Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Elephant in the Room

Ok Now. In the wee hours this morning Team America and Team Europe engineered an end run around the IAEA meeting scheduled for Thursday. Apparently at a cosy little dinner at Jack Straw's place last night, it was decided to turn up the juice on the IAEA and to go for a major push to get the Iran question before the UN Security Council ASAP:
"China and Russia, long-time allies and trading partners of Iran, signed a statement that calls on the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to transfer the Iran dossier to the Security Council, which could impose sanctions or take other harsh action.

Though the United States, Britain and France have been pressing to hand Iran's case to the Security Council, it had been unclear until now whether China and Russia would support such a move." More...

So what's the deal? Up until the end of last week Team American seemed quite confident that they would get a slam-dunk at the IAEA meeting in Austria on Thursday, with most of the 35 members voting their way. But and this a BIG BUT, over-confidence and a substantial dose of arrogance apparently shot that position in the foot, because rather than resisting the temptation to bully it looks like Team America went too far; by the start of this week that slam-dunk was starting to look like an own goal.

A last intensive round of threatening diplomacy just managed to piss other countries off. Two key countries in the IAEA took a big step away from Team America's position: South Africa and India. Oops. So rather than scoring an own goal it was decided last night to move the goal posts. Crude, but effective.

The great big elephant sitting at Jack's table last night, in the IAEA room on Thursday and when we get to the UN is the fact that India, Pakistan and Israel already have Nukes and are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran is and has been co-operating with the IAEA. There is only one word that describes the current situation: hypocrisy.

Of far greater concern is that these countries should be the ones being hauled over the coals for possessing military nukes and should have their butts sanctioned into signing the NPT before sundown today.

But we all know that this is not the point of it all... George and Team America are out to bust some balls and if they can't get UN sanctioned cover, they are just going to do it anyway. So sit down and shut-up.

Bos Befok

"Bos Befok", or "Bossies", is the Afrikaans phrase for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It translates literally as "Bush Befucked", and comes from soldiers experiences in South Africa's Wars from the 1970's to 1990's, originally derived from fighting in the bush but also referring to the urban conflicts during the 1980's. If you would like to know more about Bos Befok and PTSD, check out the SA Veterans Association website.

OK. Now what I want to know is there such a thing as Current Traumatic Stress Disorder? Because I think we are all suffering from the Bossies at the moment and by understanding CTSD we might better understand our current malaise.

Tonight George delivers his State of the Union Address (SOTU) to the American people. Except that it's not just to the American people, it's to everyone on the planet. Haven't we already been told that we are either with George or against him? Aren't we all suspected terrorists until proven otherwise? Aren't we all paying higher energy prices?

Today we live in a world where we can be executed without trial by government sanctioned hit squads anywhere in the world, at any time. Innocent or not. Just like Jean Charles de Menezes. We can be whisked away in the middle of the night, be ruthlessly tortured and placed in an American gulag and held in a legal limbo until the cows come home. It doesn't matter who you are, if you've paid your taxes or not, all that matters is that if your name is on the wrong list you are BEFOK.

Now I believe that it has already been demonstrated that if the rest of us had a democratic say in world affairs, George and his neo-con crazies would have been tossed out of office a long time ago. Unfortunately for us, we have to rely on the American electorate to do that and once again we are BEFOK. The once great American Revolution has certainly lost the plot, and as George says, the American Constitution is now just a piece of paper. Or hemp actually. Whatever. The point is that the entire planet is at the mercy of Washington and an inordinate number of innocent civilians have already died because of a constant stream of lies that has emanated from the cabal running the US government.

This whole "War on Terror" thing is complete bullshit. If you really want to understand what is happening and how it works, I recommend watching The Village by M. Night Shyamalan. Fictional yes, but an extremely insightful analysis of how fake terror is used to control a population and isolate it. Who are the real bogeymen (and women for that matter)? Who is deciding what is in your best interest - and how are they doing it? How much are you paying for it?

In a sane world there would be no "War on Terror". In a sane world we would take on greater threats than perceived "terror"; while we can't prevent Asian Tsunamis, Hurricanes the strength of Katrina or earthquakes as powerful as that in Pakistan, we can use our resources and collective effort to put in place early warning systems, establish global rapid response aid teams and better fund reconstruction efforts. We can diminish the death tolls and ameliorate the suffering in the aftermath of such events. Put it this way; Since the 26th of December 2004 until today, how many people died as a result of natural disasters and how many people died as a result of "terror" attacks?

Where are our priorities?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Famous Faces to Adorn Russian, Ukrainian Toilet Paper

Now seems a good time to stock up on toilet paper:

"A new brand of toilet paper called “Political” will soon appear in Russian and Ukrainian shops featuring the pictures of famous world leaders, the Adme.ru web-site reports." More...

I'll have to go shopping in Moscow, but I think I'll wait for spring...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ducking into line

Today Jacques Chirac gave an update to France's Nuclear policy, which you can read about here, while seemingly reaffirming the holding of nukes as a deterrent, he also broadened the potential use of nukes against states that sponsored a terrorist attack against France or her (unnamed) allies.

France spends about 3 Billion Euros annually to maintain between 300 and 350 nukes, and while some question the need for this expense, Chirac, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, is adamant about clinging on to them.

Now the timing of this is quite interesting. As I mentioned before, the current playbook against Iran appears to be a repeat of the UN Security Council resolution gambit. This time though, the lines will be much more clearly drawn as the US is looking to avoid the messy division that characterized the Iraq fiasco.

Ostensibly the Major Players are currently arranged as follows: the US is playing Bad Cop and the UK, France and Germany are playing the part of the Good Cops. Notice how the UK has joined Team Europe, whilst a more socialist Spain sits out.

Advocates for the defense of Iran are apparently Russia and China, but there is definitely a sense this time that there is a more concerted effort behind the scenes to get all the ducks lined up in a row and to avoid public spats. As we are not privileged to know what is going on behind all these closed doors, it's hard to speculate as to which way Russia and China will play their hands.

Nonetheless, there is the distinct impression this time around that the French and Germans will be playing theirs alongside the Anglo-Americans. The other player lurking in the background is of course Israel, whose strategic interest stands to benefit the most.

So where is Persia anyway?

For the geographically impaired, this map provides a backdrop for the "Target: Iran" post. Click the map to enlarge.

This is Persia.

It is also where we are today.

Persia, was the last great ancient kingdom that shaped the path of modern humaity.

Yesterday, it was known as the centre of modern thougth.

Today, it is known as Iran.

Tomorrow it will be known as the last point of freedom.

Persia is her name.

Target: Iran

Let's put some things in perspective:

Once upon a time there was a country that was in desperate need of liberation: that country was a pariah state and at the wrong end of numerous UN resolutions. It was run with an iron fist by a dedicated band of fundamentalist leaders, headed by a fascist dictator and effectively ruled by a military junta, who were not democratically elected and maintained their grip on power through the brutal use of force.

They systematically massacred their own population, assassinated, detained and tortured those who stood up against them. The majority of population was deprived of basic human rights and subjected to enforced poverty through political and economic control. This country, not only launched extensive attacks on its neighbours, it ran a military occupation of a neighbouring country for a number of years. Operatives and functionaries of this regime carried out both overt military and covert 'counter-terrorist' operations in numerous countries around the world. Even though the regime was subject to sanctions, it engaged in a program of developing weapons of mass destruction and had a nuclear weapon capability. It had amassed chemical and biological weapons and was a menace to its neighbours. It was a source of instability in the entire region.

Interestingly, this regime was shielded and covertly supported by American and British administrations of the day, against the majority of world opinion. In fact, much like they were doing for Saddam Hussein's regime at the time.

The more things change, the more they stay the same?

In 1989 South Africa was that pariah state, but would the Anglo-Americans have invaded South Africa from Swaziland? The hypocrisy that we see today from the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq underscores two important points:

Firstly, we have to consider the fundamental racism of the US and UK which values Iraqi lives as lower than the shadow of shark shit. Not just Iraqi lives though; Arab, African, Asian, South American, well basically the entire 3rd World whose voice is suppressed from the corridors of the WHITEHouse and WHITEHall. Anyone who is not part of the Master Race is worth shit to them. Or less.

Let's not forget too how Israel has been taking advantage of all the war noise to further their oppression and occupation of Palestine. The genocide and ethnic cleansing of the civilian population in the occupied territories is premised on the dehumanisation of the Palestinians in a subordinating racist discourse and course of action. The Judeo-Christian and Crusader rhetoric that permeates every aspect of this war mimics the ideology of Aryanism.

Besides the UK soldiers resembling the IDF in dress and tactics and the US soldiers looking increasingly like the Waffen SS in their blockhead helmets replete with eagles and other insignia, what is plain to see is that the US and UK have also inherited the strategic doctrines and propaganda of the 3rd Reich. The immutable fact though, is that as an illegal pre-emptive invasion of two sovereign countries this is no different to Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939. And we all know what happened after that.

The second point that is currently highlighted is the crisis of global capitalism and the resort to neo-Imperialism. Hang on to your hats, the invasions Afghanistan and Iraq was just the beginning of the 'Pax Americana', and it doesn't look like they are going to stop at Iraq. No siree Bob, this has just been foreplay. I have long suspected that the real target has always been Iran and that the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were designed to encircle Iran in a pincer movement, coupled with the interventions and establishment of bases in the various 'Stans.

Thus the primary target has always been Iran, and although Syria and Lebanon are earmarked for forcible regime-change, they are still tertiary targets of opportunity, in other words, they will be dealt with when the time is right. Iran has always been the most difficult target to attack and has required a longer, more strategic approach of encircling and isolating.

The awful part seems to be that the countdown to the attack on Iran has begun.

The concept of National Sovereignty was tossed out of the window when the US first went into Afghanistan in 2001 on the basis of a fake ultimatum to hand over Osama. Another fake ultimatum for Iraq later and they have declared the entire world map a gigantic game of Risk for everyone, where all natural (oil) resources are fair game. As an aside, in the board game Risk, Afghanistan is an important strategic country to control if you want to win the game.

It appears as though the same gambit of a UN Security Council resolution is going to be deployed again, and it looks as though this time the Ducks are being lined-up beforehand. Most notably the French and German Ducks appear to be playing along, and if one was cynical, one might suggest that the moral highground is not as profitable as reconstruction contracts.

Nonetheless, I still find it hard to believe how fucked the US has become in a few short years, but reading up on the Project for a New American Century it is truly scary that these poepals have had such a profound influence. What has emerged since George Bush Inc. (father and sons) were installed in 2000 is a litany actions aimed at undermining the dominant world order; even prior to Sept. 11th 2001, the US regime had set about undermining International treaties, trade and trust.

The official story about the events of Sept. 11th is rather like Swiss cheese; full of holes. As events unfolded on that day, I found it hard to believe that the entire security apparatus of the regime had failed to pick up on an operation of such magnitude. To this day, not a single shred of credible evidence has been presented publicly as to who was actually responsible. Given the extent to which the regime has shaped those events to further its agenda of perpetual war, I believe that even if it was not an internal operation, there was extensive foreknowledge and complicity in allowing the events of Sept. 11th to occur. I would like to be proved wrong, but I don't think that is going to happen.

I reckon that the only thing that can stop the US, is tripping over their current Achilles heel; the economics of it all. One estimate is that the current destruction of Iraq is costing $2.5 Billion a month. With Billions of Dollars appropriated for the whole misadventure, never mind the soldiers facing the heat in the Middle East, this 'global war of error' is bleeding American taxpayers dry. Thus, with no other clearly defined exit strategy and the pressure building, this 'cakewalk' has already gone on longer than was originally planned and the weaknesses of the original plan have already been exposed. When the US says that 'things are going according to plan', that should be read as no longer being Plan A. They are probably operating on the contingency aspects of Plan M and at much higher cost than originally intended.

All indications are that the Americans have failed to 'pacify' their two new acquisitions and opposition and resistance continues against the international presence and the puppet governments in Kabul and Baghdad. Thus the war chest may well be empty when it comes to actually funding the reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq. My expectation would be that a page is taken out of the book of Portuguese Colonialism; whereby all infrastructure reconstruction will be focused on the extraction of oil and that's it.

Even with the current plundering of Iraqi oil (or lack thereof), the question does arise as to whether these latter day Conquistadors are going to be able to loot enough treasure to prop up the ailing American economy with cheap oil. Seemingly, they would have to grab even more natural resources to survive and history tells us that in this they will fail, especially as they are guaranteed to encounter stiffer opposition as they move against Iran.

At the moment though, the political objectives appear to outweigh the economic objectives, with Iran and Syria next in the crosshairs, much to the joy of the current Israeli junta, it is not solely about the oil.

But by introducing a policy that attempts to justify pre-emptive strikes, the gates of hell are wide open: Never mind Turkey joining the current fracas by climbing into the Kurds, India and Pakistan consistently raise the heat during the summer months in Kashmir, but have the constraints on their nuclear arsenals increased or diminished? North Korea is asserting its right to employ Nuclear weapons as a deterrence against American aggression. China has been eyeing Taiwan for ages ... a lethal combination of opportunism and survivalism pervades international relations these days.

The root of this instability lies in the precarious hegemony of the New American Imperialism, and every indication is that the tanks are going to continue rolling. One of the lessons history teaches is that wars tend to have 'unintended consequences', and right now all bets are off as to how things are going to shape up in the near future.

My guess is that one or more of the current hotspots will ignite within the next 6 months feeding other conflagrations, and there is a very high possibility of an ongoing firestorm for a number of years to come. Until such time as a new balance in international relations is found, on the basis of denying the right to invade another country for whatever reason, global relations are going to remain tenuous for the next 10 to 15 years, or for as long as it takes for the New American Empire to eat itself and collapse. Pity that so many innocent people have to die along the way (see here for a deeper analysis).

So when is a war crime not a war crime? When you usurp the international order and declare that might is right? The majority of world opinion was against the Invasion of Iraq. And with good reason. The failure to gain a second resolution by the US, UK and Spain still stands as an indictment against their desire for a fig leaf for their belligerence. Their approach to the situation has completely undermined the dominant world order that was established at the end of the Second World War. It is patently obvious that the diplomatic effort prior to the aggression was cynically driven by the timetable to achieve a critical mass of forces in the Middle East, the decision to go to war having been made months beforehand, evidenced by the stepped up bombing raids and the intervention of Special Forces into Iraq over the preceding months. One report claimed that the CIA had been actively laying the ground work in Baghdad since 2000.

How long has this Iranian phase been planned for then?

OK Now.

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