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In the Hands of the Military

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Posted on Nov 12, 2007
Gen. Casey
AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, Hedges argues, may have the power and the inclination to prevent a war with Iran.

By Chris Hedges

The last, best hope for averting a war with Iran lies with the United States military. The Democratic Congress, cowed by the Israel lobby and terrified of appearing weak on defense before the presidential elections, will do nothing to halt an attack. The media, especially the electronic press, is working overtime to whip up fear of a nuclear Iran and tar Tehran with abetting attacks against American troops in Iraq. The American public is complacent, unsure of what to believe, knocked off balance by fear and passive. We will be saved or doomed by our generals.

The last wall of defense that prevents the Bush administration from targeting Iran, an attack that could ignite a regional conflagration and usher in apocalyptic scenarios in the Middle East, runs through the offices of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; Adm. William Fallon , the head of the Central Command (CENTCOM); and Gen. George Casey, the Army’s new chief of staff. These three figures in the defense establishment have told George W. Bush and the Congress how depleted the U.S. military has become, that it cannot manage another conflict, and that a war with Iran would make the war with Iraq look like an act of prudence and common sense.

The reliance on the military command, however, to be the voice of reason in the debate about a new war is not a healthy sign for our deteriorating democracy. Compliant generals can always be found to carry out the Dr. Strangelove designs of a mad White House. Those who resist implementing decisions can easily be removed. The protective cover provided by these figures in the defense establishment could vanish.

The United States is able to launch a massive and devastating air attack on Iran’s military installations. It can obliterate the Iranian air force. It can cripple if not dismantle effective communications and military command and control. It can destroy some of Iran’s underground nuclear facilities. But our intelligence inside Iran, as was true in Iraq, is uneven. We do not know where all of Iran’s nuclear facilities are. And it is probable that an Iranian response against American targets, such as the Green Zone in Iraq, as well as Iranian-sponsored terrorist attacks on American soil, would follow. Shiites in the region would interpret an attack as a war on the Shiite community and would unleash unrest, terrorism and violence against us and our allies from Lebanon to Pakistan.

The battle is between the Cheney camp, which would like to carry out strikes on Iran before Bush leaves office, and Gates and his senior generals. Cheney, who has always been able to push aside the feckless Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is having a tougher time with the military. Fallon, for example, was successful in his attempt to block efforts by Cheney to move a third aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf earlier this year and bluntly said that “there would be no war against Iran” as long as he was chief of CENTCOM.

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Gen. Casey informed Congress this fall that the Army was “out of balance” and added: “The demand for our forces exceeds the sustainable supply. We are consumed with meeting the demands of the current fight, and are unable to provide ready forces as rapidly as necessary for other potential contingencies.”

This White House has a habit of dismissing recalcitrant generals. Gen. Eric Shinseki, when he was chief of staff of the Army, ended his career when he told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on the eve of the war in Iraq that “something in the order of several hundred thousand soldiers” would probably be required for postwar Iraq. Gen. Peter Pace also ran afoul of the White House and was not nominated for a second term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when he publicly defied Donald Rumsfeld. At a press conference in November 2005 he stood next to Rumsfeld as the secretary of defense asserted that “the United States does not have a responsibility” to prevent torture by Iraqi officials. Pace pointedly disagreed with Rumsfeld, saying, “It is the absolute responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it.” Pace also openly dismissed White House claims that Iran was supplying weapons and explosively formed penetrators to Iraqi insurgents. He too was shown the door.

The White House, isolated and reviled at home and abroad, believes it is on a higher mission to save the world from itself. The instability in the Middle East could undermine Gates and his generals. A limited Israeli strike on suspected Iranian nuclear production facilities, currently under discussion in Jerusalem, could trigger retaliatory strikes by Iran on Israel and U.S. targets in Iraq and the Persian Gulf.  The clamor for revenge, fueled by a rapacious right-wing media, coupled with our feelings of collective humiliation, could sweep aside all reasoned objections to war with Iran. It happened after the attacks of 2001. It can happen again.

There is a petition circulating that was put together by Marcy Winograd from the Progressive Democrats. The petition is addressed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. military personnel. It urges them to defy orders to attack Iran. It points out that a pre-emptive war with Iran is a war crime under international law. It reminds military personnel of the statute in the Army Field Manual 27-10, Section 609, and Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 92, that states: “A general order or regulation is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution, the law of the United States. ...”

The petition notes that any provision of an international treaty ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United States. The United States is a party and signatory to the United Nations Charter, of which Article II, Section 4, states, “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. ...”

Iran has not attacked the United States. The U.S., as a party and signatory to the U.N. charter, would be in clear violation of international law and the laws enshrined in the Constitution if it went to war with Iran. If the citizens and their representatives in Congress refuse to resist and uphold the rule of law, perhaps the military can be prodded to halt our slide into despotism. It is not the best option, but it may be the only one left.

We live now at the mercy of events. A provocation by Iran, aided by a bellicose White House, could plunge us into another war. It could unleash the primitive chant for violence and revenge that rises up from a population that feels vulnerable, uncertain and afraid. There are forces in our society ready and willing to fan the blood lust for a wider circle of war and mayhem. The Iranians, like us, are cursed by their leadership. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is as primitive, inept and paranoid as George Bush. They are the perfect dance partners for a waltz into Armageddon.


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By Elie Elhadj, December 21, 2007 at 12:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The March of Shiism
Even without nuclear weapons, Iran has become the hegemonic power over the world’s richest oil region, thanks to the Bush administration’s elimination of the Sunni Wahhabi Talibans in Afghanistan and Saddam’s Sunni regime in Iraq.
On April 9, 2003, the U.S. won the battle against a tattered Iraq. But Iran, without firing a shot won the war for Iraq; a triumph for the Khomeini revolution, one of Shiism’s greatest moments since Saladin removed the Shii Fatimids in Cairo in 1171. The occupation of Iraq transferred control in Mesopotamia to Iraq’s 60% Shii majority, a cataclysmic event that turned Iran into an unstoppable regional powerhouse. The British think tank, Chatham House concluded in August 2006: “The greatest problem facing the U.S. is that Iran has superseded it as the most influential power in Iraq.”
To Sunnis, Shiis are heretics. In extremist Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, Shiis are discriminated against. The founder of the kingdom imposed on Shiis the tax he imposed on non-Muslims. Shii towns and villages today are pathetically poor despite being located at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil region. In Bahrain, the Sunni ruling minority discriminates against the Shii majority. In Iraq, until the U.S. occupation, the Shii majority was deprived. In Kuwait, Shiis, almost one-third of Kuwaitis, are second-class citizens. In Lebanon, Shiis, a third of the population, are underprivileged. In Syria, until seizing power in 1970, the Alawites, a Shii sect, lived in abject poverty under Sunni rule. In Yemen, the Zaydis, a Shii sect, are a third of Yemen’s twenty million people. Zaidis accuse the Sunni government of genocide.
The Arab Shiis look to Iran for deliverance; leverage in Tehran’s arsenal in dealing with Arab oil Sheikhdoms. Egyptian President Mubarak declared recently that Shiis in Arab states were more loyal to Iran than to their own countries.
As a minority of about 15% of Muslims today, Shiism draws Shiis together. In Southern Iraq, Najaf and Karbala, the burial places of Imams Ali and Hussein, are the holiest of holy Shii cities. Kazimayn, nearby, has the tombs of the Seventh and the Ninth Imams. Samarra has the tombs of the Tenth and the Eleventh Imams plus the revered Mosque of the Occultation, from where the Twelfth Imam allegedly disappeared (this mosque was blown up in the civil war on February 22, 2006 and again on June 13, 2007). In the cemeteries of these holy cities, many illustrious religious personalities from the world of Shiism are buried. In Iran, the Eighth Imam is buried in Mashhad, and in Qumm his sister is buried. Outside Damascus in Syria, Zainab, the Granddaughter of the Prophet and the sister of Hasan and Hussein, is buried. In commemorating the suffering of the Imams, pilgrimages pull millions of Shiis together. In the grand seminaries of Najaf, Karbala, Mashhad, and Qumm the best-known clerics teach. The prominent families of Najaf and Karbala trace their roots to long lines of marriages with the great families of Burjurid, Isfahan, Kirmanshah, Mashhad, and Qumm. Ayatollahs have cross-country followings. From Najaf and Karbala, Iranian clerics often led the Shii world. The so-called “historical ethnic enmity” between Arabs and Persians is an exaggeration.  The conflict has always been between the rulers, not the Shii masses. 
Washington needs today to deal with Iran as the major power in the world’s biggest oil region. GCC rulers in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and UAE are too feeble to challenge Iran. These men are non-representative dictators pre-occupied in outdoing each other on who owns the more ostentatious palace and who flies the bigger private Airbus or Boeing airplane.

Elie Elhadj; author: The Islamic Shield
http://www.universal-publishers.com/book.php?method=ISBN&book=1599424118
Also:
http://journals.aol.com/eeh100/daring-opinion/

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By WorkingMan, December 5, 2007 at 12:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Change From Within?

Unfortunately, the fact that military excess can only be prevented by the military is similar to the problems in other areas concern:

First, I’m starting to think that real progress towards true justice and peace in Israel/Palestine can only be achieved by the good-hearted Jewish Israelis (and Americans) who believe the current approach is immoral.

In the same way, I believe the economic disparities in the US can only be truly addressed by the super-rich themselves, for example, Bill Gates fighting to KEEP the estate tax.

However, I am not all that confident that these entrenched powers will change things themselves, despite their being the only ones with the power to do so.

The people and the democratic process have been completely divested of what little power they had.

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By Nancy, November 25, 2007 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hmmm…it’s a hard decision for an imperalistic nation to make….help the little nation that thinks of us as unclean dogs, or the bigger one who thinks of us as infidels. I guess there wasn’t much dickering when they realized it was just a matter of land for oil. I guess we all know for whom. It’s as simple as they try to make it complicated. Maybe the question we as Christians should be asking is: is it what Jesus would do? Or perhaps we should just all drink the Kool-aid and forget about it. But oh wait. The Catholics are being sent in to help take over Iraq…what do we have to fear????

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By Sepharad, November 22, 2007 at 12:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s extremely discouraging that so many of the kneejerk anti-Semites on this thread are distracting attention from an extremely important issue—how we can help our military stop our politicians maneuver us into attacking Iran—by derailing discourse into their same-old-same-old BS about the all-powerful Israel lobby pushing America where it doesn’t want to go. Look: there are only 6 million Jews in the U.S. (nearly 90% of whom are Democrats and liberal) as compared to 10 million Moslems. More to the point, any fair and complete chart of the special interest lobbies and the money they throw at affecting U.S. policy, shows clearly that in terms of dollars spent and policy affected, the Israel lobby is truly small potatos. Finally, has it occurred to any of you anti-Zionists that so many Americans generally support Israel because they have never been brainwashed into hating it, and judge it for the type of productive, democratic society it is?

Ariel Sharon advised Bush privately to not attack Iraq because it would be destabilizing and because there were no longer WMDs in that country, long-since moved to Syria and other friends of Saddam. Many of us wish Sharon had offered his opinions loudly and publicly, but Israel does not have so many friends that she can stick a finger in the U.S. President’s eye. (The Palestinian issue is an Arab-created and maintained problem, else why would other Moslems—e.g., Turkey and the Kurds—be staunch, longterm allies of Israel?)

General Eric Shinseki, who’d been in Bosnia and understood murderous sectarian volatility, did speak up to Bush, did specify the overwhelming number of troops that would be required to stabilize post-invasion Iraq, and was fired for his pains. He was mentor and friend to our son-in-law who nevertheless served in Iraq, attempting to make the best of a very very bad situation.

At the time, neither Congress nor the public stood up to supported General Shinseki. This time we had better support the military men who are laying out the risks of attacking Iran before we shoot ourselves in the foot again. As a supporter of Israel of course I have no sympathy for the Iranians who bankroll and arm Hezbollah and Hamas, who believe Israel should be wiped from the face of the earth. But the majority of Iranian people are NOT in the same hate-filled category as the mullahs and Ahmadinejad. Thank God we have a French president and a German leader and a UN Secretary General who might push diplomatic initiatives and sanctions that will eventually persuade Iran. But if these don’t work, and the Russians and Chinese remain less than helpful, a war option must be carefully planned in advance and on the table so that the Iranians do not misunderstand our intent as Saddam did. Sure, it’s hypocritical for nations with nuclear weapons to deny other nations the same—yet if the nation in question has a jihad-supporting government perhaps some hypocrisy can be forgiven. The West can’t afford the existence of a nuclear weapon wielded by people whose death-embracing doctrine approves the massacre of infidels by martyrs on personal fast-passes to Paradise.

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By cann4ing, November 21, 2007 at 12:50 am Link to this comment

Malcolm, while there are aspects of Marxism that are useful, the principle problem I have with it is its ascribing to a form of determinism—something reflected in your comparison to the HAL computer from 2001 A Space Odyssey to capitalism, relegating human choice to that of sentinels.  There is nothing innevitable in the direction we have taken, and certainly nothing to suggest that the proletariate will, as part of the innevitable course of history, acquire a class consciousness on a global scale required to overcome the globalization of the virulent Friedmanite form of capitalism described so aptly by Naomi Klein in “The Shock Doctrine.”

While Klein displays a preference for a mixed economy embodied in Keynsian economics, mine own preference would be a gradual move toward a democratic socialism that requires a fundamental change in overcoming the dynamic of neoliberal ideology at a time when imperialism has come home to roost and corporate control of the media is at its zenith. 

Left unchecked, the irrational neocon leaders of the ruling class could well bring the incineration of us all, but it is also possible that the direction we are taking is what Chalmers Johnson describes as a headlong flight back to feudalism rather than the direction of Marx’s utopian workers’ paradise.  But whatever path we take, it will not be because of capitalism is some out-of-control computer like the mythical Sky Net in the Terminator series but because of human decisions, both individual and collective.

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By Malcolm Martin, November 20, 2007 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dr. Cajon, interesting take on the days ahead. I see it a bit different. But either way the vaporization of our families is a real threat.

It would take a team of psychoanalysts to catalog the many and varied mental pathologies of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their henchmen in the U.S. government. The point to keep in mind is that in this time and in this place the capitalist system selected humans in power capable of carrying out insane and grotesquely inhumane policies, up to and including nuclear warfare. Capitalism, like the HAL 9000 computer on board the spaceship Discovery in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey is out of the control of its makers. The system now has only human sentinels, best represented by the so-called Neo-Conservatives in ruling circles.

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By Frank Cajon, November 20, 2007 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

Well, so much for an open forum. After 88 contributions to this board, which has become in many of the threads a boring ‘anti-Zionist’ ramblefest, I was bleeped last night by Truthdig in my little contribution to this particular discussion. What in the hell for?
My assertion was, and is, that Dick Cheney favors a war with Iran before 1/20/09, and it will happen, and it will likely cause a nuclear confrontation and likely at least a limited nuclear exchange. It will likely begin with conventional air weaponry attacking their uranium-enrichment plants, and do so in full knowledge of Russia’s serious threat of a nuclear throw-down in return. Maybe the Board guys objected to my analogy that this whole thing has escalated to ‘WW III’ discussion since Bush and smarter, more cunning equivalent Russian Putin got together; or the fact that I think Cheney actually likes the idea of being Dr Strangelove and having lived a long enough life, killed off most of his enemies, is willing to take a few billion with him by starting the Final Conflict, which an air attack with collateral dirty damage near Tehran would almost surely generate. He will be in a bunker a mile under ground when the missiles fly. No generals are going to hold this guy back, he would have invaded Iran two years ago if he had the ground troops and officers to mount such an idiotic and doomed misadventure.
Even a small ‘tactical’ nuclear strike by Russia on US air bases in response to a conventional strike would kill up to 20,000 and result in a radiation-related deaths for decades in the area and world wide from any atmospheric detonation. This ‘best case scenario’ Dr Strangelove assumes that both sides don’t redeploy the nukes they didn’t disarm, which still number in the thousands.
We sure as hell need some sanity in our generals because we have none in the White House. Chancellor Bush is luetically delusional. I have treated unstable paranoid schizophrenics who had greater insight into their illness and less obvious symptom presentation than George Bush. The man running this country is Dick Cheney and I pray that he will not decide we all need to make the ultimate sacrifice to teach the Reds and heathens a lesson. I wonder if this will be zapped or not. If so, fine, my main concern is for my family if this plays out I want to be with them when these fools vaporize us all to protect us from terrorists.

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By Alice C Brown, November 20, 2007 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are entirely too many ignorant people in our country, peasants fighting for the king.  They haven’t the education to think analytically, and can only be concerned with consumerism.  There is so much to be concerned about.

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By Nabih Ammari, November 20, 2007 at 5:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Although I agree with the “Essence and Contention” of
the article “In the Hands of the Military” by Chris
Hedges whose writing I have become addicted to,because
of his obvious HONESTY and profound MORAL PRINCIPLES
which touch the core of his highly admired journalistic
talents,I could not see how the military might be able to
do what Mr. Hedges hoped for without an open revolt
and wide-spread disobedience to prevent war with Iran.
The reason is obvious:The Great American Constitution
(which I Consider ALMOST DIVINE and must be protected
at all costs and never allow our passions to temper
with) clearly spells out that such power is absolutely
in the hands of the Congress and must remain so.

Sadly,in the last four to five decades,the Congress
has been inflected by a disease,although curable,is
called"The Disease of Corruption and Fear”:Corruption
because of personal weakness of GREED and Fear of not
getting re-elected,Fear of certain pressure groups
conveniently called LOBBYISTS(perhaps,for confusing
the innocent American public)and lastly but not least,the Fear of losing income/livelihood and fringe
benefits,for some,that could not be obtained from other
human endeavors.

This kind of disease unfortunately resides deep deep
in selfishness of the human nature since Cain killed
his own brother,Abel,as The Book of Genesis of The
Old Testament of the Bible described.

The military was founded mainly to defend the country
when attacked and when about to be attacked for sure.
Nothing more and nothing less.

When we,the people,start to look at the military to
solve our political problems of which we created our-
-selves against our common interest by electing inept
persons to represent us,it was/is high time to repent
from repeating our disastrous errors or prejudices or
blind passions or horrendous biases or whatever you
might/may want to call it.

What all the forgoing points mean???.Answer:With the
exception of Dennis Kucinich and his handful of
supporters in Congress,the American people have no
body to help them out the dilemmas they have found
themselves in except themselves.I repeat,no body
except themselves by electing HONESTY,HONESTY and
more HONESTY to represent them in the halls of their
GREAT INSTITUTIONS of CONGRESS.Experience and other
abilities are fine but they always can be acquired,
but HONESTY cannot.It has to be engraved or instill
in very early age,not when a man/woman decides to run
for Congress.The longer a man/woman lives in the pure
and simple life of honesty,the least are the chances
in abandoning his commitment to the common good.

In short,Let us hope that the rules of laws derived
from articles and spirit of the CONSTITUTION of the
US,which have been initiated by Dennis Kucinich and his partners in Congress will succeed so that the
targeted person/persons for impeachment will be forced to spend more time with their lawyers to protect their asses from impeachment and persecutions
and less time on plotting how to wage war against Iran.Let us just hope that will take place and avoid
involving the military in the crocked and knifing
politics of Washington DC and its self-appointed
crowd in the think tanks of the Neocons who brought
nothing but disasters and bad name to the US.Enough
is Enough.Let us try PEACE for a change through real
HONEST and JUST DIPLOMACY.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By Nancy, November 19, 2007 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Still. For me; any group that supports Zionists supports the people that killed Jesus. That lets me out officially. Based on fact; and fiction. It wasn’t the politics of it, only the religion. Even up until today. If religion is not for the betterment of mankind; what good is it? And if it is violence, repressive and dictatorial….should we let it rule in America? I think people should start thinking about what ‘tolerance’ means as opposed to ‘one world religion’ means. What do ya’ll think?
(And maybe the question of; if you had to go to church, which religion would it be?) Think of it as a treasure hunt….Happy Hunting and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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By Nancy, November 19, 2007 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look to influential churches; . They are behind the violence…and the attempt to overthrow the United States of America and first and foremost our CONSTITUTION.

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By Malcolm Martin, November 19, 2007 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ernest, you got me pegged. I’ll give you credit for that and I’ll not dwell on your newest characterizations. Objectively speaking, I guess “ideologically-blinded” is a step up from crazy anyway. As to a concrete suggestion for the here and now I’d have to agree with Goldman Sachs that you should sell your Citigroup stock. Hurry!

But listen Ernie you’re working too hard here. Damn, almost 1150 posts! Chill for awhile, let me talk to these guys with a bug up their asses over Israel.

One thing last year’s Israeli assault on Gaza and Lebanon has made clearer is the alignment of forces in the Arab and Muslim world. Ironically, in different fashions both Hamas and Hizbollah were creations of Israel. Hamas was supposed to act as a counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organization when Israel considered the PLO the most immediate threat to their domination of the Arab majority. Hizbollah filled the gapping chasm Israel created with the 1982 invasion and years long occupation of southern Lebanon. Both Hamas and Hizbollah have, through years of disciplined work and organizing, woven themselves into the lives of the respective peoples they seek to liberate. What a stark contrast with the rich Arab boys who have created the cult they call al-Qaeda. The clownish Ayman al-Zawahiri rushed to his camcorder after Hizbollah faced down the Israeli military to spout some silly rhetoric about a caliphate from Spain to Iraq in front of a poster that screams, “Please remember us, we did 9/11!”

Under normal circumstances the impending death of a form of racism like Zionism (see pictures of young Israeli girls writing messages and drawing on missile warheads soon to rain down on their human counterparts in Lebanon) and the establishment of a secular state on the territory Israel now occupies where Palestinian Arabs of various religious persuasions and Jews could peacefully co-exist as equals would be cause for human celebration. Unfortunately, the panic that clearly grips Israel means they will likely join in U.S. attacks on Damascus and Tehran and resort to the use of their nuclear arsenal when all else fails. And that, on a larger scale, is the dilemma that the whole world faces as the capitalist system spearheaded by the United States begins experiencing it’s last gasps.

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By Howard, November 19, 2007 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Reality is that the bugaboo of a harmful lobby is not there. Our government is not that easily influenced. They are grown men and women and make their own policy. In all of life its easy to blame someone or something for mistakes

Far from giving Israel unconditional or unqualified support in the midst of a terrorist offensive against it, both the Clinton and Bush dministrations regularly criticized as excessive, provocative and unhelpful legitimate Israeli counter-terrorism
measures, including roadblocks, withholding revenues from the PA and targeting terrorists – all measures that have been utilized by the US in the war on
radical Islamic terrorism.

Both President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized Israel’skilling of Hamas terrorist leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, describing it as “deeply
troubling” and calling for “maximum restraint.”

The US has criticized Israel’s security fence and both Bush and Powell pressured Israel to curtail military incursions against terrorist strongholds, most notably during Israel’s offensive in Jenin in 2002.

Despite US understanding that the PA has been a haven and launching pad for terrorists, the Bush administration continued to pressure Israel to resume negotiations and make concessions to the PA. Most significantly – and despite Israeli
objections on 14 points – the US joined the EU, UN and Russia in endorsing the2003 Road Map peace plan, which seeks further Israeli concessions.

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By Howard, November 19, 2007 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

Oh YEAH;  the LOBBY.  Again.
  and ....Israel;  of course they both the bad guys.  Over and over.  Even here on this essay on our militrary.  Is there no article they aren’t brought up in ?

Imagin a supposed Jewish cabal of Washington insiders who hijacked U.S. policy to take us to war for Israel’s interest.

Yet when the United States bombed European and Christian Serbia to help Balkan Muslims, few critics alleged that American Muslims had unduly swayed President Clinton. And such charges of improper ethnic influence are rarely leveled to explain the billions in American aid given to non-democratic Egypt, Jordan or the Palestinians — or the Saudi oil money that pours into American universities.

The world likewise displays such a double standard. It seems to care little about the principle of so-called occupied land — whether in Cyprus or Tibet — unless Israel is the accused. Mass murdering in Cambodia, the Congo, Rwanda and Darfur has earned far fewer United Nations’ resolutions of condemnation than supposed atrocities committed by Israel. A number of British academics even sponsored a boycott recently (that failed )of Israeli scholars but leave alone those from autocratic Iran, China and Cuba.

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By Howard, November 19, 2007 at 5:20 am Link to this comment

RE: #114411 by Non Credo on 11/18 at 10:08 pm

======================
============================

The NATION magazine is only a magazine.  Not confirmed stuff; and not necessarily purchased on the importanat levels of our gov’t.

I’d rather believe people who were there. Those who know most about what actually happened .  After all, the world-changing event of 9/11 provoked the administration’s key policymakers, all non-Jewish, non-lobbymakers, the President, the Vice-President, the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, to decide that an attack on Iraq was in the best interests of the US. They were supported by most senior military leaders just emerging from an extraordinary victory in Afghanistan. Peter Wehner, former Director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives called descriptions of other nations or local lobbies having a role in deciding entry into the Iraq War as “ludicrous.”

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By Nabih Ammari, November 19, 2007 at 3:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:#114411 by Non Credo on 11/18 at 10:08 pm.

Non Credo,

I feel that I must tell you that your above response
is all all and more all real good RED MEAT and surly
no potato (potatoe?.In fact,the MEAT was not rare;was
not medium;it was VERY VERY WELL DONE.Fascinating
response,indeed.It agrees totally with the information I have.

Thank you very much for a job well done,indeed.

Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By cann4ing, November 18, 2007 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

Wow, Malcolm, I’ve wondered why it took so long for an ideologically-blinded Marxist to post at Truthdig.  There isn’t a word you’ve posted that I haven’t heard or read before.  You’ve proven you can spout the doctrine, now come forth with something meaningful that has a bearing on the here and now.

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By Nancy, November 18, 2007 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Then I guess it would behove us to find out who is for us, and who is against us….

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By wafranklin, November 18, 2007 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Events are in the saddle;the terrible ifs accumulate.” Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Prophet Muhammad - “Muhammad slep upon a mat, and got up very marked on the body by it: and someone said, ‘O Messenger of God! If thou hadst ordered me, I would have spread a soft bed for thee.’ Lord Muhammad said, ‘What business have I with the world? I am a man on horseback, who standeth under the shade of a tree, then leaveth it.’”

Bonaparte was also called “The Man on Horseback”

I hear calls for The Man on Horseback to whom the fickle crowd will lay down all their civil and other liberties, only to find they are under the yoke.  Hedges is entranced by the military.  It is a sign of the times that he and others are beginning to think that some military figure might gather around himself the basis for a coup against the civil side of government - be frank, for that is what I read here.  And, then having taken over, do you think that the Man on Horseback and his lackeys will be prone to surrender power?  Washington and Cincinnatus are alleged to be the only two rulers to have done so. 

But I see lots of pussy footing around the idea of a rebellion or revolution with some thought of a military contingent in charge.  Question: will we then obey the laws?  I think yes, whomever takes charge in those circumstances will selectively inflict the laws to his favor, or that of his group.  And, now we have such laws which demolish our civil liberties—just to make it easier for them.  And as for Casey, the Army Chief of Staff has limited power to provide men and machines for the DoD Unified and Specified Commands, the operational arms of the United States.  Casey is the cook and supply sargent to the Commands.

Events are indeed in the saddle and folks are finally getting nervous - about damned time.  Remember, The Man on Horseback obtaining power, does not leave peacefully!

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By cann4ing, November 18, 2007 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

Well, Lemeritus, if you are Dick Cheney plotting (a) war with Iran, (b) a declaration of a national emergency when the People come forward to protest, as an excuse for martial law, a suspension of Congress and the elections, having generals in place whom you could control might prove very important indeed.

The point Kucinich was trying to make at the Las Vegas debate, before Blitzer cut him off, is that we can’t wait as Biden suggests until after the bombs start falling on Iran to initiate impeachment—a procedure that may be the only weapon left in the constitutional arsenal to prevent a permanent takeover of the government by the fascists in the White House.

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By Malcolm Martin, November 18, 2007 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gee Ernest, that’s what the ruling class says about Dennis Kucinich. Read this so you will better understand who you are and the fear that makes you so dismissive.

From the birth of the republic, capitalism has been able to provide the American people with several powerful incentives to go along with the program. Five percent of the world’s population is invited to consume 30% of the world’s resources by way of imperialism. White Americans are invited to enjoy a disproportionate share of the wealth by way of racism. A very comfortable place is provided to politicians, intellectuals, academics, bureaucrats, and entrepreneurs in the narrow strata of society Marx called the petty bourgeois. Nowadays though, that deal with the capitalist devil is becoming more and more difficult to keep! The U.S. is being integrated into a global economy as capitalism searches for the lowest possible wage and the greatest possible profit. The process is steadily reshaping ours into a subsistence-wage service economy. The jobs of elite industrial workers, from auto and steelworkers to airline pilots, are disappearing across the country along with their health benefits and pensions. Even white Americans are now feeling the pain of a declining standard of living.

Now as capitalism enters its final stages, politically a nearly seamless transition to fascism is taking place. The trappings of bourgeois democracy are a brake on profits and so they are being shredded. The Constitution and its Bill of Rights are being rendered meaningless by plans for perpetual war, by presidential signing statements and the theory of the unitary executive, extraordinary rendition, government surveillance programs and the like. Programs based on democratic principles like the public schools, Social Security, Medicare, affirmative action and welfare are being starved to death. The mass media and electoral machinery and both major political parties are now fully under the control of those in power. Bloodless coups in 2000 and 2004 installed George W. Bush in the White House and no future ballot will remove the candidates of the ruling class from power.

The sad truth is that the petty bourgeois (that’s you Ernest) cannot defeat the capitalist ruling class! They are a timid and passive group who, in this time for warriors, gather at the gates of the palace to nag and complain essentially to each other. There are scores of Internet websites, magazines, newspapers, radio programs and networks, and some small television networks where liberal, left, progressive, and other commentators show up to whine out loud. They rail against the outrages and inhumanity of the U.S. government and the Bush Administration. They point out the duplicity, the corruption, the hypocrisy, the inhumanity, and the utter criminality loosed in the world today but to no useful end since capitalism will not be reformed nor shamed to death. Pointing out the defects of capitalism has become as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. The ruling class brushes its liberal democratic critics off like gnats as long as they stay away from the third rail. But let one of these voices dare mention unity based on working class-consciousness and a mobilization to strike at profits and great danger would shortly thereafter visit.

So you just stay safe behind your H. Res. 766, your e-mails to John Conyers, and your facile political judgements. We’ll let you know when the fighting is over.

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By Howard, November 18, 2007 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

RE: #113917 by Non Credo on 11/16 at 4:49 am

Non Credo Writes
  “remember, Israel helped lie us into the Iraq war, so there’s absolutely no reason to believe it when it claims to “suspect” this or that. “
=======================

Our U.S. government was quite capable of going into Iraq on its own.  Our officials are not adolescents.  For you to make the inane comment about Israel, or any country, helping us getting into that country via lying, is nonsense.  You are whistling in the dark.

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By Lemeritus, November 18, 2007 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

I would like to draw your attention to an article in yesterday’s Washington Post (here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/16/AR2007111602258.html)

I find it ominous that General Patraeus (whose rapport with the White House is significant) should be tapped to choose the next group of brigadier generals.  This administration has politicized every function of the government it can reach; the ramifications are staggering.  To pull the military into that partisan orbit would be ruinous to the tatters of our democracy.

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By cann4ing, November 18, 2007 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

Me thinks Malcolm is a wee bit daft.

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By Malcolm Martin, November 17, 2007 at 8:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Goodness will find the little boy. It always has. It will again. (Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road”)

Mark my words. Someday, in the not too distant future, there will be a series of arrests. Good men and women (none of them much wealthy) will conduct interrogations and the cowardice of the accused will be televised to the people of the world, the crying and the urination will certify the shock in them that their world has been turned upside down so suddenly. How could their mighty Blackwater forces been defeated by regular ragtag US military units?

An eminently fair trial will follow and those proven guilty will be convicted. Impeachment! The spirit of Benito Mussolini laughs at your stinking impeachment. The meathook awaits this gang.

Dear reader many of you do not see clearly yet and you think this fantastic. But some of you will live to see it happen. Enjoy!

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By cann4ing, November 17, 2007 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Nancy, the only real hope for heading off this disaster is currently bottled up in the House Judiciary Committee—H.Res. 766—articles of impeachment against one Richard B. Cheney.  Cheney’s mere threats to bomb Iraq form the core of Article III. 

During the last Democratic debate, Sen. Biden said that if the Bush regime bombed Iraq it would lead to impeachment.  The corporatist moderator, Wolf Blitzer, then did his best to prevent Mr. Kucinich from being provided the opportunity to make an argument that we need to immediately impeach.

While most would examine impeachment either for the legal basis—high crimes and misdomeanors which obviously exist for both Bush and Cheney—or point to politics—using the number of Republicans in the Senate as a chiseling excuse for the failure of members of Congress to rise to defend the constitution and the rule of law—the immediate value of impeachment hearings in the House would be their placement of Cheney in a “Wag the Dog” scenario in which the move to bomb Iran could give rise to his immediate removal from office, as opposed to a state of emergency that would have the Bush regime seeking permanency, which I believe has been Cheney’s goal from the moment he selected himself as Bush’s running mate in 2000.

Impeachment may be the last legal means for preventing the disaster that would follow attack on Iran.  Regardless of whether they are left, right or center, Americans should be flooding the offices of John Conyers (Chairman of the Judiciary Committee) with e-mails, letters and phone calls, demanding the immediate commencement of impeachment hearings.

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By Nancy, November 16, 2007 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Isn’t it time we applied pressure? They should roll back the war powers of the president. Especially when it’s not been established if he is mental or NOT. Isn’t it time to take over the ship? Or does America have a death wish?

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By Marnie, November 16, 2007 at 2:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The Iranians, like us, are cursed by their leadership. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is as primitive, inept and paranoid as George Bush. They are the perfect dance partners for a waltz into Armageddon.”

Unfortunately those may be the words carved on the tombstone of the great history of our nation.

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By cyrena, November 16, 2007 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

#113836 by WR Curley

•  With all due respect…It is time to set aside the comforts of idealism and face reality.
I’m thinking way PASSED time, oh yeah. WAY, WAY passed time.
•  It is the same with torture. If we can be persuaded to argue the question, then we validate both sides of the argument. In both instances we are not discussing moral absolutes (as clearly we should be). We are having a common difference of opinion.
Clearly both torture and unprovoked assaults on sovereign peoples are - by statutes affirmed by our nation - crimes against humanity.

Unless the President says otherwise.

Hot Damn WR Curly!!

You hit it so right here on the mark. Why are we even discussing stuff that validates an argument instead of the moral absolutes, which should stifle any long term questions about any of this? (torture or unprovoked war on a sovereign nation). ESPECIALLY since the moral absolute has already been sealed in law.

And NO!! The president doesn’t get to say otherwise. So, that begs only the same question that we’ve also been dancing around for several years…what the hell is wrong with the REST of us, who clearly KNOW what the moral absolute is, not to mention the laws that have been written in exceedingly clear language?

Bonnieblue has some excellent suggestions. #113747 by bonnieblue

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By WR Curley, November 15, 2007 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With all due respect…It is time to set aside the comforts of idealism and face reality. Bush/Cheney, operating under the tenuous cover of the legal opinions of a few select scholars, have expanded the powers of the Presidency to place the person holding the office above the Constitution and above the law.

Who will define the term “legal order”? The office of the Commander in Chief will reserve that prerogative. I mean, who could have imagined a few short years ago that we’d be debating the legality of torture?

We’ve noted several instances over the past five years of dissenting, off-message career military men finding themselves obliged to retire for the offense of using their best professional judgment. They were easily replaced. The world has never lacked for ambitious, arrogant mediocrities. The current Pres, for example.

What I find most disturbing about Mr Hedges op-ed is his assumption that a strike on Iran is well nigh inevitable. He is buying into the story being sold by AIPAC, the MSM, and the administration. Take note: You do not have to buy into the justifications for the action to validate it; you just have to buy into the story. The more debate, the more traction the story gets.

It is the same with torture. If we can be persuaded to argue the question, then we validate both sides of the argument. In both instances we are not discussing moral absolutes (as clearly we should be). We are having a common difference of opinion.

Clearly both torture and unprovoked assaults on sovereign peoples are - by statutes affirmed by our nation - crimes against humanity.

Unless the President says otherwise.

WR Curley
Elizabeth, Colorado

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By Mooser, November 15, 2007 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The War Party will do what they have always done, what they did in WW1 and 2 and Korea and Nam.
They will get themselves in the biggest possible mess they can, given what they have to work with. In Iraq they almost had to kill them all before they would fight, but they finally gave the US a fight. Anyway, when they get themselves in way,way over their heads, they’ll come for your children and throw them into the fight.

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By geronimo, November 15, 2007 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nonsense! Our last, best and (as it’s turning out) only hope lies not with the military but with each and every one of us.  But what can we do?  Troops out now, that’s what, that there be no war no more, nowhere, never, not even one.

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By bonnieblue, November 15, 2007 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would respectfully suggest that the solution, to the extent that the generals can contribute to the solution without their actions leading to an even worse precedent, is for generals now serving - not waiting until they have retired - to publicly state that pursuant to their oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, they must refuse to serve in the war because by all resonable standards that war, its conduct and orders pursuant to those ends are unconstitutional.  This would end their careers, and those of retirement age would be compelled to retire, but at least they would have taken a step to save their men, their own honor and their own souls.  Some might have the courage to resign and give up their pensions and the civilian jobs they would get for “having served.”

However, if we are going to expect this of generals, we need to expect similar actions from governors.  They need to create a constitutional crises by citing their own oaths and by thereupon refusing to send national guard units to serve the federal government.  This would compel large groups of people to take side: people of a state and national guard commanders.

If we expect it of the governors, then we should expect it of ourselves.  Like New Englanders during the the War of 1812, we should call ourselves into convention within our states and consider nullification and even secession.

All of these action are non-violent, have deep roots in Anglo-Saxon and American tradition and support the Constitution against usurpers!

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By Marc, November 15, 2007 at 8:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Neuremberg trials, apart from nazi scum, also sentenced German military who in defence stated they were ‘just following orders’. “Befehl ist befehl”. In those days international law decided that any military has the duty to follow orders, but not until the bitter end: every military officer also has to use his responsability. Even though that doesn’t make life easier for them. Let’s hope the US military doesn’t forget that lesson of history. Bush and Cheney are there only temporarily. The military is there to make the US be there and prosper for a much longer time. Hope they think of it that way. But I wouldn’t like to have Fallons or Caseys jobs right now. Difficult times…

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By Louis, November 15, 2007 at 7:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If Congress won’t end the Iraq and Afghanistan wars by not creating legislation to fund them, then the only line of defense left is the military.  They are NOT sworn to obey just any order, only lawful orders.  This means those that align with the US Constitution - what they swear to defend - NOT to a single individual such as the President.  My video, An Open Letter to General Officers, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_yHY9hFl94 sums up what is being said in this article.  Comments are welcome.  Great article.

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By Bob Terwilliger, November 15, 2007 at 3:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Historically in common law history the army overthrew parliament during the civil war and then overthrow the protectorate both by popular demand during colonial days (1650s) so I think the army should remain loyal to the people not the politicians. Uphold the constitution don’t just follow orders.

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By Nancy, November 15, 2007 at 12:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have question about   ....military high officers, pentagon officials who are requesting this to continue? They have something in their closet…follow the money….what about the big bid for support for the troops over this weekend? Think about it….for me at this point; supporting the troops is tantamount to supporting the whole fricken war! And they can kiss me where the sun don’t shine….

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By cyrena, November 14, 2007 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment

#113602 by Nate

Well Nate, indeed it does apparently mean what we’ve been thinking it meant, since it happened. Admittedly, I’m a little surprised to see this testimony printed in the Star Telegram. But, better late than never, which is why I’m surprised that it appeared there at all.

I’m hoping this retired Lt. has body guards, or leaves the country in a hurry, since six of the airmen involved in the incident have met with mysterious demise in the time since the incident. (which wasn’t quite 2 months ago). I think the first one to die mysteriously, was Todd Blue. But, at least 4 others have died or been killed in odd accidents, and I believe there is 1 currently ‘missing’.

I could have those numbers slightly off, though the details have been posted on this site. I just can’t remember with thread. Maybe someone else remembers.

I do know that a number of them have met there demise from mysterious circumstances.

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By Nancy, November 14, 2007 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Soverignty= Loyalty

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By cyrena, November 14, 2007 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

#113605 by reason on 11/14 at 3:07 pm

•  Anyone who has stood against Bush or his advisors has been discredited by any means available. The “Generals” who would stand up and tell Bush he is wrong know they should be ready to retire immediately.

You’re absolutely correct here reason, and we know that because so very, very, very many, (and not JUST military commanders) have already been there and done this. (retired/fired/or worse – immediately)

So, let me ask you, (and them as well I suppose) is that REALLY the worse thing..being forced out of the job? Or, even being discredited – ‘by any means available’? Could that possibly be the reason why we’ve dropped this close to end times? Because everyone is afraid of being discredited and/or involuntarily retired?

I do indeed understand what you’re saying, and I’ve even lived though this lynching myself. But, if these generals aren’t willing to take that kind of a bullet, I’d say that’s probably why we’re still in this hole, and sinking faster and faster. Troops are dying every day. Is that somehow ‘not as bad’ as being discredited or involuntarily retired? That’s a very scary thought. It would mean that “The Generals” aren’t so brave at all, eh?

I mean, if they can’t say no to a maniac, I’m not so sure we really DO have a military that can ‘defend’ us. That’s not to let Congress off the hook or anything, since they –as the civilian leadership- should have removed these dangerous psychopaths long ago. Still, if the job of the military is to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic,  (and answer to the civilians) shouldn’t we expect that to mean saying no to the psychopaths in the White House? I mean, that would certainly take some measure of bravery. But, isn’t dying a bigger sacrifice than just being discredited and involuntarily retired?

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By cann4ing, November 14, 2007 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

Not likely you would find many officers relying upon the Army Field Manuel 27-10, Section 609 to disobey and order to bomb Iran.  Only one officer relied upon it so far to refuse deployment to Iraq—Lt. Erin Watada.  The army has been trying to court martial him ever since.

The real means for preventing the onset of such an unmitigated disaster is H Res 766 now awaiting action before the House Judiciary Committee—the articles of impeachment of Richard Cheney introduced via a motion of privilege by Dennis Kucinich.  Article III specifically touches on Cheney’s threats to initiate war with Iran, a violation of international law. 

We the People need to pressure the gutless and corrupt “do-nothings” of the so-called Democratic “leadership” to immediately initiate the impeachment hearings.  At the very least, these would weaken Cheney’s position by forcing him into a “Wag the Dog” scenario.  The only other peaceful avenue open to We the People would be a general strike, but I don’t see that happening.

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By WR Curley, November 14, 2007 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr Hedges misunderstands something fundamental…the military serves at the discretion of civil power. Whatever the opinions, private or public, of the senior commanders and their subordinates, their orders come from civilian policy makers. Whether they like it or not, they are duty-bound to obey.

My father, now deceased, a life-time officer in the US Navy, rose fulminating from his lounger when, on national television, Oliver North, colonel USMC, stood in full uniform and boasted that he had lied to Congress for the greater good of the nation. If my old man had been packing, we’d have needed a new TV.

As an officer in the military, your oath to the nation is to keep your oath to the nation. Transgression is treason. Colonel North was a traitor.

But the good Colonel was grappling with a nasty conundrum; he was working in the White House at the behest of the President. He was tasked with a covert operation whose specific intent was to deceive Congress and the public. He was so tasked by the Commander and Chief of the armed forces of the United States of America. His superior officer. The first and last thing a marine understands is that orders must be followed. Always.

The generals and the admirals may lobby and declaim and maneuver all they like. At the end of the day, they will do what they are told.

If it were otherwise…whenever it may become otherwise…woe betide us all.

They have the weapons, you see, and the training and the discipline to use them. If ever it is “up to the generals”, you are wheat to the scythe.

If we tremble on the brink of another unconscionable outrage by our leadership, it is because there is a broad constituency favoring the enterprise.

We are, despite our protestations of spirituality, essentially a rationalist and materialist culture. We believe in profit. On balance, the policy makers and their enablers believe that an assault on Iran will be worth the cost and then some. There will be profit.

Focus the argument. Answer the projection. Can you see who profits? Can you see who loses?

Armageddon may someday visit us here where we suck the fat hind teat of privilege. But it will not arrive because it has a constituency. Even your run-of-the-mill born-again Christer with a solid hope for an eternal sit-down with Mr Big and The Boy wants to grill some brats for the grandkids of a Sunday. Heaven pales before tailgate at the Super Bowl.

Do not fear. Do not fear. Courage is essential. Death is only inevitable.

WR Curley
Elizabeth, Colorado

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By Third, November 14, 2007 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedge’s observations are right on target about the people of the country…, and other countries.  I belong to an international group who exchanges ideas on the scheme of things and words of comfort to one another when we can find them.  Words of comfort are hard to come by as days go on.  Hope for a future without war and suffering is just about nil.

The feeling of helplessness is pervasive along with a numbing fright of the man in power in America.  It’s almost impossible for me to write his name anymore!  He has rejected everything good and decent in pursuit of his bloodlust!  I am sickened when I hear him refer to Iraq as “terrorists” determined to destroy our country.  He is the terrorist and he brainwashed Americans to believe as he’d have them believe!  Just now, after all the death, horror, terror and destruction he has rained on a foreign country, are Americans coming out of the coma-like state he induced in them!

I am almost as sick of congress as I am the White House duo.  They are a sorry bunch to be called servants of the people!!  I have written letters, I have telephoned, I have e-mailed on many, many vitally important issues on this war.  It’s as if they’re paralyzed, unable to act in stopping this fiend from plunging our country into irretreivable hell!  I’d like some answers from them but I won’t hold my breath!

Like everyone else I’m at my wits end.  My brain is burned out trying to think of any possible solution to the impossible position I see my country in.

I’d like to see a worldwide protest against the leadership of GW Bush.  If anything would move him towards the right direction, that just might!

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By reason, November 14, 2007 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

I am not very often in agreement with military leaders since it is the basic mission of the military to kill and destroy. I know that in recent times they have been supposedly used as “police”, “security guards”, even called “rescuers” but; when all is said and done; their basic mission is to fight and kill the percieved “enemy” as they are ordered.   
Unfortunately in the “real” world it is necessary to have and maintain a strong military for the purposes of defense. I respect the men and women of our armed services (even though I disagree with “killing”}and feel they have a very distasteful and difficult job; especially with George Bush as their Commander and Chief.
Bush has used them as “Poster Children” for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The truth is; the military has a very difficult time telling any President “no”.
But, Bush isn’t just any “President”; he is a dillusional meglomaniac. Anyone who has stood against Bush or his advisors has been discredited by any means available. The “Generals” who would stand up and tell Bush he is wrong know they should be ready to retire immediately.

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By Nate, November 14, 2007 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Found this on the Web, wondering if it means what we might suspect:

A retired lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve who served with
the Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage questioned in a little-noticed
editorial Sunday why six active nuclear armed cruise missiles were
being transferred to an active bomber base that “just happens to be the
staging area for Middle Eastern operations.”

“The United States also does not transport nuclear weapons meant for
elimination attached to their launch vehicles under the wings of a
combat aircraft,” Navy veteran Robert Stormer wrote in the Texas-based Star-Telegram.
“The procedure is to separate the warhead from the missile, encase the
warhead and transport it by military cargo aircraft to a repository—
not an operational bomber base that just happens to be the staging area
for Middle Eastern operations.”

Six nuclear W80 nuclear-armed cruise missiles were flown to Minot
Air Force Base in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana where they
sat for ten hours undetected.

“Press reports initially cited the Air Force mistake of flying
nuclear weapons over the United States in violation of Air Force
standing orders and international treaties, while completely missing
the more important major issues, such as how six nuclear cruise
missiles got loose to begin with,” writes Stormer.

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By ender, November 14, 2007 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

•  The public faces of gov’t are not the true power brokers in the US.  Most are not on the ‘list of wealthiest people’ either.  Bill Gates has more influence on our national policy than you or I, but not significantly more.  Bush, Cheney, and Rummy may have been an “Axis of Evil” but neither they and the think tank kids like Rove and Libby are just tools of the old money families where money is in private businesses and trust with unclear ownership and control.
The elite most likely look at the monkeys in the White House as dumb kids just having a little fun. 
If they start WWIII, so what?  The small group of families that wield true power are so international and own enough of all of the channels of wealth, that any calamity only funnels more wealth upward.  They can’t lose.  And I suspect they get a secret pleasure in a time such as this when we are shown we are sheep with no real control of our national policy or direction.
If you think the Democrats are any different you are sadly mistaken.  They work for the same people and that ain’t you or me.
The American economy is vaporware.  We produce very little, while even food production, one of our most prolific resources, is now only part of a global supply chain that can be turned off overnight if we misbehave.  They don’t need us anymore, hence the open borders, free trade, offshoring and H-1B workers widen the gap and keep us invested in the survival of conspicuous consumerism as our national religion.
The only real threat to that elite in recent years has been Iraq engaging in oil trade in Euros vs the Dollar, and Iran threatening to do so. The Federal Reserve issues money on an imaginary value that actually is tied to the world’s largest commodity market, Oil.  If the dollar becomes unhinged from the oil market, any intrinsic value is lost, and the emperor’s new close aren’t there anymore.
That is why the only way Iran can avoid being the ‘cause of WWIII’ is to rejoin the Dollar base oil bourse.  Saddam refused and we saw his fake execution.  The Iranian people probably won’t be so lucky.
Israel is a convenient tool to maintain the unrest in the Mideast that keeps despots in power.  We can deal with despots.  Educated, thinking humans that attempt to exercise control over their own lives are much harder to deal with.  As long as they are busy hating and scratching out an existence in ignorance, the money and power just keep flowing up.


What I’m saying, is that we cannot count on Hillary to be any less hawkish on Iran than Dick Bush.  The decision to attack Iran is probably coming from someone ABOVE BUSH’S PAY GRADE.  If that is the case, only a determined military or armed insurection will stop them.  I could be wrong on this, and just a little paranoid, but I have been studying the methods and reasoning of the ruling elite in this country for more than 30 yrs, and this has all of the markings of their work.

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By ocjim, November 14, 2007 at 11:30 am Link to this comment

#113519 by alicecbrown on 11/14 at 8:45 am:

We are in this together. Think of the depression and despair felt by the German people after Hitler. His reign was much worse. History is cyclical. A force—in this case greed, self-centered ideology, and narcissism—can be overcome by reason and compassion. We are the beginning of this wave. The 2006 vote was a start. The Democrats have so far failed to do our will, but it takes persistance.

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By Bert, November 14, 2007 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What, cold feet? They already willingly waltzed into
one oil war, why not a followup? Uncle Dick wants
to drill oil wells all over the middle east, he and
his pals have ungodly amounts of money, and if you’ll
just sign this piece of paper then they can have
their own private armies etc.

My question is ‘why is it that all the FORMER generals seem to pretty much unanimously give this
entire enterprise the ‘thumbs down’. I can only
speak for myself, but I’ll never wear the uniform
again of my own volition. I love my country, but fuck the army. And I mean that in the nicest way
possible.

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By LibertyWatch, November 14, 2007 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

“They are the perfect dance partners for a waltz into Armageddon.” C.H.

well said sir!

It seems we have fallen into a reliance on the quality of our military academies and the leaders brought forward by the corporate war merchants.

Not 100% reassuring?

PEACE by popular demand!

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By alicecbrown, November 14, 2007 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

As we become further the society depicted in ‘1984’, especially the perpetual war for perpetual peace fable depicted in that black world of crumbling infrstructure, I am filled with despair for my grandchildren.
As my ancestors came to these shores in search of freedom, I wonder if they might not live happier, more fulfilled lives as Scandinavians, for example.
what do you think? 
Is there anything short of revolution we can do to TRULY get represented by our oppressive lying government?

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By b billy marse, November 14, 2007 at 8:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Geologist discovers link to the next 911 in global warming policy
 
http://www.H2onE2.com Glacial Respiration, Conceptual Ring of Ice, The End of Linear Western Religion
A Geological Exploration of an E2 Earthen Planet And the H2 Human Species
Author: B Billy Marse, Professional Geologist

Brief Description:
http://www.H2onE2.com is an exploration of the universe, geology, climate, biology, humans, psychology, folklore and ancient structures to uncover the beginning and disclose the end of linear western religion. The true DaVinci Code behind the bible is not a supreme spiritual power but a scientific record of climate change described as Glacial Respiration. The Greek philosophers originated the practice of communicating a hidden idea or message in the short story format, as a metaphor. In the bible, metaphors conceal historic climate change within the fanciful stories. The theory of Glacial Respiration explains the myth behind the Holy Grail, structures such as the Great Pyramids, Stonehenge, Easter Island and is the knowledge that was collected in the Jewish Ark of the Covenant.

The environmental changes of Glacial Respiration determine all biological evolution and can explain why higher forms of intelligent humans developed. Further, Glacial Respiration releases the secret hidden by the Knights Templars, Masonic Order and all religions. Uncovers an advanced Blue-Blooded semi-industrial Atlantian Civilization that was built and destroyed many times over for the last million years. The book ends with an explanation of how linear western religion will be physically ended and describes the construction of the doomsday device capable of fulfilling its own self defining prophesy, “Revelations”.  H2onE2 is a mind-expanding experience that stimulates the soul, instinct, intellect and is an almanac to the past, present and future of humanity. Rise, awaken and evolve into H3 human consciousness.

The discovery:
As a Professional Geologist, I attempted to link the Dust Bowl/Great Depression to a pre-glacial condition or mechanism and ended up writing the book H2onE2. I felt that there was a strong connection between the Dust Bowl and transition back into Glacial Winter. I did notice that my professors scientifically crumbled every time I mentioned the relationship. I could not go back in time or locate indisputable proof. The proof came from understanding all educational disciplines including history and theology. I soon discovered that all religious text both eastern and western continually described significant climate change conditions relating to Glacial Respiration. For years I fought off mixing science and religion until I discovered that the origins of all religions were founded or created to help humans psychologically survive the harsh earthen environment. Without reason I soon accepted that the world’s complicated religions were the same. This came true and I continued to write and discover. Everything came into place as though I was unlocking a 10,000-year-old puzzle. I also realized this puzzle was opened before I discovered it, by someone else, some other group. If so, further understanding of this knowledge might be extracted from significant historical events. Lastly, this is the vital information needed to make future predictions.
efvefv

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By mary, November 14, 2007 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

The most interesting part of this article is all the deep, insightful comments.  I’m thinking maybe Americans are starting to get it.  If this is the case, I believe a lot of our military is on the same page also.  What if the two morons do decide to send bombers to Iran and the military resists and our Congress finally decides to hold this administration responsible.  This would be the America I always thought we were.  It was just a thought…....

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By cyrena, November 14, 2007 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

Well, this scares the shit out of me, because I honestly was naïve enough to think that some semblance of reason would prevail. I’ve always had this idea that ‘there are more of us than there are of them”,(Dick Bush)and we see that matters not a whit.

But, to respond to the suggestions from Ernest and Non Credo, I admit that I thought/believed (like Chris I guess) that the militarys refusal to follow these orders would in fact be the only thing to save us. Maybe I was just being naïve/optimistic.  Maybe I was just assuming, (which I generally try to avoid) that EVEYBODY would figure out, that Iran was NEVER a THREAT to US!!! Quite frankly, I’ve never believed them to be a ‘threat’ to anybody, even in their own region.

On the other hand, I’m not so naïve as to NOT know that they WILL retaliate against any strike against them, just like absolutely any other person or nation will do if they are attacked. The fact that Iraq did NOT, (at least initially) was because they COULD NOT, considering that Iraq was already militarily and economically broken by the time that Dick Bush arranged the hit on them. So, it took nothing to invade and occupy THAT country, and of course they knew that. (which is why I assumed they did it).

But, they HAVE to know that Iran CAN strike back, and that they WILL!! Now of course we can all sit back and say, oh well…. We’re here in America, and we’re too far away for them to get US in a retaliatory strike. But then, what Chris writes in his article is all too likely a scenario. Of COUSE they could.

Now we can suggest that the Israelis, (who surely don’t want to be retaliated against by Iran either) could say something. But, should we assume that they TOO, have no power over their leadership? I mean, Israel is 7 million people if I’m correct. And, while they probably have 14 million nukes, what real good is it gonna do for them to put themselves in a position to be retaliated against by Iran? Do they not understand that this would destroy them? Seriously.

We might all claim that Ahmadinejad is as crazy as Dick Bush, and it certainly may appear that way. On the other hand, I would argue that for the past 4 or 5 years, Dick Bush has done everything imaginable to annoy the guy. So, while I don’t believe that he STARTED OUT as crazy as Dick Bush,  how long do you think you can agitate, threaten, bully, harass, and basically dog out another person/country – crazy or otherwise, and not eventually get them to strike back? I mean, if Ahmadinejad really WAS as insane and illogical as Dick Bush, and if he was the ONLY one running the show in Iran and making these decisions, (which he is NOT) then he would have done something crazy long ago. But, he isn’t the only one running the show, (unlike Dick Bush) and he’s actually shown a considerable amount of restraint, all things considered.

So, who’s really crazy here? And, I would pose the same question that Verne Arnold has. What are WE gonna do about Dick Bush? “We the people” have no bone to pick with Iran. NONE. They haven’t DONE anything to US, and they are too far away to be a threat, even if they HAD nukes, which they DO NOT. But, does anybody reasonably believe that Russia won’t help them out if they come under attack by the US or Israel? Well, that would be just a suicidal assumption. Of COURSE they would!

Where does Dick Bush plan to HIDE from all of this retaliation? Surely not Israel!! Does cheney have a special bunker in Dubai that’s gonna withstand all of this? Did he build that into the Halliburton headquarters there?

For whatever the reason, I’ve never believed that Cheney was into all of the Armageddon and Rapture stuff like the rest of these crazies. Maybe boy george is that crazy, and nobody has sense enough to put him in a padded cell, but cheney MUST know better.

I don’t believe Israel is this suicidal either. What in the hell is going on?

Just because this was their plan from the beginning, doesn’t make it any less stupid.

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By John See, November 14, 2007 at 4:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Saved by the generals?  An American junta?
  I hope that Hedges is right.
  But the logic is not that the military opposes beating up on yet another country, only that it is impractical at this time.
  Generals still view war as a means of accomplishing national objectives, but only wars
that they think they can win.
  The essential observation is that NOTHING the military has done recently has been in defense either of the Constitution or our freedoms, except perhaps the freedoms to invade other countries, depose their governments, slaughter their civilians, impose our form of government upon them, and rationalize our behavior as being for the good of others.
  I wonder whether, when our warrior heroes lie on their death beds, they’ll have become mature enough to recognize, acknowledge and perhaps even have the decency to regret the horrendous atrocities propagated on our ‘enemies’ and ourselves in the name of our national self-interest.  Certainly a few Vietnam and Korean war vets have come to see the truth of that.
  In fact, soldiers and the military are the enablers of our foreign adventures.  Were they not willing to sacrifice their independence and integrity on the altar of militarism, we would not be able to impose our wills on other peoples.

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By lennybruce, November 14, 2007 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

It is fascinating to read Adm Fallon’s comment to Cheney, “there would be no war against Iran” while he is head of CENTCOM. If indeed it comes down to a few generals to stop the insanity of an attack on Iran then it could herald a fascinating and somewhat unnerving constitutional crisis.

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By Nancy, November 14, 2007 at 3:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After all your ‘self-examining’ scathing inventory gets done…can we check out the military leaders we have? Some are no better than ‘some’ preachers.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 13, 2007 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

#113327 by Non Credo on 11/13 at 11:17 am: “...as long as we’re dreaming, imagine this: what if someone could convince the government of Israel that bombing Iran is a crazy idea that would gravely endanger Israel….. But Israel does want this war. We need to change Israel’s mind. If we can’t, no one can stop this war. That’s just the political reality. Stop calling your congressmen. Call AIPAC….”

I hope that people are finally starting to see this, Non Credo. There is hardly any time left. Let’s assume that Israel, like the USA, also has a significant percentage of their population who don’t want war and are being manipulated by their own government (what’s new, eh).

I’ve already been trying to point out that Israel - all the people, both good + bad - will most likely be wiped off the map in WW3. It will be the Russians most likely who would do it and in retaliation for their or the USA’s bombing the Russian-built reactor in Iran.

The Israelis are being drawn into a position where they must act themselves soon too. If they insist on destroying power plants in peaceful countries, the will no longer be able to get away with it. Whatever happens, if this attack on Iran goes ahead, it will eventually be the end for Israel!!!

Finally, that “no one can stop this war” without Israel’s ‘permission’ is, of course, NOT true, Non Credo. Americans are the ‘deciders’ and they can take a stick to Israel if they must. Its their own fantasies and weak-willed behaviour which is being manipulated to their own detriment.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 13, 2007 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

#113342 by ocjim on 11/13 at 1:20 pm: “...Any BushCo decisions never seem to involve practicalities like individual rights, availability of funds, or manpower. All decisions revolve around politics and self-interest….... That is why I believe he will wait a few months before attacking Iran. It will be a limited attack against the forces he says are aiding the Iraqi insurgents…... Then when Iran retaliates, he anticipates American people supporting escalation. At that point they expect Hillary to have the nomination sewed up and the people to reject a female as president during time of heightened war….”

That is very interesting, ocjim. There are a number of possible scenarios. The one thing is that the Neocons have no interest in peace or peaceful prosperity for all nations. They don’t understand it, uhh.

That all of Bush’s decisions “revolve around politics and self-interest” is an indicator of the white house following the “art of war” doctrine rather than any genuine freedom or democracy concepts. One thing that is fundamental is that all forms of deception are employed - including with one’s own people.

That is why an attack against Iran could be manipulated through Israel or very soon. Also, leaving India exposed to a volatile Pakistan puts them in a position of being forced to act decisively soon too. Bush + Co are learning their evil craft, if slowly. Just as well those Texan macho f@ckwits don’t take any notice of Condi or they would be ruling the entire planet by now!!!

Well, it depends on how Americans are going to see things in the end - if there still is an election next year. They could be so thoroughly sick of Bush and his war-mongering that they will be glad to be rid of him even if there is an invasion of Iran or another 9/11 terrorist farce. My guess is that it will all backfire on the Republicans…....

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By Joe, November 13, 2007 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let us observe few events happening in region, US military covert/overt support of terrorist activities inside of Iran has backfired dramatically, Déjà vu of US support for Arab insurgents in 1980’s,
Insurgency in Arabestan part of Iran have been shifted to southern Iraq between local militia.
Insurgency in Kurdish part of Iran have being shifted to conflict between Kurds and Turks in Iraq.
Riots in Iranian Azerbaijan have been contained and Azerbaijan Republic is tamed by virtue of being hostage to Georgia political outcome which control her only un-hostile border.
Insurgency in Baluchistan part of Iran which has shifted to chaos and near collapse of Pakistani state and everyone is familiar with current Afghanistan ongoing insurgency.
In positive side Iraq situation have improved somewhat and unlike in Afghanistan/Iran/US deal, US better give some credit to Iran and start getting out of Iraq while she have opportunity to do so in dignified manner.
With Afghanistan-Iraq-Pakistan-Turks and Kurds being one small push away from at least a regional war and total collapse of others not to mention other Muslim world and Persian Gulf states, I wonder if US still have a wishful thoughts of successful attack on Iran with potential 1.2 billion adversaries!

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Paolo's avatar

By Paolo, November 13, 2007 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Who overthrew the democratically elected President of Iran back in 1953?

You got it! The USA!

Who started Iran’s nuclear energy program, way back in the 1970’s, when it was ruled by a brutal tyrant?

You got it! The USA!

Who sold WMD’s to Iraq for use in their war against Iran?

You got it! The USA!

Gosh, those Iranians are so unreasonable for distrusting the USA, aren’t they?

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By mythbreaker, November 13, 2007 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel moves to another Planet and the World breaks out in sincere Peace.

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By Mossada, November 13, 2007 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So Long as the CARLYLE GROUP has money to make from a War with Iran then it WILL happen.

The same Carlyle Group which has the Bin Laden Family and Bush Snr and Frank Carlucci and James Baker and, and, and, etc., etc.

Wouldn’t it be funny (in a sick way) if Bill Clinton was also involved in this

I know, I know, I know….“How Dare You!!!!”

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By jbart, November 13, 2007 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

test, test

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By ocjim, November 13, 2007 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

Any BushCo decisions never seem to involve practicalities like individual rights, availability of funds, or manpower. All decisions revolve around politics and self-interest. That is why I believe he will wait a few months before attacking Iran. It will be a limited attack against the forces he says are aiding the Iraqi insurgents. Then when Iran retaliates, he anticipates American people supporting escalation. At that point they expect Hillary to have the nomination sewed up and the people to reject a female as president during time of heightened war. Never mind that it came because of him. Even if Hillary isn’t a shoe in, the Republican candidates have all been extremely warlike, seeming to expect a Bush attack on Iran. Maybe they were briefed.

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By jbart, November 13, 2007 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#113094 by purplewolf on 11/12 at 8:55 am
Purplewolf,
My personal favorite from the “good old days” is…
“What if they had a war….and no one came”?

The Graphic? Tricky Dick, all by himself with his shadow.  To sleep, per chance to dream.

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By Roy Eidelson, November 13, 2007 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

The White House’s propaganda campaign laying the groundwork for military action against Iran dates back almost six years—to Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address in which he designated Iran as a founding member of the “axis of evil.” Since then, this drumbeat has waxed and waned as other concerns—primarily the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq—have often commanded center stage. Now, with the Bush administration approaching its final year in office, a renewed push and a shorter fuse are increasingly evident. My 3-minute YouTube video entitled “Forewarned Is Forearmed: Bush On Iran” is available HERE. It offers a very brief but deeply troubling chronicle of the president’s public warmongering and demonization of Iran.  As has been said before, “the hour is getting late.”

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By Andy Lyons, November 12, 2007 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hasn’t the United States got more then enough on it’s hands already with Iraq and Afghanistan? The third time sure won’t be a charm.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, November 12, 2007 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

RE:#113201 by Non Credo on 11/12

“The same military that has been taken over by violent and fanatical Christian Zionist extremists?”

Remember Non Credo, some but not ALL of our military.  The decent are there and we need to support them.  I agree this thing has gotten “out of hand” so to speak.  But let’s not burn the bridges to “salvation”.  They are trying to “convert” many soldiers, however is it working?  I think not.  The majority join for their country or otherwise, but NOT for their religion.  They are not stupid.

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By b billy marse, November 12, 2007 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Geologist discovers link to the next 911 in global warning policy

http://www.H2onE2.com Glacial Respiration, Conceptual Ring of Ice, The End of Linear Western Religion
A Geological Exploration of an E2 Earthen Planet And the H2 Human Species
Author: B Billy Marse, Professional Geologist

Brief Description:
http://www.H2onE2.com is an exploration of the universe, geology, climate, biology, humans, psychology, folklore and ancient structures to uncover the beginning and disclose the end of linear western religion. The true DaVinci Code behind the bible is not a supreme spiritual power but a scientific record of climate change described as Glacial Respiration. The Greek philosophers originated the practice of communicating a hidden idea or message in the short story format, as a metaphor. In the bible, metaphors conceal historic climate change within the fanciful stories. The theory of Glacial Respiration explains the myth behind the Holy Grail, structures such as the Great Pyramids, Stonehenge, Easter Island and is the knowledge that was collected in the Jewish Ark of the Covenant.

The environmental changes of Glacial Respiration determine all biological evolution and can explain why higher forms of intelligent humans developed. Further, Glacial Respiration releases the secret hidden by the Knights Templars, Masonic Order and all religions. Uncovers an advanced Blue-Blooded semi-industrial Atlantian Civilization that was built and destroyed many times over for the last million years. The book ends with an explanation of how linear western religion will be physically ended and describes the construction of the doomsday device capable of fulfilling its own self defining prophesy, “Revelations”.  H2onE2 is a mind-expanding experience that stimulates the soul, instinct, intellect and is an almanac to the past, present and future of humanity. Rise, awaken and evolve into H3 human consciousness.

The discovery:
As a Professional Geologist, I attempted to link the Dust Bowl/Great Depression to a pre-glacial condition or mechanism and ended up writing the book H2onE2. I felt that there was a strong connection between the Dust Bowl and transition back into Glacial Winter. I did notice that my professors scientifically crumbled every time I mentioned the relationship. I could not go back in time or locate indisputable proof. The proof came from understanding all educational disciplines including history and theology. I soon discovered that all religious text both eastern and western continually described significant climate change conditions relating to Glacial Respiration. For years I fought off mixing science and religion until I discovered that the origins of all religions were founded or created to help humans psychologically survive the harsh earthen environment. Without reason I soon accepted that the world’s complicated religions were the same. This came true and I continued to write and discover. Everything came into place as though I was unlocking a 10,000-year-old puzzle. I also realized this puzzle was opened before I discovered it, by someone else, some other group. If so, further understanding of this knowledge might be extracted from significant historical events. Lastly, this is the vital information needed to make future predictions.

fgefgv

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By don knutsen, November 12, 2007 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

I have yet to read anyone articulating our present situation any better the Rocky Anderson did recently, the mayor of Salt Lake City. Though he must make the other politicians from that ultra-conservative state cringe - he’s right on the money….

this is well worth the read

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/110907E.shtml#

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By Frank, November 12, 2007 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment

caption for the article photo….

Senator Criag?  What are you doing under my podium…..ohhh….OOooooOOOoooooo..

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By alicecbrown, November 12, 2007 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

I knew there was some reason that I supported Kucinich besides the fact that he is either ignored or ridiculed by the PRAVDA ‘hosts’ on those ‘debates’ where the Dems try to devour one another instead of the election-stealing Republicans.  I immediately went to Kucinich’s web site and donated money when I read the Nation article by my idol, Gore Vidal.
Thanks so much for giving him an outlet.  He must not die, as he is irreplaceable.  Too bad about Norman Mailer, though.

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By alice, November 12, 2007 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oil, Israel and war profits are again in the saddle.  The Democrats have been reduced to jello again and Guiliani is already preparing for war.  His war cabinet is forming and it will give him the emergency powers he needs to further reduce democracy.  Bush has greatly weakened our miltiary, our international standing, our security and our economy.  Yet Democrats quiver in their boots for fear of appearing “weak.”  Really grim.

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By ender, November 12, 2007 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

When I learned of D. Kucinich submission of request for impeachment against Cheney, I joined his campaign and sent money, and will send money until he is elected or eliminated.  The rest of the Dems are not worth our time.  If impeachment proceedings begin, the honorable Generals that remain will have that much more legal precedence for viewing orders to begin an aggressive attack on Iran as illegal.  If Generals can find anyway to agree that the adminstration cannot declare war without congress, perhaps they can stop it from happening.

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By Ga, November 12, 2007 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

And just what did Gen. Ricardo Sanchez say when asked why he didn’t speak up earlier?

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20071012_former_top_general_calls_bush_incompetent/

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By felicity, November 12, 2007 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

SAM S. #113109 - To add some heft to your last points.  Reagan ‘managed’ to burden us with a $1 trillion debt - more than all previous presidents put together.  Not to be outdone by the ‘fiscally conservative’ Reagan, George the Brilliant has ‘managed’ to burden us with a $9 trillion national debt.

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By bigjimbo, November 12, 2007 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

My oath of loyalty was and is to the Constitution, not to a criminal and delusional administration. Another unconstitutional, unjust and criminal war would be ample justification to liberate the US.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 12, 2007 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman decried the Americans weapons deal… “What the Persian Gulf region needs is stability and security,” said Mohammad-Ali Hosseini. “Americans have been trying to disturb it by selling weapons to the region.”

The two-seat Su-30 is a popular Russian export fighter. Models are already in service with the Chinese, Indian and other militaries, and there are variants deigned for naval aviation. The fighter can carry a maximum weapons payload of more than 17,000 pounds, according to Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, and has a range, on internal fuel, of about 1,620 nautical miles, but that can be extended to 2,805 nautical miles with one midair refuel…...

The Su-30’s listed performance capabilities are comparable to or better than the three primary American fighters deployed to Iraq: the Navy’s carrier-based F/A-18 Hornet and the Air Force’s F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon…..” http://www.navytimes.com/news/2007/07/navy_iran_fighters_070730w/

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 12, 2007 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

For some reason,that JPost link won’t validate. Try searching “Iran to buy jets from Russia” and click on the JPost Jul 30, 2007 report…....

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 12, 2007 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

113109 by SamSnedegar on 11/12 at 9:50 am: “...There will be no “war” with Iran, only a defanging operation which will keep them from flying to the aid of the Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and wherever else we go next to steal oil. We just cannot have Iran sitting there with missiles, submarines, airplanes, and trained troops who might come to the aid of their fellow mideast countries…”

Please, Sam, this is the REAL REASON:-

Russia To Sell 250 Sukhoi-30 Long-Range Fighter Jets To Iran - “In what looks to be its next move in the high stakes chess match against the United States, Iran is to purchase 250 Sukhoi-30 long-range fighter jets from Russia as part of a massive multi-billion dollar arms deal. Additionally, Iran will acquire several aerial fuel tankers that will effectively extend the range of the Sukhoi-30 fighters by thousands of kilometers — giving Iran the capability to launch long-range offensive strikes…...

The Sukhoi-30 is a dual seat, multi-role fighter jet that has the ability to operate in poor weather conditions at great distances from home base. It has extensive combat capabilities including air patrol, air defense, ground attacks, enemy air defense suppression and air-to-air combat….”  http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1185379034835&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull  and scroll down to article.

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By SamSnedegar, November 12, 2007 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

“The last, best hope for averting a war with Iran lies with the United States military.”

Please . . .

There will be no “war” with Iran, only a defanging operation which will keep them from flying to the aid of the Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and wherever else we go next to steal oil. We just cannot have Iran sitting there with missiles, submarines, airplanes, and trained troops who might come to the aid of their fellow mideast countries as the USA marauds about pilfering oil to save its economy from the deep ocean of debt into which the Reagan forces sent it.

To be fair, I suspect that the marionette manipulators for poor stupid Bush ARE the Reagan crowd come back to “make it right” since they are responsible for our economic downfall, but of course there is no “fix” for what they did to us, just stopgap holding operations which keep our heads barely above water but can never solve the problem.

What is the problem? We have no wealth left. You can print all the worthless money you like, but with nothing backing it up, it remains worthless.

Anyway, we will have a grand depression this time, maybe on the 100th anniversary of the 1929 one, maybe sooner.

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By Paul Sunstone, November 12, 2007 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I supported the Democrats last year thinking, “Well, they aren’t much better than the Republicans, but at least they’ll keep us out of Iran.”  How foolish to have thought that!  The Democrats won’t be getting any more of my money.

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By Jonas South, November 12, 2007 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

Hammo #113086

‘Dianne Feinstein (and her husband who makes millions in the defense industry)...’

Feinstein sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, while she owns half of a defense contractor business. (California is a community property state; every other dollar earned by the couple is hers to keep.)

Can anyone explain to me why she is not up on ethics charge for not recusing herself from all defense related matters, including war with Iran.

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 12, 2007 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

#113071 by Non Credo on 11/12 at 7:22 am: “...But if the military does rebel, and stops the war, then we set a dangerous precedent of military rejection of civilian authority. This may soften us up for military rule, as the military basks in our gratitude for its having “saved the country”....”

Its nothing new, Non Credo. Check Fidel “Eddie” Ramos:- “....was the son of a diplomat and legislator who served as Philippines Secretary of Foreign Affairs. After winning a government scholarship to the United States Military Academy at West Point and studying engineering at the University of Illinois, he saw active service in the Korean War and was Chief of Staff (1966-1968) to the Philippine Civil Action Group in Vietnam…...

A revolution in the Philippines that drove President Ferdinand Marcos from power….. Fidel Valdez Ramos, military hero of the 1986 Philippine People Power Revolution in February 1986 and victor in the first multi-party presidential elections of the country, became the 12th President of the Republic of the Philippines on June 30, 1992. He has anchored his government on his philisophy of people empowerment as the engine to “operationalize economic growth, social equity and national solidarity”.... http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Pool/1644/ramos.html

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By purplewolf, November 12, 2007 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

If the Bush/Cheney war mongers are so hot to start another war perhaps it is time for the people to allow them. However,only the leaders of these warring countries are to be the ones to fight it. Like the television commercial of the 1970’s about war, take the leaders up on a mountain top (so they are closer to their God) and let them fight it out among themselves. This would save countless lives, cities, buildings, the earth itself, and money, and all the grief and suffering that the way war is done now cause.

When bullies want to pick a fight with someone who they don’t like for whatever their current reason happens to be, they don’t do it, they have their peon followers do it for them. Take away their crutch and let the bullies be the ones responsible for their own fights, then their true color-that of the cowards they truely are will be known to all. As long as they have others do their dirty work for them, it is of no consequence to them and it means nothing. If these bullies had a ounce of integrity they would resolve their differences in a more adult manner, rather than the sort of temper tantrum of war as they do now.

So for the next chapter of this destruction of mass stupidity send in Bush/Cheney, and any ruler of whatever country Bush/Cheney have a bone to pick with next. It will be over before it begins as we all know true cowards will not fight their own wars.

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By Hammo, November 12, 2007 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Based on recent developments such as the confirmation of Michael Mukasey for attorney general, and the support of Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein (and her husband who makes millions in the defense industry), not to mention Hillary “John Wayne” Clinton ... there would be support there for a U.S. attack on Iran by these individuals and some in the constituencies they represent.

This is in spite of the feelings by most Americans and experts that such an action is not needed and could cause devastating “blowback.”

Food for thought in the two articles ...

“Will Bush, Cheney attack Iran? When and why?”

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=20093

-  -  -

“Military draft needed for war with Iran and Syria?”

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=11698

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By JimBob, November 12, 2007 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

“The United States is able to launch a massive and devastating air attack on Iran’s military installations. It can obliterate the Iranian air force. It can cripple if not dismantle effective communications and military command and control. It can destroy some of Iran’s underground nuclear facilities. But…”
And CH launches into how we’re not sure where they’ve got their bad stuff hidden and, well, it would be illegal if they don’t attack us first.  What the hell?  What about totally immoral?  The Iranian people haven’t done anything to us.  The ONLY reason there’s any talk whatsoever about attacking them is because BushCheney need another war like a junkie needs another fix.  That first one felt so good, but now they’re feeling a little jagged because the Mission Accomplished moment has worn off.  Why are we relying on a few easily-replaced military men to protect us from these madmen?  The Iranians are a beautiful, peaceful people who deserve to live their lives without being bombed.  Anything unsavory their government has done, our government has done a thousand times over.  I can’t believe the American people aren’t rising up against this.

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By Outraged, November 12, 2007 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

“There are forces in our society ready and willing to fan the blood lust for a wider circle of war and mayhem. The Iranians, like us, are cursed by their leadership. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is as primitive, inept and paranoid as George Bush. They are the perfect dance partners for a waltz into Armageddon.”

*This is exactly true.  Although it seems there are also “forces in our society” willing to stop it.  When the nuclear bombs from Minot ND airbase were thwarted from their “mission”, several “died”.  It seems our armed forces are already on it. 
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7158

What we need is an immediate impeachment of VP Cheney, then Bush.  There are others in our congress who need to be ousted also.  It seems impossible to believe that our “leaders” did all this JUST for the money.  It seems that they carry a very fixated belief in the grandiose that comes from being a superpower.  For them, superpower status means nothing unless they use it.  Very Hitler-like, the self importance and splendor they pursue in their quest for complete supremacy.  It is also very Hitler-like to fight on two fronts without the means and manpower to sustain it.  It’s as if they believe that when you’re godlike you don’t HAVE to follow the petty rules of physics and reason like the ordinary man, but in fact you can supersede these constraints.

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By SL, November 12, 2007 at 8:20 am Link to this comment

Since Congress has cowardly decided to shirk its duties maybe the Military is our last hope for saving the Republic.
I never thought I’d entertain the idea of a Military Coup being a rational option in my lifetime.

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By SuGee, November 12, 2007 at 7:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What do you expect for war criminals?  George W. Bush has demonstrated that he is a serial killer.  As a child, he blew up frogs with firecrackers, per PETA and as an adolescent, according to his buddy, Mr. Throckmorton in a 2004 NYtimes editorial), he shot at frogs when he was old enough to use a 22 rifle.  It starts with animals and moves on to humans.  No wonder he’s so delighted with himself and his father figure, “Unka Dicky"m when he hears about the deaths of more soldiers.  I repeat, WAR CRIMINALS!

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By Douglas Chalmers, November 12, 2007 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

#Quote Chris Hedges: “We do not know where all of Iran’s nuclear facilities are….”

This is crap! The Bushehr nuclear reactor is the main target. The fact is that it is being built by the Russians and they are supplying the uranium. Nothing else really matters.

What does this mean? (a) the USA won’t attack directly - or it will ‘follow’ Israel in; (b) The USAF has grounded half of its fighter aircraft last week for a reason - but has it anything to do with air safety?

If Israel attacks, what will happen? The Russians will wipe Israel off the map. They hope that the USA will come along with them to avert this but it might be too late. It only takes a few minutes to fire some missiles from a submarine or a base in Russia.

#Quote Chris Hedges: “We live now at the mercy of events….”

Again, this is crap! Reliance on the military command “to be the voice of reason” is just another way of excusing oneself from doing anything personally. Once WW3 has started, there will be NO WAY that any American can absolve himself or herself of complicity and culpability.

A “rapacious right-wing media” is really all that is standing in your way. It is up to YOU to go forward in whatever ways you can to STOP THE WAR so that the Neocons can’t “sweep aside all reasoned objections” ever again.

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By Alan MacDonald, November 12, 2007 at 7:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hedges’ column, while hopeful, does not take into account the shifting of power in the military that Bush and Cheney have recently effected—- and assumes a populist and democratic attitude in Sec Gates, which is not justified by Gates’ history.

Sy Hersh’s October 1st “New Yorker” analysis, that a Bush launched second preemptive war against Iran is likely to occur and probably can not be stopped is unfortunately more accurate.

Unfortunately, the senior military resistance/revolt that has been the only force holding back Bush was the only possible check on the Empire’s war plans.

I had long ago concluded that Democrat and US public resistance would be a non-issue against preemptive (and nuclear) expansion of the Empire’s oil-war from Iraq to Iran.

I had long ago concluded that the only “hope was in the Generals”

But now the global corporate fascist war Empire behind this facade of “Vichy America” has even thrown out the last defense of the “Generals” (including Peter Pace, who aborted the Feb 2007 war launch plan) — and brought in their own War Admiral, “Mad Dog” Mullen.

There is no question that military revolts have been the only thing standing in the way of the Empire’s planned nuclear war in Iran.

In fact, there have already been several military revolts, starting with Pace’s clear instructions to his senior officers that they are “not to carry out illegal and/or immoral orders” in February — which stopped the Empire’s first planned war launch, and predictably got him removed by the Empire as Jont Chief’s Chairmam — right up to the latest military revolt, just recently, to abort Cheney’s planned B-52, ACM/W-80 nuclear bomb ‘accidental strike’.

However, not with standing Cheney’s premature ejaculation of nuke cruise missiles on the aborted B-52 scam, the Empire will not have long to wait in launching their long planned ‘global strike’, preemptive, nuclear attack on Iran with the cover of entirely legal means —— thanks to the installation by the Empire of their preferred nuclear spear carriers, Admiral Mullen and his spacebot bomber side-kick, StratCom “Ripper” Cartwright. Aided and politically endorsed by the AIPAC greased US Senate passage of the “Attack Iran Now” sense of the Senate vote last week!!

Note, for those who do not remember (including the MSM from their own reporting) Admiral “quick trigger’ Mullen is the one, who as CNO during the Iran/British seaman capture dust-up, infamously growled that “if that had happened to my sailors there would have been shots fired — even if it started a war”.

Perhaps that was the cameo role and performance that earned Admiral “war starter’ Mullen his new ’stripes’.

Or for those who continue to hold out hope against the next phase of this war, perhaps that ‘hope in the Generals’ will be replaced by ‘hope in a baatle of the Admirals’ —- as we learn from James Carroll’s piece today that Admiral William Fallon seems to be willing to take on his subordinate General Petraeus, in reducing the war in the Middle East, “this “constant drumbeat of conflict” concerning Iran, said Admiral William Fallon, head of the U.S. Central Command, is “not helpful and not useful.” Fallon wants to head off such talk. “There will be no war”.

So, will it be Admiral Mullen ordering the war, and Admiral Fallon holding back the nuclear holocaust?

The only problem here is that Mullen out-ranks Fallon — by a lot.

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By Stanley, November 12, 2007 at 7:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I considered the military as the one barrier to the madness of King W - until I considered the Air Force management and the Armageddon mentality that infests altogether too many of their leaders.  I can well imagine their leaders happily agreeing with W that the end is near.  Ohmygod!!!

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By Verne Arnold, November 12, 2007 at 7:20 am Link to this comment

This is an excellent article by Chris Hedges; I agree in total with his reporting of events and his summary.
The thing that disturbs, really disturbs, is his statement, “We live now at the mercy of events.” 
Wow…I believe this statement to be correct…but what a statement it is, and what a devastating statement concerning the state of affairs here in Amerika; at the “MERCY” of events!
We are here (at this nexus) only because of an impotent citizenry and our (key word here “our”) impotent “elected officials” who continue to totally disregard their electorate…whose fault is that?  Again the question; whose fault is that?  Who allows this travesty to continue?  If we are truly a democracy then there can only be one correct answer to this question.
If we peek around the corner and look in the mirror…who do we see?
I think the time for politeness is over…what do you think?  We need to go after the bastards with a vengeance…yeah?
We shouldn’t be at the “Mercy” of anybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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By Debra K, November 12, 2007 at 6:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How soon will Bush declare emergency powers, a la Pakistan, and delay elections? Anyone out there taking odds?

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