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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Casualties hit home

The US military is starting to realise the folly of the Iraq war:

"Support for President George W. Bush's Iraq policy has fallen among the US armed forces to just 54 percent from 63 percent a year ago, according to a poll by the magazine group Military Times.

"In its annual survey of the views of military personnel, the group reported on its website that support for Bush's overall policies dropped over the past year to 60 percent from 71 percent."

The results are unsurprising. Bit by bit, imperial follies in the Middle East are being exposed for what they really are. Read Simon Jenkins in the Guardian talking about Britain's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan (questions that are equally relevant to Australian troops in the country):

"In the next few weeks, an army of 3,400 British troops expects to be deployed to Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. This is nearly half the number deployed in Iraq. Everything I have heard and read about this expedition suggests that it makes no sense. British soldiers are being sent to a poor and dangerous place whose sole economic resource is opium. They will sit there as targets for probably the most intractable concentration of insurgents, Taliban, drug traffickers and suicide bombers in the world - until some minister has the guts to withdraw them."

Despite the failure of the "war on terror", the Guardian today channels propaganda about Iran's supposed threat:

"The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country's weapons programmes."

Does anybody believe Western intelligence assessments to not be tainted by political interference? The reports may well be accurate, but after the WMD debacle every intelligence claim should be treated with the upmost scepticism.

We should resist every attempt at forcing a military confrontation with the Islamic state.

UPDATE: Speaking of intelligence failures:

"In a clumsy effort to sabotage Iran's nuclear program, the CIA in 2004 intentionally handed Tehran some top-secret bomb designs laced with a hidden flaw that U.S. officials hoped would doom any weapon made from them, according to a new book about the U.S. intelligence agency.

"But the Iranians were tipped to the scheme by the Russian defector hired by the CIA to deliver the plans and may have gleaned scientific information useful for designing a bomb, writes New York Times reporter James Risen in 'State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.'"


Blogger Ibrahamav said...

As no government comes clean, and Iran certainly isn't saying anything other than that it will do as it pleases and Israel should be destroyed, there is little else the news organizations can do but report substantiated rumor.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 1:27:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Great news!!!

Jeff Blankfort admits that the International (Palestinian) Solidarity Movement is a failure!!!

In a message dated 01/01/06 00:04:06 GMT Standard Time, writes:
Dear Mary,

... it is clear that the Palestine solidarity movement as a whole has been an utter failure in the US, not only because of the economic, political power and sophistication of the Zionists who have infiltrated it, but because (1) it has tended to line up with US-based ideological groups whose own record is one of failure and allowed those groups to dictate their equally failed political line (e.g., to place the entire blame for Israel's actions on US imperialism ...; (2) it has from time to time been immobilized by political differences among contending groups in the occupied territories or, in some instances, Syria, ...

Why has there never been a campaign launched to stop aid to Israel by the movement? Why no opposition to the $19 billion in loan guarantees? Why have small protests against AIPAC just started taking place in the last two years? Why did the diaspora movement collapse when the first intifada began? Why has there been no diaspora campaign to free Marwan Barghouti?

You want to know why, Jeff? Because the majority of Americans find your stance to be morally repugnant.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 2:02:00 am  
Blogger orang said...

it is a shame really that the Palestinians do not have any real support. It's a shame also that the Israeli's get no questions asked support from the "Great Satan". It's a shame because they are encouraged then to go down the road of darkness using lawyerspeak to justify it to themselves. The Pali's are used to deprivation, the Israelis are making them suffer more and more to "pacify" them. - They will eventually regret this.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 6:39:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

I guess you're living in la-la land to think the way you do and to make statements so unsupported by reality.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 8:49:00 am  
Blogger Rich Bowden said...

Things are looking bad for the Bushies when the lockstep military start questioning his policies. Maybe another invasion of an defenceless country before the Congressional elections mid-year to boost the standing of the GOP? Just a thought!

On another topic folks, how will the latest Sharon health news affect the stalled peace process in the Middle East?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 10:54:00 am  
Blogger Pete said...

Two passing thoughts.

1. Would the cessation (by air attack) of Iran's ability to wage nuclear war really be a bad thing?

2. Alternatively. Nuclear weapons are usually very popular in countries that have them as a symbol of defense. Should the US airforce deny the Iranian people this warm, fuzzy feeling?

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:38:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"1. Would the cessation (by air attack) of Iran's ability to wage nuclear war really be a bad thing?"

It would be a disaster in any sense. Any attack on Iran will be perceived as an act of war. An attack would untie all of Iran behind their leadership (ann 60 million of them). The scenarios haev been pretty well documented in terms ofhte straight of Hrmuz, oil prices etc.

"2. Alternatively. Nuclear weapons are usually very popular in countries that have them as a symbol of defense. Should the US airforce deny the Iranian people this warm, fuzzy feeling?"

It's ironic that while we keep talking about keeping nukes out of the hands of crazies that might use them, it is Washington that has been leaking rumours about using nukes in a strike against Iran and even worse, using nukes against non nuclear capable countries.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:44:00 am  
Blogger Pete said...

1981 - Israeli jets destroy Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor being contructed in an oil rich country.

The reactor was designed to produce plutonium for atomic bombs. Iraqi scientists insisted that this increased Saddam's resolve to build a Bomb but Israel's surgical strike effectively stopped Iraq's nuclear program in its tracks.

Appeasement of Iran's nuclear visions may not be the best option.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 4:21:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

That was a long time ago Spy and a completely different scenario. Iran has no operatinal reactors yet on-line and the charge from Israel/Washingotn is that the fissule materail is being created through uranium enrichment, which requries gas centrifuges, not reactors.

The alledged clandestine enrichment facilites are supopsed to be deep underground in a number of locations - some very close to populated areas. The atatck woudl involve bunker buster bombs and maybe even nuclear bunker buster bombs.

If what Isearl/Washington says is true abotu enrichment plants (for bombs) being here, the operation could lead to major contamintion in the vicinity.

Thursday, January 05, 2006 11:48:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

An attack would untie all of Iran behind their leadership

They are already fairly united behind their leadership, after all, he was elected by the people.

Friday, January 06, 2006 12:52:00 am  
Blogger Pete said...

Thanks Add

This might gives airstrikes a bad name!

If Bush wants to minimise "collateral damage" (innocent victims) and thats a big "if", the US would be developing/adjusting bunker busting nuclear weapons to have an especially low yield...

Yes, it may be that we'll have to see Iran's nuclear vision come to fruition. Wonder what Israel might do.

Friday, January 06, 2006 1:00:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"bunker busting nuclear weapons to have an especially low yield..."

Low yield weapons still produce deadly fallout and there seems to a dearth of information about how successful the Us have been is developing these. Last yar, teh Bush administration puched for such weapins to be developed, but such plans seem to have run aground. Either way, there is nothing one can do about wind patterns or knowing for cerain how much debris will be displaced.

I read somewhere that a leaked Pentagon document put the potential damage from a nuclear bunker busting attack as as high as a million deaths.

Even worse is that Russia has declared itself the defender of the Islamic world. They are already selling Iran stae of the art anti aricraft weapons. Though reading between the lines, it is highly likely that Russia has deployed other scarier weapoins in Iran which remain under it's control.

Ibrahamav said...
"An attack would untie all of Iran behind their leadership"

The same people, like Michael "creative destruction" Ledeen, said the same thing about the US being greeted as liberators in Iraq.

I woudn't be placing any money on it if I were you.

Friday, January 06, 2006 2:48:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

No, addamo said it:
Addamo_01 said...
"1. Would the cessation (by air attack) of Iran's ability to wage nuclear war really be a bad thing?"

...An attack would untie all of Iran behind their leadership (ann 60 million of them).

I stated that they were already united behind him. He was elected.

Friday, January 06, 2006 7:47:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Sorry, I misread your typo "untie".

Friday, January 06, 2006 8:45:00 am  

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