Monday, July 18, 2005

Johnson, Kos, Terrorism, Niger, Ledeen, Labour MPs, Chatham House, Greenstock


1) Just another article explaining what Bush & Co hath wrought in Iraq, this time in cultural patrimony terms:

http://hnn.us/articles/13002.html

Why History Will Judge Us Harshly for Our Violation'sof Iraq's Patrimony
By Chalmers Johnson

Mr. Johnson, the author of Blowback and The Sorrows ofEmpire, is now working on the third volume of histrilogy, Nemesis: The Crisis of the American Republic(due out in 2006).

In the months before he ordered the invasion of Iraq,George Bush and his senior officials spoke ofpreserving Iraq's "patrimony" for the Iraqi people. Ata time when talking about Iraqi oil was taboo, what hemeant by patrimony was exactly that -- Iraqi oil. Intheir "joint statement on Iraq's future" of April 8,2003, George Bush and Tony Blair declared, "Wereaffirm our commitment to protect Iraq's naturalresources, as the patrimony of the people of Iraq,which should be used only for their benefit."[1] Inthis they were true to their word. Among the fewplaces American soldiers actually did guard during andin the wake of their invasion were oil fields and theOil Ministry in Baghdad. But the real Iraqi patrimony,that invaluable human inheritance of thousands ofyears, was another matter. At a time when Americanpundits were warning of a future "clash ofcivilizations," our occupation forces were lettingperhaps the greatest of all human patrimonies belooted and smashed.
There have been many dispiriting sights on TV sinceGeorge Bush launched his ill-starred war on Iraq --the pictures from Abu Ghraib, Fallujah laid waste,American soldiers kicking down the doors of privatehomes and pointing assault rifles at women andchildren. But few have reverberated historically likethe looting of Baghdad's museum -- or been forgottenmore quickly in this country.

Teaching the Iraqis about the Untidiness of History
In archaeological circles, Iraq is known as "thecradle of civilization," with a record of culturegoing back more than 7,000 years. William R. Polk, thefounder of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies atthe University of Chicago, says, "It was there, inwhat the Greeks called Mesopotamia, that life as weknow it today began: there people first began tospeculate on philosophy and religion, developedconcepts of international trade, made ideas of beautyinto tangible forms, and, above all developed theskill of writing."[2] No other places in the Bibleexcept for Israel have more history and prophecyassociated with them than Babylonia, Shinar (Sumer),and Mesopotamia -- different names for the territorythat the British around the time of World War I beganto call "Iraq," using the old Arab term for the landsof the former Turkish enclave of Mesopotamia (inGreek: "between the [Tigris and Eurphrates]rivers").[3] Most of the early books of Genesis areset in Iraq (see, for instance, Genesis 10:10, 11:31;also Daniel 1-4; II Kings 24).

The best-known of the civilizations that make upIraq's cultural heritage are the Sumerians, Akkadians,Babylonians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks,Romans, Parthians, Sassanids, and Muslims. On April10, 2003, in a television address, President Bushacknowledged that the Iraqi people are "the heirs of agreat civilization that contributes to allhumanity."[4.] Only two days later, under thecomplacent eyes of the U.S. Army, the Iraqis wouldbegin to lose that heritage in a swirl of looting andburning.

In September 2004, in one of the few self-criticalreports to come out of Donald Rumsfeld's Department ofDefense, the Defense Science Board Task Force onStrategic Communication wrote: "The larger goals ofU.S. strategy depend on separating the vast majorityof non-violent Muslims from the radical-militantIslamist-Jihadists. But American efforts have not onlyfailed in this respect: they may also have achievedthe opposite of what they intended."[5] Nowhere wasthis failure more apparent than in the indifference --even the glee -- shown by Rumsfeld and his generalstoward the looting on April 11 and 12, 2003, of theNational Museum in Baghdad and the burning on April14, 2003, of the National Library and Archives as wellas the Library of Korans at the Ministry of ReligiousEndowments. These events were, according to PaulZimansky, a Boston University archaeologist, "thegreatest cultural disaster of the last 500 years."Eleanor Robson of All Souls College, Oxford, said,"You'd have to go back centuries, to the Mongolinvasion of Baghdad in 1258, to find looting on thisscale."[6] Yet Secretary Rumsfeld compared the lootingto the aftermath of a soccer game and shrugged it offwith the comment that "Freedom's untidy. . . . Freepeople are free to make mistakes and commitcrimes."[7]

The Baghdad archaeological museum has long beenregarded as perhaps the richest of all suchinstitutions in the Middle East. It is difficult tosay with precision what was lost there in thosecatastrophic April days in 2003 because up-to-dateinventories of its holdings, many never even describedin archaeological journals, were also destroyed by thelooters or were incomplete thanks to conditions inBaghdad after the Gulf War of 1991. One of the bestrecords, however partial, of its holdings is thecatalog of items the museum lent in 1988 to anexhibition held in Japan's ancient capital of Naraentitled Silk Road Civilizations. But, as one museumofficial said to John Burns of the New York Timesafter the looting, "All gone, all gone. All gone intwo days."[8]
A single, beautifully illustrated, indispensable bookedited by Milbry Park and Angela M.H. Schuster, TheLooting of the Iraq Museum, Baghdad: The Lost Legacyof Ancient Mesopotamia (New York: Harry N. Abrams,2005), represents the heartbreaking attempt of over adozen archaeological specialists on ancient Iraq tospecify what was in the museum before the catastrophe,where those objects had been excavated, and thecondition of those few thousand items that have beenrecovered. The editors and authors have dedicated aportion of the royalties from this book to the IraqiState Board of Antiquities and Heritage.

At a conference on art crimes held in London a yearafter the disaster, the British Museum's John Curtisreported that at least half of the forty mostimportant stolen objects had not been retrieved andthat of some 15,000 items looted from the museum'sshowcases and storerooms about 8,000 had yet to betraced. Its entire collection of 5,800 cylinder sealsand clay tablets, many containing cuneiform writingand other inscriptions some of which go back to theearliest discoveries of writing itself, was stolen.[9]Since then, as a result of an amnesty for looters,about 4,000 of the artifacts have been recovered inIraq, and over a thousand have been confiscated in theUnited States.[10] Curtis noted that random checks ofWestern soldiers leaving Iraq had led to the discoveryof several in illegal possession of ancient objects.Customs agents in the U.S. then found more. Officialsin Jordan have impounded about 2,000 pieces smuggledin from Iraq; in France, 500 pieces; in Italy, 300; inSyria, 300; and in Switzerland, 250. Lesser numbershave been seized in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, andTurkey. None of these objects has as yet been sentback to Baghdad.

The 616 pieces that form the famous collection of"Nimrud gold," excavated by the Iraqis in the late1980s from the tombs of the Assyrian queens at Nimrud,a few miles southeast of Mosul, were saved, but onlybecause the museum had secretly moved them to thesubterranean vaults of the Central Bank of Iraq at thetime of the first Gulf War. By the time the Americansgot around to protecting the bank in 2003, itsbuilding was a burnt-out shell filled with twistedmetal beams from the collapse of the roof and all ninefloors under it. Nonetheless, the undergroundcompartments and their contents survived undamaged. OnJuly 3, 2003, a small portion of the Nimrud holdingswas put on display for a few hours, allowing a handfulof Iraqi officials to see them for the first timesince 1990.[11]

The torching of books and manuscripts in the Libraryof Korans and the National Library was in itself ahistorical disaster of the first order. Most of theOttoman imperial documents and the old royal archivesconcerning the creation of Iraq were reduced to ashes.According to Humberto Márquez, the Venezuelan writerand author of Historia Universal de La Destrucción deLos Libros (2004), about a million books and tenmillion documents were destroyed by the fires of April14, 2003.[12] Robert Fisk, the veteran Middle Eastcorrespondent of the Independent of London, was inBaghdad the day of the fires. He rushed to the officesof the U.S. Marines' Civil Affairs Bureau and gave theofficer on duty precise map locations for the twoarchives and their names in Arabic and English, andpointed out that the smoke could be seen from threemiles away. The officer shouted to a colleague, "Thisguy says some biblical library is on fire," but theAmericans did nothing to try to put out theflames.[13]

The Burger King of Ur
Given the black market value of ancient art objects,U.S. military leaders had been warned that the lootingof all thirteen national museums throughout thecountry would be a particularly grave danger in thedays after they captured Baghdad and took control ofIraq. In the chaos that followed the Gulf War of 1991,vandals had stolen about 4,000 objects from ninedifferent regional museums. In monetary terms, theillegal trade in antiquities is the third mostlucrative form of international trade globally,exceeded only by drug smuggling and arms sales.[14]Given the richness of Iraq's past, there are also over10,000 significant archaeological sites scatteredacross the country, only some 1,500 of which have beenstudied. Following the Gulf War, a number of them wereillegally excavated and their artifacts sold tounscrupulous international collectors in Westerncountries and Japan. All this was known to Americancommanders.

In January 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq,an American delegation of scholars, museum directors,art collectors, and antiquities dealers met withofficials at the Pentagon to discuss the forthcominginvasion. They specifically warned that Baghdad'sNational Museum was the single most important site inthe country. McGuire Gibson of the University ofChicago's Oriental Institute said, "I thought I wasgiven assurances that sites and museums would beprotected."[15] Gibson went back to the Pentagon twiceto discuss the dangers, and he and his colleagues sentseveral e-mail reminders to military officers in theweeks before the war began. However, a more ominousindicator of things to come was reported in the April14, 2003, London Guardian: Rich American collectorswith connections to the White House were busy"persuading the Pentagon to relax legislation thatprotects Iraq's heritage by prevention of salesabroad." On January 24, 2003, some sixty NewYork-based collectors and dealers organized themselvesinto a new group called the American Council forCultural Policy and met with Bush administration andPentagon officials to argue that a post-Saddam Iraqshould have relaxed antiquities laws.[16] Opening upprivate trade in Iraqi artifacts, they suggested,would offer such items better security than they couldreceive in Iraq.

The main international legal safeguard forhistorically and humanistically important institutionsand sites is the Hague Convention for the Protectionof Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict,signed on May 14, 1954. The U.S. is not a party tothat convention, primarily because, during the ColdWar, it feared that the treaty might restrict itsfreedom to engage in nuclear war; but during the 1991Gulf War the elder Bush's administration accepted theconvention's rules and abided by a "no-fire targetlist" of places where valuable cultural items wereknown to exist.[17] UNESCO and other guardians ofcultural artifacts expected the younger Bush'sadministration to follow the same procedures in the2003 war.

Moreover, on March 26, 2003, the Pentagon's Office ofReconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA),headed by Lt. Gen. (ret.) Jay Garner -- the civilauthority the U.S. had set up for the momenthostilities ceased -- sent to all senior U.S.commanders a list of sixteen institutions that "meritsecuring as soon as possible to prevent furtherdamage, destruction, and/or pilferage of records andassets." The five-page memo dispatched two weeksbefore the fall of Baghdad also said, "Coalitionforces must secure these facilities in order toprevent looting and the resulting irreparable loss ofcultural treasures" and that "looters should bearrested/detained." First on Gen. Garner's list ofplaces to protect was the Iraqi Central Bank, which isnow a ruin; second was the Museum of Antiquities.Sixteenth was the Oil Ministry, the only place thatU.S. forces occupying Baghdad actually defended.Martin Sullivan, chair of the President's AdvisoryCommittee on Cultural Property for the previous eightyears, and Gary Vikan, director of the Walters ArtMuseum in Baltimore and a member of the committee,both resigned to protest the failure of CENTCOM toobey orders. Sullivan said it was "inexcusable" thatthe museum should not have had the same priority asthe Oil Ministry.[18]

As we now know, the American forces made no effort toprevent the looting of the great cultural institutionsof Iraq, its soldiers simply watched vandals enter andtorch the buildings. Said Arjomand, an editor of thejournal Studies on Persianate Societies and aprofessor of sociology at the State University of NewYork at Stony Brook, wrote, "Our troops, who have beenproudly guarding the Oil Ministry, where no window isbroken, deliberately condoned these horrendousevents."[19] American commanders claim that, to thecontrary, they were too busy fighting and had too fewtroops to protect the museum and libraries. However,this seems to be an unlikely explanation. During thebattle for Baghdad, the U.S. military was perfectlywilling to dispatch some 2,000 troops to securenorthern Iraq's oilfields, and their record onantiquities did not improve when the fightingsubsided. At the 6,000-year-old Sumerian city of Urwith its massive ziggurat, or stepped temple-tower(built in the period 2112 - 2095 B.C. and restored byNebuchadnezzar II in the sixth century B.C.), theMarines spray-painted their motto, "Semper Fi" (semperfidelis, always faithful) onto its walls.[20] Themilitary then made the monument "off limits" toeveryone in order to disguise the desecration that hadoccurred there, including the looting by U.S. soldiersof clay bricks used in the construction of the ancientbuildings.

Until April 2003, the area around Ur, in the environsof Nasiriyah, was remote and sacrosanct. However, theU.S. military chose the land immediately adjacent tothe ziggurat to build its huge Tallil Air Base withtwo runways measuring 12,000 and 9,700 feetrespectively and four satellite camps. In the process,military engineers moved more than 9,500 truckloads ofdirt in order to build 350,000 square feet of hangarsand other facilities for aircraft and Predatorunmanned drones. They completely ruined the area, theliteral heartland of human civilization, for anyfurther archaeological research or future tourism. OnOctober 24, 2003, according to the Global SecurityOrganization, the Army and Air Force built its ownmodern ziggurat. It "opened its second Burger King atTallil. The new facility, co-located with [a] . . .Pizza Hut, provides another Burger King restaurant sothat more service men and women serving in Iraq can,if only for a moment, forget about the task at hand inthe desert and get a whiff of that familiar scent thattakes them back home."[21]
The great British archaeologist, Sir Max Mallowan(husband of Agatha Christie), who pioneered theexcavations at Ur, Nineveh, and Nimrud, quotes someclassical advice that the Americans might have beenwise to heed: "There was danger in disturbing ancientmonuments. . . . It was both wise and historicallyimportant to reverence the legacies of ancient times.Ur was a city infested with ghosts of the past and itwas prudent to appease them."[22]

The American record elsewhere in Iraq is no better. AtBabylon, American and Polish forces built a militarydepot, despite objections from archaeologists. JohnCurtis, the British Museum's authority on Iraq's manyarchaeological sites, reported on a visit in December2004 that he saw "cracks and gaps where somebody hadtried to gouge out the decorated bricks forming thefamous dragons of the Ishtar Gate" and a"2,600-year-old brick pavement crushed by militaryvehicles."[23] Other observers say that the duststirred up by U.S. helicopters has sandblasted thefragile brick façade of the palace of NebuchadnezzarII, king of Babylon from 605 to 562 B.C.[24] Thearchaeologist Zainab Bahrani reports, "Between May andAugust 2004, the wall of the Temple of Nabu and theroof of the Temple of Ninmah, both of the sixthcentury B.C., collapsed as a result of the movement ofhelicopters. Nearby, heavy machines and vehicles standparked on the remains of a Greek theater from the eraof Alexander of Macedon [Alexander the Great]."[25]

And none of this even begins to deal with the massive,ongoing looting of historical sites across Iraq byfreelance grave and antiquities robbers, preparing tostock the living rooms of western collectors. Theunceasing chaos and lack of security brought to Iraqin the wake of our invasion have meant that a futurepeaceful Iraq may hardly have a patrimony to display.It is no small accomplishment of the Bushadministration to have plunged the cradle of the humanpast into the same sort of chaos and lack of securityas the Iraqi present. If amnesia is bliss, then thefate of Iraq's antiquities represents a kind of modernparadise.

President Bush's supporters have talked endlesslyabout his global war on terrorism as a "clash ofcivilizations." But the civilization we are in theprocess of destroying in Iraq is part of our ownheritage. It is also part of the world's patrimony.Before our invasion of Afghanistan, we condemned theTaliban for their dynamiting of the monumental thirdcentury A.D. Buddhist statues at Bamiyan in March,2001. Those were two gigantic statues of remarkablehistorical value and the barbarism involved in theirdestruction blazed in headlines and horrifiedcommentaries in our country. Today, our own governmentis guilty of far greater crimes when it comes to thedestruction of a whole universe of antiquity, and fewhere, when they consider Iraqi attitudes toward theAmerican occupation, even take that intoconsideration. But what we do not care to remember,others may recall all too well.

NOTES
[1.] American Embassy, London, " Visit of PresidentBush to Northern Ireland, April 7-8, 2003."
[2.] William R. Polk, "Introduction," Milbry Polk andAngela M. H. Schuster, eds., The Looting of the IraqMuseum: The Lost Legacy of Ancient Mesopotamia (NewYork: Harry N. Abrams, 2005), p. 5. Also see SuzanneMuchnic, "Spotlight on Iraq's Plundered Past," LosAngeles Times, June 20, 2005.
[3.] David Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace: The Fallof the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the ModernMiddle East (New York: Owl Books, 1989, 2001), p. 450.
[4.] George Bush's address to the Iraqi people,broadcast on "Towards Freedom TV," April 10, 2003.
[5.] Office of the Under Secretary of Defense forAcquisition, Technology, and Logistics, Report of theDefense Science Board Task Force on StrategicCommunication (Washington, D.C.: September 2004), pp.39-40.
[6.] See Frank Rich, "And Now: 'Operation IraqiLooting,'" New York Times, April 27, 2003.
[7.] Robert Scheer, "It's U.S. Policy that's'Untidy,'" Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2003;reprinted in Books in Flames, Tomdispatch, April 15,2003.
[8.] John F. Burns, "Pillagers Strip Iraqi Museum ofIts Treasures," New York Times, April 13, 2003; PiotrMichalowski (University of Michigan), The Ransackingof the Baghdad Museum is a Disgrace, History NewsNetwork, April 14, 2003.
[9.] Polk and Schuster, op. cit, pp. 209-210.
[10.] Mark Wilkinson, Looting of Ancient SitesThreatens Iraqi Heritage, Reuters, June 29, 2005.
[11.] Polk and Schuster, op. cit., pp. 23, 212-13;Louise Jury, "At Least 8,000 Treasures Looted fromIraq Museum Still Untraced," Independent, May 24,2005; Stephen Fidler, "'The Looters Knew What TheyWanted. It Looks Like Vandalism, but Organized CrimeMay be Behind It,'" Financial Times, May 23, 2003; RodLiddle, The Day of the Jackals, Spectator, April 19,2003.
[12.] Humberto Márquez, Iraq Invasion the 'BiggestCultural Disaster Since 1258,' Antiwar.com, February16, 2005.
[13.] Robert Fisk, "Library Books, Letters, andPriceless Documents are Set Ablaze in Final Chapter ofthe Sacking of Baghdad," Independent, April 15, 2003.
[14.] Polk and Schuster, op. cit., p. 10.
[15.] Guy Gugliotta, "Pentagon Was Told of Risk toMuseums; U.S. Urged to Save Iraq's HistoricArtifacts," Washington Post, April 14, 2003; McGuireGibson, "Cultural Tragedy In Iraq: A Report On theLooting of Museums, Archives, and Sites,"International Foundation for Art Research.
[16.] Rod Liddle, op. cit..; Oliver Burkeman, AncientArchive Lost in Baghdad Blaze, Guardian, April 15,2003.
[17.] See James A. R. Nafziger, Art Loss in Iraq:Protection of Cultural Heritage in Time of War and ItsAftermath, International Foundation for Art Research.
[18.] Paul Martin, Ed Vulliamy, and Gaby Hinsliff,U.S. Army was Told to Protect Looted Museum, Observer,April 20, 2003; Frank Rich, op. cit.; Paul Martin,"Troops Were Told to Guard Treasures," WashingtonTimes, April 20, 2003.
[19.] Said Arjomand, Under the Eyes of U.S. Forces andThis Happened?, History News Network, April 14, 2003.
[20.] Ed Vulliamy, Troops 'Vandalize' Ancient City ofUr, Observer, May 18, 2003; Paul Johnson, Art: A NewHistory (New York: HarperCollins, 2003), pp. 18, 35;Polk and Schuster, op. cit., p. 99, fig. 25.
[21.] Tallil Air Base, GlobalSecurity.org.
[22.] Max Mallowan, Mallowan's Memoirs (London:Collins, 1977), p. 61.
[23.] Rory McCarthy and Maev Kennedy, Babylon Wreckedby War, Guardian, January 15, 2005.
[24.] Owen Bowcott, Archaeologists Fight to Save IraqiSites, Guardian, June 20, 2005.
[25.] Zainab Bahrani, "The Fall of Babylon," in Polkand Schuster, op. cit., p. 214.

This essay is extracted from Chalmers Johnson'sNemesis: The Crisis of the American Republic,forthcoming from Metropolitan Books in late 2006, thefinal volume in the Blowback Trilogy. The first twovolumes are Blowback: The Costs and Consequences ofAmerican Empire (2000) and The Sorrows of Empire:Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic(2004).

------------------------------------------------------This article first appeared on www.tomdispatch.com, aweblog of the Nation Institute, which offers a steadyflow of alternate sources, news and opinion from TomEngelhardt, a long time editor in publishing, theauthor of The End of Victory Culture, and a fellow ofthe Nation Institute.
Copyright 2005 Chalmers Johnson



2) Kos on Rovegate's meaning:

http://www.dailykos.com/

Right and wrong
by kos
Mon Jul 18th, 2005 at 00:05:12 PDT

In the days after the discovery of Deep Throat's identity, many people noted how Watergate would be impossible in today's political climate -- where partisanship trumps the truth inside a GOP machine so deeply entrenched in this country's governance structure that it controls the White House, House, Senate, Supreme Court, most appelate courts, and the media. And where the GOP can do no wrong, regardless of the ethical or criminal transgression.

It is quite instructive and shocking, even with this administration, that the outing of a CIA agent, her front company, and god knows how many other agents and operations, is met with a collective shrug from wingnut circles. While a blow job gave them the vapors, a genuine breach of national security gives them no pause, gives them no reason to abandon "the architect". Political power trumps everything -- even the safety of our nation.

Given what we know of the case, we know that Rove violated his non-disclose agreement. We know that Rove acted unethically, without regard to the consequences of his actions. Whether a crime has been committed remains to be seen, but shouldn't matter a whit.

The technical letter of the law isn't a shield from accountability, an antidote to endangering national security, an amnesiac from the lies McClellan -- and by extension Bush and Co -- spewed to the American people two years ago.

Right-thinking people -- even Republicans -- should look at these unfolding events with horror. I would certainly feel betrayed and angry if a Democratic administration thusly endangered national security and undermined our non-proliferation efforts. I wouldn't make apologies for it. I wouldn't rationalize it, attempt to distract with irrelevant, tangential points. I would demand accountability.

But to modern-day Republicans and their apologists, they can do no wrong. No Republican's action is worthy of scorn or censure. They are perfect. Flawless. Immune to error. Godlike.

How someone could be reduced to that level is beyond me. Republicans have now sent notice that they place allegiance to party and power above their allegiance to the United States of America. To them, the elephant flies above the Stars and Stripes.

The Democratic majorities were undone in large part to the endemic corruption that afflicted the long-entrenched Democratic majorities in the House and Senate. It's the curse of any party that rules for too long, the insidious creep of hubris, corruption, and sense of entitlement which we, as a species, can't seem to avoid.
The GOP is now facing those very same pressures, and exposing that corruption and hubris in spectacular fashion to the American public. A party that believes it holds a "permanent majority" is under no pressure to behave ethically and work for the common good above all else. Their missteps have been big. Their crimes increasingly brazen.

And their own partisans, their foot soldiers, refuse to hold their party accountable. Rather, they join in the rationalizations and embolden their leaders to stay the course. No crime against the nation is bad enough for these guys. No ethical violations too distasteful. They applaud and cheer from the sidelines, as though their nation and their party is somehow well served by such shenanigans. Neither are.

I don't care about the Republican Party. They can continue to rot from within. But I do care about this country and so do a lot of folks who suddenly don't like what they're seeing. The GOP can continue to pretend that rot smells like roses, even as the stench nauseates the rest of us.

That disconnect can only help quicken their eventual exit. The big question, however, is how much damage they will inflict on the nation's national security before they're gone.



3) I think another interesting question to add to thebelow article would be the following -- why did medieval assassins (the "terrorists" of their day) andlate 19th century anarchists (ditto) concentrate onknocking off kings and then presidents, while today'sradicals knock off random concentrations of citizens. Many would say simply that it's because they're "softtargets." I think something else is afoot inaddition, however.

Today's societies have become so bureaucratized anddepersonalized that knocking off a leader only leadsto another leader stepping up to the plate. Knockingoff random concentrations of civilians, however,obliges people to change their travel plans, resultsin huge security expenses, and instills fear acrosssociety. Ultimately this is far more effective intoday's world than simple assassination.

It's also a function of democracy, in a theoreticalsense. In medieval monarchies, the ruler was solelyresponsible for state policy. In 19th centurydemocracies lacking full suffrage, the elites wereresponsible for state policy -- primarily through theperson of their semi-elected leader. In today'sdemocracies, the couch potato watching MTV and growingobese on fast food is ultimately responsible for statepolicy -- and really just doesn't give a rat's ass. Thus, the target...:

http://hnn.us/articles/13229.html

Why Nobodies Are the Real Terrorist Threat
By James Ottavio Castagnera

Mr. Castagnera, a Philadelphia journalist andattorney, is the Associate Provost at Rider Universityand author of the weekly newspaper column “Attorney atLarge.”

As I write this, the British news media are reportingthat at least three of the four suicide bombers, whokilled more than 50 Londoners and wounded scores more,were born in Britain and lived in the EnglishMidlands. They are described as “British nationals ofPakistani origin” by Fox News. One was only 19,another was aged 30 with an 8-month-old baby at home.The third, aged 22, loved cricket, according to anuncle, who added that his nephew had gone to Pakistanearlier this year to study religion. A London-basedintelligence analyst was quoted by Fox as concluding,“One of these men reportedly was 19, which is way tooyoung to be training in a [terrorist] camp inAfghanistan.”

These facts inject new urgency into the debate aboutwhether we are fighting an organization or an idea.Last year, Jessica Stern observed in an Op-Edpublished by USA Today that “we are continuing to swatat yesterday’s threats with yesterday’s tools and, inthe process, aiding the terrorists’ cause. If theUnited States continues to prosecute a war onterrorism without thinking about what motivates newrecruits, we, as a country, will lose.”

Many Americans find the concept of suicide bombing notonly repulsive, but baffling. That’s because few of uscan conceive of any idea or ideal so dear to us thatwe would wake up one morning, strap on explosives andwalk out of the house to our self-inflicted deaths, asthe four London bombers did. Our revulsion andconfusion are functions of our time and place in humanhistory. Anonymous nobodies, leading lives of quietdesperation until moved by the power of a radical ideato act, fill the pages of modern Western history.
In The Proud Tower, the late Barbara Tuchman’s 1966history of the West just prior to World War I, thebest-selling historian wrote of Anarchism (with acapital “A”) during the late 19 th and early 20 thcenturies. “So enchanting was the vision of astateless society… that six heads of state wereassassinated for its sake in the twenty years before1914.” Her list included President McKinley, shot by alone assassin. Following the murder of the Spanishpremiere in 1897, a British magazine opined, “The maddog is the closest parallel in nature to theAnarchist,” while another writer wondered how youcould protect civilized society from “a combination ofcrazy people and criminals.”

Whether you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald also was alone assassin or the patsy of a broader conspiracy,read Norman Mailer’s book Oswald’s Tale. In it you’llmeet a lonely young man who yearned to make his mark,and who was drawn first to Soviet-style communism andthen to Castro’s Cuba, as sources for his half-bakedideas. That he first took a pot-shot at a right-winggeneral, before being caught up in the Kennedyassassination, suggests that his choice of victims wasas much a matter of opportunity as it was theselection of specific targets.

Just as 19 th Century lone killers were motivated bythe writings of Anarchist intellectuals whom they’dnever met, Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh is said tohave been heavily influenced by Leaderless Resistance,a 1962 book by one Ulius Louis Amoss. A former U.S.intelligence officer and Cold Warrior, Amoss foundedthe Baltimore-based International Service ofInformation, Inc. When McVeigh and Terry Nichols,apparently aided and abetted by one or two otherhome-grown radicals, did their dirty deed in 1995,Amoss was already nearly two decades in his grave. Hisideas had been kept alive primarily by an apostlenamed Louis Beam. McVeigh and Nichols never knew Beameither.

The Amoss/Beam idea is chillingly simple. In the wordsof one scholar, Simson Garfinkel, “LeaderlessResistance is a strategy in which small groups (cells)and individuals fight an entrenched power throughindependent acts of violence and mayhem.”

This sounds a lot like what happened in London twoweeks ago. In the words of one Fox News commentator,recalling the Madrid train bombing of a year ago,“both point to an al-Quaida evolving into a movementwhose isolated leaders offer video or Internetinspiration --- but little more --- to local‘jihadists’ who carry out the strikes.”

If this is how it is… then all of America’sexpenditures of lives and treasure and Afghanistan andIraq are so many wasted soldiers and dollars. In somesense we actually are repeating the mistakes ofVietnam, even though our modern Armed Forces weredesigned never to repeat our errors in Southeast Asia.As we tried for a decade to fight a conventional waragainst what was essentially a guerilla force in Asia,now we once again are deploying our military mightagainst far-flung nations.

Meanwhile, the real terrorist threat turns out to beanonymous nobodies lurking right next door.



4) Here are the images of the forged Niger uraniumdocuments that were trumpeted as proof of the Iraqinuclear power program. Who forged them? Some PNACintern?

http://cryptome.org/niger-docs.htm



5) Oh, I guess it was Michael Ledeen, engineering thehostile takeover of Iraq.

http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/MichaelLedeen.html



6) Note the timing:

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article299456.ece

Labour MPs blame bombings on Iraq war By Colin Brown and Andrew Grice Published: 16 July 2005
The uneasy truce inside the Labour Party over theLondon bombings ended last night as an ex-cabinetminister and left-wing Labour MPs linked the attackswith the war in Iraq.

Left-wing Labour MPs said they would use a conferencein London today to pile the pressure on Tony Blair tohasten the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. AndClare Short, the former cabinet minister, said in atelevision interview to be broadcast tomorrow that she"had no doubt" that the bombings were connected to theIraqi conflict.

Ms Short said the anti-terror legislation beingplanned by Mr Blair would act as a recruiting sergeantfor the terrorists. She said it was wrong that Muslimsshould grow up in Britain willing to contemplatekilling innocent civilians, but coupled hercondemnation of the bombing with criticism of Britishforeign policy.

"Some of the voices that have been coming from theGovernment that talk as though this is all evil, andthat everything we do is fine, when in fact we areimplicated in the slaughter of large numbers ofcivilians in Iraq and supporting a Middle East policythat for the Palestinians creates this sense of doublestandards - that feeds anger," she said in a recordedinterview for GMTV.

John McDonnell, chairman of the 500-strong LabourRepresentation Committee, which is staging the one-dayconference, will lead calls for Britain to pull troopsout of Iraq. He will tell the Prime Minister: "Pleasedo not try to tell us that the war in Iraq played nopart. This assertion is simply intellectuallyunsustainable. Now is the time to prevent furtherviolence by renouncing violent solutions ourselves.

"For as long as Britain remains in occupation of Iraq,the terrorist recruiters will have the argument theyseek to attract more susceptible young recruits tobomb teams. Britain must withdraw now."

Downing Street has published a list of al-Qa'idaattacks on the West from the first World Trade Centrebombing in 1993, to show that they started before theIraq war. But a member of the left-wing Campaign Groupsaid: "We are going to set the cat among the pigeons.No Labour MP has uttered a word about Iraq since thebombings, but they have to be seen in context.

The uneasy truce inside the Labour Party over theLondon bombings ended last night as an ex-cabinetminister and left-wing Labour MPs linked the attackswith the war in Iraq.

Left-wing Labour MPs said they would use a conferencein London today to pile the pressure on Tony Blair tohasten the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. AndClare Short, the former cabinet minister, said in atelevision interview to be broadcast tomorrow that she"had no doubt" that the bombings were connected to theIraqi conflict.

Ms Short said the anti-terror legislation beingplanned by Mr Blair would act as a recruiting sergeantfor the terrorists. She said it was wrong that Muslimsshould grow up in Britain willing to contemplatekilling innocent civilians, but coupled hercondemnation of the bombing with criticism of Britishforeign policy.

"Some of the voices that have been coming from theGovernment that talk as though this is all evil, andthat everything we do is fine, when in fact we areimplicated in the slaughter of large numbers ofcivilians in Iraq and supporting a Middle East policythat for the Palestinians creates this sense of doublestandards - that feeds anger," she said in a recordedinterview for GMTV.

John McDonnell, chairman of the 500-strong LabourRepresentation Committee, which is staging the one-dayconference, will lead calls for Britain to pull troopsout of Iraq. He will tell the Prime Minister: "Pleasedo not try to tell us that the war in Iraq played nopart. This assertion is simply intellectuallyunsustainable. Now is the time to prevent furtherviolence by renouncing violent solutions ourselves.

"For as long as Britain remains in occupation of Iraq,the terrorist recruiters will have the argument theyseek to attract more susceptible young recruits tobomb teams. Britain must withdraw now."

Downing Street has published a list of al-Qa'idaattacks on the West from the first World Trade Centrebombing in 1993, to show that they started before theIraq war. But a member of the left-wing Campaign Groupsaid: "We are going to set the cat among the pigeons.No Labour MP has uttered a word about Iraq since thebombings, but they have to be seen in context.



7) Labour MPs II:

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article299679.ece

Iraq factor returns to haunt Blair Labour backbenchers and others insist Britain's policyin the Gulf is boosting al-Qa'ida

By Andy McSmith, Political Editor
Published: 17 July 2005

Bombing London was not an act of revenge for the Iraqwar but the latest manifestation of an "evil ideology"responsible for a 12-year terror campaign in 26countries, Tony Blair insisted yesterday.
His words reflected a worry among ministers thatpublic opinion will link the London terrorist attackswith the unpopular war in Iraq.

The Prime Minister's critics within the Labour Partymaintained an informal truce for the first week afterthe bombings, avoiding reference to the Iraq war outof respect for the victims. That truce has been brokenthis weekend, with two Labour MPs claiming publiclythat the Iraq war and the terrorist attack are linked.
But Mr Blair said: "If it is Iraq that motivates [thebombers], why is the same ideology killing Iraqis byterror in defiance of an elected Iraqi government?What was 11 Sept- ember 2001 the reprisal for?"

Addressing Labour's National Policy Forum in centralLondon yesterday, Mr Blair insisted that although theideology behind the bombings was "evil", it was notsenseless. "It had a purpose. It was done according toa plan. It was meant," he said. "The extremistpropaganda is cleverly aimed at their target audience.It plays on our tolerance and good nature. It exploitsthe tendency to guilt of the developed world, as if itis our behaviour that should change; that if we onlytried to work out and act on their grievances, wecould lift this evil; that if we changed ourbehaviour, they would change theirs. This is amisunderstanding of a catastrophic order."

Privately, senior members of the Government haveexpressed relief that the public has not reacted tothe bombing by demanding that the UK pull out of Iraq.But Clare Short, who resigned from the Cabinet afterthe Iraq war had begun, said that she had "no doubt"that the outrage was linked to the war.

In an interview for today's GMTV programme, she added:"Some of the voices that have been coming from theGovernment talk as though this is all evil, and thateverything we do is fine, when in fact we are implicitin the slaughter of large numbers of civilians in Iraqand supporting a Middle East policy that for thePalestinians creates this sense of double standards -that feeds anger."

Barely an hour before the Tony Blair spoke yesterday,John McDonnell, a left-wing critic of successiveLabour leaders, told left-wing activists: "I just sayto the Prime Minister and other ministerialcommentators, please do not try to tell us that thewar in Iraq played no part. As long as Britain remainsin occupation of Iraq the terrorist recruiters willhave the argument they seek to attract moresusceptible young recruits to their bomb teams.Britain must withdraw now."

Mr McDonnell's speech to the Labour RepresentationCommittee was the first public statement by a LabourMP linking the London bombing to Iraq - though similarcomments have been made by the Liberal Democratleader, Charles Kennedy, and ex-Labour MP GeorgeGalloway.

A briefing paper published tomorrow by a respectedthink tank will also warn that Britain has laid itselfopen to terrorist attack by acting as a "pillionpassenger" to US foreign policy. The report by ChathamHouse with the Economic and Social Research Councilwill warn that the UK is at "particular risk" ofterrorist attack because of the involvement of Britishtroops in the Afghan and Iraq wars.

Bombing London was not an act of revenge for the Iraqwar but the latest manifestation of an "evil ideology"responsible for a 12-year terror campaign in 26countries, Tony Blair insisted yesterday.
His words reflected a worry among ministers thatpublic opinion will link the London terrorist attackswith the unpopular war in Iraq.

The Prime Minister's critics within the Labour Partymaintained an informal truce for the first week afterthe bombings, avoiding reference to the Iraq war outof respect for the victims. That truce has been brokenthis weekend, with two Labour MPs claiming publiclythat the Iraq war and the terrorist attack are linked.
But Mr Blair said: "If it is Iraq that motivates [thebombers], why is the same ideology killing Iraqis byterror in defiance of an elected Iraqi government?What was 11 Sept- ember 2001 the reprisal for?"

Addressing Labour's National Policy Forum in centralLondon yesterday, Mr Blair insisted that although theideology behind the bombings was "evil", it was notsenseless. "It had a purpose. It was done according toa plan. It was meant," he said. "The extremistpropaganda is cleverly aimed at their target audience.It plays on our tolerance and good nature. It exploitsthe tendency to guilt of the developed world, as if itis our behaviour that should change; that if we onlytried to work out and act on their grievances, wecould lift this evil; that if we changed ourbehaviour, they would change theirs. This is amisunderstanding of a catastrophic order."

Privately, senior members of the Government haveexpressed relief that the public has not reacted tothe bombing by demanding that the UK pull out of Iraq.But Clare Short, who resigned from the Cabinet afterthe Iraq war had begun, said that she had "no doubt"that the outrage was linked to the war.In an interview for today's GMTV programme, she added:"Some of the voices that have been coming from theGovernment talk as though this is all evil, and thateverything we do is fine, when in fact we are implicitin the slaughter of large numbers of civilians in Iraqand supporting a Middle East policy that for thePalestinians creates this sense of double standards -that feeds anger."

Barely an hour before the Tony Blair spoke yesterday,John McDonnell, a left-wing critic of successiveLabour leaders, told left-wing activists: "I just sayto the Prime Minister and other ministerialcommentators, please do not try to tell us that thewar in Iraq played no part. As long as Britain remainsin occupation of Iraq the terrorist recruiters willhave the argument they seek to attract moresusceptible young recruits to their bomb teams.Britain must withdraw now."

Mr McDonnell's speech to the Labour RepresentationCommittee was the first public statement by a LabourMP linking the London bombing to Iraq - though similarcomments have been made by the Liberal Democratleader, Charles Kennedy, and ex-Labour MP GeorgeGalloway.

A briefing paper published tomorrow by a respectedthink tank will also warn that Britain has laid itselfopen to terrorist attack by acting as a "pillionpassenger" to US foreign policy. The report by ChathamHouse with the Economic and Social Research Councilwill warn that the UK is at "particular risk" ofterrorist attack because of the involvement of Britishtroops in the Afghan and Iraq wars.



8) Chatham House Report:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/attackonlondon/story/0,16132,1530817,00.html

Tube bombs 'linked to Iraq conflict'

· Thinktank says war boosts al-Qaida· Blair dismisses connection

Read the report in full (pdf)

David Hencke, Westminster correspondent
Monday July 18, 2005
The Guardian

Britain's involvement in the wars in Iraq andAfghanistan contributed to the terrorist attacks inLondon, a respected independent thinktank on foreignaffairs, the Chatham House organisation, says today.According to the body, which includes leadingacademics and former civil servants among its members,the key problem in the UK for preventing terrorism isthat the country is "riding as a pillion passengerwith the United States in the war against terror".

It says Britain's ability to carry outcounter-terrorism measures has also been hamperedbecause the US is always in the driving seat indeciding policy.

The report says the security services, diverted byfighting the IRA over Northern Ireland and the rise ofanimal activists committing terrorist acts, failed togive priority in the early 1990s to monitoringIslamist terror activists setting up in Britain, so"the British authorities did not fully appreciate thethreat from al-Qaida".

In the most politically sensitive finding, ChathamHouse, which used to be known as the Royal Instituteof International Affairs, concludes there is "nodoubt" the invasion of Iraq has "given a boost to theal-Qaida network" in "propaganda, recruitment andfundraising", while providing an ideal targeting andtraining area for terrorists. "Riding pillion with apowerful ally has proved costly in terms of Britishand US military lives, Iraqi lives, militaryexpenditure and the damage caused to thecounter-terrorism campaign."

This finding runs counter to the line from DowningStreet, which has sought to detach Iraq from theLondon attacks.

On Saturday, Tony Blair said the fanatics who struckin London and launched other attacks around the worldwere driven by an "evil ideology" rather thanopposition to any policy, and that it would be a"misunderstanding of a catastrophic order" to thinkthat if we changed our behaviour they would changetheirs.

Amid the growing debate over proposed terror laws inBritain, the Tories will today offer Charles Clarke,the home secretary, the chance to speed up new laws,provided that the government delays until next yearproposals to revise the control orders system fordetaining suspect terrorists.

David Davis, the shadow home secretary, will ask thegovernment to bring forward full details of one of themost divisive parts of the legislation - the indirectincitement to terrorism offence - by a month toSeptember, so MPs and human rights groups such asLiberty can study them properly before the bill ispublished in October.

Mr Davis will make his offer during talks today withMr Clarke, which will also be attended by Mark Oaten,the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman. LordFalconer, the lord chancellor, indicated yes terdaythat the government might be prepared to speed upanti-terror measures if it could reach agreement withthe opposition parties. He told BBC Radio 4'sWestminster Hour: "We should not rush into thingsbecause these things need careful thought. But if theopposition parties and the police can reach aconsensus with us, then we can do it very quickly."

Azzam Tamimi of the Muslim Association of Britain tolda rally in Russell Square, near the scene of the busbombing, that the Muslim community would not suffer insilence for the crimes of the suicide bombers. "Wewill continue to talk, we will continue to write andwe will continue to challenge the government. I say toMuslims, do not bow to pressure to keep acceptingthose pointing fingers at you.

"Say, 'No, I'm not responsible for what happened onJuly 7. My heart bleeds, I condemn it, yes, but I didnot make those boys angry. I did not send those bombsto Iraq. I do not keep people locked in Guantánamo Bayand I do not have anything to do with Abu Ghraib,except to denounce it.' Politicians, see what you havedone to this world?"

· Six people have been arrested in Leeds under theAnti-Terrorism Act, police said last night, but apolice
source in the capital said the arrests were notlinked to the July 7 attacks.



9) I'd like to know what this fellow has to say:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1530814,00.html

FO accused of censoring insider book on Iraq war
David Hencke, Westminster correspondent
Monday July 18, 2005
The Guardian

Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, is blockingpassages from a fly-on-the-wall account by Sir JeremyGreenstock, Britain's former ambassador to the UN, onthe run-up to the war in Iraq.Downing Street disowned any involvement in thecensoring of the book yesterday after reports in theObserver and the Mail on Sunday that Tony Blair hadwanted to block publication.

No 10 put the responsibility on the Foreign Office andWhitehall procedures to vet civil servants' memoirsfor the removal of parts of the book, The Cost of War.

Sir Jeremy, who was also Mr Blair's special envoy toIraq for a year, has been known to be a critic of thepoliticians' handling of the war.

The Observer said yesterday that some of the removedpassages were highly critical of the US.
In one, Sir Jeremy calls America's decision to go towar "politically illegitimate" and says thatnegotiations in the United Nations "never rose abovethe level of awkward diversion for the USadministration".

The book is understood to reveal embarrassingconversations between him, Mr Blair and the foreignsecretary during the UN negotiations.

The exchanges are said to show neither politician in aflattering light.

Sir Jeremy is also critical of the US secretary ofstate, Condoleezza Rice, and her role in the run-up tothe crisis.
The book is highly critical of the running of Iraq inthe aftermath of the war, of which he had first handexperience.

He is said to accuse the interim administration ofthrowing away opportunities. Plans were "dissipated inpoor
policy analysis and narrow- minded execution".The book would be a devastating critique of governmentpolicy - being published at a time when terroristattacks in Iraq have reached a peak, despiteassurances from government ministers that the countryis still on course to becoming a democracy.
Yet the decision to demand changes is surprising giventhe number of critical books that have been publishedabout the Iraq war, including an extremely criticalaccount from Clare Short, the former internationaldevelopment secretary, who wasscathing about the roleof some of her political colleagues.
A forthcoming book by Sir Christopher Meyer, thechairman of the Press Complaints Commission andBritish ambassador to Washington from 1997 to 2003,will reveal the inner workings of Britain's lobbyingin the run-up to the war, but it does not appear tohave been censored.

Like Sir Jeremy, he has negotiated a newspaperserialisation deal and his book is due out thisautumn.
Reports that Downing Street was blocking another bookby a former press officer, Lance Price, were alsodenied by Number 10 yesterday. A spokesman said he hadnever heard of the proposed book and knew nothingabout any censorship.

Mr Price has left Downing Street and runs a guesthousein the south of France.

In a statement on Sir Jeremy's book, the ForeignOffice said: "Civil Service regulations which apply toall members of the diplomatic service require that anyretired official must obtain clearances in respect ofany publication relating to their service. Sir JeremyGreenstock's proposed book is being dealt with thisunder this procedure."

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