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Tue

27

Feb

2007

Waging Peace, Part 5: Looking The Beast in the Eye
Tuesday, 27 February 2007 22:24

by ddjango

Courage, it is said, is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of the fear.

Yes I'm scared. There's good reason to be. Even if I don't see them, there are snipers on the roof across the street and several drones on the way. But I insist on truth. I'm gonna fill in some of the blanks here, and I pray you'll look The Beast right in the eye.

The United States government has not formally declared war in over fifty years. The US Constitution confines that responsibility to the Congress. President Bush ignores that (because he prides himself on his ignorance), but screw him, y'know?

And Vice President Cheney, over the past week, has snarled his snarl in support of the President like the rabid bulldog that his truly is. Screw him, too, y'know? I realized that I, nearly sixty and weighing only a hundred-fifty pounds, could take the SOB on and knock him silly in a fair fight. Leave the shot gun home, Dick. You're a damn coward, slinking around in your "undisclosed locations." Come out, come out, wherever you are. You do scare me, but you don't intimidate me. You're out there snarling these days because more and more of the truth is seeping though the cracks and it looks like your game may be lost, the jig may be up, and your and Doubleduh's position may be overrun before 2008. I think these days you're more scared than we are.

OK, citizen, turn off "24" or "The Unit" or whatever the hell you're watching with the Miller Lite in your fist, and give me just a few minutes. Treat this like a commercial . . . I know you can do it. It might sting a little bit, because "the truth will set you free, but first it'll drive you crazy." You can take it, right? You're not a coward, right?


The US government hasn't declared war because the independent war-mongers and -profiteers are in charge and they both own the government and don't really need such a declaration. Even if they did, Capitol Hill is replete with sycophants, Democrat and Republican alike. In the absence of declared war, citizens of the United States and the citizens of a minority (yes, m i n o r i t y) of other nations, working for multinational corporations, are gleefully engaged in armed conflict. It's a condition and necessity of post-capitalism, so why the hell are we surprised?

The Middle East and East Asia. In Afghanistan, we're involved in a shoot'em up with the Taliban and some Shi'ite upstart "insurgents" and some Al-Qaeda fighters. Funny, we were there before we took on Hussein and Iraq, but we're not paying attention very much. Pass the poppies, please, we're about regain consciousness. The MSM can't find enough air-time to cover Afghanistan and Iraq and Britney and Anna Nicole and the Oscars all in a half hour (excuse me, in the seventeen minutes alloted to "news" among commercials), so something has to go.

Iraq? You think I'm gonna waste any time on that here? Fuggedaboudit! (Heh. I'm starting to sound like I did when I was writing ddjangoWIrE).

Africa. Semi-overtly, the US is involved in Somalia. And covertly in Nigeria and several other countries who think they own our oil which just happens to be under their soil. Just who do those darkies think they are, ovah deah??

Recently, from NPR:
Pentagon Creates Military Command for Africa by Jackie Northam.

Morning Edition, February 7, 2007· The Pentagon says it is creating a new unified military command for its operations in Africa. Africom, will cover all parts of the continent except Egypt, which will continue to fall under Central Command. Pentagon officials say the move signals Africa's growing importance to U.S. interests.

The idea for an Africa command has kicked around the halls of the Pentagon for more than a decade.

Last summer, then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld formed a planning team to examine what it would take to get an Africa command up and running. In early December, Rumsfeld made the recommendation to President Bush, who authorized a new command on the same day Rumsfeld left office.

Tuesday, Rumsfeld's successor, Robert Gates, announced the decision to Congress.

"This command will enable us to have a more effective and integrated approach than the current arrangement of dividing Africa between Central Command and European Command," Gates said.

Those two commands are overloaded because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But the decision to create an Africa Command also reflects the rise in U.S. national security interests on the continent. [Editor's note: "rise in U.S. national security interests" means "oil" not "Al-Qaeda".]

U.S. intelligence agents — and terrorism experts — have long been concerned about the increasing infiltration of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations, especially in the northern trans-Saharan region.

The U.S. has launched a number of initiatives to counter the threat, including military and intelligence training missions by Special Forces units . . .
Indonesia and western Asia. The CIA and contracted PMFs are crawling all over those islands and peninsulas. East Timor, East Sheemore, that's what I say. See Mojo, last year, for more details about how the US has sponsored and supported the Indonesian government against the East Timorian people in their struggle to remain independent.

Central and South America. Speaking of spooks, I betcha you can't walk into a bar anywhere in Honduras without buying a beer and a ball for a Blackwater or SAIC employee.

In February, 2006 The Wayne Madsen Report had this (excerpted):
Deja vu for the Bush administration in Central America. The Bush administration is wasting no time in precipitating a military confrontation with the Nicaraguan government of President Daniel Ortega. The Bush administration is demanding that Nicaragua destroy 651 Soviet-era surface-to-air missiles obtained during the country's war with the U.S. backed contras in the 1980s. The Bush administration claims the missiles could wind up in the hands of the neocons' favorite bogeyman and likely contrivance, "Al Qaeda." Nicaragua insists the missiles are necessary because of neighboring Honduras's acquisition of military aircraft from the Bush administration. Nicaragua and Honduras are locked in a Caribbean Sea border dispute. The U.S. maintains a large airbase in Honduras. The Soto Cano base in Palmerola hosts Joint Task Force Bravo, comprised of U.S. Army, Marine, and Air Force personnel. Former U.S. ambassador to Honduras and de facto death squad commandante John Negroponte is now the Deputy Secretary of State. He is rejecting Nicaragua's demands that it be financially compensated for the destruction of the remaining Soviet SAM7s.m [Editor's note: Sine.Qua.Non yesterday noted, a year later, what John Negroponte is up to now.]

Its back to the future for Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega: Bush administration building up military forces and equipment in Honduras.

Meanwhile, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa is demanding that the U.S. vacate its Manta military and spy base on the Ecuadorian coast when the base's lease expires in 2009. The base's aircraft are involved in counterinsurgency operations directed against leftist rebels in neighboring Colombia. Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Brazil have all rejected U.S. overtures for basing and over flight rights. However, the recent arrival of former New York City Police Chief and failed Homeland Security Secretary nominee Bernard Kerik in Guyana to head up a national security contract may indicate that Guyana is the preferred choice to lace the U.S. base in Ecuador . . .
The White House is terrified by the resurgence of democratic socialism in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua. Terrified.

Negroponte killed thousands in Nicaragua in the 80s using death squads organized by contras in exile in Honduras and funded by Iran-Contra. What better person than Negroponte to pull the same sleight of hand stunt in Iraq?

Iran. A planted headline here, a planted headline there. It's so easy, ain't it George? Just your speed. All you have to do is change the "q" to "n" and let Cheney carry the load. But . . .

Axis of Logic, two weeks ago, excerpted from John Pilger's "Iran: The War Begins":
As opposition grows in America to the failed Iraq adventure, the Bush administration is preparing public opinion for an attack on Iran, its latest target, by the spring.

The United States is planning what will be a catastrophic attack on Iran. For the Bush cabal, the attack will be a way of "buying time" for its disaster in Iraq. In announcing what he called a "surge" of American troops in Iraq, George W Bush identified Iran as his real target. "We will interrupt the flow of support [to the insurgency in Iraq] from Iran and Syria," he said. "And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."

"Networks" means Iran. "There is solid evidence," said a State Department spokesman on 24 January, "that Iranian agents are involved in these networks and that they are working with individuals and groups in Iraq and are being sent there by the Iranian government." Like Bush's and Tony Blair's claim that they had irrefutable evidence that Saddam Hussein was deploying weapons of mass destruction, the "evidence" lacks all credibility. Iran has a natural affinity with the Shia majority of Iraq, and has been implacably opposed to al-Qaeda, condemning the 9/11 attacks and supporting the United States in Afghanistan. Syria has done the same. Investigations by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and others, including British military officials, have concluded that Iran is not engaged in the cross-border supply of weapons. General Peter Pace, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said no such evidence exists.

As the American disaster in Iraq deepens and domestic and foreign opposition grows, "neo-con" fanatics such as Vice-President Dick Cheney believe their opportunity to control Iran's oil will pass unless they act no later than the spring. For public consumption, there are potent myths. In concert with Israel and Washington's Zionist and fundamentalist Christian lobbies, the Bushites say their "strategy" is to end Iran's nuclear threat.

In fact, Iran possesses not a single nuclear weapon, nor has it ever threatened to build one; the CIA estimates that, even given the political will, Iran is incapable of building a nuclear weapon before 2017, at the earliest. Unlike Israel and the United States, Iran has abided by the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, of which it was an original signatory, and has allowed routine inspections under its legal obligations - until gratuitous, punitive measures were added in 2003, at the behest of Washington. No report by the International Atomic Energy Agency has ever cited Iran for diverting its civilian nuclear programme to military use.

The IAEA has said that for most of the past three years its inspectors have been able to "go anywhere and see anything". They inspected the nuclear installations at Isfahan and Natanz on 10 and 12 January and will return on 2 to 6 February. The head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, says that an attack on Iran will have "catastrophic consequences" and only encourage the regime to become a nuclear power.

Unlike its two nemeses, the US and Israel, Iran has attacked no other countries. It last went to war in 1980, when invaded by Saddam Hussein, who was backed and equipped by the US, which supplied chemical and biological weapons produced at a factory in Maryland. Unlike Israel, the world's fifth military power - with its thermo nuclear weapons aimed at Middle East targets and an unmatched record of defying UN resolutions, as the enforcer of the world's longest illegal occupation - Iran has a history of obeying international law and occupies no territory other than its own.

The "threat" from Iran is entirely manufactured, aided and abetted by familiar, compliant media language that refers to Iran's "nuclear ambitions", just as the vocabulary of Saddam's non-existent WMD arsenal became common usage. Accompanying this is a demonizing that has become standard practice. As Edward Herman has pointed out, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "has done yeoman service in facilitating [this]"; yet a close examination of his notorious remark about Israel in October 2005 reveals how it has been distorted. According to Juan Cole, American professor of modern Middle East and south Asian history at the University of Michigan, and other Farsi language analysts, Ahmadinejad did not call for Israel to be "wiped off the map". He said: "The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time." This, says Cole, "does not imply military action or killing anyone at all". Ahmadinejad compared the demise of the Israeli regime to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Iranian regime is repressive, but its power is diffuse and exercised by the mullahs, with whom Ahmadinejad is often at odds. An attack would surely unite them . . .
All this is happening very quickly, beyond the speed of sound, approaching the speed of light total darkness. Remember that a black hole sucks in all light (therefore truth) and our government is a black hole.

Not only will the Iranian people suffer the deadly consequences. Because this adventure in Iran will further drain resources from "Homeland Security" increases the possibility of another 911. By the way, don't you miss the rainbow "terrorist alert" thingy? Quickly now: name the current Secretary of Homeland Security. Time's up. Time's up. Time's Up.

Aw, c'mon ddjango. Such gloom and doom! Relax. Lighten up fer godsake. We're the greatest, most powerful country on earth. A buncha towel heads ain't gonna duhfeet the forces of democracy.

Oh, sorry folks. Don't know what got into me. I mean the Dow Jones is still riding above 12K. Microsoft just released Vista. Cingular and AT&T just merged. All is well on Fantasy Island. I guess I shouldn't be bothering you with this stuff. I mean, it's only The Beast, right?

This part of the P! series on "Waging Peace". Part 6 will explore the forces of peace available and building in the US and around the globe.

Part 1 is here; Part 2 is here; Part 3 is here; Part 4 is
here
.
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