Anyone who told you to visit this blog, couldn't have given you any worse advice.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The consecration of decrepitude

La vie en rose a l'Americaine, a quartet for hubris

Unapologetic political scumbag and Prolific author of "war pimping for dummies", John Mc Cain is on his way to win the nomination for the republican party, for the presidential election. Mc Cain is one of the finest representant of America's crassiest of the dumbest, never learning anything and always blaming others for their own limitation. Armed with an overwhelming smell of crude ignorance & disingenuous intent, and an expensive cloak of general sloppiness, false sentiment & outright dishonesty, Mc Cain is probably the best to represent his party, and further the uninterrupted process of discrediting America's image, as the ultimate Banana republic. Hopefully, considering his age, Mc Cain will probably be feeding the worms, before he has any chance to unleash a nuclear attack on Iran.

But i have the luxury to be cynical, something most Americans don't have.

National security, the celebration of fatuous redundancy

Found in Translation

FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds spills her secrets.

by Philip Giraldi
Copyright © 2007 The American Conservative

Most Americans have never heard of Sibel Edmonds, and if the U.S. government has its way, they never will. The former FBI translator turned whistleblower tells a chilling story of corruption at Washington’s highest levels—sale of nuclear secrets, shielding of terrorist suspects, illegal arms transfers, narcotics trafficking, money laundering, espionage. She may be a first-rate fabulist, but Edmonds’s account is full of dates, places, and names. And if she is to be believed, a treasonous plot to embed moles in American military and nuclear installations and pass sensitive intelligence to Israeli, Pakistani, and Turkish sources was facilitated by figures in the upper echelons of the State and Defense Departments. Her charges could be easily confirmed or dismissed if classified government documents were made available to investigators. But Congress has refused to act, and the Justice Department has shrouded Edmonds’s case in the state-secrets privilege, a rarely used measure so sweeping that it precludes even a closed hearing attended only by officials with top-secret security clearances. According to the Department of Justice, such an investigation “could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the foreign policy and national security of the United States.” After five years of thwarted legal challenges and fruitless attempts to launch a congressional investigation, Sibel Edmonds is telling her story, though her defiance could land her in jail. After reading its November piece about Louai al-Sakka, an al-Qaeda terrorist who trained 9/11 hijackers in Turkey, Edmonds approached the Sunday Times of London. On Jan. 6, the Times, a Murdoch-owned paper that does not normally encourage exposés damaging to the Bush administration, featured a long article. The news quickly spread around the world, with follow-ups appearing in Israel, Europe, India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Japan—but not in the United States. Edmonds is an ethnic Azerbaijani, born in Iran. She lived there and in Turkey until 1988, when she emigrated to the United States, where she received degrees in criminal justice and psychology from George Washington University. Nine days after 9/11, Edmonds took a job at the FBI as a Turkish and Farsi translator. She worked in the 400-person translations section of the Washington office, reviewing a backlog of material dating back to 1997 and participating in operations directed against several Turkish front groups, most notably the American Turkish Council. The ATC, founded in 1994 and modeled on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was intended to promote Turkish interests in Congress and in other public forums. Edmonds refers to ATC and AIPAC as “sister organizations.” The group’s founders include a number of prominent Americans involved in the Israel-Turkey relationship, notably Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and former congressman Stephen Solarz. Perle and Feith had earlier been registered lobbyists for Turkey through Feith’s company, International Advisors Inc. The FBI was interested in ATC because it suspected that the group derived at least some of its income from drug trafficking, Turkey being the source of 90 percent of the heroin that reaches Europe, and because of reports that it had given congressmen illegal contributions or bribes. Moreover, as Edmonds told the Times, the Turks have “often acted as a conduit for the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s spy agency, because they were less likely to attract attention.” Over nearly six months, Edmonds listened with increasing unease to hundreds of intercepted phone calls between Turkish, Pakistani, Israeli, and American officials. When she voiced concerns about the processing of this intelligence—among other irregularities, one of the other translators maintained a friendship with one of the FBI’s “high value” targets—she was threatened. After exhausting all appeals through her own chain of command, Edmonds approached the two Department of Justice agencies with oversight of the FBI and sent faxes to Sens. Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy on the Judiciary Committee. The next day, she was called in for a polygraph. According to a DOJ inspector general’s report, the test found that “she was not deceptive in her answers.” But two weeks later, Edmonds was fired; her home computer was seized; her family in Turkey was visited by police and threatened with arrest if they did not submit to questioning about an unspecified “intelligence matter.” When Edmonds’s attorney filed suit to obtain the documents related to her firing, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft imposed the state-secrets gag order. Since then, she has been subjected to another federal order, which not only silenced her, but retroactively classified the statements she eventually made before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the 9/11 Commission. Charismatic and articulate, the 37-year-old Edmonds has deftly worked the system to get as much of her story out as possible, on one occasion turning to French television to produce a documentary entitled “Kill the Messenger.” Passionate in her convictions, she has sometimes alienated her own supporters and ridden roughshod over critics who questioned her assumptions. But despite her shortcomings in making her case and the legitimate criticism that she may be overreaching in some of her conclusions, Edmonds comes across as credible. Her claims are specific, fact-based, and can be documented in detail. There is presumably an existing FBI file that could demonstrate the accuracy of many of her charges. Her allegations are not insignificant. Edmonds claims that Marc Grossman—ambassador to Turkey from 1994-97 and undersecretary of state for political affairs from 2001-05—was a person of interest to the FBI and had his phone tapped by the Bureau in 2001 and 2002. In the third-highest position at State, Grossman wielded considerable power personally and within the Washington bureaucracy. He had access to classified information of the highest sensitivity from the CIA, NSA, and Pentagon, in addition to his own State Department. On one occasion, Grossman was reportedly recorded making arrangements to pick up a cash bribe of $15,000 from an ATC contact. The FBI also intercepted related phone conversations between the Turkish Embassy and the Pakistani Embassy that revealed sensitive U.S. government information was being sold to the highest bidder. Grossman, who emphatically denies Edmonds’s charges, is currently vice chairman of the Cohen Group, founded by Clinton defense secretary William Cohen, where he reportedly earns a seven-figure salary, much of it coming from representing Turkey. After 9/11, Grossman reportedly intervened with the FBI to halt the interrogation of four Turkish and Pakistani operatives. According to Edmonds, Grossman was called by a Turkish contact who told him that the men had to be released before they told what they knew. Grossman said that he would take care of it and, per Edmonds, the men were released and allowed to leave the country. Edmonds states that FBI phone taps from late 2001 reveal that Grossman tipped off his Turkish contact regarding the CIA weapons proliferation cover unit Brewster Jennings, which was being used by Valerie Plame, and that the Turk then informed the Pakistani intelligence service representative in Washington. It is to be assumed that the information was then passed on to the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network. Edmonds also claims that Grossman was instrumental in seeding Turkish and Israeli Ph.D. students into major American research labs by godfathering visas and enabling security clearances. She says that she reviewed transcripts in which the moles in the U.S. military and academic community involved in nuclear technology reportedly carried out several “transactions” involving the sale of nuclear material or information relating to nuclear programs every month, with Pakistan being a primary buyer. In the summer of 2000, the FBI recorded a meeting between a Turkish official and two Saudi businessmen in Detroit in which nuclear information stolen from an Air Force base in Alabama was offered: “We have a package and we’re going to sell it for $250,000,” the wiretap allegedly recorded. “The network appeared to be obtaining information from every nuclear agency in the United States,” Edmonds told the Times.
She further reports that beginning in 1999, the FBI was investigating senior Pentagon officials who were assisting agents of foreign governments, including Turkey and Israel. Edmonds has not publicly named names at the Pentagon, but a website linked to her appears to be a non-incriminating instrument for identifying suspects without doing so directly. Its “rogues gallery” includes photos of Richard Perle and Douglas Feith. Perle was chief of the Pentagon’s prestigious Defense Policy Board when Edmonds was working at the FBI, and Feith was undersecretary of defense for policy. If either were being investigated, it would be a matter of record, as would any reasons for dropping the investigation. “If you made public all the information that the FBI have on this case, you will see very high-level people going through criminal trials,” Edmonds told the Times. She claims to have also learned that corrupt officials in the Turkish and Israeli Ministries of Defense falsified end-user certificates on weapons purchased in the United States to enable sales to third countries not allowed access to the technology. Principal recipients include the five “Stans” in central Asia—Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. Furthermore, Edmonds says that former House speaker Dennis Hastert and at least two other congressmen were investigated as suspected recipients of illegal political contributions or even bribes from Turkish sources. Her website gallery includes photos of Congressmen Roy Blount, Dan Burton, and Tom Lantos, though she has not otherwise implicated any of the three directly. A low-level contractor might seem poorly positioned to expose major breaches of national security, but the FBI translators’ pool, riddled with corruption and nepotism, was key to keeping these secrets from surfacing. Edmonds’s claims that the section was infiltrated by translators who should never have received security clearances and who were deliberately failing to translate incriminating material are supported by the Justice Department inspector general investigation and by an FBI internal investigation, which concluded that she had been fired after making “valid complaints.” One translator, Melek Can Dickerson, who had worked for three Turkish front organizations under investigation—she failed to reveal this when applying for employment—allegedly stamped many documents of interest “not pertinent,” removed classified documents from FBI premises, and forged signatures on classified documents relating to 9/11 detainees. An Urdu translator was the daughter of a Pakistani Embassy employee who worked for Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad, the head of the Pakistani intelligence service who is accused of authorizing a $100,000 wire transfer to Mohammed Atta’s Dubai bank account immediately before 9/11. The Justice Department IG report confirmed Edmonds’s charge that translators’ section managers issued a go-slow order shortly after the terrorist attacks to create an artificial backlog that would justify an increase in budget and manpower. Those managers are reportedly still in place. Some have been promoted. Edmonds’s revelations have attracted corroboration in the form of anonymous letters apparently written by FBI employees. There have been frequent reports of FBI field agents being frustrated by the premature closure of cases dealing with foreign spying, particularly when those cases involve Israel, and the State Department has frequently intervened to shut down investigations based on “sensitive foreign diplomatic relations.” One such anonymous letter, the veracity of which cannot be determined, cites transcripts of wiretaps involving Marc Grossman and a Turkish Embassy official between August and December 2001, described above, in which Grossman warned the Turk that Brewster Jennings was a CIA cover company. If the allegation can be documented from FBI files, the exposure of the Agency cover mechanism took place long before journalist Robert Novak outed the company in his column on Valerie Plame in 2003. The anonymous informant conveniently provides the FBI file number containing the transcripts of the recorded conversations: FBI Washington Field Office, Counterintelligence Division, Turkish Unit File 203A-WF-210023. According to the source, the FBI also recorded a subsequent conversation in which a Turkish official contacted the Pakistani Embassy to inform an ISI officer of Grossman’s warning. The FBI also reportedly informed the CIA of the Grossman conversations to determine if there was any “conflict of interest,” presumably to determine if the CIA was running its own operation that might be compromised as a result of the phone tap.
Curiously, the states-secrets gag order binding Edmonds, while put in place by DOJ in 2002, was not requested by the FBI but by the State Department and Pentagon—which employed individuals she identified as being involved in criminal activities. If her allegations are frivolous, that order would scarcely seem necessary. It would have been much simpler for the government to marginalize her by demonstrating that she was poorly informed or speculating about matters outside her competency. Under the Bush administration, the security gag order has been invoked to cover up incompetence or illegality, not to protect national security. It has recently been used to conceal the illegal wiretaps of the warrantless surveillance program, the allegations of torture and the CIA’s rendition program, and to shield the telecom industry for its collaboration in illegal eavesdropping. Both Senators Grassley and Leahy, a Republican and a Democrat, who interviewed her at length in 2002, attest to Edmonds’s believability. The Department of Justice inspector general investigation into her claims about the translations unit and an internal FBI review confirmed most of her allegations. Former FBI senior counterintelligence officer John Cole has independently confirmed her report of the presence of Pakistani intelligence service penetrations within the FBI translators’ pool. Edmonds wasn’t angling to become a media darling. She would have preferred to testify under oath before a congressional committee that could offer legal protection and subpoena documents and witnesses to support her case. She claims that a number of FBI agents would be willing to testify, though she has not named them. Prior to 2006, Congressman Henry Waxman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee promised Edmonds that if the Democrats gained control of Congress, he would order hearings into her charges. But following the Democratic sweep, he has been less forthcoming, failing to schedule hearings, refusing to take Edmonds’s calls, and recently stonewalling all inquiries into the matter. It is generally believed that Waxman, a strong supporter of Israel, is nervous about exposing an Israeli lobby role in the corruption that Edmonds describes. It is also suspected that Waxman fears that the revelations might open a Pandora’s box, damaging Republicans and Democrats alike.
Edmonds’s critics maintain that she saw only a small part of the picture in a highly compartmentalized working environment, that she was privy to only a fragment of a large operation to penetrate and disrupt the groups that have been stealing U.S. weapons technology. She could not have known operational details of what the FBI was doing and why. That criticism is serious and must be addressed. If Edmonds was indeed seeing only part of a counterintelligence sting operation to entrap a nuclear network like that of A.Q. Khan, the government could now reveal as much in general terms, since any operation that might have been running in 2002 has long since wound down. Regarding her access to operational information, Edmonds’s critics clearly do not understand the intimate relationship that develops between FBI and CIA officers and their translators. Operations run against a foreign target in languages other than English require an intensive collaboration between field officers and translators. The translators are invariably brought into the loop because it is up to them to guide the officers seeking to understand what the target, who frequently is double talking or attempting to conceal his meaning, is actually saying. That said, it should be conceded that Edmonds might sometimes have seen only a piece of the story, and those claims based on her own interpretation should be regarded with caution. Another objection is that Edmonds would only have seen “raw intelligence” that does not provide nuance and does not really indicate whether someone is guilty. That argument has merit, and it is undeniable that many intercepted communications lack context. But it ignores the fact that someone recorded in the act of taking a bribe or interceding to have a suspect in a criminal investigation released is behaving with a certain transparency. One either takes money or does not. There is very little interpretation that can change that reality. Sibel Edmonds makes a number of accusations about specific criminal behavior that appear to be extraordinary but are credible enough to warrant official investigation. Her allegations are documentable: an existing FBI file should determine whether they are accurate. It’s true that she probably knows only part of the story, but if that part is correct, Congress and the Justice Department should have no higher priority. Nothing deserves more attention than the possibility of ongoing national-security failures and the proliferation of nuclear weapons with the connivance of corrupt senior government officials.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Useless, but not harmless

The intensity of the presidential campaign is providing the pathetic old coot, with pornographic emotional frenzy, but since the useless decrepited walking carcass is unable to fuck like the rest of us, anymore, he is redirecting his lust into his most active and reliable emotional channel, the one he actively relied upon in Vietnam, in which he used to drop explosives ordinances on civilian population, from the safety of his jet cockpit at 30,000 feet. Death is a real turn on for excremental poke like Mc Cain, but death is also a fair lover, she always gives back....Mc Cain smells death himself. the degenerated senile old monkey will not see the end of the year

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The art of opportunism, when deceptive meets disingenuous

Another reason why i cannot stand senator "brother empty suit" Obama. He pretends to care so much about so many issues, what he really cares about, is his own political longevity. There is no consistency beyond Obama's great pseudo-representation at being another Martin Luther King. He acts like a snake oil salesman, He will do and say anything for a vote, & will twist his logic into a pretzel in order to make his case. What is left after deep scrutiny of Obama's record and achievement, is the reflection of an over-ambitious contemptuous political quack. He is one of the latest from the ilk of Colin Powell and Condi Rice. He deserves nothing but contempt.

Obama Says, Israel Was Forced To Starve Palestinians In Gaza: The presidential hopeful urged the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to either condemn Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel or remain silent about events in Gaza

Sucking up the Zionists

Friday, January 25, 2008

Capturing the essence of slime

American demeanour is invariably morose, sullen, clownish and repulsive. I should think there is not, on the face of the earth, a people so entirely destitute of intellectuality, spirit of initiative, or the capacity of critical thinking

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Untermensch Syndrome: Israel's Moral Decay

By Manuel Valenzuela
07/20/06 "Information Clearing House".

The labeling as anti-Semitic of anyone critical of the state of Israel's policies in the continued destruction of Palestinian identity, and now Lebanese society and infrastructure, and the increasing domination into American foreign policy no longer has the sting of threat or intimidation it once mastered. For too long this masquerade has been used to silence those opposing anything Israel, shouted at anyone disseminating truth and seeking justice. Like the boy who cried wolf, this charade has lost its power or hypnotic control, and today only serves to breed more anger and resentment against the apologists and smear mongers protecting the cancerous tentacles of Zionism and the crimes against humanity it spawns. A once powerful marketing tool used to sequester valid criticism and deny truth to millions has been eroded thanks to its overlords' continued over abuse and labeling of the term 'anti-Semite' to anyone even remotely critical of anything associated with Israel and the tentacles of Zionism. To criticize Christianity does not make one anti-Christian. To criticize Islam does not make one anti-Muslim or anti-Arab, just as uncovering truths about the Bush administration does not make one anti-American or unpatriotic. To speak truth about any government in the world does not make us racist or xenophobic to the people of that nation. Why then should criticism of Israeli and/or Sharon's policies subject us to false labeling and acts of intimidation whose only purpose is to silence truth into submission and hijacking justice from ever emerging and being served? The time has come to stop bending over to the dictates of intimidation and scare tactics used by Israel's protectors, defenders and apologists. The time has come to say "Never Again" to such fictional libel and slander whose only purpose is the continued subjugation of truth and awakening. The labeling of "anti-Semite" does not bother us, nor does it stop us from writing truth to justice and reality to intimidation because we refuse to be frightened into submission and silenced into acquiescence by a mechanism we know to be false. Our convictions, search for truth and want for justice supercedes the trash invented to protect the malfeasance ruining humanity and the crimes perpetrated against our fellow human beings. The time has come to stand up and be heard, refusing to believe the smears and the labels, instead living life in truth, devoid of veiled threats and intimidation tactics whose power over us continues to erode thanks to its incessant overuse and abuse. So smear if you must, defenders, appeasers and apologists of human wickedness, continue to blindly believe in the majesty of a fiction you know to be false, ensuring your daily complicity in the crimes against humanity being committed by those you protect and defend. We are above your labels, above your intimidation and smear tactics, following the path of truth in the voice of our writings and in the convictions of humanity. If pursuing truth, fighting criminality and awakening justice makes us anti-Semites, then guilty we are. If seeing the dehumanization, exploitation and utter destruction of the Palestinian people makes the voices of reason anti-Semitic, then guilty we stand. To defend the humanity of other Semitic people is to defend humanity itself. To speak out against injustice and dehumanization makes us human, to defend it makes you complicit.

An Unbearable Likeness of Being

Here we are, living in the first decade of the 21st century, and still the violent animal in the human condition exists, thriving inside our carnal passions and still primitive mammalian brains, oozing out of humanity to release the demons of evil that only homo sapiens are capable of wielding. Persisting in our primate selves as it has for millions of years, the greatest symptom of our disease remains uncontrolled, dominating the far reaches of man's Earth, turning barren once fertile soil and forever despoiling the utter beauty our civilization possesses. Man killing man, erupting violence upon our fellow humans, destroying what our own hands create, decimating energy and beauty, life and opportunity, this is the story of what our species has become. Through tribal affiliation and identity, which the nation state now is, (a tribe on steroids) the potency of violence and ill-treatment against others seen as different or alien is manifested. The human condition dictates that auras of superiority appear with every tribe. What is nationalism today but a belief that our tribe is the best in the world, that the group of humans we are attached to in unity, be it of ethnic, racial, religious or regional (nation state) parameters, is the preeminent assembly of all humanity? Beliefs of supremacy of one's tribe and inferiority of others have marked man from the very first cluster of family clans. In order to achieve this most human psychological need, other subgroups have to be considered lower in stature, considered third-world, savages, barbarians and lesser humans, while others must be conquered and subjugated. In the minds of those groups seeking to invade, conquer, pilfer and exploit, the invaded and conquered must be seen as sub-human, creatures not worthy of protection or life. The human mind, in order to justify the ruthlessness it will inflict on less able peoples, creates the impression that those now controlled are sub-humans and therefore not immune to the restrictions of human morality. Sub-humans are not humans, after all, and can be treated like animals or worse, like dirt. The Nazi ideology of placing its Aryan blood above all others, believing its Germanic peoples the pinnacle of civilization, reflects a perverted mass psychosis brought on by a malevolent leader and a hypnotized tribe - namely Germany. In the delusional world of the Nazis, Jews, Gypsies and Slavs were considered inferior. These peoples were labeled 'untermensch,' the German word for sub-human. As such, labels became reality and reality became a holocaust, resulting in millions of deaths and untold levels of suffering. When a group of people like the Nazis begin to believe in the sub-human label they propel, the group afflicted becomes the equivalent of animals, free to be killed, tortured and dehumanized, free to be robbed of freedom, opportunity and happiness. The Nazis, however, are not alone in exacerbating this phenomenon. On the contrary, it has been as pronounced in human history as advancements in technology. As long as there have been competing tribes the concept of untermensch has existed, released over and over through centuries and millennia. No nation or culture is immune; no epoch is innocent. With every war, invasion, occupation, domination, enslavement, oppression, exploitation, genocide and ethnic cleansing that has marked human time on Earth untermensch has been implemented, used by the powerful to justify the crimes, rapes, murders and dehumanization inflicted upon innocent fellow human beings. Untermensch is the tool used by the human brain that grants man the power to destroy humanity and all its virtues while inflicting untold levels of misery onto men, women and children without the interference or burden of human guilt, laws, theology, morality or righteousness getting in the way. Yet our minds cannot fathom the long reaches of a history marked by incessant war, death and violence. Understanding the constructs of time and space are not talents we have evolved. Grasping the enormity of the passage of time, with the rise and fall of tribes, clans, city states and empires, the evolution of human society and spirituality from cave to metropolis, the genetic altering and evolution of diversity coming together and adding to the human spectrum, and the conquests, genocides and environmental changes created by our ancestors is not a skill endowed into our primate brains, and thus the enormous jigsaw puzzle that is human history remains a mystery. We can barely put together the pieces of our own eighty year existence on the planet, even as it is a puzzle that we experience first hand. How then are we to fathom hundreds of thousands of years of modern human existence, generation upon generation, century after century? In an existence estimated at five million years, from primates living in trees to the dawn of living in one-hundred story skyscrapers, man has not deviated from our mammal selves. Our passions, emotions and behaviors yield to the animal inside us, and throughout our existence it has come out again and again to unleash terror on our unsuspecting species. For millions of years our species has consisted of one continuous epoch of aggression against each other, with periods of calm in between, - controlled at the individual level but becoming an unleashed monster at the tribal - destroying all we have achieved and the beauty inherent in our existence. Mammals we are, and mammals we will remain, yet the ego of our existence and the theology of our beliefs will not let us awake to our greatest truth. Humankind's greatest demon is also our greatest threat, condemning us to continue a long history of self-inflicted war, death, suffering and subjugation. In this quandary we find ourselves trapped in, much like every generation that has come before, and, if we fail to learn and evolve, every generation that has yet to come. The worst of humanity opens the books of history once more, and in Iraq and Palestine we find what has been, what is, and what will become. The Reign of Terror upon ourselves continues the slow erosion of our existence along the inevitable path of self-destruction we traverse. Is it any wonder that the virus attached to us since we left the jungles of east Africa keeps reappearing again and again, stomping its seal of death, violence and misery on the face of human civilization, especially when we punish our own kind with the tools of despair, suffering and dehumanization? Can we expect the microscopic reign of modern man to purge an evil that primitive man could not exorcise in hundreds of thousands of years? Untermensch is part of the disease we possess, or rather possesses us, attached to the constructs of fear and hatred, ignorance and superiority, emboldened by the tribe or nation state. The mega-tribes of today only serve to strengthen and release the fury of human evil onto those less fortunate. It is a syndrome that, until now, has yet to be contained. Its vicious mechanisms erode the basic foundations of humankind, birthing suffering and human destruction, both in spirit and in life, rendering all six billion of us less human every day. Into the depths we descend, living the misery of Iraqis and Palestinians, feeling the pain that the powerful inflict on the weak, losing energy with each drop of blood that is shed and cowering in shame with each act of decaying dehumanization. The Untermensch Syndrome is alive and well, resilient as ever, surviving as long as humans exist, thriving off our own shortcomings, evolving with each passing generation and festering once more to infect yet one more amalgam of human tribes from which enlightenment seems never to arrive.

Unholy Land

In the land claimed holy and promised the madness of humankind persists, extending the perpetual violence and oppression of the weak by the powerful. Palestine today tells a story of human evils past and present, of the worst actions capable of being manifested by the human phenomenon. Lands ancient and strategic, crossroads and focal points of man's brief history, once more seem engulfed by competing claims and boiling hatreds. Malevolent crimes against humanity, those activities that repulse and anger, are methodically being perpetrated against peoples who have been raped of all their ancestors once possessed. Atrocities and dehumanization on an unparalleled scale are being committed, becoming the present reincarnation of the past's dreaded evils.
In no other place on Earth is the suffering of our brothers and sisters so prevalent. In no other region is the tyranny and wickedness of humanity so present. For the lands holy and promised have been cursed by archaic fables, beliefs and myths, by fictional claims of days long extinct, condemning its native inhabitants to the bowels of Hades and the desolate realities from which loud cries go unheard. To be Palestinian Arab in the land usurped by European Jews is to be considered untermensch in the territory your forefathers once called home. The devastation fifty-five years of invasion, occupation and state terrorism has had on both people and land has created the conditions by which Gaza and the West Bank can today be called Hell on Earth, pockets of destitute emptiness where opportunity is extinct and any relevant future is a but a hollow fantasy. Unearthed from the colon of the planet Palestinians dwell, the squalor in the occupied territories is beyond compare, instituted and exacerbated by the state of Israel in acts of unhindered and systemic malevolence. The intent of such inflictions of emotional distress and incessant pain and suffering is the breaking point of millions of Palestinians, the realization that it is better to leave the land you know and love rather than live in perpetual imprisonment of spirit and humanity. The desire to expand borders and territory, an addiction to greed and the aspiration to cleanse Palestine of Arabs manufactures in the Israeli government a policy of wicked objectives bursting with cold and calculated cruelty. Thus, the ill-treatment of Palestinians by Israel makes life so unbearable, so hard and depressing that it is a triumph of the human spirit that so many remain, unwavering and strong, even as the weight of utter wickedness is enforced generation to generation. Living in the occupied territories is like living in Warsaw ghettos of the 1930's and South African Bantustans. It is akin to dwelling in Indian reservations, those cesspools of nothingness in the lands of America from where millions rotted away their once vibrant existence. Gaza and the West Bank are squalors of humanity acting as giant prisons, where dense refugee camps are considered cities, their perimeters encircled by fences, walls, Israeli tanks and the ever watchful eyes of trigger-friendly snipers. Enormous prisons within occupied lands, preventing contiguity, freedom of movement and any semblance of a sovereign state are the true definition of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. To live inside these vast prisons and internment camps is to struggle with the daily existence of Israeli suffocation and dehumanization that you know is purposeful as it is deliberate. It is to feel Israeli claws strangulating your esophagus, denying you of the air to breathe and the sustenance you need to survive. Life under Israel's merciless rule means that sixty to seventy percent of your people are unemployed, unable to provide for their families, as commerce is almost non-existent and access to Israeli business almost impossible. It is to live in worlds of child undernourishment and lack of healthcare, as Israel's policies make indigent millions of families who desperately need to feed and treat their children. To be Palestinian is to be trapped in a vicious circle that refuses to let you escape. From birth your undernourishment outmaneuvers your development, stunting your growth, making your immune system weak and altering your ability to learn. Lack of nutrients and perpetual levels of stress make your environmental upbringing unlike anything on Earth, a constant battle being lost by both your body and mind. Psychological behaviors associated with extreme levels of stress and dangerous levels of undernourishment affect hundreds of thousands of your fellow brothers and sisters. Feelings of imprisonment and virtual subjugation, not to mention the extreme hatred of anything Israel your environment forces upon you creates unsurpassed hatred in your mind. Education is limited, resources to tap the oasis inside you is but a dream and the talents and abilities ingrained in your being get eroded more and more with each passing year. You see the vanishing energies of neighbors, acquaintances and family that die at the hands of the IDF and the Israeli government's callous disregard for your people. After all, to them you are nothing but untermensch, lower to or on equal par with animals. From an early age you realize that, since you are seen as sub-human, IDF soldiers treat you with impunity, allowing themselves the pleasure of taunting your friends, shooting your cousins, demolishing your home and dehumanizing your mother, all done knowing that accountability does not exist. Growing up Palestinian is to see with one's eyes the hatred boiling inside the cities you live in, where the fruitless throwing of rocks towards tanks by dozens of youth is the only vent from where their bursting fumes can be released. Later on in life, these youngsters will become members of the resistance, graduating to Kalashnikovs and home-made bombs, lurking at night to defend their ever disappearing homeland. In this society, death at the hands of the Israelis is so commonplace that it is celebrated, becoming both a rallying cry and mechanism of strength. Martyrs are elevated to the skies above, becoming the role models of the very young and the heroes of the populace, their faces plastered on posters lining streets and walls. In this society, born of occupation and seething hatred, the only way to keep living is to keep dying, and the sadness of such reality is that just as our children wish to become pilots and firemen, theirs strive for nothing more than martyrdom. It is this that Israel's policy of untermensch has created, a mechanism where every day creates new resistance fighters and revolutionaries seeking the triumph of the human spirit and the dawn of independent freedom. Collective punishment upon millions of Palestinians goes hand in hand with the Untermensch Syndrome, where the acts of a few result in the decimation of the many. When millions of Arabs are considered sub-human, long living in lands claimed by false divinity and thousand year old fables of peoples primitive and unenlightened, their death, destruction and prolonged suffering is inconsequential. It is state sponsored terrorism that has lasted more than eighty years in a pre-emptive attempt to ethnically cleanse by subjugation, dehumanization and cold and calculated suffering. Breeding of fear by the intimidation of army incursions, tank deployments, sniper killings, Apache helicopter missiles and fighter jet low altitude flyovers is state sponsored terror, stressing out millions and making life under occupation an unbearable existence. Imprisoning millions and subjecting them to perpetual indigence, without ability to traverse their own lands or go one day breathing tranquil airs of calm and freedom is collective terror upon a populace. Not knowing if your home is next to be demolished by monstrous Caterpillar bulldozers, usually with a few minutes warning by the IDF is state terrorism, robbing families of their homes and their belongings, leaving thousands without the only dignity they ever possessed. Treating Palestinians as untermensch allows young Israeli soldiers, most of whom are born hating Palestinians, to walk over innocent people only trying to survive day to day. Stinging verbal abuse, humiliating body searches, purposeful closures and damning delays at checkpoints, where the Untermensch Syndrome can be seen in full bloom, exhibits the wicked treatment of the powerful over the weak. Selected closures that can last days that in effect prevent Palestinians from getting to work, indiscriminate authority to harass and stop anyone from passing, the apartheid mechanism of different license plates for Jewish settlers - with unhindered passage through checkpoints - and Palestinians - who oftentimes wait hours in line before being allowed through - are all symptoms of the sub-human treatment and collective punishment of Palestinians. Even ambulances, oftentimes transporting gravely injured or sick people, many of them pregnant women on the verge of giving birth, are forced to endure long hours waiting at IDF checkpoints, with the full knowledge of soldiers. Many of these people, not unexpectedly, end up dying while waiting, as precious time is squandered and criminally left to pass. If this is not terror, then what is? If this is not collective punishment and a symptom of the Untermensch Syndrome, then where has our humanity gone? When an occupying power gives carte blanche to its military to treat the occupied as sub-human, crimes against humanity are not too far behind and the moral fabric of those imposing the will of the powerful through the barrel of a gun quickly vanishes. In Palestine, and as has become quite apparent in Iraq, indiscriminate and methodical dehumanization, without regard for human rights, has flourished through the aura of ethnic, state and cultural superiority and the invincibility of modern military might. Pitting rock throwers against Apache helicopters and Abrams tanks is nobody's idea of a fair fight, and in this unequal capacity to wage war we can see how the Untermensch Syndrome is furthered. One side seeks independence using only the weapons their dwindling land provides while the other is provided with the most sophisticated and lethal technology known to man. It is a battle of primitive versus modern, the Arab animals versus the Israeli westerner. And so, in order to try evening out the fight, suicide bombers, with the desperation, hate, thirst for vengeance and hopelessness ingrained in their atrocious actions, compete with the state sponsored terrorism of guided missiles raining down from the sky, artillery from tanks and incursions by an infantry trained and supplied with the best equipment American money can buy. The equation of occupied and occupier has been the same for time immemorial, with the subjugated resorting to the creations of the human imagination and the resources at their disposal for weapons while the conqueror uses rationales of untermensch to deceive its own morality and unleash the fires of human hell with the grand weapons of war that riches provide onto the people invaded. In Palestine, untermensch has meant the demolition of thousands of homes without regard for human life. It has meant the dehumanizing conditions by which millions live under, usually in poverty and lacking meaningful education, healthcare, infrastructure, opportunity and future. Israel's treatment of an entire race of people has destroyed the fabric of society and the aspirations of its citizens. The Untermensch Syndrome has resulted in centuries old olive trees bulldozed for no reason other than to make miserable the lives of the farmers who owned them. It has categorized Palestinian as inferior to Jew, marginalizing millions who are expropriated of their land and homes. Because of the Untermensch Syndrome Palestine has been carved up into dozens of enclaves, separated by walls or fences, imprisoning people in their towns and refugee camps. Traveling from town to town is virtually impossible. Children have been separated from their schools, university students from their colleges, workers from their jobs, families from each other and farmers from their fields. This has been accomplished by Israel systematically and without remorse, serving no purpose other than to dehumanize and make unlivable the daily lives of millions. Lands with higher ground are routinely expropriated, as are those with fertile soil and abundant water aquifers. These stolen lands are then granted to the swell of settlers rushing into once Palestinian lands and farms. In other instances, Palestinian land is taken for bypass road construction that now dissects the West Bank into easily controllable blocks. Of course these roads can only be used by Israelis and Jewish settlers, while the Palestinians, whose land is now covered by asphalt, can only watch as Jewish cars circumvent the last vestiges of a land they once flourished in. In the course of the present intifadah 3000 Palestinians have died compared to 1000 Israelis. The terrorism has been mutual, one modern and technological, the other born out of hatred and desperation. Palestinians see their native contiguously- inhabited land being gobbled up by Israel and the never-ending stream of European and American settlers. Their water is being taken, their crops destroyed, their livelihoods eviscerated. An enormous apartheid wall is being built, separating camp from camp, robbing them of still more land as it snakes deep into occupied territory, making the West Bank an amalgam of Bantustan-style reservations and internment camps. The Untermensch Syndrome has been unleashed by an Israel that is intent on 'transferring' out an entire race of people.

Like a Virus the Syndrome Spreads

Like an enormous wave crashing on shore, the Untermensch Syndrome is devastating everything in its path. In order to maintain a Jewish majority, which demographics tells us is impossible if Arabs remain, Israel is making the life of Palestinians a virtual dungeon of misery from where air and light are squeezed out of the dark, damp caves where Palestinians now dwell. The goal is as simple as it is macabre: the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from the 'Promised Land' by means of starving millions of a life worth living and through the self-exodus of Palestinians who cannot take the severe punishment and dehumanization any more. This clandestine maneuver would thus be seen as self-inflicted and as an independent move by the Palestinians, yet it is Israel pushing them off the cliff through its criminal acts against humanity. Much is said of physical torture, yet it is the mental kind that truly kills and maims, condemning the millions of Palestinians to a life unbearable at best and cruel at worst. For many decades now Israel has waged collective war against the native inhabitants of Palestine, slowly but surely implementing the means by which it can achieve its ends. Mental torture is a crime against humanity, in direct contradiction to universal principles of humanity. It has been persistent, incessant and coldly calculated. If the treatment of the Palestinian people by the state of Israel is not terrorist in nature and evil in substance, then we have vanished underneath a rock of shamelessness and barbarity, becoming that which we most loathe. What is occurring in Palestine today is nothing short of criminal, reminiscent of the Nazi treatment of Jews and all other untermensch during 1930's Germany. It reminds us of the extermination and subsequent incarceration of Native Americans by a fledgling US government riding the coattails of Manifest Destiny. Reservations are today a sad reminder of the cruelty and inhumanity by which the American government methodically eliminated the indigenous peoples from the birth of a new nation. Parallels with the South African Apartheid Bantustans are being made as more truth emerges from the cages of the West Bank. The worst in humanity is now compared to the Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people, and not without merit. The Nazi ghettos and treatment of all untermensch in 1930's Europe during the reign of human malevolence, which caused untold levels of suffering, anguish and mental torture, lasted about a decade. The Palestinian ghettos, Bantustans, reservations, cantons, prisons, gulags or enclaves, - however you wish to call them - on the other hand, have withstood the sands of time for several decades now. Under virtual imprisonment, unable to move freely, without rights, liberties and freedoms and increasingly under a state of siege and apartheid, Palestinians find themselves struggling to survive and remain living in the lands they have continuously inhabited for thousands of years. Their very existence is being threatened; their society is being imploded. Mental torture has become their way of life, like an unrelenting leash controlling their lives, ceaseless in time and devastating in magnitude. They are, if you will, an endangered species, considered sub-human by their occupiers and the Israeli puppets in the White House and the Congress, who, even after the International Court of Justice overwhelmingly condemned the Apartheid Wall as illegal under international law, voted overwhelmingly to support Israel and condemn the Court, also pressuring the cowardly UN to prevent the imposition of sanctions on Israel. If our elected leaders in Washington show such solidarity with the state of Israel in its inhuman acts of criminality, do they think of Palestinians as untermensch as well? The implication sure makes it seem that way, as does their treatment of the Iraqi people. Those who were once called untermensch are today subjugating those they consider untermensch. The sub-humans of decades past have become the subjugators and exploiters, spreading the disease that once tormented their ancestors. Those who once suffered enormously are today inflicting untold levels of suffering onto an entire group of human beings. As if committing human evil on those it considers sub-humans will exorcise the demons of horrors past, Israel's treatment of the Palestinians serves no possible purpose other than to devastate millions who are rotting away their existence in sewers of hopelessness, hoping an entire people will simply disappear or pack up and leave, thereby springing forth a final solution to the Palestinian question. The Untermensch has become the Übermensch, the Nazi word for overlord, or supermen. The cleansed have become the ones doing the cleansing, and those upon whom human evil once enveloped are today reincarnating that same malice onto a world trying to never again repeat the errors of past generations. Yet the Untermensch Syndrome refuses to be laid to rest, living like rats among humans, forever to follow in our footsteps, feeding off our crumbs and forever destined to haunt our inner demons. If those it was once inflicted upon are today its conductors and proliferators, does there exist hope for the human race? As long as we let it control us, the Untermensch Syndrome will linger, separating us from each other, seeing ourselves as superior and others as sub-human. The situation in Iraq is a truth to this reality, it simply repeats itself, no matter how enlightened we think we are and no matter how modern we claim to be. If the pattern persists throughout our existence, is there reason to hope for its demise?.What makes us human is not our ability to kill and destroy each other but our vast potential to bring goodness to our fellow beings. Killing, maiming and inflicting misery onto ourselves is nothing new. It is rather easy for humans to do this. Just look back at history. What is hard, and what makes us human, differentiating us from the animal world, is the ability to turn the other cheek, see each other as equals, accept our incredible diversity and stop the madness before we all end up smoldering from the fiery hell we have contained in silos and missiles. If we can create nuclear technology, enough to destroy this planet thousands of times over, can we not put our heads together and get along? What is happening to the Palestinian people is a travesty, one more black mark on an already bruised human society. It is up to the Other Superpower to seek change, helping to bring an oasis of humanity to a suddenly barren strip of earth. Our elected leaders will not act, and neither will world organizations. It is up to us, the people of the world, to stand tall and shout with one united voice from deep within our bodies that we are in solidarity with those considered as untermensch, that if Palestinians are sub-human, then so are we, because they are human just like you and me, deserving of a life lived in happiness and opportunity, free of occupation and tyranny. For the moral high ground cannot be usurped as easily as Israel robs Palestinian lands bearing higher ground, strategic locations, water aquifers and fertile land. The moral high ground in this battle is on the side of the occupied and subjugated, of justice and humanity, of those resisting and fighting for land they once possessed and freedom once enjoyed. It is void and non-existent in the grip of the occupiers, exploiters and criminals who produce life unbearable and dehumanizing. For this battle they cannot win because the travesty of the Palestinians is the reality billions of eyes and minds now see. Is it any wonder why the rise in anti-Semitism worldwide coincides with the escalating campaign to destroy the Palestinian people? Can we not see why Israel is considered the most hated nation on Earth, from opinions resulting in the last few years, and why its policies are endangering innocent and peace loving people of Jewish faith worldwide who only want to live free of the hatreds of the past and in full acceptance of the happiness of the years to come?

Never Again, Never Again

The time to boycott Israeli products has arrived. Let the sanctions imposed by the Other Superpower begin, unleashing the economic might of billions to punish those few who care nothing for international law or the universal declarations of human rights. May the cancer spreading dehumanization and misery on our fellow human beings stop being spread by the power and medicine of the people of the world. We succeeded once before, halting the destructive forces of apartheid South Africa, now a nation evolving forward in time, not regressing backwards in history. We will once more quash wrongness, wickedness and human evil. It is the echoes of justice and human rights emanated by the voices of truth that will tear down yet another wall of shame being built to imprison and condemn. Let us punish American and multinational corporations that help arm the IDF, those that help bulldoze homes and lives, those that profit from human misery and those that through their instruments of death and destruction contribute to the murder and slaughter of innocents. Let us pressure our so-called representatives to stand for human rights, dignity and justice, not tyranny, misery and subjugation. What is transpiring in the Holy Land is anathema to human civilization; it is an embarrassment to six billion people who are good, decent human beings. If our governments refuse to act, then so we must, for the sake of innocent and peaceful Palestinian and Israeli people, for the sake of human decency and for the sake of our future generations. Walls and fences that imprison and dehumanize cannot stand, for they help set mankind back in time to days dark and repressive, unenlightened and barbaric. Together, united as one we can become the massive tremor that helps bring walls and tyranny down. "Never Again" should not just be a catchy slogan, an artifact at museums, a banner espoused but never practiced or a phrase attached to nostalgia. It should mean what it says, and, as the Other Superpower, we should interpret it literally, enforcing it upon those whose crimes against humanity make us all less human by the day. In numbers we find strength; in conviction, reason to exist. Those seeking freedom can never be defeated; the triumph of the human spirit can never be erased. The seeds of justice have been planted, let us reap its bountiful reward. Let us once more make a beautiful oasis of a land both holy and promised, devoid of barren intentions and evil inclinations. Let olive trees grow anew, let children play and laugh, may the light of day return and once more bring forth skies of blue.

This essay, first published in August 2004, is dedicated to the over 3000 Palestinian and 1000 Israeli dead, who, in the last five years, have perished thanks to the sickness of human nature, as well as to the hundreds of Lebanese civilians and tens of northern Israelis slaughtered by the latest wave of Middle East violence. This essay is also dedicated to the thousands of injured on both sides, the thousands more who have lost loved ones, and the peace-loving, tolerance-striving, justice-seeking peoples of the Holy Land, all of whom have suffered enormously for the last four years. May you have the strength to put an end to madness and the worst in the human condition. May your troubled land find the peace you and the world desperately needs.

Leo Strauss' Philosophy of Deception

By Jim Lobe, AlterNet. Posted May 19, 2003

Many neoconservatives like Paul Wolfowitz are disciples of a philosopher who believed that the elite should use deception, religious fervor and perpetual war to control the ignorant masses.

What would you do if you wanted to topple Saddam Hussein, but your intelligence agencies couldn't find the evidence to justify a war?

A follower of Leo Strauss may just hire the "right" kind of men to get the job done – people with the intellect, acuity, and, if necessary, the political commitment, polemical skills, and, above all, the imagination to find the evidence that career intelligence officers could not detect.
The "right" man for Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, suggests Seymour Hersh in his recent New Yorker article entitled 'Selective Intelligence,' was Abram Shulsky, director of the Office of Special Plans (OSP) – an agency created specifically to find the evidence of WMDs and/or links with Al Qaeda, piece it together, and clinch the case for the invasion of Iraq. Like Wolfowitz, Shulsky is a student of an obscure German Jewish political philosopher named Leo Strauss who arrived in the United States in 1938. Strauss taught at several major universities, including Wolfowitz and Shulsky's alma mater, the University of Chicago, before his death in 1973. Strauss is a popular figure among the neoconservatives. Adherents of his ideas include prominent figures both within and outside the administration. They include 'Weekly Standard' editor William Kristol; his father and indeed the godfather of the neoconservative movement, Irving Kristol; the new Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Stephen Cambone, a number of senior fellows at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) (home to former Defense Policy Board chairman Richard Perle and Lynne Cheney), and Gary Schmitt, the director of the influential Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which is chaired by Kristol the Younger. Strauss' philosophy is hardly incidental to the strategy and mindset adopted by these men – as is obvious in Shulsky's 1999 essay titled "Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence (By Which We Do Not Mean Nous)" (in Greek philosophy the term nous denotes the highest form of rationality). As Hersh notes in his article, Shulsky and his co-author Schmitt "criticize America's intelligence community for its failure to appreciate the duplicitous nature of the regimes it deals with, its susceptibility to social-science notions of proof, and its inability to cope with deliberate concealment." They argued that Strauss's idea of hidden meaning, "alerts one to the possibility that political life may be closely linked to deception. Indeed, it suggests that deception is the norm in political life, and the hope, to say nothing of the expectation, of establishing a politics that can dispense with it is the exception."

Rule One: Deception

It's hardly surprising then why Strauss is so popular in an administration obsessed with secrecy, especially when it comes to matters of foreign policy. Not only did Strauss have few qualms about using deception in politics, he saw it as a necessity. While professing deep respect for American democracy, Strauss believed that societies should be hierarchical – divided between an elite who should lead, and the masses who should follow. But unlike fellow elitists like Plato, he was less concerned with the moral character of these leaders. According to Shadia Drury, who teaches politics at the University of Calgary, Strauss believed that "those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior." This dichotomy requires "perpetual deception" between the rulers and the ruled, according to Drury. Robert Locke, another Strauss analyst says,"The people are told what they need to know and no more." While the elite few are capable of absorbing the absence of any moral truth, Strauss thought, the masses could not cope. If exposed to the absence of absolute truth, they would quickly fall into nihilism or anarchy, according to Drury, author of 'Leo Strauss and the American Right' (St. Martin's 1999).

Second Principle: Power of Religion

According to Drury, Strauss had a "huge contempt" for secular democracy. Nazism, he believed, was a nihilistic reaction to the irreligious and liberal nature of the Weimar Republic. Among other neoconservatives, Irving Kristol has long argued for a much greater role for religion in the public sphere, even suggesting that the Founding Fathers of the American Republic made a major mistake by insisting on the separation of church and state. And why? Because Strauss viewed religion as absolutely essential in order to impose moral law on the masses who otherwise would be out of control. At the same time, he stressed that religion was for the masses alone; the rulers need not be bound by it. Indeed, it would be absurd if they were, since the truths proclaimed by religion were "a pious fraud." As Ronald Bailey, science correspondent for Reason magazine points out, "Neoconservatives are pro-religion even though they themselves may not be believers." "Secular society in their view is the worst possible thing,'' Drury says, because it leads to individualism, liberalism, and relativism, precisely those traits that may promote dissent that in turn could dangerously weaken society's ability to cope with external threats. Bailey argues that it is this firm belief in the political utility of religion as an "opiate of the masses" that helps explain why secular Jews like Kristol in 'Commentary' magazine and other neoconservative journals have allied themselves with the Christian Right and even taken on Darwin's theory of evolution.

Third Principle: Aggressive Nationalism

Like Thomas Hobbes, Strauss believed that the inherently aggressive nature of human beings could only be restrained by a powerful nationalistic state. "Because mankind is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed," he once wrote. "Such governance can only be established, however, when men are united – and they can only be united against other people." Not surprisingly, Strauss' attitude toward foreign policy was distinctly Machiavellian. "Strauss thinks that a political order can be stable only if it is united by an external threat," Drury wrote in her book. "Following Machiavelli, he maintained that if no external threat exists then one has to be manufactured (emphases added)."
"Perpetual war, not perpetual peace, is what Straussians believe in," says Drury. The idea easily translates into, in her words, an "aggressive, belligerent foreign policy," of the kind that has been advocated by neocon groups like PNAC and AEI scholars – not to mention Wolfowitz and other administration hawks who have called for a world order dominated by U.S. military power. Strauss' neoconservative students see foreign policy as a means to fulfill a "national destiny" – as Irving Kristol defined it already in 1983 – that goes far beyond the narrow confines of a " myopic national security." As to what a Straussian world order might look like, the analogy was best captured by the philosopher himself in one of his – and student Allen Bloom's – many allusions to Gulliver's Travels. In Drury's words, "When Lilliput was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city, including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show of disrespect."
The image encapsulates the neoconservative vision of the United States' relationship with the rest of the world – as well as the relationship between their relationship as a ruling elite with the masses. "They really have no use for liberalism and democracy, but they're conquering the world in the name of liberalism and democracy," Drury says.

Once upon a time in the Nazi province of Palestine

meanwhile in Israel, the Zionists are implementing the things they learn while in Nazi concentration camps.....

Palestinian water authority: 40% of Gazans lack running water

By Amira Hass, Haaretz Correspondent

Gaza Strip residents Monday moved from worrying about the electricity cuts of the previous 40 hours to worrying about a water shortage. The municipality needs electricity to bring water to homes and the houses need it to pump water to the roof tanks. Hence 40 percent of Gaza Strip homes - 600,000 people - had no running water Monday, the Palestinian water authority said. Oxfam International said Monday that unless diesel and fuel supplies were resumed immediately, all the Strip's water pumps could stop working Tuesday. The non-governmental organization also warned of the sewage system's collapse in the absence of diesel. "Without electric power we can manage somehow, without bread too," says a resident of the Nasser neighborhood in northern Gaza. "It's cold enough to prevent the food from going bad and we try to open the refrigerator as little as possible. The kids grumble but they can learn to live without the computer. But without water?" "We calculate each step," he says. "We don't put on the gas heaters, because tomorrow might be colder. We don't cook for long. But to consider whether to go to the toilet? Whether to wash our face? That is insufferable." The Israeli human rights organizations Adalah and Gisha Monday petitioned the High Court of Justice for an urgent interim injunction to prevent Israel from continuing to restrict the industrial diesel oil supply to the Gaza Strip. They said the shortage deriving from Israel's deliberate cuts in recent weeks culminated in the dramatic closure of the border crossings on Friday. The power cuts caused a shortage of drinking water and damage to the hospitals' function already on January 5, when Gaza's electric power's production was cut by 30 percent. But the High Court of Justice dismissed their request. From small transistor radios, people listened to Al-Jazeera news broadcasts on local radio stations throughout the day. This was their only link to the world, as no newspapers are reaching the Strip either. The report of the defense minister's order to resume the diesel supply reached one Gaza City resident while he was sitting on the sofa at home, wrapped in a blanket. The gas in the heater ran out on Sunday. His daughters and wife were also covered with blankets, as were most city residents. It was the only thing they could do, to ward off the cold. He asked himself if the resumption of diesel supply - if indeed the promise was kept - would change the picture he saw from his window: a grid of dark streets. The weak light, coming from the windows of a few apartments that had private generators, only enhanced the darkness all around.

Pre-Emptive self extermination

and the world seems affected with the Bush virus

Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike a Key Option, NATO Told
By Ian Traynor

22/01/08 "The Guardian" --- - The west must be ready to resort to a pre-emptive nuclear attack to try to halt the “imminent” spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, according to a radical manifesto for a new Nato by five of the west’s most senior military officers and strategists. Calling for root-and-branch reform of Nato and a new pact drawing the US, Nato and the European Union together in a “grand strategy” to tackle the challenges of an increasingly brutal world, the former armed forces chiefs from the US, Britain, Germany, France and the Netherlands insist that a “first strike” nuclear option remains an “indispensable instrument” since there is “simply no realistic prospect of a nuclear-free world”.The manifesto has been written following discussions with active commanders and policymakers, many of whom are unable or unwilling to publicly air their views. It has been presented to the Pentagon in Washington and to Nato’s secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, over the past 10 days. The proposals are likely to be discussed at a Nato summit in Bucharest in April.“The risk of further [nuclear] proliferation is imminent and, with it, the danger that nuclear war fighting, albeit limited in scope, might become possible,” the authors argued in the 150-page blueprint for urgent reform of western military strategy and structures. “The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction.”The authors - General John Shalikashvili, the former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff and Nato’s ex-supreme commander in Europe, General Klaus Naumann, Germany’s former top soldier and ex-chairman of Nato’s military committee, General Henk van den Breemen, a former Dutch chief of staff, Admiral Jacques Lanxade, a former French chief of staff, and Lord Inge, field marshal and ex-chief of the general staff and the defence staff in the UK - paint an alarming picture of the threats and challenges confronting the west in the post-9/11 world and deliver a withering verdict on the ability to cope. The five commanders argue that the west’s values and way of life are under threat, but the west is struggling to summon the will to defend them. The key threats are:

· Political fanaticism and religious fundamentalism.

· The “dark side” of globalisation, meaning international terrorism, organised crime and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

· Climate change and energy security, entailing a contest for resources and potential “environmental” migration on a mass scale.

· The weakening of the nation state as well as of organisations such as the UN, Nato and the EU.

To prevail, the generals call for an overhaul of Nato decision-taking methods, a new “directorate” of US, European and Nato leaders to respond rapidly to crises, and an end to EU “obstruction” of and rivalry with Nato. Among the most radical changes demanded are:

· A shift from consensus decision-taking in Nato bodies to majority voting, meaning faster action through an end to national vetoes.

· The abolition of national caveats in Nato operations of the kind that plague the Afghan campaign.

· No role in decision-taking on Nato operations for alliance members who are not taking part in the operations.

· The use of force without UN security council authorisation when “immediate action is needed to protect large numbers of human beings”.

In the wake of the latest row over military performance in Afghanistan, touched off when the US defence secretary, Robert Gates, said some allies could not conduct counter-insurgency, the five senior figures at the heart of the western military establishment also declare that Nato’s future is on the line in Helmand province.

“Nato’s credibility is at stake in Afghanistan,” said Van den Breemen.

“Nato is at a juncture and runs the risk of failure,” according to the blueprint.

Naumann delivered a blistering attack on his own country’s performance in Afghanistan. “The time has come for Germany to decide if it wants to be a reliable partner.” By insisting on “special rules” for its forces in Afghanistan, the Merkel government in Berlin was contributing to “the dissolution of Nato”.

Ron Asmus, head of the German Marshall Fund thinktank in Brussels and a former senior US state department official, described the manifesto as “a wake-up call”. “This report means that the core of the Nato establishment is saying we’re in trouble, that the west is adrift and not facing up to the challenges.”
Naumann conceded that the plan’s retention of the nuclear first strike option was “controversial” even among the five authors. Inge argued that “to tie our hands on first use or no first use removes a huge plank of deterrence”.
Reserving the right to initiate nuclear attack was a central element of the west’s cold war strategy in defeating the Soviet Union. Critics argue that what was a productive instrument to face down a nuclear superpower is no longer appropriate.

Robert Cooper, an influential shaper of European foreign and security policy in Brussels, said he was “puzzled”.
“Maybe we are going to use nuclear weapons before anyone else, but I’d be wary of saying it out loud.”
Another senior EU official said Nato needed to “rethink its nuclear posture because the nuclear non-proliferation regime is under enormous pressure”.
Naumann suggested the threat of nuclear attack was a counsel of desperation. “Proliferation is spreading and we have not too many options to stop it. We don’t know how to deal with this.”
Nato needed to show “there is a big stick that we might have to use if there is no other option”, he said.

The Authors:

John Shalikashvili

The US’s top soldier under Bill Clinton and former Nato commander in Europe, Shalikashvili was born in Warsaw of Georgian parents and emigrated to the US at the height of Stalinism in 1952. He became the first immigrant to the US to rise to become a four-star general. He commanded Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq at the end of the first Gulf war, then became Saceur, Nato’s supreme allied commander in Europe, before Clinton appointed him chairman of the joint chiefs in 1993, a position he held until his retirement in 1997.

Klaus Naumann

Viewed as one of Germany’s and Nato’s top military strategists in the 90s, Naumann served as his country’s armed forces commander from 1991 to 1996 when he became chairman of Nato’s military committee. On his watch, Germany overcame its post-WWII taboo about combat operations, with the Luftwaffe taking to the skies for the first time since 1945 in the Nato air campaign against Serbia.

Lord Inge

Field Marshal Peter Inge is one of Britain’s top officers, serving as chief of the general staff in 1992-94, then chief of the defence staff in 1994-97. He also served on the Butler inquiry into Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and British intelligence.

Henk van den Breemen

An accomplished organist who has played at Westminster Abbey, Van den Breemen is the former Dutch chief of staff.

Jacques Lanxade

A French admiral and former navy chief who was also chief of the French defence staff.

yes , why don't we blow this fucking planet, there is no future anyway, and we humans are a disease to everything surrounding us, and i am not afraid to die anyway....I hate more than i care.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Some might call it zoophilia

Airwaves Nazi propagandist extraordinaire and synthetic Heroin junkie at large, Rush Limbaugh, getting on top on his paedophile nature for an once in a while real close encounter with the female gender

The Evolution of Jack Bauer

Last June in Washington, the conservative Heritage Foundation held a forum on terrorism with a panel of august authorities. There was Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. There was a pair of think-tank terrorism experts. And naturally, there were Chloe, Tony and the evil President from 24. The panel--"24 and America's Image in Fighting Terrorism: Fact, Fiction or Does It Matter?"--was not exactly Foreign Affairs journal material. Moderator Rush Limbaugh planted a full-on mouth kiss on actress Mary Lynn Rajskub (a.k.a. tech geek Chloe), and actors and producers took softball questions as audience members cheered what Limbaugh called the show's "pro-America" stance. (Among the crowd were pundit Laura Ingraham and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.) The weird spectacle put a point on a raging question in pop culture: Is 24 just a TV show or right-wing propaganda? Or, to turn Jack Bauer's frequent refrain on him: Who are you working for?
Certainly 24, which debuted just weeks after 9/11 and returns Jan. 14, comes as close as anything has to being the Official Cultural Product of the War on Terrorism. Co-creator Joel Surnow is a rare Hollywood Republican, and John McCain has done a cameo. Dick Cheney is a big fan too, and you can understand the Administration's wanting to associate itself with Bauer's badass competence. (He nabs nuclear masterminds; we get Jose Padilla.) Most damningly to critics on the left, Bauer's means of gathering intel (grab terrorist's finger, snap, repeat) make 24 a weekly rationalization of the "ticking time bomb" defense of torture.
So is 24 a conservative show? Yes, in the sense that the thriller is a conservative genre. Ticking time bombs and pure-evil bad guys make for exciting TV. Working patiently to improve America's image in the Muslim world--not so much. (Maybe Aaron Sorkin could spice it up with an office romance and lots of walk-and-talks.) Muddy a terrorism thriller with liberal concern over root causes and you get Syriana, whose plot audiences couldn't follow with a GPS device. "The politics of the show," says executive producer Howard Gordon (a registered Democrat), "are narrative politics." But beyond that, things get more complicated. As the war has dragged on and become less black-and-white, so has 24. In 2003 it featured a conspiracy to provoke a Middle East invasion using bogus WMD evidence. (Yellowcake, anyone?) Last year's villain was the President, who had his predecessor assassinated. In the new season, a string of suicide bombings has led, chillingly, to federal "detention centers" for Muslims, much like in the liberal pre-9/11 movie The Siege.
Then there's Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), who has seen his wife killed, executed an innocent man to stop an attack, tortured people (sometimes mistakenly), been tortured and spent two years in a Chinese prison. Unlike James Bond, who just gets younger and tougher, by the new season Bauer is tired, disillusioned and wondering how much longer he can fight the Long War. His scars are not only physical; his work has cost him relationships and perhaps some part of his humanity. He has been changed and damaged by every compromise he has had to make. By extension, he forces us to ask if we have too. He keeps fighting, of course (he has 24 episodes to fill), but for people, not politics. 24's ideology--Jack Bauerism, if you will--is not so much in between left and right as it is outside them, impatient with both A.C.L.U. niceties and Bushian moral absolutes. This season, Bauer allies with Hamri al-Assad, a (putatively) reformed terrorist leader, to stop an attack. He thus displays a better grasp of realpolitik than has the Bush Administration, which resisted the Iraq Study Group's recommendation to work with Iran and Syria. A fellow agent asks Bauer if it matters that al-Assad has murdered hundreds of people. "I don't know what means anything anymore," he answers. "The playing field has changed". That playing field can change again, and probably will. On 24, there are a few very good people, a few very bad ones and in between, a lot of question marks who can upend the plot (and the political analogies). That may be the biggest lesson of 24 in the Iraq era: don't stubbornly hang on to your preconceptions when the facts on the ground change. Undoubtedly, Bauer will continue to give liberals and libertarians conniptions before his latest day is over. But if conservatives and neocons think 24 is working for them, they don't know Jack.

Black Santa, dreams maker, hopes catcher and sheer ridicule

Brother empty suit & Hillary "belle du jour" Clinton yet again fighting for the soul of the moderate side of the republican party

Dancing in the No Fly Zone

Debunking the claims of Anglo-American motivations in regard to their concerns, moral obligation, to prevent Iraq from a Cambodian outcome, their humanitarian intentions related to the good of the Iraqi masses and training of backwards people in self goverment.....

By Hadani Ditmars

Dancing in the No Fly Zone

Surprises, surprises

Tales from the excremental chestnut

left center, the smirking pile of excrement subject of the controversy

WH e-mails missing on key days in court battle over Cheney's energy task force
Nick Juliano
Published: Monday January 21, 2008

Although the Supreme Court eventually sided with the White House in its quest to keep secret the proceedings of Dick Cheney's energy task force, a new report released this weekend shows some dates on which staff members in the vice president's office allegedly destroyed internal communications correlate with court decisions regarding the task force.
Historical archives of White House e-mails are missing for at least 473 days of Bush's presidency. A report compiled this weekend by a group suing the administration shows Cheney's underlings apparently deleted their e-mails on days that the courts contradicted their quests to keep internal proceedings private. On Sept. 11, 2003, a federal appeals court rejected the administration's argument that Cheney's Energy Task Force documents should remain secret. The next day, records show there are missing e-mails from Cheney's office, according to the report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. A few weeks later, the administration took its case to the Supreme Court, repeating its arguments that task force deliberations should remain secret. On Oct. 1, 2003, the day after that argument, and for the next four days e-mails again went missing from Cheney's office. The Bush administration prevailed in the end and the courts upheld its claims to secrecy in a lawsuit that was brought by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch and the environmental group the Sierra Club. The Washington Post eventually revealed the extent of the energy industry's involvement in the task force. The missing e-mail saga has played out in court in recent months and the House Oversight Committee is set to examine the matter at a hearing next month. CREW's report documents several other potentially damning correlations between the days when e-mail went missing and controversial events within the Bush administration. Among the sixteen days for which email are missing from Vice President Cheney's office is Sept. 30, 2003, the same day the day the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced they were investigating who outed former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. That morning, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales ordered the president and the vice president's staff to "preserve all materials that might be relevant" to an inchoate Justice Department probe. Cheney's office also is missing e-mails from Oct. 4, 2003, when the Justice Department demanded that the White House turn over "all documents that relate in any way" to the leak of Plame's identity.

Email missing from Cheney's office on day White House told to preserve documents in CIA leak

New report shows archives gone on several key days in Plame investigation

Among the sixteen days for which email are missing from Vice President Cheney's office is Sept. 30, 2003, the same day the day the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced they were investigating who outed former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. That morning, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales ordered the president and the vice president's staff to "preserve all materials that might be relevant" to an inchoate Justice Department probe. "We were informed last evening by the Department of Justice that it has opened an investigation into possible unauthorized disclosures concerning the identity of an undercover CIA employee," Gonzales wrote in a terse Sep. 30, 2003 email. "The Department advised us that it will be sending a letter today instructing us to preserve all materials that might be relevant to its investigation. Its letter will provide more specific instructions on the materials in which it is interested, and we will communicate those instructions directly to you. In the meantime, you must preserve all materials that might in any way be related to the Department's investigation. "The analysis was released over the weekend by Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW), a D.C.-based ethics watchdog. The White House said in a court filing last week that backup tapes, which contained archived copies of the e-mails, were recycled as part of a policy the White House had in place until October 2003. Special Prosecutor and Chicago US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald convicted Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of obstructing justice and lying to investigators last year. Fitzgerald noted in a January 2006 letter that some of the White House's emails had not been archived. Emails gone on day Bush said he'd 'take care of' leaker. Ironically, Cheney's office is missing emails from the very day President Bush told reporters he'd "take care of" whatever staff member had actually leaked the CIA agent's name. "If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is," Bush said Sept. 30, 2003. "And if the person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of." The day before, then-White House press secretary Scott McClellan had said there was "nothing, absolutely nothing" to suggest any White House involvement. "And that includes the vice president's office, as well," McClellan added. Much remains to be learned about what happened to White House e-mails on 473 days for which they seem to have disappeared. A lawsuit brought by CREW and the National Security Archive and planned hearings from the House Oversight Committee are trying to find out just how much of the historical record of the Bush administration ended up in the White House recycling bin. Cheney's office also is missing e-mails from Oct. 4, 2003, when the Justice Department demanded that the White House turn over "all documents that relate in any way" to the leak of Plame's identity. E-mails are also missing for the following day, during which the probe intensified and CIA director George Tenet found himself at the center of it, "caught between his loyalty to the president and defending an agency enraged" at Plame's exposure, according to the New York Times. As Fitzgerald's probe continued over the next few years, emails continued to disappear, CREW says. More e-mails were missing from Cheney's office on Feb. 16, 2005, when a court ordered reporters who had discussed Plame's identity with administration officials to testify about those conversations. All in all, some 473 days of emails are missing from various Administration departments, according to a House Democrat who saw a White House presentation on the files.

Nuff said......everytime i close on Cheney, i feel like covered in feces afterwards.....

Monday, January 21, 2008

President Dumbfuck really wants to get some, with Iran

Only problem is, Iran is not iraq.....Mr shit for brain president. The way you are getting your ass kicked in Iraq is nothing, compared with the way Iran is going to dig up your rectum

Bush Determined To Strike In Iran

Crooks & Liars

how could the world tolerate that worthless despicable worm continued exactions, is beyond comprehension

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Of Christian & intellectual terrorism

Yet another reason to despise Mick Fuckabee, he campaigns along that pathetic 3rd class action movie idiot from the 70's, Chuck Norris, the same Chuck Norris who used to glue his pubic hair on his chest

Mike Huckabee's White Supremacist Links
By Max Blumenthal

As South Carolina's Republican primary election draws nearer, Mike Huckabee has ratcheted up his appeals to the racial nationalism of white evangelicals. "You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," the former Arkansas governor told a Myrtle Beach crowd on January 17, referring to the Confederate flag. "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole. That's what we'd do." Making coded appeals to white racism is nothing new for Huckabee. Indeed, well before he was a nationally known political star, Huckabee nurtured a relationship with America's largest white supremacist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens. The extent of Huckabee's interaction with the racist group is unclear, but this much is known: he accepted an invitation to speak at the group's annual conference in 1993 and ultimately delivered a videotaped address that was "extremely well received by the audience." Descended from the White Citizens Councils that battled integration in the Jim Crow South, including at Arkansas' Little Rock High School, the Council (or CofCC) has been designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In its "Statement of Principles," the CofCC declares, "We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races." The CofCC has hosted several conservative Republican legislators at its conferences, including former Representative Bob Barr of Georgia and Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi. But mostly it has been a source of embarrassment to Republicans hoping to move their party beyond its race-baiting image. Former Reagan speechwriter and conservative pundit Peggy Noonan pithily declared that anyone involved with the CofCC "does not deserve to be in a leadership position in America." During a lengthy phone conversation in 2006, CofCC founder and former White Citizens Council organizer Gordon Lee Baum detailed for me Huckabee's dalliances with his group. Baum told me that Huckabee eagerly accepted his invitation to speak at the CofCC's 1993 national convention in Memphis, Tennessee. Huckabee's plan was complicated, however, when Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker journeyed out of state and appointed a state senator to preside over the governorship. The Arkansas state legislature passed a resolution forbidding the lieutenant governor from leaving Arkansas until Tucker returned, thus preventing Huckabee from attending the CofCC's conference. In lieu of his appearance, according to Baum, Huckabee "sent an audio/video presentation saying 'I can't be with you but I'd like to be speaker next time.'" (The CofCC promptly replaced Huckabee with Michael Ramirez, a right-wing cartoonist whose work is currently syndicated to 400 newspapers by the Copley News Service.) Baum's account of Huckabee's videotaped message was confirmed by a CofCC newsletter obtained by Edward Sebesta, a veteran observer of the neo-Confederate movement. "Ark. Lt. Governor Mike Huckabee, unable to leave Arkansas by law because the Governor was absent from the state, sent a terrific videotape speech, which was viewed and extremely well received by the audience," the 1993 newsletter (Vol. 24, No. 3) reported. The following year, in 1994, the CofCC held its national conference in Little Rock, Arkansas to accommodate Huckabee. According to Baum, Huckabee initially agreed to speak before his group, but became apprehensive when the Arkansas media reported that he would be joined on the CofCC's podium by Kirk Lyons, a white nationalist legal activist who has hailed Hitler as "probably the most misunderstood man in German history." "He didn't know anything about Kirk Lyons or anyone else," Baum said of Huckabee. "He said he would show up if we took Lyons off." But Baum refused to remove his friend Lyons from the bill. Huckabee, who was more concerned about receiving bad publicity than by the racist underpinnings of the CofCC, withdrew his promise to speak. The CofCC replaced him this time with former Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson, a White Citizens Council founder who organized the mob that rioted against the integration of Little Rock High School and later served as the star narrator of Rev. Jerry Falwell's discredited film, "The Clinton Chronicles." In the end, Huckabee's aborted relationship with the CofCC benefited the group. "We had the biggest crowd in our history because of the publicity" surrounding Huckabee's planned appearance, Baum said of his 1994 conference. The CofCC has since rebuked Huckabee for his insufficiently intolerant political behavior. Unfortunately, Huckabee has never rebuked the CofCC. Instead he embraced the group, ignoring its well known legacy of promoting racism and only severing ties when his political ambitions were threatened by bad publicity. Now here is a question for the Huckabee campaign: Will you release the full transcript of Huckabee's "extremely well received" videotaped address to the CofCC?.

Black budgets & monkey business

The direct relationship between U.S. military interventions and the proliferation of the narcotics trade (or how do you think the CIA, DIA and the rest of the proto-Fascist alphabet entities are financing their "black operations"...

Opium fields spread across Iraq as farmers try to make ends meet
By Patrick Cockburn

The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops. Afghan with experience in planting poppies have been helping farmers switch to producing opium in fertile parts of Diyala province, once famous for its oranges and pomegranates, north- east of Baghdad. At a heavily guarded farm near the town of Buhriz, south of the provincial capital Baquba, poppies are grown between the orange trees in order to hide them, according to a local source. The shift by Iraqi farmers to producing opium was first revealed by The Independent last May and is a very recent development. The first poppy fields, funded by drug smugglers who previously supplied Saudi Arabia and the Gulf with heroin from Afghanistan, were close to the city of Diwaniyah in southern Iraq. The growing of poppies has now spread to Diyala, which is one of the places in Iraq where al-Qa'ida is still resisting US and Iraqi government forces. It is also deeply divided between Sunni, Shia and Kurd and the extreme violence means that local security men have little time to deal with the drugs trade. The speed with which farmers are turning to poppies is confirmed by the Iraqi news agency al-Malaf Press, which says that opium is now being produced around the towns of Khalis, Sa'adiya, Dain'ya and south of Baladruz, pointing out that these are all areas where al-Qa'ida is strong. The agency cites a local agricultural engineer identified as M S al-Azawi as saying that local farmers got no support from the government and could not compete with cheap imports of fruit and vegetables. The price of fertiliser and fuel has also risen sharply. Mr Azawi says: "The cultivation of opium is the likely solution [to these problems]." Al-Qa'ida is in control of many of the newly established opium farms and has sometimes taken the land of farmers it has killed, said a local source. At Buhriz, American military forces destroyed the opium farm and drove off al-Qa'ida last year but it later returned. "No one can get inside the farm because it is heavily guarded," said the source, adding that the area devoted to opium in Diyala is still smaller than that in southern Iraq around Amara and Majar al-Kabir. After being harvested, the opium from Diyala is taken to Ramadi in western Iraq. There are still no reports of heroin laboratories being established in Iraq, unlike in Afghanistan.Iraq has not been a major consumer of drugs but heroin from Afghanistan has been transited from Iran and then taken to Basra from where it is exported to the rich markets of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf. Under Saddam Hussein, state security in Basra was widely believed to control local drug smuggling through the city. The growing and smuggling of opium will be difficult to stop in Iraq because much of the country is controlled by criminalised militias. American successes in Iraq over the past year have been largely through encouraging the development of a 70,000-strong Sunni Arab militia, many of whose members are former insurgents linked to protection rackets, kidnapping and crime. Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the powerful Shia militia, the Mehdi Army, says that criminals have infiltrated its ranks. The move of local warlords, both Sunni and Shia, into opium farming is a menacing development in Iraq, where local political leaders are often allied to gangsters. The theft of fuel, smuggling and control of government facilities such as ports means that gangs are often very rich. It is they, rather than impoverished farmers, who have taken the lead in financing and organising opium production in Iraq. Initial planting in fertile land west and south of Diwaniya around the towns of Ash Shamiyah, al-Ghammas and Shinafiyah were said to have faced problems because of the extreme heat and humidity. Al-Malaf Press says that it has learnt that the experiments with opium poppy-growing in Diyala have been successful. Although opium has not been grown in many of these areas in Iraq in recent history, some of the earliest written references to opium come from ancient Iraq. It was known to the ancient Sumerians as early as 3400BC as the "Hul Gil" or "joy plant" and there are mentions of it on clay tablets found in excavations at the city of Nippur just east of Diwaniyah.







The Intellect is Not a Serious Thing, and Never Has Been. It is An Instrument on Which one Plays, That is All

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