Friday, October 19, 2007

the emerging military-peacenik alliance

How the Military Can Stop an Iran Attack

posted October 9, 2007 (web only)

Jeremy Brecher & Brendan Smith

[ ... What could be stranger than a group of peace activists petitioning the military to stop a war? And yet there is more logic here than meets the eye.

Asked in an online discussion September 27 whether the Bush Administration will launch a war against Iran, Washington Post intelligence reporter Dana Priest replied, "Frankly, I think the military would revolt and there would be no pilots to fly those missions."

She acknowledged that she had indulged in a bit of hyperbole, then added, "but not much."

There have been many other hints of military disaffection from plans to attack Iran--indeed, military resistance may help explain why, despite years of rumors about Bush Administration intentions, such an attack has not yet occurred. A Pentagon consultant told Hersh more than a year ago, "There is a war about the war going on inside the building." Hersh also reported that Gen. Peter Pace had forced Bush and Cheney to remove the "nuclear option" from the plans for possible conflict with Iran--in the Pentagon it was known as the April Revolution.

In December, according to Time correspondent Joe Klein, President Bush met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a secure room known as The Tank. The President was told that "the U.S. could launch a devastating air attack on Iran's government and military, wiping out the Iranian air force, the command and control structure and some of the more obvious nuclear facilities." But the Joint Chiefs were "unanimously opposed to taking that course of action," both because it might not eliminate Iran's nuclear capacity and because Iran could respond devastatingly in Iraq--and in the United States.

In an article published by Inter Press Service, historian and national security policy analyst Gareth Porter reported that Adm. William Fallon, Bush's then-nominee to head the Central Command (Centcom), sent the Defense Department a strongly worded message earlier this year opposing the plan to send a third carrier strike group into the Persian Gulf. In another Inter Press analysis, Porter quotes someone who met with Fallon saying an attack on Iran "will not happen on my watch." He added, "You know what choices I have. I'm a professional.... There are several of us trying to put the crazies back in the box."

Military officers in the field have frequently refuted Bush Administration claims about Iranian arms in Iraq and Afghanistan. Porter says that when a State Department official this June publicly accused Iran of giving arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan, the US commander of NATO forces there twice denied the claim.

More recently, top brass have warned that the United States is not prepared for new wars. Gen. George Casey, the Army's top commander, recently made a highly unusual personal request for a House Armed Services Committee hearing in which he warned that "we are consumed with meeting the demands of the current fight and are unable to provide ready forces as rapidly as necessary for other potential contingencies." While this could surely be interpreted as a call for more troops and resources, it may simultaneously be a warning shot against adventures in Iran.

An October 8 report by Tim Shipman in the Telegraph says that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has "taken charge of the forces in the American government opposed to a US military attack on Iran." ... ]

Read full article>>

The "Great Game" Enters the Mediterranean: Gas, Oil, War, and Geo-Politics


Global Research, October 14, 2007

Preface: The Caspian Sea Summit and the Historical Crossroads of the 21st Century

This article is part of The Sino-Russia Alliance: Challenging America’s Ambitions in Eurasia (September 23, 2007). For editorial reasons the article is being published by Global Research in three parts. It is strongly advised that readers also study the prior piece.

History is in the making. The Second Summit of Caspian Sea States in Tehran will change the global geo-political environment. This article also gives a strong contextual background to what will be in the backdrop at Tehran. The strategic course of Eurasia and global energy reserves hangs in the balance.

It is no mere chance that before the upcoming summit in Tehran that three important post-Soviet organizations (the Commonwealth of Independents States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the Eurasian Economic Community) simultaneously held meetings in Tajikistan. Nor is it mere coincidence that the SCO and CSTO have signed cooperation agreements during these meetings in Tajikistan, which has effectively made China a semi-formal member of the CSTO alliance. It should be noted that all SCO members are also members of CSTO, aside from China.

This is all in addition to the fact that the U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and the U.S. Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, were both in Moscow for important, but mostly hushed, discussions with the Kremlin before Vladimir Putin is due to arrive in Iran. This could have been America’s last attempt at breaking the Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition in Eurasia. World leaders will watch for any public outcomes from the Russian President’s visit to Tehran. It is also worth noting that NATO’s Secretary-General was in the Caucasus region for a brief visit in regards to NATO expansion. The Russian President will also be in Germany for a summit with Angela Merkel before arriving in Tehran.

On five fronts there is antagonism between the U.S. and its allies with Russia, China, and their allies: East Africa, the Korean Peninsula, Indo-China, the Middle East, and the Balkans. While the Korean front seems to have calmed down, the Indo-China front has been heated up with the start of instability in Myanmar (Burma). This is part of the broader effort to encircle the titans of the Eurasian landmass, Russia and China. Simultaneous to all this, NATO is preparing itself for a possible showdown with Serbia and Russia over Kosovo. These preparations include NATO military exercises in Croatia and the Adriatic Sea.

In May, 2007 the Secretary-General of CSTO, Nikolai Bordyuzha invited Iran to apply to the Eurasian military pact; “If Iran applies in accordance with our charter, [CSTO] will consider the application,” he told reporters. In the following weeks, the CSTO alliance has also announced with greater emphasis, like NATO, that it too is prepared to get involved in Afghanistan and global “peacekeeping” operations. This is a challenge to NATO’s global objectives and in fact an announcement that NATO no longer has a monopoly as the foremost global military organization.

The globe is becoming further militarized than what it already is by two military blocs. In addition, Moscow has also stated that it will now charge domestic prices for Russian weaponry and military hardware to all CSTO members. Also, reports about the strengthening prospects of a large-scale Turkish invasion of Northern Iraq are getting stronger, which is deeply related to Anglo-American plans for balkanizing Iraq and sculpting a “New Middle East.” A global showdown is in the works.

Finally, the Second Summit of Caspian Sea States will also finalize the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Energy resources, ecology, energy cooperation, security, and defensive ties will also be discussed. The outcome of this summit will decide the nature of Russo-Iranian relations and the fate of Eurasia. What happens in Tehran may decide the course of the the rest of this century. Humanity is at an important historical crossroad. This is why I felt that it was important to release this second portion of the original article before the Second Summit of the Caspian Sea States.

Read on>>

Today's Must Read

By Spencer Ackerman - October 18, 2007
 
"...If you liked the Protect America Act -- President Bush's sweeping revision to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act signed into law in August -- you're going to love the soon-to-be-unveiled surveillance bill from the Senate intelligence committee. President Bush and Admiral Mike McConnell do, at least. A day after the White House made available to the committee "millions" of pages of material documenting how the telecommunications industry complied with warrantless requests for Americans' international communications after 9/11, the committee wrote into its bill a provision granting the industry retroactive immunity from customer lawsuits that the White House has long desired.

It's unclear what else the bill will contain. The House Democratic surveillance measure that Republicans blocked yesterday allowed for non-individualized court orders approving surveillance of targets "reasonably believed" to be outside the U.S. and possessing "foreign intelligence information," a provision that has divided civil libertarians. That measure is too restrictive to the Bush administration, which wants all foreign-directed surveillance outside the purview of the FISA Court, even in cases where foreigners call into the United States. Until the Senate bill is released today, it won't be clear whether there's a prior-review role for the court in foreign-directed surveillance..."   Full article>>

A simple question for Hillary and the Democrats

How Clinton Set the Stage for Bush

By Mark H. Gaffney

10/18/07 "ICH"

"...The truth is that Bill Clinton’s expansion of NATO was never about the stability of Europe. It was never about US or global security. It was always about one thing: the sale of weapons for profit. All of this becomes more obvious as the world situation deteriorates, yet, the Democratic candidates in the presidential marathon apparently still don’t get it. As far as I can tell, they have been conspicuously silent about Clinton’s failed NATO policy. Which I take as a sober commentary on our deaf and dumb political culture. Someone needs to corner Hillary and ask her this pointed question, on camera: Why did your husband put the interests of the weapons manufacturers and bankers above the interests of our nation and our planet? Why, Hillary? Because there is no doubt that Bill’s NATO policy set the stage for the disasters that have overtaken us. Perhaps the real issue is whether Hillary, or any of the Democratic front-runners, have the integrity and courage to answer a simple question...."  Full article>>

prominent psychologists resign over interrogation policies

Prominent APA Member Resigns Over Interrogation Policies
A prominent member of the American Psychological Association has resigned from the organization because the APA continues to condone psychologists' work on interrogations at Guantanamo and CIA black sites. Marybeth Shinn is a former president of two APA divisions. She also criticized the APA leadership for discouraging dissent from its interrogation policies.

College Psychology Departments Criticize APA
Meanwhile the psychology departments at two Quaker colleges -- Earlham College in Indiana and Guilford College in North Carolina -- have passed resolutions calling on the APA to change its interrogations policy. Psychology professors at Earlham are urging other departments to pass similar resolutions.

Link

Also see: Escalating protests: Two psychology departments protest APA stance on interrogations

 

 

was that your software breathing down your neck?

NSA Likely Reading Windows Software In Your Computer

by Sherwood Ross | Oct 17 2007
 

"...European investigative reporter Duncan Campbell claimed NSA had arranged with Microsoft to insert special "keys" in Windows software starting with versions from 95-OSR2 onwards.

And the intelligence arm of the French Defense Ministry also asserted NSA helped to install secret programs in Microsoft software. According to France's Strategic Affairs Delegation report, "it would seem that the creation of Microsoft was largely supported, not least financially, by NSA, and that IBM was made to accept the (Microsoft) MS-DOS operating system by the same administration." That report was published in 1999.

The French reported a "strong suspicion of a lack of security fed by insistent rumours about the existence of spy programmes on Microsoft, and by the presence of NSA personnel in Bill Gates' development teams." It noted the Pentagon was Microsoft's biggest global client.

In the U.S., Andrew Fernandez, chief computer scientist with Cryptonym, of Morrisville, N.C., found Microsoft developers had failed to remove debugging symbols used to test his software before they released it.

Inside the code Fernandez found labels for two keys, dubbed "KEY" and NSAKEY". Fernandez, though, termed it NSA's "back door" into the world's most widely used operation system. He said this makes it "orders of magnitude easier for the US government to access your computer." Microsoft called the report "completely false." ..."

"...Of course, other countries today emulate NSA's activities. China, for example, is said to have hacked into British defense and foreign policy secrets and the German weekly Der Spiegel recently reported German computers at the chancellery, and foreign, economic, and research ministries are infected by Chinese espionage programs..."

Full article>>

Asia: largest dollar dump in 5 years

Japan, China Sell Most U.S. Debt in at Least 5 Years (Update3)

Bloomberg

By David Yong and Wes Goodman

Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Japan, China and Taiwan sold U.S. Treasuries at the fastest pace in at least five years in August as losses linked to U.S. subprime mortgages sparked a slump in the dollar.

Japan cut its holdings by 4 percent to $586 billion, the most since a new benchmark for the data was created in March 2000, Treasury Department figures published yesterday showed. China's ownership of U.S. government bonds fell by 2.2 percent to $400 billion, the fastest pace since April 2002. Taiwan's slid 8.9 percent to $52 billion, the most since October 2000.

Asia's dumping of Treasuries exacerbated the biggest sell- off in U.S. financial assets since Russia defaulted in 1998. The dollar has declined by 7.2 percent this year to a record low against the euro as the Federal Reserve cut interest rates last month to support the housing market, reducing the yield advantage of U.S. fixed income assets.

``People are concerned about the U.S. dollar falling,'' said Hiromasa Nakamura, who helps oversee the equivalent of $25.7 billion at Mizuho Asset Management Co. in Tokyo. ``The Fed will continue to cut rates and the dollar may fall for three to six months.''

The dollar fell to 116.82 yen at 11:16 a.m. in London, 116.92 late in New York yesterday and traded at $1.4171 per euro, close to a record low of $1.4283.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

The cutback on Treasuries came as China and South Korea joined Singapore and Norway in setting up so-called sovereign wealth funds to invest excess foreign-exchange reserves from export revenue to improve returns....   Read on>> 

"The rest of the world knows who we have become, even if we don't."

The rest of the world knows who we have become, even if we don’t

“Amerika Über Alles” — Our Nazi Nation

by Captain Eric H. May / October 3rd, 2007
 
 

Peter Guenther’s Prologue

The most persuasive anti-Nazi I ever knew was my mentor, Dr. Peter W. Guenther, who believed that Nazism was monstrous at every level. As a professor of humanities, he thought it was both inhumane and inhuman. As a professor of art history he thought its aesthetics were artless histrionics. He readily granted that his intellectual opinions were molded by his personal experiences. As a German veteran of World War II, he regretted the loss of his youth, the waste of his friends’ lives and the devastation that they had inflicted on others. He held Hitler accountable for all of this — after all, it was Hitler who had drafted them into the war. He had served from 1939 to 1945, from Poland to Norway to France to Russia. He once quipped that before every one of their invasions their leaders said they were fighting for national defense, but after the shooting started every soldier on every side believed that he was fighting for his own self-defense.

By the time of the Iraq war he was retired from academe, and I was writing military analysis for media. As US forces began storming up the Euphrates Valley in the spring of 2003, hell-bent on Baghdad, we began to discuss the limited American mobilized manpower and materiel, and the overall limitations of blitz tactics. Guided by his insights, I published a then-radical op-ed in the Houston Chronicle that predicted a quicksand war in Iraq, and maybe a world war as a result of it.

As the easy war promised us by the Bush administration wore on into the summer of 2003, Dr. Guenther and I began to note that there were more similarities between Post-9/11 America and Third Reich Germany than just over-reliance on Blitzkrieg tactics. We finally determined that the two nations were following parallel political courses. Most disturbing for my mentor, who had become a patriotic American citizen after World War II, was the painful conclusion that our American president, with his global war for a New American Century, was just another German fuhrer, with a world war for a Thousand Year Reich. “This is a bad copy of a bad original,” he said.

“Drang Nach Ost” — The Eastern Offensive

George W. Bush came into office with a secret war plan and no excuse to implement it — just as Hitler had come into office in 1933 with the same predicament. Both of them wanted the prize of Middle Eastern oil. In Hitler’s case that meant going through “Judeo-Bolshevik” Russia on the way, while in Bush’s case that meant going through “Islamo-Fascist” Iraq. In Hitler’s case the guiding document was Mein Kampf, while in Bush’s case there were two. A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm was presented to the Israeli government in 1996 by American neocons Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and David Wurmser, among others. Restructuring America’s Defenses was presented to the American government in 2000. Its arguments mirrored the Israeli document, and had been drawn up by the neocons as well. In 2001 Feith, Perle and Wurmser became key Bush administration members.

Neither Hitler’s nor Bush’s plans for world dominance could have been pursued without some good luck, though. Both leaders entered office with over half their nations opposing them, and an avid opposition that wanted to pull them down. Hitler’s good luck came with the Reichstag fire, blamed on Jewish Communists, which mobilized his fatherland to rally behind him. Bush’s good luck happened on 9/11, blamed on Muslim Fundamentalists, which mobilized his homeland to rally behind him.

In both cases, their followers smiled at their good luck, and began their new order of things. Hitler quickly instituted an Enabling Act for the protection of the German people, slated for expiration in five years, which was quietly continued. Bush quickly instituted a Patriot Act for the protection of the American people, slated for expiration in five years, which was quietly continued. Hitler created the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) to further protect the German people, while Bush created the Homeland Security Agency (Homeseca) to do the same for the American people.

“Führer Prinzip” — The Unitary Executive

Both leaders were believers in the authoritarian concept. A few weeks before assuming office, Bush said outright that he thought dictatorship would be a fine form of government, if he could be the dictator. They both believed that power should come from above and obedience should come from below, and they offered protection in exchange for loyalty. Thus no one was surprised when Hermann Goering made a fortune helping to run Germany, just as no one was surprised when Irving “Scooter” Libby received a pardon for his pro-Bush political crimes in America.

Both leaders supplemented their new security police and security acts with concentration camps such as Dachau and Gitmo, initially designed for only a small percentage of national enemies. Both dispensed with international rules and regulations in their treatment of enemies in those installations, and applied a wide variety of innovative persuasive techniques to extract information and obtain confessions. The lessons learned in these proto-type camps proved to be invaluable in later establishments such as Auschwitz and Abu Ghraib.

Both leaders relied on agreeable legislatures. In Germany the Reichstag cheered enthusiastically as it endorsed the increase in police powers, the reduction in civil rights and the national march to world war. In America Congress did the same things, but in more subdued fashion, even with a show of dissent. In Germany, Hitler declared a dictatorship under Article 48, provided by the old Weimar Constitution for the event of a national emergency. In America Bush recently created National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD 51), thereby legalizing a dictatorship in the event of a national emergency.

“Gott Mit Uns” — God’s on Our Side

Neither Hitler nor Bush could have effected their radical plans without a party full of functionaries and a compliant national media, of course. Hitler relied on his “Nazi” party, a word derived from the name of his National Socialist organization. He had a brilliant individual named Joseph Goebbels to control the Reich Propaganda Ministry and rally the public behind Nazi policies. Bush relied on his “Nozi” party, a word derived from “Zionism,” with the first four letters Z-i-o-n remixed into N-o-z-i. He had a brilliant cartel of Zionists to control the American Mainstream Media and rally the public behind Nozi policies.

The greatest accomplishment of both the Nazi and Nozi parties was convincing themselves and their citizens that they were not conspirators of any sort, but rather the victims of an international conspiracy. The Nazi party never tired of saying that Judeo-Communism was the hidden enemy, against which all the powers of a determined fatherland had to be directed, and that they were the targets of anti-German propaganda. The Nozi party never tires of saying that Islamo-Fascism is the hidden enemy, against which all the powers of a determined homeland have to be directed, and that they are the targets of anti-Semitic propaganda.

The rest of the world didn’t buy the pro-war propaganda from Germany’s Nazis three generations ago, and they don’t buy it from America’s Nazis three generations later. The way the rest of the world sees it, what we have been taught to call the axis of evil is not so dangerous to the world as the axis of America and Israel. They see American naval forces massing in the name of national defense against Iran, and they remember Iraq. They see Israeli air forces attacking Syria, and they remember Lebanon. The rest of the world knows who we have become, even if we don’t.

Peter Guenther’s Epilogue: He died in 2005, and was followed by his wife Andrea six months later. They had been married for 58 years, and had been American citizens for more than 50. For more about my friendship with them, refer to the first and fourth volumes of my 2003 Iraq war correspondence here.

Captain May is a former Army military intelligence and public affairs officer, as well as a former NBC editorial writer. His political and military analyses have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Houston Chronicle and Military Intelligence Magazine. He can be reached at: captainmay@prodigy.net. Read other articles by Captain Eric, or visit Captain Eric's website.

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