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Posted on Jan 1, 2008
Bhutto vigil
AP photo / Ed Wray

Mourners in Lahore, Pakistan, hold a vigil Wednesday for the assassinated Benazir Bhutto.

By Robert Scheer

In the film “Charlie Wilson’s War,” the nitwit and deeply corrupt congressman elevated to heroic status through Tom Hanks’ ever-charming performance has a meeting with Pakistan’s then-dictator Zia ul-Haq in which they broker a deal for a joint effort to “save” Afghanistan from the Soviets. It’s all great fun; the United States is, as always, on the side of the good guys, in this case the Afghan mujahedeen, who later morphed into the Taliban, hosts of al-Qaida.

The movie does not mention that the mujahedeen went to war against the Soviet-backed government then in power in Kabul after the government committed the unpardonable crime of allowing female students to attend rural schools. The film casually notes that Gen. Zia, the U.S. ally in this effort to bring “freedom” to Afghanistan, was, like so many of the movie’s heroes, a hard case full of contradictions, as exemplified by his having murdered Pakistan’s previous ruler, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Bhutto was, of course, the father of Benazir Bhutto, killed last week in Pakistan. What is not noted is that not only Zia but every ruler of Pakistan since him, including Benazir Bhutto, supported increasingly virulent forms of Islamic fanaticism in Afghanistan, ending with the Taliban and the al-Qaida terrorists who attacked America on 9/11, and that all rulers of Pakistan enthusiastically amplified the successful effort initiated by Benazir’s now mythically beloved father to build an Islamic nuclear bomb.

I bring this up now at a time when the mass media is all too enthusiastically celebrating Benazir Bhutto as the carrier of the democratic ideal and apologizing for her bequeathing control over the party that she ruled as “chairman for life” to her arranged-marriage husband, Asif Ali Zardari, and their 19-year-old son, Bilawal. Before attending Oxford, Bilawal spent his formative years in the United Arab Emirates, which was one of the three countries to diplomatically recognize the Taliban (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan being the other two).

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari doesn’t seem familiar with the language used in Pakistan or much else about daily life in the country, but his father, known as “Mr. Ten Percent” for skimming wildly in Bhutto governments, assures us that a few more years at Oxford is all the seasoning this future hereditary democratic leader needs. It is hoped that the curriculum will include some reference to Pakistan’s key role, abetted by American visionaries like Charlie Wilson, in spawning the current terrorism menace.

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While the war on terror is used as the justification for U.S. meddling in Pakistan’s politics and wasting at least $10 billion in propping up the Pervez Musharraf government, it is rarely noticed that the general-turned-dictator and his key opponents are all more or less equally compromised by their past support of the Taliban.

Nawaz Sharif, the religious-based opposition leader, is deeply sympathetic to the fundamentalists, as are his Saudi backers, who bear the most responsibility for funding Islamic extremism. But the “democratic alternative” of Bhutto, whom the United States sought to broker back into power, was as compromised on this issue of support for the Taliban as she was on the matter of the Islamic bomb.

Indeed Benazir Bhutto, in her second term as Pakistan’s prime minister, oversaw funding of the Taliban and concealed that fact from the United States. As reported in Steve Coll’s authoritative book “Ghost Wars,” in a 1995 White House meeting with President Bill Clinton, Bhutto “promoted the Taliban as a pro-Pakistan force that could help stabilize Afghanistan. ... During her visit and for many months afterward, Bhutto and her aides repeatedly lied to American government officials and members of Congress about the extent of Pakistani military and financial aid to the Taliban.”

No doubt Bhutto had her virtues. Like many other reporters, I was mightily impressed with her intelligence upon meeting her. I never bothered to look too closely into the murders of her two brothers or the corruption charges that swirled around her and her husband. Nor did I focus on the disparity between the enormous wealth of the Bhutto clan and the miserable poverty of most they claimed to lead with their populist politics.

But I am not a Pakistani voter, and neither are those geniuses in the U.S. government who talked her into returning home without planning for the consequences. So, what else is new? But there is something: This time, the subject of our nation-building fantasy does have weapons of mass destruction and, thanks to our previous military sales of advanced jets, the means to deliver them. This time the blowback price of our incessant meddling could prove quite high. Even Tom Hanks can’t put a pretty face on that one.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Missy, January 7, 2008 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

While some people may find this video on youtube.com distasteful, I thought it was a most powerful message. It’s only about 6 minutes long.  What intigued me the most was toward the end when the herd of animals took BACK their baby.  VERY POWERFUL AND IMPORTANT MESSAGE!  Watch it to the end!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7KHUbuhgpQ

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By hetzer, January 6, 2008 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

Except for the Bill of Rights, the Constitution is an unholy mess.  It has only been made worse by the creation of a supreme court.  No one adopts our system of government except at gun point.

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By Missy, January 6, 2008 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Douglas

Definately not lame!  And you know so, of course!  Btw, very interesting sites you’ve posted…thanks!

Missy-

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

Cyrena

Thank you for bringing up the Fugitive Slave Act!!  I haven’t reflected upon such in relation to the Constitution.  I really don’t know why I haven’t, but your bringing it up has got me thinking about a lot of related issues.

Btw, thanks for your support too! It really means something to me, given these tough, alienating political times.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 6, 2008 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment

Al-Qaeda - phantom enemy…..

By Douglas Chalmers, January 6: “Benazir Bhutto also mentioned Beth-al-a Massoud (Ahmad Shah Massoud, I presume) who was supposedly assassinated in 2001…”

Just correcting that the other man mentioned, the “Afghan warlord”, is said to be Baitullah Mehsud although he is supposedly based in Waziristan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baitullah_Mehsud

However, he has denied being involved in the assassination of BB:-

Agence France-Presse - Saturday, December 29, 2007 (Peshawar): “An alleged Al-Qaida leader Baitullah Mehsud, blamed by the Pakistan government for killing Benazir Bhutto, denied any involvement in her death, his spokesman said on Saturday…...’‘He had no involvement in this attack,’’ spokesman Maulana Omar said in a telephone call. ‘‘This is a conspiracy of the government, army and intelligence agencies.’‘.....

‘‘It is against tribal tradition and custom to attack a woman,’’ Omar said. He said the transcript released by the government, allegedly of a phone call between Mehsud and a militant discussing Bhutto’s death after the killing, was a ‘‘drama’’ and expressed sadness over her assassination on Thursday.

He said it would have been ‘‘impossible’’ for militants to get through the security cordon around the campaign rally where she was killed. ‘‘Benazir was not only a leader of Pakistan but also a leader of international fame. We express our deep grief and shock over her death,’’ Omar said…. http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20070037176&ch=12/29/2007 1:32:00 PM

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By vandrop, January 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please know that Charlie Wilson’s War is a rare piece of filmmaking: A Hollywood movie that DOES show the dark side of American “heroes”.  It is a movie about the flip side of actions taken in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 80s.  It ends with a quote from Charlie Wilson himself, something along the lines of:  America is great at coming in and changing the world… and then fucks up the end game.  And so it goes.

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, January 6, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

In previous post in last paragraph;

For——      Benazir Bhutto is a major blow…
Please read—-    Benazir Bhutto assassination is a major blow

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A Khokar's avatar

By A Khokar, January 6, 2008 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

This might have the requirement of Pakistan that in the face of typical conventional threats from India; in order to achieve the required depth in Pakistan defences; it was keeping its Afghan borders porous. Later on same porous borders served very well during Afghan war against Soviet Union to facilitate the movements of troops (Mujahideen), as well as their logistic and arms and ammunition.

With out an ample warning and time given to Pakistan that it was still stuck with the aftermath mess of Afghan War; USA (now a sole super power) launched an offensive in Middle East to physical move in to avail a foot hold in Iraq and finally move into Afghanistan to achieve a full control of Broader Middle East (Pakistan, Central Asia and Middle East) and beyond. Later incident of 9/11 in USA resulted in escalation and gave a boost in the operations in its war theatre.

Iraq has successively been manipulated to shed its sovereignty; and finally it is emerging as a American mega base; a well defined American launching Pad for its subsequent offensives to secure Afghanistan and Central Asian states. After Iraq the hurdle of Iran is proving to be a hard case to tackle. Afghanistan is the priority and Pakistan needs to be tamed and fully subjugated along with its nuclear assents as well communication ports to form a secured American Strategic border line with the emerging powers of the region like china and India. 

In Afghanistan US is already there along with the NATO forces. In view of the toilsome situation with Iran that it is taking very long to concede; it is most likely that Iran is by passed and US moves on.

After 9/11, Pakistan although accepted US terms in good faith to go along with USA in its war against terrorism but it has been very difficult for Pakistan to also change the realities on ground and achieve a 100 % successes.

It is but imperative for Pakistan that it clears out all the Taliban-Al Qaeda elements from its troubled tribal belt along the Afghan border where Taliban elements have infiltrated and farmed havens; and make sure that Pakistan attains a water tight security of its border to take out remnants of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates and make the clearing up operation a success.

Benazir Bhutto is a major blow for Pakistan while it is in thick of turmoil and anarchy but Pakistanis are very versatile and resilient lot. They know how to meet the difficult goals even in the direful and precarious situations. To tackle the odds successfully are the traits and dynamism which distinguish them from others.
—————————————
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 6, 2008 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Al-Qaeda -  phantom enemy

By Expat, January 6: “Interesting read in the Asia Times…”

Had to laugh at Condi Rice’s statement, Expat,  that “We don’t have permanent enemies…” and that she still expects others to accept solely US terms and conditions to end “confrontation or conflict”.

Quote: “For the first time since it expounded the “axis of evil” theory, exactly six years ago - grouping Iraq, Iran and North Korea - the Bush administration is compelled to view Iran with a sense of proportion. The hardline policies aimed at destabilizing the Iranian regime look downright irresponsible in the changed circumstances…..

With Bhutto’s assassination, Washington must now hasten its “thought process”. There is a hard decision to take. Both Iran and Russia would be sensible partners in the “war on terror” in Afghanistan…..”

The trouble is, though, that INDIA has already aligned with Russia and is buiding their own version of the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, the Sukhoi stealth fighters. They will have something, quite a lot actually, to say about Pakistan which just happens to be their main adversary.

India has also aligned with China, a former adversary, and they and Russia now form the basis of the SCO (Shangghai Group). The USA is gradually being pushed aside in world affairs. That is a deserved fate given the way America has behaved, especially in the past 60 years. The forthcoming financial crisis will be telling.

But, apart from the possibility of OBL being dead since 2001-02, Benazir Bhutto also mentioned Beth-al-a Massoud (Ahmad Shah Massoud, I presume) who was supposedly assassinated in 2001, was perhaps still alive as others had already said, judging by the way she mentioned him as “the Afghan warlord”. She also mentioned “the Pakistan Taleban IN Islamabad…. or a group IN Karachi” !!!

By the way, Omar Sheikh who BB said killed Osama Bin Laden was a British double-agent and most probably could have infiltrated Al Qaeda. No doubt, Condi’s statement about not having permanent enemies could thus be characterized as indicating that Al Qaeda and the Taleban and just about everyone else there are all on the USA’s payroll, uhh http://nl.youtube.com/watch?v=f1uLdmct8_E

Proof that Al Qaeda is a fake bogeyman is one thing, even the Taleban effectively, but the other issue was that Britain and Europe could have easily solved their own home terrorist problems by supporting BB’s survival and her election. That will now never happen and Britain and the USA now DO have “permanent enemies”  across S.Asia and the M.East. Whose fault, eh?

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By cyrena, January 6, 2008 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

What truth might that be Chris? What ‘truth’ do you suggest that I’m ignoring?

And, did I say I was ‘teaching’ any others? I study the stuff, and make it available to other scholars. I don’t have to re-write ANY of it. It’s all right there. That would be the TRUTH…that is right there.

So, who’s actually ignoring what here, or attempting to cherry-pick things, based on their own ideological interpretations?

I think you’re a sorry ass ideological whimp, who wouldn’t accept the ‘truth’ if it knocked you over the head.

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By Expat, January 6, 2008 at 1:09 am Link to this comment

Interesting read in the Asia Times;

Follow this link; http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JA05Df02.html

I have recently discovered this online paper and think it’s a gem.

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By cyrena, January 5, 2008 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Great post. I’m just going to re-post a small portion, because it makes the point with an excellent example..

“....I have previously spouted piss and vinegar in support of Catholocism, but that was ten years ago and my perspective has changed.  So, too, may have Benazir Bhutto’s view of the Taliban.  Citing Cold War decision making and those made in the direct aftermath of the Soviet collapse to current politics seems a stretch to me.  The world has changed in unpredictable ways, and so have ideologies…”

So, thanks for this.

It goes along with one of my favorite ‘quotes’ though I don’t know who came up with it…

“If you haven’t changed your mind lately, how do you know you still have one?”

Ideologies DO change. Times, circumstances, conditions, etc, etc, change. And, we gain MORE knowledge. (or, at least we’re expected to).

And, unless we can adjust accordingly, we’re screwed…

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By cyrena, January 5, 2008 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

Missy,

I love this!! Thanks for posting it. Needless to say, some of us have grown very weary pointing these things out.

It annoys me to no end, to have these morons claim that ALL of the “Founders” were religious men, (and Christian).

Then we need only look at the Constitution, to see that the ‘Christian’ part of it would appear to be ‘in name only’.

Were these same ‘Christians’ not responsible for the Fugitive Slave Act, of 1787, which later threatened a Constitutional crises, because so many people (who DID consider themselves ‘Christians’ - abolitionists among them) refused to comply with the law, because they believed it to be immoral, even though it WAS the law?

Thing is, none of the people that are arguing this whole ‘Christian’ principals thing, as fundamental to the Constitution, have any idea what they’re talking about. They base it on their own rabid ideology, and reach for any interpretation that they think will support it.

It doesn’t, but of course they cannot be convinced of that, because they’re stupid, and they don’t WANNA be convinced.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: Hamsa Bin Laden, Omar Sheikh…

By Missy, January 5: “Thanks Chalmers! I do appreciate your comments…”

Lame, uhh!

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By Missy, January 5, 2008 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

Thanks Chalmers! I do appreciate your comments.

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By Missy, January 5, 2008 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

You wrote:
The Constitution IS based on Christianity.  EVERY member of the Continental Congress was Christian.  To deny their religious beliefs influence on their political ideology is simply stupid.


Firstly, WHO do you think helped to pass and ratifiy the treaty I just wrote about in my last post?  Yeap, the one and only, supposedly “ALL religous congress?” 


Now if ALL of Congress were religous, (btw, saying “All” is really a greivous error and a stereotype) they sure as hell didn’t appear to give a damn about one of the first treaties ever ratified, which I will RE-POST again, which states:

As the Government of the U.S. is not in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character or enmity against the law, religion or tranquiliy of musselmen (Muslims); and as the states never have entered into any war or act ot hostility against any Mohemtan nation, it is declared by the parties that not pretext arising from religous opinion shall ever produce an interruption of harmony existing between the two countries.

With that said, I suggest you question your religous advocates and ask them what in hell are they talking about. 

Secondly, as for your referring to Democratic advocates as mental patients is really laughable, given that the majority of the evangelical side of the republicans are religously mass-delusional, steeped in tradition whether it is b/c of ignorance or not, and in a big way reponsible for our county being led by the nose b/c of stupid, childish beliefs, based NOT on education, but superstition and tradition.  Being just the opposite of such, rational reasoning utilized by the masses through education without religious and mythical input is the ONLY way to take back our government from the elitist clutch hold, and as I see it, most religous repubs are the dominant force that refuse to “help themselves” overcome their childish beliefs and traditions, which are the very way that elitist control us all…through stupid beliefs.  All the while, the very same tards point a finger at the down-trodden in society.  Perhaps if you gain a better understanding of the sociology of WHY people are in poverty, engaging in drugs, etc., you wouldn’t be so quick to spout such unfounded ignorance about them.

Thirdly, other than educating the masses so that they better understand the exploiting manner of politics and the real reasoning and solutions behind social ills, Do you have a better solution?  Why don’t you take your own advice, and SHUT UP AND DO SOMETHING?????????

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 5, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Hamsa Bin Laden, Omar Sheikh…

By parmaher, January 5: “Re: By A Khokar, January 3: ...wanted to make you aware… “sexist bigot"ry…. you kinda cut your own legs out there….”

Why don’t you just say what you mean, parmaher? If you don’t like what I am saying, analyse it and comment on it. You might have to research some earlier posts, though…...

While we are at it, Missy asked me to comment on the BBC’s David Frost interview with Benazir Bhutto re the murder of Osama Bin Laden - also January 3. So, too, have a couple of others on recent BB topics here but none have had the decency to respond in turn.

No wonder, then that people complain the the media treat them like sheep. They deserve it, uhh. By the way, have you searched “A Khokar” on the net yet - or are you one of his team? Try http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2167985 Junior Member.

Quote AK: “Al-Qaeda is the wings of US to help…take the flights; and perch or land any where, where ever they want. A friend in need is a friend indeed! Al-Qaeda is a…friend in deed; having a long lasting friendship accord with US. Of course; they can… rescue US in future also! http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1885369

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By parmaher, January 5, 2008 at 5:56 am Link to this comment

Doug:
  Just wanted to make you aware, the phrase “attacking like a woman” should not be used when accusing someone else of “sexist bigot"ry.  Just sayin’, man, you kinda cut your own legs out there.

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

The Constitution IS based on Christianity.  Every member of the Continental Congress was Christian.  To deny their religious beliefs influence on their political ideology is simply stupid.  Hindus are influenced by Bhagavad Veda morality, Buddhists by Siddharta’s, and Christians by Christ’s.  Whether or not we follow the teachings attributed to these religious figures, their influence on those who do can hardly be questioned.  The Constitutional question that needs to be answered is “Should we use writer’s intent as the basis for meaning?”  If we say that we should, we agree that, despite far less information, 250 years ago some rich white slave owners were smarter than us.  While they were brilliant in their application of phlosophy to government structure, they were believers in God and Christ, and used the Christian philosophy, as transformed by Locke and Luther, to build this system.  Now, we need to use our society and our modern world to interpret that philosophy and apply it.  They made judges to interpret the application of law, and, by God, Allah, Yahweh, Krishna, Buddha, or 42, we should hold them responsible to do so, and stop blaming the “repubs” or the president/figurehead for all that has gone wrong.  The founders warned that the only weakness to their system was de-evolution into a two party climate, and their were two parties before washington ran for re-elaction.  I agree that “repubs” are dumb, but Democrats?  Even worse.  The Republican Party is brutal in it’s power-grabbing schemes, but Democrats are like mental-patients in their inability to accept reality.  Not everybody will be healthy and succesful.  Some of us are screw-ups.  Drug addicts do drugs, they don’t work, why pay them?  While you think about that, the Republicans just passed another bill in a Democrat-majority Congress that you can deride on CNN next week.  They are in the majority of the only government body that can declare war, and yet they complain about us being at war.  SHUT UP AND DO SOMETHING!!!!

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 5, 2008 at 4:44 am Link to this comment

Must be a far right synaptic gap problem or perhaps some mis-firing of the neurons…lol

  Now listen here Missy,
I think it is a combination of the two.
LOL

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By Missy, January 4, 2008 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t see your post until now…I did post a reply below your comment about the Constitution premised around “Christianity.”  Do repubs really believe that?  Must be a far right synaptic gap problem or perhaps some mis-firing of the neurons…lol

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By Missy, January 4, 2008 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

It is myth that the Founding Fathers established a Christian Nation. No matter what Falwell shouted from the pulpits, you will find different upon further exploration.
True, in our early history(1620) the signers of the Mayflower decree declared that they were founding a new colony for God and a Christian nation. with the exception of Maryland and Rhode Island, the early settlers practiced religous intolerance. The people had to pay taxes to support religion, only religous leaders could hold office, and non-believers were banished from the colonies. The Mass. Bay Colony was Puritanism at it’s pious worst.
Later, in 1787, those were the the very abuses that the framers of the constitution wanted to put an end to. WHY? They recognized the religous persecutions that had swept across Europe since the Protestant Reformation. They didn’t trust Christianity, because they saw the denial in freedoms. They bent over backwards to NOT create a Christian nation. They established no official state religion. They required no religious test to hold office, and the oath of office for the president did not end with the traditional “so help me god”. The lack of mention of god was no accident. The lack of mention of the divinity was a deliberate ommission and sends a powerful message. If they wanted a christian state, they could have done it.
The language is found in one of the first American treaties ever ratified: a pact between the United States and the Barbary States. Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli:
As the Government of the U.S. is not in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character or enmity against the law, religion or tranquiliy of musselmen (Muslims); and as the states never have entered into any war or act ot hostility against any Mohemtan nation, it is declared by the parties that not pretext arising from religous opinion shall ever produce an interruption of harmony existing between the two countries.
The record is clear. George Washington and John Adams knew a lot more about who we are than does Jerry Falwell. The United States is “not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion” We are not a Christian nation and never intended to be.
Now, with that said…I think the Founding fathers may have been moreso protecting us from religion than the reverse. Do you think our Founding Fathers were truly religous men? It’s debateable, don’t you think? Certainly interesting….and with more research I’m sure you can find several athiestic quotes from the majority of them. That’s why Repubs never mention Thomas Jefferson very much.  As a matter of fact, what’s his face(I can’t think of his name..a relig fanatic) has admitted to making fraudulent/ficticious religous quotes up in some of the signer’s names that were religous.  It wasn’t printed on our monies until the “religous” freaks pushed their agendas.  Btw, Christian is mentioned in the constitution once…but damn sure not the premise.  Read up on “when” “In god we Trust” was pushed onto our coinage.  Good day!!

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By Mick, January 4, 2008 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Taliban were an unwilling host of Osama because he had nowhere else to go. Neither the Taliban, nor other Afghans, nor indeed the Iraqis had anything to do with 9/11”

Umm…you were saying something about the height of ignorance? I hate the Cheney’s with a passion, but c’mon. If the Taliban had assisted the world (it wasn’t just the US that was interested)in bringing in OBL, which they surely could have done (and to face trial, not summary execution), there would have been no cause to invade Afghanistan (a move that even the likes of Kucinich and Ron Paul voted for).

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By Pär Maher, January 4, 2008 at 4:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I found this article very interesting, but only as it is not an area of history that I am well versed in.  It turns out that, at least in the late 90’s when I attended, Charles Wilson was not a name taught to history students.  I think that it is always important to review past behavior and ideology when assessing motivations, this does not hold as the gold standard for judgement.  I have previously spouted piss and vinegar in support of Catholocism, but that was ten years ago and my perspective has changed.  So, too, may have Benazir Bhutto’s view of the Taliban.  Citing Cold War decision making and those made in the direct aftermath of the Soviet collapse to current politics seems a stretch to me.  The world has changed in unpredictable ways, and so have ideologies.  If you wish to convince me of anything as thin as this premise, citing your sources for facts could help.  I don’t think that you made any fact stated from thin air, but, for example, what source, and how reliable are they, gave you the information that Gen. Zia killed the previous Pakistani leader?  Or did you mean that he helped plan it?  Or was simply associated with the people who planned it?  The statement is broad in implication, and without source, questionable in meaning.  The language of rhetoric seems to dismantle your premise, but maybe, with luck, we will all realize that the human race, as a whole and individually, is capable of extremes in all direction, and until you have walked lifetime in someone elses shoes, we can only learn from their decisions and results, never question their morality.  If you were in a position of power, having been raised in his life, with his experiences, and the genes that wired his brain together, you would have done just as Charles Wilson did.  Ultimately, we all do what we do, and once we’ve done it, its done.  Others may disagree with you, but at that time, in that situation, you must accept that results are based on chaos and what you contribute is minute.

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 4, 2008 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

Actually the tide turned in favor of the Afghanis after the CIA supplied them with Stinger rockets.

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 4, 2008 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

I am not sure what is more frightening; that you study constitutional law and still find a way to ignore the truth, or that you teach others…

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By cyrena, January 3, 2008 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

124194 Chris from the wrong side of…


•  Need any more are do you stand corrected?
Nope, I don’t need anymore, seeing as I’ve read all of this long ago. That’s what Historians/Constitutional Legal Scholars do. And, there’s definitely nothing here that would require me to stand ‘corrected’. I never said that the Constitution didn’t have such words of ‘Christianity’ built into it.

Matter of fact, were you aware that Slavery is ALSO written into the Constitution? Oh yeah. And, have you ever read the ORIGINAL Constitution, where they argued back and forth with the Brits about this “Christian” thing? It’s really quite entertaining, since the whole concept of ‘Christianity’ was a bit difficult to reconcile with chattel slavery. So, it’s a really interesting document, as are all of the letters and other conversations that went flying around, in the write-up to the write-up.

So, it would appear that YOU might be the one who needs some additional knowledge. But alas, I’m not teaching any classes this evening. Maybe later, I can direct you to some helpful sources. Do you have access to JSTOR?

Meatime, have a good one, and don’t forget to say your prayers.


Oh..PS, I will give you one hint for your arguments. If I wasn’t already familiar with the stuff you wrote AFTER the ‘keyword’ -almost-, your argument would have been meaningless.

ALMOST doesn’t cut it.

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 3, 2008 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena, Almost all of the founding fathers were very devout Christian’s.

You are right that they wanted a separation of church and state. They were afraid that if there was not a clear distinction then it would open the door for religious persecution, and rightly so.

Having said all that there are a few facts that you should be aware of:

1. The first official act in the First Continental Congress was to open in Christian prayer, which ended in these words: “...the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Savior. Amen”.

2. Ben Franklin, at the Constitutional Convention, said: “...God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

3. John Adams stated so eloquently during this period of time that; “The general principles on which the fathers achieved Independence were ... the general principles of Christianity ... I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that the general principles of Christianity are as etemal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

4. John Quincy Adams answered the question as to why, next to Christmas, was the Fourth of July this most joyous and venerated day in the United States. He answered: “...Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?” Sounds like the founding of a Christian nation to me. John Quincy Adams went on to say that the biggest victory won in the American Revolution was that Christian principles and civil government would be tied together In what he called an “indissoluble” bond.

5.The First Amendment was not to keep religion out of government. It was to keep Government from establishing a ‘National Denomination” (like the Church of England). As early as 1799 a court declared: “By our form of government the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing.” Even in the letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Baptists of Danbury Connecticut (from which we derive the term “separation of Church and State”) he made it quite clear that the wall of separation was to insure that Government would never interfere with religious activities because religious freedom came from God, not from Government.

6.George Washington who certainly knew the intent of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, since he presided over their formation, said in his “Farewell Address”: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars.” Sure doesn’t sound like Washington was trying to separate religion and politics.

7.John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and one of the three men most responsible for the writing of the Constitution declared:

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is their duty-as well as privilege and interest- of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Still sounds like the Founding Fathers knew this was a Christian nation.

Need any more are do you stand corrected?

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By cyrena, January 3, 2008 at 7:29 pm Link to this comment

Actually, Chris, YOU are WRONG.

It’s definitely true that the Brits brought Christianity over here with them, and used it when it was convenient, and ignored it other times.

But for the most part, it WAS the prevailing ‘religious’ doctrine, and a really VIOLENT one at that.

Be that as it may, the Founders were very clear about the Establishment Clause, and that was to make sure that the Church and the State remained SEPERATE!!

So, the UNDENIABLE ‘fact’, is that they put that in their for a reason.

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By masmanz, January 3, 2008 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

USSR attacked and conquered Afghanistan, the installed leader Babrak Kamel came atop soviet tanks and executed the PM who had supposedly asked for Soviet’s help. It was a heroic effort by Afghans which forced the Soviets out. To say that it was just because of girls attending schools is height of ignorance. Pakistan and US played their part but it was mainly Afghan’s effort and sacrifice. Brutal fighting among the Mujahideen was an unexpected outcome. Taliban were successful, not because they were Pakistani stooges but because they brought in the much needed stability. Afghans know very well how to deal with stooges and they would have kicked out Taliban had they really been Pakistani stooges. Osama had left Afghanistan but was forced back into the country by the Clinton administration. Why? Taliban were an unwilling host of Osama because he had nowhere else to go. Neither the Taliban, nor other Afghans, nor indeed the Iraqis had anything to do with 9/11; Yet the Bush administration used the event as a pretext to attack the two countries.

Had the Afghans not fought off the Soviets it is quite likely that the Soviets would have not only stayed in Afghanistan but would have probably occupied part of Pakistan’s tribal area and maybe even Baluchistan.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 3, 2008 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Hamsa Bin Laden, Omar Sheikh…

By Missy, January 3: ”...I would very much know what you think of B. Bhutto’s comment on this video concerning Osama Bin Laden…”

Yes, I’ve seen part of this interview already, thanks, Missy, and I commented on it in one of the BB topics recently when cyrena queried it. I havn’t seen much comment yet…...

BB speaks about Hamsa Bin Laden, the son of Osama Bin Laden as a threat to her. A few minutes further in, she then mentions that Omar Sheikh murdered Osama Bin Laden. She was definite about it, too.

I still haven’t heard David Frost respond to that. But, after all, he sounds like he is almost dribbling with dementia, uhh. The British, particularly the English, are peculiar though, and becoming more so these days.

Maybe he thought that she had merely meant to say that he had killed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (in 2002), something already well known? It wouldn’t occur to Frost that she would be better informed living in Dubai.

I think BB was a compelling speaker and a finer leader than anyone the USA has to offer. So much sadder, then, that she was treated so contemptously by people in her own country who should have been serving her as president.

Of course, isn’t that so similar to the USA where every attempt has been made to smear Hillary Clinton despite her being “the most experienced and the most qualified person” for the presidency? No wonder that good people are hard to come by in politics….. anywhere!

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 3, 2008 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Now you are crossing limits

By A Khokar, January 3: “So I close this chapter with you; with the prayer that May God bless you…”

Ha ha, I don’t need pleasant manners AK - you do, you mannerless hypocrite! And you are not closing anything here. We blog on without you. On your way, worthless jihadist for a male misogynist state!

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 3, 2008 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

1. To win war, we must vanquish the enemy.
Agreed

2. In an insurgency, we can’t readily identify the enemy. It could be that woman walking up to the roadblock, that man driving to work, or maybe those kids playing hide and seek.
Agreed

3. Therefore we must kill them all so that we can be sure the enemy is dead. Get the picture?
Sort of, but not in the context that you spin. The context you spin is trying to suggest that the US would engage in Genocide.

“Insurgencies arise for many reasons. One of them is the thought that their country is being occupied.”
I agree somewhat…

“Which is, in simple terms, what happened in Iraq.”
Delusional liberal rhetoric.
Liberation is what happened in Iraq. IF There was no Oil you liberals would love this war.

“AQI didn’t move in until AFTER 2003,”
...and you know this from your vast experience within the Iraqy intelligence community under the rule of Saddam? Or this is more baseless liberal speculation?”

“...and never really has been as much of a problem for the US as the insurgency. Insurgents, in general, are not terrorists.”
More delusional babble from an uninformed leftist with an obvious agenda…

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By Hammo, January 3, 2008 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

As Scheer points out, Hollywood often doesn’t get the story quite right. Tom Hanks’ role as Congressman Charlie Wilson reportedly glosses over quite a few inconvenient and complex circumstances.

Hollywood can play an important and constructive role in providing useful information and insight if films are written and produced responsibly.

Along these lines, recent films by Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg and by Oliver Stone might be worth taking a look at via the articles ...

“Eastwood, Spielberg have one more angle to cover in Iwo Jima films”

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=21191

-  -  -

“New Oliver Stone movie about 9/11 brings Americans together”

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=12066

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By A Khokar, January 3, 2008 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

By Douglas Chalmers, January 3 at 1:40 pm

Douglas,
Now you are crossing limits.
So I close this chapter with you; with the prayer that May God bless you with the pleasant manners.

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By Missy, January 3, 2008 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

Douglas, not to change the subject, but I would very much know what you think of B. Bhutto’s comment on this video concerning Osama Bin Laden…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIO8B6fpFSQ

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 3, 2008 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

By A Khokar, January 3: “Typical mentality of a slug that breathes no air, requires no water and engorges itself on…. shit, uhh… from your egotistic vocabulary…

If you don’t have some thing pleasant to say, AK,  at least try to refrain from your conceited and dishonest lecturing. As usual, you detract from the discussion by avoiding the subject of the comment lest you have to admit to your own pathetic shortcomings.

Instead, you whine petulantly about insignificant matters of taste. As a known arrogant creep, you’ve already been discovered to be a sexist bigot in previous topics. Now you want to pretend as to your disgusting pseudo-righteousness as though the skies were ever blue in your (S.Asian) home town.

Hiding behind a veil of supposed civility, attacking like a woman, then dishonestly departing, your very sad arrogance soon takes over -at least in your own mind. It is not logic and wisdom deep seeded in your soul, AK, but the venom of a hooded viper.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXbQ4cnfOCA

Indeed, you would fit right into “Charlie Wilson’s War” as a committed supporter of goons like Zia ul Haq. No wonder BB was murdered with your kind prowling about. No doubt, you are trying to “save” Pakistan from the USA so that you can keep the women their in your accustomed subjugation, uhh.

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 3, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

“The U.S. was NOT founded on the Christian religion principles…..”

You are Wrong, It is an Undeniable fact that liberals hate to admit.

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 3, 2008 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 3: “I agree, the next time someone murders innocent Americans through beheading, flying planes into buildings or some other terrorism; we should embrace them and try to better understand their feelings and what we did to cause them to behave like that…”

I was obviously kidding. That was taken out of the, “The Liberals Guide to How to wage a politically correct war with terrorists”, book.

  Then you will also realize that the native Hawaiians there would also like the same courtesy and respect shown to them, too, uhh, ChrisFTRSM.

Since you are so educated on the current state of Hawaiian affairs you must realize that they are given every respect and courtesy. There is segregated schools for them that the Office of Hawaiian Affairs set up for them; <THEY ASKED FOR THIS> And they have INCREDIBLY affordable housing available. We are not talking about project style apartments; We are talking about beautiful homes and lots.

  Of course, though, war must be “a necessary evil” as it is the USA which has started most wars since 1945….. at least, the ones it has been engaged in.

“With great power comes great responsibility. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves, our interests and those of our allies.”

  Judging by Scheer’s tone, he will be exhorting - or at least justifying - the USA moving on Pakistan (or moving in) any day now. Too bad that N.Korea is such an inconvenience…..

Scheer seems to me to be a fairly level headed liberal that is not so partisan and bent on carrying party flags that he can’t see the truth. Although I disagree with much of what he says, I do recognize that he is one of those rarest of liberals; One that can call it like it is and then make up his own mind.

The problem with most liberals is that they can not even see the truth, much less have an honest discussion about it.

” Of course, though, war must be “a necessary evil” as it is the USA which has started most wars since 1945….. at least, the ones it has been engaged in.”

There used to be good Democrats around that saw that sometimes you must draw a line in the sand and be willing to go to war if the line was crossed. What if John F. Kennedy was not such a man? We would all be speaking Russian. I think that is the same type of democratic party that Reagan was a part of.

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By A Khokar, January 3, 2008 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

By Douglas Chalmers, January 3 at 8:23 am wrote [Typical mentality of a slug that breathes no air, requires no water and engorges itself on…. shit, uhh……. The U.S. was NOT founded on the Christian religion principles….. and no amount of sheep (or goats) slaughtered in vain religious sacrifices will make the slightest difference in yer stupid f&$#ing “holy land”!]

Douglas, I never thought; you are that arrogant a person. I am bit bemused to know your taste and choice of loudmouthed words from your egotistic vocabulary.

If you don’t have some thing pleasant to say; at least try to refrain from using your abusive language.
Please let Civility not depart away from this forum; because when civility departs then, very sadly the arrogance takes over.

Please also don’t forget that sky is not blue in United States only.

Thanks for your patience.
A Khokar
.......................
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By P. T., January 3, 2008 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

The chickenhawks have been out lately.  But the best way for the U.S. to stop terrorism is to quit perpetrating it.  Now, the chickens have come home to roost.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 3, 2008 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

By A Khokar, January 3: “We all know that Oil supply from Middle East wells is our life line and it keeps our western economies rolling….”

Typical mentality of a slug that breathes no air, requires no water and engorges itself on shit, uhh.

When all the oil is sucked dry, the metals mines exhausted and the last tree chopped down, there will no longer be this slug crawling along its “lifeline” into the M.East…..

The U.S. was NOT founded on the Christian religion principles….. and no amount of sheep (or goats) slaughtered in vain religious sacrifices will make the slightest difference in yer stupid f&$#ing “holy land”!

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By Missy, January 3, 2008 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

Yeah I get your point.  What fascinates me is that others can’t see forced “Imperialism”  in the cloak of religion.  Some serious therapy is needed if one can’t see these atrocities.  The same as manifest destiny was “O.K.” with the “self-righteous Christians” who said God says the Manifest Destiny is a “God Advocated” ideology that says “It is righteous” to kill all the native “savages” and expand westward. This is totally similar to the jews using “God’s chosen ones” and “we are victims” to manipulate others in believing it is “god’s will” to take Palestinian land and inact war on any country of their choosing.  The whole of belief in and gods or idols ever presented since man’s beginning is that you would have to be an uneducated brainwashed “tard” to fall for all of this shit that has been hoisted on us all and caused the starvation, suffering, and displacement of millions of human beings all over the globe.  F-ing insanity!!! Wake up nut jobs!!  It’s not too late!

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By Missy, January 3, 2008 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

The U.S. was NOT founded on the Christian religion principles.  You have apparently been washed too often in the “blood of the lamb”  uh, I mean sheep.

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By Missy, January 3, 2008 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

lol…glad to know that some homosapien short term memory is still working.  Worried me there for a while….

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By Missy, January 3, 2008 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Well now…it would seem that vanquishing the enemy would mean less money for the war-mongering elitist profiteers…and we all know that’s not going to happen.  How could anyone wish to “abolish” a sect of our species?  Damn the craziness of brainwashing.  Oh…uh…almost forgot…amen.

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By please don't, January 3, 2008 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was responding to your post Chris, not the topic.

Yes, I know Germans, Italians, etc.

We were also not fighting insurgencies during those wars.

In Vietnam we fought both a traditional war and probably more importantly an insurgency. Did we “vanquish the enemy” there? No. So, of course I would know some Vietnamese.

Your logic goes like this:
1. To win war, we must vanquish the enemy.

2. In an insurgency, we can’t readily identify the enemy. It could be that woman walking up to the roadblock, that man driving to work, or maybe those kids playing hide and seek.

3. Therefore we must kill them all so that we can be sure the enemy is dead. Get the picture?

I’m not sure you do. Unless of course you can tell the rest us how to “vanquish” an insurgency. You should forward your golden ticket to success to the Pentagon- I’m sure they would love to read it so we can win.

Insurgencies arise for many reasons. One of them is the thought that their country is being occupied. Which is, in simple terms, what happened in Iraq. AQI didn’t move in until AFTER 2003, and never really has been as much of a problem for the US as the insurgency. Insurgents, in general, are not terrorists.

Again, would you like me to buy you a plane ticket to the next “total war” zone? I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

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By jojo, January 3, 2008 at 5:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bhutto, JFK, and Conspiracies
by Jacob G. Hornberger

It’s interesting to compare the attitude of the U.S. mainstream press toward the assassination of Benazir Bhutto with its attitude toward the assassination of President John Kennedy.

The immediate reaction of the American press (and U.S. government officials) to the Bhutto killing has been a presumption of a conspiracy. Equally important, among the prime suspects are Pakistani intelligence agencies.

For example, the New York Times reported:

“Pakistani and Western security experts said the government’s insistence that Ms. Bhutto, a former prime minister, was not killed by a bullet was intended to deflect attention from the lack of government security around her…. Her vehicle came under attack by a gunman and suicide bomber as she left a political rally in Rawalpindi, where the Pakistani Army keeps its headquarters, and where the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency has a strong presence.”

“The new images of the men who appear to have been Ms. Bhutto’s assassins showed one dressed in a sleeveless black waistcoat and rimless sunglasses, and holding aloft what appeared to be a gun. He had a short haircut and wore the kind of attire reminiscent of plainclothes intelligence officials, though Al Qaeda and other militants have also been known to dress attackers in Western-style clothing in order to disguise them.”

Yet, in the Kennedy assassination, the presumption has always been the exact opposite. After the killing, the U.S. mainstream press immediately embraced the conclusion quickly reached by U.S. officials that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin as well as the decision by federal officials to immediately shut down any serious investigation into whether there was a conspiracy behind the killing, including a conspiracy in which U.S. intelligence agencies might have participated.

Why is the mainstream press considering the possibility that Pakistani intelligence agencies were behind the Bhutto killing? According to the Guardian, Pakistan’s intelligence agencies “are widely believed to carry out kidnappings, unlawful detentions and extrajudicial killings. The speed with which the government accused al-Qaida did little to allay fears of state involvement, and conflicting accounts of the cause of death have convinced many of a cover-up.”

Yet, as everyone knows, U.S. intelligence agencies, especially the CIA, have long been involved in the same sort of nefarious activities — kidnappings, torture, coups, murder, and assassinations, even as far back as the Kennedy administration.

Now, notice that no one in the mainstream press is screaming, “Conspiracy theory! Conspiracy theory!” in response to the suspicion that Pakistani intelligence agencies might have been behind the Bhutto killing. On the contrary, the mainstream press is actually treating such a conspiracy as a viable possibility.

Yet, whenever someone suggests that U.S. intelligence agencies might have been involved in the JFK killing, the immediate attitude of the U.S. mainstream press is exactly the opposite: “Conspiracy theory! Conspiracy theory!”

The longtime protective attitude toward the CIA among the mainstream press has been most recently reflected in the controversy over the CIA’s obstruction of justice and cover-up in the George Joannides matter. Despite the ominous overtones of the Joannides scandal, the entire matter has been met with a collective yawn of indifference among the mainstream press.

During the time that Oswald was in New Orleans, one of the groups with which he interacted was a virulent anti-Castro student group in New Orleans. Oswald first approached the group by offering his services as a former U.S. Marine to help train anti-Castro guerrillas

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By A Khokar, January 3, 2008 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

I think from now on ward when we talk about Middle East; the other countries in the area like Afghanistan, Pakistan and energy rich countries of Central Asia are ought to be considered as one common block especially from the point of view of American Adventurism ( as the victim of US exploitation); or say a Broader Middle East.

We all know that Oil supply from Middle East wells is our life line and it keeps our western economies rolling. US seems to be in hurry to fully bring the entire Middle Eastern oil producing enclaves in to their own folds; before this that the old adversary Russia; sooner wakes up and snatches away this opportunity from them.(Signs are very much there).

But US rather tackling the bigger monster- Russia first; choose to deal with a lesser devil…Iran by creating an anchorage of its own in Middle East(by occupying Iraq) to deal with the Russian future conquests. But Iran had its natural ambitions dictated by the lay of its land and century old traditions maketh it stand as lofty as it could be, as a big brother in the Persian Gulf; over looking and guarding the Arab peninsula. This centuries old status of Iran is very well seated in the local populace and culture; and is duly recognised in the Arab world. 

Many a conquerors and archaic invaders like US had been to the Arab land of Iraq before. They always carried out grand scale savage massacres of the natives to subjugate them. The infrastructures and seats of civilization and knowledge were raised to ground. Euphrates and Tigris rivers have been flowing filled with blood and dead bodies to their brims; but always these conquests were short lived and none of the invaders could subjugate the natives; except this that the invaders left their own grave yards behind. They were compelled to retreat; frustrated.

It is God’s design that on this planet earth; today we find the rich, flourishing and technologically advanced economies lying in the west where as their life line…feed (oil) stems from the East. This unique layout of interdependence, dictated by the nature demands that some fair and befitting system such as Barter Systems etc be put in place and be run with all the fairness of business.
America may find Iran on their right hand in negotiating all these aspects with a befitting logic and wisdom; because logic and wisdom is deep seeded in their souls and soil.

What ever our assessments say; this is but certain that we need a visionary; a Messiah to come up with some justifiable; a ‘Just system’ in the Middle East and win the hearts and minds of people. Invading the countries or installation of some agents with a bad intent like; Israel etc to bully around and thrusting the policy of extermination of innocent inhabitants dotting around these oil pits, plus terrifying them or make them starved by imposing sanctions; coercing and tying them into trades bondages; these may not be the solution. It may make the heads… bow but that does not mean that it will also bend the minds.

Points to ponder:

*Is not that right to say that Taliban are fighting the same war in Afghanistan as George Washington (a Great US Leader) was once fighting so vigorously, his ‘War of Freedom’ against British occupation while British had declared him Terrorist? 

or

*Nelson Mandela was awarded Nobel Peace prize for his continuous act of Terrorism against Apartheid Government of the time; who had awarded him 27 years of prison?

*When Taliban will be awarded with an honour like George Washington or His eminence Nelson Mandela?

——————————————-
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 3, 2008 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

You do realize that in

By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 3: “I agree, the next time someone murders innocent Americans through beheading, flying planes into buildings or some other terrorism; we should embrace them and try to better understand their feelings and what we did to cause them to behave like that…”

Then you will also realize that the native Hawaiians there would also like the same courtesy and respect shown to them, too, uhh, ChrisFTRSM.

For those who sweep their own doorsteps first, the task of ensuring that all the doorsteps in the street are clean is an easy one…..

Of course, though, war must be “a necessary evil” as it is the USA which has started most wars since 1945….. at least, the ones it has been engaged in.

Judging by Scheer’s tone, he will be exhorting - or at least justifying - the USA moving on Pakistan (or moving in) any day now. Too bad that N.Korea is such an inconvenience…..

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By jojo, January 3, 2008 at 5:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Soon after the Kennedy assassination, that New Orleans anti-Castro group made a big deal to the press about Oswald being a pro-Castro advocate. What no one knew at the time, however, was that the CIA was funding the group, a fact that, for some reason, CIA officials knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately kept from the Warren Commission.

Then, when the House Select Committee on Assassinations reopened the investigation into the Kennedy assassination in the 1970s, the CIA called a CIA official, George Joannides, out of retirement to serve as the liaison between the CIA and the House committee.

Why Joannides? Well, he was the CIA contact for the anti-Castro group in New Orleans with whom Oswald had had that interaction. He was the guy in charge of funneling the CIA money into the group. He, along with his superiors at the CIA, kept his role secret from the Warren Commission. He was also the guy who kept his role secret from the House Select Committee during the 1970s even though the CIA was supposedly cooperating with the committee’s investigation.

In other words, when Joannides was called out of retirement to serve as the CIA’s liaison with the House Committee, CIA officials knew that he could be trusted to keep the Joannides information secret from the House investigators.

For the past few years, the CIA has been fighting vehemently to keep the American people from viewing its Joannides files. Why? Well, the CIA’s position is that if the public were to see such files, the entire security of the United States would be threatened.

Now, think for a moment how ridiculous that position is. How in the world could the disclosure of files relating to a CIA’s relationship to an anti-Castro group with whom Lee Harvey Oswald interacted some four decades ago threaten the national security of the United States? The fact is: It couldn’t. It’s a ridiculous claim.

A few weeks ago, a U.S. Court of Appeals ordered the CIA to search for the Joannides files and provide a report of its findings to a federal district judge. My hunch is that the CIA, which is currently undergoing scrutiny for its intentional destruction of videotapes showing CIA agents torturing a suspected terrorist, is going to have a difficult time finding those files, perhaps for the same reason that it can’t produce those torture videotapes.

Yet, the U.S. mainstream press will undoubtedly accept without any question whatever explanation the CIA comes up with, including “national security,” even while the press accepts as perfectly natural the possibility that Pakistani intelligence agencies killed Bhutto.

I can’t help but wonder whether Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharraf will appoint a blue-ribbon investigatory commission to investigate the Bhutto killing, headed up by one of those Supreme Court justices that he recently appointed to the court after he fired the independent justices that were serving on the court. Such a commission might not satisfy the Pakistani people but at least it would be likely to resolve doubts among the U.S. mainstream press.

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 3, 2008 at 4:51 am Link to this comment

I agree, the next time someone murders innocent Americans through beheading, flying planes into buildings or some other terrorism; we should embrace them and try to better understand their feelings and what we did to cause them to behave like that.

And when they shoot and kill our soldiers from Mosques we should try to be more sensitive to their sacred religious places of worship and wait for them to come out and surrender.

I mean seriously war is a necessary evil and if you engage in it you need to be prepared to win.

The author never mentioned genocide. Do you know any Germans? How about and Italians, Japanese, Koreans, or Vietnamese?

The other poster was correct and you my friend are lost in a liberal cloud of political correctness.

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By Peter Biddulph, January 3, 2008 at 3:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good old Cheerful Charlie. White hat, but sadly no white horse and guitar.

After researching the Lockerbie bombing, investigation and trial for the last ten years, it is amazing what you can find. Here is an extract from a background manuscript I’ve prepared with Dr Jim Swire. If you are patient enough to plow through it, you will see, at the end, how Afghanistan, Charlie Wilson and members of the CIA were, and still are, part of a seamless weave of covert US foreign activities.

“Howard Teicher: “Vince [Cannistraro - CIA] was quite aware of what was going on in Syria, was quite aware of the Iranian dimension and the Iraqi dimension, and their role in state sponsored terrorism. What emerged in US policy was the tendency to be able to most directly deal with Libya. Because of Libya’s geographic proximity to Europe and the United States, as opposed to Iraq, Iran or Syria were much more difficult to deal with (than) the other countries.” In a separate section of his interview, Teicher added: “The Iraqis had been taken off the list of states which sponsor terrorism, at the direction of CIA director Casey, in early 1982, in order to facilitate the US tilt towards Iran. The Iranians, because of their geographical proximity, while thoroughly an acknowledged sponsor of terrorism, were also hard for the United States to reach.”

The CIA meanwhile, were preparing their own report, to be published in the autumn of 1989, which included a national intelligence estimate that, despite their military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Soviets would be expected to continue providing “massive aid” to their client regime, Afghanistan. The Afghan government would therefore be able to strongly resist the Mujahedin, and thus would remain a threat to Iran and American interests in the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz. Events were expected to continue on their confusing and dangerous path for several years, perhaps as far ahead as 1995.

While all this was going on, Charles Wilson, Democratic Congressional representative for Texas, was a man devoted to the cause of destroying Russian ambitions in Afghanistan. To eject Russian troops from the prospectively oil-rich regions of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan was a major component of the energy-future strategy of recurring presidents. Thus, money was needed, and Charles Wilson and Vincent Cannistraro - at that time working alongside Howard Teicher for the NSC - would find a way. The result of their activities and contributions was to be an unsuccessful attempt to develop a tank destroyer called The Buffalo Gun.

In a secret email, declassified in 1995, Cannistraro explained: “I went to see Charlie Wilson at his request. He [Charlie] wanted to discuss his efforts to insert money into the defense budget for weapons development, specifically for use of freedoms fighters such as the Mujahedin. Wilson had just been briefed by the CIA which ....[three lines deleted for security reasons]. Wilson asked me to tell you that the program would need $300 million again in September as a Department of Defense re-programming.”

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By Ab, January 3, 2008 at 1:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Overall good article but as an Afghan American I can tell you the girls going to school explanation is a monstrous oversimplification (borderline fabrication) of the Afghan uprising.

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By please don't, January 2, 2008 at 9:32 pm Link to this comment
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You do realize that in order to “vanquish” an enemy now you must engage in genocide?

If you are fighting an insurgency, using your logic, we or anyone else fighting a war, should just kill everyone.

That would end the war quick wouldn’t it!

I hope your post was a joke. I’ll buy you a ticket to the next war zone if you really feel that way. See how you like the idea when you are pulled from your hotel and shot in the name of “vanquishing” the enemy.

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By Enemy of State, January 2, 2008 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

I wouldn’t be so harsh on poor Charlie. It just shows that sometimes a deeply flawed character can sometimes with a lot of luck accomplish something. The policies that he supported did hasten the end of the Soviet Union, and the end of the cold war. That minor accomplishment did more good, than the subsequent events have caused. Its too bad our media have to go along with the politically motivated effort to paint the war on terror as some sort of existential struggle. The reality is we traded an existential threat (not only to ourselves but the world), for some monir danger caused by politically/religiously motivated criminals. Now if only the US could treat such a threat in a proportional manner -not as an excuse to begin a new crusade!

  As for Benazir & company. Yes, like all products of such a system she was deeply flawed. Still she seemed to represent the last best hope for Pakistan moving away from Mussaraf. The general seems to be an example of the corrupting influence of power. I think his influence was positive during his first few years in power. But the accumulation of frustrations, and the need to constantly defend such power from all challengers makes it inevitable that even benign dictators turn bad. (That doesn’t mean I think he started as a benign dictator, just one who was making more positive changes than negative.)

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By P. T., January 2, 2008 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

“Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon etc., etc…”


Source?

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 2, 2008 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon etc., etc…

“On the other hand the U.S. has declared that it “reserves the right to act unilaterally in its own interest” and that “no option is off the table.””

What’s wrong with that? Like your country or not, we have done and continue to do a heck of a lot more good than bad. With great power comes great responsibility. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves, our interests and those of our allies.

“That’s ChristoFascism for you.”
Wrong Again. That is morally right. Like it or not this country was founded on Judao Christian principles and although we celebrate the diversity of all religions, it is those Christian Fundamentals that are the foundation of this, the greatest nation in the world.

  “Meanwhile, the U.S. has destroyed Iraq…”
  Liberated the oppressed…

“...as Israel has destroyed Palestine.”
Defended itself against terrorism.

  “It is indeed unfair to lump Muslims with the U.S. and Israel.  Let’s be fair.”
  Agreed

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 2, 2008 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

You hit the nail on the head! Absolutely right 100%. I couldn’t agree more.

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By P. T., January 2, 2008 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Vietnam followed through and won.

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

The problem with the current world situation is that we have lost the desire and need for total victory over the “enemy.”  Since WW II the world has not seen a war go to completion with sufficient follow-through such that one side is annihilated as was the case with almost all wars preceding WW II.  WW I shattered Germany and destroyed the Ottoman Empire.  In our current world, Korea was a draw, Vietnam was a political disaster, Bosnia-Herzegovenia was a stand-off, Afghanistan is still smoldering, and Iraq is unsettled, etc., etc.  India/Pakistan go to battle every so often, but never settle things!  The Israelis almost did it in 1967, but failed to follow through and are paying the price.

WILL SOMEONE PLEASE WIN A WAR AND VANQUISH THE ENEMY SUCH THAT THERE IS NO PROSPECT FOR NEVER ENDING INSURGENCIES AND WARS OF ATTRITION!!!

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By lenny, January 2, 2008 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Taliban did 9-11? Come on Robert Sheer. If you’re a man you shouldn’t admit that you have no mechanical aptitude. How many news videos of that day have police yelling to get back they’re going to blow up building 7? Or else you are a shill for Bush and are another closet PNAC supporter.

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By P. T., January 2, 2008 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

“Of course, real difference between these apples and oranges is that the Christians, Jews, and Hindu’s haven’t sworn to destroy every one that doesn’t believe what they themselves believe.”


No Muslim country has.  On the other hand the U.S. has declared that it “reserves the right to act unilaterally in its own interest” and that “no option is off the table.”  That’s ChristoFascism for you.  Meanwhile, the U.S. has destroyed Iraq, as Israel has destroyed Palestine.  It is indeed unfair to lump Muslims with the U.S. and Israel.  Let’s be fair.

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 2, 2008 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

“If there is a right to a Christian Bomb, a Jewish Bomb, and a Hindu Bomb, then Muslims have the same right.”

Of course, real difference between these apples and oranges is that the Christians, Jews, and Hindu’s haven’t sworn to destroy every one that doesn’t believe what they themselves believe.

Although I don’t disagree with this entire post the opening paragraph scares me more than does the thought of Islamo Fascists assuming that the author of this post is American.

Just my unsolicited 2 cents.

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By C. Allen, January 2, 2008 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I haven’t seen the movie - but the book does note that the Soviet’s puppet government did at least have some educated people who knew a bit about how to build roads, provide the most basic of services, etc. The United States, on the other hand, chose to support complete barbarians who buggered the Tennessee mules flown in to haul ammunition across the Pakistan border and who gang raped Soviet prisoners of war before skinning them alive. Some how I doubt those scenes are in the movie.

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By Meremark, January 2, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Militating US troops into Pakistan now:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2007/12/musharrafs_woes_have_opened_a.html

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By Meremark, January 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Robert Scheer brings to light wider sight than cinevision.  Yet I, like Jackson Browne, ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt6j2etK1uw ), want to know who the men in the shadows are, hidden behind putting forward the Bhutto’s or Musharraf’s.

In this movie, whitecoated good-time Charlie looks like none so much as G. Herbert W. Bush preserved in an amber encasement of revisionist history.  Attempts at accuracy, of course, are absolutely ‘unauthorized,’ as here:

http://tarpley.net/bush11.htm
Chapter 11, Unauthorized Biography of GHWB, by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin —on the erasure of West Pakistan / East Pakistan history; and for the certain corrupt Pakistani’s participation quid:  pro quo The Bomb of detente with India ?

I notice in the ‘71-72 Indus River democracy defilement the same names—Henry the K. in ‘Karlyle,’ and Herbert by his proxy puppet-prez, as are still governing Pakistan these 35 years later; and the text declaring the “sound of empty cannon” then, still governs Press effectiveness in progressing the power of democracy.

Before either Bhutto there was CIABush, (linked here, with Devine, in Vietnam preparing for ‘68 Tet offensive, and in ‘53 positioning off-shore drilling platforms: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_J._Devine ).

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 2, 2008 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Since Hollywood (Gawd, I love Hollywood!) is so good at imitating life, accurately or inaccurately, how about a political movie whose theme is directed inwardly and goes something like this:  sometime in 2008, people from the four corners of the US begin a mass march toward Washington, D.C., they eventually number about 50 million, and all converge on the White House and the Capitol and inform Bush and congress that they’re all being relieved of their jobs.

I’d see that one a hundred times but probably not Charlie Wilson’s War.

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By P. T., January 2, 2008 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

If there is a right to a Christian Bomb, a Jewish Bomb, and a Hindu Bomb, then Muslims have the same right.  The U.S. is the only country to have used The Bomb, having done so twice.  Muslims have a right to defend themselves and their oil against U.S. imperialism, Zionist expansionism, and other threats.

As for Charlie Wilson, he is a terrorist under George W. Bush’s definition that those who support terrorists are terrorists themselves.  The Wilson-backed terrorists murdered schoolgirls, in opposition to the education of females.  Wilson also was a supporter of Somoza of Nicaragua.

The terrorists in Afghanistan had such supporters as Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Ronald Reagan, and Israel.

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By Bill Blackolive, January 2, 2008 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bhutto is one ever again who tried to work humanitarianism inside the greed of blind politics.  I think she did fairly well… cared for her people and gambled on exposing herself and was killed.  All this clap trap above in not cognizant: She is a smarter humanitarian, who took risk.

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By heavyrunner, January 2, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

We read in the corporate press all the time about how Musharaf is losing popularity in Pakistan. 

I spent a month in the tribal areas of Pakistan last summer.  Most of my friends there are secular Moslems and seek higher education for their children.  They support Musharaf because he funds schools for girls and supports secular curricula that teach scientific explanations of natural phenomena like earthquakes and teach the necessity of family planning and the importance of small families.

Because of those positions Musharaf is facing increased opposition from fundamentalists and conservatives who want to maintain a society where only one woman in three can even write her name and where women are kept almost like farm animals.

While nearly everyone I talked to liked Musharaf and his reforms, they are probably not the average Pakistani.  I got the impression that Musharaf’s party might not come out victorious in a democratic election, that elections may well bring into power people who support the staus quo as far as women’s rights and secular curricula are concerned.

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By Stephen Smoliar, January 2, 2008 at 10:50 am Link to this comment

The classification of events as “good” or “bad” things is determined by those who write the histories, those who read them, and those who bother to reflect on what they have read.  It thus goes without saying that any such classification is never static.  I prefer to think of history as a source of evidence for those of us who are not afraid to ask the how-did-we-get-into-this-mess question:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2007/10/ruthlessness-factor.html

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By too lazy, January 2, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Okay, this article was a real eye opener.  The Afghans that Charlie Wilson was helping arm were against the Russians, not because of any communistic threat but because the Russian backed government in Afghanistan said it was okay for girls to go to school?  Wow, American hard earned tax dollars at work. What a waste.

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By Mr. Conservatard, January 2, 2008 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for taking the “polish” off of Bhutto and Charlie Wilson. Since history is usually written by the victors, it is always important to question the past.

The truth, no matter how hard it is to accept, is always better than the shiny lies that people like to believe.

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By Blackspeare, January 2, 2008 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

The saga of Charlie Wilson depicts a prime example of the concept of unintended consequences.  Though the movie portrays Wilson as a hero of the times and even goes so far as to have Wilson berate his government for not following through with aid to Afghanistan after the USSR left giving the impression that this caused the rise of the Taliban.  In actuality, Wilson never gave a thought to Afghanistan after the USSR left——his deed was done, his notoriety set, and his place in history secured albeit somewhat distant until the release of the film.  We now know that funneling arms through Pakistan to Afghanistan emboldened and strengthened the ruling tribes on the border to such an extent that now they are almost an autonomous state within Pakistan.

Carter, with his “holier than thou” attitude, opposing the USSR’s intrusion into Afghanistan to bolster the fledgling socialist government at that time, was in essence was no different than the US’s march into Iraq——my how times have changed!

But then again the failure of the USSR campaign in Afghanistan is credited with the eventual break-up of the USSR into its individual components.  However, was this a good thing or a bad thing??!!

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By NABNYC, January 2, 2008 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

This article really sums up nicely my reaction to this movie (which I have not seen).  I understand it is supposed to be an entertaining movie.  But how could I possibly be entertained by watching a movie about yet another corrupt Texas politician interfering in other people’s countries, this time giving strength to what would become the critical base for al Queda?  How could I possibly be amused by this type of disastrous U.S. intervention and the wars and deaths that have resulted? 

It’s almost as if Americans are so lacking in awareness that it does not matter how many people in other countries die as long as we keep the martinis flowing.  We can all have a good laugh.  Another know-nothing drunken white American privileged male who has brought about the deaths of so many others.

As for Bhutto, it’s an odd dilemma.  As a woman, I expect 50% of our politicians to be female, but instead they are held down at maybe 10%.  What is that, other than direct sexist exclusion.  Exclusion.  The wall.  The old boy’s club.  The all-male networking lunches and support groups, the referrals back and forth.  Even the support men give to each other in every single profession which allows them to overcome hurdles and move forward:  women are excluded. 

But getting one woman elected is just an advance for her, and does nothing to help the rest of us.  If she ran on a platform committed to working towards complete inclusion of women at all levels of society—in politics, in top-level positions throughout government, in medicine and science and law—then it might be worth supporting her. 

But a woman like Bhutto, or Clinton for that matter, is a puppet for the male dominant system.  She is not really female.  She is just yet another corporate spokesperson, like Dana Perino in the white house—she says what the men tell her to say, and she benefits from her support of the male-dominated system which excludes all the other women.  Kind of a gender traitor. 

I’m sorry Bhutto was killed, like I’m sorry the hundreds of thousands of people in the middle east have been killed by the U.S.  No more, no less.  A terrible loss of life.

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By Stephen Smoliar, January 2, 2008 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

When A. O. Scott reviewed this film for THE NEW YORK TIMES, it struck me that the only thing that mattered was how it was able to deliver this one factor in the long narrative of the Cold War in an entertaining package:

http://therehearsalstudio.blogspot.com/2007/12/which-reviewer-actually-sees-elephant.html

He may have tapped into an important principle, which is the tendency of our culture (including, of course, the electorate) to view the objects and events of the world in terms of their entertainment value.  Teasing out the past and future connections to the Charlie Wilson story leads to a complex web of interleaving strands, which we are more likely to encounter in the pages of Tolstoy than in a Hollywood shooting script.  The principle is reinforced when we see the box office numbers of the films that try to do justice to such complexity and still make it as far as distribution.  Those numbers usually guarantee that those films will “live” only on DVD and cable.  By keeping everything down to a simple yarn with appealingly outlandish characters, CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR made itself a viable PRODUCT in a culture that expects its government to deliver similar products just as nicely packaged.  Need we even bother to ask why “blowback” is not likely to be part of the working vocabulary during the Iowa caucus?  The answer has come to a theater near you!

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By farmertx, January 2, 2008 at 7:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have a ‘leader’ that was as qualified as Chris from Maui. Shrub still knows nothing of foreign affairs as he has never took the time to read nor to listen to those who do know something.
Charlie Wilson was not the greatest man. But his corruption did not extend to the depths we have all seen of late.
The US has always made pacts with leaders that have come back to haunt us. “The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend”; even Churchill is supposed to have said that if he could be assured that the Devil would fight against Hitler, Churchill would meet with him to discuss tactics.
Yes, Charley made some bad choices, in hind sight. But, then again, hind sight is always 20-20.

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By KISS, January 2, 2008 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

No matter if the loony muslems; including the fundamentalists or more moderates, money and power are the precepts of the elected leaders.  Benazir Bhutto, had a pretty face and a charming wit, to be sure, but underneath the same old drive for power and wealth were the drivers, as in the USA, the poor and ill are cast to the side.
Charlie Wilson was another of the ignorant elected who chose a path of hubris and scoundrel behavior not in the interest of America but to satisfy the ego of a dupe.
Now we will all see a fantasy movie and walk away patting ourselves for electing a nincompoop like good ol’ Charlie.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 2, 2008 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Quote Robert Scheer: ”...as exemplified by his having murdered Pakistan’s previous ruler, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto…. Bhutto was, of course, the father of Benazir Bhutto, killed last week in Pakistan….”


Ha ha, Scheer is finally getting up to speed on Pakistan - but the movie had to come first before the facts. Talk about “dumbing down”, uhh…...

As for the facts, though, we are again back to the same style of old hatchet job that he frequently does on poor Hillary Clinton. In other words, Scheer is a not-so-closet sexist Chauvinist in his profession if not in his personal life as well.

Aiming at women in power - and their families - seems something that the ageing Scheer has developed a predilection for. Anything that can be turned to smearing them with is employed deliriously to conceal his own inexorable march into impotence.

Perhaps the same goes for the USA on the world stage and he is merely reminding us of that sad and weary truth. But Ms. Bhutto is NOT “Mrs. Bhutto” as many in the West have erroneously called her.

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By Joe R., January 2, 2008 at 6:37 am Link to this comment
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It was a good movie, cleverly done, but it was BS.

Read Naomi Klein’s new book “Shock Doctrine.  It is a tough read. To see what we have really bought with our tax dollars.  To see what our government in collusion with big business has done to the worlds poor.  To read what our policies have done to working people all over the world. The dictators we have propped up, so billionaires could loot there national treasuries, steal there natural resource’s, there pensions, health care, while destroying there schools, institutions, and social safety nets.  The torture camps, and murders these despots have committed. What they have in store for us. Please read Shock Doctrine.  It will make you “proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.”

Shock Doctrine is the most important book to have been written in a long time.  If it was widely read it would have as great as an effect on our time as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin had in the 19th century.  I would hope that Truthdig will help get this book the attention it deserves.

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By Chris from the Right side of Maui, January 2, 2008 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

I am uneducated and ignorant about Middle Eastern politics and more importantly its history. However, I would like to voice a few random observations that are largely off topic.

Bhutto, as the author points out was flawed in many ways. Most people, myself included, are not educated about who she was or what she stood for. I would attribute her tremendous popularity to a few things:

Her recent, “House Arrest”, hits a sympathetic nerve with the Pakastani population. There may be misguided    
feeling that she was oppressed and that the current regime was silencing a voice that stood for change. History shows that when impoverished, oppressed people here a voice that speaks of change that they identify that voice with hope. The Pakastani’s, I would bet, felt galvanized behind this Hope. I think that the mainstream media felt the same in a way.

This is a shining example of how the mainstream media’s obvious incompetence can play a major role in world affairs to the detriment of everyone but most of all the people of Pakastan.

People that don’t have enough food to eat or decent health care for their family, or any formal education don’t care about what someone like Bhutto did to come to power or about the money that she and her family stole or the support of the Taliban. They only see that most basic need of all people…Hope.

One thing that the author notes that I found provocative is that the Clinton administration intentionally or not, may have given a certain amount of credibility to Bhutto. 

I honestly don’t know if Musharraf is any better than Bhutto, my gut tells me most likely not. History will decide.

Winston Churchill once said something to the effect of; The only person that could bring peace to the region of Iraq would have to be the bloodthirstiest, most ruthless person around. I think that’s what we had in Saddam Hussein, but with that also came a kind of stability.

I am no fan of Saddam Hussein, I supported us going to Iraq and still think that regime change in Iraq was a good thing. I think that the current administration has made a terrible mess of it though and that it has turned into a quagmire. Now we are in the middle of civil war but this is for another topic later…

I think that Musharraf is a bad guy but I think that there is a fragile stability in Pakistan at the moment. We need to be VERY careful about who we decide to rally behind. The person waving the banner of change may turn out to be a Pol Pot or a Hitler or Idi Amin with Nukes.

I feel that Pakastan is hanging precariously on the proverbial fence. It frightens me to think about the next time their are tensions over Cashmere.

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By Ken Mitchell, January 2, 2008 at 5:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The History Channel had a piece called “The True Story behind Charlie Wilson’s War”. In the end it does allude to the Taliban taking Afghanistan and turning against the US.

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By weather, January 2, 2008 at 4:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Set-up like a bowling pin.

We arm Pakistan, then use the al-Qaida card to flip the script as 9/11’s goto for blame. Creating another threat and inbalance, setting up another opportunity for arm sales to others to further impart a faux balance until the next sales call.

Dont listen to the words, just follow the music.

and Mr. Scheer pls. don’t print w/such certainty that al-Qaida engineered 9/11, it doesn’t look good on your resume.

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By Scott, January 2, 2008 at 12:38 am Link to this comment

Nor can anyone put make-up on the West’s incessant meddling. By rights, there should be little confusion about what blowback means when it happens…by rights.

I’d say port cities are probably good places to move away from.

Forewarned is forearmed.

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By cyrena, January 1, 2008 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

The last paragraph is the killer. Yes, they DO have these WMD’s. And you’re right. Even Tom Hanks can’t put a pretty face on this one.

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