Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bloody oil ventures

As the New Labour project flounders, the occupants are busy deciding which deckchair they will occupy on the sinking ship. The disaster of foreign policy, incompetence over the NHS, education and public services means that Gordon Brown will be unlikely to remain in office for too long. Brown continues his theme of telling foreigners what they can do to 'earn' Britishness. His new idea is that citizenship should require people to do community service alongside the native criminals. Secondly the citizenship should be reversible, thereby giving the government the chance to remove anybody that the tabloids hate for having a beard. The acres of newspaper print, the weeks of media coverage hide the failure of the new labour project at home and abroad. They mask the fact that whoever sits in number 10, the bloody policies causing bloodshed and destruction abroad will continue. Why? Because the UK is enslaved to US politics. Brown, Cameron and the rest have no power in world politics. From Afghanistan to Iran and Iraq, the policy will always keep roughly to the US script. The situation in Afghanistan for example, is as dire as it has ever been since the fall of the Taliban. What is it all for? In his latest essay, Tariq Ali asks:

Who is responsible for this disaster? Why is the country still subjugated? What are Washington's strategic goals in the region? What is the function of NATO? And how long can any country remain occupied against the will of a majority of its people?

The answers are obvious. The country is not subjugated because it once dared to shelter Osama Bin Laden, nor is is subjugated because of its enormous oil wealth. The function of NATO is simply as an extension of US military policing. Bush and Cheney want completion and security of oil pipelines through some of the most hostile terrain. They do not give a shit how many NATO soldiers die and certainly do not give a shit about the death of Afghan people or the rights of their women. The sleight of hand of Blair in reducing troops in Iraq was accompanied a day later by announcing extra troops in Afghanistan. Many commentators though remain delusional. Rear admiral Richard Cobbold claimed in the Gruanida that this shift would finally defeat the Taliban. Where hundreds of thousands have failed, obviously the stiff upper lip of an extra thousand Brits will make all the difference. If I had a penny for every delusion printed or broadcast in the media, I would be a rich man indeed. Across the pond, the fixation now is all about the new oil law in Iraq. The questions are not how or when the troops will be withdrawn but when the oil will come under their control.

It would be a big step forward if Iraq actually approved and carried out long-promised and never-delivered legislation equitably sharing the nation’s oil revenues among all Iraqis. Unfortunately, the draft oil agreement approved by Iraq’s cabinet on Monday is still a long way from that.

There are a host of political hurdles that must be overcome and no assurance that Iraq’s Shiites and Kurds — who dominate the Parliament and happen to sit on most of Iraq’s known reserves — are suddenly willing to share the wealth equitably with Iraq’s Sunnis.

The sudden concern about the Sunni's (who make up the bulk of the insurgency) is no doubt very heart warming for them. However, the 'Sunnis' in question here are the US and its Saudi allies. They continue:

And oil, Iraq’s principal resource, must be equitably shared without regard to geography, religion or ethnic group. An oil law should be one of the benchmarks Washington insists on as a condition of continued support.
Presumably that includes the 'Sunni' American Christians located in the Texas region of Iraq. The real story is left to bloggers to report. Raed Jarrar:

"Financially, the proposed law legalizes very unfair types of contracts that may freeze Iraq into very long-term contracts that can go up to 35 years and cause the loss of hundreds of billions of
dollars from Iraqis. ... The law also gives regional authorities final say in dealing with the oil, instead of giving this final say to a central federal government. So it opens the door for splitting Iraq into three regions or possibly even three states in the near future."
The law drafted by western oil companies in collaboration with the US government will no doubt soon get a rubber stamping from the puppet Iraqi parliament, who have had no other input on it. There is a widespread pretence that Iraq actually needs the foreign oil companies for example in this article:

Parliamentary approval will lead to Iraq, which relies on oil revenues for about 90% of the federal budget, moving forward with plans to entice big foreign oil companies to invest in the country`s oil sector

The article claims that the oil companies are shying away from Iraq until the law is passed - as if the massive amount of profit waiting for them is not really attractive enough, and as if they had not been prime movers in instigating the war. The Sydney Morning Herald by contrast does not hide that this is what the oil corporations have wanted all along. The pretence here being that the US only covets the oil for 'reconstruction':

The US has long wanted to capitalise on Iraq's oil resources, as a means of paying for the country's reconstruction since the 2003 invasion. Oil's importance was reiterated in the Iraq Study Group report released in December.

The agreement not only will open up Iraq's oil industry to international investment - a bonanza for foreign oil companies - but also produce revenue for a nation badly in need of cash to finance its reconstruction.

What happened to the hundreds of billions that Bush has already poured into 'reconstruction'? Oops I forgot, we are no longer supposed to mention that. The insurgents must have stolen it.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Penrose Tiles

Islamic "quasicrystals" predate Penrose tiles

22 February 2007

By Hamish Johnston

Islamic architects and mathematicians were creating quasi-crystalline patterns some 500 years before similar patterns were described in the West, claim two physicists in the US. Peter J Lu of Harvard University and Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University say that sets of special tiles developed around the 13th century allowed artisans to use complex mathematics to create the fantastic geometric patterns that adorn mosques, palaces and other buildings in the Muslim world. These patterns include "nearly perfect" Penrose patterns, which the researchers claim are similar to the first quasicrystals described in 1974 by the British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (Science 315 1106).

Girih tiles
Girih tiles

Quasicrystals are patterns that fill all of space, but do not have the translational symmetry that is characteristic of true crystals. In two dimensions this means that sliding an exact copy of the pattern over itself will never produce an exact match (but rotating the copy will often produce a match). They were first described by Penrose in the guise of the famous Penrose tiles. About ten years later Danny Schechtman at Israel's Technion University showed that the positions of atoms in a metallic alloy had a quasi-crystalline structure. Since then, hundreds of different quasicrystals have been discovered in nature

Penrose tiling is very reminiscent of "girih" – the elaborate patterns used in Islamic architecture. While travelling in Uzbekistan, Lu noticed motifs with 10-fold rotational symmetry, which is a hallmark of some Penrose tiling. This inspired him to search through thousands of photographs of Islamic patterns to try to find a quasi-crystalline pattern – and this led him to a wall of the Darb-i Imam shrine in Iran, built in 1453.

Although Lu describes the Darb-i Imam pattern as a "nearly-perfect" Penrose tiling, he told Physics Web that the defects could be removed by "flipping a few tiles". He believes that the pattern's designer had perfection in mind, but the pattern may have been distorted during construction or repair.


Creating a quasi-crystalline pattern would have required the application of a complex set of mathematical rules, seemingly beyond the grasp of the artisans that created the tiling. Lu says that Islamic mathematicians embodied their knowledge of quasicrystals into a set of five girih tiles of different shapes including a hexagon, bowtie and rhombus. Each tile is decorated with several lines, and when the tiles are laid edge-to-edge the lines connect to form a continuous pattern – something that Lu believes could be done by a worker with little mathematical training.

The researchers used different combinations of girih tiles to create a wide range of complex patterns including the Darb-i Imam pattern. They claim that the outlines of the five tiles can be seen in a 15th century scroll now held in a museum in Istanbul. The researchers also claim that the scroll and the Darb-i Imam shrine bear examples of how the tiles can be used to perform a "self-similarity transformation" to create overlapping patterns at different length scales – another example of how the tiles embody highly sophisticated mathematics.

This is not the first time that a link between girih and Penrose tiling has been made. In 1992 the Danish crystallographer Emil Makovicky published a claim that a pattern found elsewhere in Iran was Penrose tiling with several defects. However until Lu and Steinhardt's work, scholars had believed that the creation of such patterns was accidental.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Irony undiscovered

Example 1:

First item on radio news bulletin: Prince Harry goes to Iraq to 'Keep the Peace'.

Second item on the news bulletin: Chris Eubank arrested for 'breaching the peace' by protesting against the war in Iraq.

Example 2:

Last item on radio news bulletin: Scientists fear the effects of man made global climate change are irreversible.

First item following news bulletin: Pet owners who keep two televisions and the radio on to entertain their pet dogs, when they are out of the house.

Example 3:

Let's ban those nasty cluster bombs (Revd Blair makes a humanitarian gesture and signs up to rid the world of these nasty weapons)

Yet in the same article:
....despite having used the weapon in conflicts in Kosovo and Iraq and still stockpiling so-called "smart" versions of the munition.'....The UK view is that "dumb" weapons should be scrapped, but that some, more modern cluster munitions are "a legitimate weapon when used in accordance with international humanitarian law".

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Don't mention the T word

Man not charged as terrorist.

Staff and agencies loyal to HM establishment

Thursday February 22, 2007

A school caretaker was today not charged with terrorism for 12 offences of sending letter bombs in the post, according to the independent police protection authority. Miles ‘I like to drive’ Cooper aged 27, was also not charged under the terrorism act . Defence lawyers in statements to the media said this person could not be described as a terrorist due to his lack of Islamic appearance. ‘I mean come off it, he’s just a ginger geek- just look at his picture -not a islamofascistocryptonuclearterror ricin airplane boxcutter 7/7 plotter at all’. Cooper was instead charged with
12 offences against the Absolutely Non-terrorist Related Explosive Substances Act and the Offences Against the Non Muslim Person Act, the Crown Elocution Service said. The device were home-made unlike the devices alleged to have been used by the 21/7 islamofascistocryptonuclearterror ricin underground copcat plotters, which were manufactured in a bath from bleach, shoe polish, crayons and a dash of baby milk later also seized at a nearby airport. As a result of bombs sent to the DVLA, several people are believed to have been fined for not having car taxation documents. Mr Cooper aged 27 is believed to be a non-muslim and does not regularly wear a veil.

Tommorow’s feature: Do Muslim beards represent a biological ticking time bomb for the population?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Duke Nukem, Commander-in-chief

Congress' Nuclear Liability


The grave decision to use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear country will affect America for generations to come. Should it be made by the President alone?

The traditional role of US nuclear weapons, to deter a nuclear attack against our country or an ally, was changed by the Bush administration. Congress was informed about it, but has not responded. No response is also a response.

The CRS (Congressional Research Service) Report for Congress of August 10, 2006, on "US Nuclear Weapons: Changes in Policy and Force Structure", reports that "the Bush administration has stated that the United States would develop and deploy those nuclear capabilities that it would need to defeat the capabilities of any potential adversary whether or not it possessed nuclear weapons".

The CRS report further states that "The emphasis on the development of penetrating nuclear weapons that can destroy hardened and deeply buried targets, along with the 'capabilities'-based approach that states the United States will seek the ability to destroy threatening capabilities possessed by any potential adversary, are a part of this new strategy."

Congress is on notice. The expanded role for nuclear weapons logically calls for a change in the decision-making process on when nuclear weapons should be used, at least in cases where no extreme urgency exists. Under current law, the President has sole full authority to order their use, Congress has no say.

In response to these developments, twenty two of the nation's most eminent physicists have just called on Congress to "pass binding legislation to forbid the use of nuclear weapons by the United States against countries which do not possess nuclear weapons, except with explicit prior Congressional authorization for such action." The physicists point out that "in the case of non-nuclear adversaries there is no extreme urgency associated with response or preemption of nuclear attack against our country or our allies," and that "crossing the nuclear threshold, even with a low-yield weapon, would erase the 60-year-old taboo against the use of nuclear weapons and make their use by others more likely," with "disastrous consequences for United States and world security."

The physicists also say that "nuclear weapons are unique among weapons of mass destruction," that "the associated radioactive fallout could kill many thousands in other countries very far from the target," and that "there are no sharp lines between small 'tactical' nuclear weapons and large ones, nor between nuclear weapons targeting facilities and those targeting armies or cities." Physicists ought to know what they are talking about: they created nuclear weapons.

In the looming confrontation with Iran, situations may well arise that call for the potential use of nuclear weapons under the new U.S. nuclear weapons policy; for example, "To demonstrate U.S. intent and capability to use nuclear weapons to deter adversary use of WMD." (CRS, p. 12).

The grave decision to use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear country will affect America for generations to come. Should it be made by the President alone? Congress has the constitutionally assigned duty to regulate the Armed Forces, and to legislate on matters of broad national interest. It also provides the funds to develop and deploy nuclear weapons, and pays the salaries of the servicemembers who will push the buttons.

The "decider" in this case is Congress: by deciding not to legislate on this issue, it is deciding that it is okay for the President to order the use of nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear-weapon countries under any circumstance the President judges appropriate. Bush announced on April 18, 2006 that a nuclear strike on Iran is an option "on the table".

The physicists' letter states, "A decision that would have a major impact on the course of history and could ultimately threaten the survival of civilization should not be in the sole hands of the President unless absolutely unavoidable." So far, the United States Congress disagrees.

The International Court of Justice has stated that "the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law." Article 25 of the International Criminal Court Statute holds anybody that "aids, abets or otherwise assists" in the commission of a war crime criminally responsible, "including providing the means for its commission." Article 27 explicitly includes "a member of a Government or parliament."

That makes for 535 excellent reasons why the United States should not join the International Criminal Court system.


The author is one of 22 physicists signatories to the letter to Congress

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Classic Roy

Arundhati Roy

"It would be immoral for me to preach violence unless I were prepared to resort to it myself. But equally, it is immoral for me to advocate feel-good marches and hunger-strikes when I'm not bearing the brunt of unspeakable violence. I certainly do not volunteer to tell Iraqis or Kashmiris or Palestinians that if they went on a mass hunger-strike they would get rid of the military occupation. Civil disobedience doesn't seem to be paying dividends."

"I am not such an uninhibited fan of Gandhi. After all, Gandhi was a superstar. When he went on a hunger strike he was a superstar on a hunger strike. But I don't believe in superstar politics. If people in a slum are on a hunger strike, no one gives a shit."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Worthless and occupied

When I first saw the video footage of prisoners being mistreated, I was sure that here was incontrovertible evidence of the brutality of the occupation that should lead to convictions. Tying people up for hours in stress positions and beating them to make them stay in those positions is no less than torture. Julian Bevan QC:
One civilian, Baha Musa, died as a result, in part, from the multiple injuries he had received. There were no less than 93 injuries on his body at the post-mortem stage, including fractured ribs and a broken nose....Other prisoners received serious kidney injuries consistent with being kicked and punched..... We are dealing with systematic abuse against prisoners involving unacceptable violence against persons who were detained in custody, hooded and cuffed and wholly unable to protect themselves over a very long period of time.
Yet today, those connected with the events and charged with the crimes walked free and proclaimed their vindication. The BBC article on the matter notes:

"The fifth soldier, Cpl Donald Payne, 35, of the QLR, had became the first British soldier to admit to a war crime after pleading guilty to inhumanely treating civilian Iraqi detainees at the start of the trial. But he was cleared of Mr Musa's manslaughter and a further charge of perverting the course of justice. "
Despite one soldier admitting to a war crime and plenty of evidence that all these soldiers played a part in the brutality including video evidence, witness testimony and evidence of other soldiers, a British court today throw out the charges. This sends a powerful message to the Iraqi people. Your lives and people are worthless compared to the reputation of our soldiers. We will not punish anybody for crimes committed by our occupying army. Our soldiers do not answer to anybody and can do what they like as long as it is only Iraqis they abuse and kill. This judge has surely worked hard and will be thoroughly deserving of his knighthood or peerage in due course. That this is another in the long line of whitewashes and fixes by the British establishment is not in question. It does seem insignificant when you compare it to the rivers of blood that wash the streets of Iraq each day. Yet, to the family of Baha Musa it is more than rubbing salt and pepper into their wounds. It is spitting on the grave of Baha Musa and desecrating his memory. As injured children lie in the corridors of Baghdad's straining beleaguered hospitals, dying for lack of treatment that costs pennies compared to the thousands of dollars of each bomb that maims them, it is worth reflecting on how we would feel if it were our children dying instead. What crimes did these children commit that justify the carnage and chaos unleashed by our killer reshimes? Are their lives really so worthless that they merit not a single headline?

Monday, February 12, 2007

The language of employment

The Ministry of cracking down on jobless brown people has declared that these people must learn to speaka the lingo before being allowed the benefit of sitting in a DSS office whilst seeking to deprive the government of its hard-earned National Insurance Income. Jim Murphy the junior minister for ethnic crackdown said it would tackle unemployability amongst the melanin-advantaged portion of the population.

Mr Murphy said it was completely unacceptable for these people to be speaking a foreign tongue whilst sitting in benefit claim offices. The savings from sacking the translators and linguists employed by the ministry could help these poor unfortunates become more familiar with proppa queens English init. Some of them could even train as translators and linguists after acquainting themselves with our mother tongue. The Libral party accused the government of not having a joined up government. “ It’s quite apparent that none of the parts of it are connected to any other, apart from Number 10 and 11 Downing street.” said Douglas McTurrburr. The shadow minister for opposing benches Mr Sam Hammock, commented that the government must make a carrot materialise as well as a stick. The stick in question is already beating single-parents for being unavailable to the market for jobs until their children are aged 14. Statistically this reduces the number of hard-working families and that is something that all parties have agreed to improve on. Mr Murphy’s superior, Mr John Mutton is currently on a fact-finding mission to Australia to see the model way in which they treat their immigrants, by diverting their leaking boats to holiday camps on an offshore island far from the Australian coastline. According to the Aussie ministry for immigrant transfer, this definitely helps improve their swimming skills and the camps ensure that the new arrivals get to know each other close up behind the barbed wire fences.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Target Pakistan

A lot of commentators now recognise that the US and Israel have no interest in any peace deal with Iran. Diplomatic overtures by the Iranians on the diplomatic front have been firmly rebuffed. The truth is that peace is simply not an option for the Zionist-neocon axis. Their plans saw Baghdad as a mere stopping point in the march into Tehran. The failure of the occupation has changed the tactics since another land war is out of the question. However, tactical nuclear missile strikes remain a favoured option and they are mad enough and willing to use them.

The plans do not stop in Tehran. The next targets are Syria and then Pakistan. The former is weak and easily dealt with, but the latter will be tricky. It also depends on the cooperation of India with the plan. The Zionists do not fear Iran, but want to eliminate any chance of them developing any defence. A bombing campaign destroying large parts of the infrastructure would cost the Iranians billions and set them back years. No doubt the US would also arm and support the MEK to keep the country in a state of civil war. They do however fear Pakistan, which is the sole Muslim country that already has the nuclear weapons. For now they are content to use Pakistan as an ‘ally’ but later on that will change, depending on who is in the white house. Hilary Clinton has already demanded that Pakistan hand over Dr A Q Khan, the father of its nuclear weapons programme. That is not an option even for Musharaff, but can be used as one excuse later to isolate and punish Pakistan. Musharaff himself in his biography revealed the threat by Richard Armitage to bomb Pakistan back to the stone age, if they did not cooperate with the US in the wake of 11/9/2001. Because they needed the cooperation, they did not go further in their demands at the time. Following the attack on Afghanistan, Seymour Hersh also revealed a risky plan by the US to attempt to grab Pakistan's weapons (allegedly to prevent them falling into terrorist hands). The truth is that this aim has never been shelved. History tells us that whoever is the commander in chief in Washington, the broad geopolitical strategy never changes. Somewhere down the line perhaps in five to ten years, the time will come for them to deal with Pakistan. Evidence for this is not hard to find. The truth is that the democrat contenders are even more hawkish on the issue of Pakistan than the neocons. An article by Kaushik Kapisthalam in the Asia Times reveals :

" In a January 2004 debate with other contenders from his Democratic Party, Kerry said that if he were elected president, he would get tough with Pakistan on nuclear safety, noting that past Pakistani leaders had lied to him and the US quite blatantly on the nuclear issue. Kerry added that failing to protect Pakistan's nuclear weapons from falling into the wrong hands was "one of the most glaring weaknesses in this [Bush] administration's entire foreign policy". More curious, Kerry said the US should work with India to make a plan for taking out Pakistan's nukes in case of an emergency. Another Democratic senator, Barack Obama of Illinois, went a step further and said the US should launch surgical strikes on Pakistan in a nuclear leak eventuality. "
Barack 'great black hope' Obama, may be posing as an anti-war candidate at the moment but he will be no less hawkish than his rivals. Condoleeza Rice also hinted at the existence of such plans in her exchange with Kerry:
"Kerry: And what about any initiatives or discussions with President Musharraf and the Indians with respect to fail-safe procedures in the event - I mean, there have been two attempts on President Musharraf's life. If you were to have a successful coup in Pakistan, you could have, conceivably, nuclear weapons in the hand of a radical Islamic state automatically, overnight. And to the best of my knowledge, in all of the inquiries that I've made in the course of the last years, there is now no failsafe procedure in place to guarantee against that weaponry falling into the wrong hands.

Senator, we have noted this problem, and we are prepared to try to deal with it. I would prefer not in open session to talk about this particular issue."
Although, the US has supplied Pakistan with PAL locks to prevent unauthorised use of the nukes, it would not be difficult for any intelligence agencies to gain access to the codes and remove the locks. Ironically the one strategy that remains open to Washington would be to try and force real democracy on Pakistan. This would most likely result in power for the popular anti-american bloc, thus allowing the US to engineer a 'crisis' in order to justify an attack. Musharaff, is too wily an operator to allow this to happen, so he is likely later to become an 'obstacle to democracy' with the West switching horses to support the Bhutto Clan once more.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Was Iraq War a “Blunder” or Was It Treason?

Treason is the number one impeachable crime under the Constitution, and we're at a point where Congress is going to have to act or go down in history as having acquiesced in the worst presidential crime in the history of the nation.
New Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), is calling President Bush's invasion of Iraq a "stark blunder" and says that his new scheme to send 21,500 more troops into the mess he created is just digging the hole deeper.

I wonder though.

It seems ever more likely to me that this whole mess was no blunder at all.

People are wont to attribute the whole thing to lack of intelligence on the president's part, and to hubris on the part of his key advisers. I won't argue that the president is a lightweight in the intellect department, nor will I dispute that Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and that whole neocon gang have demonstrably lacked the virtues of reflection and humility. But that said, I suspect that the real story of the Iraq War is that Bush and his gang never really cared whether they actually would "win" in Iraq. In fact, arguably, they didn't really want to win.

What they wanted was a war.

If the war they started had ended quickly with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, that would have served their purposes, at least for the short term. Bush would have emerged from a short invasion and conquest a national hero, would have handily won re-election in 2004, and would have gone on to a second term as a landslide victor. But if it went badly, as it has, they figured he would still come out ahead. He would be a wartime president, and he'd make full use of that role, expansively misdefining his "commander in chief" title to imply authority over the Congress and the courts, to grab power heretofore unheard of for a president.

This, I suspect, was the grand strategy underlying the attack on Iraq.

If I'm right, there may have been method to the madness of not building up enough troops for the invasion to insure that U.S. forces could occupy a destroyed Iraq and help it rebuild, method to the madness of allowing looters free sway to destroy the country's remaining post-invasion infrastructure, method to the madness, even, of allowing remnant forces of Hussein's to gather up stockpiles of weapons and even of high-density explosives, so they could mount an effective resistance and drag out the conflict.

So many apparently stupid decisions were made by people who should clearly have been too smart to make them, from leaving hundreds of tons of high explosives unguarded to cashiering all of Iraq's army and most of the country's civil service managers, that it boggles the mind to think that these could have been just dumb ideas or incompetence. (L. Paul Bremer, for instance, who made the "dumb" decision about dismantelling the Iraqi army, prior to becoming Iraq's occupation viceroy, had headed the nation's leading risk assessment consultancy, and surely knew what all the risks were of his various decisions.)

I mean, we expect a measure of idiocy from or elected leaders and their appointees, but not wholesale idiocy!

This disaster has been so colossal, it almost had to have been orchestrated.

If that's the case, Congress should be taking a hard look at not just the latest instalment of escalation, but at the whole war project, beginning with the 2002 campaign to get it going. Certainly throwing 21,500 new troops into the fire makes no sense whatever. If 140,000 of the best-equipped troops in the world can't pacify Iraq, 160,000 aren't going to be able to do it either. You don't need to be a general to figure that out. Even a senator or representative ought to be able to do it. So clearly Congress should kill this plan.

Since it's not about "winning" the war, it has to be about something else. My guess would be it's about either dragging things out until the end of 2008, so Bush can leave office without having to say he's sorry. But of course, it could also be about something even more serious: invading Iran.

We know Bush is trying mightily to provoke Iran. He has illegally attacked an Iranian consulate in Iraq (an act of war), taking six protected consular officials there captive. He is sending a second aircraft carrier battle group into the Persian Gulf, and is setting up Patriot anti-missile missile bases along Iran's western border. This buildup has all the earmarks of a pre-invasion. All that's needed now is a pretext--a real or faked attack on an American ship, perhaps, ala the Gulf of Tonkin "incident" that launched America into the Vietnam War.

The way I see it, either way the president is committing treason, because he is sending American troops off to be killed for no good reason other than for aggrandizing power he shouldn’t have, and/or simply covering his own political ass.

Treason is the number one impeachable crime under the Constitution, and we're at a point where Congress is going to have to act or go down in history as having acquiesced in the worst presidential crime in the history of the nation.


Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns, titled This Can't be Happening!, is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's latest book is The Case for Impeachment, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. Visit his website for more information. Lindorff may be reached at

The mirage of peace

The proposed formation of a unity government by Fatah and Hamas is given cautious coverage by the media. For now, the editors and indeed minions like Blair and his foreign secretary await until their masters in Tel Aviv and Washington, come to a decision about how to respond to the latest failure in their plan. In the end it boils down to whether they feel Abbas has done enough for them in Mecca. Israeli ministers were adamant that Abbas must produce a Palestinian authority that 'recognises' Israel and past peace deals. Recognition was never an actual problem but an excuse they could hang their rejection from later on. Neither Abbas nor his predecessor Arafat gained much from that particular concession. The fact is that the zionazi themselves broke every one of these previous peace deals and continued destroying lives and property or grabbing further territory for racist blood thirsty settlers. Even if the predicted exchange of palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier takes place, I don't see how the Israelis or the US will see the new coalition government as acceptable. The palestinians had to come to an agreement to prevent the bloodshed between armed factions in Gaza. However, this does not guarantee that the Israelis will not find a pretext to go in again to destroy property and provoke further fighting. Their actions in attacking the foundations of the Al-Aqsa mosque is proof enough of their malicious intent. The only question now remains is whether they publicly reject the proposal now or wait it out for a few months before doing so. The latter will look better in terms of the public relations, although these days neither the neocons or the zionazi, care much about the presentation of the policy and leave it to their hounds in the media, to aggressively counter public anger at the injustice.

I can see no change in the implementation of the US and EU approved policy of blockading the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea and continuing to grab property and land in Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. These policies were in place long before the election of any Hamas government. Yet the media always gets away with portraying Hamas as the stumbling block. In fact, Hamas has maintained a strong and pragmatic stance, which Fatah would do well to adopt. They have accepted the reality of Israel on land conquered previous to 1967, and offered a long term ceasefire. Until Israel recognise their state of Palestine, they see no reason to offer unconditional recognition to an Israel that continues to expand its borders by force. Palestinian unity and resolve is most needed now when the butchers of London, Washington and Tel Aviv are most determined to promote the forces of chaos and fear in the middle east. Racists like Avigdor Lieberman are already working hard to prevent the EU changing its policy towards the Palestinians. In the past year the terrorist government of Israel has conducted hundreds of bombings and killed countless civilians in it's operations. There are no signs that they will stop no matter what the Palestinians do. The mirage of peace will never transform into reality until the blood letting stops.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Essential Jung


The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach.

It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually feeds it and keeps it going.

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances. If there is any reaction, both are transformed.

A particularly beautiful woman is a source of terror. As a rule, a beautiful woman is a terrible disappointment.

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Institute for Propaganda Dissemination

I have read some bullshit in the propaganda war against Iran but this one takes the whole McVities factory. This is a blatant and disgraceful incitement to a murderous war from a scottish newspaper. Ian Mather regurgitates propaganda from a right-wing think-tank as if it were gospel truth. Note how many similar think-tanks were helping Bliar and Bush spin out their lies prior to the war of aggression against Iraq. The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) says "now is the time" for the world to act. Needless to say that IAEA monitoring activities that are ongoing are not mentioned, nor is the fact that the Iranian leadership have publicly renounced atomic weapons. Allegedly “deep underground is a facility [Natanz] which is being stacked with a massive array of centrifuges for enriching uranium to bomb-making capacity..” How Mr Mather is convinced of this is rather vague. Ironically even putting themselves up for inspections is not enough to convince these blood and oil thirsty warmongers:
“Despite Tehran yesterday allowing six envoys to visit nuclear sites as part of an effort to show "transparency" over its disputed atomic project, the US has said that simply putting Iran's nuclear activities on display would not build confidence abroad”
How could it build confidence when the US and its allies are determined to wipe Iran off the map, to coin a phrase? Speaking of phrases, all the usual bigoted ones are deployed by Mather:

“International worries over Iran's nuclear intentions have been increased by the belligerent and uncompromising noises coming from Tehran..” [of course the west isn’t ever belligerent].

“The West is worried that religious fundamentalist countries such as Iran would be more likely to launch a nuclear attack than their secular counterparts because they would not fear their own destruction” [Allegedly, despite having never invaded another country, the whole country is bent on becoming a collective suicide bomber].
Despite the aggressive rhetoric and the military manoevers from the West imperialists and Zionists, they are made to sound like the reasonable party:

"The world is not saying Iran cannot enjoy its inalienable right to civilian nuclear energy. Even President George W Bush has acknowledged this right”
People like Mather have no conscience and no qualms about the destruction of yet another country and the obscene bloodshed involved. They are simply willing agents of propaganda inciting hatred on a national scale. The BNP have nothing on people like this.


Dear Mr Mather,

Your article today in the Scotsman is a total incitement to another war of aggression against another middle-eastern country. Perhaps you are paid for this propaganda by the number of cliches because the whole article consists of the same cliches that we saw used against Iraq. Basing an entire article on spin coming out of a right-wing US think tank, shows the levels to which your already shoddy journalism has sunk.

You even manage to make the warmongers like Bush seems reasonable, whilst casting Iran (which has never invaded another country in its history and whose leaders have renounced atomic weapons) as a nation that is collectively bent on suicide. You should be ashamed. The Iranians have complied fully with IAEA inspections and continue amazingly to still do so. People like you are a disgrace to journalism and you should resign if you have the least bit of decency in your soul.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

1 in 3 believe 9/11 was an inside job

CNN attempt to link 9/11 doubters to racists and anti-semites.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Iraqi Hotel obliterated by 2000lb JDAM

A GI narrates this video after a 2000 lb. bomb was dropped on a hotel. He says these people will learn to stop worshipping Allah. The hotel is reduced to dust and not a single body could be found in the aftermath. How many innocents were killed in this terrorist attack? How many times did the mass media show it? Where is the moral outrage from the hypocritical western establishment?