Archive for June, 2008

The moral depravity of the Iraq war

Watch this video. About seven or eight minutes in you can see bound detainees being forced off the top of a three story building. It appears that American soldiers are doing this, though you can’t see them clearly from the video. People in military uniforms come and whisk away the detainees after they fall.

It would be nice to think that American soldiers are all wonderful, brave people who would never stoop to such depravity, but that is what we call a “fantasy.” Given the many other sickening things that have broken through the media firewall (soldiers tossing puppies over cliffs, tormenting Iraqi children, testimonies of war crimes at Winter Soldier hearings, Haditha, drop weapons, etc.), it would be totally irresponsible and cowardly for any American to dismiss these actions as impossible. There it is on video. Somebody is doing it. Does that mean that everyone in the military is sick? Of course not. But the military, as an institution, has a civilian leadership; and those people are sick. The fish rots from the head.

Besides that, the fact remains that American soldiers are systematically trained to dehumanize ‘the enemy’ in order to be able to kill them. That is the purpose of having a military, after all. So let us not get all righteous and defensive when something like this comes out. It is time for Americans to get real and face the meat-grinding, dehumanizing machinery of the US military and see what it actually it does to people — our people and other people.

We have a military to kill people so we don’t have to do it ourselves. We subcontract the dirty job to others so we don’t have to carry the psychological burden. It’s just like buying steak all shrink-wrapped — we are preserved from the trauma of killing the cow and carving up its flesh. But somebody does those things, and it’s the same with the military. They are not all over there building schools and hugging babies, you know. Well over a million people have been killed in Iraq. Who is responsible for that? Why, we are. Did our people kill every single one? No, but we started the war, so let’s not get persnickety. The possibility of innocent people dying never did bother us that much.

What happens when you take the military and put it under a mentally deranged civilian leadership? You get utter moral depravity. Institutionalized psychopathy, with weapons. If you don’t like this, then stop glorifying the military and war. But don’t deny it. Don’t deny that we are all responsible for tossing bound detainees off the tops of buildings, murdering for fun, destroying an entire country that had nothing to do with 9/11, causing the untold suffering of millions and millions of people and the gruesome destruction of our own fellow citizens. We own it all because we don’t pay attention, and we are lazy, and we let ourselves be led around like a bunch of stupid idiots. We are so incredibly stupid that we are on the verge of letting this all happen again, to Iran.

I fear we are truly lost and the moral compass has been smashed. An attack on Iran would be as unjust if not more so than what we did to Iraq. It will cause unforgivable destruction, including our own this time. For certain, and here in the ‘homeland.’ It is all lies, just like the last time.

Do you have the nagging doubts? You must listen to them. That is what’s left of your conscience. If you can see the faint thread of truth, you must follow it. Pick up the thread and follow it quickly, as quickly as you can until you find the whole thing. Go now. Go.

Don’t Slip

Watch interesting videos at Cryptogon and check out the comments. I have no particular insight except to say that it feels like something is imminent.

Something not pleasant.

BRUSSELS / AMSTERDAM (DFT) - Fortis expects within the next few days to weeks to complete the collapse of the U.S. financial markets.

That explains the bank insurers interventions of the series Thursday at dealing with € 8 billion.
“We are ready at the last minute. It goes in the United States much worse than thought, “said Fortis chairman Maurice Lippens, who maintains that CEO Votron to live. Fortis expects bankruptcies of 6000 U.S. banks that now lack coverage. “But Citigroup, General Motors, there begins a complete meltdown in the U.S..”

The trickiest thing about current events is figuring out which things are planned and/or under some hidden group’s control, and which aren’t. Most importantly, do events spinning out of the hidden group’s control make us more or less vulnerable?

This is a great time to be a person of faith. I tap mine every day.

Holy crap, another unicorn.

Well, well, well. It appears that a little kerfluffle has broken out among some muckety-mucks over whether certain American Jews in the upper crust may have dual loyalties to Israel, and if so, whether or not these loyalties have anything to do with the shameful, immoral War in Iraq and some other stuff that may or may not happen.

They are flinging food. That’s because this dual loyalty issue goes directly to the heart of the matter. You can read about the history and extent of the situation here. Dual-loyalty is the piece of the puzzle that explains everything. Take a look for yourself and see if you don’t come away thinking, WTF?

Is this anti-semitic? Is it anti-semitic to notice that Israel’s interests are constantly in our faces? Maybe we’re just frikking annoyed. Enough already. Why do Americans have to constantly put Israel’s interests before our own? It’s not right. It’s just not right, and it’s as simple as that. If you are an American, be an American. If you’re an Israeli, be an Israeli. But make a decision and be honest about it. Stop wanting it both ways, because the two things are not the same. As Americans we are under no obligation to adore Israel or any other country for that matter. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t adore Israel. Not even a little teeny tiny bit. Actually, not at all. That is my prerogative, and I do not apologize for it. Why would I?

Much more about this at American Goy, including this:

As you donate money to the Jewish causes - a religious education, a Jewish school, a Jewish charity or… AIPAC… think of the effect.

I want you to be aware and pick your loyalty.

The retard, outgoing American president has said “You are either with us or against us!”.

We, Jews and goyim, have not reached this phase (let us hope we won’t).

We can all work together for the betterment of America and mankind (to me, the order is important).

Am I a bigot?
As an American Jew, with all the dual-loyalty brouhaha that accompanies that fact, are you a traitor?

It is all in the nuances, in my opinion.

Yes. There is not so much high ground here as some people would like to believe. I think that is a very good thing to think about.

Police State 2008?

You don’t have to take my word for it. I’m nobody.

Paul Craig Roberts, on the other hand, has qualifications.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington, Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice . Click here for Peter Brimelow’s interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

And when you’re done watching that, please read The Coming Catastrophe? by David DeBatto, former U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent and Iraqi war veteran.

I may be shrill from time to time.

OK OK… I’m shrill every day. But this is why. Should these things come to pass, they won’t be easily undone.

Orwellian World 101: Case Studies in Problem-Solving

This is for all you hard-working, honest people who encounter problems in your professional lives.

Case Study #1: You are accused of war crimes

You are accused of leading a group of Marines who massacred 24 innocent Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in retaliation for a roadside bomb that killed one of your men and injured two others. No one disputes that the civilians were killed. Testimony draws a horrific picture of gratuitous violence and Marines run amok. All the charges against your other men have been dropped, but you are now being held accountable as squad leader. What do you do?

Redefine: Massacre.

Wuterich said that he didn’t consider killing 24 people a massacre and that he did what he did to protect his Marines from what he perceived to be a threat.

“I remember there may have been women in there, may have been children in there,” he told 60 Minutes. “My responsibility as a squad leader is to make sure that none of the rest of my guys died … and at that point we were still on the assault, so no, I don’t believe [I should have stopped the attack].”

Case Study #2: You want to use a controversial weapon

Your standard Hellfire antitank missiles are simply not getting the job done, going through buildings and out the other side without causing nearly enough casualties. You’d like to use the thermobaric missiles which suck the oxygen out of the air, shred internal organs and crush victims, but the weapons have been condemned by human rights organizations. Your Ministry of Defense spends 18 months debating whether they can be used without breaking international law. What do you do?

Redefine: Thermobaric.

Eventually, they decided to get round the ethical problems by redefining the weapons.

“We no longer accept the term thermobaric [for the AGM-114N] as there is no internationally agreed definition,” said an MoD spokesman. “We call it an enhanced blast weapon.”

The redefinition has allowed British forces to use the weapons legally, but is undermined by the publicity of their manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, which markets them as thermobaric.

Case Study #3: You want to sell some junk ammunition to the US government

You’re an up and coming star in the arms trading business. You have some ancient ammunition to sell to the DOD to fulfill your $300 million government contract, but it has a ‘made in China’ problem. You check with the US State Department, but there’s no way the US government can buy ammunition made in China. What do you do?

Redefine: China.

So he had one of his financial backers, Ralph Merrill, help take care of the problem.

On or about April 25,2007, RALPH MERRILL sent an electronic communication to EFRAIM DIVEROLI and DAVID PACKOUZ, which referenced attached photographs showing methods of “cleaning wooden crates.” Attached to the communication was a photograph showing a person scraping the words “MADE IN CHINA” off of a wooden crate.

Diveroli then filled out forms for the Army indicating that the ammo was from Hungary rather than China.

Class dismissed.

It’s really about Russia

Lots of news about Iran has been floating around the past few days. Over the weekend some neocon flunkies did the tv circuit to helpfully explain that if we stupid Americans do something as reckless as vote for Obama, then Bush will be forced to attack Iran. (This is not to say I heart Obama, only to point out the incredibly blatant manipulation and fear-mongering.)

WALLACE: So, you’re suggesting that he might in fact, if Obama’s going to win the election, either before or after the election, launch a military strike?

KRISTOL: I don’t know. I mean, I think he would worry about it. On the other hand, you can’t — it’s hard to make foreign policy based on guesses of election results. I think Israel is worried though. I mean, what is, what signal goes to Ahmadinejad if Obama wins on a platform of unconditional negotiations and with an obvious reluctance to even talk about using military force.

Is this Israel’s election or is it America’s election?

There’s even more juicy neocon wackiness coming out of John Bolton.

I think if they [Israel] are to do anything, the most likely period is after our elections and before the inauguration of the next President. I don’t think they will do anything before our election because they don’t want to affect it. And they’d have to make a judgment whether to go during the remainder of President Bush’s term in office or wait for his successor.

How sweet that they don’t want to affect our elections. Of course, having neocon pundits like Bill Kristol and John Bolton — who in all liklihood are dual US-Israeli citizens — go around on weekend talk shows helpfully explaining what will happen if we don’t make the ‘correct’ choice (for Israel), well I’m sure that doesn’t affect our elections at all.

Do you see the psychopathy here? They are setting this up so that it can’t be Bush’s fault for attacking Iran. It would be our fault for picking the ‘wrong’ candidate in our very own democratic presidential elections. This is the ‘you made me do it’ excuse — a favorite of psychopaths everywhere.

Meanwhile, I cannot urge you strongly enough to go and read this, and click through to the pdf and read the whole thing. Here is a highly condensed recap:

Russia has enormous energy reserves for oil and gas, along with pipelines and plenty of money. Pakistan, India, China and Iran are coming together in an Asian Energy Security Grid. This is America’s worst nightmare — a viable rival bloc of economic, political and military power. In particular, this new bloc dramatically decreases US naval superiority since the pipelines are primarily land based. It also threatens our currency and economy, and by extension, the spending available for our military-industrial complex. Therefore, the US must prevent this bloc from gaining strength. (Side note: Obama’s top foreign policy counselor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is all over controlling Russia and has been for years. There’s no assurance that we would be any safer under Obama than McCain, scary as that sounds.)

Having a first strike nuclear capability is key to US dominance. Most importantly, the US wants the ability to strike first without fear of serious retribution. Iran is a great proxy and scapegoat for justifying various moves that will ensure this dominance over Russia. All the bluster over Iran’s supposed nuclear capabilities is a smokescreen to cover the real target, Russia.

The pipeline between Iran, Pakistan and China must be stopped. The US will try to wrong-foot the Iranians into a response that allows them to be officially labeled ‘terrorists’. By linking the Iranians to both Hezbollah and Hamas, the argument can be made that Israel’s problems cannot ever be solved until Iran is dealt with first. See current events for details.

Cut Off at the Pass

We could be approaching the moment when everything will change (again).

We’ve got the economic unraveling in full swing, obviously affecting every American and being widely discussed in the corporate media. What to do….what do do?

That would be one thing for Bush to deal with, and he is trying to blame it on the Democrats; but there’s more. There’s all this torture business. Chris Floyd covers it here. And what does Bush have to counteract that? Nothing but a ‘limited’ hangout and a heavy reliance on corporate media shills to keep focusing on the elections. That’s it. I mean, they’ll do it; but it’s a pretty flimsy cover-up. They’d like you to think you’re seeing a size ten beauty in a size six bikini, but in reality this is more like a 350 pound hairy goon in an ill-fitting loincloth. People need to politely avert their eyes or else they might see things they really don’t want to see…oops…too late.

Now this is serious because some people could be offended, and justifiably so. Perhaps a lot of people. There’s no way of telling anymore now that the American people aren’t in a perpetual swell mood thanks to their chronic and worsening economic insecurity. So the timing for this torture problem is not so good.

Meanwhile, our ‘good friends’ the Israelis have been preparing to go it alone on Iran, or at least to start it alone. Naturally, we’ve promised them the moon and the stars and the lives of our American service-people; so all they need do is break a nail and we’ll be there to gallantly take over the fight, ill-advised as that may be. No matter. Israeli security is priceless…worth thousands, perhaps millions of lives - Iraqi, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian…oh and don’t forget American and even Jewish lives. It doesn’t matter to the Israelis. They don’t give a fuck. If they have to attack Iran to prevent it from having what they have - the advantage of nuclear weapons - even if there is no evidence that Iran has them, then they will. But remember. We’re ‘good friends’ and we’ll suck it up.

But nearby US forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gulf provide a host of targets. Iran claimed last October that it could rain down 11,000 rockets upon “the enemy” within one minute of an attack and that rate “would continue.”

Further afield, Israel is within range of Iran’s Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, and Hezbollah claims its rockets – enhanced and resupplied by Iran since the 2006 war to an estimated 30,000 – can now hit anywhere in the Jewish state, including its nuclear plant at Dimona.

Closer to home, Iran has honed a swarming tactic, in which small and lightly armed speedboats come at far larger warships from different directions. A classified Pentagon war game in 2002 simulated just such an attack and in it the Navy lost 16 major warships, according to a report in The New York Times last January.

“The sheer numbers involved overloaded their ability, both mentally and electronically, to handle the attack,” Lt. Gen. K. Van Riper, a retired Marine Corps officer who commanded the swarming force, told the Times. “The whole thing was over in five, maybe 10 minutes.”

Now if this all comes to pass, you can believe that all hell will break loose. The Iranians are very smart people and they have had ample time to prepare. They won’t take it lying down. Also, oil will become insanely expensive within minutes and the economy will be just over. Many people will be gruesomely killed. And make no mistake, if this happens, it will be Israel’s fault. Our ‘good friend.’ I hope all the people that make such a big show of supporting Israel will be available to console us when their precious little monster touches off WW III.

Now of course this will buy the small convenience of diverting attention away from certain other scandals like torture, and it will allow for martial law which will tamp down the American people once and for all. And naturally, it will be an amazing financial shakedown for those positioned properly. So you could say there’s a silver lining for a handful of well-placed people.

You have to wonder, how sick are they, the ‘leaders’ of the ‘free world?’ Are they sick enough to do it?

Tell me why not. What evidence would suggest that they wouldn’t sacrifice innocent lives to save their own asses, even on such a horrific scale? What evidence would suggest that they wouldn’t use the opportunity to institute Martial Law? If you don’t yet comprehend that they would, you do not yet understand what kind of monsters we’re dealing with here. And it seems to me that time is running out. Their time is running out, and therefore so is ours.

Things to do today

Go here.

Read.

Look at the pictures.

Click on all the links.

Find yourself on the State of Consciousness chart. Think about the people you interact with every day. Consider where they are on the chart. Consider whether it is better to move up the chart, or down the chart. Consider the many ways one might accomplish moving up or down the chart. Consider who encourages us to move up, and who encourages us to move down. Think about that carefully.

Act accordingly.

Wear Orange

There are some really great reads out on the interwebs today. You can browse my top ten picks here, but this one in particular deserves wide circulation.

You know all those nagging cognitive dissonances we live with every single day, like how the system seems to be totally broken and yet we feel compelled to participate so as not to give up ‘hope’? Isn’t that annoying? Don’t you want to have some answers that will let you put down at least one heavy bag so you don’t have to carry around both bags all day, every day, year after year?

If elections really were a solution, then why hasn’t the Democratic majority in Congress, ended the war, the torture, and the massive, warrantless surveillance over all of us and impeached the sorry excuses for human beings in the White House? Pelosi and Reid claim that they haven’t had the votes to stop the war. Nancy and Harry: that’s what your leadership posts are for. You don’t need the votes. All you have to do is block the funding bills from coming out of committee. If you don’t like the telecommunications amnesty bill or the spy-on-all-Americans bills, then all you have to do is keep the bills from coming up for a vote. You can kill these bills in the same way you’ve been killing the impeachment resolutions against Cheney and Bush. But then, Nancy and Harry already know this.

Isn’t that the truth? They have the power to block impeachment, yet they claim they can’t do anything about all these other horrible bills. In layman’s terms, that is what we call having one’s cake and eating it, too.

The Bush regime has been spearheading an extraordinary rupture from the norm, de jure and de facto, much of it in the shadows, but increasingly in the open, and the majority of people of this country are deeply disturbed by it.This is in spite of the fact that only a fraction of the people are aware of the magnitude of this rupture because the mass media and the Democratic Party have been actively minimizing and/or concealing this.

In addition, all too many Americans are “opting out” of taking responsibility for the barbaric acts being committed in our names because they themselves are anesthetized by their material comforts.

The rupture’s dimensions, nonetheless, are so far-reaching that it is impossible for this country’s leadership class to conceal entirely the jagged rips and tears going on.

People know. They know that horrible things are happening, though they don’t have the words to put around them. And they don’t have time to figure it out and sort through all the false leads and conspiracy theories and tsunami of news since they have to work two or three jobs per family to keep the mortgage paid, etc. So they put compartmentalize all this anxiety about politics, and they put it into the election, which conveniently takes just one day of our time in November. There (brushing hands together). We’re all set. Just mark that voting day on the calendar.

It’s deeply immoral for the Democratic Party and the mass media to countenance torture and “pre-emptive” wars based on fraudulent premises. Obama and Pelosi and McCain are fully aware of this. They want us to follow their lead and get us to act as if this isn’t the present reality – that we should ignore their collusion in crimes against humanity and support them as fellow colluders.

That is what these elections are really about: herding people into supporting crimes against humanity and declaring that it’s the people’s will.

Is that what you want? Is that the kind of person you are? Is this the legacy we want for our children and future generations - that we stood by and let tyrants and monsters ravage the planet?

Even if you now think that Obama should be “given some slack” for what he’s saying, do you think it is proper to put your faith in one person and faith in the same party that has betrayed us all? Even if you plan to vote for him, do you think that simply voting discharges your responsibility to protest, everyday from now until it is no longer necessary, the moral outrages being committed by our government?

…Every single person who reads this and who steps forward does so in the name of millions of others and creates the conditions for many, many others to step forward.

Don’t we as individuals have a personal responsibility to take a stand against grave injustice and not pass that responsibility on to others to take care of it for us? The people who many people think are supposed to take care of things are obviously not doing it.

So what are you waiting for? Yes, you.

Deal or No Deal?

Is there some possibility that the truth has leaked out enough over the interwebs that Bush/Cheney/Israel cannot execute their plans because 1) they’d have to really crack down hard to make it work and 2) that would prove all their critic absolutely correct…immediately…which would lead to 3) massive pushback and chaos and 4) their eventual but certain failure?

They really are in a bind. They want to start something nasty, but how will they get away with it? That’s the problem. If they can’t get away with it, they can lose everything. And they’ve already gotten away with a great deal. It’s still possible that they could walk now, go off in hiding somewhere with their billions, and live out their days chortling over us stupid saps. Personally I think it’s unlikely, but it’s definitely possible if they play their cards right.

But the ultimate prize of world domination is so close. It’s right…..there……….

It must be absolutely killing them to hold back.

Except they know that enough people are onto them that they can’t make a move without a bunch of people picking it apart and providing supporting links. The internet is like a gaseous blob oozing out of every crack and crevice, and they just can’t plug it all up. They have totally, completely lost the element of surprise.

Which is absolutely not to say that we should let up for one millisecond. By all means, redouble the efforts. But seriously, I don’t see how they can get away with anything at this point for long. They might do a heck of a job on us temporarily, but their evil plans are unsustainable. And they know it. And every person of conscience needs to know this too, because ultimately this is the power of good to triumph over evil.

Can I prove it? Of course not. But I know it in my bones.

The contemplative does not need to be systematic about anything, even about apparent madness. He is content with the wisdom of God, which is folly to men not because it is contrary to the wisdom of men, but because it entirely transcends it. - Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience, p. 109.