Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ray McGovern on Bully Boy's war with Iran

Did you listen to Guns and Butter today? I did. So did Billie who sent me two things she thought I might be interested in. (I was.) David Ray Griffin was the guest and he and Bonnie Faulkner discussed the recent NORAD tapes (the heavily hyped NORAD tapes). If we're to believe the new explanation, as Griffin and Faulkner pointed out, then we have to believe that the military lied prior. In most press coverage, my point, if someone admits to lying in previous testimony (I believe the admission on this is along the lines of "Oh, I forgot"), they're no longer seen as credible in the press.

There's an event coming up that Billie wishes she could go to. (She's a Texas community member.) She wondered if I was going? I would like to. But that's the weekend of protests and I'm not sure where we're going to be or our plans. All of that's still being ironed out. If I'm home, I'll be there. (If I'm home and not having just gotten off a plane because I lack the energy of C.I.) But Ray McGovern will be at the end (so will a lot of other people). Bonnie announced it at the end of the show and it's a fundraiser:

9/11 & American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out
Sunday September 24th, 7:00 PM
Berkeley, CA

This is from the Waco Tribune, John Young's "McGovern, right about Iraq, warns of designs on Iran" and it's about Ray McGovern's concerns regarding Bully Boy's hoped for war on Iran:

Speaking of echoes, McGovern voices alarm about familiar rhetoric aimed at precipitating a U.S. military strike on Iran.
He denounces a new report on Iran's purported threat to the U.S. and Israel, ordered by House Intelligence Committee chairman Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich.
McGovern calls the report a "pre-emptive strike on what's left of the intelligence community, usurping its prerogative to provide policymakers with estimates on front-burner issues." McGovern said he suspects the report's impetus came from the White House.
McGovern points to the irony that some of the people now alarmed about Iran having nuclear energy are the very people, including Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, who in the Gerald Ford administration pushed a lucrative business deal under which U.S. nuclear technology would have gone to the shah of Iran.
Let's see: We armed the Afghan mujahedeen and bin Laden. We armed Saddam. We offered Iran nuclear technology.
Echoes? For something disquieting, go to Google and type in "regime change." Most of the hits won't be about Iraq. That's ancient history. Most of them will be about Iran.
In May, the Council on Foreign Relations reported that -- surprise -- intelligence on Iran is shaky and skeletal. Then again, that's all the intelligence this White House seems to need.

This is an interview from The Lonestar Iconoclast with Ray McGovern, Nathan Diebenow's "Smarter Advice:"

ICONOCLAST: If we do attack Iran, what would happen, in your estimation?
MCGOVERN: If we attack Iran, which would certainly come first from ariel attacks -- you see, you have these blue-suited generals with stars on their shoulders that say, "Hey, we've got this great air force and we can do it all from the air and nobody is going to get killed. It's very effective, and they'll give up because they'll see our great power."
Well, you know, if the Israelis believe that with respect to what would happen to Hezbollah and we expected that would happen to Iraq or even earlier in Vietnam, it's incredibly naive. So what happens? Let's say before the election the president’s numbers do not get any better. He and (the president’s chief advisor) Karl Rove and Cheney look at the situation and say:
"Oh, my God! It looks like the House is going to go to the Democrats, and you know what that means. That means automatic impeachment. That means not only endanger of political exile, that means prosecution of war crimes! Mr. President, you’ve openly admitted on the record that you broke from the Geneva agreements, that you said that the U.S. War Crimes Act really doesn’t pertain with respect to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and you permitted these prisoners to be tortured in violation of those agreements. Now that is U.S. criminal code 18 U.S. Code 2441 of the War Crimes Act passed by a Republican dominated Congress in 1996."
Now we know that this is really chutzpah that you could hardly believe, they are trying to change that act now. They are trying to change it, so that they can protect themselves, but the immediate future holds incredible jeopardy for these folks, not only political jeopardy in this country but international jeopardy and criminal jeopardy in terms of violations of acts -- the War Crimes Act on the one hand and the FISA Act, the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act of 1978, which the president has admitted violating. And now Judge (Anna Diggs) Taylor in U.S. District Court in Detroit has said, "No, this is unconstitutional with what the president has done and he better stop right away.
So there are all kinds of jeopardy and when I visualize these guys getting together -- Rove, Bush, Cheney: "If the House goes to the Democrats, it's going to be hell for the next two years and maybe even after we leave public life. You know we can't travel abroad, and we're liable for prosecution in this country."
So the stakes couldn't be higher is what I'm saying, and now if the generals with the blue suits say, "Now, Mr. President, we can take out Iran’s nuclear capabilities as such as it is, a fledgling program, from the air, and it's going to be a cakewalk." There's really going to be a tremendous incentive on the part of the president if only to make himself in the position of being able to claim he’s a wartime president: "Whatever you do, folks, don't pull the rug out from under me. Don't elect a cut and run Democrat to Congress. We're in a major war now. You can’t do this."
There's a lot of political incentive for him to do that. From a political point of view and from the Air Force's point of view, it all would make sense. Now I was an infantry officer and I'm an intelligence officer both in military and civilian life, and I'm here to tell you that that would be crazy. If Iraq was crazy, this would be crazy to the Nth degree. Why? Because in answer to your question, what would Iran do?
The first thing they do is just bomb a couple of the oil heads there in the Persian Gulf. Drive the price of oil up to $10 a gallon. I repeat $10 a gallon. Give the world economy almost a mortal blow. And if that didn't reverse what we were trying to do to Iran, they could easily block to the Strait of Hormuz. That is the strait that allows half the oil in the world to get out to places like China, Japan, and other places that need that oil.
And another thing they could do is send a couple of divisions over to the Yalu. What I mean by the Yalu? Just as the Chinese sent a couple of divisions over the Yalu River into Korea in 1950, so too could the Iranians send two of their Revolutionary Guard divisions into Iraq, break our supply line -- the long one between Kuwait and Baghdad, and we would have the equivalent of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam that finally persuaded the United States that it couldn't stay the course because the course was crazy to begin with, so what could they do? They could do all these things.
I haven't even mentioned the incredible terrorist capability that Iran has which makes al-Qaeda look like a freshman. They have cells all over the world and can prove their ability to do mischief. If the United States went ahead and bombed Iran thinking they could intimidate Iran, and this is the thinking in the Pentagon, it'll be such a devastating blow that we will at the same time warn them that if you retaliate in any way, well, then we're going to blow your country to smithereens to include possibly the use of what they call mini-nukes.
And that's the scary thing, folks. Let's say our 130,000 troops in Iraq get cut off by Iranian sponsored terrorists that break the supply line between Kuwait and Baghdad. We don't have anymore troops to send in there. What would we do? What would be do in contingencies where we have inadequate resources? Well, the temptation will be terrifically great to use nuclear weapons because these guys have not ruled it out. These fellas think that nukes and mininukes are pretty much the same as really powerful high-explosive weapons. They have no political consciousness, knowing the difference between using nuclear weapons for the first time since 1945.
That’s scary. You know why? You know why that’s scary? Because the president's circle of advisors is narrower than it has ever been. We have a situation in my view where the world is in danger of nuclear war coming out of this scheme of events in a way that has not been endangered since 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
One thing about that crisis is very, very telling because the air force typically had their planes loaded with these nuclear bombs. They were ready to go. All that JFK had to say was "Go!" and (Gen.) Curtis LeMay would have bombed the hell out of Cuba and the Soviet Union had he been allowed to. He was prepared to do that. And it got to be pretty close.

Thank you to Billie for those two articles. And thank you to Billie for listening to Guns and Butter at work with several friends. Maggie was over today so I was listening with a friend but I really should do something like Billie's doing. It's a bit harder when you work out of your home. (My plants always hear show, does that count?) (Toni and Dak-Ho listen at their jobs.)

I'm hoping to get a reply to Billie out tomorrow. But in case anyone thinks like she does that I was so smart and that's why I didn't highlight the Vanity Fair transcripts of the NORAD tapes, I wasn't smart. I couldn't follow that. I asked Sumner to read over it and he said it was confusing. I went to C.I. and C.I. said, "It makes no sense. It doesn't fit in with the public record. I'm not highlighting it." So Sumner and C.I. were the ones who confirmed to me that it wasn't just me, the tapes (or 'tapes') made no sense.

I'm trying to find David Ray Griffin's article and am having no luck after 30 minutes so I'll keep looking and, if I find it, post it next time.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, August 30, 2006. Violence and chaos continue with CBS and the AP calling the fatalities at 52 and the AFP going with 77. The blink-and-you-missed-it truce (with one militia, the Mahdi Army) is off less than 24 hours after it began reports AFP, South Korea's numbers in the so-called coalition drop, in Australia the Jake Kovco inquiry takes shooting lessons, and the Bully Boy has explained to Brian Williams for NBC Nightly News the key to his failure -- Reuters: "Let me, let me . . . look, the key for me is to keep expectations low."

At that, if nothing else, the Bully Boy has succeeded. Equally disappointing is the puppet of the occpuation, Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, who spent much of Sunday swearing there was and would be no civil war. Reality has a a way of slapping the Operation Happy Talkers in the face. Where have you gone
Spinmeister William Caldwell IV, an administration turns its frantic eyes to you?

In Baghdad, an explosion at a market has
killed at least 24 and left at least 35 wounded. CBS and AP report that the bomb went off at "one of Iraq's largest markets, where wholesalers sell food, clothing and house products to businessmen and shopper." AFP notes that "[b]ody parts and the remains of those killed and wounded were strewn across the area. Windows of nearby shops were shattered, two cars were ripped apart and popular restaurant blown open."

The bombing of the market wasn't the only Baghdad bombing today. The
BBC notes that three people are dead and 21 injured as a result of a a car bomb "near a petrol station". CBS and AP identify the three dead from that bombing as Iraqi police officers. Before the market blast in Baghdad, a bomb was hidden on a bicycle in Hilla, AFP reports, "that exploded outside the army recruitment centre" killing at least twelve people and leaving 38 wounded. Reuters notes that five members of a family were killed (three women, a man and a child) and two members wounded from a roadside bomb in Buhriz. Southeast of Baghdad, the AP notes: "An Iraqi army major was killed in Kut . . . by a roadside bomb." Reuters notes "two border guards" are dead in Badara from a roadside bomb. The Financial Times of London notes two dead from a bomb in Karrada. Sabah Jerges (Australia's Herald Sun) reports "a bombing in the oil city of Kirkuk" that took three lives.

Check the math, but that should be 52 killed by bombs today. Shootings?

CBS and AP note that Nadiya Mohammed Hassan and her bodyguard and driver were shot-dead in Baghdad. Reuters notes three brothers were shot dead in Numaniya. The BBC reports that, in Baghdad: "Gunmen shot dead three textile workers travelling to work in a taxi". And CBS and AP note: "a civilian driving in his car in northern Mosul was apparently shot and killed by American troops who opened fire when the man's vehicle came too close to them."


You read that right. Possibly, it's Shirley Jackson time.
AFP reports that one person is dead in Samawa and ten wounded after "hundreds of young men" seeking jobs "pelted stones at the building and burnt tyres when clashes broke out between them and the police." Reuters notes the police fired at the crowd. Bullets, stones? Someone is dead. AFP identifies the person as "a volunteer." The Finanical Times (with a Reuters report) notes a witness who says that the person was shot by the police.

Sabah Jerges (Herald Sun) estimates that today's violence resulted in "at least 77 Iraqis" dead. AFP goes with "at least 77" as well.


AFP notes: "five bodies washed up on the banks of the Tigris south of the capital . . . . blindfolded and shot in the head" while Reuters notes two corpses were found ("gunshot wounds . . . torture marks") in Qaim as well as, in Falluja, the corpse "of a civilian . . . found three days after he was kidnapped" and one in Numaniya "bearing signs of torture."

Of course, on Tuesday, a torture czar could be found in Baghdad. The
BBC reports that on the question of torture (which is illegal, though he and the administration appear to have forgotten), Gonzales stated "it is difficult to decide what is appropriate" and that it's "a difficult decision as to where to draw the line" but that "decision will be made by the Iraqi government". So exactly why did he waste US tax payer money going to Baghdad? To meet with "officials at the Iraqi High Tribunal . . . trying ex-leader Saddam Hussein and six others on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity." Possibly he wanted to try out the defense he'll mount in US courts should he ever be held accountable?

Danny Schechter ( notes, "One recent report placed the costs of the war at $1.75 billion per week. The Cost of Iraq War calculator is set to reach $318.5 billion September 30, 2006. With the skyrocketing costs of the war in Iraq, worldwide military spending soared. Wouldn't you think that that alone would have our news media all over the story? If you think that, think again."

Sadly, he is correct. It's been a summer of chasing after a lot of stories, giving wall to wall coverage, and letting a lot drop through the cracks -- mainly Iraq -- and that's true of all media, big and small.

Along with the dropping Iraq coverage, the numbers in the so-called coalition continue to drop as well. The
Korea Times reports that, on Tuesday, people gathered to see off the 1,179 (South) Korean troops headed to Iraq to replace the 1,8000 (South) Korean soldiers who will be returning home. That's 621 more soldiers leaving Iraq then are headed to it.

In peace news,
Sandip Roy (New America Media) spoke with Bob Watada. Bob Watada is the father of Ehren, the first officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. On the issue of Ehren Watada's refusal to serve in the illegal war, his father stated: "It's in the code of military justice, it's in the field manuals that you have a dut to disobey an unlawful order. The Nuremberg Tribunal which we signed on to and probaly drafted parts of, clearly says any military official can be prosecuted if they are complicit in war crimes and clearly we have massive war crimes going on in Iraq today."

Last Thursday night, a military spokesperson noted the recommendation forthcoming re:
Ehren Watada's Article 32 hearing: court-martial. That recommendation is now working its way through the chain of command. To weigh in with support for Ehren Watada, Cedric (Cedric's Big Mix) is advising those calling Donald Rumsfeld (703-545-6700) or mailing him (1000 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1000) to say: "Hands off Ehren Watada! Let him go." Billie advises that you can use to e-mail the Pentagon. She suggests "Re: Ehren Watad" or "ATTN: DONALD RUMSFELD." Courage to Resist and will continue to offer resources, ideas and inspiration. Get the word out.

In other peace news Michelle Mason has made a documentary entitled
Breaking Ranks. The film premieres tonight at the Montreal World Film Festival. The festival notes: "Breaking Ranks examines the incidence of U.S. soldiers seeking refuge in Canada as part of their objections to the war effort in Iraq. The film documents the experiences of several American army deserters who face one-to-five years prison time if they are deported and convicted of desertion. If however, Canada refuses to deport the soldiers, it faces considerable friction in its relations with the U.S. Filmed in cinema verite style, the film combines personal stories with political, cultural and historical analysis of the issues these soldiers' actions raise for Candada and for its current policies."

Breaking Ranks plays at 9:30 pm at the Cinema Quartier Latin 13 tonight and at 10:00 am at the same location on September 1st. Nelson Wyatt (Candian Press) spoke to filmmaker Mason as well as war resister Kyle Snyder. Mason noted that she had intended to focus on the Vietnam era but when Jeremy Hinzman sought refugee status that changed -- "I realized that was the story to pursue." Snyder tells Kyle Snyder tells Wyatt, "I would rather take jail than go back to Iraq and fight for something that I don't believe in. If I could avoid jail, that's what I'm going to do and I'm going to whatever it takes to do that."

CODEPINK's Troops Home Fast action continues on its 58th day today with at least 4,833 people participating. The action continues through September 21st (International Peace Day) and those who would like to take part can grab a one-day only fast, a one-day a week fast or a mutli-day fast (seek health advice from your provider before embarking on any long term strike). More information at Troops Home Fast. If anyone's suddenly realizing summer is coming to an end and looking for something to do that you can point to with pride and say, "This summer I . . ." consider taking part in the action.

Indybay Media notes that the World Can't Wait has a full page ad in today's New York Times for the October 5Th action. The ad, on page A9, reads: "ENDLESS WARS! TORTURE! KATRINA! THEOCRACY! BRING THIS TO A HALT!" For more, visit World Can't Wait.

In Australia, the military inquiry into the April 21st Baghdad death of Jake Kovco is on hold.
Belinda Tasker (The Age) reports that those sitting on the inquiry's board as well as the attorneys were busy today receiving gun lessons to attempt to increase their knowledge on some of the issues (such as silent cocking) that have been raised during the hearing. Tasker notes that Thursday, they will be at a shooting range and that the head of the inquiry is upset that images of Soldier 14 were shown on Australia's Nine Networks. For those wishing to see the video, this page has a link. (Soldier 14 is a witness. He's not a victim. We'll put the link up here.) On the issue of Australia's Nine Networks, in May the network conducted a poll and "found 83 percent believe there had been an intentional cover-up over the details of" Jake Kovco's death.