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The Wrong Man for the Job

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Posted on Jan 23, 2009
Holbrooke
AP photo / Mike Wintroath

Richard Holbrooke

By Scott Ritter

(Page 2)

It is highly doubtful that Holbrooke will bring anything more to the table than cheerleading. President Obama’s stated intention to increase the size of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and to more forcefully assert U.S.-imposed “security” through continued military action in the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan is a dangerous scheme, one Holbrooke will enthusiastically support. Reinforcing failure is never a sound solution. Take it from the veteran British military officers who have served in Afghanistan and now advise that there is no military solution to the Afghan problem. Listening to advice like that would go a long way toward developing stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan and neutralizing al-Qaida’s ability to organize and operate in those nations. The British recognize that the Taliban is not the problem, but rather part of the solution to what ails Afghanistan.

There will be no peace without a negotiated settlement that includes the Taliban. To accomplish this, leadership is required which recognizes the Taliban as a force of moderation, and not extremism. Holbrooke does not have a record which indicates he would be willing to consider direct negotiations with the Taliban. He tends to seek military solutions to difficult ethnic-based problems, and he is likely to argue for the deployment of even more U.S. troops to that war-ravaged nation. That would be a historic mistake.

Instability within Afghanistan continues to bleed over into Pakistan. As the United States pushes for a more effective military solution, there will be even greater pressures placed on U.S. leadership to become directly involved in Pakistan. The recent events in Mumbai, where Pakistani-based terrorists killed scores of innocent civilians, only underscore the inherent instability of Pakistan, which is fighting its own internal struggle against the forces of Islamic fundamentalism. Increased American military operations against Taliban and al-Qaida forces operating inside Pakistan will be a direct result of any increased U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. Such military operations will only increase the influence of Islamic fundamentalists inside Pakistan, while doing little to halt the efforts of the Taliban inside Afghanistan.

The radicalization of Pakistan has potentially disastrous implications for Pakistani-Indian relations. There is already increased talk about the possibility of war between these two nuclear-armed regional powers. Any conflict between India and Pakistan, nuclear or not, brings with it the likelihood of a breakdown of central authority within Pakistan, and would even further empower radical Islamic fundamentalists. That would bring the possibility that sensitive nuclear material, up to and including a nuclear device, would fall into their control. Such an outcome is the stuff of nightmares.

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The cause-and-effect relationship between what the United States does inside Afghanistan and what occurs inside Pakistan cannot be ignored by American policymakers. As such, the goal of any U.S. special envoy to the region should be to stabilize the internal Afghan situation and de-emphasize cross-border military operations into Pakistan. Any effort which embraces the Taliban as part of a new Afghan reality would, by extension, eliminate the need to strike Taliban strongholds inside Pakistan. With the Taliban co-opted as a part of the central Afghan government, the forces of al-Qaida would lose their effectiveness, as any effort to continue to fight in Afghanistan would invariably pit them against their former allies. Reduction of hostilities in Afghanistan would create a similar reduction in hostilities in the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan. This in turn would result in a reduction of events which could be used by fundamentalists to justify radical behavior. And a reduction in radical Islamic fundamentalism would in turn allow for a more stable, moderate Pakistani government operating in a manner not only conducive to peace in Afghanistan but also peace with India and the entire region.

To embrace such a policy, the United States needs to contract the services of a U.S. special envoy capable of visionary thinking, one who possesses the political courage to stand up to a president and a secretary of state and argue against bad policy. I do not believe Holbrooke is such a man. As a result, I fear that the Obama administration will find the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan continuing to deteriorate to the detriment of American national security, and will increasingly waste time and energy in a period of so many problems at home and abroad. Afghanistan does not need to be one of these problems, but the selection of Richard Holbrooke as U.S. special envoy bodes ill for the prospect of lasting peace and security in a volatile region.

Scott Ritter, a U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, is the author of “Waging Peace” (Nation Books, 2007).


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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, March 14, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Re Shingo, February 4 at 11:28 pm #


I woudln’t be surprised if the anthrax attacks were a false flag operation.  So much stinks about the story adn it would have been all to easy to set up the guy who convenient offed himself.

  x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=xx=x=x=x=x

I totally agree. The anthrax attacks obviously came from Cheney’s back office special operations assassination squad (now being exposed by Seymour Hersh), just like 9/11 itself. One has to be a completely naive believer in whatever the government tells you to think this was one more “lone nut”. Unfortunately, naive, misled and confused are words that describe most of the population - unless we can get the truth of 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attack out. 9/11 didn’t “change everthing”, but when the public finds out who did it, that will. What an awakening that will be!

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, March 13, 2009 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, January 28 at 7:27 pm

ITW,

Maani’s science might be a little weak. Pick on me, if you dare. But first, take 90 minutes of your time to watch the whole video, “Blueprint for Truth: the Architecture of Destruction” at ae911truth.org. The presenter is not “some putz”, but Richard Gage, a certified architect with decades of experience in steel frame construction. Maybe the putz is you.

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By rancone, March 13, 2009 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Afghanistan - Keywords: wheat and soil bank

As in pay to grow wheat, pay to not grow wheat, pay to grow wheat that is destroyed by the Taliban, pay to grow wheat plus a bonus that is delivered to the market (what ever that is). Growing wheat, or promising to grow wheat (eatable crop) is worth anything that has to be paid - as it denies funding of the Taliban and decreases the cost of the “drug wars”.  (Please read this correctly - wheat is paid for at full market value - while wheat that is delivered to the market is paid for at a bonus value.)

This concept was somewhat successful in this country in the 1950’s. to push agriculture in a certain direction - lets see what a variation of this can do in Afghanistan. Paying for the intent to grow wheat is cheaper than body bags all around.

Technology, Google earth, UAV, etc. will support the payment for specific land that is reserved for something other than poppies.

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By Shingo, February 4, 2009 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther,

I woudln’t be surprised if the anthrax attacks were a false flag operation.  So much stinks about the story adn it would have been all to easy to set up the guy who convenient offed himself.

As for what did they know and when did they know it, I am also inclined to agree, it’s possible they let it happen.

As for orchestrating 911 itself, there are loose ends on all sides of the debate.  The sad thing is that even if it were true, there is no way anyone in Washington would be willing to let the public in on it, for it would likely lead to a revolution.

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By Folktruther, February 4, 2009 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

Shingo-I too agree with Maani, Cyrena, Tony, etc that 9/11-anthrax was a false flag operation.  I think that it was the first step in a political counter revolution.  But it appears that the planning predated the Bushite seizure of power since it was such a brilliant fear-inspiring publicity stunt.  However I think the major players who implemented it were politically insane.

This is swhy Iraq was such a disaster.  It was supposed to be the first invasion that would later include Iran and N Korea.  Therefore Rumsfield did not want the troops to stay in Iraq but hand it off the the US iraqi clients.  This is what is crazy, that the Iraq’s would docilly accept the US client state, with their stong cultrual tradition and recently blooded troops against Iran.

But, in my opinion, the planning of the two events was conducted differently, and Rumsfield rejected the military assessment of Shiminski that four hundred thousand troops were needed to occupy Iraq.  He orignially mentored Cheney thirty years ago and both were talented and evil dingbats.  they occur in power systems and do enormous damage.

But there are so many loose ends in the 9/11-anthrax homicides that it seesm quite unlikely that The major Bushites didn’t know about it ahead of time, and at least allow it happen.  I don’t think it was possible without the active participation of, at least,  Chaney.

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blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, January 28, 2009 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

RE: ...survivors who came to the gaping hole in the building waving for help?.

Moreover, there is this script of FDNY radio communications on 9/11:

Battalion Chief Orio Palmer took an elevator to the 41st floor of the South Tower, then climbed the stairs to the 78th floor. With him was Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca, who had climbed the stairs from the ground floor. They were the first firefighters to reach an airplane impact zone in either the North or South Tower. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, United Flight 175 impacted the South Tower, “crashing through the 77th to 85th floors”.

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/20090128_gates_changes_afghanistan_tune

9:52 a.m.

Chief Palmer: “Battalion Seven ... Ladder 15, we’ve got two isolated pockets of fire. We should be able to knock it down with two lines. Radio that, 78th floor numerous 10-45 Code Ones.”

Ladder 15: “What stair are you in, Orio?”

Battalion Seven Aide: “Seven Alpha to lobby command post.”

Ladder Fifteen: “Fifteen to Battalion Seven.”

Chief Palmer: “... Ladder 15.”

Ladder 15: “Chief, what stair you in?”

Chief Palmer: “South stairway Adam, South Tower.”

Ladder 15: “Floor 78?”

Chief Palmer: “Ten-four, numerous civilians, we gonna need two engines up here.”

Ladder 15: “Alright ten-four, we’re on our way.”

9:52 a.m.

Battalion Seven Aide: “Seven Alpha for Battalion Seven.”

Chief Palmer: “South tower, Steve, south tower, tell them ...Tower one.”

Chief Palmer: “Fifteen.”

Chief Palmer: “I’m going to need two of your firefighters, Adam stairway, to knock down two fires. We have a house line stretched we could use some water on it, knock it down, kay.”

Ladder 15: “Alright ten-four, we’re coming up the stairs. We’re on 77 now in the B stair, I’ll be right to you.”

Ladder 15 Roof: “Fifteen Roof to 15. We’re on 71. We’re coming right up.”

9:57 a.m.

“Division 3 ... lobby command, to the Fieldcom command post.”

Chief Palmer: “Operations Tower One to floor above Battalion Nine.”

Battalion Nine Chief: “Battalion Nine to command post.”

Battalion Seven Operations Tower One: “Battalion Seven Operations Tower One to Battalion Nine, need you on floor above 79. We have access stairs going up to 79, kay.”

Battalion Nine: “Alright, I’m on my way up, Orio.”

Two minutes later, at 9:58:59, the South Tower collapsed in 10 seconds.

Chief Orio Palmer – WTC victim.  Chief of Battalion 7, FDNY, Manhattan.
Tran

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By Bertil, January 28, 2009 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

With the official story saying that Jet fuel melted the steel and the entire building was a uniform temperature, how does one explain the survivors who came to the gaping hole in the building waving for help?.

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By Maani, January 28, 2009 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

ITW:

I stand (or rather, sit) corrected on three minor points.

First, you are correct: I meant structural steel (though all structural steel is, in fact, galvanized steel).

Second, Shingo is correct that I did not mean “in a vacuum,” but in a super-oxygenated environment - which the WTC clearly was not.

Third, you are correct that smoke gets darker as it becomes starved for fuel: it is the fuel burning (and creating carbon) that creates darker smoke.  As the fuel burns up, and more air is in the mix, the smoke becomes lighter.  Thus, I should have noted that the smoke got progressively lighter, not darker, as the fires burned.

Finally, although you are correct that a jet fuel fire of even 1300F would be about the same as an acetylene torch, the effect is completely different, since the flame is far more diffused in a burning building than in a narrowly targeted torch flame.

However, all of these are quibbles, since the facts remain that (i) structural steel has a melting point of ~2500F-2800F, (ii) the highest temperature at which jet fuel burns in open air is ~1300F-1500F, and (iii) the color of the smoke changed very quickly, showing that there was very little “fuel” to feed the fires.

More importantly, however, you COMPLETELY fail to address the far more critical facts re the collapses themselves.  A penny dropped from the top of the WTC would have taken ~110 seconds to hit the ground: “free fall” speed, in the absence of any resistance.  Yet even allowing for “free fall” speed of the top portion of the towers due to structural instability, these floors would have met the “resistance” of the lower 2/3 of each building. Yet each building collapsed at FASTER than “free fall” speed - in a mere 16 seconds or so.  Watch any video of the collapse and time it yourself.  The ONLY thing that could have caused this was explosives in a controlled demolition.

And, of course, you do not address WTC 7 at all.  As Tony notes, you need only watch any video of the collapse of WTC 7 to see that it was a PERFECT controlled demolition: the building fell squarely into its own footprint, not even scratching a building just 30 feet away.

Re WTC 7, there is also the fact that the BBC reported the collapse of WTC 7 almost half an hour BEFORE it actually collapsed.  In fact, their reporter in NYC is talking about the collapse AS THE BUILDING REMAINS STANDING DIRECTLY BEHIND HER!  So there was obviously some sort of “advance notice” of that controlled demolition - except that the BBC accidentally “jumped the gun” on reporting it.

Peace.

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By Shingo, January 28, 2009 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

SamSnedegar,

>> You’d never believe what I think because you would never understand it.

What you believe is clear not based on facts or evidence, but your “nose”.

>> Ritter has a problem with smart people and tries at every opportunity to elevate himself by claiming his betters are wrong.

Kindly provide a link to your source that proves this?  I take it you have evidence to support what probably never even met.

>> Scotty has no degree at all but attacks college graduates to “put them in their places.”

Really? I heard him give a presentation to MIT and he was very humble and frequently used humor to this effect. 

I take it you have no idea what you are talking about.

>> Ask him about his own CIA connection, and he will likely lie to you

Please provide a link to support your assertion that Ritter has lied about his own CIA connection.  I take it you have such evidence?

>> You can never trust a liar. So if Scotty says Holbrooke is bad, I assume that Holbrooke is good.

So far, in all your posts, you have yet to produce any evidence that he is a liar.

>> I was one of them once myself, but I don’t make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by telling lies about how smart I am.

Evidently,  you are not very smart either, which might explain why you are not making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.  If you were smart, you’d provide proof that Ritter is a liar, rather than endlessly and childishly repeating your claim that Ritter is a liar.

>> I just have a nose for liars

Your nose doesn’t count as proof.

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By SamSnedegar, January 28, 2009 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

You probably also think that Rumsfeld was a genius, Bush was the greatest president ever, that Saddam steered those plans into the twin towers by remote from Baghdad and that there really were WMD in Iraq.

As usual, you are wrong on all counts. You’d never believe what I think because you would never understand it. Ritter has a problem with smart people and tries at every opportunity to elevate himself by claiming his betters are wrong. Scotty has no degree at all but attacks college graduates to “put them in their places.” Ask him about his own CIA connection, and he will likely lie to you, and a liar is apt to lie again and again. You can never trust a liar. So if Scotty says Holbrooke is bad, I assume that Holbrooke is good.

Hey, there is nothing wrong with a Marine enlisted man; I was one of them once myself, but I don’t make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by telling lies about how smart I am. I just have a nose for liars, and when I see stuff by Ritter, I automatically disbelieve every single word of it until it is proven by some other source who might be trustworthy.

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By Shingo, January 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

>> Jet diesel fuel burns at a maximum temp of 2000F - but only in vacuum.

Nothing burns in a vaccuum.  Burning is essentially rapid oxidation, hence the need for oxygen.

>> Second: “Softening” steel means starting to melt it.

Not necessarily.  Softening means the steel is undergoing structural changes.  Melting is a phase change.  The imporatnt issue hwoever, is that the official theory assumes the entire building was a uniform temperature, which was not the case.

Also, jet fuel doesn’t burn anywhere close to the temperature of a propane torch - otherwise, we would be using jet fuel instead of propane

>> Third:  I guarantee you jet fuel will NOT burn in a vacuum. 

Correct.  I think the writer was getting confused with burning in an oxygen rich environment.

>>> Fourth: That high up in any major city, the winds on the towers are FEROCIOUS

Any structural engineer worth is salt will always factor that into a design.  Usually by a redundancy factor of 200-300%.

>> After the planes hit, there was a genuine wind tunnel to feed the flames oxygen…in cars it’s called “Ram Air”.

A wind tunnel only exists if there is a sizable hole from which the wind can exit.  That might have been the case with the second tower that was struck, not the first.

>> Fifth: A building designed to hold a static load isn’t going to be able to tolerate an ACCELERATING load. 

But is IS designed for to withstand this.  Winds and earthquakes create accelerating/decelerating loads.  In any case, the buildings were also designed to withstand a direct impact of a fully laden passenger plane.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 28, 2009 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

I swear, where do you people get this crap?  Do you just make it up or just assume because some putz posts it on the Internet it must be true.

First, galvanized steel melts at 2800F, and doesn’t even begin to “soften” until well over 2000F.  Jet diesel fuel burns at a maximum temp of 2000F - but only in vacuum.  Without vacuum, its maximum temp is 1800F.  This is physics 101, and can be found through simple Internet searches.  Thus, even had the fires reached maximum temp, they could not have melted the steel.

First. Galvanized steel is not structural steel and is is not used for the framework of buildings.  Didn’t you even think of that?

Second: “Softening” steel means starting to melt it.  But you don’t need to do that to burn out the temper.  Take a knife blade you don’t care about and put it in the flame of a propane torch—on the tip of the inner cone of the flame…you’ll burn the temper right out of the steel. Try it if you don’t believe me.

Third:  I guarantee you jet fuel will NOT burn in a vacuum.  Only a fuel that contains its own oxygen can burn in a vacuum. Didn’t it even OCCUR to you to question that?  In fact, the more oxygen you add the hotter it burns AND the darker the flame.  Remember as you progress from red to purple the temp is getting hotter.  Again, anyone who had used oxy-acetelene or even a hand-held torch knows this.

Fourth: That high up in any major city, the winds on the towers are FEROCIOUS…visit the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.  After the planes hit, there was a genuine wind tunnel to feed the flames oxygen…in cars it’s called “Ram Air”.

Fifth: A building designed to hold a static load isn’t going to be able to tolerate an ACCELERATING load.  That’s why your baby must be in a car seat and not your arms.  He goes from 10 or 20 lbs to 400 lbs due solely to ACCELERATION.  Why don’t people understand this stuff?

If you are going to try to argue the physics, at least get the goddam physics right!  Otherwise you look and sound like a damn fool.

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By Maani, January 28, 2009 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Shingo et al:

I concur with Cyrena, Tony and others re 9/11.  As with others, I also first believed the “official story”; it took me over a year to start seeing the truth, as I started to investigate it.

The underpinnings for the war on Iraq can be found in PNAC’s document, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” written and distributed in 2000.  It is also in RAD that PNAC notes that the “transformation” to the “neocon agenda” (particularly re foreign policy) was “likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor.”  (This is where David Ray Griffin got the name for his first book.)

And, of course, that “new Pearl Harbor” - planned and executed by individuals and elements in our government, using additional outside “assets” (more in a moment) - did exactly that: it “catalyzed” the country around a “war on terror,” as well as transferring some of our anger toward Saddam, via the phony “WMD/mushroom cloud” image, and the repetition of the lie that there was a connection between Hussein and 9/11.

Re the “assets,” don’t forget that it was the U.S. who “created” the Taliban and Al Qaeda by arming the “mahujadeen” during Russia’s adventurism in Afghanistan.  OBL, Atta and others were CIA assets at the time, and we were providing both materiel and intelligence to them.

As noted by others, the FBI’s “most wanted” poster of OBL does NOT include 9/11, because there is no evidence that he was involved. And to this day, he has never claimed to be behind the attacks - only to be “supportive” of their occurrence.

As for 9/11 itself, I could offer a book-length exegesis of various aspects of it, but I will limit myself to three aspects of just one item: the fires.

First, galvanized steel melts at 2800F, and doesn’t even begin to “soften” until well over 2000F.  Jet diesel fuel burns at a maximum temp of 2000F - but only in vacuum.  Without vacuum, its maximum temp is 1800F.  This is physics 101, and can be found through simple Internet searches.  Thus, even had the fires reached maximum temp, they could not have melted the steel.

Second, there was very little flammable material in the towers.  Other than some rugs and wood furniture, most things are made of metal or other non-flammable materials.  Indeed, if you watch the videos of that day, you will notice that the smoke went from light to dark very quickly - within 20 minutes or so.  The darker the smoke, the more fuel-STARVED the fire.  Thus, there simply wasn’t enough “fuel” to create fires hot enough to melt the steel.

Finally, even if we grant that the planes caused major structural damage (they did not), that the jet fuel burned at maximum temp (it did not), and that there was lots of flammable materials to burn (there were not), consider that the damage was only to the top 1/3 or so of each tower: the bottom 2/3 were COMPLETELY UNDAMAGED from a structural point of view.  So even if the top 1/3 of each building collapsed at “free fall speed,” why did those upper floors meet ZERO resistance when they came down?  As we saw, both towers collapsed at “free fall speed” (as though there were NO resistance at any time) FROM TOP TO BOTTOM.  Yet if the bottom 2/3 of each building was undamaged, there would have been “stutter effect,” taking longer for the total collapse.  Even if we assume only 66 floors undamaged, this means it should have taken between 60 and 90 seconds to collapse.  Yet it took only 16 seconds for each tower to fall.

And as Tony notes, WTC7 was not hit by a plane, had only minimal damage from the collapse of the nearby tower (causing only three or four relatively small fires), and yet it also collapsed at free fall speed, into its own footprint.

Peace.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, January 28, 2009 at 12:36 am Link to this comment

cyrena,

I like the Richard Gage presentation because it concentrates on a scientific analysis proving that the three buildings came down via controlled demolition, without going into who did it or why.

Given that the towers were brought down by controlled demolition, our whole view of the world changes as we begin to ask who did it and why. You get a whole different picture of this whole so-called “war on terror”. You say you are going to publish something about motives. Well, just look at all the interests that benefited from 9/11. Start with the Cheney administration, which was attempting to end democracy and establish a military police state, to establish an Orwellian permanent “war on terror” which would justify total militarization and removal of all civil rights, unchecked government spying on all citizens, etc. Big oil also benefitted. After Cheney connected it with Saddam in 2002, it also became a pretext for the invasion of the Middle East, where the intention was the installation of U.S./British oil company compliant regimes in Iraq and Iran. Also, after the invasion of Afghanistan, opium production skyrocketed, most of the profits of which are no doubt going to the CIA, the ISI and their mob associates. Then of course there is Larry Silverstein, the owner of the buildings who is making multi-billions from the insurance payoff. There is the whole military-industrial complex, which thrives on war.

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By Shingo, January 28, 2009 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

Cyrena,

I am also familiar with Tarpley and Griffin’s work.  It makes for great reading, and the arguments are compelling, but like I said, the missing pieces of the puzzle are just to significant to ignore.

I have labored the same questions as you have.

Haven’t we seem false flags before?  Operation Northwoods?
How did the buildings come down so quickly?
Why no footage of the plane hitting the Pentagon and why were all the cameras not working that day?
Why didn’t the missile defenses at the Pentagon work?
How is it they knew who was to blame, just like they did with Oswald?
Why did the fighter jets take so long to get scrambled?

I can understand your frustration, because the official story is also full of holes.

But again, if these guys were so slick and pulling this off, how is it they made such a mess of Iraq?

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By cyrena, January 27, 2009 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

1 of 2
By Shingo, January 26 at 12:16 am #
Tony Wicher,
I have looked at the Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth website, and have listened to Richard Gage, Stephen Jones and co.  The evidence is compelling but not indisputable.
Shingo,

As a peripheral and mostly removed observer to the above mentioned website, (because it also has a section for Pilots and Scholars, of which I have been both) I’d like to offer just an opinion in terms of these places as sources of information. In short, they aren’t the best. (Well, I don’t even know Richard Gage, so maybe I shouldn’t say that) They DO provide some information that is semi helpful to anyone who just needs an orientation on the questions that have been raised.

However, there are probably others who put forth a better case, and I would say that David Ray Griffin and Webster Tarpley are probably among the best. David Ray Griffin, like so many others, pretty much accepted the basic story of Islamic terrorists out to get us, and it certainly wasn’t much of a stretch to believe that. We’d seen other attacks, like on the USS Cole just about a year before, and this wasn’t the first time the WTC was targeted by extremists. Nobody can deny that such asymmetrical warfare has been in use for decades, and that bin Laden and Zawahiri have been actively involved in their grievances against the US. In fact, bin Laden is allegedly ‘on record’ as saying that he wanted to pull a stunt like this.

So, we took the story from day one basically at face value, and especially since well…we were all WATCHING some planes flying into buildings, and then watching the buildings subsequently fall in their tracks, with a big whoosh..Most folks are inclined to believe what their eyes are telling them, since that’s pretty much the point of having them.

And, as we watched, the pundits in the background, (showing just those same photos over and over and over again) explained it all as it went down. Like Louise once said, by noon we’d heard from George Bush that it was ‘Islamic’ terrorists, and by dinner, the whole thing was ‘solved’. We knew who they were, and how they did it. We weren’t inclined to question it at the time, assuming that the government’s information was good information.

So maybe only a few of us (relatively speaking) had doubts creep in as the shock began to wear off. Most of those questions came from various people who were questioning certain aspects of the operation from a variety of personal experience prospective, and that included architects, engineers, aviation professionals (pilots/dispatchers) academics/scholars, independent journalists and MOST IMPORTANTLY…the family members of those who lost their lives.  To assorted groups of folks, -not necessarily connected to each other at all- there were simply too many things that didn’t make sense, even from the very beginning.

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By cyrena, January 27, 2009 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment

2 of 2

BUT, like most others, (including David Griffin) I pretty much waited to see what evidence the Commission would provide, to back up the story that we got on day one. It was the Official 9/11 Commission Report that convinced me that it was a false flag operation.

I waited for the evidence that an American Airlines passenger jet really had crashed into the Pentagon, but that has absolutely never been provided. Same with flight UA flight 93. No evidence. We just ‘take their word for it” that the airplane crashed in Shanksville. Again, no evidence.
 
There really isn’t even any evidence that those were AA and UA jets respectively, that crashed into the WTC. We don’t see any markings on those planes in the SAME 2 or 3 photos that they show over and over again, and of course all of the ‘rubble’ was spirited off to China or somewhere, so we don’t have anything to sift through, to determine that yep, it was AA ship # 123 and UA ship #456 that disappeared into those towers that day.

And then there’s the whole thing with the buildings blowing up before our very eyes, (in 10 seconds or less) and we know that could not and would not occur, just from airplanes hitting those buildings. If you crash a motorcycle into a steel and concrete barrier wall going 110 mph, you know the result. That wall is gonna still be standing there, and you might find some specks of things around that resemble what might have once been parts to a motorcycle. There might even be a tire mark on the cement wall. That would be it. The fuel from the motorcycle tank would spill out onto the street, and evaporate almost instantly.

But those are all just scientific/mechanical details that have little to do with the motivation behind such a crime, or even who perpetrated it. It just tells us that it didn’t happen the way it has been claimed. For instance, I’ve never believed that AA flt 77 crashed into the Pentagon, because there has never been any evidence provided to prove that, and it should be ABUNDANTLY AVAILABLE!! It should have been in the report. BUT, I still don’t have any idea what DID happen to AA flt 77, or UA flt 93 either. And, that’s basically where most of the skeptical but still rational crowd is. Or, at least that’s where most of us started out.

The stuff about Mossad being involved and all of the rest, has no ‘evidence’ either, and none has ever been presented. People have come out of the woodwork with all kinds of stuff, but that’s not to say that it should all just be dismissed out of hand, as being the imaginations of crackpots, even though there ARE crackpots out there.

Now it’s been 7 years, so by now…there is more and more evidence to support motivation for a false flag operation, and that’s what keeps sane people at least committed to obtaining more information, or whatever evidence might be left.

Anyway, if you get a chance and have the time, check out David Ray Griffin’s work..”The New Pearl Harbor” was the first, but he’s followed up in the years since. He still doesn’t really speak to motivation, or even claim to know exactly HOW it was accomplished, unless something has come up recently that I’ve not tuned into. Sometime (hopefully this year) I’ll have something decent enough to publish in terms of the motivation. I’ll probably throw in some evidence that IS indisputable as well.
We’ll see. Meantime, the stuff from Griffin and Tarpley is more informative than the sources that you’ve so far viewed. If nothing more, it adds more analysis to the mechanical and logistical details, and all of the work is very well referenced. That doesn’t come from the Stephen Jones crowd, or even the various and sundry other ‘9/11 Truth movements’.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Shingo, January 27 at 1:44 pm #

>> Correction: Saddam THOUGHT he had a green light from Washington, when all he really had was a green light to negotiate with Kuwait.  Minor detail.

This is where it gets complicated.  How Saddam interpreted the message from Glasby is had to know exactly, and as you know, to this day, Glasby refuses to talk about the disucssion.

What we do know is that the US sat on it’s hands for a good while after teh invasion and that there was no consensus to drive Saddam out until the Kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter gave the false sob story about the baby’s and the incubators.

Also, it’s clear that Saddam did not want to have a face off with the US and the coalition.  He did indicate that he was prepared to pull out, pending negotiations, but by that stage, Bush 41 had made up his mind.

Also, even though Bush Snr was a lot brigher than his son, you can’t discount the desire of any president - especially Republican - to demonstrate that they are strong men militarily.  He did it in Panama and this was surely a factor in the decisino to drive out Saddam.
********************************************

That’s a pretty good analysis, if I may say so.

I’m not surprised Glasby is close-mouthed.  She’s actually a really fine professional who sucked it up and took the heat for following her instructions.  She was a career FSO, not some political appointee who gave a lot of money or couldn’t get elected anymore. 

So she’s sitting there, one woman alone, with a guy who is reputed to have killed women just for fun, surrounded by all kinds of armed men, including Saddam, all designed specifically to intimidate her.  All she’s got going for her is her brain, her self-discipline and the fact that HE knows she is the appointed rep of the most powerful country in the history of the planet.  And none of that will do her any good if decides he wants to rape and kill her—and he wants her to know that.

You gotta admire April Glasby.  After facing that, keeping her mouth shut for 18 years is nothing.

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By mrmb, January 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have a problem with the basic notion and premise of the article. The assumption seems to be that the actual American policy in the region is peace, stability, economic and social development, prosperity and etc…..

I totally reject that notion. Its just a subterfuge and a deception, packaged and marketed for internal consumption by the naieve public who still buys into the bullshit.

To arrive at that conclusion all you have to do is look at the actions / policies implemented and the subsequent results rather than the words and proclamations of politicians and pundits who know how to lie to us.

For one second I do not beleive that our policy is anything other than what I just mentioned and the Obama administration will be no exception to the long tradition of empire.

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By KDelphi, January 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Here is a nice pic of Rummy and Saddam shaking hands, in December, 1983. Everyone who thinks that Saddam Hussein is a worse war crimainal than Rummy et al, should print it out and hang it on their wall..

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/history/husseinindex.htm


“US intelligence helped Saddam’s Ba`ath Party seize power for the first time in 1963. Evidence suggests that Saddam was on the CIA payroll as early as 1959, when he participated in a failed assassination attempt against Iraqi strongman Abd al-Karim Qassem. In the 1980s, the US and Britain backed Saddam in the war against Iran, giving Iraq arms, money, satellite intelligence, and even chemical & bio-weapon precursors. As many as 90 US military advisors supported Iraqi forces and helped pick targets for Iraqi air and missile attacks.”

On the Taliban:
http://www.coastalpost.com/02/03/14.htm

“In 1998, (the US) sent cruise missiles into Afghanistan… to kill Osama bin Laden… 75 cruise missiles… missed and killed 19 students and they never apologized.” The Ambassador said his country had offered to punish Osama bin Laden if the US gave proof of his embassy bombings. The US refused. They offered to try Osama in their courts. The US refused. Next offered, Hashemi said, was an international monitoring group in Afghanistan to watch bin Laden, also refused. When the US refused bin Laden’s trial in another country… Hashemi said Osama bin Laden had been in Afghanistan 17 years before the Taliban existed, fighting the Soviets. “The Mujahadeen were then called “freedom fighters” by Ronald Reagan and Dick Cheney, and when the Soviet Union fragmented and such people were not needed anymore, they were transformed into terrorists.”

Osama’s older followers were ex-CIA mujahadeen embittered by the US exploitation of their lives and country, and the US killing of fellow Muslims in Iraq, Palestine and Somolia. The younger Al Qaeda who came from across the Muslim world, plus some Christians, (who) were devoted to resisting the military and economic colonialism of the United States.


Here is a pic of Reagan, with the Taliban—he had them for “lunch”, and, a GOP Congresman has just been indicetd of helping fund them, when he was a Reagan appointee to the CIA.

http://politicalinquirer.com/2007/12/31/ronald-reagan-meeting-with-talibanal-qaedamujahideen/

“These gentlemen are the moral equivalents of America’s founding fathers.” — Ronald Regan while introducing the Mujahideen leaders to media on the White house lawns (1985).

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By Shingo, January 27, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

>> Correction: Saddam THOUGHT he had a green light from Washington, when all he really had was a green light to negotiate with Kuwait.  Minor detail.

This is where it gets complicated.  How Saddam interpreted the message from Glasby is had to know exactly, and as you know, to this day, Glasby refuses to talk about the disucssion.

What we do know is that the US sat on it’s hands for a good while after teh invasion and that there was no consensus to drive Saddam out until the Kuwaiti Ambassador’s daughter gave the false sob story about the baby’s and the incubators.

Also, it’s clear that Saddam did not want to have a face off with the US and the coalition.  He did indicate that he was prepared to pull out, pending negotiations, but by that stage, Bush 41 had made up his mind.

Also, even though Bush Snr was a lot brigher than his son, you can’t discount the desire of any president - especially Republican - to demonstrate that they are strong men militarily.  He did it in Panama and this was surely a factor in the decisino to drive out Saddam.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 27, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Wow! This must mean SOMETHING—so much in agreement.


Shingo, January 27 at 12:10 pm #

Inherit The Wind,

Believe it or not, I agree with most of your statements.

1) I have not argued that Saddam had a right to go into Kuwait.  That’s another matter, but Saddam did have reasons for doing so.

Yeah, well we had reasons to invade Iraq in 2003, too—it was still illegal. I think we agree on this.

2) Yes, the Al Sabbah family in Kuwait are indeed vicious cowards.  In fact, when Glasby spoke to Iraq, Saddam assured her that he and Sabbah were going to address their grievances (ie outstatnding loans and oil rights) in an up comming meeting.  Sabbah stood Saddam up and went to Londing with his concubines instead.

No comment needed from me.

3) Yes, the goal of the 1991 war was to push Iraq back over the border, however, there were players in the Bush 41 administration who goaded Saddam into his invasion because they had decided it was time for him to go.

Yes, but luckily Bush 41 has more brains in his fingernail clippings than his idiot son has in his whole head.

Saddam would not have invaded Kuwait without the green light from Washington.

Correction: Saddam THOUGHT he had a green light from Washington, when all he really had was a green light to negotiate with Kuwait.  Minor detail.

The reason Saddam was not entirely removed was because the UN resolution had notoincluded the puch into Baghdad to emove the leadershipt.  Further, even Dick Cheney said at the time, that doing so woudl lead toa quagmire.

This is true but it is also blatantly clear that the Bush 41 admin understood that containment was far preferable.  The CJCOS, Genl. Powell, was the one who later told Bush 43 the Pottery Barn Rule about Iraq—you break it, you own it.  He also fired Schwarzkopf for insisting on going to Baghdad.  I must admit I have never been able to understand had Cheney went from fairly rational under Poppy to the Mad Monk Rasputin under Dumbya.

4) I agree 100% that the 2003 invasion was totally and completely illegal.  I too opposed it from tehbeginning.

Yup

5) It has been proven that strategically, the contained Saddam was no threat to the USA. It still boggles the mind how those who accept that he had no arms and no desire to deelop them, still maintain he posed a threat.

Yup

6) The Taliban is a vicious dictatorship, yes, but we do business with such all the time.

Yes, I said this as well. It was ONLY the 9/11 attack that could justify our turning on them, unless, somehow, the conspiracy buffs are right.  After all, we let Bashir(Sudan) and Mugabe do their evil unmolested as well.

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By Shingo, January 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

ThnkUBush,

It is your understanding of history is not only lacking, but superficial.  Just because Congress and the Senate voted in favour of a law does not mean that it was morally right or that it was based on reality.

You have fallen for the belief that the US dictates interntaional law at it’s will.  There is no basis in international law that gives the US the right to decide which regimes should be overthrown or otherwise.  The invasnio of Iraq contravened international law, plain and simple.

Inherit The Wind,

Believe it or not, I agree with most of your statements.

1) I have not argued that Saddam had a right to go into Kuwait.  That’s another matter, but Saddam did have reasons for doing so.

2) Yes, the Al Sabbah family in Kuwait are indeed vicious cowards.  In fact, when Glasby spoke to Iraq, Saddam assured her that he and Sabbah were going to address their grievances (ie outstatnding loans and oil rights) in an up comming meeting.  Sabbah stood Saddam up and went to Londing with his concubines instead.

3) Yes, the goal of the 1991 war was to push Iraq back over the border, however, there were players in the Bush 41 administration who goaded Saddam into his invasion because they had decided it was time for him to go.

Saddam would not have invaded Kuwait without the green light from Washington.

The reason Saddam was not entirely removed was because the UN resolution had notoincluded the puch into Baghdad to emove the leadershipt.  Further, even Dick Cheney said at the time, that doing so woudl lead toa quagmire.

4) I agree 100% that the 2003 invasion was totally and completely illegal.  I too opposed it from tehbeginning.

5) It has been proven that strategically, the contained Saddam was no threat to the USA. It still boggles the mind how those who accept that he had no arms and no desire to deelop them, still maintain he posed a threat.

6) The Taliban is a vicious dictatorship, yes, but we do business with such all the time.

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By Tony Wicher, January 27, 2009 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Re blogdog, January 26 at 12:29 pm

That’s a very fair defense of Chomsky, whom I mostly admire and agree with. He has been slow in readjusting his views on both Israel/Palestine and 9/11, but they are evolving, and he may end up as a one-state advocate and a 9/11 believer yet.

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By Tony Wicher, January 27, 2009 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

re Bertil, January 26 at 10:36 am #

“Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida organization had used their status as guests of the Taliban government of Afghanistan to formulate and implement their terrorist attacks against the United States.”

If Ritter believes that, I can’t trust or take seriously anything that follows.  Until there is an honest investigation into 9/11, and the perpetrators are put in jail and that element is eradicated from the US government, there is no sense in moving forward with any of this Grand Staged Bullshit.
Even if Noam Chomsky will concede to an investigation but says that they won’t find much. 

              X=X=X=X=X=X

I’m totally with you, Bertil. We should be able to get everybody in the country who really believes in and understands science on our side. The most important people to convince are of course qualified engineers, architects, physicists and chemists. Also airline pilots. Have you visited the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth web site (ae911truth.org)in the last two days?
Just yesterday, they put up a big picture of our President, Barack Obama, with a quote from him that he has said many times but most recently on January 20: “we will restore science to its rightful place”.
I was just thrilled. Now that Obama is president, we 9/11 truthers are going to break out from the “conspiracy nut” frame into the wide world of Obama supporters, who are ordinary level-headed Americans that are not conspiracy-minded. This is the year the truth comes out. 9/11 did not “change everything”, but it will change everything when the American people find out the truth.

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By blogdog, January 27, 2009 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

How easily it’s forgotten:  Saddam was literally made by the CIA - an asset for decades, like so many others - never overlook the spookery that distorts the entire picture, built on premisses about which there is no need to speculate. We have it from the source - 2 things to never forget:

1. “Deception is a state of mind and the mind of the state.” - James Jesus Angelton - Director of CIA Counter Intelligence (1954-74)

2. “The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” - William Colby - Director of the CIA (1973-76)

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By Folktruther, January 27, 2009 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

The appointment of Holbrooke, who helped orchestrate in the massacres of Indinisia and Yugoslavia, indicates that the Obama regime is going to increase the slaughter in Afghaistan-Pakistan.  The purpose is not to win, which is not possible, but to avoid losing until Obama is elected for a secend term.  This requires that Obama expand the War on Terrorism and pursue it MORE INTENSELY than Bush, while making a public relations effort to soothe the American people.

Scheer, Hedges, and bunch of other writers have published an appeal to reason in the Afhan war, since the expasiion of the war serves neither the interests of the US power structure and even less so of the American population.  This is useful to show that Obama is not amenable to progressive influences, as it probably will. 

Obama’s Ultimate Concern, like all political figures, is to win the next election.  In doing so he is continuing on the path of the Bushite barbarism legitimated in the mainstream truth under the endless War on Terrorism.

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By Conservative Yankee, January 27, 2009 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By ThnkUBush, January 26 at 4:23 am #


“The Taliban was, and is, a force of moderation?

When the Taliban gained control of government Afghanistan did appear to stabilize. The five major Warlord factions quieted but, woman were forbidden from working, little girls were forbidden from education. All music, all dancing and all play was banned. All religion, other than Islam, was punishable by death. Men could not be guilty of rape if the rape involved a woman. Only if the victim was male would a charge of rape be acceptable.

I struggle to understand the idea Taliban moderation.

—-

Mr. Holbrooke was one of the most forceful voices inside the Clinton Administration against Saddam Hussein. He very publicly argued that Hussein was a direct threat to the United States.

He was one of the first to refer to Iraq as part of an “axis of terrorism” (later repeated by President Clinton himself).

Mr. Holbrooke was also one of several dozen inside the Clinton administration who argued for a democracy in Iraq (many incorrectly believe this idea to be a “neo-con” belief).

Holbrooke agreed with 99 of 100 Senators and over 500 House members to remove Hussein from power almost three years before Bush entered the White House (another fact most Americans seem to have forgotten).”


Although I have agreed with some of what you write, BUT I have to ask;

Is your position that if we don’t agree with the culture another nation follows, we have the right to occupy the country, do an administrative change, and force our “morality” on these folks?

I also wonder is “neocon” a term to water down the true meaning of “conservative”?

I have always believed “conservatives” were thrifty, non-interventionist, and that they follow the rule of law, rather than make it up as is convenient.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 27, 2009 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

Both Shingo and ThnkUBush are wrong about Iraq.

1) Despite April Glasby’s statement (which WAS State Dept policy—and she was never disciplined, nor should she have been) Saddam Hussein had no right to go into Kuwait.  It was a major, dangerous power-play that had to be stopped—and virtually ALL of the Middle East agreed, including Iran.

2) The Al Sabbah family in Kuwait are vicious cowards, who, when they came back to power, eliminated ALL those brave Kuwaitis who formed a resistance to Iraq—after all, they may have become a threat to Al Sabbah for obvious reasons.

3) The goal of the 1991 war was to remove that threat and push Iraq back over the border. It was a well-defined goal, and when met, we could then end the conflict.  When Schwarzkopf, not understanding more than his tactical concerns wanted to unseat Saddam, he was over-ruled and eventually fired.  Most Americans, including myself, were dismayed.  However, Poppy Bush’s plan of containment ultimately proved to be the correct and wise one.

4) The 2003 invasion was totally and completely illegal, had no strategic value, and was based completely on false information to satisfy a neo-con urge to begin empire-building.  It has been a disaster and a quagmire and I opposed it from the beginning.  The older Bush 41 hands were horrified by it and many quietly tried to act to wisen Dubya up, like Scowcroft and Baker.  Of course, they failed.

5) Strategically, the contained Saddam was no threat to the USA, was a constant reminder to the Iranians of a threat on THEIR border, kept in check by…the USA!  This major strategic advantage was LOST by the Iraq invasion.  Yes, Saddam was a vicious dictator.  So is President Al-Bashir of Sudan—he’s even worse, but we do nothing in Darfur.  So is Robert Mugabe and we do nothing.  It’s not our job to destroy dictators unless they pose a definite threat to the US.

6) The Taliban is a vicious dictatorship, as bad as the others.  Until 9/11, all we did was “tsk, tsk” because there was no threat to the US.  9/11 changed THAT (and dubya managed to screw that up, too). 

Bush 43’s invasion of Iraq may have, in HIS mind, been a continuation of Bush 41’s launching of the first Gulf war.  But that doesn’t mean he didn’t totally misunderstand his father (what else is new?  I believe that G.H.W.Bush would have done well without family connections—he’s that capable.  Dubya never would)  Let us remember that Hitler was, initially, refighting World War I, and, upon France’s surrender, danced a jig and had them sign the surrender in the same railroad car the Germans had signed the Armistice in in 1918.  Part of Hitler’s misunderstanding was that it was no longer World War I, but was now World War II, and everything was different….

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By ThnkUBush, January 27, 2009 at 5:13 am Link to this comment

Shingo, January 26 at 7:12 pm


Your understanding of history is lacking in far too many ways for me to explain here. You appear to blame the United States at every turn.

All context is missing.

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By Shingo, January 27, 2009 at 2:50 am Link to this comment

>> Indeed The issue was Saddam Hussein and the fact that he’d started selling oil for Euros, not Dollars. Chavez did the same and so did Iran. Do we see a pattern here yet?

Like Wolfowitz said to Vnity Fair, had Iraq not been sitting on a sea of oil, we wouldn’t have wasted the energy.

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By blogdog, January 27, 2009 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

Indeed The issue was Saddam Hussein and the fact that he’d started selling oil for Euros, not Dollars. Chavez did the same and so did Iran. Do we see a pattern here yet? Indeed we do, looks like an “Axis of Evil,” doesn’t it? What’s more, intelligence now suggests Chavez too is harboring al-Qa’ida. Yeah, I did hear that somewhere.

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By Shingo, January 26, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

ThnkUBush,

>> It was never all about Bush and some “neo-con”, Cheney driven plot.

Wrong on several fronts.  The policy was about re-making the Middle East, and Iraq was a starting point. 
US bases in Saudi Arabia were posing a huge problem for the US, so they needed relocating.  There was Israel’s security to consider and last but not least, there was the oil.
Absent Iraq’s strategic value, Saddam would have been a non issue.

>> 99 U.S. Senators and over 530 Congressman voted. They told the world Saddam could no longer be contained.

And history has shown that noy only were they wrong, but they were likely misled by lies or false intelligence.  As Ritter, who was a chief inspector with UNSCOM has told us, by 1994 Iraq was disarmed.

>> In October 1998, regime change became official U.S. policy with enactment of the Iraq Liberation Act.

Regime change meaning getting rid of the guy who’s outlived his usefulness and replacing his with a puppet who will do our bidding.

>> That law, not President Bush or the evil Cheney, stated that Saddam Hussein was a direct threat to the United States and the world.

You seem to be ignorant of the history. Let’s go back to Gulf War 1. 

When Saddam invaded Kuwait, the US originally told Saddam it had no policy on the matter.  That is what April Glasby, US ambassador to Iraq, told Saddam. She basically gave Saddam the green light.

Congress were not in favor of military intervention until the Kuwaiti Ambassador’ daughter, gave safe testimony to Congress, telling a fairytale about the babies being taken out of the incubators.  Congress swallowed the story, then voted for military intervention.

Cheney, meanwhile, was showing doctored satellite photographs, of Iraqi tank battalions lined up on the Saudi border, to the Saudis.  This convinced the Saudi’s to pay for the exercise.

At the conclusion of the first Gulf War (1991), Bush Snr helped draft the resolutions calling for Iraq to disarm and that the sanctions on Iraq would remain until this condition was met.  That same year, Bush Snr stated that even if Saddam complied, the sanctions would remain in place so long as Saddam was in power.  In other words, the US embraced a policy of violating the very resolutions they had helped to draft.  Clinton continued this policy.

In 1994, UNSCOM concluded that they could verify Iraq was 90-95% disarmed.  According to Ritter, UNSCOM inspectors were prevented from submitting reports to this effect, because the US policy.

You see, the 1998 vote was nothing more than a continuation of Bush 41’s policies, which were subsequently continued till 2001.  In fact, this vote came after Clinton tried to have the sanctions on Iraq lifted, but was shouted down by a Republican controlled Congress.

All the Senate and Congress did was stick to the status quo.  Their advisor’s would have told them that to vote against the policy would have been politically ill advised.

Facts don’t change, but when it comes to politics, facts rarely matter.

Come January and June of 2001, both Powell and Rice said on television that Saddam was not a threat to anyone, that he was not able to rebuild his forces and that he was contained.

Come 911, the story was changed overnight.

The false intelligence that followed was well known history.  The day after Powell’s famous presentation to the UN, Ritter gave a speech in Japan debunking every one of Powell’s lies.

There was Baradei and Hans Blix, who were also there to debunk what Powell had to say, but that bit didn’t make it onto Fox News.

>> And yes. If Iraq is governed from a stable representative government 20-30 years from today, Bush will be considered a forward thinking historical figure.

After over 1 million dead Iraqis, and a 3 trillion dollar price tag, this is highly unlikely.  The irony is that 20-30 years from today, the US will likely be a shell of it’s former self, so it won’t even matter.

That is the real irony.

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By ThnkUBush, January 26, 2009 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

Shingo,

I have found that most today who apposed removing Saddam Hussein from Iraq appear to completely ignore many of the most weighty facts.

It was about Saddam Hussein.

It was never all about Bush and some “neo-con”, Cheney driven plot. Believe that and all historical context is missing. The issue was Saddam Hussein. Ignore Hussein, a powerful player in his day, and we miss the historical context.

What is the truth?
99 U.S. Senators and over 530 Congressman voted. They told the world Saddam could no longer be contained. They told the world Hussein was a grave and gathering threat. They voted to remove Hussein from power and work toward a democracy in Iraq. President Clinton signed that law in 1998.

In October 1998, regime change became official U.S. policy with enactment of the Iraq Liberation Act.

That law, not President Bush or the evil Cheney, stated that Saddam Hussein was a direct threat to the United States and the world. To deny that IS the delusion. All context obliterated.

Each of the 99 Senators and over 530 Congressman hold their stable of advisers. All held the same information. All followed the events from “The Gulf War” through the 1990’s. Each came to roughly the same conclusions. All of this took place several years before President Bush took office.

Facts don’t change. Only peoples perceptions.

You, like Mr. Ritter, like millions of others, appear to forget several very important facts. I doubt it’s willful. But forgotten nonetheless.

And yes. If Iraq is governed from a stable representative government 20-30 years from today, Bush will be considered a forward thinking historical figure.

There is an irony in the fact that even the most ardent critics have to hope Iraq is exactly that. Free and open.

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By Shingo, January 26, 2009 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

SamSnedegar,

>> If I were called upon to advise Obama, I’d surely tell him not to trust Scott Ritter, because he has been awarded the sks “successful liar” badge nearly every time he reports on anything of substance.

Well that takes the cake for the most vacuous statement made on this thread to date.  You spend way to much time on Little Green Footballs.

Ritter was right about Iraq’s WMD.  He is right about Iran’s non existent nuclear weapons program, and he is right about Holbrooke.  You just hate him for being right.

The only people who call him a liar are the wingnuts who backed the invasion of Iraq and haven’t the guts or spine to admit they were wrong.

>> He makes a good living by lying, so why would he ever change?

Not nearly as good a living as the liars that led us to war.

>> Holbrooke? I’d trust him way ahead of Ritter any day.

You probably also think that Rumsfeld was a genius, Bush was the greatest president ever, that Saddam steered those plans into the twin towers by remote from Baghdad and that there really were WMD in Iraq.

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By SamSnedegar, January 26, 2009 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

If I were called upon to advise Obama, I’d surely tell him not to trust Scott Ritter, because he has been awarded the sks “successful liar” badge nearly every time he reports on anything of substance.

He makes a good living by lying, so why would he ever change?

Holbrooke? I’d trust him way ahead of Ritter any day.

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By dr wu, January 26, 2009 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Of course Holbrooke is wrong. He was wrong in bombing Serbia.

I’m no expert but I can tell you the Obama plan of reinvading Afghanistan is DOA. Just ask Rudyard Kipling .

The place is still part of the “Great Game”—countries near and far want a piece of the action—energy routes, geopolitical control. So India fights Pakistan (solve this one and the whole region will quiet down!), the Taliban/Pushtuns fight Russia, USA, Iran. It gets so mixed up.
The place needs a grand bargain—make it neutral like Switzerland, offer a little something to everyone.

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By Shingo, January 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

>>> Mr. Holbrooke was one of the most forceful voices inside the Clinton Administration against Saddam Hussein. He very publicly argued that Hussein was a direct threat to the United States.

So he was wrong. 

>> He was one of the first to refer to Iraq as part of an “axis of terrorism” (later repeated by President Clinton himself).

Wrong on that too.

>> Mr. Holbrooke was also one of several dozen inside the Clinton administration who argued for a democracy in Iraq (many incorrectly believe this idea to be a “neo-con” belief).

Wrong and deluded/

What you’re essentially arguing, is that Holbrooke would have been right at home in the Bush administration.  That’s about as good a reason as any for why he’s the wrong man for the job.

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By blogdog, January 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

To be clear, Chomsky did finally come out in support for a new 9/11 investigation and he in no way supports Israel - nowhere in “911 Synthetic Terror - Made in USA” does Webster Tarpley accuse Chomsky of shilling for Israel - he does challenge his position on 911 - to paraphrase Chomsky, “911 is insignificant, since the IMF kills more innocents around the world in a single day…business as usual…”

Tarpley says the same thing about the IMF but identifies the 911 coup as the fulcrum to the catapult which launched the Global War Of Terror - a shockingly new level of intensity in making war on the 3rd World. Perhpas Chomsky should be pressured to say more about the massive black-ops/psy-ops adventure which is the Global War Of Terror - Gladio for the 21st Century - he almost never comments on the Global Spook Networks, probably because the info. almost never gets into the MSM and he prefers to use info. that can be verified in the MSM.

My guess is Chomsk’s protecting his wiring/lecturing career by avoiding the 911 3rd rail - finally, he recently lectured on Gaza, literally calling the Isareli invasion an act of genocide…so get off him about “his homeland.” - I have little doubt he’d readily admit the Zionists’s own balck-ops crew, Mossad, are as much an enemy of the Jewish people as is anyone else.

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By Bertil, January 26, 2009 at 11:36 am Link to this comment

“Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida organization had used their status as guests of the Taliban government of Afghanistan to formulate and implement their terrorist attacks against the United States.”

If Ritter believes that, I can’t trust or take seriously anything that follows.  Until there is an honest investigation into 9/11, and the perpetrators are put in jail and that element is eradicated from the US government, there is no sense in moving forward with any of this Grand Staged Bullshit.
Even if Noam Chomsky will concede to an investigation but says that they won’t find much.  Howard Zinn begs off by saying he doesn’t know much about 9/11.  Chomsky’s hanger on, Barbazarian or some such name like that, held close to the pant leg of Chomsky in his 9/11 conspiracy denial, but admitted on INN World Report that he didn’t know much about 9/11.
I did my own research and Chomsky and the rest of them are worth ignoring.  They are protecting Israel. Their homeland, their people.
Read “9/11- Synthetic Terrorism”, by Webster Tarpley for an in-depth review of all the material.
Chomsky’s defense for his point of view is particularly specious.  I guess it all depends on what’s at stake.

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By Tony Wicher, January 26, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

Shingo,

I believe that the reason they have been able to get away with it is essentially the Nazi “big lie” technique. If a lie is big enough, constantly repeated, and it is done with the full color of government authority, most people will believe it, no matter how preposterous it is. Of course it was perfectly possible to plant those charges undetected - if you own all three buildings and are in charge of their security. There is no conceivable doubt in the case of WTC7. It was not even hit by a plane, and its steel frame construction was even heavier than WTC1 and 2. Just take a good look at those blueprints. 
Larry Silverstein, the owner of all three builidings, was actually seen on national TV saying that “because of the loss of life, we decided to pull it”. Just watch this video at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WYdAJQV100

Just look at the way that building came down. It’s so obvious. By the next day the story had changed. The 9/11 Commission did not take any testimony about WTC7 and concluded that the reasons for its collapse were “unknown”. Larry Silverstein collected billions on the insurance. I’m not saying that Silverstein was the leader of the plot - there were many interests served by it - but he clearly is a member of the gang.

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By John Patterson, January 26, 2009 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

S’pose Holbrooke’s had any change of heart over the last few years?

Hope so.

And as for there being no voice of moderation in the Taliban, I heard the same about the gangs in LA, but somehow, more than a few of those bangers have done their time, grown up,  and gone back to the hood to help their siblings escape the trap they were caught in.

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By ThnkUBush, January 26, 2009 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

The Taliban was, and is, a force of moderation?

When the Taliban gained control of government Afghanistan did appear to stabilize. The five major Warlord factions quieted but, woman were forbidden from working, little girls were forbidden from education. All music, all dancing and all play was banned. All religion, other than Islam, was punishable by death. Men could not be guilty of rape if the rape involved a woman. Only if the victim was male would a charge of rape be acceptable.

I struggle to understand the idea Taliban moderation.

—-

Mr. Holbrooke was one of the most forceful voices inside the Clinton Administration against Saddam Hussein. He very publicly argued that Hussein was a direct threat to the United States.

He was one of the first to refer to Iraq as part of an “axis of terrorism” (later repeated by President Clinton himself).

Mr. Holbrooke was also one of several dozen inside the Clinton administration who argued for a democracy in Iraq (many incorrectly believe this idea to be a “neo-con” belief).

Holbrooke agreed with 99 of 100 Senators and over 500 House members to remove Hussein from power almost three years before Bush entered the White House (another fact most Americans seem to have forgotten).

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By Shingo, January 26, 2009 at 1:16 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher,

I have looked at the Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth website, and have listened to Richard Gage, Stephen Jones and co.  The evidence is compelling but not indisputable.

Like I said, I have no trouble believing that psycopaths like Cheney and so would pull this off if they could.  What no one has been able to explain, is not only how they did it, but how they pulled it off so efficiently without any information being leaked.

Having said that, you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to regard the 911 Commission Report as a piece of fiction.  The report was a whitewash, but I suspect it’s aim was to whitewash incompetence and criminal incompetence more than an inside job.

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By blogdog, January 26, 2009 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

BINGO! ...perpetual war and unchallenged corporate control of the global economy.

vis-à-vis Holbrook, clearly the ultimate mission is not peace, nor stability; rather it’s chaos and failed states

It’s a crying shame that the obvious intelligence and lilly white motives of Scott Ritter - the ultimate Eagle Scout - are not widely shared within the ranks of our nation’s defense and diplomatic services at the highest level.

What’s hard to believe is that he doesn’t see that the mission he serves (with such dedication) is absolutely contrary to the mission of those pulling the strings.

It’s painful to say so, but it appears almost as though he fulfills the definition of a “rich asset,” positioned to convincingly deliver “limited hangouts.”

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By Tony Wicher, January 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

By Shingo, January 25 at 9:40 pm #
nherit The Wind,

Believe it or not, I am with you in the 911 conspiracy theory.


I can’t speak for others, but I don’t believe that Cheney et all were behind 911.  Like you pointed out, the Bush’s aren’t that slick.  Nor do I believe the Mossad were behind it - after all, Israel were among the contries that warned the US government of the impending attacks.  That’s not to say those in power didn’t know something was comming.  I am sure they did, which is why they stonewalled the 911 investigation.

        =x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x

Shingo,

That’s what I believed until I took a close look at the scientific evidence. Now I am 100% convinced that WTC1, 2 and 7 were intentionally demolished. This is not based on political considerations. If you have not, please go to the Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth website and watch the two-hour presentation by architect Richard Gage. It is undeniable that the buildings were demolished by controlled explosions of military thermate charges, which is proved by a chemical analysis of the dust from the collapse, the tiny molten metal droplets in it, and other evidence 100% characteristic of a controlled demolition and nothing else. Given this fact, the other video on the subject I recommend is Zero-911, a recently produced European video that puts the events in proper political perspective.

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By Shingo, January 25, 2009 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

nherit The Wind,

Believe it or not, I am with you in the 911 conspiracy theory.

>> You have no evidence that an attack was planned on Afghanistan prior to 9/11. You’ve asserted it, but haven’t documented it.

Here you go.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm

There can be no doubt that the attack on Iraq was planned prior to 911 also. Add Paul O’Neil’s book to that list of yours.

You may find it sad that people blame the United States for trouble brewing up in the world, but it’s not that complicated.  The US has more than 700 military bases dotted around the world.  They are not there to protect the US, so much as US interests. 

The fact that such bases are deemed necessary to protect those interests surely implies that those interests are being protected as someone else’s expense.

It’s not our democracy was crafted to produce evil, it is our greed.  The minute you commit to empire, the outcome is innevitable.  The keys to rulling when you are a minority is divide and conquer.  The history of the Britsh and Roman Empires provides ample examples of the innevitability of this strategy, along with militarism and human rights abuses.

I can’t speak for others, but I don’t believe that Cheney et all were behind 911.  Like you pointed out, the Bush’s aren’t that slick.  Nor do I believe the Mossad were behind it - after all, Israel were among the contries that warned the US government of the impending attacks.  That’s not to say those in power didn’t know something was comming.  I am sure they did, which is why they stonewalled the 911 investigation. 

Nor do I put it past these people to have perpetrated such a crime, if they had the means to do it.

It is true that Al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan.  So what?  19 AQ operatives were living undisturbed in the US for about a year before the attacks.  Some of them got into the US in spite fo VISA violations.  Does that mean they were welcomed into this country?

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By Tony Wicher, January 25, 2009 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Re Shingo,
Inherit The Wind,

Your argument will be chellenged because they are based on falsities or long debunked right wing carnards.

>> 1) No connection between Al Qaeda, Bin Laden and 9/11.  This, of course, presumes the fantasy that 9/11 was really a Mossad/CIA operation.  Once again “the Zionists are the bad guys.”

No it doesn’t.  It is what it is.  Your paranoia assumes that any challenge to the staus quo is an attack on Jews, but that’s your problem.  Get over it.
            x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x

Shingo,

I agree with you. ITW is being defensive. Except in his mind, the proposition that 9/11 was an inside job has nothing particularly to do with Jews or Zionism or Israel. But his concern is understandable, for many 9/11 truthers are indeed anti-Semites who think 9/11 is a “Zionist plot”. You, however, don’t sound like one of them. I think ITW has misjudged you.   

                x=x=x=x=x


>> 2) The assassination of the Taliban’s rival in the North just prior to 9/11 by guys pretending to be reporters is a documented fact.

Obviously you never heard of supporting your argument with sources.  Poor eductation I susupect.
              x=x=x=x=x

Shingo,

In this case ITW is right. I read about this in Steve Coll’s “Ghost Warriors”. Bin Laden, that is the CIA, did engineer the assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud two days before 9-11. Here is the Wikipedia account:
Massoud was the target of a successful suicide attack at Khwaja Bahauddin, Afghanistan on 9 September 2001. The attackers were two Arabs, Dahmane Abd al-Sattar[28] and Bouraoui el-Ouaer, who claimed to be Belgians originally from Morocco. However, their passports turned out to be stolen and their nationality was later determined to be Tunisian. The assassins claimed to want to interview Massoud and then set off a bomb in a belt worn by the cameraman while asking Massoud questions. The explosion also killed Mohammed Asim Suhail, a Northern Alliance official, while Mohammad Fahim Dashty and Massoud Khalili were injured. The assassins may have intended to attack several Northern Alliance council members simultaneously.[citation needed] Bouraoui was killed by the explosion and Dahmane was captured and shot while trying to escape. Massoud was rushed after the attack to the Indian Military hospital at Farkhor, Tajikistan, which is now Farkhor Air Base.
News of Massoud’s death was reported almost immediately, appearing in BBC, European and North American newspapers on 10 September 2001. However, the news was quickly overshadowed by the September 11, 2001 attacks the following day, which proved to be the terrorist attack that Massoud had warned against in his speech to the European Parliament several months earlier.
The timing of the assassination, two days before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, is considered significant by commentators who believe Osama bin Laden ordered the assassination to help his Taliban protectors and ensure he would have their protection and cooperation in Afghanistan. The assassins are also reported to have shown support for bin Laden in their questioning of Massoud. The Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Mujahideen leader Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, an Afghan Wahhabi Islamist, have also been mentioned as possible organizers or collaborators of the Massoud assassins.[29] Massoud was a strong opponent of Pakistani involvement in Afghanistan. The assassins are said to have entered Northern Alliance territory under the auspices of the Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and had his assistance in bypassing “normal security procedures.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

Shingo:

You have no evidence that an attack was planned on Afghanistan prior to 9/11. You’ve asserted it, but haven’t documented it.

If you said the attack on Iraq was planned prior to it, all you’d have to do is point to Woodward’s book, or Clarke’s.

I find it sad that so many people think EVERYTHING bad in the world is caused by the United States, as if our democracy was somehow demonically crafted to produce evil, and nobody else in the world had this problem.

Not one of you believers in Cheney/CIA/Mossad being behind the 9/11 attacks can get past the fact that the Bush admin couldn’t keep far less important (to them) but embarrassing secrets about everything from Abu Gahraib, to yellow cake, to waterboarding secret.  Hell, they couldn’t even keep the fabrications about Jessica Lynch secret, or the death of Pat Tillman from friendly fire. 

Yet they kept a gigantic conspiracy, involving hundreds of people, miles or demolation wire, tons of demolition explosives all secret. That the explosives had to be placed all over the building without being noticed and the wires run…and, that out of ALL that, not one person would crack after seeing 3,000 of his/her countrymen killed.

Yet you all discovered it because 1) Jet fuel doesn’t burn hotter than about 450 deg F (false, BTW) and can’t soften steel (also false).  A jet plane bigger than a 707 (which the WTC was designed to stop) couldn’t do that damage that exceeds what a 707 could do (also false)

Sorry, folks. I find it inconceivable that such a vast conspiracy would be successfully kept secret in such a leaky administration, where every day more and more comes out. Think of all the crap that leaked….but not this vastest of vast conspiracy.

Al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan.  The Taliban welcomed them and played buddy/buddy (after all both are extremist Muslims—Sunni, too).

But it’s like trying to convince someone we aren’t being visited by extra-terrestrial intelligent beings—who always give the message ‘you need world peace’.  Never cold fusion or the solution to really, really hard problems.

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By Shingo, January 25, 2009 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

cyrena, J

A fair argument, however, it’s not that difficult if you assume that the reasons given for starting a war have nothing to do with the real agenda.

Consider all the wars and military inicursions by the US since WWII.  Almost none of them were for the reasons given, and that includes Desert Storm and Afghanistan.

Taliban leaders were hosted to a meeting in Houston (pr was it Dallas) about a year before 911, so discuss the Unocal pipeline deal.  Someone quoted the offer made to the Taliban leaders - that their future would either be paved with gold or with bombs.

The Georgian conflict had nothign to do with democracy of course, but enciclement of Russia and a pipline to the Caspian through Georgia.

Just assume that the leaders in Washington are lying and the picture suddenly bcomes very clear.

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By Tony Wicher, January 25, 2009 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

What is the “Taliban”? It is a group of Islamic fundamentalists organized, armed and funded by Pakistani ISI who took power in Afghanistan in the mid-90’s. On the other hand what is Al Qaeda? It is the group of mujahedeen formed around bin Laden during the Soviet-Afghan war. According to Wikipedia,

“Alhough there is no evidence that the CIA directly supported the Taliban or Al Qaeda, some basis for military support of the Taliban was provided when, in the early 1980s, the CIA and the ISI (Pakistan’s Interservices Intelligence Agency) provided arms to Afghans resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the ISI assisted the process of gathering radical Muslims from around the world to fight against the Soviets. Osama Bin Laden was one of the key players in organizing training camps for the foreign Muslim volunteers. The U.S. poured funds and arms into Afghanistan, and “by 1987, 65,000 tons of U.S.-made weapons and ammunition a year were entering the war.”

CIA and ISI have long worked hand in hand. Both Taliban and Al Qaeda are arms of foreign intelligence agencies. They are all making billions selling opium. They have turned Afghanistan into a narco-state.

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By cyrena, January 25, 2009 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

Shingo writes (in part):

•  “So yes, the attack on Afghanistan was planned prior to 9/11.  Apparently you’ve never heard of the Capsian basin.”

Oddly enough Shingo, (or maybe not) lots of people have never made the Caspian Sea/Basin connection to the plans to attack Afghanistan and then Iraq, and then Iran. I never made the connections myself until about 5 years ago, but that was after trying to figure things out on my own. It took awhile too, since this sort of information wasn’t so easy to come by before then, especially for folks who don’t really know what to look for. And if one is already pre-disposed to a particular ‘scenario’ or alternative explanation for just about –anything- (which is kind of human nature) then that can close off any other avenues of consideration.

So it isn’t all that uncommon for even educated folks to be unaware of the Caspian Basin connection to the now former thug regime of the PNAC neocons.  Now I suspect ITW probably “knows “ about it, but possibly never considered it in context to the US operation in Afghanistan.

Still, it’s time for ALL of us to open up those unused brain channels, and try to sort this out. ITW is still a follower of the “Official Conspiracy Doctrine” in terms of 9/11, as offered by the so-called 9/11 Commission.

An overall ‘acceptance’ of that story (al-Qaeda did it) is incompatible with most other realities,(like it was ALL pre-planned) and would require some serious intellectual gymnastics to reconcile. That is unless one can allow for some basic logic and reason to come through on a different channel.

Still, it’s not easy for some.

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By Shingo, January 25, 2009 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind,

>>> Yes they, in part, fostered the growth of the Taliban, and so did the US.  So? What’s the point of that?  The Taliban has become a Frankenstein monster, isn’t that obvious?

They were only a Frankenstein when negotiations for a pipeline with Unocal came unstuck.  Before then, they were the darlings US oil.

>>>  But idiot Bush gave them 5 plus years to regroup, and regroup they did.  It’s simple strategy—you don’t let your opponent regroup and rebuild.

You seem to be under the illusion that the Taliban are comprised of a finite number of members.  Killing more of them doesn’t reduce their numbers.  Killing them from the air doesn’t get rid of them.  The Taliban are masters of guerilla warfare.  Once you send ground troops into the mountainous regions, you play into their hands.

>> I noticed you cleverly evaded the argument about the straw man call for “evidence”—particularly the part about agreed-upon rules of evidence and standards sufficient for extradition. Without them a demand for “evidence” is bullshit.  If you really believe in the rule of Law, then you should follow that law.

Not at all.  Yo put forward a psurious theory, and as usual, failed to back it up without any evidence.  What you have gonroied is that Colin Powell told the world that he (the Bush administration) would present the proof tying Bin Laden to the world.  He never got around to doing so.  Perhaps the Taliban knew something we don’t?

>> Did you even READ that article on the Taliban?  Have you heard about the girls trying to go to school and an asshole on a scooter throws acid in her face? 

Yeah, and the Taliban were also throwing acid in the faces of woemn when Reagan called them freedom fighters and sharing the values of the founding fathers.

>>> Show me where the IDF collects people who do things like shave their beard and then beheads them in public!

Yes, Israel behead children with 500 lb bombs or use them as target practice.  So much more humane.

>>> Your hatred of Jews and Israel has made you deaf, blind and irrational with anger.

I don’t hate Jews.  Jews are just a part of our socieity and a valuable part.  Israel is a terrorist state.

>> You won’t be here long—I’ve seen posters like you come and go here at TD.  Because you’re a Johnny-one-note.

Don’t coun t on it Mr. Wind.  I’ll be here long after you’ve realsed your bile is getting ytou nowhere and you move onto other blogs where you can soil yourself in public.

>>> You must have this confused with Iraq, where the plans were made for invasion even before Bush was inaugurated in 2001.

No.  It is you that is ignorant.

The Taliban stood in the way of Unocal’s plans to build a pipeline through Afghanistan.  And what a coincidence that Afghnistans new so called, democratic leader, ends up being a fomer Unocal employee.  So yes, the attack on Afghanistan was planned prior to 9/11.  Apparently you’ve never heard of the Capsian basin.

>> Had the Taliban not allowed and encouraged Al Qaeda in their 9/11 attack, our best course of action was “tsk, tsk” at their insanity and atrocities—which, of course, it was prior to 9/11.

And you have evidence of this?

>>> Once they started supporting attacks on the US they became a legitimate target and enemy.  The situation of the history of the Soviet Union and the British was completely different and cannot be intelligently analyzed by the same meaild a pipns.

Yes, that doesn;t fit into your neat little theory.

There is no evidence that the Taliban supported the 911 attacks on the US.  You know it.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Part 2 of 2
************************************************
Currently, the Taliban by conservative estimates controls just over half the countryside; by less conservative estimates, three-quarters. The war is already lost, so wake up and have the intellectual integrity to rethink your position.
************************************************

NOW who’s not paying attention?  In March of 2003, Idiot Bush pulled the vast majority of US forces out of Afghanistan to stage his TOTALLY illegal war in Iraq—I’m sure we agree on THAT!

But what you missed is that it’s now nearly 6 years later, and that’s a long, long time to regroup.  All of Germany needed only 18 years to regroup after 1918 and re-militarize the Rhineland—a far, far larger effort as the controlling power, France, was right next door.  Times have changed in 90 years and it’s far easier to re-arm.

***************************************************
Highly placed and well-respected moronic hawks like Richard Holbrooke think of the US military and the atrocity of war as something of a magic wand they can wave about to remake the world, as William Fulbright put it, “in our own shining image.” The consequences have been and will continue to be numerous blowback atrocities committed against innocent civilians both at home and abroad, with no quid pro quo whatsoever.
**********************************************

This assumes that Barack Obama is as stupid an ox as George W. Bush and won’t question and agonize over details of Holbrooke’s reports, and just take them as-is.  Also that Hillary Clinton is that stupid as well.  If you think Obama is as stupid, lazy and incapable of analytical thought as Bush, you’ve been living on another planet.  Yeah, I have faith in the guy I never had in Bush.

***********************************************
Imperialism is a monumental swindle. All of the benefits of empire flow upwards to a select few, while all of the horrific costs in blood and treasure are borne by the common people.
*******************************************

OK, now you’re preaching Mom and Apple Pie.  Who is going to challenge this? Not me!

*********************************************
You seem to be flogging the “humanitarian intervention” excuse for imperialist aggression, Mr. Wind. It’s nothing but a goddamned lie, and you should know better.
*********************************************

Remember the above statement next time you argue in favor of the Palestinians at the expense of the safety of Israel, and how “humanitarian” concerns should force Israel to endanger her security.

I LOVE how folks here just take talking points and don’t see how they cannot fit together rationally!

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Part 1 of 2
Wow! There is so much wrong with this it’s hard to know where to begin!

whyzowl1, January 25 at 2:16 pm #

Inherit the Wind,

The US-NATO bombing, invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was/is an act of naked aggression without justification in international law. It was planned long before the attacks of 9/11 took place and provided the phony universal pretext for US imperial depredations throughout the region, for reasons far too ugly for its defenders to openly acknowledge.
*******************************************

You must have this confused with Iraq, where the plans were made for invasion even before Bush was inaugurated in 2001.  There is no evidence I am aware of that an attack on Afghanistan was planned prior to 9/11.  Why? Because it had NO STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE to American interests, even when distilled through the myopic, insane visions of the neo-cons.  Unlike Iraq which is supremely well-placed and has boo-coo oil. 

Next, the Taliban were a HUGE thorn in the side of Iran, which hates them even more than it hates us, far more.  Had the Taliban not allowed and encouraged Al Qaeda in their 9/11 attack, our best course of action was “tsk, tsk” at their insanity and atrocities—which, of course, it was prior to 9/11.

********************************************
Aside from that, given the well known history, a military attack on Afghanistan is just plain stupid, stupid, stupid.
**********************************************

Once they started supporting attacks on the US they became a legitimate target and enemy.  The situation of the history of the Soviet Union and the British was completely different and cannot be intelligently analyzed by the same means.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

You really are clueless aren’t you?  The Taliban are Pashtuns, as is a large percentage of the Pakistani population.  The Taliban get their aid and amrs from Pakistan. They were in fact, created by Paskistan’s ISI.  Juts thought you should know that.  Knowing a little history alwyas helps.
********************************************

Clueless? Most Pakistanis speak Urdu, not Pashtun.  Nor has Pakistan been noted for a consistent, sound government.  Yes they, in part, fostered the growth of the Taliban, and so did the US.  So? What’s the point of that?  The Taliban has become a Frankenstein monster, isn’t that obvious?

What is also obvious is the Taliban were on the run, disorganized and, virtually finished. But idiot Bush gave them 5 plus years to regroup, and regroup they did.  It’s simple strategy—you don’t let your opponent regroup and rebuild.

You really should stop taking lessons in insults and start using facts and evidence, rather than recycling the neo-marxist talking points.

I noticed you cleverly evaded the argument about the straw man call for “evidence”—particularly the part about agreed-upon rules of evidence and standards sufficient for extradition. Without them a demand for “evidence” is bullshit.  If you really believe in the rule of Law, then you should follow that law.

Did you even READ that article on the Taliban?  Have you heard about the girls trying to go to school and an asshole on a scooter throws acid in her face?  Stop with the bullshit of saying that there’s nobody worse in the world than the Israelis and the IDF.  Show me where the IDF collects people who do things like shave their beard and then beheads them in public!

Your hatred of Jews and Israel has made you deaf, blind and irrational with anger.

So all you can do is spew at me.  You won’t be here long—I’ve seen posters like you come and go here at TD.  Because you’re a Johnny-one-note.

TW—You DO take positions that deviate from the herd. I may not agree, and think them ill-founded, but I don’t accuse you of not thinking things through and mouthing talking points.  I just think your analysis is wrong—which is why we respect each other.

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By whyzowl1, January 25, 2009 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind,

The US-NATO bombing, invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was/is an act of naked aggression without justification in international law. It was planned long before the attacks of 9/11 took place and provided the phony universal pretext for US imperial depredations throughout the region, for reasons far too ugly for its defenders to openly acknowledge.

Aside from that, given the well known history, a military attack on Afghanistan is just plain stupid, stupid, stupid. Currently, the Taliban by conservative estimates controls just over half the countryside; by less conservative estimates, three-quarters. The war is already lost, so wake up and have the intellectual integrity to rethink your position.

Highly placed and well-respected moronic hawks like Richard Holbrooke think of the US military and the atrocity of war as something of a magic wand they can wave about to remake the world, as William Fulbright put it, “in our own shining image.” The consequences have been and will continue to be numerous blowback atrocities committed against innocent civilians both at home and abroad, with no quid pro quo whatsoever.

Imperialism is a monumental swindle. All of the benefits of empire flow upwards to a select few, while all of the horrific costs in blood and treasure are borne by the common people.

You seem to be flogging the “humanitarian intervention” excuse for imperialist aggression, Mr. Wind. It’s nothing but a goddamned lie, and you should know better.

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By Tony Wicher, January 25, 2009 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

Re Inherit The Wind, January 25 at 8:28 am #
Of course all the usual suspects attack my argument with:
1) No connection between Al Qaeda, Bin Laden and 9/11.  This, of course, presumes the fantasy that 9/11 was really a Mossad/CIA operation.  Once again “the Zionists are the bad guys.”

            x=x=x=x=x=x=x

ITW,

At least I’m not one of the usual suspects. First, I say there is most definitely a connection between Al Qaeda, bin Laden and 9/11, it’s just that the connection isn’t what you think, because bin Laden and Al Qaeda have been run by the CIA from the start. The Taliban, is sponsored by Pakistani ISI. They are all working together making untold billions on the heroin trade. Zionism (which I oppose) has nothing to do with it, except in the minds of anti-Semites. If Mossad is in on it, it is only because the gang of international crooks we are dealing with has criminals inside many intelligence agencies.

Take Mohammed Atta. Sure he was in “Al Qaeda”. But he was never on any airplane. He was planted for the precise purpose of taking the rap. He never really learned how to fly a plane and he was anything but a believing Muslim.

“Six nights before the attack, reported TIME, NEWSWEEK, and the AP wire service, Mohamed Atta and two of his henchmen were drinking heavily at Shuckum’s in Ft. Lauderdale, which we discovered was a dive bar with a tired-looking nautical theme complete with life-sized shark mounted on the wall.

“Atta and two of his buddies seem to have gone out for a farewell bender at a seafood bar called Shuckum’s,” Newsweek reported.

“Atta drank five Stoli-and-fruit-juices, while one of the others drank rum and Coke. For once, Atta and his friends became agitated, shouting curse words in Arabic, reportedly including a particularly blasphemous one that roughly translates as “F—k God.”

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By Shingo, January 25, 2009 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Inherit The Wind,

Your argument will be chellenged because they are based on falsities or long debunked right wing carnards.

>> 1) No connection between Al Qaeda, Bin Laden and 9/11.  This, of course, presumes the fantasy that 9/11 was really a Mossad/CIA operation.  Once again “the Zionists are the bad guys.”

No it doesn’t.  It is what it is.  Your paranoia assumes that any challenge to the staus quo is an attack on Jews, but that’s your problem.  Get over it.

>> 2) The assassination of the Taliban’s rival in the North just prior to 9/11 by guys pretending to be reporters is a documented fact.

Obviously you never heard of supporting your argument with sources.  Poor eductation I susupect.

>> 3) Here’s what the Taliban is, in today’s NYT:

The same as they have always been - Pashtuns who practice a perverted version of Islam.  Of course, they were, at the time fo Regan, describes as freedon fighters who exhibited the same values as the founfing fathers fo the US. That’s Regana’s words, so he and the right, apparently admire evil dictators.

It is true that they were monsters long before Dubya became the idiot-in-charge, but they were aided and armed by the US at the time of the Soviet occupation.

>> It’s hard to believe that a group can be as violently evil as the cartoonish Thuggees in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” but these people are.

Oh I dunno.  Israel have had a prety good crack at the mantle of barbarism.

>> 4) Show me evidence that the US had failed and was unpopular in Afghanistan prior to Bush’s pull-out.

No, you are the one who made the assertion that the US was greeted as liberators.  Let’s start with that shall we?

>>> In fact, the US would have and could have been the FIRST nation to successfully act militarily in Afghanistan because we WERE seen as liberators, not invaders.  Afghanistan never had the strategic importance or interest that Iraq had and still has.

Firstly, the Soviets also said that they were liebrating Afghanistan when they invaded, as did Alexander the Greta no doubt, so we are are by no means the first with that slogan.

Secondly, Afghanistan did and does have strategic importance by wya fo the fact that it provides access to the Caspian sea.

>>> This is a common straw-man technique in the region that has caused constant problems between India and Pakistan as recently as the Mumbai attacks.

Yes, how dare anyone ask for evidence of someone’s guilt.  That’s so ‘80s isn’t it?

>> Read that NYTimes clip on how the Taliban are now invading Pakistan and terrorizing the people there.

You really are clueless aren’t you?  The Taliban are Pashtuns, as is a large percentage of the Pakistani population.  The Taliban get their aid and amrs from Pakistan. They were in fact, created by Paskistan’s ISI.  Juts thought you should know that.  Knowing a little history alwyas helps.

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By sulphurdunn, January 25, 2009 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is it that people like Ritter (who has been right about most everything)are marginalized and people like Hollbroke (who have been wrong about most everything) are dusted off, repackaged, and turned loose again?

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By kares jhangaini, January 25, 2009 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ritter’s remarks in this context are ametuerish. True, Holbrooke is a water-carrier for the Clintons, but he is not totally clueless. The larger issue is the reactionary Islamic traditions in Afghanistan and North West Pakistan if not the entirety of Pakistan, a non-functioning nuclear state with extremely reactionary Military-Mafia in virtually total control.  Islam as practiced, like most other religions, is very reactionary, in virtually all aspects, including the rights of women.  It imprisons women in veils, from head to toe, denying them of the most basic of civil rights.  The question is: Is it the duty or the principal obligation of the U.S. to right all wrongs on this planet.  Don’t thinks so.  Bush-Cheney had a chance to reverse at least part of this awful Islamic dynamic, but the arse-holes that they are, uninformed, uneducated, prisoners of their stupid, christian, ideologies instead tried to get out fast by installing new warlords or leaving the older war-lords who were beholden to the Taliban in place.  That is the rub.  You can’t solve the riddle of Afghanistan unless you rub-out the old centers of power completely by militarily destroying the warlords cum heroin trade and massive, non-corrupt development aid via Swedish-Norwegian-Danish-Finnish and German aid development agencies.  Is that the job of the United States?  Yes.  Why?  Because it was the United States which destroyed Afghanistan by almost single-handedly created the ISI in Pakistan during the Carter-Brezenzski era of fighting the marxist, anti- religious, commies/Russians.  You get what you pay for.  & now, it is your turn, bud.  You get what you paid for.  You have to right what you have wronged. 

Pakistan, in marxist terms is a feudal or pre- capitalist economy, rife with landowning class control and just like Colombia or other central/south american countries utilizes the military to continue to entrench and shelter itself from the dirt poor, unemployed masses and landless peasants who otherwise might just get the notion of a Robespierian revolution.  Religion is the heroin of the masses, just like in the good old U.S of A.  and, the landowning gentry in Pakistan employs it as a weapon to control the masses. 

There is great nuclear game going on in Asia. China, a burgeoning great power, has allied itself with Pakistan giving it nuclear technology and machinery to create mischief in Kashmir and now the Indian mainland.  China wants to keep India destabilized and under-developed so as not to have a potentially competing regional power above beyond Japan forcing India to become a U.S. ally if not a vassal. What role does have an imperial power like the U.S. have in this game which is miostly a quagmire for the masses and source of great profits for the military-industrial complex. 

Does O’bummer comprehend the ethics of nationhood on this temporary abode of ours, the planet.  I believe he is too much into not destabilizing the “empire” and losing his job, another reach for power.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 25, 2009 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Of course all the usual suspects attack my argument with:
1) No connection between Al Qaeda, Bin Laden and 9/11.  This, of course, presumes the fantasy that 9/11 was really a Mossad/CIA operation.  Once again “the Zionists are the bad guys.”
2) The assassination of the Taliban’s rival in the North just prior to 9/11 by guys pretending to be reporters is a documented fact. I’m not going do your research for you because you are too lazy.
3) Here’s what the Taliban is, in today’s NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/world/asia/25swat.html?hp

They are as evil as any dictator can be. No amount of bullshit from apologists for every anti-American faction can clean it up. They were monsters long before Dumbya became the idiot-in-charge and they are still monsters today. It’s hard to believe that a group can be as violently evil as the cartoonish Thuggees in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” but these people are. Defend them at the risk of your own moral integrity being suspect.

4) Show me evidence that the US had failed and was unpopular in Afghanistan prior to Bush’s pull-out. There was ONE mis-handled attack in the hills, but that was it. In fact, the US would have and could have been the FIRST nation to successfully act militarily in Afghanistan because we WERE seen as liberators, not invaders.  Afghanistan never had the strategic importance or interest that Iraq had and still has.

whyzowl1, January 25 at 1:14 am #

Inherit the Wind,

You are totally mischaracterizing Ritter’s argument then arguing against it, which is a clever, commonly used, but utterly dishonest debating technique. Your bad.
****************************************

I call “bullshit!” on this.  I did not “mischaracterize” Ritter’s argument—I found holes in it revealed those holes. I’m an neither dishonest or “bad”. You don’t like having your shibboleths overturned? Too fuckin’ bad! Grow up and grow a rational brain. Questioning “authority” means more than just questioning the US govt and MSM. It means questioning your OWN sources and their motivations and biases as well.  That’s something few people here do well.

****************************************
The Taliban, in fact, immediately after the attacks of 9/11 and before the bombers were dispatched, offered to hand Bin Laden over to a neutral third party if the United States would simply provide evidence of his guilt in planning or carrying out the attacks of 9/11. Remember?
******************************************

This is a common straw-man technique in the region that has caused constant problems between India and Pakistan as recently as the Mumbai attacks.  “Evidence” is demanded, yet no evidence is ever deemed sufficient—because there are no rules of evidence or standards of law for extradition. As India put it in the Mumbai context, it’s merely a delaying and ass-covering tactic with NO intention of ever being honored.

Read that NYTimes clip on how the Taliban are now invading Pakistan and terrorizing the people there.

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By rbrooks, January 25, 2009 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is anyone surprised at Hillary’s choice? Obama’s choice of the Clintons and their neocon allies to run the “his”/“our” government was his first and most lasting misjudgment - if he was ever truly deluded that these people would work for anything other than the neocon dream: perpetual war and unchallenged corporate control of the global economy.

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By writeon, January 25, 2009 at 5:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Things might be even worse than they seem. What if Afghansitan was invaded for pretty much the same reasons as Iraq? After all, the decision was made by the same people. Why conquer Afghanistan when it wasn’t necessary? To establish a strategic bridgehead in the south of Eurasia, where the last and vast, untapped resources of the planet are located.

From Afghanistan it’s a short hop to many of the surrounding nations. Afghanistan is like a huge bastion or castle keep. It’s of collosal strategic importance, if one’s longterm geo-political strategy to the dominance of Eurasia.

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By Shingo, January 25, 2009 at 5:06 am Link to this comment

ghostofwatergate,

I agree with your sentiments, though I don’t think this was all Obama’s idea. I don’t think he’s as clueless as you suggest.  In fact, this might simply be a pragmatic move.  I think to get Mitchell into the Israeli/Palestine post, he might have had to do a deal with the devil.

In terms of the Indonesia arms deal, Kissinger had already started the ball rolling.

I do agree however, that Obama is walking into a minefield with Afghanistan.  Still, the Russians have offered to come on board, so maybe, just maybe, they may be able to blast their way to a positive outcome.

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By ghostofwatergate, January 25, 2009 at 4:13 am Link to this comment

Holbroke is death on wheels. After he met with President Suharto of Indonesia, there was a massive influx of American weapons into that country and a subsequent massive die-off of residents of East Timor from American bullets.

He got this present appointment as Obama’s man because his nomination was put forward by Hillary Clinton, who learned her “foreign policy” at the elbow of her husband, and who could not be ignorant of the consequences of American policy - as practiced since Truman - which invariably results in the starvation and bombing deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens during Bill’s little blockade (as a for instance)...which Madeline Albright thought was “worth it” and Hillary certainly hasn’t objected to that summation.

All of these people are the same. There’s nothing new going on, and certainly not a change to “progress.”

Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t have the necessary experience or national connections to even know which “diplomat” is a good guy or is a joker from the last deck that is getting reshuffled into the new hand.

Good luck to us, I say, but don’t be surprised when Afghanistan sends us back another 4,000 body bags.

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By Shingo, January 25, 2009 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind,

There is so much you don’t understand, it’s hard to kow where to begin.

whyzowl1 has corrected many of your mistakes.

>> Ritter further bypasses the argument that had Bush NOT drained and redeployed US forces from Afghanistan to Iraq, that war may well have been decisively won.

Of course, there is no evidence to back up this claim.  Yes, the US could have deployed more forces to Afghanistan, but short of killing the local population and taking out the Pashtuns in Pakistan, this is a huge assumption.

>> Finally, Ritter does not address the fact that prior to leaving for Iraq, the US forces did not seem to be viewed by the population as invaders

According to whom?  didn’t they say the same thing about Iraq?

>> But the evidence we have seen (granted, possibly cooked by Bush&co;) was that the Taliban were approving and in synch with Bin Laden, who was helping them consolidate power.

What evidence?  Can yhou link to such sources?

What is true is that the Taliban asked for evidence linking Bin lande to 911 to be provided, and the US refused.

>> Ritter forgets that just days before 9/11, a key, rather THE key resistance leader in Afghanistan was murdered by thugs posing as reporters.  Were than Al Qaeda ops? I believe so.

Do you have a source or as you making your own fundamental assumptions?

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By whyzowl1, January 25, 2009 at 2:14 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind,

You are totally mischaracterizing Ritter’s argument then arguing against it, which is a clever, commonly used, but utterly dishonest debating technique. Your bad.

The Taliban, in fact, immediately after the attacks of 9/11 and before the bombers were dispatched, offered to hand Bin Laden over to a neutral third party if the United States would simply provide evidence of his guilt in planning or carrying out the attacks of 9/11. Remember?

To this day Osama bin Laden’s FBI wanted poster contains no mention of the events of 9/11. An FBI spokesman, when asked why not, replied that (the Agency)...“didn’t have any evidence directly linking Osama bin Laden to the attacks of 9/11.” Astonishing statement, don’t you think?

The war in Afghanistan cannot be “decisively won” through military means, as the former British Commander has publicly asserted—but perhaps you know better? The fact that it cannot, is precisely Ritter’s main argument, and is the reason why he favors a more nuanced, non-military approach to defusing the crisis there and in neighboring Pakistan.

You’re arguing for the imposition of Western values on the Afghans, which you erroneously believe are “universal” values, and which said imposition is the delusional pretext for most US or Western interventions in the affairs of other nations across the globe. Not all of the blue cones are necessarily anxious to dress like whores and join the rat race. Ahem, I mean, “embrace Western values.”

It is likely that al Queda operatives assassinated Ahmad Shah Masood. So? That doesn’t change the fact that the Taliban are a legitimate indigenous resistance movement against the US and NATO forces occupying their country. If you don’t llike them and don’t share their values, here’s a hankie, Honey. Have yourself a good cry.

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By cyrena, January 24, 2009 at 11:52 pm Link to this comment

So far, so good, Scott.

•  “I responded by noting that it would not be an easy thing to separate the Taliban from Afghan society, since the Taliban was a product of Afghan society,”

So, I don’t know why this..

•  “The diplomat rejected my argument as simplistic and unrealistic.”
I agree with Scott’s argument, even if I’ll never understand why he supported GW Bush.
So, I don’t know what Holbrooke’s problem is either, if we’re to take Scott at his word here.
However, on this..
•  “..Holbrooke does not have a record which indicates he would be willing to consider direct negotiations with the Taliban. He tends to seek military solutions to difficult ethnic-based problems, and he is likely to argue for the deployment of even more U.S. troops to that war-ravaged nation…”
This lack of historical record (as presented in the negative) is like trying to prove a negative. Scott is ASSUMING that neither Holbrooke OR…(far more importantly) President Obama, is likely to think any differently about a US Agenda in Afghanistan/Pakistan now than they did a year ago, or even 6 months ago. And, we don’t know that. In fact, the overall ‘record’ for -President Obama- in terms of Scott’s argument for diplomacy versus a military ‘solution’ doesn’t even exist, because we don’t know if Obama has even heard/read/discussed or otherwise considered an argument similar to Scott’s.
In fact, the only ‘record’ that now President Obama has is in maintaining his determination to look at (changing) conditions on the ground as they are dictated NOT just by a US agenda, but by ALL of the actors in the region. He’s also made abundantly clear his determination to hear competing arguments from his advisors.
As of now, there’s no evidence that makes it any more likely than not, that President Obama will consider Holbrooke’s advice over say someone like…  Brezinski, who argues for less military intervention in Afghanistan. We don’t know yet.
Meantime, there’s an element of arrogance in suggesting that Obama should be taking advice from the Bush veterans of the DISASTER of Afghanistan, just because they speak from the experience of having fucked it up to begin with. WE already KNEW there was no ‘military solution’ in Afghanistan – at least not as a “REACTION” to the events of 9/11, (and that was always the ‘excuse’, perpetrated by the Cheney Propaganda and the War on Terror Theme.)
SOOOO…while Scott might find fault with the advice that he anticipates will come from Holbrooke, listening to a bunch of bozos who attempted to carrry out ANY military action in Afghanistan to begin with, and now wanna share what we already knew, is no better an option.

•  “Take it from the veteran British military officers who have served in Afghanistan and now advise that there is no military solution to the Afghan problem.”

The British military officers probably knew this from the beginning as well. Obviously, they didn’t have much sway over the REAL hawks who went in and basically destroyed the place. It was a jacked up opertaion from the beginning. If ANYBODY in the former Dick Bush Thug Regieme had EVER wanted to ‘respond’ to OBL, they could have just sicced Israel on bin Laden et al. That would have done it. Mossad can find and take out anybody. So can the CIA for that matter. At least Cheney’s CIA could have.

Instead, the US Military under the direction of Donald the Dick Rumsfeld, (remember him? – the very same as the one –among many neocons -  who signed on to the orginal PNAC?) decided to blast in and turn US bases (which shouldn’t be there to begin with) into Prison Torture Dungeons, kidnapping much of the ethnic/native population and throwing them in prisons to be tortured. (The same way they set up Gitmo, and Abu Ghraib. and all of the others that we don’t even know about.)

So nope, that wasn’t likely to work out.

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By samosamo, January 24, 2009 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

I suspect that a lot of commentors are not taking into context the part the industrial/military/congresstional complex plays with this totally erronous act of perpetual war that obama and the new administration is being brought into. I still see no reason to stay in Iraq and Afghinstan/pakistan other than to to perpetuate the benefit of one of america’s only export businesses, weapons and munition productuction. This is where the choice of president was not the only important consideration in this past election. Everyone should have been involved enough in their local federal elections to be knowledgeable enough to vote against those consistant imcumbents to bring a newer face to the federal level to combat the corporate BS that perpetuates that status quo that to me seems to be just a continuation of the the previous administration instead of better ideas to becoming a part of the world.
But when the consideration of the human population of the world into the mix, those that command the information process of the information will forever deceive the people until the end, whatever that will be.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, January 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, January 24 at 6:13 am #
Ritter forgets to mention that Afghanistan, once again dominated by the Taliban, will be again a thorn in the side of Iran, where the Islamic Republic detests the Taliban.

Ritter’s whole argument is based on the premise that the Taliban were the unwitting dupes of Al Qaeda, and not their willing supporters and accomplices. 

            xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

ITW,

I agree with you this far. There isn’t all that much difference. The Taliban reached power through the sponsorship of the ISI, which also has connections with bin Laden and “Al Qaeda” and the CIA going back to the Afghanistan war of the 80’s. They are all in it together and they are all getting rich by supplying most of the world’s heroin in the process.

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By KDelphi, January 24, 2009 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

ITW—Where is the evidence that “at least half of the pop.” of Afghanistan , ever viewed the uS as “liberaters”? I find that hard to believe.

By your logic, we should invade all Arab countries where women are reduced to blue or black “cones”.I remember Laura Bush touting “freeing the women” as an excuse—it just doesnt hold water. Maybe we should just follow Ann Coulter’s idea snd “kill all their leaders and covert the pop. to christianity”.

Afghansitan wants to be its own country. Karzai is a fraud and was not democratically elected. Where is the evidence that the Taliban worked with Al Qaeda? If you want to “modernize Afghanistan” (which is unconscionable), I dont think that you shoudl start with an idiot like “president” Karzai. We just keep installing dictators and calling it “democracy”, when people never asked for it in the first place.

“spreading democracy” is a total failure. if we do not give it up, we wil just have to be forced to (again)

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By Bubba, January 24, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

I agree that a strong emphasis on diplomacy and an equally strong de-emphasis on force is the way to go.  But you make this approach seem far easier than it would be. 

Rather than requiring someone other than Holbrooke, someone with “visionary thinking ... who possesses the political courage to stand up to a president and a secretary of state and argue against bad policy,” it would almost certainly require a visionary president to fully support a visionary secretary of state who’s able to work hand in glove with a visionary special envoy.  We do not have such a cast. 

Unfortunately, Afghanistan’s role is going to continue to be that of “the place where empires go to die.”

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By Hank Van den Berg, January 24, 2009 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Holbrooke is just another of a long line of U.S. policymakers who are part of our foreign policy strategy of identifying and maintaining easily recognizable enemies.  The American public doesn’t like complexity, and the media cannot handle anything more complex than separating the guys with the white hats from those with the black hats.  From the Viet Cong, to Saddam, to Hamas, Castro, Chavez, and the Taliban, we need these visible enemies to maintain our fragile nationalism while we blatantly continue to (try to) salvage our imperialist system.  For us to think of ourselves as good guys, we need bad guys. 
Obama’s appointments ensure a continuation of the same strategy.  The best we can hope for is that Obama avoids more really stupid wars like Iraq and Vietnam.  But I suspect we will be fighting the “evil” taliban for a long time, and there will be one lame excuse after the other for not talking to, and thus effectively legitimizing, this officially designated enemy.

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By roland finston, January 24, 2009 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

The news from Kabul this morning does not bode well for the future:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090124/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan
A strike by a drone in Afganistan, which apparently was approved by Pres. Obama, is also in the news. I guess we shouldn’t call these acts ‘terrorism’ because no American blew himself up in the process?

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By photoshock, January 24, 2009 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Whether or not Mr. Holbrooke is the right person for the job will become apparent in the next few months.
We all need to take a deep breath and allow this administration to choose its representatives for the jobs around the world and to give these people the leeway to do their jobs as defined by the president and his administration.
Mr. Ritter, does a fantastic job of defining the situation in Afghanistan, from a historical point of view.  As he states, I also believe that no one can win a military battle in Afghanistan, there are too many tribal and ethnic conflicts to overcome and the
governmental laissez-faire that has become apparent in the last 2 years has devastated the economy and the reputation of governance by Hamid Karzai.
Yet, for all the faults of Mr. Ritter’s arguments, he makes sound points on the historicity of the inability of Western diplomats and Western thinking to make changes in the governance of Afghanistan.
Should we now, change tack, and allow for the Taliban to come back into power, it will only lead to the ill-will that we have engendered by trying to
remove this group from power.
We cannot face the future of Afghanistan and Pakistan with Islamic fundamentalists at the helms of control. Failing a diplomatic solution to these thorny problems, we must be prepared to engage these “enemies” for many years to come.

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By Conservative Yankee, January 24, 2009 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I read the title, I assumed Ritter was speaking of Obama.  Then I learned he was addressing the issue of Holbrooke, but then his last sentence; “This does not bode well for the Obama administration.” makes me believe my first impression might be correct.

When are the Obama worshipers going to awake to the reality that they have elected a lightweight.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 24, 2009 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

Ritter forgets to mention that Afghanistan, once again dominated by the Taliban, will be again a thorn in the side of Iran, where the Islamic Republic detests the Taliban.

Ritter’s whole argument is based on the premise that the Taliban were the unwitting dupes of Al Qaeda, and not their willing supporters and accomplices.  And, on the basis of that argument, we would have left Afghanistan under the control of the Taliban, a regime and society that makes Iran and the late Saddam Hussein look like open-minded liberals.

Ritter further bypasses the argument that had Bush NOT drained and redeployed US forces from Afghanistan to Iraq, that war may well have been decisively won.

Finally, Ritter does not address the fact that prior to leaving for Iraq, the US forces did not seem to be viewed by the population as invaders but rather as liberators from both the Taliban and their apparent masters, Al Qaeda.  At least half of Afghanistan was glad to be rid of them—the female half who had been turned into faceless blue cones.

I’m not saying Ritter is definitively wrong, I’m saying is his argument is weak and full of obvious holes.

Say, for example, that he can support the assertion that the Taliban didn’t know that Al Qaeda was planning to attack the most advanced military power on earth.  Then they may WELL have been willing to say “Out, Damned Spot!”  But the evidence we have seen (granted, possibly cooked by Bush&co;) was that the Taliban were approving and in synch with Bin Laden, who was helping them consolidate power.  Ritter forgets that just days before 9/11, a key, rather THE key resistance leader in Afghanistan was murdered by thugs posing as reporters.  Were than Al Qaeda ops? I believe so.

So this fundamental assumption of Ritter’s is critical to his argument of whether Holbrooke is the right or wrong man for the job.

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By samosamo, January 23, 2009 at 10:05 pm Link to this comment

I agree, obama seems to keep picking up the wrong people to carry out a new administration of change that would hopefully overturn the crap started by the previous administration and not getting out of afghanistan/pakistan is part of that change that appears to be something that will not happen.

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