John
Cont'd... 9-11: America's Reichstag Fire
Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:00
 

 
Why does any American think that spying without a warrant has any more effect in reducing the threat of terrorism than spying with a warrant? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Bush is disobeying, requires the executive to obtain from a secret panel of federal judges a warrant for spying on Americans. The purpose of the law is to prevent a president from spying for partisan political reasons. The law permits the president to spy first (for 72 hours) and then come to the court for permission. As the court meets in secret, spying without a warrant is no more effective in reducing the threat of terrorism than spying with a warrant.

Instead of explaining this basic truth, the media have played along with the Bush administration and formulated the question as a trade-off between civil liberties and protection from terrorists. This formulation is false and nonsensical. Why do the media enable the Bush administration to escape accountability for illegal behavior by putting false and misleading choices before the people?

The LA Times-Bloomberg poll has equally striking anomalies. Only 43 percent said they approved of Bush's performance as president. But a majority believes Bush's policies have made the United States more secure.

It is extraordinary that anyone would think Americans are safer as a result of Bush invading two Muslim countries and constantly threatening two more with military attack. The invasions and threats have caused a dramatic swing in Muslim sentiment away from the United States. Prior to Bush's invasion of Iraq, a large majority of Muslims had a favorable opinion of America. Now, only about 5 percent do.

A number of U.S. commanders in Iraq and many Middle East experts have told the American public that the three-year-old war in Iraq is serving both to recruit and to train terrorists for Al-Qaeda, which has grown many times its former size. Moreover, the U.S. military has concluded that Al-Qaeda has succeeded in having its members elected to the new Iraqi government.

We have seen similar developments both in Egypt and in Pakistan. In the recent Egyptian elections, the radical Muslim Brotherhood, despite being suppressed by the Egyptian government, won a large number of seats. In Pakistan, elements friendly or neutral toward Al-Qaeda control about half of the government. In Iraq, Bush's invasion has replaced secular Sunnis with Islamist Shia allied with Iran.

And now with the triumph of Hamas in the Palestinian election, we see the total failure of Bush's Middle Eastern policy. Bush has succeeded in displacing secular moderates from Middle Eastern governments and replacing them with Islamic extremists. It boggles the mind that this disastrous result makes Americans feel safer!

What does it say for democracy that half of the American population is unable to draw a rational conclusion from unambiguous facts?

Americans share this disability with the Bush administration. According to news reports, the Bush administration is stunned by the election victory of the radical Islamist Hamas Party, which swept the U.S.-financed Fatah Party from office. Why is the Bush administration astonished?

The Bush administration is astonished because it stupidly believes that hundreds of millions of Muslims should be grateful that the United States has interfered in their internal affairs for 60 years, setting up colonies and puppet rulers to suppress their aspirations and to achieve, instead, purposes of the U.S. government.

Americans need desperately to understand that 95 percent of all Muslim terrorists in the world were created in the past three years by Bush's invasion of Iraq.

Americans need desperately to comprehend that if Bush attacks Iran and Syria, as he intends, terrorism will explode, and American civil liberties will disappear into a 30-year war that will bankrupt the United States.

The total lack of rationality and competence in the White House and the inability of half of the U.S. population to acquire and understand information are far larger threats to Americans than terrorism.

America has become a rogue nation, flying blind, guided only by ignorance and hubris. A terrible catastrophe awaits.
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Rumsfeld Wants a Ministry of Truth
by Paul Craig Roberts

When deceit catches up with a government, officials take refuge in propaganda. Thus, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld told the Washington Times (Oct. 24) that he wants a "21st century information agency in the government" to help fight a "war of ideas" and educate Americans and foreigners that Big Brother is right.

Last year Rumsfeld was forced to close a clandestine "Office of Strategic Influence" in the Pentagon when reports surfaced that the Pentagon was issuing false information abroad in order to influence public sentiment and policy in other countries. Rumsfeld wants to revive this office and to include the US under its sway.

The flower-strewn "cakewalk" promised by Rumsfeld has become, according to his leaked private Pentagon memo, the "long, hard slog." The claims made by Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz to justify the invasion of Iraq were not correct, and our intelligence agencies knew the claims were not correct. Senior Republican senators are calling for Bush "to take charge of his government." Harper’s publisher John R. MacArthur has called publicly for Bush to be impeached.

These developments do not serve the neo-Jacobin (neocon) agenda of wider war in the Middle East. In order to regain control of the agenda, the warmongers intend to create a Ministry of Propaganda so that they can control the facts.

The silence of the public and the meekness of the press in the face of unprecedented lies from the US government has opened the door for a Ministry of Truth.
Rumsfeld regards the public’s acceptance of a war based on lies as the public’s complicity in the deed. He reckons that the flag-waving public, as much as the government, will welcome a new ministry to control the facts.

A Ministry of Truth has many advantages. No one ever has to say they are sorry, admit they were wrong, or learn they were suckered. Political remorse and heartburn become forgotten words. Casualties, like the wounded, will disappear from the news. We will be safe from emotional discomfort until we do something that arouses the government’s suspicion.

Recently, Rumsfeld’s former ally, AEI warmonger Tom Donnelly, lambasted the Defense Secretary for "mulish opposition to increasing the number of American soldiers in Iraq." In his article in the Weekly Standard, Donnelly doesn't’t say where the American soldiers are to come from, but the obvious implication is the draft, which awaits Bush’s second term.

In Jacobin ideology people don’t count. Only abstract virtues are important, and neocons unabashedly claim to act for these virtues. Neocons are outraged that they are denied the manpower to impose virtue on the world. Today Iraq. Tomorrow the world.

A Ministry of Truth could justify the draft and silence all opposition as unpatriotic or anti-semitic, two words that are becoming interchangeable.

In the now infamous leaked memo, Rumsfeld writes, "we have not yet made truly bold moves." This is scary. Surely it is bold to use lies and fabrications to start a needless war and to invade a country despite being totally unprepared for the consequences of the invasion. Indeed, reckless seems the more appropriate description.

Prior to the US invasion of Iraq, Americans had the world’s sympathy. Today the US is viewed throughout the world as a dangerous rogue state. Syndicated columnist Doug Bandow reports that hatred of Americans is now so high that it is risky for Americans to travel abroad, especially to countries with Muslim populations.

A Ministry of Truth would save us from the shame any decent person feels when he reads that American soldiers have destroyed the orchards – the only means of livelihood – of poor Iraqi villages, because villagers don’t make themselves terrorist targets by ratting on guerillas. A Ministry of Truth would protect us from the knowledge that frustrated US soldiers use tanks to flatten taxis whose owners are suspected of withholding information.

With a Ministry of Truth we wouldn't’t have to hear that the US holds hostage the womenfolk of wanted Iraqis, or that US "helicopters swooped down on this remote sheepherding village in the desert and detained all the men . . . to punish the village because of suspicions it maintains contact with desert smugglers or infiltrators from across the border."

Instead, we would hear the reassuring news that "we are bringing democracy to Iraq."
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George W. Bush will go down in history as the president who fiddled while America lost its superpower status.

Bush used deceit and hysteria to lead America into a war that is bleeding the United States economically, militarily and diplomatically. The war is being fought with hundreds of billions of dollars borrowed from foreigners. The war is bleeding the military of troops and commitments. The war has ended the U.S. claim to moral leadership and exposed the United States as a reckless and aggressive power.

Focused on a concocted "war on terrorism," the Bush administration diverted money from the New Orleans levees to Iraq, with the consequence that the United States now has a $100 billion rebuild bill on top of the war bill.

The United States is so short of troops that neo conservatives are advocating the use of foreign mercenaries paid with U.S. citizenship. U.S. efforts to isolate Iran have been blocked by Russia and China, nuclear powers that Bush cannot bully.

The Iraqi war has three beneficiaries: Al-Qaeda, Iran, and U.S. war industries and Bush-Cheney cronies who receive no-bid contracts. Everyone else is a loser.

The war has bestowed on Al-Qaeda recruits, prestige and a training ground.

The war has allied Iran with Iraq's Shi'ite majority. The war has brought soaring profits to the military industries and the firms with reconstruction contracts at the expense of 20,000 U.S. military casualties and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties. The Republican Party is a loser, because its hidebound support for the war is isolating the party from public opinion.

The Democratic Party is a loser, because its cowardly acquiescence in a war that is opposed by the majority of its members is making the party irrelevant.

The latest polls show that a majority of Americans believe the United States cannot win against the Iraq insurgency. The majority supports withdrawal and the redirection of war spending to rebuilding New Orleans. Despite the clarity of the public's wishes, the Republican Party continues to support the unpopular war.

With the exceptions of Reps. Cynthia McKinney and John Conyers, Democrats fled the scene of the Sept. 24 antiwar rally in Washington, D.C. The cynical Democrats are apparently owned by the same interest groups that own the Republicans and are refusing the mantle of majority party that the electorate is offering to the party that will end the war.

The Bush administration is churning out red ink in excess of $1 trillion annually. The federal budget deficit is approaching $500 billion. The U.S. trade deficit is approaching $700 billion. The budget deficit is being financed by foreigners, primarily Asians who now hold enough U.S. government debt to exercise power over U.S. interest rates and the value of the dollar whenever they decide to use the power that Bush has placed in their hands.

The trade deficit is being financed by turning over the ownership of U.S. assets and future income streams to foreigners, making Americans forever poorer from the loss of accumulated wealth.

For the time being, China is willing to accumulate U.S. assets as a way of taking over our consumer markets, attracting U.S. manufacturing industry with cheap labor subsidized by artificial currency values, and gaining our technology. China's strategy is to overvalue the U.S. dollar in order to encourage the transfer of U.S. economic capabilities to China. China's strategy gives artificial value to the dollar and keeps U.S. interest rates at an artificial low.

The values of U.S. stocks, bonds and real estate depend on the support that Asians' economic strategies provide the dollar and U.S. interest rates. As Asia achieves its goal of pre-eminence in manufacturing, innovation and product development, the strategy will change. Once China completes its acquisition of U.S. capabilities, it will no longer have a reason to support the dollar.

When the dollar goes, it will affect costs, profits, interest rates and living standards in dramatic ways. Costs and interest rates will soar, and profits, living standards, equity values, bond prices and real estate will plummet.

These unpleasant events await only Asia's decision to curtail its support for U.S. red ink. That will happen when this support no longer serves Asia's interest.

When Asia pulls the plug on the dollar, the U.S. government will find that monetary and fiscal policy are powerless to offset the consequences.

Compared to U.S. budget and trade deficits, terrorists are a minor concern. The greatest danger that the United States faces is the dollar's loss of reserve currency role. This would be an impoverishing event, one from which the United States would not recover.

An intelligent government sincerely concerned with homeland security would find a way to halt the global labor arbitrage that is stripping the American economy of high value-added jobs and manufacturing capability, thereby causing the U.S. trade deficit to explode. The loss of tax base that results when U.S. companies outsource jobs and relocate production abroad makes it ever more difficult to balance a budget strained by war, natural disasters, and demographic impact on Social Security and Medicare.

Global labor arbitrage is rapidly dismantling the ladders of upward mobility and thereby endangering American political stability. This threat is far greater than any Osama bin Laden can mount.

Time is running out for Republicans and Democrats to escape from the distraction of a pointless war and to focus on the real threats that endanger the United States of America.
The 9/11 Truth Movement in Perspective Skeptics Society, Fri Sep 15 10:51

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