are now being inundated with hosannas to Colin Powell's
UN speech as having "delivered
the goods" and, supposedly, a knockout blow
to the "give inspections a chance" crowd,
but I don't believe a word of it because, well, I
can't say it any better than my friend Jim Henley:
they lie. Routinely and often and deliberately. They
said there were 100,000 people in mass graves in Kosovo.
was a lie. They said Iraqi soldiers were tossing
babies out of incubators. That
was a lie. They said Iraqi troops in 1991 were massing
on the Saudi border. That
was a lie. They said Saddam's attack on Kuwait was
a total surprise. That
was a lie. They said US troops had no combat role
in Central America in the 1980s. That
was a lie."
we really supposed to believe that the U.S. captured,
on tape, a conversation between two Iraqi military personnel
that not only shows them trying to hide forbidden mobile
units, but also describing it in detail? C'mon, guys,
you can do better than that! And what about that
murky "Al Ansar" group in "northern Iraq,"
where terrorist cadres are supposedly training to poison
New York City's water supply, or something like that?
This fairy tale might be convincing if only their alleged
location wasn't a region fully under the control of
our allies, the Kurds, and easily reachable without
invading that portion of Iraq still under Saddam's control.
of what Powell had to say was refuted the
day before by Hans Blix, but it wasn't a European
or even a worldwide audience that Powell was addressing,
so that didn't matter anyway. The Secretary of State's
real purpose was to convince Americans, who, in spite
of the push-polls, are, at best, uneasy about the course
the administration is taking. As New York Times
columnist Thomas Friedman, a prominent voice raised
in support of the war, recently noted:
had a chance to travel all across the country since
September, and I can say without hesitation there was
not a single audience I spoke to where I felt there
was a majority in favor of war in Iraq. The dominant
mood is: 'Mr. President, we don't want to be against
you in a war on terrorism. But do we really have to
do this? My 401(k) is now a 201(k), heading for a 101(k).
Osama bin Laden is still on the loose. The Europeans
are uncovering new terrorist cells right and left. And
I have walked through so many airport metal detectors
in the last year that I now glow in the dark. I understand
what the Afghan war was about and would have volunteered
with a pitchfork – but I just don't get this war.'"
polls, too, are a lie: "I don't care what the polls
say," opines Friedman, "this is the real mood."
Friedman wants the President and his advisors to "level"
with the American people, who seem to think that this
is going to be a cakewalk. Sure, this is about disarming
Iraq but it is also, he admits, about conquering Iraq,
and, not only that, but about transforming the entire
region into "a progressive model to spur reform
– educational, religious, economic and political
– around the Arab world." Friedman thinks
this "audacious" project is "worth the
risk" but wonders if the American people agree.
He also wonders what they will think when they wake
up, one day after our glorious "victory,"
to discover that we are now the proud owners of a spanking
brand new empire. Friedman suspects they will be less
thrilled, and he practically begs the administration
to stop lying and come clean with its real goals and
aspirations, but what he doesn't understand is that
they can't stop. Lying is not just a habit with these
people. It is a way of life.
might think, with so much practice at covering up the
truth, that they would get better at it: but, no. Instead,
they get worse. How else to explain why the British
dossier" – touted by Colin Powell in
his UN speech is a
plagiarized mish-mash of three separate articles,
practically word-for-word, including one by a California
graduate student? As
Britain's Channel 4 reports:
gives the impression of being an up to the minute intelligence-based
analysis – and Mr Powell was fulsome in his praise
It outlines the structure of Saddam's intelligence organizations.
But it made familiar reading to Cambridge academic Glen
Rangwala. It was copied from an
article last September in a small journal: the Middle
East Review of International Affairs. It's author, Ibrahim
al-Marashi, a postgraduate student from Monterey
in California. Large sections do indeed appear, verbatim."
not all: "In several places Downing Street edits
the originals to make more sinister reading."
hurried, slap-dash effort, that shows just how desperate
they are to have their war at any price. Whom do they
think they're kidding?
think you're too stupid to know, or too decadent to
care. But just in case you aren't, they're
ready for you:
Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly are doing the
people of New York and the people of Iraq a great service
and obstructing the anti-war protest planned for February
15. The longer they delay in granting the protesters
a permit, the less time the organizers have to get their
turnout organized, and the smaller the crowd is likely
to be. And we wouldn't want to overstate the matter,
but, at some level, the smaller the crowd, the more
likely that President Bush will proceed with his plans
to liberate Iraq. And the more likely, in that case,
that the Iraqi people will be freed and the citizens
of New York will be rescued from the threat of an Iraqi-aided
the editorial voice of the New
York Sun talking, a newspaper founded
by "unwavering" supporters of Israel who
disdain the New York Times as too liberal (and
pro-Palestinian) and the New York Post as too
lowbrow. Right-wing media mogul Conrad
Black pumped $20 million into the paper, and among
the other investors are fellow conservative money-bags
Hertog, and liberal tycoon Michael Steinhardt, who
funded the Progressive Policy Institute and was "last
seen in the news writing a letter to President Clinton
urging him to pardon disgraced financier Marc Rich,"
as Salon put it.
good to see that the editors of the Sun have
decided to come out of the closet, so to speak, as open
authoritarians. The paper represents a "red-brown
alliance" of left and right, united behind
a program of open repression. Like all fascists everywhere,
they claim to be saving us instead of enslaving us.
It is necessary to treat the antiwar protesters the
way Ariel Sharon treats the Palestinians, they aver,
because the victory of terrorism is the only alternative.
But how can the Sun assert this with such eerie
could almost imagine they have some inside knowledge
– one might even say foreknowledge
– of a new terrorist incident. Such certainty
evokes the strange case of those
five Israelis arrested hours after the World Trade
Center was hit, who were observed laughing
and celebrating as they watched the twin towers
burn. A woman who watched them through binoculars said
to ABC News:
were like happy, you know
They didn't look shocked
to me. I thought it was very strange."
the New York Sun, and listening to the rationale
for war as expressed by U.S. government officials, from
the President on down, one gets the definite impression
that the War Party is pining for a second edition of
9/11 just as the
Rapturists pine for Armageddeon
and for nearly identical reasons. Their prophecies,
after all, would be fulfilled – and they'd have
a real good reason to outlaw anti-war demonstrations
rather than merely obstruct them. Good enough for New
York, at any rate.
and repression these are the only two arrows in the
War Party's quiver, and they have already shot one.
Colin Powell is widely acclaimed in Washington as having
scored a bulls-eye, but most of the rest of the country,
not to mention the world, regards it as another sort
of bull altogether. As war clouds gather on the Middle
Eastern horizon, our own skies are darkened by the threat
of outright repression: certainly the government, armed
with the "Patriot" Act and similar measures,
has the power to crack down. But do they have the will?
it comes to bombing helpless Iraqi civilians, and destroying
the equally pathetic Iraqi military, the world's biggest
superpower has no compunctions and no doubt as to the
outcome. But taking on their fellow Americans is another
proposition entirely. A bully doesn't pick on someone
he knows will fight back. Americans aren't half as decadent
and soft as both our rulers, and our Islamist terrorist
enemies, seem to think. The Axis of Authoritarian Evil
– the "red-brown alliance" of the New
York Sun, the New Republic, and the neoconservative
wing of the Republican party has been on a roll, so
far. But the backlash, when it comes, will throw them
on the defensive, as Americans rise up to take their
WANTED: PROFESSIONAL WITCH-HUNTER
tried, but I
can't resist pointing out an ad in the online edition
of a magazine called "Doublethink." David
Horowitz is looking for someone who combines the
moral instincts of Roy Cohn with the
investigative skills of Torquemada:
Magazine is looking for subject area specialists to
do research for a
database. Applicants must have: – A
keen eye for detail, – The ability to organize,
focus and work
independently and efficiently; – Strong
research skills – Expertise in one or more of the
following subjects: Immigration, national
civil liberties groups, and anti-American
peace movements. Applicants should send resume as
well as a cover letter to: email@example.com."
unemployed Trotskyists are especially encouraged
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