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Scott Ritter on War With Iran

Posted on Dec 19, 2007
Scott Ritter
Truthdig / Zuade Kaufman

By Scott Ritter

The Truthdig columnist (and WMD expert) warns that war with Iran could be inevitable, despite the National Intelligence Estimate report that says Iran dismantled its nuclear program in 2003. Bush, Ritter argues, doesn’t let facts get in the way of what he wants.

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James Harris: This is Truthdig.  James Harris sitting down with Scott Ritter, former chief weapons inspector in Iraq.  And today we’re talking about the latest report from the National Intelligence Estimate.  The report says that Iran is not, as of mid-July, in the nuclear weapons business.  Scott Ritter—I think, wisely—told me to look at this report with caution and that this means nothing to the White House, that they [members of the Bush team] are about regime change.  Please explain.

Scott Ritter: Well, I think it’s important to assess patterns of behavior.  When we take a look at the Bush administration and how it has sought to implement its policies of regional transformation in the Middle East, inclusive, these policies include the notion of regime change, removing unpopular regimes, regimes that the United States unilaterally declares incompatible with its vision, removing them from power.  This includes Saddam Hussein and the theocracy in Tehran.  They have demonstrated a tendency to exaggerate threats in the form of weapons of mass destruction to exploit the ignorance of the American public and the fear that is derived from this ignorance.  They did so with Iraq.  They made a case for war based upon weapons of mass destruction that they fail to back up with anything other than rhetoric.  I can say, as a former weapons inspector who ran the intelligence programs from ‘91 to ‘98, that we had fundamentally disarmed Iraq, so for the president to say that there’s this new weapons capability, he would have to demonstrate some new information, and he failed to do so.  And that’s why I said, unless he provides this new data, that there isn’t the WMD threat that he said.  The same thing can be said about Iran.

Harris: Why should we be cautious about what President Bush is telling us right now?


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Ritter: Here’s a president who has said Iran is a threat, a threat in the form of a nuclear weapons program.  But for some time now I have been saying, “Where’s the beef, Mr. President? ...”

Harris: Hmm.

Ritter: ” ... I hear the rhetoric, but your pattern of behavior leads me to believe that you might be exaggerating the threat, fabricating the threat, misrepresenting data to achieve your policy objective of regime change, trying to exploit the ignorance of the American public and the fear derived from this ignorance.”  Now we have a National Intelligence Estimate that is released that says, “Time out.  There hasn’t been a nuclear weapons program in Iran since 2003.”  Now I need to make a point here: I continue to say that there’s never been a nuclear weapons program in Iran.  And the National Intelligence Estimate doesn’t provide any evidence to sustain its assertion that there was a nuclear program.  But be that as it may, they’re saying that the concept of Iran today pursuing nuclear weapons is a fallacy.  There’s no data to promote this.  Now, if we lived in world where government functioned the way it’s supposed to when it comes to policy—that is, you get your intelligence, you look at it, you examine it, you assess it, and you say, “OK, how do we now interact with the target, the nation, in this case, Iran?”—that’s normal.  That’s cause-and-effect relationship.

Harris: Sure.

Ritter: But what we have is, the administration has already made up its mind about what it wants to do with Iran and had been fabricating a case based upon a nuclear weapons program that the U.S. intelligence community now says doesn’t exist today.  Do you think there will be a change in policy?  And the answer, of course, is no, because they’ve got the cart before the horse.  They put the policy out in front.  Inconveniently, the intelligence community didn’t back them on the nuclear weapons issue. ...

Harris: But you say Iran’s status as a terrorist organization also plays into this.  How so?

Ritter: Not only does the Bush administration continue to say that Iran is a terrorist state, that it supports terrorists who were directly or indirectly involved in the events of Sept. 11, 2001.  The United States Senate has passed a resolution that says the same thing and certifies the Iranian Revolutionary Guard command is a terrorist organization.  So anybody who thinks for a second this National Intelligence Estimate somehow retards the ability of the Bush administration to engage in military action against Iran, you’re sadly mistaken.  The Bush administration’s policy has been made.  This estimate was not used to make that policy, and as you yourself have reflected, the president’s not going to let this estimate get in the way of his continuing to articulate Iran as a threat.

Harris: Well, Scott, if you’re right, that’s a high crime.  That’s wanton disregard for American wishes, disregard for any of the national intelligence agencies that supposedly cover our back.

Ritter: It’s wanton disregard for everything we stand for as a nation.  We elect representatives to government to do our bidding.  We expect them to operate within a framework of due process set forth by the rule of law.  We might call this the Constitution or laws derived from the Constitution.  We speak of checks and balances where we have three separate but equal branches of government, and when it comes to foreign policy and national security policy, really, two.  The judiciary takes a step aside and it becomes the executive and the legislative branch.  And there’s a system, a bureaucratic system there—the State Department, the CIA, the Defense Department—that is supposed to weigh in on these issues.  And like I said, you want to gather the facts, examine the reality, and then make the policy.  What we have here is an administration that, ideologically, has committed itself to certain policy actions divorced from what we’ll call reality, early on in the Bush administration.

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By John Hanks, April 14, 2008 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
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It is not just a matter of economics (Israel is a desert with an old Roman wall.) or politics (Israel needs U.S. Govt. military aid to break even.)  Israel needs the U.S. because New York is the real Jewish homeland.  There are far more Jews in the U.S. than Israel.  Israel is really more like a settlement for U.S. Jews who have fallen for the Zionist pipe dream.  It the settlement cuts itself loose it will collapse on its own endless Masada madness.  Israel is simply not a very good place to make a living or to live.  It is full of Zionist generated crazy people.

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By dicl, April 13, 2008 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment
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Our 60 years of foolish entanglements with Israel are rapidly closing in on us. Read Zev Chafets article “Israel Can Stand Up for Itself” in the New York Times 4/13/08. I read it as an attempt to entice Bush into attacking Iran, ot rather a threat by Israel to ignite world war three by attacking Iran if Bush does not.

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By John Hanks, April 12, 2008 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
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America has always been just a bunch of crooks, suckers, and lazy cowards.

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By PatrickHenry, April 12, 2008 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

We have been hijacked by another corporate government who controls our media. “Independent”  opinion polls are as skewed as the media.  Ron Pauls treatment clearly reflects this as he would have demonstrated a real threat to those behind the scenes.

Gitmo is a travesty and a moral outrage against the principles this country was founded on.  The mortgage crisis serves to remind the populace that we have to work, work, work lest our homes be taken from us.  Haed to get a general strike going when your up to your eyeballs in debt and illegal workers vieing for your job.  All part of the “big plan”.

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By John Hanks, April 11, 2008 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment
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I wouldn’t hold my breath.  America stopped growing morally and intellectually at the age of 14.

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By Perverse, April 11, 2008 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
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When are you Americans going to realise you are just another country. That you have NO right to tell other countries how to live? That money is really irrelevant?? That your so called “moral stance” disappeared the day you started rendering and waterboarding? That Gitmo is a place of crimes against humanity? That your vaunted Constitution is seriously flawed and needs a rewrite? That you are to all intents and purposes a uni-party state? Said party being Corporate America.

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By tresriogrande, March 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm Link to this comment
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The Germans were all guilty for what Hitler did, and we are all guilty for not stopping Bush and his war.

Being ignorant is no excuse for killing innocent people around the world.

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By Bill Backolive, March 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment
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Scott, you at this point have the odds, see patriotsquestion9/ll. Sure, man, firstly you from US TV had me know….I appreciate it.  Consider the US population one half who do not vote.  Consider there are mountain populations some who do not read who know, growing pot if/besides moonshine, all you have to do is leave no address.  You are safe enough, let us get on to this thing….It has got to be done.

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By PatrickHenry, March 16, 2008 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Very good thesis.

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By John Hanks, March 15, 2008 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment
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Militarism, Wars for oil, Torture, Millions of refugees, Endless right-wing lies and bluster.  All of these were representative of Hitler’s regime.  They are representative of Bush’s too.  A lot of people don’t realize that Bush’s economic policies echoed those of Nazi Germany.  When Hitler came to power, he financed domestic prosperity and a vast expansion of military power in the time honored way of all crooks.  HE BORROWED.  So the great economic miracle of Nazi Germany was a fraud and a gamble that had to be paid for in the future.  By the time Hitler cobbled up an excuse to invade Poland, he had basically painted himself into a corner.  The only way he could deal with Germany’s enormous debt was to wage a series of wars for booty.  The ultimate treasure house was supposed to be Russia, but that didn’t work out so well.  With each conquest came the need for an occupying army with an enormous need for food and fuel.  The Nazis could never get out of the mess that Hitler had made.

Ronald Reagan was not a Nazi, but he did share a lot of Nazi notions.  He thought that we could destroy the evil empire through bluster and wasteful military posturing.  After a close encounter with World War III, he learned there were limits and he started making sensible overtures and treaties with the Soviet Union even as Russia was collapsing into criminal syndicates (which it has always been anyway).  Unfortunately, after Reagan, we were stuck with a group of criminal incompetents called Neocons who wanted to prolong the Cold War by staging the 911 stunt and fueling a substitute war on the Middle East.  Since half of the Neocons were Israelis this scheme dovetailed nicely with their blind loyalty to Tel Aviv.  The Iraq war is about oil and oil for Israel (amongst other things).

Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan also believed that the rich were the source of American wealth and that the Middle Class was mainly just a useless bunch of (government-created) teachers, trial lawyers, and other bureaucrats.  He set out to enrich the rich and starve the Middle Class by reducing “government to the size of a bathtub”.  Through endless gouging, chiseling, scheming and media bluster the right-wing was able to get the American public to remain passive or even supportive.  The average American was convinced somehow that his neighbors were just a bunch of goof-offs, while he was safe because he was not.  The legacy of F.D.R. was dismantled in favor of a vast army of Republican crooks who felt they were entitled to steal for “the higher good”.  A new world order of criminal syndicates took over and America is now in its second great depression, with a lot of inflation thrown in as well.  WE’VE BEEN HAD.

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By Blackspeare, March 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Before the US can go to war with Iran, there will need to be a pre-text much like the move up to the Iraq War.  There really isn’t much time left, but a good pre-text and build-up if not attack will certainly improve McCain’s chances in the presidential election.  Then again, there’s always Israel who must be itching to give it’s military a free rein and sock it to a plethora of enemies.  Any US/Israeli action against Iran will be closely followed by serious attacks against Hezbollah and Hamas——things are getting a little dull and monotonous lately!!!

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By bozhidar bob balkas; finished last in my class, March 14, 2008 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
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to me, invasion of iraq was not a war on terror nor was it the war for oil; oil already belonging de facto to imperia and lands. any disturbance in oil deliveries by any land or block of lands would have been a casus belli. and we know who would win.
US politicians who voted for the aggression criticized the war because of perceived failure (which it obviously isn’t) and “falure” which was left unexplained and undefined. is, to US ruling class, a failing losing 4000 people and having 30000 maimed? obvioulsy not. and why? well, if it would be a failing in the eyes of politicians, state department, and the ruling class, troops would have been withdrawn and UN peacekeepers or makers would have been in iraq by now.
McCain is teling us the truth. somebody whispered in his ear what realy is going on and what will be going on. Obama and clinton may also know what McCain knows but want to get elected at any cost/pretense. which is par for the course. thank you.

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By Daniel White, February 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

Talked with you last night here in Austin, both at the meeting and at the party. Gave you the books to read list.  Much to my extreme embarassment, I did not recognize John Stockwell, famous apostate CIA agent, author of the great In Search of Enemies, at the meeting and consequently am mortified that he was given the bum’s rush by the radio show event moderator.  He deserves better than that.  Perhaps you could contact him, and give him the opportunity to ask and get answered his question?  Please extend to him my regards, if you would, in the process.


Daniel White

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By John Hanks, February 23, 2008 at 7:37 am Link to this comment
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Frankly, I don’t understand these historical recognition votes.  What is to be gained by recognizing genocide in Turkey, or the existence of Israel, or the holocaust?  The facts can speak for themselves.  A historical event by any other name is still a historical event.

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By John Hanks, February 9, 2008 at 8:18 am Link to this comment
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Every person who plays a violin on a subway, asking for handouts has more guts than the average liberal.  Liberals walk out of the room whenever a discussion turns into an argument.  Liberals are academically gifted in the art of witnessing without acting.  Republicans have the noisy guts of 14 year olds.

The world is made up of crooks, suckers, and lazy cowards.

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By A Khokar, February 9, 2008 at 4:57 am Link to this comment

Roses; ought to Grow their Thorns on the Stems
With what ever the cleverness, a case can be articulated of projecting and escalation of violence and terrorism through our corporate media in and around the Middle East and try to build the pretexts to invade the sovereign countries like Iraq and Iran; it is eventually going to turn into a futile effort. The myth of terrorism stands no chance in the future and bears no ethical grounds to stand. It is by the vile choices of few assailants only. The assailants, the big wicks with their vicious designs and choices like United States; who are trying to forcibly siphon the resources of this area to run the machinery of its own economy through deceit and fallacy.

Iran stands as our old teacher on this planet; who once ornamented our old civilisations with the knowledge of medicine, physic, chemistry, mathematics and sciences that present day advancement in technology and science stems from it. The advancements that today the entire west so proudly helms on and relishes it.

How come we can ever think of restraining the same old teacher to reap the benefit and restrict the fragrance of it that once he very earnestly sowed its seeds in our soils for us; that some how we find our old teacher now frail and with no deterrent; because his ethics did not pursue him to grow thorn along with its roses and now we are trying to exploit and rob him of his assets and services.

But who has ever been successful in robbing and out smart their teachers? The history of this planet at least, does not support this.
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By John Hanks, February 4, 2008 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment
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If you are afraid to make a spectacle of yourself…

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By PatrickHenry, February 4, 2008 at 3:28 pm Link to this comment

You bet!

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By Nate in Cali, February 4, 2008 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

It seems a little odd that you would post nothing less than what the NY Times prints.

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By Paolo, February 3, 2008 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

You can dig up an equal number of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians. Both sides have a lot to answer for. The best US policy is: HANDS OFF! (aka Ron Paul non-interventionism). I have no desire to pick sides in a conflict with no available solution, in which both sides commit atrocities. Get the US OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST (as well as all 130 countries in which we station troops).

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By hetzer, January 21, 2008 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

The best defense against the filth is cynicism, hatred and smarts.  Are we overcoming our physical cowardice yet.  Have you put a sign in your car’s back window?  Have you stood on the side of the road with a sign?  Every car and person can be a billboard.

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By odlid, January 21, 2008 at 12:38 am Link to this comment
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anambrose,  very good and interesting post. I think the tactical weapons, many configured for firing from field artillery, were actually widely distributed and have been for many decades. The demonstrations in protest, if I’m remembering this right, were over two additional boxes of crazy candy: field neutron bombs and binary chemical weapons, the first to kill tank crews without blowing up the countryside or kicking up fallout. Thing of beauty, no?  If this was radical thinking, how about this revolution in protection…disassemble all the nukes. And if you want to give yourself a good scare, read “The Third World War” by retired NATO General John Hackett.

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By hetzer, January 19, 2008 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

The best thing about the Palestinian crook rocket attacks is the way that Israeli crooks never fail to answer with a strafing.  The dead match the dead (more or less), and the crooks on both sides get to keep the scam going.

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By anambrose, January 18, 2008 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment
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These are some of the best posts I’ve seen anywhere. We went to Iraq in 91 mainly because our armed services had stockpiles of weapons built under Reagan that would in effect expire like milk or eggs. We tolerate wink nod Israel having nukes for the same reason we had Tactical Nukes and tried to put them on the ground in the EU. Remember those demonstrations? The NATO nightmare was to see Soviet Tanks en mass blow through the Fulda Gap like shit through a goose. A Tac Nuke was the main deterrent but as in chaos, game and military theory any use would mean an escalation to Total Nuclear War. The same people who gave us that brilliant strategy also assumed that Arabs, Persians,‘Stani Tribes,i.e.,Muslims would attack Israel in such overwhelming numbers that only Tactical Nukes would guaranty Israel’s survival again not extrapolating the scenarios until a Nuke WW3. We do not make much of any thing in America anymore accept weapons which we sell to anyone and have done so for quite some time. Probably our biggest export and folks doing the selling are sending their children off to Andover, Yale and Harvard because at their level they Can afford to throw money at education especially when its for their kids because they will be running the country or what’s left of it. That’s what Bush is and they have a sense of entitlement about their place that enables them to sleep very well while the hired help’s children pay in blood. You have a choice you can have a democratic republic or you can have an Empire but not both. We now have 700+ permanent military bases around the world but we hire mercenaries because we have privatized military logistic support to the point where we do not have enough troops to get the job, any job done. Why? Because the bulk of the spending goes to MSNBC/NBC via GE, Boeing Northrop Grumman Lockheed and the rest. Who are they funding? Anyone who even remotely looks like a viable candidate for Rep, Sen, and President.

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By Howard, January 18, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Palestinian Rockets Hit Israel - Isabel Kershner

Rockets fired by Palestinians slammed into the Israeli town of Sderot in quick succession Thursday evening on a third day of heightened hostilities between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza. Hamas and other militant factions launched about 40 Kassam rockets throughout the day, Israeli Army officials said. Four Israelis were wounded and a dozen were treated for shock.

  Eliyahu Cohen, 65, was surveying the damage to his home, which was struck during an early barrage about 8 a.m. His wife, Marcelle, had been alone in the house at the time, and had managed to reach a fortified basement room, escaping injury. At best, the municipal alert system gives residents about 20 seconds to find shelter from incoming rockets. The rocket crashed through an outside wall into the Cohens’ kitchen, sending the refrigerator flying across the room and blasting off its door, which lodged in the ceiling. The ground floor was covered with broken glass and debris.

  The house next door, where the Cohens’ daughter, Nofit, lives, was also carpeted with glass and debris. “I’m happy that everyone was miraculously saved,” said Mr. Cohen. As he spoke, another alert sounded, and about a dozen friends, relatives and local officials who had been standing outside tramped through the daughter’s house, glass crunching underfoot, and crammed into a tiny fortified room. Thirteen Israelis have been killed since the rocket attacks started seven years ago, eight of them in Sderot. (New York Times)

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By hetzer, January 16, 2008 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

I think it almost always makes sense to assume that the world is run by an endless contest of vicious criminals.

They appeal to morals, when man is not a moral actor.  So people like the feeling of being good without going to the trouble of figuring out just what is good.

People are basically lazy cowards.  They are to scared to think and too lazy to find out.  (That’s why protection rackets work almost every time, including 911)

In the ruling circles you have crooks and suckers.  The crooks put out the lies and the suckers repeat them.

The crooks do what they do because they like to lie, cheat, and steal.  It isn’t necessarily about money and power.  (Iraq will never pay off, but the fun of the hustle keeps going on and on.)

Powerful crooks don’t like to take chances.  They work very hard to make sure that they are “betting” on a sure thing.

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By Nate in Cali, January 16, 2008 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

Haha, good stuff.

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By Sodium, January 10, 2008 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:The Human Filth Dimension.


Thank you for being so explicit and straight-forward.
A great post.I could not disagree with your views,at
all,regardless how hard I tried.Pls keep such sensible
posts coming.I enjoy reading them.

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By hetzer, January 10, 2008 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

Sodium:  I look at it in another way.  Israel was an anti-semitic dream.  Jews actually creating and believing in their own concentration camp?  Heaven on earth, especially for America’s oil crooks who are genetically anti-semitic.  Israel and the Zionists being naturally obnoxious are able to create a common enemy for every arab and muslim in the world.  That keeps their populations focused on Israel when they should be paying attention to the dictators and oil companies who are burglarizing their house.  Israel is like a settler’s outpost of disgustingness for the U.S.

They do the crazy stuff and we use them as a market for our weapons.  For weapons, you need a reliable enemy and Iran has been chosen, especially after Iraq had been overrun.

We want to attack Iran because we owe Israel and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan for their help staging the 911 stunt.  If they helped Bush become dictator, we have to pay them back.  In organized filth, you never welsh on a deal.

The real Jewish homeland is basically New York.  There are more Jews there than anywhere else in the world, and they will be safe there as long as they have decisive control over much of our infrastructure. 

Judaism never needed wailing walls and all that other bric a brac anyway.  All that stuff is sheer idolatry.  Like every other religion, if is the moronic holy books that count.

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By Sodium, January 10, 2008 at 12:49 am Link to this comment
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Nuclear Iran is no military threat to Israel.The Israeli leaders know that.Just read the Israeli newspapers to sense
what I have just said.The Bush Administration knows that too.Why then the Israeli leaders and their stooges keep
pushing the Bush Administration to attack Iran?

The answer has to do with Israel’s demographic dimension and,
indeed,with less the military one.

Imagine Nuclear Israel and Nuclear Iran facing one
another.All it takes a crazy Israeli or crazy Iranian for a
Nuclear Holocaust to take place.The Nazi Holocaust will pale
in comparison of the human suffering which will result from
such Nuclear Exchange.

Under such a possibility of Nuclear Exchange,sensible people
prefer not to live under such a constant fear for themselves
and more importantly for the sake of their children.Hence,
wise and sensible people migrate to safe countries.

Iran population is estimated to be around 75 millions.Such
a large population cannot possibly migrate any where.They
are compelled to stay where they are.They really have no choice.

The estimated and rather exaggerated population of Israel is
seven millions(at least one third of them live in foreign
countries).Some came from Russia.Others came from Europe and
U.S.Tens of thousands came from some Arab countries,mostly
from Morocco.Due to a small population and the vast majority
of them came from so many different countries,their options
are as numerous as the “numerousness” of the countries they
originally came from.Some of population is not really Jewish
like the Russian immigrants who fled Russia’s economic and
financial hardship of the early nineties.Therefore,reversed
migration is quite probable.That is the greatest fear the
Zionist Leadership really fear:De-population of Israel as a
result of Nuclear Iran.It is a nightmare the real hard core
Zionists will desperately do anything to prevent from taking
place,including distortions,fabrications and lies.Familiar?

Depopulation of Israel may take place for non-Iranian reasons.Reasons have to do with the synthetic and artificial
order of the Israeli society.A self-respecting Jew,and most
Jews are exactly that(Self-Respecting) will never accept to live in apartheid system of government.They will migrate en

Therefore,the reversed migration will take place whether Iran becomes nuclear or not and as long as apartheid rules
in Israel.

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By cyrena, January 9, 2008 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

I love the ‘crooks without borders’. That is just too accurate.

I read an article a few days ago, that BAE has hooked up with Boeing and American Airlines, to equip 3 of their 767’s with a test anti-missile device.

Now get this. The airline says that they don’t ‘favor’ using these things on passenger aircraft, but they’re gonna test them on 3 airplanes, that allegedly will NOT be passenger aircraft. It’s supposed to involve about 1,000 flights, so that they can ‘test’ under real conditions. (the device is somewhere on the belly of the aircraft if I understood it correctly).

But, check this out. How are they gonna do this, if they DON’T use passenger aircraft? Now, last I knew, American was NOT a carrier that did solo cargo flights. In short, like most of the majors, they fly cargo and people. So, if they aren’t gonna use it on passenger flights, (oh, I should mention that they say not PAYING passenger flights - though that was sort of introduced at a different spot in the article)then, what will they use them for? Will they just ‘test’ them by burning fuel to fly them empty?

It didn’t make sense. It said that it didn’t ‘favor’ using them, but at the same time, they got this billion dollars from BAE, so what the hell I guess. They specifically noted that these devices would apparently ‘ward off’ missiles shot by ‘terrorists’ from the ground, with shoulder mounted firing things. This is supposedly only on 3 aircraft, to be outfitted in the spring.

Now of course, this would really confuse me, if I didn’t know they were lying.

Therefore, I’m sticking to train. If I can’t get there on the train, I don’t need to go.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 9, 2008 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Isn’t it strange that so many people who claim to have a personal relationship with the Lord (George Bush for one) also believe in extreme violence (shock and awe) as a solution to problems. No, you should always be maladjusted to that self defeating notion. In other words: “we are speaking today of the wipe-out gang, the wipe-out gang owns and operates the insanity factory.”
                    Bob Dylan
The only thing we have to fear are the cowards telling us to be afraid.

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By hetzer, January 9, 2008 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

Fear fuels the arming and fear fuels the first attack.  “Get them before they get you.”  Republicans are afraid of everybody because they have a lot of rackets to lose.  They were afraid of missing out on oil rackets and that is why they invaded Iraq.  Of course the weapons, drugs, construction, and protection rackets were pretty nice to get and keep too.

We should take every guilty Republican and tie them to a lamp post with a sign saying “Coward and Thief”.

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By Gabir, January 9, 2008 at 8:47 am Link to this comment

Bush/Cheney are running the American Military more like a football team than a military establishment meant to defend OUR NATION , and protect allies (not many remain) against aggression .
    The trouble with the Bush/Cheney Rooks is that their offensive line is continually going off-sides .Despite boos and jeers from the sidelines and the penalties of unfair play , the game is perpetual for the Bus/Cheney Rooks . Devious tactics , officials on the dole , and the occasional “Hail Oil” TD reception keeps the Rooks going and going and going .
    Now a new game - against the Iran Speedboaters Association - the Rooks are a fearless (and mindless)“team” who fear nothing .
    Mr. Putin has been satisfied thus far to observe our activities and occasionally give this administration a mild rebuke here and there . What is Mr. Putin doing at this time . He is very intelligent , ex-KGB and very , very cozy with Iran . The unthinkable may happen - The Bush/Cheney Rooks may have to punt . Noooooooooooooo - this just can’t be !

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By thebeerdoctor, January 9, 2008 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

It is suffice to say that resolving the injustice that is the Middle East would go a long way to solving problems in this world, especially for the United States. But a person only has to read the reporting of Robert Fisk to become fully aware of the enormity of this weapons dealing beast. As the late great Howlin’ Wolf said: “that’s evil going on”.
Of course the way things are set up here, if you criticize Zionism you must be a Nazi. And why is it that a country that is suppose to support, liberty and secular democracy, makes this exception for a Jewish state, but condemns Iran for being an Muslim state?
But it is even weirder than that. I know an Arab shop owner who likes the idea of the U.S. keeping their boot print in the desert. Why? Well he is a Sunni and he does not like the Shia establishing their own state, Iran. When I asked what was the difference between the two groups, he said the Shia Muslims are the poor Muslims. In other words, the peasants.
The United States government wants the population to believe that they are all Islamic extremists, dead or alive. But one only has to look at Wahhabist outlook from George Bush’s beloved Saudi Arabia to see that is not so. The orthodox Wahhabi do not consider the Shia to even be Muslim, let alone the Sufi!
But the whirling dervish spin masters of misinformation are unstoppable. In politics the first thing that is deleted are facts.
I am of the opinion that religious extremism, of whatever stripe, will eventually lead to the destruction of this planet. Maybe I should choke up like Hillary Clinton. That same humane Senator Clinton, who thinks distributing more cluster bombs is the right thing to do.
I hear the candidate has found her voice. Sweet cyrena, the sky is burning and I must go.
My only prayer is Thank You.
The Beer Doctor

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By cyrena, January 9, 2008 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

Beer Doc,

I’m definitely game, (especially with the increase in the chocolate rations) but I don’t think Howard would have much fun. He’s the nervous type. He thinks Israel is just ‘defending itself’ with those nukes under every household plant. (or at least in every garage). Howard says every single household in Israel has at least one computer, so maybe they have all of their nukes hooked-up that way.

You see how worked up he gets about these alleged ‘rockets’ from Hamas, (sometimes he blames Hezbollah) which are actually nothing more than oversized pop bottles, and don’t even have as much fizz.

And, quite frankly, I get sick of listening to him. It’s like some sort of genetic ‘hysteria’ that all Zionists have. I mean, if the Palestinians, or the Lebanese, or the Egyptians, or ANY of those Arab people who have been living there for thousands and thousands of years could have done anything to prevent themselves from being genocided by Israel, or prevented their own enslavement in the open-air prison that is Gaza, or avoided all of those camps that they’ve been forced to live in for decades, while their homes in the West Bank are bulldozed, and Israeli settlers continue to move right in, and give themselves all sorts of privileges, while continuing to confine the Palestinians…don’t we think they would have done it by now?

But, they can’t. So they haven’t, and that’s the bottom line. But, the Howard’s of the world will always whine about being under ‘attack’ by the Palestinians, without EVER acknowledging the basic common sense reason why…WHEN YOU STEAL SOMEBODY ELSE’S SHIT, YOU NEED TO EXPECT THAT THEY WILL WANT IT BACK.

And, when you enslave and torture and entire population, what the hell do you expect them to do? I mean, even the slaves in the US finally stopped putting up with that.

And now I see that Georgie the evil moron is over there again, (Israel) supposedly to revive the peace process. That’s such a grotesque joke. All he can manage to do is to just piss everybody off, all that much more. (well, except the Israelis) So, maybe he’s delivering some more nukes or cluster bombs. Or, just going to advise them on how to vote in OUR election.

I was pretty damn amazed to read the article in, that gave a rundown on most of the US politicians running for Prez, and who THEIR choices were. (Yes, I DID mean the US Presidential election, and yes, these are the Israeli polls – who THEY will vote for).

It’s such typical gall, that I shouldn’t be surprised. But, I always am.

Anyway, while the Israelis finish deciding on who they want to be the US president, (right now, they like Giuliani first, and Hillary second) the rest of us can play Tonk. Some of us might even get a chance to vote for our own prez. Then again, maybe not.

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By hetzer, January 8, 2008 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Since the human race has obviously been a terrible mistake (hardly a noble experiment), I would like to help everyone enjoy the peace of the grave.  Iran has every right to use the big one as a threat to the completely insane nations and powers that surround it.
Of course Israel in particular is stark raving mad and suicidal. Where can I get some nuclear weapons, and how can I send them?  I hope I can send them C.O.D. since I’m sure that shipping would be beyond my means.  I understand that the American air force has left a few nuclear missiles lying around.  Maybe they would give me one, if they don’t plan to use it as a false flag pretext on the U.S.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 8, 2008 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment

This is a twisted sense of logic but alas, true. When the world’s largest stockholder of nuclear weapons tells other nations they can not possess them, this only serves as an incentive to obtain them. Why is it that Israel is permitted to have these weapons but her neighbors are not? This is the total hypocrisy of foreign policy: do as we say, not as we do.
But to assist Iran to go nuclear? This will not bring peace. Nuclear weapons have not brought peace to India and Pakistan. But rather an anxious stalemate that could become a full blown disaster in a moment’s notice.

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By A Khokar, January 8, 2008 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

Nuke is not a weapon; it is a deterrent. It ensures security to vulnerable countries like Iran and helps; to wards off the oppressor forces with their evil designs.

Let’s assist the Iranian to go Nuclear. It will certainly bring peace and calm in the war torn Middle East. Lives of millions can be saved; including the lives of many more soldiers of American occupying forces in the Middle East being used as war fodder.

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By hetzer, January 7, 2008 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment

We can’t even fold.  They never dealt us any cards.

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By BuddhalovesPaine, January 7, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Elections are not going to fix the problems of the United States.  The country is not a democracy.  The military is the only institution that can restore the Republic.  Will they do it before or after the current set of nitwits has created chaos in the world and the US is the million dollar question.
It is a hell of alot harder to create order from chaos than it is to prevent chaos.
Although if I could see a miracle what I would really like to see is for an invansion of spacecraft swooping out of the sky and carrying all of the politicians, lawyers, priests, ministers and rabbis, and all of the military people except for those spying for the Iranians or the Russians or the Chinese or Cubans, or conducting acts of sabotage or sedition to carry all of these people off to prision somewhere.
Say if the US could use Chalabi as a front man for saying that they had the support of the Iraqi people to go into Iraq and steal their oil then I can be a human Chalabi and claim to speak for all humans to request an Alien(or Angles or Jinn) invasion to
rescue us (the world) from american insanity.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 7, 2008 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

hetzer, cyrena, Howard, PatrickHenry, perhaps we should all get together and play a good old card game called Tonk. Let’s play using Gulf of Tonkin rules. Now don’t be alarmed folks, under these rules the dealer is allowed to bring up cards from the bottom of the deck. Oh and good news brothers and sisters, the chocolate ration gets raised to thirty grams next month.
The Decider has decided that this titanic struggle must continue, until the last vestige of Islamofacism is eradicated from the face of the earth. Thus spake the cowboy angel of Pennsylvania Avenue.

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By cyrena, January 7, 2008 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Beer Doc

I read the thing on the Iranians allegedly ‘provoking’ US Navy ships. Read it with dread, since we’ve certainly been THIS route before. (remember how Johnson lied us into Vietnam with the same sort of excuse?)

But, all I can say is…The Hormuz Straight is a REALLY long way from home for the US Navy, eh?

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By hetzer, January 7, 2008 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

I don’t call Bush the “pretext” President for nothing.  Is anyone stupid enough to believe anything the Israeli or U.S. Government says?  We are Charlie Brown.  Lucy is holding the football again.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 7, 2008 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

“not like something we’ve seen before”? Check out the article posted on the BBC world news (UK version) about Iranian speedboats threatening US Navy ships.

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By Howard, January 7, 2008 at 9:09 am Link to this comment

Rocket that Hit Ashkelon Was Made in Iran
- Isabel Kershner (New York Times)

Israeli security officials said Sunday that a rocket with a longer range than usual fired by Palestinians from Gaza into the coastal city of Ashkelon on Thursday had been made in Iran.

There have been a few cases of militants from Gaza firing old, 122-millimeter Katyushas that were probably manufactured in the Eastern bloc and smuggled into Gaza.

But the rocket that landed Thursday in the city of 120,000 people was different, “not like something we’ve seen before,” said Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman

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By thebeerdoctor, January 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

It is good to remember what veteran journalist Robert Fisk said about the west always wanting to give the people of the middle east, democracy or free markets etc. But what the people of the middle east want is justice. And that is something that the west refuses continuously.

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By PatrickHenry, January 6, 2008 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

The terrorism of Israel.

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By cyrena, January 6, 2008 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

I saw the report from the ICRC. But then, only those of us actually looking for that stuff would.

Thanks for the link.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 6, 2008 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

In the United States there is a general blackout of any criticism of American Israeli policy, except in the alternative media. So I guess it is no surprise that the report issued by the International Red Cross in December on the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank was mostly ignored. But here is something, published from Israel:

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By cyrena, January 6, 2008 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Well hetzer,

A great big AMEN to this!! I sure couldn’t have said it better.

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By hetzer, January 6, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

If Nazis had been the rulers of Israel, it wouldn’t have been any different.  They are just like them, and we are just like them.  We think we’re special and that they law gives us the right to murder and steal.

Remember though, both the U.S. and Israel are only disgusting because of the crooks that have been manipulating the media.  Most people are just lazy cowards who will believe whatever they are told to believe.

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By Greg Bacon, January 6, 2008 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

Israel To U.S.: Don’t Delay Iraq Attack
Sharon Government Urges Prompt Action Against Saddam

JERUSALEM, Aug. 16, 2002
(CBS) Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Friday.

Israeli intelligence officials have gathered evidence that Iraq is speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons, said Sharon aide Ranaan Gissin.

To use the brutal words of Ranaan Gissin, an aide to then Israeli PM Ariel Sharon:  “Any postponement of an attack on Iraq at this stage will serve no purpose.”

Maybe not Israel’s purpose, but what about the rest of the civilized world?

And this article:

Israel Says War on Iraq Would Benefit the Region

By James Bennet New York Times February 27, 2003

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations last week that after Iraq, the United States should generate “political, economic, diplomatic pressure” on Iran. “We have great interest in shaping the Middle East the day after” a war, he said.

“The shock waves emerging from post-Saddam Baghdad could have wide-ranging effects in Tehran, Damascus, and in Ramallah,” Efraim Halevy, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s national security adviser, said in a speech in Munich this month.

Until recently, Mr. Halevy was the chief of the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency. He said, “We have hopes of greater stability, greater enhanced confidence from the Persian Gulf to the Atlantic shores of Morocco.”

Israelis have also suggested that that an Iraq war may salvage their economy and even prompt the opposition Labor Party to join Mr. Sharon’s coalition in a new government of national unity.

How cold, cruel and calculating can a nation get to hope for a war so that nation’s economy would be salvaged?  Salvaged from what?

Saved from the financial machinations of your own people?  An economy revived with the blood, death and suffering of another nation, while your nation remains above the fray and uses that war to ramp up the ethnic cleansing of its indigenous people?

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By thebeerdoctor, January 5, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

Thank you cyrena, I leave you this quote: “So where are you America? Don’t you want to know how your president was elected. How the IMF spends your money?
Greg Pallast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

My only prayer: Thank You. The Beer Doctor

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By cyrena, January 5, 2008 at 5:14 pm Link to this comment

Amen to the this beerdoctor. It IS the US government that is the threat, and has been, with it’s multiple intervention and meddling in Iran, AT LEAST since they overthrew Mossadeq, to replace with their own puppet, and that was over 50 years ago. Seems to be a habit with this unvarnished quest for rule of the planet, and specifically all of its natural resources.

So, yep, this appetite for militarism is fueled by fear, greed, and I would add the hubris of raw and naked POWER!!(which goes wit the greed).

The FEAR of course, is manufactured. On the other hand, it’s also a legitimate fear, in the sense that when they KNOW perfectly well, that they’ve continued to perpetrate this malfeasance against another nation(s) it’s goes without saying that they should expect repercussions. THAT’S where the ‘fear’ comes from.

The only time or reason that a criminal is ‘fearful’ is of being caught, or otherwise retalitated against.

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By Bill Blackolive, January 5, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Too much makes no sense before we can see in corporate TV news talk of there being the 9/11 coverup. Get us that far, blocks of logic will began to fall in place.  Or, reality being too savage, we can keep on keeping on, call heroic those who step to the crack in the ice, deny there are those stepped over the crack.

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By hetzer, January 5, 2008 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Bush is more like a pretext president.  He tells you to look to the left and then delivers a sucker punch from the right.  Remember when bullies would trip you in the hall and then point to someone else?

I think we have to go to war with Iran because we promised criminal elements in Israel and Saudi Arabia that we would take them out.  After all we owe bums from those two countries for their help with 911.

Warnings about a false flag nuclear attack are circulating all over the place.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 5, 2008 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

I find it interesting that when George W Bush announces proudly that he is a war president, no one has the temerity to ask: Why are you proud of that? You only have to examine the sordid intervention into Iran over the last fifty odd years, by U.S. intelligence, to see that calling that country a threat to the United States is a pathetic joke. It is the U.S. government that is the threat, not only to the civilians in Iran, but to peaceful people throughout the world. The appetite for militarism is insatiable, fueled by the dual engines of fear and greed.

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By hetzer, January 2, 2008 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

You don’t need to worry about spying on people or national I.D.‘s when everyone just stays home watching TV.  TV pandering is the way of enforcing martial law.  As poverty and unemployment increases there will just be more people watching TV.  It is vital to convince the public that everything is for their own good, inevitable and that really they are at fault.

Reagan wore the cheap perfume, and Bush gave us the clap.  We love being suckered so.

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By cyrena, January 1, 2008 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment


I’m delighted that I could introduce you to Naomi Klein. Yes, I’m familiar with her site, as I have been following her work for quite a long time now.

And yes, like me, she IS unbiased in her views. (no doubt I’ll get some snide remarks from that) We have a tendency to call things what they are, and as a general rule, (there are always exceptions) most academics are unbiased, if only because the work requires it. It’s impossible to establish any measure of credibility if one is obviously biased, and simply trying to blow smoke up the asses of anyone who might be inclined to believe you. So, it’s just a professional habit that one acquires, not just in scholarship or academics, but anytime any of us do work with the public at large, and for a long time. We ALL should learn more, how to examine the facts of any set of circumstances, in order to reach logical conclusions, and we have to know the differences between what are opinions, (ascertained by facts) and what is just a bunch of BS, based on personal ideology. And, we ALL have some biases. The point I think, is to be aware of them, in reference to whatever we’re saying.

However, that doesn’t always come across as “unbiased’ when people become caught up in the rhetoric of blogs, and quite often, what they say is as much a ‘reaction’ to something else, as it is their own unbiased opinion.

That at least, has been my own experience. So, I just find from time to time, that I have to take a breath, and simply ignore the most ignorant among the posters who ARE the most ignorant. This is a public space, and there’s really no ‘monitoring’ per se. In a way, that’s great, and it’s what I so much appreciate about the Truthdig site. I’ve discovered so much really value information from the many posters here. On the other hand, it also means that the loonies come out as well, so that has to be taken into account. At some point, everyone else, (like you for instance) can figure it out. (at least anybody that’s going to figure it out).

So, yes..keep reading Naomi’s stuff. She’s good. Very smart lady, and she does her work. I’m hoping to use her most recent work, (although it IS considered to be a ‘controversial’ work) in some upcoming seminars, as well as some things I’m hoping to put together for academic journals.

Happy New Year.

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By odlid, January 1, 2008 at 1:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’d like to see us move in the direction of a direct vote for both elections and major initiatives, State and Federal. Those attempting to corrupt this process, electronically or otherwise, would have to be prosecuted vigorously if such a new system is to be accepted. There’s the catch; it might not be that difficult for a bad operator to make direct-vote look unworkable.

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By Bert, December 31, 2007 at 2:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My question is whether the United States will still
look like it’s current self by the time the troops
come home, or if we’ll have subdivided by then, or
whether they’ll just start building state mega-prisons or what exactly…maybe it’ll be like
Running Man, with the exploding collars and stuff…
all Citizens will carry Russian Express…don’t leave

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By John Hanks, December 30, 2007 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you vote Democratic you choose to be infested with mice instead of rats.  If you vote Republican you will surely be infested with rats - some of them carrying the plague.  The system we have now has the media as the rat master.  It takes ratty bribes in order to keep from getting culled out.

If we have an electronic straight vote from our homes, we don’t have to put up with rats or mice at all (theoretically).  The mice and rats tell us what they want and then we choose.  They propose and we dispose.  No more flim flam.  No more double talk.  If they word a proposal in a confusing legalistic manner, we just toss it out.

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By SoccerGuy, December 30, 2007 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

I agree with the consumerism and educating ourselves but there is one challenge I am not sure how we as a society can overcome.

In this day and age of dems/repubs. People are die-hard voters for their “party”.  I always joke that my grandma who is a devote democrat and Christian would vote for Satan if he were a democrat but she would not vote for Jesus if he was a republican.

People are so set in their “party” ways that they literally voted in Bush regardless of his real qualifications to lead or govern?  The average conservative and liberal just vote for the party not the person. 

I personally vote for the best candidate (which many times is a choice for the lesser of two evils) I do not consider party when I vote.

So, my concern is that if we are educated and informed, many will still feel compelled to vote for their party.  For example, the bible thumping 30% of our population can not vote against the Republican Party (or party of god) as they would be voting against god. 



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By Joe, December 30, 2007 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re: post by cyrena, December 30 at 4:14 am

cyrena,  thanks for introducing me to a fine, new (for me) author, N.Klein. There’s actually a detailed series of articles accessible at her website. She appears to be unbiased in her views and says a lot with few words.

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By John Hanks, December 30, 2007 at 10:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I look on diabetes as a new hobby, but I have so many other things waiting to knock me off that they are almost like Meathead and Archie Bunker trying to get through the door.  Luckily, none of them are that debilitating yet, except a palsy from Parkinsons.  (The palsey really plays havoc with a person who has been building models all his life.  I’ve learned to throw some of the smallest parts away so I could pretend I never say them.)

I think that sophisticated crooks relish the twin arts of force and fraud, which is also central to military adventures.  Like a good painter, they don’t care about the finished product - of power or stuff, unless that product can help them with their next project.  It is the adventure of the con that they like.

When you consider how second-rate and mediocre Cheney and his Neocon friends are, they must be living in clover every time they fool someone more gifted than they, like Colin Powell.  Of course, they don’t fool everyone, but they fool enough of us enough of the time.  They must feel like the neighborhood brat after he has tripped the scholarly Jewish kid.  And, to make it even better, they point to another Jewish kid and blame him.

Of course, I think that criminal elements of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Israel, and Republicans were involved in the 911 stunt.  This “crooks without borders” gang must have been like a little United Nations of killers out to pull a fake bank robbery from which they could extort power and money from the greatest of all protection rackets.  It must have been like a demonic version of the movie, The Sting.

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By cyrena, December 30, 2007 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

This from my all time favorite website - for serious thinkers only.

I don’t generally plaster this site with the same links on various threads. BUT, I think this one is important enough to do that.

This is an interview with Namoi Klein, on her most recent and excellent work, “The Shock Doctrine”.
She doesn’t need any introductions from me, since her work speaks for itself.

But, for those without the time, or even the inclination maybe, to read the book, the interview will still provide what I believe to be very nutritious food for thought.

Happy New Year!

Naomi Klein on
the Shock Doctrine

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By cyrena, December 30, 2007 at 3:14 am Link to this comment

John Hanks,

You and your buddies sound like my dad and his buddies, not to mention several of my uncles on my mothers side. (none are politicians).

Without a doubt, many of my uncles, (all gone now) have been low level crooks. And, they all died broke. (never got to any organized mafia style crookery, and they didn’t indulge in any of the more high-stakes stuff) Like I said, light-weight rackets like numbers running and such. And, like you, my dad was never guilty of much besides thinking. (I had to laugh out loud at that). He’s clearly mellowed in his old age, and now he and the boys only do the occassional coffee, instead of the vodka marathons. Even that is really limited, since he’s involved full time in caring for my mother. And, most of the crooks have now passed on to wherever we all go when we leave here. (I suspect no where).

But, I only said all of that to say that those ‘crooks’ in ‘that life’ weren’t interested in exercising naked power, EVEN to keep their rackets going. And, that’s the difference I think, between them and the political crooks that we have now. For those in ‘the life’ that you speak of, if such a thing became necessary to maintain the rackets, they’d most likely just give them up.

In the criminal politicians of course, the crime is about the power. It’s what’s necessary to maintain the power. And in that case, yes…it probably IS an inconveinience when they feel forced to make it obvious, in naked form. Dick Cheney is a excellent example of that. He much prefers to run things from behind the scenes, and remain as much out of the public eye as humanly possible. But, at some point in time, it becomes necessary for him to be exposed, and that’s when we see these examples of raw and naked power.

Meantime, take very good care on the diabetes. (I don’t have to tell you that). My dad has it as well, and it’s not to be trifled with. I don’t think it’s as deadly as the Alzheimer’s, which takes such a toll on so many more than than patient alone. So, just take good care.

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By cyrena, December 29, 2007 at 2:46 am Link to this comment

Additional Greetings Fadel!

I was able to post a message to your Johns Hopkins address, and I’ve since returned to my own humble hearth here in our little village. So, while I’m moving a bit slowly, I’ve at least been able to catch-up with the Truthdig news.

I’ve also had an opportunity to look through what has become my own fairly impressive collection of writings from my Middle Eastern Studies Program, because your name sounded familiar to me, from much of that same collection.  And yes, your own work is included in or referenced in many of the publications that I have. I’d certainly like to chat with you more, since I’m at least partially into a hopeful dissertation (or a mini one) on the GWOT, from the Islamic perspective. It’s just that it’s been such a manufactured scheme on the American front, and the connections are difficult to make without a really thorough knowledge of Islam. One of my advisors has suggested that isn’t really necessary, but I don’t see much point in trying to do it otherwise. I mean, I don’t think I need to memorize the Qur’an, but still…a strong foundation on the basics is a must.

Besides that, I know less than a dozen words in Arabic, and as much as I would love to learn it, that too, is more than a notion. I’m thinking (at my age) it would require a full 100% devotion over an extended period of time. (like 4 or 5 years). It’s not that I don’t have the will, but there’s that reality. It’s a beautiful language, but not an easy one to learn. It makes me nostalgic though, just realizing that so many (most in fact) of the Native American languages have disappeared. (just like the Indians). Some are still used, but in an oral tradition such as it has always been, too much has been lost.

Ok, I just wanted you to know to check your JHU mail, since I’ve sent my contact info there. I look forward to your other posts on Truthdig.

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By John Hanks, December 27, 2007 at 9:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have a couple of good friends who are retired crooks (almost totally broke now).  We get together for coffee almost every day.  One delivered payoffs for the mafia in New York, and the other was a bone breaker for loan sharks.  All three of us have diabetes and all kinds of other complaints. Although I have never committed any sort of crime except thinking, we all have that in common.  And we are very well read.

The point of all this is that I think crime is about power (when it is challenged and is used).  But, it is really called “the life” and it is a way of life.  It is a tribal phenomenon, just like the gypsies.  Crooked politicians like the life of a crooked politician, and I suspect it is really an inconvenience when they have to exercise naked power in order to keep their rackets going.  I also think that the suits and boats and houses are really more like costumes and a set on a stage.  They are necessary accessories to “the life”.

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By cyrena, December 27, 2007 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

#122583 by John Hanks

Thank you John Hanks, for calling it as you see it, since I say your vision is pretty damn GOOD, and very much on target. Oh yeah!! But ya see, when you tell these kinds of ‘truths’ to people that have become so accustomed to ‘entertainment’ as a form of denial, then it has this tendency to force that denial aside.

So, THIS is the ‘policy’ that doesn’t fit into the standard forms of denial,

•  Everything is basically about crooks, suckers, and lazy cowards.  It has probably been that way even before mankind came down from the trees.  Man is one of the few species that preys and enslaves his own.  Republicans, religionists, and neocons are pros at it.

You’re right again. That’s really what it boils down to. Now that’s not to say that there aren’t other species that might prey on their own for purposes of SURVIVAL…like to eat, or otherwise stay alive themselves.

But, humans are among the few who do it (and the enslavement part) just for the hell of it. Or, more specifically, for the ultimate prize…POWER. The power to control and maintain the acquisition of material stuff far beyond what they actually need, (or even can use) for the purposes of survival, and assuring themselves a pleasant survival at that.

And, that becomes their ‘policy’.

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By John Hanks, December 26, 2007 at 9:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

odlid:  I’m really not in the entertainment industry.  I’m not trying to create an impression.  I’m just calling it as I see it.  Everything is basically about crooks, suckers, and lazy cowards.  It has probably been that way even before mankind came down from the trees.  Man is one of the few species that preys and enslaves his own.  Republicans, religionists, and neocons are pros at it.

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By cyrena, December 26, 2007 at 12:33 am Link to this comment


Greetings to you as well.

I found you instantaneously at the Language Teaching Center at Johns Hopkins. What a delight. I do love professors. (well…most of them wink)

I’m actually at a UC campus myself, way across the country. (returned to academia after many years in the aviation industry – I love it!!!)

Anyway, now that I found you, I’ll drop you a note at that e-mail address, and I can give you my own contact info at the same time.


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By odlid, December 25, 2007 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
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#122404 by John Hanks on 12/25 at 9:25 am

John!!  You’re a smart guy but you’re bumming me out with all that Doctor Demento shit. Policy, big guy! Talk policy.

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By John Hanks, December 25, 2007 at 10:25 am Link to this comment
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I am so glad the world still has some mosquitos and gadflies to annoy the crooks.  I don’t think of us as particularly good and caring.  Maybe we just can’t stand the general dumbness.  I knew that a Nazi regime had come to power after the Wellstones were murdered.  That’s when they had over played their hand as far as I’m concerned.  Since then I have been motivated by a habitual black hatred as much as anything else.  I know that we are dead, just like any combat soldier knows he’s dead.

I worry about the righteous people.  They are the ones who think they are good or special while everyone else is bad.  Stalin, Hitler, Bush, etc come from there.  It is OK to despise lazy American cowards as long as you despise and understand the cowardice in yourself.

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 24, 2007 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

#122158 by cyrena on 12/24 at 12:02 am
(1889 comments total)
#122139 by cyrena on 12/23 at 7:56 pm
(1889 comments total)

Greetings Cyrena!

I just noticed that you have written some 1889 comments to Truthdig. And if these were to be collected, they will add up to a book of several hundred pages. And you do all this writing because you’re a person on a mission and with a cause, as opposed to writing for the sake of making a living, as journalist and professional writers, for example, do. Because of this you write from your heart and mind about things that are of great concern for humanity, about issues related to current affairs. That’s why I admire what you do and pursue with consistency and devotion. And that’s why I feel I need to know you at the personal level.

I could get nowhere with the privacy thing to pass to you my personal contact information, as you suggested in a previous message. Therefore, here’s another suggestion. I live and work in Baltimore, MD. and I am on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University. Go to their Web site, under Language Teaching Center, and hopefully you’ll find there some information about how to contact me. I write to Truthdig under my real name. Alternatively, you can contact IQRA International Educational Foundation, in Chicago, and request my contact information. I am a writer and editor affiliated with this institution, and I used to be a resident scholar there for several years. They have published several of my educational books, and they might not mind to give you my contact information, especially if you tell them that you know me and that you want to discuss some issues related to my publications.

I hope that we can establish direct and personal contact soon. Meanwhile, continue doing the good and important work you do for the sake of truth and justice, the two ultimate values worth devoting our lives and energies for.

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By John Hanks, December 24, 2007 at 9:38 am Link to this comment
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A perfect storm of evidence and questions without a government that has the guts to do anything.  Bush, Israel, and the Saudis benefited and they have long criminal records.  That is enough to show the direction to go

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By cyrena, December 24, 2007 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

#122144 by John Hanks

Hi John,

I should have checked back with this thread before, especially after Fadel put that thought out there. Got myself sucked in by a moron troll on another one.

You’re right I know about the other possibilities, but for whatever the reason, (at least based on my own background in the aviation industry) the idea that Fadel put forth really does tie up a lot of unanswered questions.

For one thing, it explains the presence of one or more of these guys at the private flight schools. In reality, it was NOT at all unusual for individuals to come to the US (from the ME and other places) for flight training, and they did it primarily at independently operated facilities or institutions. There are bureaucratic reasons for this, (mostly because certification here is more widely recognized than many other places) but a variety of other reasons as well. Since it is SUCH as expensive venture, (even for those here) it stands to reason that the ones that I’ve come across myself, (training here) were generally the children or other relations of very wealthy Middle Easterners, often times with their own planes. And yeah, that would be Saudis and a few Egyptians, maybe others.

It also would explain (put there on a pretext) why they didn’t have any weapons. I will never believe that that many people were able to board 4 commercial flights with ANYTHING that would have allowed them to overpower the cockpit crews of those aircraft. I simply won’t. They didn’t smuggle pistols, or knives, or anything else on those flights. At least not all 4 of them, and not that many of them.

Then there’s the whole story about them being ‘religious extremists’ of the bin Laden type, except that several of them spent the night before partying. That didn’t make sense. It WOULD make sense if they knew they were being deported the next day, or leaving because they’d finished up whatever training they thought they were here to do.

It also explains the lies about the incredible flying feats that the official lie claims they accomplished, specifically at the Pentagon. They had that guy doing flying stunts that a 35 year left seat captain couldn’t do. Give me a break. NOBODY could do that stuff. It’s not a whole lot different for the WTC. It might seem easy enough to hit such a target as those towers, but it’s more than a notion. I’m not saying impossible, but it would take some lining up and stuff. NONE of which anything less than an accomplished pilot could do, and even then, we’re talking about the guys that do testing of the aircrafts. And how would they know how to turn off the transponders, unless they’d been on that SAME TYPE aircraft before? And why didn’t the REAL crew squawk the hihjack code to ATC, the minute they were supposedly overpowered? And how did they ‘overpower’ them so easily anyway? I don’t believe for an instant that any one of those guys would give up their cockpits without a major fight, and we should have HEARD that.

That’s why this makes more sense than anything I’ve heard or considered. If they had been either ordered back home, or supposedly ‘deported’ due to expired visas, that would explain why there was never a mention of the obvious, which would have been an immediate look at their records, which would have determined every single thing that they needed to know – on the spot. How and where the tickets were paid for, by whom, the PP numbers, addresses, phones, any checked luggage, all of that. Yet, most of that info was never released, even though it should have been available before the flights even left the ground. So, what took ‘em so long afterwards, just to come up with manifests?

And then the erased ATC tapes. Another first.

I also don’t think this was a planned suicide mission for anybody on any of those planes, so that’s the only thing that would exclude anyone holding anybody else at gunpoint, once they were airborne.

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By John Hanks, December 23, 2007 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment
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There are some other possibilities.  I learned from a mercenary friend of mine that mercenaries were sometimes sent on suicide missions.  How did they get them to do it?  They just failed to tell them the real nature of the mission and gave them a cover story as if it was routine.  They may have thought they were after hostages or that they were in some sort of rehearsal.  Once they got on the plane, they may have been controlled at gunpoint.  And, they may not have been on the plane at all.

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By cyrena, December 23, 2007 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

#121915 by Fadel Abdallah

•  “…she also supplied the young victims, the so-called Saudi hijackers, under the pretext of generous scholarships offered to them to get training in flying, who where then shoved into these planes, under the pretext of being deported for over-staying their visas, when the plans for the execution of the operation were completed….”

Thank You Fadel Abdallah!!

This is another piece of the puzzle (a big one) locked into place. “under PRETEXT of being deported…”

This is a biggie, since I’ve simply never been able to explain their presence on those flights, and even had reason to wonder if in fact they actually WERE!!!

OK, I feel like I’ve discovered gold or something. I can do some real work now.

Oh, and to both you and John Hanks. Thanks for reiterating the rest of it. I’d pretty much come to that, but the presence of those mostly Saudi ‘alleged highjackers’ was really puzzling me. (like for 6 years now)

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By, December 23, 2007 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment
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If we had government by direct vote, we could have kicked this Bush filth off our shoes long ago.  It is even possible that we might not have fallen so easily for the 911 protection racket.

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By JimM72, December 23, 2007 at 8:12 am Link to this comment
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It is terrific to have Scott as a resource for what is really going on. HE should run for president!


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By John Hanks, December 22, 2007 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment
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The real power of nuclear weapons is vastly exaggerated.  If they are used offensively in any way they almost beg for nuclear retaliation.  There are rumors that we secretly used some in Afghanistan and Iraq.  If that is true, it only indicates the complete lack of judgment in the Bush regime.  Nukes are only good for mutually assured destruction and a balance of suicidal terror.  Once they are launched, the rest is silence.  It takes less than 100 bursts to bring about nuclear Winter.  This has been known since the fifties.

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By Joe, December 22, 2007 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
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#121919 by Blackspeare on 12/22 at 1:33 pm
“Iran only halted its weaponization program and has continued to enrich uranium and develop missiles with appropriate range. Once it has accumulated sufficient fissile material it will not take very long to fabricate the “trigger.”

“Of course once Iran gets the “bomb”, it will neutralize Israel’s deterrent and then eventually we’ll have one huge land war in the Middle East sans nuclear weapons.”

This Blackspeare post is simple warmongering nonsense.
1- As Mr. Ritter, the authority in this matter emphasizes, no such weapons program ever existed in Iran.
2- Israel needs no nuclear “deterrent,” since such weapons are unusable for military purposes and their conventional forces are both modern and well-funded. Their fine arsenal of nukes is in place for other reasons. You don’t need a simpleton like me to explain it to you.

Iran has not the means or motivation militarily to engage in conflict with Israel or anyone else.
If you and others who share your views consider the likely long-term outcome of your approach, you will see that Israel has a choice of either retaining its present status or, more hopefully, using its energies to become the economic powerhouse throughout Middle East and North Africa.

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By Blackspeare, December 22, 2007 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

The timing of the latest NIE was no doubt politically motivated and arguments can be made in both directions as to whether it was intended to be beneficial or harmful to the Bush administration.

In any event, what the NIE reported was that Iran had interrupted its “weaponization” program. In producing a nuclear weapon three major components are required; acquisition of sufficient fissile material in quantity and quality, weaponization (triggering) of that material, and a delivery system. The most time consuming component, when creating a uranium bomb, is the enrichment process and the purer the fissile material the more powerful the bomb. The most technically challenging component is weaponization where things can go wrong and you could wind up with a dud of sorts. As for a delivery system——missiles are currently favored.

Iran only halted its weaponization program and has continued to enrich uranium and develop missiles with appropriate range. Once it has accumulated sufficient fissile material it will not take very long to fabricate the “trigger.”

Of course once Iran gets the “bomb”, it will neutralize Israel’s deterrent and then eventually we’ll have one huge land war in the Middle East sans nuclear weapons.

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 22, 2007 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

#121889 by John Hanks on 12/22 at 9:58 am
(Unregistered commenter)

I think that Saudi Arabia supplied the funding, while the Israeli Mossad supplied the expertise.  Pakistan did the money laundering.  The American Neocons and other Republican crooks supplied the access and motivation.  911 was an inevitable stunt and the evidence is fairly clear (unusual in organized crime).

So, we are getting rid of Iran in order to pay Saudi Arabia and Israel for the part they played in 911. Most of this was probably scripted by the Neocons with their Israeli and Republican connections.
John Hanks,

You’re really smart, with deep sense of pointed analysis. What you said, in essence, is what I said several times before while writing in different forums, including the Truthdig.

I would like to add one point as to the role of Saudi Arabia; she also supplied the young victims, the so-called Saudi hijackers, under the pretext of generous scholarships offered to them to get training in flying, who where then shoved into these planes, under the pretext of being deported for over-staying their visas, when the plans for the execution of the operation were completed.

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By John Hanks, December 22, 2007 at 10:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think that Saudi Arabia supplied the funding, while the Israeli Mossad supplied the expertise.  Pakistan did the money laundering.  The American Neocons and other Republican crooks supplied the access and motivation.  911 was an inevitable stunt and the evidence is fairly clear (unusual in organized crime).

So, we are getting rid of Iran in order to pay Saudi Arabia and Israel for the part they played in 911.  Most of this was probably scripted by the Neocons with their Israeli and Republican connections.

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By Ariel Ky, December 22, 2007 at 3:52 am Link to this comment
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The touchstone in your faith in the U.S. is a strong belief in the U.S. Constitution.  Have you ever considered it might be flawed and has contributed to the situation we face today?  Please check out Triaka’s essays on problems with the consitution and his proposal for a United Diversity Constitution.

Exhorting people to inform themselves on political issues when so much of what people receive is misinformation and obfuscation with flawed premises, believing that simply voting for better representatives is going to “fix” the system when the very voting system has been corrupted, trusting in a judicial system that also is flawed and corrupted, what promise for a change in the future in this?

We need a revolution and to devise new systems of how we govern ourselves, of every system we have, economic, educational, social justice, legal, every system we have is derived from colonial politics and it survives today in the uneven playing field between countries.  How do we go from the out-of-date institutions and systems that we have today which exploit people and resources, oppress and destroy, wreak havoc and destruction, and put humanity on a suicidal course?  How do we shift our reality to a sustainable one that gives real freedom to the people of the world, that allows everyone to prosper, not just a few, and that ends the practice of warfare, an unsustainable indulgence?

It begins with dialogue, with talking about what’s wrong, and with examining every idea that we have, and turning it inside out and looking at whether that idea really serves the greater good of all.  Read Triaka.  He’s given all of these issues a lot of thought over decades.  I have searched the Internet for years to find answers to the American dilemma today.  I have found some visionaries and thinkers who are thinking about what we can do to create a better world, starting anew.  After you have read and studied what Triaka has to say, as I have, I don’t think you will consider the U.S. Constitution so sacred.  And maybe you will begin to start to consider that smaller communities, not great nations or corporations, may be better to take us into a sustainable future.

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By A Khokar, December 21, 2007 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

Although N I E Report has dampen the intensity of war rhetoric for a while; but as per Mr Ritter’s claim it may not have retarded the ability of George W Bush to take any action against Iran. In any case George W Bush does require some fabricated scenario turned into a compelling evidence to formulate a pretext against Iran.

This may be seen as rushing to some rash analysis, but it seems most likely that we may have another 9/11 like event! This time ground zero may not be some twin tower like targets in America but it could be (most probably a self inflicted wound surfacing) some where in Tel-Aviv-Israel.

Bush planned visit to Israel is another opportunity for Neocons to orchestrate an incident where President Security is seen compromised; some suicidal blast is made to happen which forms another evidence to bring about a pretext to Attack Iran.

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By PatrickHenry, December 21, 2007 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

I hope nothing happens to Bush over there, if something does Cheney become a lame Duck Prez and we’re all screwed.

Some years back I read that one of Islam’s clerics predicted an end for Bush, does anyone remember that?

I attempted some time ago (twice) to post this thought on “Bush goes to Israel” I have never had it delayed so long.


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By Fadel Abdallah, December 21, 2007 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

See the comment under “Bush’s visit to Israel”!

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By David, December 21, 2007 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment
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As long as congress is in the pocket of the corporations that make billions from war, we will be at war.  We, the people are POWERLESS to change it.  The corps fund the Dems and Repubs that will keep the war going and hire hit teams to see to it that no other people are allowed to run.  The game is fixed.  The people know it, the pols know it, the congress know it.  Bush & co. will never leave now that they have conqured the country.  They will simply change costumes.  We won’t see Bush obstructing justice, we will see Hillary or Obama or Edwards obstructiing justice.  The Unitary Exectutive(Dictator for we lay-men) is here to stay.  Though we may elect new faces, the same demons will rule this land from now on.  The Genie is out of the bottle and elections will not put him back.  This country is over.  RIP America

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By A Khokar, December 21, 2007 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

I congratulate Truthdig on having Mr Scott Ritter among us with such a thought provoking and true analysis …Scot Ritter deliberations are ‘Nothing but a True picture’. Certainly Mr Scot Ritter has made this forum; truly a forum of Truth.

In the deliberations of Mr Scott Ritter; Israel might have not been mentioned directly; but while talking about the US foreign policy that too in Middle East; in Iraq, Iran and a deception full onslaught of US policies there; whether one mentions it or not; Israel is very much present there like the presence of oxygen in the air. Israel is an oxidising and fuelling agent for all the anarchy and mayhem orchestrated and executed in the entire Middle East. Although now US has its full fledged presence in the Middle East but Israel was and still is the main active contributor of engineering of all the events of US foreign policy; (devil is always in the details); a fore runner; a Hyena keeping the would be prey or a ‘targeted herd’ of defenceless gazelles on a run for the bigger scavengers(US) to pounce; it keeps the political theatre heated up and serves as a prelude and coordinator; a pre-empting agent on behalf of US for the execution of main battles to be under taken later.

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By A Khokar, December 21, 2007 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

I congratulate Truthdig on having Mr Scott Ritter among us with such a thought provoking and true analysis …Scot Ritter deliberations are ‘Nothing but a True picture’. Certainly Mr Scot Ritter has made this forum; truly a forum of Truth.

In the deliberations of Mr Scott Ritter; Israel might have not been mentioned directly; but while talking about the US foreign policy that too in Middle East; in Iraq, Iran and a deception full onslaught of US policies there; whether one mentions it or not; Israel is very much present there like the presence of oxygen in the air. Israel is an oxidising and fuelling agent for all the anarchy and mayhem orchestrated and executed in the entire Middle East. Although now US has its full fledged presence in the Middle East but Israel was and still is the main active contributor of engineering of all the events of US foreign policy; (devil is always in the details); a fore runner; a Hyena keeping the would be prey or a ‘targeted herd’ of defenceless gazelles on a run for the bigger scavengers(US) to pounce; it keeps the political theatre heated up and serves as a prelude and coordinator; a pre-empting agent on behalf of US for the execution of main battles to be under taken later.

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By cyrena, December 21, 2007 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

#121485 by Fadel Abdallah


Very Excellent points…

•  Moreover, just for the sake of argument, if the United States could live with a nuclear Soviet Union or a nuclear China, and if it can tolerate a nuclear Pakistan and embrace a nuclear India and keep cowardly and hypocritically silent about Israel’s own nuclear arsenal, then it could certainly live, however reluctantly, with a nuclear Iran as well.

For the record, like Scott, I have NEVER believed that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, ever. Though I’m not a WMD inspector like Scott, I HAVE taken the time to carefully follow the document trail, and the history, back to and before AQ Kahn, and there has NEVER been any verifiable evidence of such.

I also agree that firebrand or not, Ahmadinejad is not only intelligent enough to know the dangers of what I call the Nuclear Dangerous Duo, but he has state multiple times, that Iran, as the ISLAMIC REPUBLIC that it is, has no NEED or DESIRE for nuclear weapons!!! Why is that so difficult for a so-called Christian-Zionist ‘Religion is everything’ Cabal to except or comprehend, IF in fact they were as ‘religious’ as they claim to be?

Actually, while I’m asking, how does ANY person or religious group claiming to believe in God, so thoroughly and zealously pursue the acquisition and permanent possession of weapons of mass destruction, GUANANTEED to WIPE OUT THE universe and everything in it – specifically, HUMANITY? Well, it would appear only Christian-Zionist think that way. Apparently not much trust in God, eh? If one has to equip oneself with WMD. The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Meantime, on the other side of the coin, with Iran surrounded by nuclear equipped Pakistan, India, and little tiny, but SUPER EQUIPPED Israel, one might imagine they might have REASON to equip themselves with the things, if only for the purposes of deterrence. OR, just because by now, they might be sick and tired of having the US neocons lying on them, and accusing them of things that they are not guilty of, and doing their damndest to deny Iran their rights to develop a nuclear energy program and the technology that will bring them into the 21st Century.

Hell, years of putting up with that would make me a firebrand too!!

So, while we know that none of this makes a bit of difference to the long ago made plan to attack Iran, at least the rest of the world now knows that Ahmadinejad has been telling the truth all of the time.

So you’re right, if Cheney attacks anyway, we’ll be assured of who and what it’s about.

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By Joe, December 20, 2007 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment
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#121576 by Howard on 12/20 at 3:32 pm
“Iran continues to produce fissile material and the ballistic missiles needed to deploy a weapon.”

Howard, God bless you but that is some goofy shit you wrote. Any and every country developing nuclear-fueled electrical power plants HAS to produce or buy fissile material in order to fuel the plant. The “ballistic missiles” to which you refer are the simplest form of rocketry used for both mil and civilian purposes. Almost all field rockets and tactical weapons around the planet carry high-explosive warheads only. “Ballistic” only means that you shoot the thing into the air and, as with any falling object, it follows a simple, predictable path. In fact, non-ballistic missiles or any guided missile or aircraft, say a cheap, accurate cruise-missile, is far more effective and dangerous than the things you seem to fear. Iran has never attacked anyone. Your promotion of hostile activities will only serve to cause more suffering in the world.

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By Howard, December 20, 2007 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Sanction Iran Now

Matthew Levitt (Financial Times Deutschland/Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

The more significant conclusion of the latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear intentions and capabilities is that the most likely tool to successfully alter Iran’s nuclear calculus is targeted political and economic pressure, not military action.

Iran continues to produce fissile material and the ballistic missiles needed to deploy a weapon. According to IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei, Iran could produce a nuclear weapon in “only a few months” once it completes the fuel-cycle facilities it is building. The answer is to sanction Iran now, before it reaches this critical threshold.
All those interested in averting a military confrontation with Iran must rededicate themselves to employing a robust regime of smart sanctions targeting Tehran’s illicit activities.
While multilateral sanctions are always preferable, targeted financial measures applied unilaterally by major economic powers and regional bodies are sufficient to successfully target Iran with painful financial sanctions.

The writer directs the Stein Program on Terrorism, Intelligence, and Policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and was deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury for intelligence and analysis.

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By Howard, December 20, 2007 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Here’s another clip from Ritter’s article;  but I note that he does not explain what Israel should do with rockets and mortars arriving daily from the Gaza strip. Nor how to come close to guarantees for Israel’s borders and its security when there is no Atlantic or Pacific oceon fro a barrier; when we cannot secure our own here in the U.S., north and south.

And Arab propganda in the school and media calling for more terror against Israel.

And Ritter is not in our government so its most shakey that Israel infulences our gov’t in the manner he outlines.  Pure conjecture.
from ritter:

” As a weapons inspector I made numerous visits to Israel for the purpose of coordinating with the Israeli intelligence community on matters pertaining to Iraqi WMD. I was greatly impressed not only with the professionalism of the Israeli intelligence services, but also with the Israeli people and society. During my time in Israel, I was witness to numerous horrific events, including several terrorist bombings and the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The resilience of the people of Israel in absorbing these blows yet continuing to live life to its fullest was remarkable, and worthy of admiration.”

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 20, 2007 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

“...but we’re probably the most ignorant people in the world ...”
I concur Scott Ritter, it’s really a sad irony that the the average person in the greatest country in the world and the most bragged about democracy are so ignorant when it comes to the world and foreign policies.

It’s precisely because of this that you, Scott Ritter, constitute a national treasure that should be tapped to put this country back on the right track. I wish you would consider to run for high office.

Thank you Scott Ritter for being a courageous warrior for truth against the weapons of mass deception employed by the merchants of death and the right-wing fanatics!

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By Fadel Abdallah, December 20, 2007 at 8:12 am Link to this comment

The NIE report is important in the sense that it will show if Israel controls America or America uses Israel. Obviously, Israel is the only entity in the world that is badly itching to see Iran bombed, of course, besides the military-industrial complex and the Christian-Zionists. If Iran is attacked, despite the NIE report, then it will proof to the world that Israel, through its lobby, does really control the USA foreign policy. And it’s then that John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt’s, THE ISRAEL LOBBY and U.S. FOREIN POLICY, would make the most factually documented book that was ever produced.

Iran’s president Ahmadinajad might be a revolutionary firebrand, but he is not stupid to contemplate developing nuclear capabilities to use against either Israel or the USA, because he knows well, as all the world knows, that both Israel and the USA have the most deadly nuclear weapons evil humanity have ever developed, huge arsenals of them that they cannot ever match even after a century of producing their own. So the danger of Iran’s developing nuclear capability is obviously dangerously overstated to serve the colonial ambitions of Israel and the USA.

Moreover, just for the sake of argument, if the United States could live with a nuclear Soviet Union or a nuclear China, and if it can tolerate a nuclear Pakistan and embrace a nuclear India and keep cowardly and hypocritically silent about Israel’s own nuclear arsenal, then it could certainly live, however reluctantly, with a nuclear Iran as well.

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