10/25/07 It's the Resistance, Stupid: Ultimate U.S. Nightmare

"If they do it, it's terrorism, if we do it, it's fighting for freedom."
Anthony Quainton, U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, 1984

Marching East of Iraq
Part III of The Imperial Playground: History of Iran in Recent History
By Andrew G. Marshall
a war with Iran has already begun? Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-1998, wrote an article in June of 2005, in which he stated, “The reality is that the US war with Iran has already begun. As we speak, American over flights of Iranian soil are taking place, using pilotless drones and other, more sophisticated, capabilities. The violation of a sovereign nation's airspace is an act of war in and of itself. But the war with Iran has gone far beyond the intelligence-gathering phase,” and he continued, “President Bush has taken advantage of the sweeping powers granted to him in the aftermath of 11 September 2001, to wage a global war against terror and to initiate several covert offensive operations inside Iran. The most visible of these is the CIA-backed actions recently undertaken by the Mujahadeen el-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group, once run by Saddam Hussein's dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA's Directorate of Operations. It is bitter irony that the CIA is using a group still labelled as a terrorist organisation, a group trained in the art of explosive assassination by the same intelligence units of the former regime of Saddam Hussein, who are slaughtering American soldiers in Iraq today, to carry out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq.” On top of this, Ritter stated that, “the CIA-backed campaign of MEK terror bombings in Iran are not the only action ongoing against Iran. To the north, in neighbouring Azerbaijan, the US military is preparing a base of operations for a massive military presence that will foretell a major land-based campaign designed to capture Tehran,” and then goes on to explain, “The ethnic links between the Azeri of northern Iran and Azerbaijan were long exploited by the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and this vehicle for internal manipulation has been seized upon by CIA paramilitary operatives and US Special Operations units who are training with Azerbaijan forces to form special units capable of operating inside Iran for the purpose of intelligence gathering, direct action, and mobilising indigenous opposition to the Mullahs in Tehran. But this is only one use the US has planned for Azerbaijan. American military aircraft, operating from forward bases in Azerbaijan, will have a much shorter distance to fly when striking targets in and around Tehran. In fact, US air power should be able to maintain a nearly 24-hour a day presence over Tehran airspace once military hostilities commence.” Ritter concludes that, “history will show that the US-led war with Iran will not have begun once a similar formal statement is offered by the Bush administration, but, rather, had already been under way since June 2005, when the CIA began its programme of MEK-executed terror bombings in Iran.”17

In January of 2005, Reuters reported that, “The United States is conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran to help identify potential nuclear, chemical and missile targets, according to The New Yorker magazine. An article by award-winning reporter Seymour Hersh says the secret missions have been going on since at least the middle of last year [2004], with the goal of uncovering target information about three dozen or more suspected sites,” and that, “The article also says US President George W Bush has approved secret operations targeting suspected terrorist operations in up to 10 countries in the Middle East and south Asia,” and one government consultant was quoted as saying, “The civilians in the Pentagon want to go into Iran and destroy as much of the military infrastructure as possible,” and further, “In the article, Hersh quotes the former intelligence official as saying that an American commando task force in south Asia is working closely with a group of Pakistani scientists who have dealt with their Iranian counterparts. The magazine reports that this task force, aided by information from Pakistan, has been penetrating into eastern Iran in a hunt for underground nuclear-weapons installations.”18

The above story was further reported by the Guardian newspaper, “Pakistan, under a deal with Washington, has been supplying information on Iranian military sites and on its nuclear programme, enabling the US to conduct covert ground and air reconnaissance of Iranian targets, should the escalating row over Iran's nuclear ambitions come to a head,” and “The New Yorker report said the Americans have been conducting secret reconnaissance missions over and inside Iran since last summer with a view to identifying up to 40 possible targets for strikes should the dispute over Iran turn violent.”19

In April of 2006, Raw Story reported that “The Pentagon is bypassing official US intelligence channels and turning to a dangerous and unruly cast of characters in order to create strife in Iran in preparation for any possible attack, former and current intelligence officials say. One of the operational assets being used by the Defense Department is a right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), which is being “run” in two southern regional areas of Iran. They are Baluchistan, a Sunni stronghold, and Khuzestan, a Shia region where a series of recent attacks has left many dead and hundreds injured in the last three months,” and that “One former counterintelligence official, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the information, describes the Pentagon as pushing MEK shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The drive to use the insurgent group was said to have been advanced by the Pentagon under the influence of the Vice President’s office and opposed by the State Department, National Security Council and then-National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice.”20

On January 11, 2007, the Washington Note reported, “Washington intelligence, military and foreign policy circles are abuzz today with speculation that the President, yesterday or in recent days, sent a secret Executive Order to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director of the CIA to launch military operations against Syria and Iran. The President may have started a new secret, informal war against Syria and Iran without the consent of Congress or any broad discussion with the country,” and the article even quoted Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address the night before, “Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq. We're also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence-sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.” It further reported that, “Adding fuel to the speculation is that U.S. forces today raided an Iranian Consulate in Arbil, Iraq and detained five Iranian staff members,” and “what is disconcerting is that some are speculating that Bush has decided to heat up military engagement with Iran and Syria -- taking possible action within their borders, not just within Iraq. Some are suggesting that the Consulate raid may have been designed to try and prompt a military response from Iran -- to generate a casus belli for further American action. If this is the case, the debate about adding four brigades to Iraq is pathetic. The situation will get even hotter than it now is, worsening the American position and exposing the fact that to fight Iran both within the borders of Iraq and into Iranian territory, there are not enough troops in the theatre.”21

The adding of brigades to Baghdad of which the above-described article mentioned was in reference to what we know today as “The Surge.” The author stated that “the situation will get even hotter than it now is”, which turned out to be very correct. As reported in October of 2006, three months before Bush’s ‘State of the Union’ address, “More than 650,000 people have died in Iraq since the U.S. led invasion of the country began in March of 2003. This is according to a new study published in the scientific journal, The Lancet. The study was conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. Researchers based their findings on interviews with a random sampling of households taken in clusters across Iraq. The study is an update to a prior one compiled by many of the same researchers. That study estimated that around 100,000 Iraqis died in the first 18 months after the invasion.”22 Craig Murray, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, wrote on August 10, 2007, that “Today, we are calling the fact that, around now, on our best estimate, a million people have died in Iraq as a result of the chaos launched by the US and UK led invasion. That is a million people, the majority of them women and children, who would overwhelmingly be alive today were it not for the actions of governments.”23

In February of 2007, the London Telegraph reported that, “America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme. In a move that reflects Washington's growing concern with the failure of diplomatic initiatives, CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran's border regions. The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime,” and that, “In the past year there has been a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials. Such incidents have been carried out by the Kurds in the west, the Azeris in the north-west, the Ahwazi Arabs in the south-west, and the Baluchis in the south-east. Non-Persians make up nearly 40 per cent of Iran's 69 million population, with around 16 million Azeris, seven million Kurds, five million Ahwazis and one million Baluchis. Most Baluchis live over the border in Pakistan,” and it continued, “Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA's classified budget but is now ‘no great secret’, according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph. His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: ‘The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran's ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime’.” Lastly, it mentioned, “A row has also broken out in Washington over whether to ‘unleash’ the military wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an Iraq-based Iranian opposition group with a long and bloody history of armed opposition to the Iranian regime ,” and that, “At present, none of the opposition groups are much more than irritants to Teheran, but US analysts believe that they could become emboldened if the regime was attacked by America or Israel.”24

As award winning journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker in March of 2007, “In the past few months, as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated, the Bush Administration, in both its public diplomacy and its covert operations, has significantly shifted its Middle East strategy. The “redirection,” as some inside the White House have called the new strategy, has brought the United States closer to an open confrontation with Iran and, in parts of the region, propelled it into a widening sectarian conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims,” and that, “To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” On top of this, “The new American policy, in its broad outlines, has been discussed publicly. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that there is ‘a new strategic alignment in the Middle East,’ separating ‘reformers’ and ‘extremists’; she pointed to the Sunni states as centers of moderation, and said that Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah were ‘on the other side of that divide.’ (Syria’s Sunni majority is dominated by the Alawi sect.) Iran and Syria, she said, ‘have made their choice and their choice is to destabilize’.”25 So, what we are seeing here, is that in this new ‘Great Game’ over the Middle East and Central Eurasia, the Anglo-American alliance has chosen, like so many empires throughout the past centuries, to empower one religious sect over another, just as the British empowered the Sunnis in what is today known as Saudi Arabia to fight the Ottoman Empire, they saw fit to maintain that relationship with the Sunni countries, and today, have chosen to again use those connections to sow chaos across the Middle East; dividing the people, destabilizing countries, and expanding the Anglo-American Empire’s lebensraum [living space]....

“Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Liberman slammed the European Union . . . for what he termed its appeasement attitude over Iran's nuclear programme,” and that “Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear-armed power in the Middle East, with an estimated 200 warheads.”6 The German daily Der Spielgel reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, while in Germany, said “Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map....
Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker Magazine reported back in 2004, that the Israeli government decided “to minimize the damage that the war was causing to Israel’s strategic position by expanding its long-standing relationship with Iraq’s Kurds and establishing a significant presence on the ground in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan.”46 Hersh further reported that, “Israeli intelligence and military operatives are now quietly at work in Kurdistan, providing training for Kurdish commando units and, most important in Israel’s view, running covert operations inside Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria. Israel feels particularly threatened by Iran, whose position in the region has been strengthened by the war. The Israeli operatives include members of the Mossad, Israel’s clandestine foreign-intelligence service, who work undercover in Kurdistan as businessmen and, in some cases, do not carry Israeli passports,” as well as the fact that, “The Israeli decision to seek a bigger foothold in Kurdistan—characterized by the former Israeli intelligence officer as “Plan B”—has also raised tensions between Israel and Turkey. It has provoked bitter statements from Turkish politicians and, in a major regional shift, a new alliance among Iran, Syria, and Turkey, all of which have significant Kurdish minorities.”
The London Guardian picked up this story, stating, “Israeli military and intelligence operatives are active in Kurdish areas of Iran, Syria and Iraq, providing training for commando units and running covert operations that could further destabilise the entire region,” and stated Israel’s aims “are to build up the Kurdish military strength in order to offset the strength of the Shia militias and to create a base in Iran from which they can spy on Iran's suspected nuclear-making facilities,” and it ended with a quote from a senior Turkish official, “The lesson of Yugoslavia is that when you give one country independence everybody will want it. Kirkuk will be the Sarajevo of Iraq. If something happens there, it will be impossible to contain the crisis.”47
In 2002, before the US-led invasion in 2003, it was reported that, “The CIA has enhanced its declared presence and activity in the Kurdish area which is outside the control of Baghdad's authority,” and that, “Opposition sources said that the CIA has reinforced its presence in northern Iraq by opening two field offices in the Kurdish area, and as from Monday a station for the American intelligence in the area which falls under the control of the Kurdistani national federation and another one in the area under the control of the Kurdistani democratic party.”48...

In a letter sent to President Bush by Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich on April 18, 2006, Kucinich wrote, “Last week I wrote to you regarding reports that U.S. troops are conducting military operations in Iran. I have included a copy of that letter below for your information. There are also reports, however, that the U.S. is fomenting opposition and supporting military operations in Iran among insurgent groups and Iranian ethnic minority groups, some of whom are operating from Iraq,” and he continued, “The Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PEJAK) is one such group. PEJAK is based in the Kurdish region of Iraq, a few miles from the Iranian border, and has staged attacks across the border in Iran since 2004 on behalf of Iranian Kurdish interests, according to an April 3, 2006 article in the Washington Times. PEJAK claimed to kill twenty-four Iranian soldiers in three raids against army bases in March. Iran’s official news agency also reported that three Republican Guard soldiers were killed in a gun battle near the Iraqi border in late March. Iran has denounced PEJAK as a terrorist group and has accused the U.S. of funding PEJAK. According to an April 15, 2006 article in the Economist, Iranians and Turks both believe that the U.S. is supporting PEJAK. It is hard to believe that PEJAK is operating successfully from Iraq without U.S. knowledge, support and coordination.”57...

clearly, the Anglo-American policy in the region is still focused on efforts of destabilization of the countries, and thus, provide both an excuse and a feasible situation to maintain control over the region. Afghanistan and Iraq, often seen in the public view as two wars in the US-led ‘War on Terror’ which hopes to ‘rid the world of terrorism’, yet, in reality, these two major theatre wars are simply two geopolitical pivots in the broader strategy of Middle East and Eurasian imperial conquest.

Assassination of Sheikh Shakes US Claims
Inter Press Service
By Ali al-Fadhily*
BAGHDAD, Oct 19 (IPS) - Resistance to occupation seems to have risen after the assassination last month of Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, head of the al-Bu Risha tribe. Abu Risha had begun to cooperate actively with U.S. forces.Abu Risha was killed Sep. 13 when a bomb exploded outside his house in the restive al-Anbar province to the west of Baghdad. His tribe is a branch of the powerful al-Dulaim tribe in al-Anbar.
The Bush administration used Abu Risha to send messages to many parties and groups in Iraq. The week before Abu Risha was killed, U.S. President George W. Bush met with him in Iraq, and claimed that al-Anbar province now suggested "what the future of Iraq can look like."
"Bush kept his mouth shut when his little collaborator was killed despite all the protection he had," a young man from Ramadi, capital of al-Anbar province, told IPS. "This was and will be the end of all those who take the path of collaborating with the occupation."
Abu Risha, who had been arrested by Saddam Hussein, became the centrepiece of Bush administration efforts to show that its troops surge in Iraq had been a success.
Many Iraqis, even one of Abu Risha's distant cousins, think differently. "Sattar was a common thief, and we all knew him to be chief of a highway robbers gang," Salim Abu Risha told IPS in Baghdad. "He and his gang brought shame to our tribe and the whole province, but the Americans tried to make a hero of him." It is no secret in Anbar province that Abu Risha's activities were not legal either before or after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. When the U.S. government began to support the 'Awakening of Anbar' led by Sattar Abu Risha, which operated under the flag of fighting al-Qaeda, some people did begin to think differently. "Americans always choose the worst of their collaborators to be leaders of their campaigns," Sheikh Ahmed Ali of the Muslim Scholars Association told IPS in Baghdad. "Look at the governments and councils they chose to lead Iraq. This Sattar Abu Risha only provoked a division among the people of Anbar, and that was exactly what the Americans wanted." ...
"Americans applied a strategy that has affected some weak brains and hearts," former Iraqi Army colonel Jabbar Saed from Fallujah told IPS. "They starved people, arrested those who opposed their occupation, killed a million Iraqis, supported sectarian militias and death squads, destroyed infrastructure to increase the rate of unemployment, and divided Iraqis into sects and now into tribes, just to make us feel that life would not be possible unless we work for them." ... more than one million Iraqis have died as a result of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation....
An Iraqi policeman who referred to himself as Colonel Saed spoke with IPS about U.S. policy in the siege of Fallujah during 2004 which left thousands dead, and destroyed much of the city. The crimes committed were not mistakes as U.S. officials claim, but a well organised and conducted strategy, he said. "The only factor they did not calculate well was that Iraqis prefer starving to death to living under the dirty flag of occupiers," Saed said.(*Ali, our correspondent in Baghdad, works in close collaboration with Dahr Jamail, our U.S.-based specialist writer on Iraq who travels extensively in the region)

Photo Gallery : latest U.S. liberation raid
Women and children among victims of air strike targeting "criminals" in Sadr City.

Iraqi 'sovereign' gov't protests deadly U.S. raid in Baghdad:
AP photos showed the bodies of two toddlers, one with a gouged face, swaddled in blankets on a morgue floor. Relatives said the children were killed when helicopter gunfire hit their house as they slept.

How many motherfuckers, Americans and various other nationalities did it take to turn our women into forced "prostitutes"? "
Imad Khadduri, Free Iraq

a reign of terror being heroically defeated at unspeakable costs to our Iraqi sisters and brothers
Rain of terror in the U.S. air war in Iraq
Chris Floyd , Salon
Monday the Pentagon acknowledged a long-unspoken truth: that the bombardment of civilian neighborhoods in Iraq is an integral part of the vaunted "counterinsurgency" doctrine of Gen. David Petraeus. The number of airstrikes in the conquered land has risen fivefold since...January... The results of this deliberate strategy have been entirely predictable and deeply horrific: Innocent civilians chewed to pieces by blast force and metal. Innocent civilians dispossessed of homes, cars, goods, all means of survival... 'Where can anybody be safe from Bush's democracy?' Mohammed al-Samarrae asked.. this rising mound of innocent dead is the inevitable consequence of trying to maintain the occupation and control of another country while minimizing impolitic losses to one's ground forces. ...an attempt to terrorize a civilian population into submission... break down the on-message jargon and lumps of propaganda into the base elements of truth...what the air campaign, and the "offensives into neighborhoods," are really saying is brutally frank: "We invaded your country under false pretenses...we destroyed your infrastructure, we destroyed your society, we destroyed your history, we enthroned extremist militias to rule over you, we tortured your sons and fathers in the same hellhole that Saddam used, we killed a million of your people and drove millions more from their homes. And we intend to stay here for as long as we like, in the vast 'enduring bases' we are building on your land..."
And there would actually be more of this under the nonwithdrawal "withdrawal" plans of the leading Democrats, all of which call for retaining some sort of "residual" force in Iraq. The only way to protect such a diminished, isolated but still very present and provocative force is through the increased use of airpower. So once again, we see the bipartisan nature of the ongoing war crime in Iraq.... the deliberate, conscious decision to engage in state terrorism in order to advance foreign policy and energy objectives held long before 9/11 "changed the world." That is the true context, and content, of the war. Anyone who supports its continuation -- under any auspices, in any form, for any amount of time longer than it takes to remove all the troops quickly and safely -- is advocating the perpetuation of state terror in the name of the American people.

The Real ‘Gay Bomb’ of the Iraq War
Iraqi exile says LGBT compatriots — now routinely rounded up and assassinated — were safe under Saddam
Bryan Ochalla
Everyone has had a chuckle over the non-lethal "gay bomb" the U.S. Air Force considered adding to its arsenal in the early '90s. Although the weapon never made it out of the planning stages, a gay bomb of another sort has been exploding in Iraq since the U.S. military invaded the country in 2003, according to Ali Hili, a 34-year-old Iraqi exile now living in London. "The U.S, and other allied forces are doing nothing to stop the massacres of any ordinary Iraqi, not to mention the homosexuals, the most unpopular portion of Iraqi society under the new evil regime," says Hali, who launched Iraqi LGBT in late 2005 "after hearing about the killing of so many of my friends" inside the war-torn country. "Homosexuality was generally tolerated under Saddam," Hali says. "There certainly was no danger of gay people being assassinated in the street by police. Since his overthrow, the violent persecution of gays and lesbians is commonplace. Life in Iraq now is hell for all LGBT people; no one can be openly gay and alive."...

A proud Iraqi national identity, not U.S. imposed sectarian/religious identity, is why the nationalist resistance has defeated the barbaric occupiers
whose pre-war plan to own Iraq by chopping it up is now their last ... futile...resort
Make Walls, Not War
The absence of a shared identity is a main reason the Bush administration has failed to construct workable national institutions in Iraq....
Referendums will need to be held, as required by Iraq’s Constitution, to determine the final borders of the three regions. There has to be a deal on sharing oil money that satisfies Shiites and Kurds but also guarantees the Sunnis a revenue stream, at least until the untapped oil resources of Sunni areas are developed. And of course a formula must be found to share or divide Baghdad....
At the regional level, Iraq’s neighbors have to be reconciled to the new political geography. The good news is that partition will have the practical effect of limiting Iran’s influence to southern Iraq and parts of Baghdad....
Iraq cannot be reconstructed as a unitary state, and the sooner we face up to this reality, the better.
Peter W. Galbraith, a former United States ambassador to Croatia and the author of “The End of Iraq,” is a principal in a company that does consulting in Iraq and elsewhere.

Plans for Iraq’s Future: Federalism, Separatism, and Partition
Greg Bruno, Council on Foreign Relations Staff Writer
A non-binding resolution that sailed through the U.S. Senate in September 2007 reignited debate over Iraq’s political future. Introduced by Senators Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE) and Sam Brownback, (R-KS), the measure calls for a decentralized Iraqi government “based upon the principles of federalism” and advocates for a relatively weak central government with strong Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish regional administrations. The bill, based on a proposal first introduced by Biden and CFR President Emeritus Leslie H. Gelb, passed the Senate by a 75 to 23 margin. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Chris Dodd (D-CT), rivals in a crowded presidential field that includes Sen. Biden, both supported the amendment.... Biden argues that the plan—similar to the Dayton formula which calmed the Bosnian-Serb-Croat war in 1995—is * in accordance with Iraq’s constitution (PDF), which defines the Republic of Iraq as consisting of “a decentralized capital, regions and governorates, and local administrations.” Despite the bipartisan support in Washington, Iraqi politicians in Baghdad reacted furiously. Iraq’s divided central government has condemned the measure, calling it “an incorrect reading” of Iraq’s history. Even the U.S. embassy in Baghdad came out against the federalism measure. Some experts, meanwhile, favor other forms of governmental realignment, including outright “partition” of Iraq into three separate states.
“Federalism” is receiving the bulk of attention in Washington and Baghdad, but it is by no means the only restructuring buzzword swirling in foreign policy circles. Edward P. Joseph, a visiting scholar at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, write in USA Today that they prefer less subtle terminology: “soft partition.” “Some critics argue that soft partition would make the United States vulnerable to the charge of having deliberately ‘weakened a strong Arab state,’” they write. “They overlook the fact that by toppling Saddam, the United States did weaken a militarily strong Arab state.”

Cordesman, on the other hand, notes that no “partition”—interpreted by many to mean the creation of separate states with complete autonomy—can be termed “soft.” “The term ‘Soft Partitioning’ has also been shown to be a cruel oxymoron,” he writes. “Virtually every aspect of sectarian and ethnic struggle to date has been brutal, and come at a high economic cost to those affected. The reality is that partitioning must be described as ‘hard’ by any practical political, economic, and humanitarian standard.”

Experts see other problems with the partition approach, including questions about where borders might be drawn, how oil revenues would be divided, and who would control the flood of newly created refugees. Reidar Visser, a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and editor of the Iraq website historiae.org, argues that no matter what it’s called—“federalism,” “partition,” or even “separatism”—divisions based on ethnicity are unlikely to gain popular support in Iraq. “Iraqis tend to believe that when federalism is implemented along sectarian lines it will be more divisive than other variants of federalism and will soon lead to partition,” he says. Iraq has never been neatly divided into sectarian units, Visser adds, and to advocate a plan that does so now would be “particularly risky.” ...
The biggest unanswered question may be one raised in the blogosphere: What makes U.S. lawmakers think they have the answers to Iraqi foreign policy spats? [emphasis added: what better expresses unspeakably racist and hypocritical imperial arrogance?
* is in accordance with Iraq’s constitution (PDF), which defines the Republic of Iraq as consisting of “a decentralized capital, regions and governorates, and local administrations.” because the u.s. wrote it for the 'sovereign' state...aka u.s. protectorate

Declaration of the Arab Nationalist List on the US Senate Resolution on the Partition of Iraq.
The Arab Nationalist list
The Arab Nationalist list condemns in the strongest possible terms the resolution passed by the US Senate on 26 September 2007 providing for the partition of Iraq, a resolution whose framers claimed was "non binding" only because the US Senate officially has no legal jurisdiction over Iraq. The resolution, nevertheless, is a reflection of the practical actions that have been underway on the ground since the occupation in 2003 aimed at the partition of Iraq and of the areas surrounding it, for Iraq is not suspended in a vacuum. This resolution also reflects the agreement of all the main circles in the American ruling elite for the continuation of the American plan for global hegemony, and at the same time for the Zionist plan to split up the Arab Nation, a plan that has been expressly laid out in Zionist documents and studies since the 1950s....
Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=37397

Iraqi Nationalists Gaining Power Despite U.S. Efforts
By Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation. Posted October 22, 2007.
Iraqi nationalism is the only political force capable of uniting Sunni and Shiite Arabs and ending the sectarian civil war, but for the past four years the United States has systematically worked to suppress it. [liberal imperialist obfuscation: 'sectarian civil war', the death squads, mosque bombing and genocidal terror beyond description were made-in-usa as its only means of crushing the iraqi nationalist resistance that has boomeranged and defeated u.s. occupation from day one.]... Perversely, and entirely unintentionally, recent US-caused events in Iraq have sparked the one thing capable of both forcing an end to the American occupation and uniting the people of Iraq around a common purpose: Iraqi nationalism....
Across the political spectrum, on both the Sunni and Shiite sides of the divide, a nationalist bloc is emerging to challenge the alliance of Kurdish and Shiite separatists that has governed Iraq for three years under American tutelage. To be sure, such a coalition faces enormous obstacles that could stifle it in the cradle. First, it would have to overcome the staunch opposition of US occupation forces, still aligned in support of the Maliki government and the Shiite-Kurdish alliance that underpins it. Second, thanks to four years of US support, that alliance controls the Iraqi armed forces, the Iraqi police, the Interior Ministry and several powerful private armies--including the Badr Organization and the Kurdish pesh merga--which will oppose the new coalition.... Sadr declared a unilateral six-month truce, ordering his forces to stand down, and, according to the Los Angeles Times, he is secretly involved in talks with US military officials. It may be too much to hope for, but just as the United States finally decided to join the Sunni tribal resistance forces rather than fight them, it's possible that farsighted US officials would be willing to work with Sadr rather than confront him, too.

If so, the United States will have potential partners in both the Sunni and Shiite parts of Iraq who can assume control of Iraq when the United States leaves and who, so far at least, seem more than willing to talk to each other about an arrangement to halt sectarian killing and ethnic cleansing. The problem is, both America's newfound Sunni allies and the powerful Sadr-Fadhila bloc are united most of all by their opposition to the US occupation....
The Catch-22 of the American occupation is this: Iraqi nationalism is the only political force capable of uniting Sunni and Shiite Arabs and thus putting an end to the sectarian civil war, but for the past four years the United States has systematically worked to suppress nationalism. Instead, beginning with Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003, the United States deliberately apportioned political posts using an ethnic- and sectarian-based formula. Since then, US occupation authorities have favored separatists, such as SIIC, which wants a separate Shiite enclave in the south, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which are angling for an independent state in Iraq's north. It's no mystery why: nationalists would be the least willing to accommodate the preferred American goal of an Iraq that is at once docile, neutral in the Arab-Israeli conflict, tolerant of a long-term US presence, willing to serve as a base for US military operations in the region and ready to hand over their oil wealth to Western investors.

It's The Resistance, Stupid
By Pepe Escobar
The ultimate nightmare for White House/Pentagon designs on Middle East energy resources is not Iran after all: it's a unified Iraqi resistance, comprising not only Sunnis but also Shi'ites.

10/20/07 "Asia Times" -- -- The ultimate nightmare for White House/Pentagon designs on Middle East energy resources is not Iran after all: it's a unified Iraqi resistance, comprising not only Sunnis but also Shi'ites. "It's the resistance, stupid" - along with "it's the oil, stupid". The intimate connection means there's no way for Washington to control Iraq's oil without protecting it with a string of sprawling military "super-bases".
The ultimate, unspoken taboo of the Iraq tragedy is that the US will never leave Iraq, unless, of course, it is kicked out. And that's exactly what the makings of a unified Sunni-Shi'ite resistance is set to accomplish. Papa's got a brand new bag At this critical juncture, it's as if the overwhelming majority of Sunnis and Shi'ites are uttering a collective cry of "we're mad as hell, and we won't take it anymore". The US Senate "suggests" that the solution is to break up the country. Blackwater and assorted mercenaries kill Iraqi civilians with impunity. Iraqi oil is being privatized via shady deals - like Hunt Oil with the Kurdistan regional government...
Political deals in the Green Zone are just a detail in the big picture. On the surface the new configuration spells that the US-supported Shi'ite/Kurdish coalition in power is now challenged by an Iraqi nationalist bloc. This new bloc groups the Sadrists, the (Shi'ite) Fadhila party, all Sunni parties, the partisans of former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi, and the partisans of former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari....So now, in theory, everyone in the Shi'ite galaxy seems to want (more or less) the same thing...SIIC and Sistani are now explicitly saying that a unified Iraq must rein in the Pentagon and throw out the occupation...But it will require concentric halos of forgiveness for Sunnis to forget that the Badr Brigades have been responsible for a great deal of the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad, have cynically collaborated in synch with both the US and Iran, and have been focused on building a virtually independent "Shi'iteistan" in southern Iraq.

... the Sunni front is also moving fast. Last week six key, non-Salafi jihadist resistance groups, on a video on al-Jazeera, officially announced their union under the "Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance". They are the Islamic Army in Iraq, the al-Mujahideen Army, Ansar al-Sunna, al-Fatiheen Army, the Islamic Front for the Iraqi Resistance (JAMI), and Iraqi Hamas.
The whole process has been on the move since early summer. The council has a 14-point program. The key point is of course guerrilla warfare as the means to throw the occupiers out. A very important point - deriding the usual Pentagon rhetoric - is that the council is fiercely against al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers. The council also rejects all laws and the constitution passed under the occupation; calls for an interim government; defends Iraq's territorial integrity and rejects sectarianism.
A very important issue concerns a group that decided not to be part of the council: the 1920 Revolution Brigades. The brigades are basically Iraqi nationalist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist. They totally reject any sort of collaboration with the US.
But they may join the council in the near future. In a statement released in early September, the brigades stressed what an overwhelming majority of Sunnis agree on: "The democrats have a chance to end this conflict in a face-saving solution for the US, by first declaring that they recognize the factions of the Iraqi resistance as the representatives of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi Republic. After which a negotiating team would be arranged to negotiate your troop withdrawal, compensation for Iraq, and matters of future interest. It is only through the Iraqi resistance that a solution may be born." Or else, it's "variable, adaptable and reversible asymmetric warfare that will set the standard for years and years to come"...
As far as a concerted Iraqi resistance is concerned, the only way is up. What a historic irony that would be - before the Bush administration is finally tempted to attack Iran, it may have to face a true benchmark imposed on it in Iraq.

"It is not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist."
Golda Meir, Israeli Prime Minister, 1969-1974, (Sunday Times 15 June, 1969)

U.S. Prosecution of Muslim Group Ends in Mistrial
A federal judge declared a mistrial on Monday in what was widely seen as the government’s flagship terrorism-financing case after prosecutors failed to persuade a jury to convict five leaders of a Muslim charity on any charges, or even to reach a verdict on many of the 197 counts.
The case, involving the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and five of its backers, is the government’s largest and most complex legal effort to shut down what it contends is American financing for terrorist organizations in the Middle East. President Bush announced he was freezing the charity’s assets in December 2001, saying that the radical Islamic group Hamas had “obtained much of the money it pays for murder abroad right here in the United States.” But at the trial, the government did not accuse the foundation, which was based in a Dallas suburb, of paying directly for suicide bombings. Instead, the prosecution said, the foundation supported terrorism by sending more than $12 million to charitable groups, known as zakat committees, which build hospitals and feed the poor. Prosecutors said the committees were controlled by Hamas and contributed to terrorism by helping Hamas spread its ideology and recruit supporters.
The government relied on Israeli intelligence agents, using pseudonyms, to testify in support of this theory. (emphasis added)
But prosecutors appeared to have made little headway in convincing the jury.
The decision is “a stunning setback for the government, there’s no other way of looking at it,” said Matthew D. Orwig, a partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal here who was, until recently, United States attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. “This is a message, a two-by-four in the middle of the forehead,” said Mr. Orwig, who was appointed by President Bush and served on the United States attorney general’s advisory subcommittee on terrorism and national security. “If this doesn’t get their attention, they are just in complete denial,” he said of Justice Department officials, who he said might not have recognized how difficult such cases are to prosecute.
David D. Cole, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, said the jury’s verdict called into question the government’s tactics in freezing the assets of charities using secret evidence that the charities cannot see, much less rebut. When, at trial, prosecutors “have to put their evidence on the table, they can’t convict anyone of anything,” he said. “It suggests the government is really pushing beyond where the law justifies them going.” And Jimmy Gurulé, who was an under secretary of the Treasury when that agency froze Holy Land’s assets, described the outcome as “the continuation of what I now see as a trend of disappointing legal defeats” in terror-financing cases...
“The government spent 13 years and came back empty-handed,” said Khalil Meek, who is president of the Muslim Legal Fund of America and spokesman for an alliance called Hungry for Justice. “I would call that a victory — an overwhelming defeat for the government.”...Mr. Elashi’s daughter Noor, who was in the courtroom every day during the trial, said she considered her father a hero. “He was singled out for feeding and clothing and educating the children of Palestine,” she said. “Giving charity to the Palestinian people has become a crime in this country.”

“They murdered him in cold blood”
A Palestinian political prisoner who on Monday was shot in the head by an Israeli prison guard at the notorious desert detention camp, Kitziot, has died of his wounds. The prisoner is Muhammed Sati al Ashkar, of the village of Sida near Tulkarm and a father of a 2-year-old child. He had been sentenced to three and a half years for opposing the Israeli occupation. He was to be released from prison after three months. Al-Ashkar was shot by Israeli prison guards early Monday when so-called anti-riot police indiscriminately opened fire on prisoners who were peacefully protesting humiliating and provocative Israeli raids, including stripping inmates of their clothes and carrying out midnight searches and frisking, which prisoners say are intended to insult their dignity and sense of honor... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=37483

what's missing from this picture?
"The Sadism of the Israeli Occupation"
Juan Cole
The Guardian reports on a building scandal in Israel over the extreme brutality of its occupation of the Palestinians in the West Bank. Excerpt:
' According to Yishai Karin: 'At one point or another of their service, the majority of the interviewees enjoyed violence. They enjoyed the violence because it broke the routine and they liked the destruction and the chaos. They also enjoyed the feeling of power in the violence and the sense of danger.' In the words of one soldier: 'The truth? When there is chaos, I like it. That's when I enjoy it. It's like a drug. If I don't go into Rafah, and if there isn't some kind of riot once in some weeks, I go nuts.' . . . One described beating women. 'With women I have no problem. With women, one threw a clog at me and I kicked her here [pointing to the crotch], I broke everything there. She can't have children. Next time she won't throw clogs at me. When one of them [a woman] spat at me, I gave her the rifle butt in the face. She doesn't have what to spit with any more.' '
The idea that these sorts of actions derive from 'lack of training' is absurd. They derive from hatred and from being able to act with impunity. They are a burden of the strong who have the opportunity to abuse the weak.
The US political elite and media that conceals the brutality of the Israeli occupation for sectional political gains are accomplices to this sadism, and their silence endangers the security of the United States.

excerpt from Peter Atwood's reply to Juan Cole's "The Sadism of the Israeli Occupation" which graphically exposes israeli savagery but calls U.S. 'political elite and media concealers' rather than what the U.S. with aid of its state media is: the sponsor, financer and beneficiary of its M.E. proxy.
...American behavior in Iraq, with its tortures, its bulging concentration camps, its wanton slaughter and beatings, its devastation and bombing of civilian neighborhoods from the air, and its depleted uranium dust everywhere, is the latest expression of the fundamental contempt for the untermenschen that has been fundamental to our national character since we got off the boat 400 years ago. In view of their own history, steadfastly denied and white-washed, it is perfectly reasonable for Americans to approve in Israel what they did themselves to the Indians, African slaves, Filipinos, Vietnamese and countless others before and now do to Iraq and Afghanistan today.
Like a dog returning to its vomit, we will keep returning to these familar behaviors until, like the Germans after World War 2, we are compelled as a nation to confront radically our national original sin. That will never happen short of a pretty shattering defeat such as the Germans experienced. My hope is that the lesson can be learned short of complete destruction, and soon; it's a grave danger to the whole world for a nation such as this to be stomping around the world with 10,000 nuclear bombs, the stated willingness to use them first, and an evident determination to continue in robbery and wanton luxury even if it means the polar ice caps must fall into the sea.

or is it part of U.S. plan?
Bhutto bombing kicks off war on US plan
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Benazir Bhutto, the lynchpin in US machinations ...The attack was hardly a surprise. Militants see Bhutto's return to Pakistani politics as a Western-backed coup against Islamists in Pakistan, akin to the arrival in the Afghan capital, Kabul, of the US-backed Northern Alliance in 2001. Militant leader Baitullah Mehsud had instructed pro-al-Qaeda cells in Karachi to kill her for three major offenses against the Islamists, which he listed as:
- She is the only opposition politician who supported the military attack earlier this year on Islamabad's Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), a hotbed of Islamist radicalism, and she coninues to condemn the Lal Masjid ideologues; - She has stated that she would allow incursions by US forces into Pakistan in pursuit of Osama bin Laden; - She has stated that she would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to question Dr A Q Khan, the former leading nuclear scientist accused of passing Pakistani nuclear technology to anti-Western countries.
The Western powers were meanwhile cementing their plan for the future of Pakistan and the region. On Thursday, the same day as the bomb attack, Britain's Lord Malloch-Brown, a minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, arrived in Pakistan to discuss a future pro-Western government in Islamabad. The day before, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, Hamish Daniel, called on Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad to ensure that Bhutto's homecoming was accorded full protocol.
Bhutto's return to Pakistan is part of a complex arrangement brokered by Washington and its allies to ensure that a pro-Western government gains power after parliamentary elections in about three months' time. The plan was put in train earlier this month with the promulgation of a National Reconciliation Ordinance, under strong US pressure, by Pakistan's current leader, General Pervez Musharraf. Under the ordinance, all charges against current and former lawmakers who have been accused of corruption (with Bhutto, a twice former prime minister, prominent among them), were dropped. This paved the way for Musharraf's reelection as president and a political settlement with Bhutto which, after Musharraf's giving up his post as chief of the military, would result in a civilian-based, pro-Western consensus government - or so Washington hopes. (See From Washington to war in Waziristan, ATol, Oct 11, 2007) .
Although the PPP has released expensive advertising for Bhutto's homecoming, feelings against her are running high in some quarters. Anti-Bhutto media have published a list of her, her husband's, and her children's declared assets: they amount to US$1.5 billion, including all Swiss accounts that are frozen because of corruption charges. Western governments have long shown an affinity for shady characters in their attempts to organize the globe to their liking, though the strategy has seldom paid off in the long term... http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18593.htm

'US should prepare contingency plan for Pakistan':
The US government should prepare a "contingency plan" for Pakistan in case Pervez Musharraf regime falls because of presence of nuclear weapons, a top opposition lawmaker has said while warning that the Islamic country was in for "a very rough period".

"You will not find a single instance in which a country has inflicted harm on us and we have left it without a response. So if the United States makes such a mistake, they should know that we will definitely respond. And we don't make idle threats"
Mohammad Jafari, National Security Council member, FRONTLINE TV interview 10/23/07

Putin: We will complete Iranian nuclear reactor: Russian President also forged an alliance with Iran against military action by the West at Caspian Sea nations summit

U.S. desperation increases as targeted rivals organize against its monolithic global rule agenda
Cheney: U.S. will not let Iran go nuclear
Vice President Dick Cheney, taking a tough line toward Iran, described the country's government on Sunday as a "growing obstacle to peace in the Middle East." ...If Iran continues on its current course, Cheney said the U.S. and other nations are prepared to take action... Cheney's words seemed to only escalate the U.S. rhetoric against Iran over the past several days, including President Bush's warning that a nuclear Iran could lead to "World War III. Cheney said the ultimate goal of the Iranian leadership is to establish itself as the hegemonic force in the Middle East and undermine a free Shiite-majority Iraq as a rival for influence in the Muslim world. Iran's government seeks "to keep Iraq in a state of weakness to ensure Baghdad does not pose a threat to Tehran," Cheney said. ...At a news conference Wednesday, Bush suggested that if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, it could lead to a new world war...Also, on Thursday, the top officer in the U.S. military said the U.S. has the resources to attack Iran if needed despite the strains of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Bush administration's intentions toward Iran have been the subject of debate in Congress. Last month the Senate approved a resolution urging the State Department to label Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

Tony Blair's incontinent rhetoric in New York, comparing militant Islamism with 1920s fascism, takes us closer to the abyss of war with Iran.

SAS raiders enter Iran to kill "gunrunners":
BRITISH special forces have crossed into Iran several times in recent months as part of a secret border war against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Al-Quds special forces, defence sources have disclosed. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article2691726.e...

Report: Iran acquiring fighter jets based on Israeli technology:
Iran signed a deal with China to purchase 24 J-10 fighter jets between 2008 and 2010, Russian news agency Novosti reported. The jets were developed based on the technology of Israel's Lavi fighter jet, technology sold to China despite the wishes of the US. http://snipurl.com/1snxb

The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know
Two former high-ranking policy experts from the Bush Administration say the U.S. has been gearing up for a war with Iran for years, despite claiming otherwise. It'll be Iraq all over again.

Ecuador wants military base in Miami
"If there's no problem having foreign soldiers on a country's soil, surely they'll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States."
By Phil Stewart
Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa said Washington must let him open a military base in Miami if the United States wants to keep using an air base on Ecuador's Pacific coast. Correa has refused to renew Washington's lease on the Manta air base, set to expire in 2009.
"We'll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami -- an Ecuadorean base," Correa said in an interview during a trip to Italy.

AMERICAN VALUES continued: snapshots of capitalist dictatorship
Scientist cancels Ky. visit over remarks
the latest in Nobel Prize winner's 'balanced' fascist science statements
A prominent scientist whose remarks about the intelligence levels of blacks prompted international furor has canceled an appearance next month in Louisville. James Watson, 79, told Kentucky Author Forum officials on Monday it would be best to cancel, The Courier-Journal reported Tuesday.
An Oct. 14 Times of London Magazine article quoted the comments. In the article, the 79-year-old Nobel Prize winner said he was "inherently gloomy" about Africa because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really." He went on to say in the article that, while he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true."... Watson declined Tuesday night from his home in New York to discuss his comments but told the newspaper he felt that he had to postpone the Louisville event until the issue "gets out of the newspapers." He has said that the published comments did not reflect his views.
Watson shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for discovering the double-helix structure of DNA.
National Public Radio host Neal Conan was scheduled to interview Watson at the forum on Nov. 12 to promote Watson's new memoir, "Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science."

They Killed the Boy, But Kept Their Hats On
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
by BAR columnist Lizz Brown
The entire horrific crime was captured on tape, and a (second) autopsy showed 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson died of suffocation after being gang-muscled by guards on his very first day at a Florida boot camp. Despite the medical and video evidence, an all-white jury took only 90 minutes to find the guards innocent of all wrongdoing - a miscarriage of justice so blatant it recalls the worst days of official Jim Crow lawlessness. The guards - who were careful to keep their hats sitting jauntily on their heads throughout the fatal assault on Anderson - enjoyed the impunity that flows from a society in which Black life has no value.
As we watch this video of men brutalizing a child, it is striking how unmoved they appear. No one seemed touched by Martin Lee's urgent and desperate actions. This child tried to explain, he begged, he pleaded and not one of these super-sized men seemed interested. Eventually, Martin collapsed into unconsciousness. And even then he was unable to connect with those men. They continued to stuff ammonia tablets down his throat to "Get Him Up!" as if Martin's lifeless body was a liar and an act of defiance. [...]

Documented: US uses 'methods of the most tyrannical regimes' : Bush 'marching orders' on interrogation at Guantanamo
Filed by Nick Juliano
More than 100,000 pages of newly released government documents demonstrate how US military interrogators "abused, tortured or killed" scores of prisoners rounded up since Sept. 11, 2001, including some who were not even suspected of having terrorist ties, according to a just-published book.
In Administration of Torture, two American Civil Liberties Union attorneys detail the findings of a years-long investigation and court battle with the administration that resulted in the release of massive amounts of data on prisoner treatment and the deaths of US-held prisoners.
"[T]he documents show unambiguously that the administration has adopted some of the methods of the most tyrannical regimes," write Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh. "Documents from Guantanamo describe prisoners shackled in excruciating 'stress positions,' held in freezing-cold cells, forcibly stripped, hooded, terrorized with military dogs, and deprived of human contact for months."
Most of the documents on which Administration of Torture is based were obtained as a result of ongoing legal fights over a Freedom of Information Act request filed in October 2003 by the ACLU and other human rights and anti-war groups, the ACLU said in a news release.
The documents show that prisoner abuse like that found at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was hardly the isolated incident that the Bush administration or US military claimed it was. By the time the prisoner abuse story broke in mid-2004 the Army knew of at least 62 other allegations of abuse at different prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, the authors report.
Drawing almost exclusively from the documents, the authors say there is a stark contrast between the public statements of President Bush and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the policies those and others in the administration were advocating behind the scenes.
President Bush gave "marching orders" to Gen. Michael Dunlavey, who asked the Pentagon to approve harsher interrogation methods at Guantanamo, the general claims in documents reported in the book. The ACLU also found that an Army investigator reported Rumsfeld was "personally involved" in overseeing the interrogation of a Guantanamo prisoner Mohammed al Qahtani. The prisoner was forced to parade naked in front of female interrogators wearing women's underwear on his head and was led around on a leash while being forced to perform dog tricks.

Suicide and Spin Doctors
H. Candace Gorman
Now that the U.S. military has "cleared" my notes, I can tell you about my July meeting at Guantánamo with my client Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi. Al-Ghizzawi was visibly shaken when I entered the meeting room and he immediately told me of his despair over the May death of a fellow inmate, a young Saudi man named Abdel Rahman Al Amri. Al-Ghizzawi knew that Amri had been suffering from Hepatitis B and tuberculosis, the same two conditions from which he himself suffers. Like al-Ghizzawi, Amri had not been treated for his illnesses. Al-Ghizzawi, now so sick he can barely walk, told me that Amri, too, had been ill and then, suddenly, he was dead.... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=37488

why the world despises ...and will defeat imperialist reign...
Bush to Warn Cuba Wednesday that U.S. will not accept political transition in which power changes from one Castro brother to another.

IFCJ pays money to Jews to leave Iran
Evangelical Christians in the US are offering each Iranian Jew 10-thousand dollars to persuade them to leave their homeland for Palestine.
The sponsor of the program, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which funnels millions of dollars in donations from evangelist groups to Israel each year, claims the Jews in Iran are in 'grave danger'. In an attempt to demonize Iran, Evangelical Christians, who represent fundamentalist Republicans in the US, allege the situation of Jews living in Iran is similar to that of 'Nazi Germany in the late 30s'.
Nearly 25,000 Jews live in Iran and according to their representatives enjoy freedom to practice their religion without any pressure.
Iran is home to the Middle East's largest Jewish community outside the Palestinian territories.
The IFCJ has been forced to increase their offer from $5,000 to $10,000 because the lack of interest from Iranian Jews.

Christian/Jewish Fascism Awareness Week
Freedom Rider: by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
"They believe in endless wars of aggression, the destruction of the last vestiges of civil liberties, and subservience to a corporate power."
Right wing propagandist David Horowitz has declared October 22nd through October 26th Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. Horowitz is one of the biggest beneficiaries of right wing welfare, mostly from the hands of ultra-conservative foundations run by the Scaife and Bradley families. He has received more than $15 million in handouts to promote a white supremacist, pro-war agenda.
Horowitz propaganda is focused on Islam and on keeping Americans whipped into a frenzy of fear and hatred against all Muslims. The very term Islamo-Fascism is a cynical creation of neoconservatives, designed to insure blind adherence to the Bush war on terror scheme.
The biggest perpetrators of terrorist acts are and always have been governments, not individuals of any religion. When the United States refers to "state sponsored" terror, it must be looking in the mirror. War is the very worst act of terror that can be practiced, giving governments permission to kill and commit brutal atrocities that would be loudly condemned if committed by individuals...
...October 22nd to October 26th in the year 2007 should be known as Christian/Jewish Fascism Awareness Week.

Counterinsurgency American-Style
By Steve Niva
The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual rushed into print this summer by University of Chicago Press with a forward by Gen. Patreaus to understand how our Empire is simulating "new realities" as part of a counterinsurgency strategy aimed against the American public.
According to the Field Manual, classic counterinsurgency doctrine maintains that conventional military force will never defeat an insurgency because the primary goal of an insurgency, as classically stated by Mao, is political-to win over a population against a government or a foreign occupation. Hence, the heavy application of military force against an insurgency will be counter-productive by creating new grievances that help it gain popular support. Therefore, the first rule of counterinsurgency is to drive a wedge between insurgents and the broader population by winning their "hearts and minds" through addressing popular grievances and winning the war of ideas through better propaganda... But ultimately, as in any insurgency, war opponents have to re-mobilize the widespread popular support for withdrawal into a broad-based and assertive movement that makes its own realities, and doesn't rely upon Congressional Democrats but rather gives them no place to hide if they continue to support the Iraq occupation, in any form. Only then, in Mao's felicitous phrase, will the insurgents--proponents of withdrawal in Congress--be able to "move among the people like a fish in the sea" and turn off the spigot of permanent war. http://counterpunch.org/niva10172007.html

A new documentary collection on detainee abuse edited by ACLU attorneys Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh has just been published by Columbia
University Press under the title "Administration of Torture," with a narrative introduction by the editors.
from The Secrecy News Blog http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

President Asks For $46 Billion For Iraq, Afghanistan Wars:
The figure, which Bush was expected to announce later Monday at the White House, brings to $196.4 billion the total requested by the administration for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere for the budget year that started Oct. 1

US opposes nuke-test health plan to fund health care for the nuclear-test-affected Marshallese.
Sixty-seven US nuclear bombs were detonated in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958.

Government won't help poor pay heating bills:
About 30 million low-income American households who will need help paying heating bills this winter from a U.S. government program will be left in the cold because of a lack of funding for the program.

U.S. asks court to dismiss lawsuit on secret flights:
The U.S. government asked a federal court late on Friday to dismiss a lawsuit against a unit of Boeing Co.'s secret flights of suspects to secret prisons abroad.http://snipurl.com/1sgqg

White House chided for editing testimony
When a draft of Gerberding's testimony went to the White House for review, two sections - "Climate Change is a Public Health Concern" and "Climate Change Vulnerability" - were removed, cutting the 12-page document in half....Earlier, a CDC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the review process, told the AP that the original draft "was eviscerated" by "heavy-handed" changes in Washington... The White House denied that the testimony this week to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee by Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was "watered down" and noted that she does not believe she was censored. The CDC is the premier public health and disease tracking and response agency in the federal government. It is part of the Health and Human Resources Department...."I was absolutely happy with my testimony in Congress. We finally had a chance to go and say what we though was important," she said at a luncheon appearance in Atlanta. "I don't let people put words in my mouth and I stand for science," said Gerberding...
But the original draft, reviewed by the AP, contained much greater detail on the potential disease and other health effects of climate change than was in either Gerberding's prepared remarks or in her other comments during the hearing. "The public health effects of climate change remain largely unaddressed. CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern," the draft says. The phrase was not in the testimony given the committee or in her other remarks at the hearing. Gerberding referred briefly to a chart displayed at the hearing that listed the potential health effect, but provided little elaboration. Examples included excessive heat, respiratory problems, more air pollution and possible spread of animal-transmitted and waterborne diseases.The original text devoted six pages - all deleted - to these items.
The Bush administration has tried to defend itself for months from accusations it has put political pressure on scientists to emphasize the uncertainties of global warming...A House committee heard testimony this year from climate scientists who complained that the administration often had sought to manage or influence their statements and public appearances. The White House has said it has only sought to provide a balanced view of the climate issue.

What's at Stake in the Surveillance Debate in Congress:
Congress will be considering several versions of bills that will, one way or another, expand government access to phone calls and e-mails.

FBI turns to broad new wiretap method: "full pipe surveillance"
By Declan McCullagh, CNET News.com
ZDNet News: January 30, 2007
The FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed. Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords.
Such a technique is broader and potentially more intrusive than the FBI's Carnivore surveillance system, later renamed DCS1000. It raises concerns similar to those stirred by widespread Internet monitoring that the National Security Agency is said to have done, according to documents that have surfaced in one federal lawsuit, and may stretch the bounds of what's legally permissible.
Call it the vacuum-cleaner approach. It's employed when police have obtained a court order and an Internet service provider can't "isolate the particular person or IP address" because of technical constraints, says Paul Ohm, a former trial attorney at the Justice Department's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. (An Internet Protocol address is a series of digits that can identify an individual computer.)
That kind of full-pipe surveillance can record all Internet traffic, including Web browsing--or, optionally, only certain subsets such as all e-mail messages flowing through the network. Interception typically takes place inside an Internet provider's network at the junction point of a router or network switch.... full-pipe recording has become federal agents' default method for Internet surveillance. "You collect wherever you can on the (network) segment ... If it happens to be the segment that has a lot of IP addresses, you don't throw away the other IP addresses. You do that after the fact...You intercept first and you use whatever filtering, data mining to get at the information about the person you're trying to monitor,"...
"What they're doing is even worse than Carnivore," said Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who attended the Stanford event. "What they're doing is intercepting everyone and then choosing their targets."
When the FBI announced two years ago it had abandoned Carnivore, news reports said that the bureau would increasingly rely on Internet providers to conduct the surveillance and reimburse them for costs. While Carnivore was the subject of congressional scrutiny and outside audits, the FBI's current Internet eavesdropping techniques have received little attention. Carnivore apparently did not perform full-pipe recording. A technical report (PDF: "Independent Technical Review of the Carnivore System") from December 2000 prepared for the Justice Department said that Carnivore "accumulates no data other than that which passes its filters" and that it saves packets "for later analysis only after they are positively linked by the filter settings to a target."

Terror watch list nears a million, none is saying for sure howmany, who or why

NASA refuses to share data on airline safety
Survey of pilots found far more problems than expected, sources say
By Rita Beamish AP
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- An unprecedented national survey of pilots by the U.S. government has found that safety problems such as near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than previously recognized. But the government is withholding the information, fearful it would upset air travelers and hurt airline profits. NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million federal safety project, through telephone interviews with about 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years. Since shutting down the project more than a year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge its survey data publicly....
Last week, NASA ordered the contractor that conducted the survey to purge all related data from its computers. Congress on Monday announced a formal investigation of the pilot survey and instructed NASA to halt any destruction of records. Griffin said he already was ordering that all survey data be preserved....
A senior NASA official, associate administrator Thomas Luedtke, said earlier that revealing the findings could damage the public's confidence in airlines and affect airline profits. Luedtke acknowledged that the survey results "present a comprehensive picture of certain aspects of the U.S. commercial aviation industry."
The AP sought to obtain the survey data over 14 months under the Freedom of Information Act.
"Release of the requested data, which are sensitive and safety-related, could materially affect the public confidence in, and the commercial welfare of, the air carriers and general aviation companies whose pilots participated in the survey," Luedtke wrote in a final denial letter to the AP. NASA also cited pilot confidentiality as a reason, although no airlines were identified in the survey, nor were the pilots, all of whom were promised anonymity....
NASA said nothing it discovered in the survey warranted notifying the Federal Aviation Administration immediately and data showed improvements in some areas.