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Showing posts from October 29, 2006

the sleeper cell

“Beyond the social level of the public, neighborly sphere there is, once again, the political level. All states have the propensity to protect themselves with the very mechanisms that are so feared at the neighborly level: secret services are part of any state apparatus. Their agents – who may be ‘sleepers’ (programmed and waking up only once alerted), “moles” (actively digging for information under a surface of normalcy), or simple analysts (plowing through often public information and in the process extracting potential secrets…) – ideally never emerge as actors. Their working identity is to remain secret so as not to jeopardize the protective functions of the state, and the underlying purpose is to allow members of the polity to remain safe, even ignorant, of the threats to their normal lives.” – Regina Bendix, Sleeper’s Secrets, Actor’s Revelations Cruel age! Do you feel how black and low, how heavy the heavens are on the head of man? The poor little children, from their first yea

wormwood under the ice cream

And the name of that star is called Wormwood; and the third part of the waters became wormwood, signifies the infernal falsity from which their self-derived intelligence is derived, and by which all the truths of the Word are falsified. – Emmanuel Swedenborg. The Apocalypse revealed Robert Kagan is a bloody old soul, one of war’s puppet intellectuals – not The war, not the war in Iraq, but war as a system, the War system in which we live – and as such, he sometimes speaks the truth. Ask Belzebuub about the anatomy of the fly, and ask Kagan about the tendency of Americans to … well, not fight so much as rain destruction down on their supposed enemies. His column about the Republicans, the Dems, and the American love of war – or, rather, War’s love of America – is right on target: “In this respect, there is even less debate over the general principles of American foreign policy than during the Vietnam era. In those days, opponents of the war insisted that not just President Richard Nix

civil war in Iraq - as planned

One war disguised the other in Iraq. One war spanned the invasion to the fall of Baghdad. America’s reason to invade was, of course, a sham, but there are degrees of shamming. Where fraud does converge with truth is the American determination to overthrow Saddam Hussein. This war could be called the formal war of the U.S. against Iraq. The second war operated behind this war, and then came out into the open in the occupation. This was the substance of America's war against Iraq, and it was waged against the very existence of Iraq. It proceeded by zigzags, but with the general goal of reducing Iraq to a weak network of independent states, all of which would be colonies of the U.S. in much the way Kuwait is. Call it the Kuwaitization of Iraq. It was as brutal and as immoral a plan as any hatched by the Nazi Wehrmacht. It has resulted, so far, in some 300,000 to 600,000 deaths. Its genealogy is rooted in the American sponsorship of death squads that was one of the common features of

abandoning iraq is the same as occupying iraq

“We've got five years, my brain hurts a lot…” – David Bowie “The message to the Baghdad morgue was simple - they could do what they liked with the plastic handcuffs, but the metal ones were expensive and needed to be returned. Such is the murderous state of affairs in Iraq at the moment that the demand, made by a militia gunman who is also believed to be a member of the Special Police Commandos, hardly caused a stir. There was a similar lack of shock when a dozen bodies were brought in with identification cards showing that each had the name Omar. The catch here was that Omar is a Sunni name, and this fact was enough to seal their fate at Shia checkpoints. Baghdad is full of checkpoints. Leaving the Hamra Hotel, where the dwindling band of British journalists outside the Green Zone stay, means negotiating the Badr Brigade, their Shia competitors the Mehdi Army of Moq-tada al-Sadr, and the Kurdish peshmerga. The Iraqi police and the government paramilitaries, in the meantime, have t
In my last post, I reprinted one from 2003 about Iraq in which I played the combinations from the American p.o.v. – that is, I listed some basic possible states (all of them combining different possibilities) that the American war in Iraq could move to. I wrote that the American policy of that time was to bet everything on one of those scenarios, and that the bet was made regardless of the fact that the combination of possibilities seem to rank it pretty low among possible outcomes. And that even then, the Americans were not resourcing or acting in such a way as to make it more possible, or patch over the internal incompossibilities –if anything, American behavior contradicted the America’s preferred goals. The number one goal, in 2003, was this: “1. American troops withdraw. We leave behind a stable, American friendly democracy, that pays America back its 200 billion dollars [spent on the war], with interest, in a timely matter.” By the terms of this goal, America lost the war in Iraq

from the past

LI likes to go through the early years, sometimes, to see what we got right and what we got wrong. This post, from 2003, right after Bush's first request for an 80 billion dollar supplemental for the war, got one thing very wrong: under the influence of the Gulf war, we really figured that the U.S. would try to squeeze back the money for the Gulf War II. Otherwise, the combinations look pretty good. “Monday, September 08, 2003 All right. Let's do a review. The war was supposed to bring some benefits. There would be costs, there would be benefits. Now we have a better picture of both, and we have a sense of how -- from the American perspective -- they are defined. One of the great benefits of the war was the bringing down of Saddam H. The cost, in human lives and in dollars, hasn't yet been toted up -- on the Iraqi side it may never be -- but as of today we have some feel for it. So, the Bush administration has defined the ultimate benefit in Iraq in terms of several abstr