Blimp deflator: Letting out the gas

Boston bombings editorial deserves award for ignorance

Posted in new zealand, united states by Blimp deflator on April 30, 2013

Standard editorial
My reply to the paper, published on May 1, 2013, was as follows:

It wasn’t a case of George W Bush responding inappropriately to 9/11 by invading Afghanistan and Iraq (editorial, April 26). It was a case of 9/11 enabling GWB to implement a programme of aggression that was already in place. Indeed, 9/11 was eagerly anticipated by the neocons, who stated in Project for the New American Century that their hopes would be difficult to realise “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor”.

According to General Wesley Clark, former commander of Nato forces in Europe, the plan was to “take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran”. Give or take one or two countries, and one or two changes in their order, that programme is still in place.

It’s too early to speculate about the aim of those behind the Boston bombings. Suffice it to say that there is no shortage of anomalies in the official narrative. Some of these become apparent in a frame-by-frame scrutiny of a film of events at one of the crime scenes, which initially shows no blood — despite what purports to be a severe injury.

Another interesting feature of the Boston bombings is that, as in the case of 9/11 in New York and 7/7 in London, a terror drill “coincidentally” scheduled for the same place at the same time, and “coincidentally” constructing the same scenario, somehow managed to go live. (Letter ends here.)

Note the confidence with which Acting Editor Rob Mitchell says the “masterminds [of 9/11] lived beyond America’s borders”. He evidently hasn’t read what Nicholas Rockefeller said to Aaron Russo in 2000 — 11 months before 9/11:

There’s gonna be an event, and out of that event we’re gonna invade Afghanistan to run pipelines from the Caspian Sea. We’re going to invade Iraq to take the oilfields and establish a base in the Middle East, and to make it all part of the New World Order…”

After quoting Rockefeller, Russo says: “In my relationships with some of these people, I can tell you, that’s as evil as it really gets.” So, Mr Mitchell, who are the real “bad guys”?

Sources: At the time of writing, Russo can be heard speaking (to Alex Jones) here. See also Prison Planet.

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McCully mouths ‘humanitarian’ claptrap at UN

Posted in new zealand, syria by Blimp deflator on October 23, 2012

Murray McCully at the UN
“McCully” is Murray McCully, New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. The cartoonist, Evans, observes that the UN is little more than a tool of US foreign policy — and that the US either “protects” or punishes civilians entirely in accordance with its strategic aims. The UN would, of course, have intervened in Syria, under the banner of R2P (“Responsibility to Protect”), if Russia and China, stung by the US-facilitated regime change in Libya, had not vetoed the resolution that would have ensured the Syrian regime quickly met a similar fate. The cartoon was published in the Manawatu Standard on October 1, 2012. The cartoonist is Malcolm Evans.

Islam and the West: Column from Challenge Weekly

Posted in islam, israel, new zealand, religion, turkey by Blimp deflator on September 28, 2010

Going deeper: Islam and the West
The above article appeared in the September 27, 2010, issue of Challenge Weekly, New Zealand’s Christian newspaper.

Contrary to Mark Keown’s assertion, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are primarily a result of the United States desire to achieve “full-spectrum” dominance. Plans for the invasion and occupation of these strategic areas were laid in the 1990s — long before 9/11 provided a convenient casus belli. (See Section V of Rebuilding America’s Defenses, a publication of the Project for the New American Century. This section is entitled Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force, and includes the sentence: “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor”.) The destruction and dismemberment of Iraq (and soon of Iran?) also served the important purpose of removing yet another obstacle to Israel’s total dominance of the Middle East.

Later in the article, the reader’s interest is further piqued by the sentence: “One senses that the the future of the world is increased instability and perhaps in Europe, suppression of Islam, ethnic cleansing and dare I say it, ultimately even war.” Needless to say, there is no way in which Islam can be “suppressed”. (See the Telegraph article of March 25, 2008, which says: “The projections show that, if the Churches do not reverse their historical decline, there will be more active Muslims than Christians in Sunday services across Britain before the middle of the century.”) It’s already far too late for any program of “suppression” to be successful. And any attempt to remove the population of 2.4 million Muslims in Britain (which has grown by 500,000 in just the past four years) would result, quite simply, in the destruction of British society. Ditto the societies of France, Germany and other European countries with rapidly expanding Muslim minorities.

Keown is right when he says “we [should not] condemn all Muslims on the basis of the lunacy of a few”. But if he is seriously concerned about “lunacy”, he should examine United States foreign policy. He could begin by reading Robert Dreyfuss’ Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam (Metropolitan Books, 2005). He will then realize that these people he describes as lunatics are, to a large extent, the creation of policies pursued by the US at the height of the Cold War, when it sought (a) to contain Arab nationalism and Russian communism , and (b) to nurture a Sunni radicalism that could be used as a “weapon” against its enemies — in much the same way as it used Saddam as a “weapon” against Iran during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.

Actually, the list of US/Israeli lunacies is far too long to be reproduced here. This incredibly destructive alliance has killed millions of people throughout the world during the past 50 years or so, and has also succeeded in poisoning large areas of the planet — with dioxins in the case of Vietnam, and with depleted uranium in the case of Iraq and other countries where DU munitions have been used. These toxins will remain teratogenic (i.e. a cause of hideous birth deformities) for hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of years.

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Tony Blair’s tears

Posted in uncategorized by Blimp deflator on September 17, 2010

Tony Blair's tears
Not the most successful cartoon, but one that conveys the right message. From the Manawatu Standard of September 3, 2010.

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US tosses the ‘car keys’ to Iraq

Posted in uncategorized by Blimp deflator on September 13, 2010

US tosses the 'car keys' to Iraq
Statues toppled in Iraq
The top cartoon, from The Dominion Post of September 3, perfectly captures the mess of Iraq after more than two decades of war and economic sanctions. Unfortunately, it gives the viewer the erroneous impression that Iraq is no longer occupied. The cartoon above, from the Manawatu Standard of September 2, conveys the same impression, and also manages to get the first date wrong. (Saddam’s statue was toppled on April 9, 2003.)

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Iraq a Failed Imperialist Venture

Posted in uncategorized by Blimp deflator on July 4, 2009

The article below has also been posted as a reply to the item headlined Iraqi ‘independence celebrations’ at https://hourglassera.wordpress.com/2009/07/02/iraqi-independence-celebrations/.

Published on Friday, July 3, 2009 by The Toronto Star
Iraq a Failed Imperialist Venture
by Haroon Siddiqui

American troops were not welcomed with flowers in Iraq but their departure from cities and towns has been.

Iraqis celebrated National Sovereignty Day Tuesday as U.S. troops were yanked out of populated centres and put into remote bases.

In time, even that hidden presence will begin to grate on the Iraqis, just as a U.S. military base in Saudi Arabia had spurred Osama bin Laden and others.

Yet this limited troop pullout is being hailed as a triumph. One is reminded of Richard Nixon’s 1973 boast of “peace with honour” in Vietnam. The 1973 Paris treaty that led to the U.S. troop withdrawal was a face-saving formula.

In Iraq, too, the U.S. has little choice but to get out.

Not only did the Iraqi invasion and occupation prove the limits of military power, it also exposed how incapable America has become at nation-building. Its postwar incompetence was stunning.

America plunged Iraq into chaos, shattered the infrastructure and destroyed the society, reducing human beings to their basest instincts. They turned on each other and found safety only in family, tribe, clan and sect. Shiites and Sunnis, who had lived together for ages, ethnically cleansed each other’s neighbourhoods, which to this day remain separated by barricades, walls and checkpoints.

Having unleashed the forces that put Iraq’s three main communities at war with each other, the U.S. toyed with the idea of dividing the country into the Kurdish north, a Sunni centre and a Shiite south, much like the British had divided India in two in 1947.

Having created the chaos, violence and jihadism, the U.S. said, in colonial fashion, it had to stay to curb the chaos, violence and jihadism. Having crippled the state, it had no choice but to prolong the occupation until the natives were ready to govern themselves.

Iraq exhausted America more than the 1917-32 British invasion and occupation sapped the British. It also created killing fields on a vast scale.

Yet Iraqis have been brushed out of the American narrative – Iraq is free of Saddam Hussein, it is democratic, it is stabilized, it is this and it is that.

There’s nary a mention of how many Iraqis are dead (between 100,000 and 1.2 million, depending on who’s counting), how many maimed (not known), how many displaced (4 million), and how many tortured with Saddam-like methods in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere (not known).

Besides the damage to U.S. credibility, and not just in the Muslim world, the Iraq adventure empowered Iran far more than the U.S. would ever acknowledge.

Finally, the quest for oil may also turn out to be a mirage.

This week, Iraq’s oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani, a U of T graduate, put development rights up for international bidding. No more no-bid contracts for U.S. firms, unlike under the Bush-Cheney domain.

Nor did George W. and Dick get what they wanted out of the Status of Forces Agreement. Passed by the Iraqi parliament last fall, it stipulates that all U.S. troops must be out by Dec. 31, 2011. No U.S. military operation can be carried out without Iraqi consent (a provision Hamid Karzai can only dream of). Iraqi soil cannot be used by the U.S. to launch a war on any neighbour (Iran).

Iraq is the imperial adventure that both Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff, one a neo-con hawk and the other a liberal hawk, fully backed. A monumental failure in judgment, their common stance was, and remains, an affront to the collective will of Canadians.

© 2009 The Toronto Star
Haroon Siddiqui (hsiddiq@thestar.ca) writes a regular column for the Toronto Star.

Iraqi ‘independence celebrations’

Posted in uncategorized by Blimp deflator on July 2, 2009

Iraqi 'independence celebrations'
Here, as usual, the Iraqi “radical” is portrayed as the cause of his country’s problems, while the real cause of the problems – the US occupation, as represented by a sober soldier in an armored personnel carrier – is portrayed as the patient, restraining influence. The cartoon, which is from the Manawatu Standard of July 2, 2009, is thus in the same vein as The White Man’s Burden by Rudyard Kipling:

    Take up the White Man’s burden—
    Send forth the best ye breed—
    Go, bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives’ need;
    To wait, in heavy harness,
    On fluttered folk and wild—
    Your new-caught sullen peoples,
    Half devil and half child.

word
These notions of European racial and cultural superiority, which allow the “civilized” European to see the “native” as “half devil and half child”, are as prevalent today as they were in the 19th century.

US troops pass on the baton in Iraq

Posted in uncategorized by Blimp deflator on July 2, 2009

US troops pass on the baton
Again, this is a gross over-simplification of what is happening in Iraq, and one that attaches far more importance to the military “handover” than it warrants. Sadly, for all concerned in the Middle East, the occupation of Iraq will continue. (Who remembers that “limited sovereignty” was restored to Iraq on June 28, 2004, or that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced on January 1, 2009, that Iraq had “regained its national sovereignty” by taking control of the Green Zone in Baghdad?)

The cartoon, by Tom Scott, is from the Dominion Post of July 2, 2009.

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Scam email tells of ‘torture’ in Iraq

Posted in uncategorized by Blimp deflator on May 31, 2009

Note how the writer of the following scam email, which I received today, makes it sound more “authentic” by saying the captured terrorists were tortured:

Attn;

I am Captain Steve Marthins from the hospitality state (Mississippi), of the US Marine Force on Monitoring and Peace–keeping mission in Baghdad-Iraq.

On the 21st day of December 2008, we were alerted on the sudden presence of some Terrorists camping in a suburb not too far from Karbala here in Iraq. After Immediate intervention, we captured three (3) of the Terrorists, twenty-six (26) were killed leaving seven (7) injured.

In the process of torture they confessed being rebels for late Ayman al-Zawahiri and took us to a cave in Karbala which served as their camp. Here we recovered several guns, bombs and other Ammunitions including some boxes among which two contains clearweapons, one filled with hard drugs (cocaine) and the other four to my amazement contain some US Dollars amounting to $23.2M after I and two of my junior intelligent officers counted them.

I however instructed them to keep this in high secrecy.

I am in keen need of a “Reliable and Trustworthy” person like you who would receive, secure and protect these boxes containing the US Dollars for me up on till my assignment elapses in here in Iraq.

I assure and promise to give you 15% of this fund, however feel free to negotiate what you wish to have as your percentage in this business.

Please assure me of your keeping this topmost secret to protect my job with the US Monitoring and Pe ace-Keeping mission. contact me through my personal e-mail; captstevemarthins@gmail.com

Please for the confidentiality of this deal
Kind Regards,
Capt. Steve Marthins

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Reconciliation or restorative justice?

Posted in uncategorized by Blimp deflator on May 10, 2009

How do you feel about the call for “reconciliation” in Israel/Palestine? Frankly, I find it irritating. I see it as a subtle attempt to misrepresent the nature of the problem. After all, “reconciliation” is for two parties, such as a husband and a wife, who once had a good relationship, but who have, for one reason or another, fallen out. In this type of relationship, both parties are more or less equal in terms of power, and both parties are responsible, to some degree, for the breakdown in their relationship. Hence the attempt, during the reconciliation process, to simply bring the two parties together again, usually by ironing out “differences” and “misunderstandings” in a spirit of mutual forgiveness.

But is this really appropriate in Israel/Palestine, where one party is the conqueror and the other is the conquered, where one party is the dispossessor and the other is the dispossessed, and where one party is rich and powerful and the other is poor and powerless? I maintain, as I have just said in a tweet to StoriesOfPeace, that a situation like this calls for restorative justice, rather than reconciliation. That’s because restorative justice doesn’t just bring the two parties together, but addresses past injustices and attempts to correct them, insofar as correction is possible, by providing compensation to the victim that is commensurate with the injury or loss he/she has suffered.

I wasn’t surprised, when I followed the link provided by StoriesOfPeace, to see that Fellowship of Reconciliation is a Christian site. The call for “reconciliation” accords with the assertion of many Christians, and especially Christian Zionists, that the “dispute” in Israel/Palestine is fundamentally a religious one — that it springs from an ancient antagonism between Isaac and Ishmael. In my opinion this is a red herring. All it does is divert our attention from the real issue, which arises from the expropriation of Palestinian land, the enactment of discriminatory laws against Palestinians, and the confinement of Palestinians in ghettos.

Myths of “ancient hatreds” have also been used to explain conflicts in Bosnia, between Serbs and Muslims, and in Iraq, between Sunni and Shia Muslims, where they have been equally misleading. One suspects their purpose is also to enable the “Christian West” to posture as a morally superior civilization that has long risen above such base tribal animosities. “We have to teach them that there is a better way,” the Western mediators and negotiators used to say in the early 1990s as they headed to Sarajevo and Belgrade to speak to representatives of the “warring parties”. You would have thought that the Western powers never went to war — except, of course, for the most noble of reasons.