Saturday, April 26, 2008

Posting at Democratic Underground these days.

See my journal there and check out the general discussion area for my daily wittiness.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Condi's surprise" visit to Baghhdad. Bringing gun control to Iraq.

This is a truly amazing news piece.

AP reports:

"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice mocked anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as a coward on Sunday, hours after the radical leader threatened to declare war unless U.S. and Iraqi forces end a military crackdown on his followers. . . 'I know he's sitting in Iran,' Rice said dismissively, when asked about al-Sadr's latest threat to lift a self-imposed cease-fire with government and U.S. forces. 'I guess it's all-out war for anybody but him,' Rice said. 'I guess that's the message; his followers can go to their deaths and he's in Iran.'"

Right -- and when W. said "bring 'em on," he was rolling around Fallujah looking for IEDs.

I think it's rich Condi is mocking a guy, who's lobbing shells at the biggest US embassy in the world with impunity, while at the same time telling her foreign service employees to either volunteer to go to Baghdad, sleep in their PPEs, or be forced to go.

She's got some nerve. -

For his part, crazed, radical, anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr registered his disapproval of Rice's visit and demanded an end to the al-Maliki "government's" crackdown on the Jaish al-Mahdi (JAM). He then threatened all out war.

Sadr: "So I am giving my final warning ... to the Iraqi government ... to take the path of peace and abandon violence against its people. If the government does not refrain ... we will declare an open war until liberation.'"

Sounds like, all and all, a typical Condi visit to a foreign country; mortars exploding, gun fire in the distance, all out war etc. . .

Another interesting thing to come out of this "surprise" visit is the revelation that Condi believes in strict gun control.

McClatchy reports:

"Rice used her visit to praise Maliki's choice to take on the militia. Fighting Sadr, who has declared that resistance against U.S. forces is legitimate, is an 'internal Iraqi matter,' she said. [That's why the special forces and the Navy are helping out the army as it disintegrates]

'But clearly, the prime minister has laid down some ground rules which any functioning democratic state would insist upon, having to do with, you know, arms belonging to the state, not to -- not in private hands,' she said."

Guns not in private hands. Rules any democratic state would insist upon, huh? Like DC, for instance, or Philadelphia?

Somewhere in ancient history I remember something about another democratic state which insisted that democracy was protected by armed citizens and militias, something along the lines of:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Condi may think al-Maliki will be able to disarm all the "rogue" militias in Iraq but, as I recall reading a while back, the Pentagon has managed to lose about "190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005." [maineindymedia]

It's kind of hard for the state get guns out of private hands when the US military is handing them out by the C-130-load.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Pentagon's hidden racket revealed by the New York Times.

"The strategic target remains our population."

-- James T. Conway, director of operations for the Joint Chiefs, 2006.

From General Smedley Butler's "War is Racket:"

"It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

A case in point, the Pentagon's Psy-Ops campaign aimed at the American public to employ retired military officers to parrot the company line on all the talking-heads shows. The NYT reports today that, beginning before the invasion of Iraq, Torie Clark, then Pentagon spokesperson (former flak for giant PR firm Hill & Knowlton), came upon the brilliant plan of using military "analysts" for, what the NYT describes as, "a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks."

These former generals and such would get their marching orders at special meetings with Pentagon officials and then go out and sell the racket. And here's the real kicker . . .


"The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants."

Such a virtual circle. The administration starts a war based on phony intel "independent analysts" then promote as real in the media and then they clean up by selling the government all the stuff they need to fight the war.

Everyone makes money, except, that is, the American people. They wind up paying the bill.

Smedley Butler:

"And what is this bill? This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations."

As you see, nothing ever changes.

In April of 2006, several former generals tried to upset the applecart by saying Sec Def Donald Rumsfled should resign for his bungling of the war in Iraq. Known as the "General's Revolt," this caused great consternation at the Pentagon, which led to a meeting for 17 of the DoD's most sycophantic media commentators (who were referred to as "surrogates" in confidential memos) to meet the big man himself, Rummy.

In the minutes of the meeting the analysts peppered Rummy for talking points they could use on their media appearances. "'You are the leader,' the analyst told Mr. Rumsfeld. 'You are our guy.'”

Please tell us how we can trade in our integrity as general officers of the United States military into helping you to continue to screw up a war that's lost us 3000 soldiers and is coincidentally making millions for our companies.

And what of the soldiers who foot the bill?


"'Frankly,' one participant said, 'from a military point of view, the penalty, 2,400 brave Americans whom we lost, 3,000 in an hour and 15 minutes, is relative.'”

We must keep this war going.

Rummy's helpers advised him to stick to the theme of the "long war."

"'When you said 'long war,' you changed the psyche of the American people to expect this to be a generational event,' an analyst said."

From the bullet points Rummy wrote after the meeting:

"Let the public know there will be no terminal event . . . It will be a long war. . . Link Iran to Iraq. Iran is the concern." [Which he underlined]

"A generational event": That solves so many problems for those seeking to bamboozle the American public into continue to fund this long war and keep sending their young to fight and die in it.

All you skeptics out there who think we're not going to war with Iran before this administration ends, re-read the previous quote. Rummy may be gone but the people making a killing (literally) off this war are still there.

For the next generation's war, same as it ever was . . .

Smedely Butler:

"The soldier pays the biggest part of the bill. If you don't believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran's hospitals in the United States . . .

Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and factories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; they were made over; they were made to 'about face'; to regard murder as the order of the day.

They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.

Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another 'about face' ! This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology, sans officers' aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn't need them any more. So we scattered them about without any 'three-minute' or 'Liberty Loan' speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final 'about face' alone."

Of the 75 or so former military officers who've parleyed their service to their country into profit, these are some of the most prominent. The next time you see or hear any of these war profiteers on TV or radio, contact that station and ask them if they know who they're really working for.

Ret. Army Colonel John C. Garrett
Ret. Air Force General -- Donald W. Shepperd
Ret. Army General -- Montgomery Meigs
Ret. Army General -- James Marks
Ret. Air Force General -- Joseph W. Ralston
Ret. Army General -- Paul E. Vallely
Barry R. McCaffrey
Ret. Navy Captain -- Charles T. Nash
Ret. Marine Colonel -- William V. Cowan
Carlton A. Sherwood
Ret. Army General -- Robert H. Scales JrWayne A. Downing
Ret. Army General -- David L. Grange

All of these former officers ought to be ashamed of themselves and in a perfect world they should also lose their pensions and possibly be imprisoned for using propaganda against the American public, which is actually illegal . . . but you know, that's not going to happen.
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