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Thursday, March 21, 2013


Learning from Iraq? It's we who need to. The media hasn't, and won't.

On Tuesday there was a chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed 25 people and wounded 110. The attack occurred in a government-held area, was immediately publicized including video footage of the victims in hospital by the Syrian government, and the Syrian government quickly called for a U.N. investigation into the attack. Despite the obvious conclusion from these three facts - that the attack was done by rebels - various pundits managed to look at TV footage of people lying in hospital beds and pronounce that they showed "no signs of chemical weapons attack", while U.S. President Obama pronounced himself "deeply skeptical" of the allegation that it was the rebels who had done this attack, and instead warned the Syrian government about using chemical weapons. Chemical weapons are "weapons of mass destruction."

Today, a suicide bomber attacked a mosque, killing a "top pro-Assad Sunni preacher" and 41 others, while wounding 84 more. A clear "weapon of mass destruction" (not to mention a clear act of terrorism). Not only has Barack Obama not issued any condemnations of this attack, but the AP report of the attack even includes a statement from the "Syrian National Council," with its spokesperson informing us that "I don't know of a single opposition group that could do something like this." Of course.

As with the chemical weapons attack two days ago, we're supposed to believe that the Assad government, a government which we're told every day has dwindling support, chooses to erode that support even further by staging one after another attack killing its own supporters, all in an effort to discredit the rebels. The preposterous nature of this proposition is no impediment to it being advanced in all seriousness by the media. They are, after all, every bit as much as they were 10 years ago when an attack on Iraq was on the front burner, part and parcel of the U.S. government's foreign policy propaganda apparatus. Lessons learned from Iraq? Many more people have learned that they shouldn't trust the media. But the media? They have learned nothing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Left I on the News, 10 Years Ago

This blog came into existence in August, 2003, several months after the invasion of Iraq. But prior to that invasion, the author wrote an unpublished letter to the editor, which I reproduce here to remind readers that not everyone was drinking the Kool-Aid Colin Powell was pouring at the U.N. on the day that really clinched the U.S. government's attempt to persuade those that matter (the media and the Democrats in Congress, certainly not the public who were not convinced, nor even the U.N. Security Council for that matter) that an invasion of Iraq was necessary:
While Iraq's compliance with U.N. Resolution 1441 is still being investigated by U.N. inspectors, thanks to Colin Powell it is now an incontrovertible fact that the United States is in violation of that resolution, which requires "all Member States" to provide to UNMOVIC "any information related to prohibited programmes." But U.S. photos purporting to show removal of banned materials from suspect sites were taken last year and have not been previously shared with inspectors. Clearly, the lame excuse that we are protecting "sources" doesn't wash, since everyone knows that the U.S. has spy satellites monitoring Iraq (and the rest of the world).

The reason why the U.S. has not shared this "evidence" are readily apparent. George Bush and Tony Blair have stood before the cameras before and trotted out photos purporting to show, among other things, Iraq rebuilding nuclear facilities. But inspectors on the ground quickly verified that this was complete nonsense - the facilities in question were rusted, cobwebbed, and hadn't been used in years. Likewise we have heard much about aluminum tubes, which Bush and Powell continue to point to as evidence despite the fact that the IAEA has concluded they were intended for conventional weapons, not centrifuges. The Iraqi government may have minimal credibility, but the sad fact is that the credibility of the U.S. and British governments is nil.

Most of us aren't in a position to judge the accuracy or relevance of the "evidence" presented today by Colin Powell, but a little common sense goes a long way. Powell showed pictures of trucks allegedly evacuating suspect items from a weapons facility two days before inspectors were to arrive. But then he said that the truck caravan was "something we almost never see at this facility." "Almost never?" How often is that? Once a week? Once a month? If the Iraqis were really evacuating the site, wouldn't they do it all at once, and not just at some lengthy, irregular interval?

Powell continued to claim that "we saw this kind of 'house cleaning' at close to 30 sites." The obvious question is this - if we have seen caravans of trucks pulling up to 30 different sites and loading banned material, why is that we haven't ONCE been able to see the same caravan pulling up to another building and unloading, or disappearing underground, and been able to tell the inspectors where the weapons had been moved to?

There is a reason why the U.S. government doesn't want the inspections to continue - the longer they do, the more U.S. lies are exposed. Bravo to the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors for speaking out against this travesty, and demanding that the billions of dollars already being spent on the ongoing U.S. war against the Iraqi people be spent instead meeting the needs of our state, county, and cities.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Liberals on Iran

On Huffington Post today, Jamal Abdi, the Policy Director of the National Iranian American Council, whom I gather is a liberal, takes the Senate and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-Israel) to task for their war-mongering statements on Iran. He correctly takes Schumer to task for his blatant lies claiming that Iran "continues to enrich uranium into weapons-grade nuclear materials and that "experts say that the type of fuel that they produce is sufficient to arm a nuclear warhead."

But then he writes: "The overwhelming consensus of these basic facts notwithstanding, there are, of course, real concerns about Iran's nuclear intentions." To which we have to say yet again - bulls**t. There no reason to have any "real concerns" about Iran's nuclear intentions because they don't have any, and even if they did, it wouldn't be a concern.

To the first point, Iran's Supreme Religious Leader Khamenei has for seven years declared a fatwa against nuclear weapons, a point that the Iranians chose to re-emphasize recently (and which was promptly forgotten by the Western media). Considering the role that religion plays in the country, that would seem to be enough, especially since the same people who continually warn us about "Iran's nuclear intentions" are the same ones who speak about "Iranian religious fanatics." Furthermore Iran's civilian leaders like Ahmadinejad have also repeatedly made very clear statements regarding their absolute intention not to have nuclear weapons. In spite of all this, we continue to hear "Iran hasn't made a decision yet." Yes, they have, they have decided not to have nuclear weapons.

And to the second point, even if they did decide to have nuclear weapons, which would be their absolute right if they withdrew from the NPT, only an insane person (or one intent on destroying Iran) would think that it would be for anything other than defensive/deterrent purposes. Whether the target was Israel with its 100 nukes or the US with 1000s, Iran would be committing national suicide were it to use nuclear weapons to attack another country. This is, of course, the real reason why the U.S. and Israel are so hell-bent on making sure Iran does not have nuclear weapons - because it would place a severe obstacle in their plan to attack Iran.

Abdi compounds his errors with his next sentence: "Which is exactly why the Obama Administration is pursuing verifiable caps on Iran's enrichment through negotiations." No, the Obama Administration is not trying to affect Iran's actions through "negotiations." It is doing so through economic warfare designed to inflict pain and suffering on the Iranian people. Any "negotiations" which are taking place (and actually there are none) consist of the U.S. waiting for Iran to capitulate to that warfare.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Count the lies about Iran

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren appeared on the Colbert Report last night. Count the lies in this statement made by him (and unchallenged by Colbert):
"Iranian leaders are every week threatening to wipe us off the map if they get those nuclear weapons."
Of course the truth is that Iranian leaders have never threatened to "wipe Israel off the map," much less have they done so "every week," nor have they ever spoken about what would happen "if they get those nuclear weapons," since not only have Iranian leaders never spoken of a desire for nuclear weapons, they have spoken repeatedly (up to and including a fatwa from Supreme Leader Khamenei) about their opposition to nuclear weapons, including not only potential weapons of their own but actual weapons in the hands of those who have repeatedly (and not just implicitly) threatened military action against Iran — the U.S. and Israel.

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