Sunday, August 27, 2006

Iran, America and Shah Reza Pahlavi, Missing Fingernails...

An Ex-Official Offers Glimpse of Iranian Views of U.S.

TEHRAN, Aug. 27 — A former high-ranking Iranian official wants Americans to see his cracked thumbnails. They were torn out, he said, after Washington’s friend, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, put him in prison in the 1970’s.

His point is instantly clear: look at what happened when we had close ties to the United States.

“I was a medical student,” said the man, Ali Muhammad Besharati, a former interior minister and deputy foreign minister. “But they put me in prison because I opposed American dominance in Iran.”

In the continuing conflict over Iran’s nuclear program, there are disputes over enrichment of uranium, discussions of heavy water reactors, and accusations over the government’s intentions. But to listen to Dr. Besharati is to hear the fight described as Tehran’s frontline effort to block American influence in the region and to never again allow Washington to have an upper hand in Iran.

That attitude is obvious among Iran’s current leaders, who see this not just as a battle over nuclear weapons but a fight for survival against a far more powerful enemy that has lumped them into an “axis of evil” and allocated millions of dollars to oust the government, political analysts and Western diplomats here said.

Dr. Besharati, too, echoed the idea that giving in on the nuclear front would not solve Iran’s problems with Washington, only aggravate them.

“I would like you to write this down,” he said, speaking through an interpreter. “If we backed down on the nuclear issue, the U.S. would have found fault with our medical doctors researching stem cells.”

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

George W. Bush as John Lennon



Jon Stewart gives us George and Laura Bush as John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I'm glad he and Stephen Colbert can still laugh...and make us laugh too.

Benazir Bhutto and Critics

The price of dictatorship

by Benazir Bhutto

The new Pakistani dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, has played the west like a fiddle, dispensing occasional support in the war on terror to keep America and Britain off his back as he proceeded to arrest and exile opposition leaders, decimate political parties, pressure the press and set back human and women's rights by a generation. His regime, claiming sections of the frontier are ungovernable, has relinquished responsibility to the Taliban and al-Qaida. During both of my tenures as prime minister, my government enforced the writ of the state there through the civil administration and paramilitary troops.

Comments

brex

August 23, 2006 08:17 AM

Ms. Bhutto, you grew up as a member of Pakistan's wealthy elite and were swept to power on the back of your hereditary connections.

While aspects of General Musharaff's rule could certainly be criticised--it is disingenous in the extreme coming from you. It is open knowledge that you and your husband profitted handsomely at your country's expense. Ostensibly, a Pakistani President's salary make it difficult to afford lavish estates in the French and English countrysides.

To the degree you still hold sway with your country's people, you need to ween them of the tribalism, prejudice, envy and hatred that fuels their blood lust.

Redemption doesn't come easy and certainly not by living large in a Dubai mansion.

Brex

criticaldanger

August 23, 2006 08:43 AM

Ms Bhutto I hope you read this.

You failed to mention your corrupt husband who looted the public funds under the supervision of your government. It is a known fact that your feudal family is the cancer of Pakistan. While in government you did nothing for the masses but looted and maimed civil order causing strife. It is your failed policies that have resulted in extreme poverty which breeds terrorism.

Isaa

August 23, 2006 10:00 AM

This woman had a chance to change Pakistan for the better but what did she do? Conspired with her husband and financially raped the country. There was a reason why your ‘homeland’ rejected you Ms Bhutto and rest-assured Busharraf will go the same way as all Pakistani leaders: assassinated or exiled.

gurujee

August 23, 2006 11:37 AM

‘Benazir Bhutto’ types are the problem of Pakistan – the rich, powerful, tribal/feudal elite. It is in Bhutto’s self interest to keep Pakistanis backward, illiterate, religiously conservative and locked in feudal subservience. Remember such a population is easiest to control.

There was nothing progressive or liberal about you when you took office. You were and are the feudal heir apparent. You may be able to fool well meaning guardian readers but Pakistanis know better. You raped the country’s wealth. You remain a disgrace to Pakistan. Words cannot describe the hatred most intelligent Pakistani feel towards your kind.

The ONLY way the west can change Pakistan is by investing in progressive education - schools, colleges and above all Universities. This is the only way you can counter feudalism and terrorism.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rape, Murder, the American GI...and Midland, Texas

Rape, Murder, and the American GI

When news surfaced that GIs allegedly stalked, terrorized, gang-raped, and killed an Iraqi woman, the U.S. tried minimizing this latest atrocity by our troops -- claiming the victim was age 25 or even 50, implying a rape-murder is less horrific if the victim is an older woman. Now, Article 32 hearings -- the military equivalent of a grand jury -- have ended at Camp Liberty, a U.S. base in Iraq (U.S. troops are exempt from Iraqi prosecution). In September, a general will rule whether the accused should be court-martialed. The defense already pleads post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): in four months preceding the crime, 17 of the accused GIs' battalion were killed; their company, Bravo, suffered eight combat deaths.

But as the U.S. spun the victim's identity, investigators knew her name: Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi.

Abeer means "fragrance of flowers." She was 14 years old.

The soldiers noticed her at a checkpoint. They stalked her after one or more of them expressed his intention to rape her. On March 12, after playing cards while slugging whisky mixed with a high-energy drink, they changed into black civvies and burst into Abeer's home in Mahmoudiya, a town 50 miles south of Baghdad. They killed her mother Fikhriya, father Qassim, and five-year-old sister Hadeel with bullets to the forehead, and "took turns" raping Abeer. Finally, they murdered her, drenched the bodies with kerosene, and lit them on fire to destroy the evidence. Then the GIs grilled chicken wings and practiced their golf swings.

These details are from a sworn statement by Spc. James P. Barker, one of the accused along with Sgt. Paul Cortez, Pfc. Jesse Spielman, and Pfc. Bryan Howard; a fifth, Sgt. Anthony Yribe, is charged with failing to report the attack but not with having participated.

Then there's former Pfc. Steven Green. Discharged in May for a "personality disorder," Green was arrested in North Carolina, pled not guilty in federal court, and is being held without bond. He's the convenient scapegoat whose squad leader testified how often Green said he hated all Iraqis and wanted to kill them. Other soldiers said Green threw a puppy off a roof, then set it on fire. The company commander noted Green had "serious anger issues."

Who is this "bad apple"? A good ole boy from Midland, Texas.

"If you want to understand me, you need to understand Midland," says President Bush. Steven Green understands Midland -- his home until his parents divorced and his mother remarried when Green was eight, already in trouble in school. A high-school dropout, Green returned to Midland to get his GED in 2003. Then, in 2005, he enlisted. He immersed himself in a chapel baptismal pool at Fort Benning, Georgia -- getting "born again" while being trained how to kill legally and die heroically. He was 19, with three convictions: fighting, and alcohol and drug possession.

Once, the Army would have rejected him. But he enlisted when, desperate for fresh recruits, the Army started increasing, by nearly half, the rate at which it grants what it terms "moral waivers" to potential recruits. According to the Pentagon, waivers in 2001 totaled 7,640, increasing to 11,018 in 2005. "Moral waivers" permit recruits with criminal records, emotional problems, and weak educational backgrounds to be taught how to use submachine guns and rocket launchers. Afterward, if they survive, they'll be called heroes -- and released back into society. (One ex-soldier praising the military for having "properly trained and hardened me" was Timothy McVeigh).

The U.S. military is now a mercenary force. In addition to hired militias and "independent contractors," we do have a draft: a poverty draft. That's why the Army is so disproportionately comprised of people of color, seeking education, health care, housing. But the military inflicts other perks: teenage males, hormones surging, are taught to confuse their bodies with weapons, and relish that.

One notorious training song (with lewd gestures) goes: "This is my rifle, this is my gun; one is for killing, one is for fun." The U.S. Air Force admits showing films of violent pornography to pilots before they fly bombing raids. Military manuals are replete with such blatant phrases as "erector launchers," "thrust ratios," "rigid deep earth-penetration," "potent nuclear hardness."

"Soft targets"? Civilians. Her name means "fragrance of flowers."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Why Bush Has To Attack Iran

Ray Close: The Building War on Iran

First, some military realities that have not yet been fully appreciated by the American public:

The Lebanon conflict substantiates pre-crisis intelligence that Iran has apparently provided sophisticated “strategic” rockets to Hizballah, such as the Fajr-5 (range: 75 km) and probably also the Zelzal (range: 150 km).

Possession of the Zelzal (or even the Fajr-5) would effectively negate much of the strategic value of attempting to protect Israel’s northern regions from attack simply by making the area south of the Litani River into a buffer zone without fully disarming Hizballah and ensuring that it cannot be resupplied --- a goal almost certainly beyond the capabilities of forces presently available. Because the competence of the Lebanese Army is greatly in doubt, and the military and political mandate of a U.N. peacekeeping force is likely to be both tenuous and impermanent, the long-term value of the recent Israeli action against Hizballah is very much in question.

(COMMENT: The tactical and strategic threat to Israel's security demonstrated by Hizballah's use of Iranian-supplied missiles is being underrated. The fact that after a full month of furious Israeli bombardment and infantry assault Hizballah was capable of launching 250 rockets into northern Israel in the last hours before the ceasefire proves that defense of Israel based on narrow buffer zones, multi-national peacekeepers and separation walls is an illiusion. We must remember that it was only the absence of a reliable guidance system that prevented massive killing of Israeli civilians by thousands of Katyusha rockets --- a technological gap that can and will be filled in a very short time, no doubt. This frightening reality, when it sinks in, will redouble the already heavy public pressure on the Bush Administration, strongly supported and encouraged by Israel and the pro-Israel lobby, to “do something decisive about Iran”. )

The only real defense against this new kind of threat available to Israel today is the total cessation of Iran's support for organizations like Hizballah and Hamas, and the denial to them of operational bases in Palestine, Lebanon or Syria. Only the long reach of American military power has any chance of achieving that objective on Israel's behalf. Undertaking that effort would be a strategic commitment that went very far beyond traditional American policy of sympathy and support. We are talking here about an historic new departure in American foreign and defense policy, the costs and risks of which the American people have not yet even begun to understand, much less aceept.

Hizballah’s successful use of the C-802/SACCADE anti-ship cruise missile against an Israeli corvette caught both the U.S. and Israel by surprise. The general consensus among defense intelligence analysts is that Iran’s small cadre of IRGC operatives attached to Hizballah (estimated to be about 100 men) helped arm this weapon and guide it to its target. Hizballah’s successful use of the C-802 also raises questions about the safety of U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf in the event of Iran’s closure of the Strait of Hormuz in reaction to U.S. military action against the Teheran regime. Iran reportedly has “hundreds” of these missiles (C-802s) lining its shore of the Strait.

(COMMENT: Contrary to some press reports, the C-802 is not an adaptation of the Chinese Silkworm, but rather a Chinese improvement on the [originally French] Exocet that was used effectively by the Argentine navy in the Falklands war in 1982, and by Iraq against a U.S. Navy ship in the Gulf in 1987. This might be viewed as a deterrent to U.S. military action against Iran; on the contrary, however, it has become an added incentive to take urgent action to eliminate Iran’s capacity to interfere with the free movement of oil supplies in the Gulf --- a factor that the Bush Administration regards as a potential blackmail threat and an unacceptable limitation on its own capacity to control the actions of a regime that supports terrorism.)

It is now indisputably true that during the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration aggressively searched for, and then selectively highlighted, any intelligence that they believed would support and justify their already-firm determination to destroy the Saddam Hussein regime by military force. An important part of the rationale for attacking Iraq was to demonstrate, as an object lesson for the whole world to note, that America will “maintain the offensive against terrorism”, and will attack and destroy all who support or encourage terrorism anywhere in the world. President Bush deeply believes what he has said publicly on this subject, and nothing he has said or done recently has portrayed the slightest uncertainty on his part about the correctness of the underlying national strategy that made the invasion of Iraq such an urgent necessity in 2003.

If the Bush Administration has carefully weighed the risks and costs of launching a military attack against Iran, and decided (after three-plus years of absorbing the hard lessons of Iraq) that making war on seventy million angry Persians is not a sensible thing to do at this moment in history, (as most military experts would argue), then prudence and common sense would dictate that it serves no useful purpose for President Bush and his representatives to emphasize continually and bombastically, at every opportunity, that Iran (and to a lesser extent Syria) are guilty of acting in flagrant violation of the “red lines” clearly defined in U.S. national strategy. As we have repeatedly reminded ourselves, the first rule of diplomacy or war is never to declare objectives that one does not have the means or the will to achieve, and never issue threats that one has no intention of enforcing. At the moment, we seem to be doing both these things at the same time.

Today, the Washington Post reports:

As a U.N.-imposed truce seemed to be holding yesterday, Bush made clear that he blames Hizballah and its patrons, Iran and Syria, for igniting the conflict. “We recognize that the responsibility for this lies with Hizballah,” Bush said. “Responsibility lies also with Hizbollah's state sponsors, Iran and Syria.” Bush warned Tehran to stop backing militias in Lebanon and in Iraq, where U.S. officials have long accused Iran of feeding the sectarian violence that is threatening to erupt into a full-scale civil war. “In both these countries, Iran is backing armed groups in the hope of stopping democracy from taking hold,” Bush said. “The message of this administration is clear. America will stay on the offensive against al-Qaeda. Iran must stop its support for terror, and the leaders of these armed groups must make a choice. If they want to participate in the political life of their countries, they must disarm.”

(Note President Bush's familiar technique of implying a direct operational relationship between Iran and Hizballah, on the one hand, and Osama bin Ladin's al-Qaeda organization on the other --- a deliberate distortion of fact similar to the canards associating Saddam Hussein directly with al-Qaeda and hence with the 9-11 events. These subtle but very significant deceptions fly right over the heads of the vast majority of Americans, but they undermine the credibility of our president and hence our confidence in his decisions about matters like war and peace.)

And in today’s New York Times we read a dispatch from Baghdad::

“The American ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, said that Iran had been encouraging Shiite militias to attack American-led forces (in Iraq) in retaliation for American backing of Israel’s military campaign against Hizballah in Lebanon”

This gratuitous remark makes sense only if one is seeking some sort of legal license from the international community to take unilateral punitive action against Iran. However, at a time when the popularity of Hizballah, and corresponding hatred of Israel, are both at their zenith among the populations of Iraq and the rest of the Arab and Muslim worlds, it is nothing short of foolhardy and irresponsible for the American ambassador in Baghdad to be advertising Iran’s contribution to what that critically important constituency regards (correctly or not) as a humiliating failure of mighty Israel and its superpower ally America to defeat and disarm the valiant little "Party of God" in Lebanon.

Unless, of course, Bush and his advisers seriously expect that Iran will be intimidated into reversing its own policies. (Not bloody likely.)

Otherwise, Khalilzad is merely feeding the fears of Iraq's majority Shi'a population that the United States, probably in coordination with Israel, is moving purposefully toward war with Iran, and needs only to pump up its legal justification for taking that action. Not a good way to win the confidence and cooperation of the parties upon whom the success of our enterprise in Iraq critically depends.

This bombastic and posturing style of “diplomacy” is going to lead inescapably to one or the other of the following results:

1. War with Iran (with negative consequences beyond anyone's ability to imagine); or 2. Another humiliating demonstration of impotence. '

Monday, August 14, 2006

US Attack on Iran - US Troops Would Be Sitting Ducks...

Israel Kills 38 Civilians on Eve of Ceasefire
Hersh: Israeli Campaign Dress Rehearsal for War on Iran
250 Hizbullah Rockets Slam into northern Israel, Kill 1


by Juan Cole

Any US attack on Iran could well lead to the US and British troops in Iraq being cut off from fuel and massacred by enraged Shiites. Shiite irregulars could easily engage in pipeline and fuel convoy sabotage of the sort deployed by the Sunni guerrillas in the north. Without fuel, US troops would be sitting ducks for rocket and mortar attacks that US air power could not hope completely to stop (as the experience of Israel with Hizbullah in Lebanon demonstrates). A pan-Islamic alliance of furious Shiites and Sunni guerrillas might well be the result, spelling the decisive end of Americastan in Iraq. Shiite Iraqis are already at the boiling point over Israel's assault on their coreligionists in Lebanon. An attack on Iran could well push them over the edge. People like Cheney and Bush don't understand people's movements or how they can win. They don't understand the Islamic revolution in Iran of 1978-79. They don't understand that they are playing George III in the eyes of most Middle Eastern Muslims, and that lots of people want to play George Washington.

US Attack on Iran - US Troops Would Be Sitting Ducks...

Israel Kills 38 Civilians on Eve of Ceasefire
Hersh: Israeli Campaign Dress Rehearsal for War on Iran
250 Hizbullah Rockets Slam into northern Israel, Kill 1


by Juan Cole

Any US attack on Iran could well lead to the US and British troops in Iraq being cut off from fuel and massacred by enraged Shiites. Shiite irregulars could easily engage in pipeline and fuel convoy sabotage of the sort deployed by the Sunni guerrillas in the north. Without fuel, US troops would be sitting ducks for rocket and mortar attacks that US air power could not hope completely to stop (as the experience of Israel with Hizbullah in Lebanon demonstrates). A pan-Islamic alliance of furious Shiites and Sunni guerrillas might well be the result, spelling the decisive end of Americastan in Iraq. Shiite Iraqis are already at the boiling point over Israel's assault on their coreligionists in Lebanon. An attack on Iran could well push them over the edge. People like Cheney and Bush don't understand people's movements or how they can win. They don't understand the Islamic revolution in Iran of 1978-79. They don't understand that they are playing George III in the eyes of most Middle Eastern Muslims, and that lots of people want to play George Washington.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bush, Cheney and the Invasion of Lebanon

Watching Lebanon

by Seymour M. Hersh

President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preëmptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.

According to a Middle East expert with knowledge of the current thinking of both the Israeli and the U.S. governments, Israel had devised a plan for attacking Hezbollah—and shared it with Bush Administration officials—well before the July 12th kidnappings. “It’s not that the Israelis had a trap that Hezbollah walked into,” he said, “but there was a strong feeling in the White House that sooner or later the Israelis were going to do it.”

The Middle East expert said that the Administration had several reasons for supporting the Israeli bombing campaign. Within the State Department, it was seen as a way to strengthen the Lebanese government so that it could assert its authority over the south of the country, much of which is controlled by Hezbollah. He went on, “The White House was more focussed on stripping Hezbollah of its missiles, because, if there was to be a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities, it had to get rid of the weapons that Hezbollah could use in a potential retaliation at Israel. Bush wanted both. Bush was going after Iran, as part of the Axis of Evil, and its nuclear sites, and he was interested in going after Hezbollah as part of his interest in democratization, with Lebanon as one of the crown jewels of Middle East democracy.”

“The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits,” a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said. “Why oppose it? We’ll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran.”

A Pentagon consultant said that the Bush White House “has been agitating for some time to find a reason for a preëmptive blow against Hezbollah.” He added, “It was our intent to have Hezbollah diminished, and now we have someone else doing it.” (As this article went to press, the United Nations Security Council passed a ceasefire resolution, although it was unclear if it would change the situation on the ground.)

According to Richard Armitage, who served as Deputy Secretary of State in Bush’s first term—and who, in 2002, said that Hezbollah “may be the A team of terrorists”—Israel’s campaign in Lebanon, which has faced unexpected difficulties and widespread criticism, may, in the end, serve as a warning to the White House about Iran. “If the most dominant military force in the region—the Israel Defense Forces—can’t pacify a country like Lebanon, with a population of four million, you should think carefully about taking that template to Iran, with strategic depth and a population of seventy million,” Armitage said. “The only thing that the bombing has achieved so far is to unite the population against the Israelis.”

Earlier this summer, before the Hezbollah kidnappings, the U.S. government consultant said, several Israeli officials visited Washington, separately, “to get a green light for the bombing operation and to find out how much the United States would bear.” The consultant added, “Israel began with Cheney. It wanted to be sure that it had his support and the support of his office and the Middle East desk of the National Security Council.” After that, “persuading Bush was never a problem, and Condi Rice was on board,” the consultant said.

Cheney’s office supported the Israeli plan, as did Elliott Abrams, a deputy national-security adviser, according to several former and current officials. (A spokesman for the N.S.C. denied that Abrams had done so.) They believed that Israel should move quickly in its air war against Hezbollah. A former intelligence officer said, “We told Israel, ‘Look, if you guys have to go, we’re behind you all the way. But we think it should be sooner rather than later—the longer you wait, the less time we have to evaluate and plan for Iran before Bush gets out of office.’ ”

The surprising strength of Hezbollah’s resistance, and its continuing ability to fire rockets into northern Israel in the face of the constant Israeli bombing, the Middle East expert told me, “is a massive setback for those in the White House who want to use force in Iran. And those who argue that the bombing will create internal dissent and revolt in Iran are also set back.”

Nonetheless, some officers serving with the Joint Chiefs of Staff remain deeply concerned that the Administration will have a far more positive assessment of the air campaign than they should, the former senior intelligence official said. “There is no way that Rumsfeld and Cheney will draw the right conclusion about this,” he said. “When the smoke clears, they’ll say it was a success, and they’ll draw reinforcement for their plan to attack Iran.”

George W. Bush, L'Étranger



American President George W. Bush has been reading Camus in Crawford, Texas. Retour à Washington, 12 août 2006.

Red Cross Volunteer Cries in Lebanon



A Red Cross volunteer cries, in the town of Zahle, in the eastern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2006, next to a poster of his colleague Mickael Jbeili who was killed late Friday, while his Red Cross team was escorting a convoy of refugees, which was hit by an Israeli drone near the Bekaa Valley town of Chtaura, about 30 miles north of the Litani River, after they fled southern Lebanon Friday night, killing at least seven people and wounding 22, an Associated Press photographer said. The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident. (AP photo/Samer Husseini)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Daily Show on Lieberman Loss

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Iran-Iraq War, 1981

The Great War for Civilization

by Robert Fisk

Dezful was the first major Iraqi defeat. In a blinding sandstorm, 120,000 Iranian troops, Revolutionary Guards and Basiji (mobilised) volunteers plunged through the desert towards the Iraqi lines in late March 1981, taking 15,000 Iraqi soldiers prisoner, capturing 30 tanks and armoured vehicles and recovering 4,000 square kilometres of Iranian territory. When I reached the scene of the Iranian victory, an almost total silence enveloped the battlefield. There were wild roses beside the roads south of Dezful and giant ants scuttled over the desert floor. Iranian artillerymen sat beneath their anti-aircraft gun canopies, glancing occasionally at the empty sky. The smashed tanks of the Iraqi army's 3rd Armoured Division, disembowelled by rocket fire, their armour peeled back as if by a can-opener, lay in the mid-afternoon heat, memorials already to what the dismissive Iranians insisted on calling "Operation Obvious Victory."

The silence of the desert indicated both the extent of Iran's success and the extraordinary fact that with scarcely a shot fired in return, the Iranian army had halted its advance along a geometrically straight line about 65 kilometres in length. It stretched from a ridge of hills north-west of Dezful to the swamps of Sendel, where Iraqi tanks and armoured carriers lay axle-deep in mud, driven there in frustration and fear by Saddam's retreating forces. The Iranians--at one point scarcely 5 kilometres from the Iraqi border--had effectively declared a halt to offensive action in the Dezful sector, forbidden to advance, on Khomeini's orders, across the international frontier.

Colonel Beyrouz Suliemanjar of the Iranian 21st Infantry Division was quite specific when he spoke to us, baton in hand, in his dark underground command post beneath a ridge of low hills. "According to the Imam's guidance," he stated with military confidence, "we are not allowed to cross the border." He patted a blue, straggling river on his polythene-covered map. "Our troops could cross this last river but our Imam will not let them. Our strategic aim is to push the enemy troops back to their territory. But we will not cross the frontier." Whenever the colonel spoke--with apparent modesty--about the surprise attack on 22 March, his junior officers along with a mullah, standing at the back of the dugout, chorused, "God is great--Down with America--Down with the Soviet Union." No military briefing could ever have been quite like this.

Khomeini had already promised that his armies would not invade neighbouring countries. Hojatolislam Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, the Majlis speaker, had given his word that Iran "harbours no territorial ambition against Iraq." All Iran wanted, according to Rafsanjani, was the satisfaction of four demands: the expulsion of Iraqi troops from all Iranian territory; "punishment of the aggressor"; compensation for war damage; and the return of war refugees to their homes. "Punishment of the aggressor," the Iranians made clear, meant the overthrow of Saddam Hussein--something that neither the Arabs nor the Americans would permit.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Average Americans At War

Iran admits supplying missiles to Hezbollah

August 4th, 2006 at 12:38:39 From: Zed K

Tom3 why all the anger?? Is civil and orderly discourse beyond your ability?

August 4th, 2006 at 12:47:21 From: Tom3

Zed K, Get A Clue
Chimpy is destroying the Constitution, having people kidnapped and tortured, continuing an illegal occupation of Iraq, and supporting Israel with illegal armaments. Damn it, if that's not enough to get ANGRY about, what is? Don't tell me how to express my emotions, you fucking fascist.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ayatollah Sistani

A Ceasefire Call in Lebanon Bush Can't Ignore [that of Ayatollah Sistani]

by Juan Cole

Sistani has issued a warning to the United States. He wants Bush to intervene to arrange a ceasefire, i.e. the cessation of Israeli air raids on Lebanon in general.

What could he do if he were ignored? Sistani could call massive anti-US and anti-Israel demonstrations. Given Iraq's profound political instability, this development could be extremely dangerous. U.S. troops in Baghdad and elsewhere are planning offensives against Shiite paramilitary groups, so tensions are likely to rise in the Shiite areas anyway. But big demonstrations could easily boil over into actual attacks on U.S. and British troops. Both depend heavily on fuel that is transported through the Shiite south. Were the Shiites actively to turn on the U.S. for its wholehearted support of continued Israeli air raids, the U.S. military could be cut off from fuel and supplies. The British only have around 8,000 troops in Iraq, and they would be in profound danger if Iraq's Shiites became militantly anti-occupation.

Since the Israeli treatment of Arabs is an issue on which Sunnis and Shiites agree, there is also a possibility that Sistani could finally get some respect from the Sunni community if he led such a campaign. That development would be more dangerous to the continued U.S. military presence in Iraq than any other I can think of.

The U.S. is already not winning against a Sunni Arab insurgency, backed by around 5 million Iraqis. If 16 million Shiites turned on the U.S. because of its wholehearted support for Israel's actions in Lebanon, the U.S. military mission in Iraq could quickly become completely and urgently untenable. In this case, the British troops in particular would be lucky to escape the country with their lives.

Sistani does not issue threats lightly, and he has repeatedly shown a willingness to back them up with action. Bush and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad will ignore him to their peril.

Lie and Die

The New York Times is sliming Ned Lamont for...being rich. That's it. I despise them too much to give them a link, Google it if you're interested. And coming up with the slogan "Lie and Die"? That, to me, is evidence of testicle growth.

Lebanese Children Killed by Bombs Made in America

Qana Bomb Made in the US



It has been revealed that the bombs used in the attacks Israel launched on the southern Lebanese village of Qana were produced by the US.

At least 60 civilians, most of whom were children, had been killed in the attack.

The British newspaper Guardian reported that the bombs used in the attacks were laser-controlled BSU 37/B bunker busters manufactured by the US.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Soldier Accused of Civilian Murders Defends Actions

The 'Band of Brothers' Unravels

By MARTIN BASHIR

"I was told that we were going into an al Qaeda and an anti-Iraqi force training area. And that when we were coming in, I was to expect fire. … Before we got on the ground, they were gonna shoot at the birds. They said we were gonna go in hot."

In their sworn affidavits, the three accused soldiers, along with others in the unit, say they received unusual but unequivocal rules of engagement for the task ahead. They say that they were given repeated and explicit orders to "kill all military-age males."

From his prison cell, Clagett explained how they prepared for the mission.

"We did rehearsals on the 8th of May and. … It got passed down to my lieutenant commander and he told us and then my platoon leader and my lieutenant he told us, then the platoon sergeant told us, then the squad leader told us. It was just relayed through chain of command."

What were they told?

"We were told that everybody on this island was hostile," Clagett said. "They were known al Qaeda insurgents, and we're going to kill all military-aged males, so be prepared."

NIGHTLINE: So you were told specifically to kill all military-age males?

CLAGETT: Correct.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Swift Boat Veterans Arrested

Five Swift Boat Veterans arrested in homosexual orgy by Bangkok police

Eeewwww... it's sad that impoverished people in Asia are that desperate for money.

Mel Gibson will grovel and make amends

Mel Gibson, anti-Semitism, Zionism and Mee

By Gavin Gatenby

Mel Gibson will no doubt grovel and make amends, but Deputy Mee was right: in obsessive obscurantists, madness lurks just beneath the surface. All it takes to bring it out is an accident, a whispered rumour, a perceived slight … or a few drinks.

Fundamentalist Christianity, like extremist Judaism and Islam, is fundamentally irrational.