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The Gang That Couldn’t Bomb Straight

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Posted on Feb 23, 2012
AP / Ross D. Franklin

Republican presidential candidates, from left,  Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich greet each other before their Wednesday night debate.

By Robert Scheer

Here we go again. With the economy showing faint signs of life and their positions on the social issues alienating most moderates, the leading Republican candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul, have returned to the elixir of warmongering to once again sway the gullible masses. The race to the bottom has been set by Newt Gingrich, the most desperate of the lot, who on Tuesday charged that “The president wants to unilaterally weaken the United States,” because his administration has dared question the wisdom of Israel attacking Iran and proposes a slight reduction in the bloated defense budget. 

Let the good times roll with a beefed-up military budget justified by plans to invade yet another Muslim country. As Paul warned during the South Carolina primary debate as his presidential rivals threatened war with Iran: “I’m afraid what’s going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq.” Indeed, the shouting match over which of the other GOP candidates most wants a war with Iran is in sync with the last Republican president’s 2003 invasion.

It was an invasion that removed Saddam Hussein, once the U.S. ally in confronting Iran, from power and replaced him with a Shiite leadership long beholden to the ayatollahs of Iran. Of course, as Bush lied, this was not about nation-building aimed at imposing a democracy in our image, but rather, as is the claim now, about preventing radical Muslims from getting their hands on a nuclear weapon. In a Where’s Waldo moment, it turned out that the dreaded nukes were not in Iraq, and the leading Republican presidential candidates are convinced that Iran now has such weapons and they need to be taken out.

Not so, say CIA and Pentagon experts in these matters, who insist that Iran is some distance from developing a nuclear weapon, even if that is its intention. In a CNN interview Sunday, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that Iran had not yet decided whether to build a nuclear weapon. He also said the U.S. had told Israel that any Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be “destabilizing.”

But such facts are not troubling to the GOP contenders, who seem not to have realized that there is one Muslim country already in possession of scores of such weapons. That would be Pakistan, the country Bush didn’t invade despite its avid support for the Taliban sponsors of al-Qaida. Instead, after 9/11, Bush dropped the sanctions his predecessor, Bill Clinton, had imposed on Pakistan as punishment for its developing a nuclear arsenal. Nor did Bush and his fellow Republican hawks get overly exercised by the revelation that Pakistan was giving nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, Libya and, yes, Iran. It was also the hiding place for Osama bin Laden when Barack Obama made good on Bush’s pledge to run the al-Qaida leader to ground.

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If Bush had taken out bin Laden, the Republicans would have by now had W’s head chiseled into Mount Rushmore, but since it is Obama’s success, they are driven mad by this turn of events. On Tuesday, Gingrich came totally unglued, telling a student audience at Oral Roberts University that defeating Obama is “a duty of national security” because the president “is incapable of defending the United States.” Why? Simple. Obama has accepted the eminently sensible proposal endorsed by the Pentagon brass to trim $32 billion from the $655 billion defense budget in 2013. That small cut from a Cold War-style budget that accounts for 45 percent of world spending on the military despite there being no sophisticated military enemy now in sight for the U.S. was judged by Gingrich to render the president “willfully dishonest.”

The idea of Newt Gingrich calling anyone else dishonest is an affront to reason, but, with the exception of Rep. Paul, those vying with the former House speaker for the nomination have been quick to indicate they are in full accord with the accusation. Gingrich’s rabid support for the U.S. lining up behind an Israeli attack, even a nuclear one, may be explained by his campaign being kept afloat by a Nevada gambling billionaire who contributed $10 million to a pro-Gingrich super PAC and whose prime cause is the Israeli far right. Rick Santorum offers biblical bromides for his support of Israeli militarism, and for Mitt Romney, the thirst for war just seems a natural extension of his innate say-anything opportunism. What a disreputable crew.

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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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, February 24, 2012 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

how fit are these candidates if they can’t discern hypocritical liars?...
but mimic them instead by sending more guile for media towers…
furthering underhanded schemes via sanctions and retaliation…
aimed to goad a small nation to respond while being bullied…
which gives u.s. connivers self-made cause to open fire…
and rid the lesser country of its ground missile power…
hence that area lacks weaponry against some u.s. chums…
so our constitution’s not the only loss if these hopefuls lead!...
there’s the lives and resources too that such warfare will bleed!...

(this ex-40-year-democrat will be re-registering shortly…
from the current no-party-affiliation to republican…
in order to vote for ron paul in the primary!)...

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, February 24, 2012 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

hetero=zioTroll ... I must have rattled your cage & snapped your only nerve circuit that leads to your infected skull…eh!!!

You lying scum bag; you really got exposed today and that “jackass tail” got pinned to your bare behind!!!

200-400 NUKES in Israel with NO outside inspectors allowed !!! Why not hetero=zionistTroll???

Diversion/change the topic/nazi/...etc…You are running out of tricks! Your meds must be too weak!

Report this

By jimmmmmy, February 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

marian or jeffn in answer to your question what would happen if the givernment represented the majority, i don’t know it’s never really been tried. after every revolution one group , ususlly in short order gains the upper hand. unless its a country with a small population of the same ethnicity or culture like dubai or switzerland or singapore or even japan because of the horror visited on them. by their own military junta, is quite democratic within a narrow range. as for business capitalists have no national loyalty and go anywhere they can turn profits, they love child labor and slaves

Report this

By ardee, February 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

By Ed Romano, February 24 at 5:13 pm

Yes indeed, Mr. Romano, a mass movement will attract the violence of the powerful who seek to remove a threat to their power. But all power resides with the people, all three hundred million of us. Plus, the very use of violence against non-violent demonstrators serves to win converts to the cause.

I would ask that you simply ignore the static, hell, I have caused more than a bit of it myself from time to time. Politics can be a powerful emotional ride but there are certainly many here who have much to offer.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

balkas—-actually I think that communist systems are
as much founded on the principle that individual
rights are meaningless as any other.

I spent too many years studying this stuff to allow
you to go around talking as though the part is the
whole.

different political systems all limit human freedom
but neither this country nor too many others still
have slavery on the books.

the last nation that I can recall still had legal
slavery was Saudi Arabia in the early 1950s.

Report this

By balkas, February 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

hetero,
you don’t think that ALL non-communist systems of rules [governances] are founded on the
right of a person to own another?
even most or all socialists, i dare say, govern or
establish own governance [or accept the governance established by supremacists or people
owners] on the premise that one person has the right to own another.
if US is not founded on the thought that one person has the right to order around, or
command a person to do s’thing or other, why do we have majors, generals, captains,
congresspeople, judges, wars; hiring, firing, laying off people, etc?
i suggest that US governance had been founded on the same dogma on which also UK
governance had been founded!
and the dogma sounds like this: that superior [richer, ‘abler’, more educated] people have an
inalienable right to govern peasant and working class people for an eternity.

Report this

By Ed Romano, February 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

Ardee, suppose an extremeist wins an election. Revolutionists hope this will lead to rebellion. That could happen. But in a nation constituted like ours if a rebellion got serious what would be the result ? I can only imagine a military take over. My guess is that’s where we’re heading eventually. Pessimistic or realistic ? That’s not the question. The question is what seems to be the most probable outcome…..This site is becoming verbally vicious. I’ll see if you respond. Then I think I’ll bail out.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

some music and images for you, Herr Robert, while you
eat your Mauser.

http://youtu.be/haa_WqI2kVE

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

bye-bye Robert. your beloved thousand-year Reich is
dead. join it.

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, February 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

By heterochromatic, February 24 at 1:44 pm


“Robert——please go back to your Nazi bunker, do the right thing, and have
someone pour gasoline over your corpse…...Nazitroll”

~~~~~~~~

hetero=zionistTroll ... It looks like you have just exposed another layer of your true colors…!

When individuals criticize & expose Israel’s crimes/deceptions/crimes, infected zionists like yourself tend to resort to that ole “zionist trick” of calling them “nazis, anti-semetic…etc….

Your zionist ways & methods are familiar on these TD’s threads. We have seen them used often by several infected zionist trolls like yourself.

Is it possible for you to answer (will your handlers allow you) as to why your beloved Apartheid Israel does NOT allow outside inspections/inspectors to visit/inspect its NUKES facilities/warehouses?

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

balkas, this nation wasn’t founded on the nation that one man should own
another….. or it wouldn’t have been founded at all.

sophomoric

Report this

By balkas, February 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

key to understanding US governance would be to finally espy that it was founded on ancient notion that one person has the
right to own another.
because the govt interprets bill of rights, etc., on behalf of people owners, it makes slightest difference how any law,
declaration of independence, bill of rights, or this or that amendment is worded.

all of it will be interpreted by the ONE PERCENT in the ways which either maintain or even increase the holy right to own people.
and even the importance of presidency is interpreted by the ONE PERCENT via their selected agents, aka, supreme justices.
so, the one percent can make any president at any given time as powerful or as weak as the one PERCENT wishes.
they can do this also with judiciary and judges. so, one percent owns you and the governance, and all govts.

of course, europe, too, is much like US. but because of threat of a good example next door, european ‘nobility’/clergy had to
grant their serfs a few more rights or privileges than US ‘nobility’ [cosa nostra] gave to own serfs.
but now that planet is getting poorer by day, some of those rights or perks are evanescing very quickly.

so, if anderson, nader, paul, or stein would get elected they’d be, i expect, as influential in US politics as ahmadinejad.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Robert——please go back to your Nazi bunker, do the right thing, and have
someone pour gasoline over your corpse…...Nazitroll

Report this

By Jeff N., February 24, 2012 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

jimmmy, perhaps you can provide a response to my original question then if this is the case.

Report this

By Michael Cavlan RN, February 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

How does that saying go? Oh yeah

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

Rocky Anderson for president. Articles about Rocky available on firedoglake

If ya can truth-dig it!!!!!!!

Michael Cavlan
Candidate US Senate 2012
Minnesota Open Progressives

available on facebook and you tube. “Progressive” blogs, not so much.

Yet.

Report this

By jimmmmmy, February 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

marian your not looking closely enough at sweden, norway and finland. they are like dubai they import foreign workers [mostly middle eastern to do the menial work] white folk don’t compete for these jobs in scandinavia [like they do in the u.s.] so everthing looks wonderful from a distance.sweden is a country to which karl rove can make one phone call and have a person rendered[ julian asange] i suggest you try living there for a year, then tell me of scandinavias wonders.

Report this

By ardee, February 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

By Ed Romano, February 24 at 7:17 am

One truism is that people do not rise up in revolt until and unless things get much worse than we have it now. Most who support revolution hope the extremist wins the election. With the ennui we both agree upon in our electorate perhaps there really is no other way to bring about needed change.

I am not supporting this contention, actually hoping I am wrong.

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, February 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

hetero=Troll ... your diversion tactics are NOT working for you…Your zionist handlers are not going to be pleased with your incompetence…you flaming idiot!

Tell us why your beloved apartheid Israel does NOT allow outside inspections/inspectors to its NUKE facilities?

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Robert—Israel is not my beloved and you’re just a fucked-up fool who doesn’t
know how to read if that’s your assertion.

Buchanan IS a Nazi apologist and there’s no reason, I guess, why you shouldn’t be
with him defending the Fuehrer,,,,,,

Report this
Robert's avatar

By Robert, February 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

By heterochromatic, February 24 at 9:34 am


“Robert——that was some of the shittiest reasoning available and saying that
people suspect that that pat Buchanan was fired for one thing or another doesn’t
amount to shit.

and shit is about what Buchanan is….fucking Nazi apologist and racist scum.”

~~~~~~~~~

hetero=zionistTroll ... No matter how you feel about Pat Buchanan, he told the TRUTH about your beloved Apartheid Israel’s NUKES.

Your Apartheid Israel has 200-400 undeclared Nukes, chemical/biological weapons…with NO outside inspections/inspectors to interfere with its massive WMD’s & their warehouses/facilities.

Tell us why your beloved Israel does NOT allow outside inspectors to visit their WMD facilities?

heteroTroll ... your zionist methods/ways are transparent on TD’s threads!

Report this

By Ed Romano, February 24, 2012 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

Odd Sox, Thanks. I’m not surprised at anything the Tea Dingees say. I had relatives who lived under Mussolini. The site you sent me to gave a thoughtful analysis of what we might expect from a Paul presidency. Congress could certainly stymie anything he proposed that the right wing didn’t want. Trouble is…..the elected agents of the Vampire class are all for gutting all the entitlement programs as well as all laws protecting the enviroment ( weak as they are). But from my perspective the whole argument is moot because I don’t believe ANYTHING can change for the better under the current system no matter vwho is elected.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, February 24, 2012 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, February 24 at 9:30 am

“Israel and iran have no common border and Israel has no reason to attack Iran other than Iran is aiding with weapons, training and cash, those people attacking Israel. and Lebanon and other Arab states.”
=====================================================
Using your own always weak-minded and crooked logic, one can say by way of exploding your cheap propaganda:

The US and Iran have no common border and Iran has no reason to attack either Israel or the US other than the US aiding warmongering, terrorist, colonialist and apartheid Israel with weapons , training and the untold billions in cash to occupy, terrorize and dispossess the native Palestinians and any one who still has a human consciousness to support their just cause, which Iran happened to be one of those.

And further, by the same commonsense logic, Iran has no reason to develop nuclear weapons as deterrent if it wasn’t for the existential threat that terrorist, colonialist Israel, with its 200-400 nuclear weapons, poses to the whole region.

Additionally, by your same twisted logic and rotten brain, Canada and Mexico, having shared borders with militaristic, warmongering US, with its history of wars and developing and using nuclear weapons, need to start developing their own nuclear capability, at least as a deterrent against crackpots like yourself!

My final question to you, hater, what level of education have you got? And when are you going to learn to write coherently a whole paragraph as a high school graduate might do?! For in your underdeveloped language skills, for example, Israel deserves to be written with a capital letter whereas Iran is written as “iran!” Another example of your childish writing is the following:

“...attacking Israel. and Lebanon and other Arab states.”

I would recommend that you be sent back to grammar school spoiled and brainwashed kid!

Report this

By Michael Cavlan RN, February 24, 2012 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

For those of you who tire of the constant focus on the Republican Clown Car Circus or the pathetic attempts to shore up support for Goldmann Sachs owned president Obama.

Firedoglake will actually allow (gasp) articles about Rocky Anderson for president. There is one there, right now that I created about Rocky Anderson speaking at an event in support of Occupy Wall Street at a Universalist Church in San Francisco.

ROCKY ANDERSON FOR PRESIDENT

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Robert——that was some of the shittiest reasoning available and saying that
people suspect that that pat Buchanan was fired for one thing or another doesn’t
amount to shit.

and shit is about what Buchanan is….fucking Nazi apologist and racist scum.

Report this

By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

——“To state that Iran desires nukes as anything other than a deterrent is a
misleading and false assumption.”—-

as a deterrent against attack, for sure…...but attack from whom and for what
reason would they be attacked are questions that need to be considered if you
wish to raise that point.


Israel and iran have no common border and Israel has no reason to attack Iran
other than Iran is aiding with weapons, training and cash, those people attacking
Israel. and Lebanon and other Arab states.

Report this
oddsox's avatar

By oddsox, February 24, 2012 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

Ed Romano, you write:

“Ron Paul’s military policy?
Excellent.
His domestic ideas?
Disastrous.”

Bet you’re not surprised that your doppelgangers on the Tea Party site believe exactly the opposite.

But here’s another perspective worth considering:
http://www.salon.com/2012/01/10/what_makes_a_progressive_president/singleton/

Report this

By Ed Romano, February 24, 2012 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

Reality Check. The U.S. has more nuclear weapons than would be needed to blow up the emtire earth a hundred times over. Try to imagine what would happen to Iran if it fired a missile anywhere near this country. It would be flattened from one end to the other in short order. There wouldn’t be a stick left standing. Therefore, this sabre rattling that the Vampire class is currently doing has to do with other purposes than fear of attack. Golly. What might those be ?

Report this

By Ed Romano, February 24, 2012 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

Ardee, What I’m trying to get going is a discussion on ways that might be employed to get more Americans off the couch and out into the street. Someone quoted Lenin here….He also said “power is laying in the street and nobody knows how to pick it up”. And ” You only need 1 % of a population to make a revolution”. Both quotes should give us food for thought….You ask, ....What else can we do ? That’s the dilemna those of us are in who see situation for what it is as opposed to those who look at a city dump and see Diosneyland….But, let’s face it…we have to contend with a majority of countrymen who have been seriously dumbed down…..You encounter some of them
right here….. As for things getting worse before they get better….The danger I see with that is that if things get much worse we’re probably going to see armed government militia on every street corner.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, February 24, 2012 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

Silencing The Critics

February 20, 2012

“Last week in one fell swoop the last two remaining critics of Washington/Tel Aviv imperialism were removed from the mainstream media. Judge Napolitano’s popular program, Freedom Watch, was cancelled by Fox TV, and Pat Buchanan was fired by MSNBC. Both pundits had wide followings and were appreciated for speaking frankly.

Many suspect that the Israel Lobby used its clout with TV advertisers to silence critics of the Israeli government’s efforts to lead Washington to war with Iran. Regardless, the point before us is that the voice of the mainstream media is now uniform. Americans hear one voice, one message, and the message is propaganda. Dissent is tolerated only on such issues as to whether employer-paid health benefits should pay for contraceptive devices. Constitutional rights have been replaced with rights to free condoms.

The western media demonizes those at whom Washington points a finger. The lies pour forth to justify Washington’s naked aggression: the Taliban are conflated with al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi is a terrorist and, even worse, fortified his troops with Viagra in order to commit mass rape against Libyan women.

President Obama and members of Congress along with Tel Aviv continue to assert that Iran is making a nuclear weapon despite public contradiction by the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and the CIA’s National Intelligence Estimate. According to news reports, Pentagon chief Leon Panetta told members of the House of Representatives on February 16 that “Tehran has not made a decision to proceed with developing a nuclear weapon.” http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_19978801?source=rss

However, in Washington facts don’t count. Only the material interests of powerful interest groups matter.

~~~~~~~~

Click on link for the rest:

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/02/20/silencing-the-critics/

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By radson, February 24, 2012 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Part One

The Iranian Nuclear program is on the tongues and mind of most anyone following politics for the last decade .The apparent Red Herring is perhaps more evident when one considers the arguments and perceived threats that are emanating from the Western MSM .The West and their Pundits are continually basing the Iranian threat as being the Nuclear one ,as in weapons of mass destruction ,WMD part two .Now folks the World has been through this obfuscation during the built up to the Illegal devastation of Iraq with the same excuse being applied towards Iran now ,although the term WMD has been worn-out .Nowadays the reinvention of a unifying threat must be vigorously promulgated ,in this new fandango it has become ,according to Bibi and his Lackeys ;an ‘Existential Threat’ with the cheery to this toxic cake being a ‘Nuclear Capability ‘,well how many Countries actually possess this Capability,quite a few in reality.The International Community is cognizant to the fact that Iran has not yet reached the Nuclear -Red Line - yet Israel has crossed this threshold decades ago ;even if being Ambiguous about it,which means lying about it .The NPT is for whatever reason Not to be applied towards Israel or Pakistan or India for that matter and the reasons for its obsolescence with regards to these Nations is significant .Nuclear proliferation has become a political expediency with regards to Globalization and all that it manifests for the benefit of World Bankers within a framework of consenting or including acquiescing Nations .Iran’s Nuclear Program was initially promoted and commenced during the Era of the Shah along with American and German assistance ,the Bushehr plant was implemented with the West’s approval,yet today it has become the International Boogeyman and a sort of Bane to Humanity proselytized by Zionist Zealots.Residents of Fukushima Prefecture can attest to the dangers of Nuclear disasters along with citizens of Chernobyl in the Ukraine ,yet the Western World at the behest of Mr. Netanyahu and Mr.Lieberman are encouraging another Nuclear Disaster in the name of an ‘existential treat’ ,most sane persons would agree that bombing Nuclear reactors and facilities is and will become an existential threat to mankind and it would not be because of the Iranians ,but because some madmen that believe in Globalization and the superior Western Civilization think so .Somehow none of this makes any sense right ! right !

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By radson, February 24, 2012 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Part Two

There is another angle to this conundrum that is being ignored or perhaps omitted and that is the Regional Power Threat within the context of Globalization and the Uni or Multi Polarity question facing independent States .Iran has become a potential Regional Power , a Nation which can influence its immediate neighbors more so than the West can ,due to its geographical location and its historical relationship with its neighbors with regards to culture, language and religious beliefs.The other worrisome problem for the Western Banksters is the industrialization and the technological potential being promoted and developed by the Iranian State .Iran is not like the compliant so-called Moderate US supported Arab Dictatorships that has now been regrouped as the GCC ,because these puppets sell oil for money ,that same money is recycled to buy arms and the other basic necessities required for daily sustenance ,hence a total reliance on outside trade and assistance through imports ,which in turn renders the Moderate States totally reliant on exterior sources .Self Sufficiency is neither promoted nor advocated because it is against the Globalization paradigm ,corporate Divide and Conquer prevails in most of the world as we know it .A study by economists with regards to self-sufficiency amongst the pro Western Arab Dictatorships would be most revealing ,especially their inability to maintain their own sovereignty regardless of their wealth in Dollars when the basic needs of the citizens within the State is determined by external influence,which in turn leads to a form of economic blackmail.Manufacturing capacities are not encouraged in these States ,imports are .Now the dispute with Iran is not the Nuclear issue, that’s a Red Herring and its not necessarily about Oil per se.The West has ample access to oil and at the moment the prevalent issue with the black gold is the transport of it to the markets ,which will increase pressure on the EU and raise the price of oil,therefore weakening the financially weakened European States,while the oil multinationals make a windfall in profits.The Russians don’t require Iranian oil, yet the Chinese and the Indians do to a large extent and the Chinese are well aware of this threat .Globalization and its growth is what is presently at stake and the SCO members are cognizant of this danger.The West is attempting to dominate the World through Unipolarity while the SCO is striving for a more balanced Multipolar approach.Will this lead to a conflict ,that is a certainty ,will it lead to a war ,that is a high probability .

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, February 24, 2012 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

“Pat Buchanan: 300 Nukes in Israel yet Iran a Threat?”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30610.htm

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Paul_GA's avatar

By Paul_GA, February 24, 2012 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

Ardee, if things don’t give until after my life (and yours) is over, then at least we won’t be living witnesses of the pain and travail as the empire comes crashing down like Jericho’s walls, or the Twin Towers. That would be like the boon of Josiah (II Kings 22:16-20).

Then again, we may yet see the fall whether we want to or not. As Lenin is quoted as saying, “There are decades when nothing happens, and there are weeks when decades happen.”

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By ardee, February 24, 2012 at 3:47 am Link to this comment

By Ed Romano, February 23 at 8:31 pm

Again I fall on the side of optimism. Why do you think forums find such neocon shills as Hetero and IMax pimping for the status quo? Because they live in fear of awakening the electorate.

A less optimistic part of me thinks that things are just going to have to get worse before they get better. But I work to negate that seeming eventuality and hasten that awakening.

I do believe in the basic compassion and progressiveness of the American public. If this were not the case then the right wing here would not have had to work so hard buying up our media sources, spending so much money on our venal and corrupt politicos in order to lie to us all.

So I think it a matter of tapping into those good qualities, an educational process.

What else can one do?

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 24, 2012 at 3:14 am Link to this comment

If Iran had a dozen or so nukes I doubt there would be 3 carrier battle groups stationed off their shores.

Pakistan has nukes and I don’t hear Israel threatening them every day.

To state that Iran desires nukes as anything other than a deterrent is a misleading and false assumption.

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By balkas, February 24, 2012 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

yes, i agree, it is often tiny minorities which are responsible for most improvements in our
daily lives.
but whatever the progress or regress in our lives, the FIRST CAUSE for both is a THOUGHT.
probably arising first in just one human’s head and then verbally passed to another person or
persons; and a movement for progress or regress is born.
but in modern times, say, last century or so, regression/worsenings in some areas of our lives
[world peace, inner peace, war, intolerance, arrogance, anger, travel, hatred, wanton violence,
etc.] had never been so bad in any other previous century. 
regarding our expectations and hopes for a better life for all in previous centuries or even
millennia, we had a lot more of it than today. today, hope for a mass [particularly black and
blacker] of people had eroded to a high degree or by now completely evanesced.
bozhidar b.

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By Marian Griffith, February 24, 2012 at 1:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Jeff N
—- What would happen to our economy if we were to actually live in a government that represented its people?  Would all these companies take their business (and jobs) somewhere else?—-

Look at Sweden, or Norway or Finland.
Or in fact most (western) european countries (with the exception of the UK which for all intents and purposes is the 54th state of the USA).
They seem to manage just fine running a stable economy while at the same time maintaining a reasonable semblance of democracy.

Don’t listen to the fear mongering that is all you hear in the USA media about the rest of the world. Europe is not on the brink of collapse, nor is the Euro, no matter how much the pundits and the analysts like to cry out it is. Nor is Europe the region of perpetual low growth. The Netherlands has 6pct unemployment and considers that unusually high, and by the way the USA counts it that number would be less than 3pct. Germany and the scandinavian countries tend to do even better than that. Sure, Europe rarely shows 10+ percent growth figures, but then it also rarely shows 10+ percent economic decline. It has a steady growth that doesn’t veer wildly from its course the way the USA economy does. And if you average it since the end of WWII then you will see that it actually slightly outperforms the USA, it is just that Europe had its manufacturing capacity bombed to rubble so they had to make up a lot of ground to catch up with the USA (which came out of WWII as the world’s only functioning industrial economy). Europe also relies (or used to) a lot less on the stock exchange as the sole measure of economic success, which means a lot of the growth is not immediately apparent to the number crunchers that use the USA economy as the measure of all things.

In summary: Don’t be fooled by the self serving rhetoric of those who want to be able to make more profit at the expense of others. The USA had a functioning democracy, high(er) taxes and something that resembles a social safety net during the 60s, 70s and part of the 80s and it was doing just fine during that period. Better than it is doing now you could very easily argue.

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By heterochromatic, February 23, 2012 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment

—-However, there is a sin of omission in the article by failing to clearly state that
if Iran is really working on achieving a nuclear weapon, it is mostly motivated to
do so as a deterrent, because evil, terrorist Zionist and colonialist Israel is actually
in possession of some 200-400 nuclear weapons.—-

nonsense. you don’t have the faintest clue as to why Iran wants nukes.

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By Ed Romano, February 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

To Ardee. I always enjoy your posts…..compassionate, and thoughtful. I could say that its more important to be realistic than either pessimistic or optimistic. But that’s just verbiage. I think you’ve seen some of my other posts on other sites and I think you might figure out what I was trying to do here….. I’d like to hear a discussion about how we might get more mainstream folks involved in these debates and maybe wake them up a bit. The majority of people are never part of any real change. They are just swept along by events that a minority cause. But I think that minority would have better chance the more numbers it can add to its ranks.

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By Arabian Sinbad, February 23, 2012 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

Good article indeed on the hypocrisy, warmongering and pandering after the rabid Zionists’ votes of the three Republican assholes!

However, there is a sin of omission in the article by failing to clearly state that if Iran is really working on achieving a nuclear weapon, it is mostly motivated to do so as a deterrent, because evil, terrorist Zionist and colonialist Israel is actually in possession of some 200-400 nuclear weapons. And given Israel’s history of state-sponsored terrorism,warmongering and evil colonialism, always supported by misguided American political-military policies, only a stupid and defeated country in the neighborhood will not pursue nuclear capability, at least, as a deterrent against warmongering and dangerous Israel.

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By Jeff N., February 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

Bird, I’m not interested in winning that competition either.  But there are also a lot of other competitions the US wins.  It has the strongest businesses, biggest economy, great innovation, very high standard of living, etc.  I guess I’m wondering if the price for all of this “success” in business always has to come at the expense of democracy.  What would happen to our economy if we were to actually live in a government that represented its people?  Would all these companies take their business (and jobs) somewhere else?  It seems like we need a global government-type power that can prevent these enormous, global firms from just going country to country, sucking the world dry.  Corporations by definition only answer to profits, and one way or another they are going to find it.

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By Bird48, February 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

I’m just curious as to what you mean by the statement “stay competitive as a nation”. Stay competitive at what? It certainly can’t be education or longevity or health or satisfaction with life or income equality. The only competition this country wins is war and military. If that is staying competitive I would much rather we lose whatever game it is.

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By Jeff N., February 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

Corporations basically just buy up whatever political reform that suites them in this country, and bend the government to their will. Are all countries like this? Do we have to bow before corporate power to stay competitive as a nation? What’s the alternative, if any, and how has it worked out? Would love to get a solid answer/discussion/links on the subject..

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By Rixar13, February 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

“But such facts are not troubling to the GOP contenders, who seem not to have realized that there is one Muslim country already in possession of scores of such weapons.”

More wars funded via supplemental war budgets if the G-NO-P and Tea-Baggies are at the helm… sigh

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By ardee, February 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

By Paul_GA, February 23 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Well, Ardee, it won’t last forever; something’s got to give, sooner or later ..

Well, Paul, I think it can last long past your, and my, lifetime. I think many tens of thousands more can die too. More tortured, more maimed, more slaughtered. So it certainly behooves we the compassionate to explore all possible ways of ending the stranglehold of corporate America on our for-profit foreign policies.

By Ed Romano, February 23 at 3:06 pm

Pessimism gains us nothing, Ed.

” Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Meade

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By Ed Romano, February 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Can I slip a little factoid in here about the American people? It doesn’t matter what they want and whatever happens there is nothing they can do about it anyway. For example, polls showed that the people overwhelmingly wanted a single payer health plan. Did we get one ? Polls showed years ago that the people wanted us out of Iraq and Bananastand. The wars went right on didn’t they ? During the Vietnam
War we saw the result of the massacre we were visiting on the Vietnamese every night on the T.V. news. This and the fact
that lower middle class kids didn’t want their asses drafted,  was the thing that broughtmost protesters
intothe anti war movement. The government learned its lesson. So today
reporters ar not allowed within miles of the actual fighting, burning, maiming of children etc. Are the people blaming the media for not protesting this infringment
of their right to be informed ? Sshhh. Don’t disturb them. American Idol is coming on.
The people sat by for decades while the
country was taken away from them little by little and year by year. Now the Vampire class feels strong and safe enough to speed up the tempo. They ( both parties ) are clamoring to stripthe American “people” of all the hard won benefits that were fought for in the 30’s thru 60’s. The Republicans say they want to skin us entirely. The Democrats say- No. Only to the waist.
This is not a call to wake up America. It’s too late
for that
boys and girls. The ball game is over.

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By PatrickHenry, February 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

With or without government involvement and the rise of firms like Blackwater and Xe, the military industrialists will create wars, false flags and so on in order to create and perpetuate their market.

Banks and media will fall in line as it only benefits their bottom line as well.

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By Marian Griffith, February 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ryanc
—This article would be better if it didn’t bother with defending the current warmonger and chief.—

Your ranting would make more of an impression if Scheer’s piece actually did, you know, defend Obama. Or even mentioned him in passing. Let’s see .. nope, not even inferred to.

Scheer wrote about the clown car brigade trying to drum up existential fear in the sheeple in the hope that they will then vote for them.
If you want to hear attacks on Obama, I recommend listening to Fox News. They kind of specialise in that. If you want to hear faint praise for Obama, the articles here at truthdig are a good place for that. And if you want to hear mindless droning on how Obama betrayed us all, then the comments section her at truthdig is a good place.

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By Paul_GA, February 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm Link to this comment

Well, Ardee, it won’t last forever; something’s got to give, sooner or later ...

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By ardee, February 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

By Bird48, February 23 at 11:42 am Link to this comment


What is it that makes these loons think the people want another war? What is it that makes pundits and columnists think people want another war? Just because the warmongering worked for Dubya and is trotted out by O, everyone I have tallked with is totally against any more wars; and believe me I live in the reddest, whitest state in the union not some vegetarian enclave on the coast. If these redneck hunters don’t want war then exactly who are these Amerikan people we hear so much about?

That you speak truth is not important. War is a profit center you must understand. The way the American people have been isolated from many of the effects of war, no draft, more drones, less boots on the ground, or actually, the same boots over and over has served to eliminate the type of outcry that we saw during Vietnam.

As long as the President needs all those campaign funds from the MIC, we will see more war. While the focus here and at other pro-Democratic Party sites ( generally) is on the GOP’s bluster about war we must remember that Barack Obama is a President whose hands are bloody.

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By Bird48, February 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

felicity: What makes you think O doesn’t want another war? He may not want one of the old-fashioned shooting, boots-on-the-ground type but he has done more to escalate the drone attacks than anyone in history. I call that war and actually war of the worst kind because it is hidden, sneaky, secretive and deadly with no accountability to the people.

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By felicity, February 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Bird48 - “...who are these American people we hear so
much about?”  The loons, one reason being they make for
much more interesting news copy, the other reason being
that Obama doesn’t want another war and anything Obama
has to be discredited.

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By Bird48, February 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm Link to this comment

What is it that makes these loons think the people want another war? What is it that makes pundits and columnists think people want another war? Just because the warmongering worked for Dubya and is trotted out by O, everyone I have tallked with is totally against any more wars; and believe me I live in the reddest, whitest state in the union not some vegetarian enclave on the coast. If these redneck hunters don’t want war then exactly who are these Amerikan people we hear so much about?

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By oddsox, February 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Warmongering?
Contraception?
Is Obama (or now Romney) really a Christian?

All distractions from the real issue.
All according to plan. 

http://open.salon.com/blog/oddsox/2012/02/21/why_obama_is_favored_to_win_in_2012_—_and_how_to_beat_him

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By felicity, February 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment

This gang of Republican candidates must have read
Orwell - “the common man, to be controlled, must remain
an ignorant fanatic, whose prevailing moods are fear,
hatred, adulation and orgiastic triumph.”

Except for maybe “adulation,” for this entire election
season Republicans have followed Orwell’s menu for how-
to-control-the-common-man - hatred (Obama) and fear
(too many to list) have comprised the sum-total of all
their rhetoric.

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By Norman Zoref, February 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As always, kudos to Robert Scheer.  He hit the target in the bulls eye regarding the
Republican candidates being out of issues which can work up the American public
so they fall back on their ace in the hole: scare people about whatever ‘national
security’ issue they can fabricate.  it is easy enough to get worked up over
Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric, especially his rhetoric about Israel and the Holocaust, but
it is important to keep a level head about what his capabilities are.  Thank you Mr
Scheer for laying out the reality of what Iran has and doesn’t have and thanks to
President Obama for always keeping a level head!

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By Ed Romano, February 23, 2012 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

No. I’m suspicious of even the weather reports in the main stream media. I’ve listened to Ron Paul in most of these so called “debates”. He’s told me everything I need to know about him. His analysis of the enormous problem we have with our world bullying military is the best we’ve heard from any candidate for as long as I can remember. With over 900 bases and enclaves in over 100 nations around the globe Paul’s argument that we could solve most of our economic problems if only we could shackle this monster is hard to refute. But he also thinks that government should deregulate itself and leave the “free"market to regulate itself. This is where we part company. I agree thatthe U.S. government has become a sort of Goliath, but I also understand why the gov had to step in with safety and child labor laws….why it had to take steps to curtail the pollution of drinking water by corporations after the disasters in places like Love Canal, Woburn and Butte, Montana. And this week it is reported that the drinking water around a US Marine base is polluted and that more an million people may have been toxically infected. I understand that the greed on Wall St. and from bankers needs to be regulated.I think it is whacky to think that these free marketers can regulate themselves.The beat goes on. God forbid that we all be thrown upon the mercies of the Vampire class that has made all these regulations necessary in the first place. So Ron Paul’s military policy? Excellent.His domestic ideas ? Disastrous. This is political schizophenia such as we have seldom seen. That’s what I meant when I used the term whacky.

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By ryanc, February 23, 2012 at 11:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article would be better if it didn’t bother with defending the current warmonger and chief. There is no difference between the foreign policy of Obama, Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum. It’s bomb, bomb, bomb. Kill, kill, kill. Invade, invade, invade.

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By jimmmmmy, February 23, 2012 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

you start your column with a false premise. the american economy is not showing signs of recovery, o’bama needs it to be so, and as a practicing christo-capitalist you are unable to see the world as it is.why waste ink on a dog and pony show designed to sell soap for the corporate media, which is what the repub. “debates” are. the fact that most americans have their heads stuck way up their own arses is really annoying. having said that i must also say that i have a high regard for you and mr. hedges body of work.

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By jimmmmmy, February 23, 2012 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

you start your column with a false premise. the american economy is not showing signs of recovery, o’bama needs it to be so, and as a practicing christo-capitalist you are unable to see the world as it is.why waste ink on a dog and pony show designed to sell soap for the corporate media, which is what the repub. “debates” are. the fact that most americans have their heads stuck way up their own arses is really annoying. having said that i must also say that i have a high regard for you and mr. hedges body of work.

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By balkas, February 23, 2012 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

i only pay attention to the fact that there is only ONE US foreign policy and not two or
more.
and only that ONE policy is being applied against iran. one part of that ONE FOREIGN
POLICY is to manufacture enemies.
today US needs enemies and wars perhaps more than at any time in its US history.
at home there is now an awakening. the best way to eliminate or marginalize it, would be
to attack iran. i do not see another or quicker way for the ONE PERCENT to silence cries of
its subservient class.
and war on subservient class might not work at all.
so, US would be off on another war. and okayed by both wings of ONE PERCENT’S agent.
unless, of course, ONE PERCENT is not ruling US, but Democrats and Republicans are.
btw, i do not think US will invade iran for a long time if ever! i’ve said this couple of years
ago more than once on many sites.
how about bombing iran? probably!

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By Galens Links, February 23, 2012 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another “front page” article with every candidate but Ron Paul in the picture, le sigh.

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By prisnersdilema, February 23, 2012 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

From somewhere in the vast wasteland that america has become, filled with ignorant
posturing crackers, so sure of their ignorance, armed to the teeth. I doubt that reason
will save us from the lies, of our criminally insane political leadership so bent on suicide
for all of us.

So far their reasons have been used only as a disguise for their larcenies and murders,
and those reasons seem to be still working in the face of their disasterous foreign
policies.


Prepping Iraq to be Irans running dog, yeah that was real smart. So no what, Ignore the
joint chiefs in favor of K street. You betcha.

They will kill us all, and their working on it.

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By Paul_GA, February 23, 2012 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

If Ron Paul is wackie, I would hope he bites and infects a lot more of the denizens in Mordor-on-the-Potomac, Ed.

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By jsper, February 23, 2012 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Ron Pual’s wackie? I think not. You’ve been paying attention to the Main Streem Media again if this is ‘your’ opinion.

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By Edward Kerr, February 23, 2012 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m not sure who should get the credit for this line as I have forgotten it’s author but it is “right on” in this instance.
“If God had meant for us to vote he would have given us candidates.”
I’m thinking that whoever write that had this bunch in mind.
I doubt that most people realize just how dangerous and self defeating an unwarranted attack on Iran would be.(aside from being totally immoral and unchristian, these guys are Christians, right??)
There is little evidence that Iran has, or seeks, a nuclear weapon and even if they did, so what? They would never attack Israel first as they know that that would be suicidal.
The media’s portrayal of this as a weapons issue is so much hog wash. It’s all about the US dollar possibly loosing it’s (unwarranted these days) status as the worlds reserve currency.
Ron Paul, for all his simplistic views is the only republican who is “right” on the war issue and on the fed too.
In my opinion we have little to comfort us in this election cycle as all of the choices (except Cynthia McKinney if she is running this time even though I disagree with several of her positions on issues) leave a lot to be desired. I suppose that there will be a lot of “nose holding” in the polls this November.
Cheers
Ed

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By Dr Bones, February 23, 2012 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Despite how corporate media has 24/7 coverage of these freaks, to date only a little more than 1/10 of 1% of eligible voter have bothered to vote in the GOP primaries.

Although the news is about how Santorum is surging, he has gotten only 2/100 of 1% of eligible votes so far.

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By Ed Romano, February 23, 2012 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

George M. Cohan said that - Many a bum show has been saved by the flag.
The reason Ron Paul comes across as saying exactly what he believes is because he is consistent. He may be whacky , but he always says what he believes. He’s not spinning webs tryng to snare the gullible. He doesn’t have to stop and think his way through a long line of bull shit before he speaks. His thinking about the government’s role in the national bean ball competition and his faith in the “free” market are archaic, but his grasp of what we’re doing with the military is spot on…. It’s easy to sit back and judge the other 3 as buffons, but these guys are really dangerous, especially true believers like Santorum. Some people say he wouldn’t have a chance in the general election. I wouldn’t be so sure. Given the choice between a somewhat reasonable candidate and a snake the electorate has often chosen the snake. And the one who waves the flag the hardest has a head start….. It’s a crying shame that during these “debates” there hasn’t been someone who could take these clowns up on some of the outright lies they’ve told. For example, last night Santorum said that 60% of the budget goes to entitelment programs.
This is so far off the mark that….well, it’s a crying shame,

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By thecrow, February 23, 2012 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

“Asner said it is up to the American people to recognize and prevent an imminent false flag operation and stop another disastrous war before it gets started. He said the Navy Seals are now coming forward because they are worried that an Iran false flag attack ‘runs the danger’ of creating a ‘world-wide conflict if it gets out of hand.’”

http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/up/

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By AMeshiea, February 23, 2012 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

“What a disreputable crew.” -

And ads you say twice in this article…

“with the exception of Rep. Paul”

You want an end to the madness of the Military
Industrial Complex?

Vote/Write-in Ron

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