Iran. Ivashov pointed out that the language was eliminated under pressure from AIPAC, the lobbing group representing the Israeli extreme right, and of Israeli Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni.

"We have drawn the unmistakable conclusion that this operation will take place," said Ivashov. In his opinion, the US planning does not include a land operation: " Most probably there will be no ground attack, but rather massive air attacks with the goal of annihilating Iran's capacity for military resistance, the centers of administration, the key economic assets, and quite possibly the Iranian political leadership, or at least part of it," he continued.....

US Instructs Israel to cancel Peace Talks with Syria. Hey Baghdad: You gotta go to Chalabi for a payoff now!

TalkingPointsMemo flags oncoming doom while Dead Blonde Chicks consume all the TV media oxygen as they mortify. That's sort of Babylonian...

Who needs a surge when you have the sleaziest, most destructive liar of the century holding the crucial government function of mediating between ALL the Baghdad residents and the upcoming Escalation?

Ahmed Chalabi is NOW supposed to placate the wasted sectors of Baghdad. This from the guy who touched off all the looting, personally kicked all the Sunnis out of the government, sparking the core Sunni insurgency. And helped spoof all the fake war intelligence.

WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?! BRAVO, ROBERT GATES, ANOTHER SHREWD MOVE FROM THE PENTAGON! I'm glad we gave you guys all the security clearances! Clearly you guys are really up to the task.

Sorry there is nothing else to say.

The Wall Street Journal brings us another chapter to the Book of Doom:

In his latest remarkable political reincarnation, onetime U.S. favorite Ahmed Chalabi has secured a position inside the Iraqi government that could help determine whether the Bush administration's new push to secure Baghdad succeeds.

In a new post created earlier this year, Mr. Chalabi will serve as an intermediary between Baghdad residents and the Iraqi and U.S. security forces mounting an aggressive counterinsurgency campaign across the city. The position is meant to help Iraqis arrange reimbursement for damage to their cars and homes caused by the security sweeps in the hope of maintaining public support for the strategy.........

...The new position is vaguely defined, and it is too early to tell how much power Mr. Chalabi will ultimately wield. How much money will be available to pay claims and how it might be awarded and disbursed remains to be finalized, too. But he is a skilled political infighter who has often shown a talent for making the most out of whatever hand he is dealt. Mr. Chalabi also maintains close ties with key political allies of Mr. Maliki such as radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which gives him extra sway within Mr. Maliki's government. Indeed, U.S. Embassy officials suggest Mr. Chalabi's closeness to Mr. Sadr is a major reason he was offered the liaison post.

Already, some U.S. officials are expressing concern about Mr. Chalabi's new role, fearing he will undercut the elaborate system of elected and appointed local governments that American officials have been cultivating over the past three years. American and Iraqi critics also worry that Mr. Chalabi, a Shiite, will use his clout to ensure that Sunni Muslim neighborhoods of the city are hit hardest by the new security crackdown, a move that would further inflame Iraq's sectarian tensions.

Then we see this from the Israeli liberal/centrist newspaper Haaretz. Can you imagine how depressing this is for Israelis right down there in the pit, to hear their almighty savior the United States of America is ORDERING them to STOP PEACE TALKS WITH SYRIA??!!

What evil fucking arrogance. Who is doing this shit? What is going on here? Now it's decidedly on the pro-peace movement to fucking nail and invert whatever the hell this shit is about. The Israelis WANT to get peace here, and Rice is stopping them. Disgusting.

The United States demanded that Israel desist from even exploratory contacts with Syria, of the sort that would test whether Damascus is serious in its declared intentions to hold peace talks with Israel.

In meetings with Israeli officials recently, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was forceful in expressing Washington's view on the matter.

The American argument is that even "exploratory talks" would be considered a prize in Damascus, whose policy and actions continue to undermine Lebanon's sovereignty and the functioning of its government, while it also continues to stir unrest in Iraq, to the detriment of the U.S. presence there.

...

When Israeli officials asked Secretary Rice about the possibility of exploring the seriousness of Syria in its calls for peace talks, her response was unequivocal: Don't even think about it.

Israeli officials, including those in the intelligence community, are divided over the degree to which Syrian President Bashar Assad is serious and sincere in his call for peace talks with Israel.

And all this time I thought Robert Gates was gonna come in and sell everyone some guns under the table like the 1980s. Then we'd get to come home and barbecue.

Instead we are ordering the Israelis to avoid peace, and putting Chalabi in the key positions. This is like four years ago, only it's obviously self-destructive right on the face of it. Where are these intelligence analyses coming from? What is the grand strategy?

Another day in the Empire: Palestine is still Palestine, yep; so let's get some internal analysis, huh

"It is not among the duties of resistance movements to court popularity from outside powers..."

--Azmi Bishara

It has been a while since I really made much note of the Palestinian situation, which is too bad because obviously it's a big deal. These photos were posted by Nizam on Flickr. I kinda stole em...

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A Palestinian demonstrator hurls a stone at Israeli soldiers during clashes after the weekly Friday prayers in the village of Beit Omar village near the West Bank town of Hebron, 16 February 2007.

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A young Palestinian stone thrower is dragged away 16 February 2007 by Israeli border policemen during scuffles in the eastern district of Jerusalem.

A friend just pointed me to a new blog, American Palestinian New Generation, where in turn I found some more interesting material.

A subtle irony: since of course the American media never discusses anything about Palestine in broad or realistic terms, in one mere post on this site we can easily outpace the entirety of months of the U.S. media with just a couple blockquotes. These two pieces are lengthy, but they are definitely a useful internal social and military analysis - that applies everywhere from Iraq and Lebanon to Los Angeles.

I'm going to cross post some material from a couple Palestinian websites. One is al-falasteenyia:

The Psychosocial causes for the Palestinian Factional War

By: Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj 14 February 2007

(comment from the blog operator: ) excellent article by Dr. El-Sarraj...he's done some great work in the past. He argues that this ongoing violence is a natural consquence of the imposed Israeli 'diet', among other things...

Many questions even after Mecca meeting remain … what has become of us? Our people have suffered for 59 years from displacement, homelessness, discrimination, impoverishment and expatriation, but they withstood that suffering and never killed each other; so what happened to us? The late Arafat rejected a plan to kill Abu Nidal, who had already killed a number of Palestinian leaders, and said, “If we start this series of killings, we will never stop.” So what happened? I have heard stories about new forms of cold-blooded and callous murder, and about Palestinians denigrating and holding as infidel other Palestinians or accusing them of heresy and bigotry as a prelude to ostracizing or murdering them. I have also heard numerous stories about children who have been horrified and traumatized and have fallen victims to nightmares, loss of appetite, insomnia and fear of street-walking. What is happening to us? How could things amount to assaulting homes, mosques and universities?

Politics and political difference alone do not provide the answer. There are several additional social and psychological factors for what is befalling this society. A safe and stable environment is one that produces normal children, while the environment we have been living in since the occupation is one in which violence proliferates and becomes rampant.

I- Torture

After the 1967 Israeli occupation, a legitimate national armed resistance movement emerged involving multitudes of freedom fighters. I can recall that, while I was working at Al-Shifa hospital in the early seventies, we received several murdered and injured freedom fighters every day. Reacting to that resistance and in order to contain and destroy it, Israeli forces arrested tens of thousands of Palestinians and subjected them to systematic and various forms of torture as documented by research teams of both Palestinian and Israeli institutions acting in the area of defending human rights.

The effects of torture extend from the individual to his community. Research has found that a high percentage of torture victims become prey of mental illness which transform victims into problems for their own selves as well as for their own families. The commonest problem arising from torture is the violence which the victim directs to women and children, which in its turn makes the home a battlefield. The reason for such phenomenon is that the torture a young man is subjected to makes him harbor a desire for revenge by violent means and subsequently he unconsciously resorts to identify with the Israeli torturer. This conclusion is supported by the fact that the methods of torture used in Palestinian prisons are the same as those used in Israeli prisons; they have at times even been more atrocious and resulted in deaths among several prisoners in the early years of the PNA takeover. Indeed, in many instances, the Palestinian investigator was an ex-victim of Israeli torture. This phenomenon has created a cycle of internal violence. We note here that many Hamas members were tortured in Palestinian prisons. Feelings of immense hatred and desire for revenge started to build up and heighten culminating in accusations of infidelity leveled at leaders of security organs. All of these factors led to a state of polarization and division which has aggravated by Hamas coming to power. Now it seemed that some were willing to retaliate and take revenge from those who tortured them, a desire which was intensified by the fact that Hamas government was besieged and there spread a feeling that it was targeted and conspired against and that some Fatah leaders were accomplices in such conspiracy.

II- The First Intifada

Despite the glorification we attribute to the “children of the stone” whom we hold as examples of heroism, we cannot ignore the fact that they are flesh and blood and that they have been victims of various forms of violence. In our work at the Gaza Community Mental Health Program we conducted a research on three thousand Gaza children. The study has found that those children were subjected to several traumatic and violent experiences including beating, bone-breaking, injury, tear gas and acts of killing and injury, all of which experiences have left indelible effects on their psych. Yet, to many, the most excruciating experience was seeing their fathers beaten helpless by Israeli soldiers without resistance. Such an experience will ultimately transform a whole generation into something different as the second intifada showed; for the children of the first intifada are themselves the men of the second intifada. Those young men who are pursuing revenge and killing and are at times seeking even their own death are the selfsame children who cherished so many dreams of a better life but saw them fade away and fall apart the moment they saw their fathers fall helpless and defenseless victims of arrogant force incarnated in the Israeli soldier. No wonder then that the Palestinian child will see his model in that Israeli soldier and that his language will be the language of force and his toys and games will be the toys and games of death.

III- The Effects of Ongoing Violence

Israel systematically assaulted the Palestinian people in all aspects of their lives and it even escalated its aggressions during the second intifada as it resorted to a policy of house demolition; infrastructure, farm and facilities destruction; extrajudicial killing and mass detention of activists and systematic torture. Psychological research worldwide has shown that ongoing armed conflicts result in what is known as chronic social toxication which makes people and children less sensitive and more ruthless, less rational and more impulsive, less conversant and more violent. More significantly, new groups are formed of individuals who are alien to the family system and to the social fabric and who are powerful and violent enough to be capable of heinous killing. Ultimately, those individuals are viewed as untouchable masters and examples to be followed by the disadvantaged and vulnerable. The outcome of this is that brute force, not morality, emerge is the example to be followed.

Another effect of such social toxication is the phenomenon of social disintegration and disunity which is manifest in the decline of the father’s authority with all the moral values it embodies; and in the young men’s tendency to search for a new identity which they seek to be assertive and different from that of their vulnerable and downtrodden parents. There emerged the new form of identity provided by Islamic organizations and armed militias which in many cases supplanted national and filial belonging and rendered many persons alienated from their community.

IV- The PNA Performance [Palestinian National Authority --Dan]

The PNA performance has had a tremendous psychological impact on the Palestinians. Throughout its term of office, the PNA regime has been characterized by absence of law and justice, violation of human and individual rights, contravention against public lands, disrespect for reason, disregard of accountability and penalty amounting to rewarding of offenders, spread of favoritism and nepotism which created heightened feelings of bitterness, exasperation and hatred among the disadvantaged and destitute. All of these factors made the Palestinian citizen feel that only force in its different forms is the only resort.

The PNA added insult to injury as its security organs penetrated families. This reciprocally allowed families to penetrate security organs which became controlled by Fatah leaders as well as by heads of a large Gaza family. This resulted in gross security violations and social disorder, and culminated in numerous instances of law-breaking and aggressions against public and individual rights and property. In all circumstances, aggressors were backed either by their faction, family or a security organ and sometimes by all of them, which made power concentrated in the hands of influential individuals in the large authority apparatus. This eventually resulted in more disunity and division among those same families, and new armed and rival groups emerged by virtue of the official authority support; only to turn against that authority one day and dauntlessly assault some of its major symbols.

In this regard, it is noticeable that the Palestinian people’s performance in the first intifada was characterized by an overwhelming sense of solidarity, resilience and commitment to moral values, all of which seemed to be nonexistent in the second intifada which has been dominated by chaos, disintegration and division. Some observers attribute such change to the presence of the PNA and to its inability to assume a leading role, as well as to its acting as a barrier between the resistance and occupation. Its corruption and weakness made it easy for both parties to beat it.

V- Absence of a common enemy and uncontrolled arms

The actual non-presence of a common enemy in Gaza diverted the furious and enraged feelings of revenge from their natural path and redirected them into the Palestinian community among individuals, families and the factions contending for power and their militias. Under deteriorating social, economic, political and psychological conditions, it is only natural, as we have already warned that violence will prevail in the Palestinian society and among its individuals and groups. This situation further worsened with the proliferation of arms and plenitude of funds in the hands of contending parties and militias. Those factors on their own, however, cannot account for those bizarre acts of revenge, torture and killing committed in the recent clashes between Fatah and Hamas and which reflect inveterate grudge and hatred. Therefore, there is need to consider the other reasons.

Conclusion

The systematized repression and torture that the Palestinian people was subjected to under the Israeli occupation, the poor performance of the PNA as embodied in the absence of law and justice and maladministration all led the youth to seek and cling to a new identity which is different from that of their helpless parents and which holds that naked force is the only means to avenge themselves over the suppression they have long been subjected to.

The formation of those political, partisan and religious identities and the view that ultimate force is the model of heroism are the major cause of the status quo of Palestinian armed conflict which finds its fuel in many causes such as division, hatred, and vindictiveness of a generation that rebels against the declining family system and the chaotic PNA.

Fascinating stuff. Clearly a worthy subject to reflect on. Also reminds me a bit of typical American gangster social situations.

In place of appeasement: It is not among the duties of resistance movements to court popularity from outside powers, writes Azmi Bishara

For a people either rootless or under occupation, the Palestinians have made more than their share of diplomatic initiatives. The norm, one would think, would be for an occupied people to fight for liberation until they win or else maintain resistance, compelling the international community or the occupying power to come up with solutions to situations that are no longer tenable. The norm, then, is for the resistance to either accept the proposals and throw down its arms, or to reject them and keep on fighting until it is presented with more reasonable ones. The actions of the resistance, moreover, are presumed to be guided throughout by a central aim: liberation and the realisation of self-determination.

In the Palestinian case we see the reverse: they have come up with so many initiatives and proposals that the Palestinians, themselves, find it difficult to recall the aims of their struggle; not only the original aim but the latest one too. In the process they have lost the distinction between strategies and tactics, between tactics and self-deception, and between tactical goals and pleasing others. Not that their attempts to please others have been very successful; rather, they have whetted the appetite of others, who believe such attempts that are a sign of weakness, to up their demands. Israel will never agree to Palestinian ideas because it finds them pleasing; it will agree only if implementing these ideas suits its interests or if it is forced to agree. For example, when suicide bombings reached their height during the second Intifada, Israeli capital and big business forced their government to choose between resuming the peace process until a settlement could be reached or building the separating wall. The government chose the wall.

The Palestinians and Arabs have put forward more than enough initiatives and proposals for settlements and interim phases. Israel has consistently refused to take them up; clearly, it is waiting for more, undoubtedly out of the conviction that with every new proposal the ceiling of demands will lower. Surely it is about time for the Arabs to wait for Israel to come to them with proposals or initiatives that they can either accept or reject, as opposed to letting themselves be pushed around by the logic of unilateralism and the construction of separating walls. In the meantime, if they need some kind of unifying inspiration, they can always draw on the Palestinian national consensus document, which represents the broadest common ground, as well as the resolutions adopted by the PLO in successive National Council sessions. Since neither Israel or the US are about to produce an acceptable proposal for a solution in the foreseeable future, the Palestinians, especially following the agreement between Hamas and Fatah, should drive home the message that they, too, have no further proposals to make and that it is not their job to make proposals but rather to fight against the occupation, against the separating wall, against the Judaisation of Jerusalem and other national objectives.

Jerusalem, for example, does not exist in a vacuum. Its representatives in the Palestinian National Assembly were arrested and there has arisen no properly organised and financed leadership to take the place of Orient House and the neighbourhood people's committees. What happened? Somewhere down the line people stopped thinking in terms of the national rights of Jerusalem as a Palestinian Arab city and in terms of its inhabitants as a part of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian national project, and began to think in terms of Israeli civil rights. Sixty per cent of the children in Jerusalem go to schools that fall under the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem. The brutality of the circumstances they face inevitably force us to demand their rights -- by which we mean their Israeli rights -- from the Israeli Ministry of Education. However, as necessary as this process is, because it is taking place outside the framework and compass of the Palestinian national project it has merged into the process of the Israelification and annexation of Jerusalem and its people. I suppose, therefore, that I should not have been all that surprised, recently, to see a group of 12 school children from East Jerusalem on a visit to the Knesset as part of their civics programme, as if they were Arab students from inside the Green Line.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque, as an architectural structure, is in danger, but Palestinian and Arab Islamic sovereignty over it is in greater peril; it has been virtually non- existent for some time. The people who are presumed to exercise this sovereignty -- the Palestinian people inclusive of Palestinian society of Jerusalem -- are also imperiled. The Arabs inside the Green Line pray there regularly and do their best to maintain it as a mosque but they are Israeli citizens and cannot exercise the rights of sovereignty. As admirable as their efforts are, they are not a state, nor even a state in the making. They are citizens of the occupying power itself. The transformation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, through closure and through the absence of an Arab challenge, into a mosque for Arabs inside the Green Line is hardly a bulwark against the peril. Is world opinion aware that Israel refuses to allow Muslims from the West Bank and Gaza access to one of Islam's most holy shrines, thereby violating their fundamental rights of worship? Yet the liberation of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque and the exercise of Arab and Muslim sovereignty over the sanctuary are curiously absent from all the Arabs' political and diplomatic moves connected with the "peace process". So, too, for that matter, is the protection of Arab society in Jerusalem, of the sanctity of their persons and of the Arab identity of Jerusalem, inclusive of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

If we add to this the erosion of the status of Jerusalem and the reduction of Palestinian refuges from a vital and primary component of the Palestinian cause to a collection of humanitarian causes of varying severity depending on the countries in which the refugees are living, we find that the Palestinian cause has been abbreviated to negotiation over a Palestinian state, as Bush and Olmert define it. The dependency on the "peace process" -- with the heaviest emphasis on "process" -- has left an enormous gap in Jerusalem, in the Palestinian Diaspora and in the Palestinian national project as a whole. "The process" has become an aim in itself: some politicians feel that their political careers and lives are not worth living if they don't meet an American official on a shuttle tour to the region, don't get themselves photographed with him or her, don't comment on the importance of their meeting and don't reprimand the US for its pro-Israeli bias at least once a negotiating season. The process similar to that of an extended family: it leaves stray waifs if it breaks down and plays Cupid for others until some calamity has the lovers bewailing their miserable lot in the coffeehouse. The process is everything, and those connected with it will be sure to tell you that America is in earnest this time; contrary to the general impression, they have detected a new sense of responsibility in whatever American official they have met. They will also tell you to be on guard against those who are working to give America an excuse to wash its hands of this region, and will be quick to remind you of Arab demagoguery and brinkmanship. The Arabs are the ones who lost Palestine, and while they are on the subject they'll open the whole historical record of black marks against Syria and Iran and against everyone who hasn't recognised Israel, and against the Arabs in general, those who are pressuring the Palestinians to sacrifice their national rights exempted.

Now that the Palestinians have made the transition from the chant, "Down with Zionism", to "Say no to internal warfare" two Palestinian delegations headed off to Mecca. They are under great pressure to come to an agreement over means to avert conflict, which both teams presume to be a form of crisis management. However, certain parties see this as a strategic opportunity to dictate the rules of the "game of nations" to Palestinians living under occupation, on the grounds that the agreement must be capable of securing the lifting of the blockade. The only interpretation of this stance is that the blockaders were right and the proof is that the blockaded party has "come to its senses" and changed its position. The inevitable corollary, of course, is that the politics of might works, that "might is right".

This will have important implications for the future of the "political process". Some members of the delegations have already threatened to call for early elections, which under the current state of tension is tantamount to a call for civil war.

Only a united front in standing up to the blockade can halt the blockade. The blockade loses its point if its architects can find no one in Palestine to capitalise on the blockade to build up an opposition powerbase and exploit the wretchedness of the people to foment anger against their elected government. [true! --dan]

Since the signing of the National Concord that was based on the Prisoners' Document the scramble to climb aboard the political dictates train has been the cause of each new clash that followed a truce. Under the circumstances of the blockade any agreement produced as the result of arm-twisting, blackmail, threats that the blockade will persist and calls for referendums and elections becomes the basis for yet further demands, triggering another bout of violence. If one's intentions are good there is nothing to be proud of in succeeding in bringing about new elections and quite a bit to be ashamed of in refusing to accept the results of legitimate elections. But establishing one's good intentions entails abandoning the logic of imposing conditions under the banner of the blockade and building upon a common political agenda of the nature of the National Concord. Indeed, this document is very suitable as a platform for a Palestinian government. That Hamas contributed to it and agreed to it represents nothing less than a revolution in its thinking and political outlook. Hamas had never been party to the drafting of the original National Charter, nor its subsequent amendments. The resolutions adopted by successive National Council assemblies, and the substance of the document itself, represents an enormous compromise on Hamas's own charter and, indeed, its electoral platform. That should be sufficient for the purpose of reaching an understanding internally.

If the purpose of some is to placate powers abroad, though, the path to the next round of domestic conflict is well marked: an agreement tailored to lift the blockade, authorisation of the PA president and his advisors to commence negotiations, agreements arrived at secretly with Israel, the announcement of these agreements accompanied by the threat that if Hamas refuses to accept them there will be a call for new elections or for a referendum, and so on. That there are pressures in this direction is clear from the announcement of a forthcoming meeting in Jerusalem between Olmert and Abbas, with Rice attending. If Olmert comes back from these, and subsequent talks with Israel and the US, with proposals that fall short of the minimum Palestinian demands and then threatens to put them to a referendum the Palestinians will be tearing at each others throats again. If, on the other hand, the Palestinian unification agreement rests on calls for a halt to the blockade and a halt to violations in Jerusalem and other such demands, it will strengthen the Palestinian people's ability to resist he occupation.

To produce and adhere to such an agreement requires that Palestinian leaders alter their way of thinking and acting. They must completely de-bug their operating platforms and eradicate the viruses that have programmed them into the tactics of dictating conditions in order to appease outside powers. If the agreement that resulted from the Mecca meeting is to succeed -- and there is no question that it must -- they need to learn to work together towards the fulfillment of common Palestinian objectives instead of playing to an audience outside.

In this regard it would be useful, and undoubtedly spare considerable acrimony, if they put the business of who receives what ministerial portfolio into proper perspective. It makes little difference, for example, whether the minister of foreign affairs belongs to Hamas or to Fatah as long as he is clearly subordinate to the president, as the ultimate foreign policy decision-maker. If, on the other hand, the decision-making process is a shared one between the government, the presidency and parliament, then it would be preferable if the foreign minister belonged to neither this faction nor that. Such independence would enhance his credibility and efficacy in implementing decisions that are the result of a balance and it will facilitate his reception abroad.

The same need not apply to the minister of interior. In all democratic countries, the minister of interior or security, as is the case of the minister of foreign affairs, is generally a member of some political party or other. Which party is of little consequence. Accepting the political affiliations of ministers is part and parcel of democratic life in which political parties form the primary identities involved in the political process. What is important is that the security apparatuses themselves are non-partisan. In the post-Oslo period Palestinian security services have been Fatah-based, in constitution, allegiance and lines-of-command. These services must be unified, neutralised politically and rehabilitated so as prevent partisan considerations from affecting internal appointments and operations. In this case there would be nothing wrong with a Hamas minister of interior, especially if such an appointment formed something of a counterweight to a Fatah president in his capacity as supreme commander of security forces. Conversely, it means nothing to have an "independent" as a minister of interior if the security forces themselves are not non-partisan and unless a distinct line has been drawn between security forces whose task it is to safeguard security and security forces as a surrogate army for the suppression of the resistance.

Well that wraps up that little problem, don't it? It's really a pity that the American establishment is so damn racist. Clearly Palestinians have a lot of interesting angles on political realities, and maybe they could finally help fish us out of the Iraqi clusterfuck and the general onrushing apocalypse...

Oh wait we gotta get some more West Bank settlements to setup the Rapture. I forgot about how important that is to Baby Boomers calling the shots these days.

The most wicked and ominous place on earth: The Babel/Babylon military base, military industrial eschatology??

Today's quotes from Apocalypse Now...

Chef: I used to think if I died in an evil place then my soul wouldn't make it to heaven. Well, fuck. I don't care where it goes as long it ain't here.

Iraq is one of the world's most historic places. One site of interest is Nebuchadnezzar's old palace, the site of Daniel's prophetic dreams and all that weird stuff in the Old Testament. Google Earth shows us the lumpy ziggurat rendered near the palace and other historic sites, some rebuilt.

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The "Whore of Babylon" and all that other stuff was technically located right here. Saddam rebuilt the palace and stamped his own name into the bricks, alongside Nebuchadnezzar's.

Kurtz: What do you call assassins who accuse assassins?

So, in six thousand years, what political entity might want to take control of this geographic point? What sort of thing would want to control the point where supposedly God crashed the tower of Babel and introduced discord to humanity? (eris discordia's headquarters, you R. Anton Wilson fans could say)

Hubert: You are fighting for the biggest nothing in history.

I'll give you a tip... it's got five sides and it can nuke the whole world....

Google Earthscreensnapz002

Kurtz: The horror. The horror.

That's right! The Bush administration's Pentagon, esoterically compelled to assert direct control over the land of Babel and the Garden of Eden, plopped a huge military base right onto the site, parking a fleet of black helicopters on the very parcel of land once cursed by the Israelites. So the Pentagon, a vast and grim bureaucracy, seizes control of this most wicked of sites and builds a military base on top of it, another strange layer of history in the making.

It's another attempted religious conversion of a geographic point that some cultures believe to be a junction with the spiritual plane - like Al Aqsa/Temple Mount or those places the Hindus and Sikhs dicker over.

Note above how the helicopters are parked in two lines that converge about where that little white sphere icon is. That sphere (a wikipedia bookmark in Google Earth) marks the location of the Ishtar Gate, one of the original wonders of the world. The whole site has a strange geometry.

Now as an atheist I'm bound to discount all lines of reasoning that depend on theological primary claims, but seriously, if you believe in any kind of Judeo-Christian theology then this area has to have some kind of black magic - some sort of haywire quality in the cosmic order. Maybe that's why the Pentagon needed to seize it: the five pointed entity wanted to either rectify the location, or else use its mythical power as an infusion into itself.

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Backing up a little further here, we see the rest of the base sprinkled around the lake area. The many trailers are the basic units of military materiel. There is a major highway just to the east (we are facing west here).

It's disturbing that no one in America knows or cares that Babylon itself has a US military base. You would think a few fundamentalist Christian preachers would be alarmed about it. Does Pat Robertson think this is a good idea? That, I think, would be the answer to where this whole project fits in the big worldview - the big strange ideology that guides the decisions.

I'm just getting a little dramatic here. The most fundamental point is that it's a cruel and callous act to build a foreign military base right on top of the world's top-level archaelogical sites, of major religious and cultural significance. It's just like they didn't give a fuck when the Baghdad museum got sacked.

[quoting Kurtz] Willard: As for the charges against me, I am unconcerned. I am beyond their timid lying morality, and so I am beyond caring.

They had this kind of eerie glint in their eye when it was all getting fucking burned. That's what the antiwar movement is all about: showing America that their crazy shit is nuts - and it won't deliver whatever the hell it promises.

Roxanne: The war will still be here tomorrow.

Sometimes I think it's just like what the Willard tells Kurtz in Apocalypse Now:

Kurtz: Did they say why, Willard, why they want to terminate my command?

Willard: I was sent on a classified mission, sir.

Kurtz: It's no longer classified, is it? Did they tell you?

Willard: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.

Kurtz:
Are my methods unsound?

Willard:
I don't see any method at all, sir.

Kurtz: I expected someone like you. What did you expect? Are you an assassin?

Willard: I'm a soldier.

Kurtz: You're neither. You're an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill.



The bill is coming due. I don't know much, but I'm pretty fucking sure about that.

All right I'm going to put Brando's bloated rant in here too... If this was the site where God judged everyone should disagree all the time then it makes sense...

Kurtz: I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies.

I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember... I... I... I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead.

And I thought: My God... the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us.

Iraq Study Group: Nice work, guys! Even give back Golan Heights to Syria??!

News today has been dominated by the release of the Iraq Study Group report, a 100+ page compendium with more than 70 specific recommendations. I have to say that I am very impressed.

The report is notable for its direct advocacy of negotiations with Iran and Syria, the importance of building a broader Middle East peace effort. I was pretty much shocked to see it included advocating a Israeli-Syrian peace deal entailing returning the whole Golan Heights to Syria! WTF?!

Given that such awful neocons as Reuel Marc Gerecht and Clifford May were in the ISG, it is an extremely conciliatory document that achieves a certain level of understanding of how Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish militias will all have to be diplomatically engaged in order to preserve American interests. Even negotiating with Sadr! Promising no permanent bases, no permanent American oil domination? Hot damn!

No group in Iraq is placed on a pedestal here. Sadr's militia is fragmenting, Shiite death squads are all over the bureaucracies, all of this is placed in realistic, stark terms. That alone seems like a giant accomplishment.

The doses of reality about how various Iraqi militant and paramilitary groups have run amok is an important step towards the Beltway finally getting a grip on reality. I was also impressed by the list of people the ISG consulted, including important Syrian and Iranian diplomats, as well as important Sunni Iraqi tribal leaders like the Dulaimis.

Also I listened to much of the hearings on Gates coming into Defense yesterday, and Gates sounded pretty good. He admitted we are not winning in Iraq, and that diplomacy is important all around. As NPR put it, he sounded more like someone for Secretary of State, not Defense. When Gates was questioned by Robert Byrd, he admitted that the scenarios of Iranian retaliation after American attacks would be disastrous.

Honestly, today marks a huge setback for the general neoconservative perspective – there are barely any shadings of neocon eschatological/threatening type bullshit in the ISG, and Gates is obviously not from that school at all. 'Hawkery' itself finds little comfort in the ISG or with Gates.

And seriously (Syriously?), giving the Golan back to Syria? AIPAC's going to shit a brick. Too damn good. A huge step forward for the Antiwar movement.

Everything is still fucked up. But at least it seems like the adults are in charge now. Throughout Mr. Gates' testimony and the ISG report, you can tell the old Project for a New American Century is just fuckin' done.

The curtain is down on the old days. The prospects aren't good right now, but they don't want to double down by bombing Damascus anymore. Good days.

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