tisdag, december 27, 2005

IRAK - summering av år 2005


Riverbend Baghdad Burning,jan 4

Here we are in the first days of 2006. What does the ‘6’ symbolize?

How about- 6 hours of no electricity for every one hour of electricity? Or… 6 hours of waiting in line for gasoline that
is three times as expensive as it was in 2005? Or an average
of six explosions per day near our area alone?

The beginning of the new year isn’t a promising one. Prices seem to have shot up on everything from fuels like kerosene and cooking gas, to tomatoes. A typical conversation with Abu Ammar our local fruit/vegetable vendor goes something like this:

R: “Oh nice lemons today Abu Ammar… give us a kilo.”

Abu A: “They are Syrian. You should see the tomatoes- if you think these are nice, take a look at those.”

R: “Hmmm… they do look good. Two kilos of those. How much will that be?”

Abu A: “That will be 3600 dinars.”

R (feigning shock and awe): “3600 dinars! What? That is almost double what we paid a week ago… why?”

Abu A (feigning sorrow and regret): “Habibti… you know what my supplier has to go through to bring me these vegetables? The cost of gasoline has gone up! I swear on the life of my mother that I’m only profiting 50 dinars per kilo…”

R: “Your mother is dead, isn’t she?”

Abu A: “Yes yes- but you know how valuable the dear woman was to me- may Allah have mercy on her- and on us all! The dogs in the government are going to kill us with these prices…”

R (sighing heavily): “You voted for the dogs last year Abu Ammar…”

Abu A: “Shhh… don’t call them dogs- it’s not proper. Anyway, it’s not their fault- the Americans are making them do it… my Allah curse them and their children…”

R (with eyes rolling) and Abu A (in unison): “… and their children’s children.”

A few days ago, the cousin took me to buy a pack of recordable CDs. The price had gone up a whole dollar, which may seem a pittance to the average American or European, but it must be remembered that many Iraqis make as little as $100 a month and complete families are expected to survive on that.

“B. why has the price of these lousy CDs gone up so much???” I demanded from the shop owner who is also a friend, “Don’t tell me your supplier has also pushed the prices up on you because of the gasoline shortage?” I asked sarcastically. No- supplies cost the same for him- he has not needed to stock up yet.

But this is how he explained it: his car takes 60 liters of gasoline. It needs to be refueled every 2-3 days. The official price of gasoline was 50 Iraqi dinars before, so it cost him around 3000 dinars to fill up his car, which was nearly two dollars. Now it costs 9000 Iraqi dinars IF he fills it up at a gas station and not using black market

gasoline which will cost him around 15,000 dinars- five times the former price- and this every two to three days. He also has to purchase extra gasoline for the shop generator which needs to be working almost constantly, now that electricity is about four hours daily. “Now how am I supposed to cover that increase in my costs if I don’t sell CDs at a higher price?”

People buy black market gasoline because for many, waiting in line five, six, seven… ten hours isn’t an option. We’ve worked out a sort of agreement amongst 4 or 5 houses in the neighborhood. According to a schedule (which is somewhat complicated and involves license plate numbers, number of children per family, etc.), one of us spends the day filling up the car and then the gasoline is distributed between the four or five involved neighbors.

The process of extracting the gasoline from the car itself once it is back at the house was a rather disgusting and unhealthy one up until nearly a year ago. A hose was inserted into the gasoline tank and one of they unlucky neighbors would suck on it until the first surge of gasoline came flowing out. Now, thanks to both local and Chinese ingenuity, we have miniature gasoline pumps to suck out the gasoline. “The man who invented these,” My cousin once declared emotionally, holding the pump up like a trophy, “deserves a Nobel Prize in… something or another.”

I know for most of the world, highly priced gasoline is a common concern. For Iraqis, it represents how the situation is deteriorating. Gasoline and kerosene were literally cheaper than bottled water prior to the war. It’s incredibly frustrating that while the price of petrol is at a high, one of the worlds leading oil-producing countries isn’t producing enough to cover its own needs.

There is talk of major mismanagement and theft in the Oil Ministry. Chalabi took over several days ago and a friend who works in the ministry says the takeover is a joke. “You know how they used to check our handbags when we first walked into the ministry?” She asked the day after Chalabi crowned himself Oil Emperor, “Now WE check our handbags after we leave the ministry- you know- to see if Chalabi stole anything.”

I guess the Iraqis who thought the US was going to turn Iraq into another America weren’t really far from the mark- we too now enjoy inane leaders, shady elections, a shaky economy, large-scale unemployment and soaring gas prices.

Goodbye 2005- the year of SCIRI, fraudulent elections, secret torture chambers, car bombs, white phosphorous, assassinations, sectarianism and fundamentalism… you will not be missed.

Let us see what 2006 has in store for us.

THE ROVING EYE The ultimate quagmire by Pepe Escobar, dec 23 2005

..Elections or no elections, Iraq enters 2006 mired in the same, usual, gruesome rituals.

The Pentagon believes it can subdue the Sunni Arab resistance by bombing them to death while the resistance keeps bombing, suicide bombing and assassinating en masse.

So the endless, gory stream will continue, not even making headlines - explosions at police stations, assassinations of "Baghdad officials", executions of collaborators, mortars over the Green Zone, scores of innocent civilian victims of car bombings, Marines killed in the Sunni triangle, Shi'ite death squads, Turkmen fighting Kurd for Kirkuk ....

Playwright Harold Pinter pulled a Beckett at his Nobel lecture. He offered to be Bush's speechwriter. Then Pinter impersonated classic Bush: "My God is good. [Osama] bin Laden's God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam Hussein's God was bad except he didn't have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians." And this was even before Bush mixed up Saddam with bin Laden in a "we're winning in Iraq" speech.

Pinter observed, "The United States supported and in many cases engendered every rightwing military dictatorship in the world after the end of World War II."

He gave a lot of examples. But then, with devastating irony (a concept seemingly absent from the White House/Pentagon axis), he said: "It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening, it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest."

Just like the suffering of Iraqis never happened. Robert Fisk, in his masterful The Great War for Civilization (Fourth Estate, London) remarks, "The sanctions that smothered Iraq for almost 13 years have largely dropped from the story of our Middle East adventures....

When the Anglo-American occupiers settled into their palaces in Baghdad, they would blame the collapse of electrical power, water-pumping stations, factories and commercial life on Saddam Hussein, as if he alone had engineered the impoverishment of Iraq. Sanctions were never mentioned. They were 'ghosted' out of the story. First there had been Saddam, and then there was freedom'."

But Iraqis as a whole have not forgotten the sanctions - imposed by the US, carried out by the "international community" and responsible for the death of thousands of children. As much as the Shi'ites have not forgotten their betrayal by George Bush senior, who called for a Shi'ite uprising in early 1991 and then left thousands of men, women and children to be massacred by Saddam's gunships.

There's no way these impoverished masses can trust anything related to American promises of "freedom".

How Bush is winning
There's some evidence that the murderous chaos unleashed by Shi'ite death squads may not be "an accident" but part of a carefully crafted American strategy, as the Bush administration has constantly added fire to the ethnic furnace as the best diversion to not address Iraq's tremendous social tensions.

An atomized and terrorized society is much easier to manipulate, while at the same time the non-stop bloodshed is the perfect justification for "staying the course". The incessant chatter in the US about a partial "withdrawal" is just chatter.

Already in June 2003, proconsul L Paul Bremer's coalition hands were hiring Saddam's Mukhabarat pals for "special ops" against the Sunni Arab resistance, while "torture central", Abu Ghraib, was again operating in full force under American management.

In the Shi'ite south, the Badr Organization - the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq's (SCIRI's) militia - as well as Muqtadar's Mahdi Army were gaining ground.

The Badr was finally formally incorporated into the Interior Ministry, where Sunni units had also been carving up their own turf (under the protection of Allawi).

The former Ba'athist Sunnis - and later the Shi'ites - benefited from the invaluable knowledge of American "counter-insurgency" experts who organized death squads in Colombia and El Salvador, as well as retired American Special Forces soldiers.

Commandos operating in the "Salvador option" manner have been very much in the cards from the beginning, responding to a sophisticated, state-of-the-art command, control and communications center even while the majority of the Iraqi population had no electricity, no fuel and no medicine.

The pattern was and remains the same; people "disappearing" after they are accosted by groups of men armed to the teeth, in police commando uniforms, with high-tech radios and driving Toyota Land Cruisers with police license plates. Needless to say, the resulting murders are almost never investigated.

The objectives, from the point of view of the Bush administration, also remain the same; keep the Pentagon and its military bases inside an Iraq mired in sectarian bloodshed and with a weak central government.

The "follow the money" trail leads to an array of profitable privatizations, and the upcoming sale of Iraq's fabulous oil reserves to a few, select foreign investors. Abdel Mahdi of SCIRI, one year ago in Washington, had already laid down the script. He is a key player to watch.

No wonder that the real composition of the next Iraqi government will not be determined by the polls - at least not exclusively. The real kingmaker is the US ambassador, the White House pet, Afghan Zalmay Khalilzad.

The Bush administration will pull no punches to safeguard its "follow the money" interests, as well as its precious military bases. Vice President Dick Cheney arrived in Baghdad on December 18, only three days after the election. He didn't even bother to tell Jaafari that he was in the country.

First Cheney talked to Khalilzad and assorted American generals, and only then were Jaafari and President Talabani summoned to his presence.

How Bush lost it
The uprising of Muqtadar's Mahdi Army in 2004 was the definitive nail in the coffin of the Bush administration's dream of ruling Iraq. At the time the Pentagon repeatedly said it wanted to "kill or capture him". It did neither.

Muqtada became the man to watch much earlier than his newfound - by American corporate media - prominent role in post-election Iraq. After the bombing of Najaf, the Bush administration completely lost the plot.

Then, after the January 2005 elections, the new Jaafari government quickly embraced Iran, received a pledge of $1 billion in aid, the use of Iranian port facilities, and help with refining Iraqi oil.

Sunni Arab regimes like Jordan and Saudi Arabia started to be haunted by the specter of a "Shi'ite crescent". A neo-conservative Iraq as a base to launch an attack on Iran disappeared as a mirage in the desert.

As the US has to fight a relentless Sunni Arab guerrilla war, it cannot possibly risk alienating the Iraqi Shi'ite masses (more than they already are) with an attack on Iran.

No wonder military historian Martin van Creveld, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the only non-American author on the Pentagon's list of required reading for officers, called for Bush to be impeached and put on trial "for misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 BC sent his legions into Germany and lost them".

Bush and his faithful ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, have been playing the same scratched CD track: "We're better off now without Saddam." That is not true. The fall of Saddam led to the rise of al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers; and even Allawi admitted that human rights in Iraq now are no better than under Saddam.

Not to mention that there is no reconstruction, unemployment is at 70%, and a country which in the late 1980s had one of the highest standards of living in the Arab world has been razed to a sub-Saharan level.

Whatever the Americans do - with "Iraqification" doomed to failure, as much as "Vietnamization" - the war in Iraq now is a rampaging beast that threatens to spill all over the Middle East........

The Anglo-American War of Terror: An Overview
by Michel Chossudovsky
dec 21 (shortened)

Foreign Policy adviser George F. Kennan had outlined in a 1948 State Department brief what was later described as the "'Truman doctrine."

What this 1948 document conveys is continuity in US foreign policy, from "Containment" to "Pre-emptive" War. In this regard, the Neo-conservative agenda under the Bush administration should be viewed as the culmination of a post World War II foreign policy framework.

War and Globalization
War and globalization are intimately related processes. Military and intelligence operations support the opening up of new economic frontiers and the remolding of national economies. The powers of Wall Street, the Anglo-American oil giants and the U.S.-U.K. defense contractors are indelibly behind this process.

The Anglo-American oil giants in alliance with Wall Street and the military-industrial complex are indelibly behind America’s war agenda.

The next phase of this war is Iran and Syria, which have already been identified as targets.

Iran is the country with the third largest oil and gas reserves (10%) after Saudi Arabia (25%) and Iraq (11%). The US is seeking with the complicity of the UN Security Council to establish a pretext for the bombing of Iran, which is presented as a threat to world peace.

Israel is slated to play a key role in launching the military operation against Iran.

The UN Security Council resolution regarding Iran’s nuclear program provides a pretext, which the US plans to use to justify military intervention.

Of significance is a November 2004 military cooperation agreement between NATO and Israel. A few months later, Israel was involved for the first time in military exercises with NATO, which also included several Arab countries.

A massive buildup in military hardware has occurred in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. Israel has taken delivery from the US of some 5,000 "smart air launched weapons" including some 500 BLU 109 'bunker-buster bombs.

Nuclear Weapons in Conventional War Theaters: "Safe for Civilians"

An attack on Iran using tactical nuclear weapons (mini-nukes) has also been contemplated. Tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity between one third to 6 times a Hiroshima bomb have been cleared for use in conventional war theaters. .

The mini-nukes have been redefined as a defensive weapon, which is "safe for civilians" "because the explosion is underground". The Senate in a December 2003 decision, has authorized their use in conventional war theaters

Air strikes against Iran could contribute to extending the war to the broader Middle East Central Asian region. Tehran has confirmed that it would retaliate if attacked, in the form of ballistic missile strikes directed against Israel (CNN, 8 Feb 2005).

These attacks could also target US military facilities in the Persian Gulf, which would immediately lead us into a scenario of military escalation and all out war.

In recent developments, Israel’s armed forces have been ordered by Prime minister Ariel Sharon, "to be ready by the end of March [2006] for possible strikes" on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities (The Sunday Times, 11 December 2005).

Meanwhile, Iran is building its air defense capabilities. Russia has recently announced that it plans to sell to Iran some 29 Tor M-1 anti-missile systems.

....In turn, the UN has endorsed the "war on terrorism". Under the disguise of peacekeeping, the United Nations, in violation of its own charter and the Nuremberg jurisprudence on war crimes, is collaborating with the US led military coalition.

War Propaganda
....More generally, the Just War theory in its modern day version is an integral part of war propaganda and media disinformation, applied to gain public support for a war agenda.

In October 2001, when Afghanistan was bombed and later invaded, several "Progressives" largely upheld the Administration's "just cause" military doctrine. The "self-defense" argument was accepted at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11, without examining the fact

that the US administration had not only supported the "Islamic terror network", it was also instrumental in the installation of the Taliban government in 1995-96. Moreover, the invasion of Afghanistan had been planned well in advance of September 11, 2001.

In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement against the illegal invasion of Afghanistan was isolated. The trade unions, civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Media disinformation prevailed. People were misled as to the nature and objectives underlying the invasion of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were identified as the prime suspects of the 9/11 attacks,

without a shred of evidence and without addressing the historical relationship between Al Qaeda and the US intelligence apparatus. In this regard, understanding 9/11 is crucial in formulating a consistent antiwar position.

The "war on terrorism" is the cornerstone of the America’s propaganda and media disinformation campaign. In an utterly absurd logic Al Qaeda is presented as an upcoming super-power, capable of waging a nuclear attack against the US.

....Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have supported the so-called "Militant Islamic Base", including Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, as part of their military -intelligence agenda. The links between Osama bin Laden and the Clinton administration in Bosnia and Kosovo are well documented by congressional records.


The CIA has created it own terrorist organizations including "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia" which is led by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations, which it has itself created. In turn, it has developed a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program "to go after" these terrorist organizations.

Counterterrorism and war propaganda are intertwined. The propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news chain. The terror warnings must appear to be "genuine". The objective is to present the terror groups as "enemies of America."...........

The so-called "War on Terrorism" is a lie.

Amply documented, the pretext to wage this war is totally fabricated.

Realities have been turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards restoring ‘democracy’.

Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping operations."

The derogation of civil liberties under the so-called "anti-terrorist legislation" is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties.

Meanwhile, the civilian economy is precipitated into crisis; expenditures on health and education are curtailed to finance the military-industrial complex and the police state.

Under the American Empire, millions of people around the world are being driven into abysmal poverty, and countries are transformed into open territories.

U.S. protectorates are installed with the blessing of the so-called "international community." "Interim governments" are formed.

Political puppets designated by America’s oil giants are casually endorsed by the United Nations, which increasingly performs the role of a rubber-stamp for the U.S. Administration.

Reversing the tide of war can not be limited to a critique of the US war agenda. Ultimately what is at stake is the legitimacy of the political and military actors and the economic power structures, which ultimately control the formulation, and direction of US foreign policy.

While the Bush administration implements a "war on terrorism", the evidence (including mountains of official documents) amply confirms that successive U.S. administrations have supported, abetted and harbored international terrorism....

Divide Iraq into three mini-states and then pit them against one another.

In short, to starve the central state around Baghdad because the Sunnis have always spearheaded the resistance to U.S.

But, to divide Iraq has, in fact, been an old Israeli dream. In 1982, Oded Yinon, an official from the Israeli Foreign Affairs office, wrote: "To dissolve Iraq is even more important for us than dissolving Syria. "

"In the short term, it's Iraqi power that constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. The Iran-Iraq war tore Iraq apart and provoked its downfall. All manner of inter-Arab conflict help us and accelerate our goal of breaking up Iraq into small, diverse pieces."

To take some ethnic cleansing again

But didn't this method provoke a civil war and a bloodbath in Yugoslavia? Because all the diverse regions in that country contained significant minorities, and partition was impossible without the forced transfer of populations.

That is why Berlin, and then Washington, discreetly financed and armed racist extremists, who were nostalgic for World War II.

This made civil war almost inevitable because the IMF and the World Bank had plunged Yugoslavia into bankrupt to make it submit to triumphant neo-liberalism after the fall of the Berlin Wall. All of this was carefully concealed from the public.

Just as they are concealing from the public the fact that all of the peoples of the former Yugoslavia have been plunged into misery and unemployment, which is worse than it has ever been. Meanwhile, multinational corporations have taken the upper hand in controlling the country's wealth.

Doesn't the Yugoslav precedent serve as enough warning? The truth is that the civil war in Yugoslavia was a great success for the U.S. because it permitted the breakup of a country that resisted multinationals.

"Ethnically pure" states are allright when they serve Washington's plans.

The theory is really identical to Hitler's: "One people, one empire, one führer". It is also a theory adopted by Zionists who dream of Israel "purified of Arabs".

In Yugoslavia, it was the theory held by Western protégés, the Croat Tudjman and the Bosnian Muslim Izetbegovic. It was also a theory held by the right-wing Serbian leader, Karadzic. It is strange to find the US extolling theories that it once pretended to fight against..

The truth is that the United States -- just as all other colonialists -- is for or against ethnically pure states according to whether or not it suits U.S. strategic interests. The only thing that counts is to weaken resistance. Divide in order to conquer. As always.

The influential U.S. strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski, wants to divide Russia into three countries in order to isolate Moscow from oil reserves. The CIA also has its "own plans" to divide Saudi Arabia.

The guiding principle of U.S. international policy is that there is no guiding principle.

Consistent Pattern

In previous propaganda ploys, the CIA hired PR firms to organize core disinformation campaigns, including the Rendon Group. The latter worked closely with its British partner Hill and Knowlton, which was responsible for the 1990 Kuwaiti incubator media scam.

Where Kuwaiti babies were allegedly removed from incubators in a totally fabricated news story, which was then used to get Congressional approval for the 1991 Gulf War.

What is the Iraqi pattern?

Almost immediately in the wake of a terrorist event or warning, CNN announces: we think this mysterious individual Al-Zarqawi is behind it, In some cases, upon the immediate occurrence of the terrorist event, there is an initial report which mentions Al-Zarqawi as the possible mastermind.

Often the CNN report is based on information published on an Islamic website or a mysterious Video or Audio tape. The authenticity of the website and/or the tapes is not the object of discussion or detailed investigation.

Both Osama bin Laden and Al-Zarqawi were recruited to fight in the Soviet-Afghan war and are creations of the US intelligence apparatus. The recruitment of foreign fighters was under the auspices of the CIA which has provided covert support to the Islamic militant network consistently for more than 20 years.

söndag, december 25, 2005

4/CINDY inspirerar oss kämpa för fred mot krigsvansinnet


CINDY - 58 år efter GANDHIs död

Cindy Sheehan on World Social Forum - today when an assassin’s bullet cut down Mohandas Gandhi 58 years ago

Vi behöver en annan värld för denna har gått i bitar

Innan min son Casey blev dödad i Irak den 4 april 2004 hade jag aldrig rest särskilt mycket. Varit i Israel och Mexiko, men det var också allt. Jag hade heller knappast utnyttjat något pass.

Vår värld är så vacker och de flesta människor där är kärleksfulla och önskar bara ett gott liv för sig och sina barn.

De vill känna sig trygga och säkra i det samhälle där de bor. Känna värme och mättnad..De önskar sig rent vatten och få skratta och dansa när de känner för det.

De vill leva ett långt liv tillsammans med sin familj, och önskar att deras barn kan få begrava dem när den tiden är inne. Människor runtom i världen önskar sig samma som vi gör här i landet..

Det är vår regering som demoniserar och marginaliserar andra kulturer, religioner, raser och etniska grupper. George Bush och hans kallhamrade gäng, hans lätt missledda och blinda efterföljare, vill bekämpa dem där borta så vi inte behöver bekämpa dem här hemma.

Vilka är då alla dessa "dem" som vi bekämpar därborta? Är det småbarn som ligger i sina vaggor när en bomb, kemisk eller konventionell, faller ner på deras hus?

Är det modern som är ute och handlar mat för dagen till sin familj och då blev dödad av en bilbomb. Av någon som aldrig ens tänkt sig begå ett sådant avskyvärt dåd, förrän hans land ockuperades av utländska inkräktare.

Är det mormodern och morfadern som är för gamla eller för envisa för att lämna sina livslånga hem då koalitionstrupperna lägger ut förbjudna bombmattor i områden med civila?

Vi medborgare i USA måste sluta upp med att låta våra ledare ge order om att döda oskyldiga människor. Fast vi vet alla hur dessa fega krukor är och att de inte ens bryr sig om sina egna lagar eller skickar sina egna barn till kriget för de mål som dessa personer idiotiskt och diaboliskt kallar för nobla.

Nej de kommenderar våra barn att resa dit för att uträtta deras eget ohederliga och smutsiga jobb. Våra soldater har blivit upplärda att "Hajis", det mörkhyade irakiska folk som rengör deras toaletter, dushar och tvättar deras kläder, är mindre värda än andra … vilket gör att det blir lättare för dem att döda dessa. Dehumaniseringen av det irakiska folket dehumaniserar samtidigt våra egna soldater. Våra egna barn.

Jag fick ett hatmail från en "patriotisk amerikan"en gång som talade om för mig att när man ser de mammor och pappor i Irak som skriker då deras barn dödas, att dessa bara spelar inför kameran. Att de är djur som inte bryr sig om sina egna barn, för de vet att de kan producera ett nytt. Detta är en mentalitet lik den general Sherman hade, att "den enda goda indianen är en död indian". Denna vridna retorik dehumaniserar oss alla.

En ny värld är nödvändig och kan bara bli möjlig om vi tror och lever i den tron att varje mänsklig varelse genom arv är samma som vi andra. De känner smärta när de skadas. De känner hunger när de inte ätit. Deras munnar blir torra när de är törstiga.

De sörjer när de förlorat en nära vän. De skakar när de är frusna. De skrattar när de är glada. Skall vi egentligen låta våra ledare döda dessa bröder och systrar på detta vis?

En ny värld är nödvändig, och den kan bara bli möjlig om vi styr dessa depraverade företag som drar av köttet och blodet från sina grannar i hela världen, också i Amerika

Krigsprofitörer som Halliburton, Bechtel och General Electric rakar in obcena vinster under sina härjningståg över planeten.

Skadliga företag som Dow Chemicals som dumpar kemikalier och annat giftigt avfall i vattnet och i atmosfären och därigenom dödar oss människor, vår miljö och framtid.

Företag som Wal Mart exploaterat arbetare i USA och utomlands för att berika en familj som redan har mer än nog av pengar till att kunna finansiera hälsovård och en livsduglig lön för alla sina anställda och dessutom lite extra för att att också betala deras klubbavgifter..

En ny värld är nödvändig och den kan bara bli möjlig om vi minskar beroendet av oljan och använder några av de pengar som vi häller ut i ökensanden under Iraks avfall att och istället öka satsningen på förnybara energiresursar som de vi redan utnyttjar som biodiesel.

Jag har talat med många av Venezuelas medborgare som förståeligt nog är nervösa för USAs invasion och de vet att det inte beror på att president Chavez är en "diktator" vilket han inte är. För han är en demokratiskt vald ledare som är mycket populär i landet.

En ny värld är nödvändig men inte möjlig förrän vi amerikanare lämnar vår arroganta tro att vi ensamma kan lösa Irakfrågan och problemen med brottet mot våra mänskliga rättigheter.

Vi måste sträcka ut en hand till våra medmänniskor och skydda oskyldiga varelser inom människosläktet vilka utarmas och dödas av vår egen regering och en industri som blivit vild.

Fred och rättvisa hör intimt samman och världen får inte det ena utan det andra. Sanning och oändlig fred inträffar inte förrän vi själva tvingar dit våra ledare.

Dessa som är beroende av den här krigsmaskinen för sina jobb, sina liv och kräver att rättvisan ingriper mot de brott mot mänskligheten som dagligen utförs i dessa "ledares" namn.För en ny värld är nödvändig- och möjlig.

"Motsatsen till godhet är apati"

Cindy Sheehan
dec -05

Om jag ännu en gång får höra refrängen till ”We shall övercome”

och ser deltagarna i freds- marschen eller vakan gå hem till sig och sätta på TVn, öppna en öl och känna sig så väl till mods för att ha gjort något för freden just den dagen, då skriker jag högt

Vi kommer inte att ”overcome” segra om vi inte tar vår välbekanta tjur vid hornen. När vi nu räknar in alla dem som helt meningslöst dödats i George Bushs sanslösa krig i Mellanöstern är USAs officiella dödssiffra uppe i 2200. Nyligen lades ännu 200 amerikanska soldatfamiljers liv i spillror under mindre än tre månaders tid.

Min egen son Casey var bland de första tusen som dödades i Irak. Det var i september 2004 som antalet stupade nådde upp till denna sorgliga siffra. Organisationen Move-on organiserade då en ljusvaka. Ett år senare organiserade moveon ännu en ljusvaka efter att den 2000e soldaten stupat.

Om vi inte snart gör oss av med vår kollektiva apati och självgodhet för att stoppa detta barbariska dödande i Irak, när blir det då dags för nästa ljusvaka efter det 3000e offret?

Bush och det grymma nykonservativa gänget runt honom dödar våra älskade söner med en hastighet av tre stycken per dag. Enligt min egen uppskattning kommer vi då att tända våra ljus i nästa vaka och sjunga ”kinn bay ya” i oktober månad.

Men min poäng är att ju längre denna illegitima president i Vita Huset och hans medkonspiratörer får fortsätta, desto mer kommer mänskligheten att raseras. Uppenbarligen gör ljusvakor väldigt lite för att stoppa eller tom sakta ner denna förödelse som krigsförbrytarna i Vita Huset skapar.

Så har vi alla de oskyldigt drabbade i Irak. Jag har hört rapporter om att upp till 200 dödats häromdagen. Så om dessa 200 har inrapporterats, måste vi verkligen ställa oss frågan vad den rätta siffran är.

Om nu George Bush definierar en terrorist som den som dödar oskyldiga människor, män, kvinnor och barn. Är jag då den enda som upptäcker ironin och det slående hyckleriet i detta uttalande? Vilka tror egentligen George det är som dödas i Irak? Vältränade och organiserade arméer? Terrorister?

Vi vet alla att detta är lögn. De som dödats i Irak är vanliga mänskliga varelser som andas och är som oss andra här på jorden. Människor som försöker klara sitt uppehälle och överleva i detta krigshärjade land, vilket vare sig hotar USA eller den egna livsstilen.

”Jag kan säga att mer eller mindre 30 000 har dött som resultat av de första otrevligheterna och det pågående våldet mot irakierna”, sa Bush den 12 december år 2005. Även om vi skulle acceptera denna mycket låga uppskattning, så är ändå denna politik ansvarig för 10 gånger fler offer än de 3000 som dödades under 11 september

Med sin egen definition är alltså Bush själv en 10 gånger större terrorist än vad Osama någonsin varit. Om nu Bush själv uppskattar att 30 000 oskyldiga irakier dödats, vem vet då vilken den egentliga siffran är?

Det fyller mig med sorg och gör mitt hjärta ont att bara tänka på detta.Amerika detta är vad du tillåter din regering att göra i ditt namn. Fängslande och tortyr i fängelser utan rättsligt förfarande. Användning av kemiska vapen mot andra mänskliga varelser. Spioneri på amerikaner utanför lagen.

Bombmattor över städer fyllda av människor som vi själva, förstörelse av infrastrukturen i andra länder. Förstörelse av infrastrukturen i amerikanska städer. Nedskärning av skatterna för de redan rika. Samtidigt som man spiller blod och pengar i Mellanösterns törstiga sand. Decimerar valutan. Våldtar miljön. etc, etc

Hillery Clinton sa att regeringens hjul rullar långsamt. Detta är en trött cliché och ett oacceptabelt pladder, medan krigsmaskinen krossar våra barns lemmar. Det är tid för oss att vakna och snabba på tidtabellen för att dra oss ur Irak.

Om jag nu hör ännu en refräng av ”We shall overcome” och därefter ser hur deltagarna i fredsvakan eller marschen åker hem och sätter på TVn och öppnar en bärs för det faktum att de gjort någonting för freden den dagen, då skriker jag.

Vi kan inte segra om vi inte tar den ökända tjuren vid hornen. Håll gärna era vakor och marscher men i så fall på relevanta platser som vapenfabriker, lokala kongresslokaler för att påminna så många senatorer och kongressmän som möjligt om detta.

Eller framför militära rekryteringskontor och federala byggnader. Istället för att som nu åka hem och öppna en bärs eller korka upp en flaska vin skall vi säga: ”Vi lämnar inte denna plats förrän ni kräver ett omedelbart stopp för ockupationen av Irak”.

Sätt er ner på era bakar för mänskligheten. Förändringar sker inte förrän vi själva ser till att de sker! Vi kan inte få det att ske bara genom vår önskan eller bön om att det skall ske..

Cindy Sheehan, hemmafrun vars son stupat i Irak, har idag blivit sinnebilden för hur en enda person kan påverka politiken bara genom att hålla på.

Hon och de övriga som protesterade utanför president Bushs ranch blev symbolen för den opposition mot kriget i Irak som hela tiden växer.

"Våra barn dödas och de i sin tur dödar oskyldiga irakier för en lögn. Detta är hjärntvätt. Dödande under 2000talet är barbariskt. Jag får hela tiden brev från amerikanska trupper som till 99% säger - Fortsätt med det du gör för det här är en mardröm och vi vill hem. Det är människor som du inom fredsrörelsen som ger oss hopp.”

Antikrigsrörelsen växer i USA och även politiker börjar idag tala om att dra tillbaka trupperna. Något sådant märktes aldrig av tidigare. Även vi i Sverige borde ställa vår egen regering till svars för att inte ha motsatt sig detta orättfärdiga krig. Tvärtom planerar man nu sända iväg ännu fler svenska soldater till ett annat orättfärdigt krig för USAs hegemoni, kriget i Afghanistan.

Regeringen vill nu få oss att vänja oss vid att också vi i Sverige riskerar få hem liksäckar från de krig vi i framtiden deltar i via EUs nya insatstrupper(läs NATO).

1000 dagar har gått sedan Irakkrigets början och till och med president Bush tvingas nu medge det som miljontals av oss redan från början fört fram, nämligen att kriget var baserat på en lögn. De amerikanska antikrigsprotesterna med fredsmamman Cindy Sheehan i spetsen ökar nu för var dag och med varje dödad amerikansk soldat som kommer hem i kista. Samtidigt som läget blir allt sämre för de irakiska invånarna själva.

Idag lider 8% av de irakiska barnen av akut undernäring i ett land som en gång i tiden stod för Mellanösterns bästa sjukvård. Men det var före Iran-Irakkrig, Gulfkrig, FNs 12åriga sanktioner och nu detta Bushkrig.

Läget för miljontals människor i landet är till och med värre än under Saddams tid. Så vilka är egentligen detta krig till för? Naturligtvis är fattiga shiamuslimer och kurder särskilt glada över att Saddam är borta, men i stället har det tillkommit ett styre som liknar rena katastrofen.

Tortyr och övergrepp är vardagsmat iscensatta av dödsskvadroner som ingen egentligen vet vilka de är som ligger bakom, även om Inrikesministeriet förfogar över egna Badremiliser och USA står för utbildningen av andra dödsskvadroner.

1100 civila dödsfall enbart genom mord och våld har inrapporterats från Bagdads likrum bara under augusti månad. Siffran 100 000 dödade civila sedan kriget är då i sammanhanget en konservativ uppskattning.

Fyra av fem irakier vill idag att USA lämnar landet och de politiska företrädarna kräver en tidtabell för de amerikanska truppernas tillbakadragande. Varför diskuterar vi över huvud taget frågan här i Väst?

CINDY t r u t h o u t 10 October 2005

Jag har mött en ny vän som heter Jewel vars son varit i den irakiska frontlinjen som sjukvårdare och nu tre gånger försökt begå självmord efter att han kommit hem från öken och pina. till den slitna modern som är utom sig av oro. Så om inget görs och hennes son inte får någon hjälp dör han. Hans chefer ville inte låta honom få diagnosen posttraumatisk stress, så därför får han inte heller den vård han så desperat behöver.

Jewel är buddist och jag talar om för henne - Du inser väl att din son dog i Irak? Hon svarar - Vi har alla dött på grund av detta krig. Hon har så rätt. Den fjärde april 2004 dog Cindy Sheehan själv men samtidigt föddes Cindy Sheehan. Den döda Cindy levde för sitt hem och sin familj. Hon höll huset snyggt och rent, lagade ofta mat, skötte tvätten för familjen, hade trevligt med vänner, skrattade mer än hon grät, tog olika jobb och hennes familj betydde allt för henne.

Hon levde ett tillbakadraget liv fyllt med Tacksägelsedagar och Julaftnar och Födelsedagar och andra högtider. Den Cindy som föddes den fjärde i fjärde 2004 avgudar fortfarande sin familj över allt på jorden, men hon har kommit att inse att den mänskliga familjen också är värd att kämpa för. Den livslånga vägen mot fred och rättvisa är också värd att lämna sitt hem för, vilket just är ännu ett skal som skyddar skalet om själen som då håller sig varm och torr.

Att resa runt från hem till hem och vara där och ändå vara hemma vart hon än befinner sig. Jag ber för min vän Jewel och särskilt för hennes son, så att han kommer kommer till insikt om att han dog i Irak men att han nu kan bli så mycket bättre än då han lämnade sitt hem och sin kärleksfulla moder. Tragiskt nog är Jewel och hennes sons historia inte särskilt ovanlig.

För att kunna få oss människor att underordna oss behöver regeringar fiender. De vill att vi blir rädda och hatar, så att vi kan underordna oss bakom dem. Och om de inte har en verklig fiende kommer de snart att uppfinna en, just för att mobilisera oss. När jag slog upp min nyfunna väns ordspråk stötte jag på ett där jag insåg att detta Thay som vi krigade mot betydde kommunism och i detta vidriga krig heter fienden terrorism.

Jag såg just en undersökning som visade att bara 13 % av det amerikanska folket är rädda för en terroristattack. Krigsmaskinen och de människor som ligger bakom denna börjar bli lite rädda själva för att inte kunna klara av att hålla det militärindustriella komplexet rullande i denna blodiga smet, så därför har George och hans vänner framställt en ny fiende vars illdåd inte heller kan hållas inom sina egna gränser och inte heller bär någon särskild nations uniform. Fågelinfluensan.

Istället för att som nu vid en eventuell epidemi kalla fram Nationalgardet (som förresten fortfarande krigar, dödar och dör i Irak). Borde inte han Georges första samtal istället ha gått till smittskyddet?

Eller åtminstone läkare i allmänhet Och inte sina generaler. I så fall borde det vara sina smittskyddsgeneraler och inte sina militära generaler..De männen åker inte runt i världen hur som helst på ställen där man lever ett vardagligt liv och har det fredligt.

Om nu statens fiende visar sig vara fågelinfluesan, som man kan bli sjuk av och vi borde vara mycket rädda för varje gång någon i vår närhet nyser, och be till Gud att vår regering räddar oss från fler dylika hot. Under tiden vi ligger där på våra knän myser krigsprofitörerna gott och räknar sina än mer gruvliga vinster.

I förra månaden framträdde George i TV och sa att saker och ting skulle bli ändå värre nästa månad i Irak. Hur kan vi bara låta honom hålla på? Härom natten liknade George kriget i Irak med andra världskriget. Hur kan vi bara låta dom offra våra unga till en sådan här krigsmaskin?

Vi borde alla vägra låta dem ta våra nära och kära till ett valfritt krig för att dödas. Jag önskar att jag hade förbjudit Casey att åka ut i krig. Jag önskar att jag hade klubbat ner honom och farit iväg med honom till Canada... eller någon annanstans tillräckligt långt borta från detta krigsmonster. Det är för sent för oss - men däremot inte för er.

Några människor tror det är ett mirakel att kunna gå på vattnet. Men jag tycker det är ett mirakel att få leva i fred.

- Thich Nhat Hahn.

Vi har arbetat bra och identifierat problemet med detta vansinniga krig. Hur går vi nu vidare så att arbetet med att dessutom få leva i fred kan fortsätta? Jag har ägnat mitt och Caseys liv åt freden.

Vi behöver ingen exit-strategi i Irak. Vi behöver bara ge oss iväg.. Vi måste inse att Irak inte bara är ännu en stjärna i Sjärnbaneret utan låt dem kort och gott få leva i fred. Att alltid arbeta för fred, i fred och vara fredlig - for peace, in peace, be peace.

8X CHOMSKY +längre

Chomsky: What's happening is something completely new in the history of the hemisphere.

By Bernie Dwyer
03/07/06 "Counterpunch"

For the first time the Indian population is becoming politically quite active. They just won an election in Bolivia which is pretty remarkable. There is a huge Indian population in Ecuador, even in Peru, and some of them are calling for an Indian nation. Now they want to control their own resources.

In fact, many don't even want their resources developed. Many don't see any particular point in having their culture and lifestyle destroyed so that people can sit in traffic jams in New York.

Furthermore, they are beginning to throw out the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In the past, the US could prevent unwelcome developments such as independence in Latin America, by violence; supporting military coups, subversion, invasion and so on. That doesn't work so well any more.

The last time they tried in 2002 in Venezuela, the US had to back down because of enormous protests from Latin America, and of course the coup was overthrown from within. That's very new.

If the United States loses the economic weapons of control, it is very much weakened. Argentina is just essentially ridding itself of the IMF, as they say. They are paying off the debts to the IMF. The IMF rules that they followed had totally disastrous effects. They are being helped in that by Venezuela, which is buying up part of the Argentine debt.

Bolivia will probably do the same. Bolivia's had 25 years of rigorous adherence to IMF rules. Per capita income now is less than it was 25 years ago. They want to get rid of it. The other countries are doing the same.

The IMF is essentially the US Treasury Department. It is the economic weapon that's alongside the military weapon for maintaining control. That's being dismantled.

All of this is happening against the background of very substantial popular movements, which, to the extent that they existed in the past, were crushed by violence, state terror, Operation Condor, one monstrosity after another. That weapon is no longer available.

Furthermore, there is South-South integration going on, so Brazil, and South Africa and India are establishing relations.

And again, the forces below the surface in pressing all of this are international popular organizations of a kind that never existed before; the ones that meet annually in the world social forums. By now several world social forums have spawned lots of regional ones; there's one right here in Boston and many other places.

These are very powerful mass movements of a kind without any precedent in history: the first real internationals. Everyone's always talked about internationals on the left but there's never been one. This is the beginning of one.

These developments are extremely significant. For US planners, they are a nightmare. I mean, the Monroe Doctrine is about 180 years old now, and the US wasn't powerful enough to implement it until after the 2nd World War, except for the nearby region.

After the 2nd World War it was able to kick out the British and the French and implement it, but now it is collapsing. These countries are also diversifying their international relations including commercial relations.

So there's a lot of export to China, and accepting of investment from China. That's particularly true of Venezuela, but also the other big exporters like Brazil and Chile. And China is eager to gain access to other resources of Latin America.

Unlike Europe, China can't be intimidated. Europe backs down if the United States looks at it the wrong way. But China, they've been there for 3,000 years and are paying no attention to the barbarians and don't see any need to.

The United States is afraid of China; it is not a military threat to anyone; and is the least aggressive of all the major military powers. But it's not easy to intimidate it. In fact, you can't intimidate it at all.

So China's interactions with Latin America are frightening the United States. Latin America is also improving economic interactions with Europe. China and Europe now are each other largest trading partners, or pretty close to it.

These developments are eroding the means of domination of the US world system. And the US is pretty naturally playing its strong card which is military and in military force the US is supreme. Military expenditures in the US are about half of the total world expenditures, technologically much more advanced.

In Latin America, just keeping to that, the number of the US military personnel is probably higher than it ever was during the Cold War. The US is sharply increasing training of Latin American officers.

The training of military officers has been shifted from the State Department to the Pentagon, which is not insignificant. The State department is under some weak congressional supervision. I mean, there is legislation requiring human rights conditionalities and so on.

They are not very much enforced, but they are at least there. But the Pentagon is free to do anything they want. Furthermore, the training is shifting to local control. So one of the main targets is what's called radical populism, we know what that means, and the US is establishing military bases throughout the region.

Bernie Dwyer: It appears, from what you are saying, that the US is losing the ideological war and compensating by upping their military presence in the region. Would you see Cuba as being a key player in encouraging and perhaps influencing what's coming out of Latin America right now?

Noam Chomsky: Fidel Castro, whatever people may think of him, is a hero in Latin America, primarily because he stood up to the United States. It's the first time in the history of the hemisphere that anybody stood up to the United States. Nobody likes to be under the jackboot but they may not be able to do anything about it. So for that reason alone, he's a Latin American hero. Chavez: the same.

The ideological issue that you rightly bring up is the impact of neoliberalism. It's pretty striking over the last twenty-five years, overwhelmingly it's true, that the countries that have adhered to the neo-liberal rules have had an economic catastrophe and the countries that didn't pay any intention to the rules grew and developed.

East Asia developed rapidly pretty much by totally ignoring the rules. Chile is claimed as being a market economy but that's highly misleading: its main export is a very efficient state owned copper company nationalized under Allende.

You don't get correlations like this in economics very often. Adherence to the neoliberal rules has been associated with economic failure and violation of them with economic success: it's very hard to miss that. Maybe some economists can miss it but people don't: they live it.

Yes, there is an uprising against it. Cuba is a symbol. Venezuela is another, Argentina, where they recovered from the IMF catastrophe by violating the rules and sharply violating them, and then throwing out the IMF. Well, this is the ideological issue. The IMF is just a name for the economic weapon of domination, which is eroding.

Bernie Dwyer: Why do you think that this present movement is different from the struggle that went before, in Chile for instance where they succeeded in overthrowing the military dictatorship? What gives us more hope about this particular stage of liberation for Latin America?

Noam Chomsky: First of all, there was hope in Latin America in the 1960s but it was crushed by violence. Chile was moving on a path towards some form of democratic socialism but we know what happened. That's the first 9/11 in 1973, which was an utter catastrophe. The dictatorship in Chile, which is a horror story also led to an economic disaster in Chile bringing about its worst recession in its history.

The military then turned over power to civilians. Its still there so Chile didn't yet completely liberate itself. It has partially liberated itself from the military dictatorship; and in the other countries even more so.

So for example, I remember traveling in Argentina and Chile a couple of years ago and the standard joke in both countries was that people said that they wish the Chilean military had been stupid enough to get into a war with France or some major power so they could have been crushed and discredited and then people would be free the way they were in Argentina, where the military was discredited by its military defeat.

But there has been a slow process in every one of the countries, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, all the way through, there's been a process of overthrowing the dominant dictatorships - the military dictatorships which have been almost always supported, and sometimes instituted, by the United States

Now they are supporting one another and the US cannot resort to the same policies.

Take Brazil; if Lula had been running in 1963, the US would have done just what it did when Goulart was president in 1963. The Kennedy administration just planned a military dictatorship. A military coup took place and that got rid of that. And that was happening right through the hemisphere.

Now, there's much more hope because that cannot be done and there is also cooperation.

There is also a move towards a degree of independence: political, economic and social policies, access to their own resources, instituting social changes of the kind that could overcome the tremendous internal problems of Latin America, which are awful. And a large part of the problems in Latin America are simply internal. In Latin America, the wealthy have never had any responsibilities. They do what they want.

Bernie Dwyer: Do you think that the recent growth and strength of broad based social movements in several Latin America countries have played a significant role in bringing progressive governments into power in the region?

Noam Chomsky: There can be no serious doubt of this. Latin America has, I think, the most important popular movements anywhere: the MST (Landless Workers Movement) in Brazil, the indigenous movements in Bolivia, others. That accounts for the vibrancy and vitality of democracy in much of Latin America today

-- denounced in the West as "populism," a term that translates as "threat to elite rule with marginalization of the public in systems with democratic forms but with only limited substance," those naturally preferred by concentrated private and state power...Radio Havana Cuba in two parts on March 6 and 7, 2006.

"The fact that an insurgency even developed in Iraq is astonishing - it's an amazing fact that the US has had more trouble controlling Iraq than the Germans had in controlling occupied Europe or the Russians had in controlling eastern Europe. They have turned it into a total catastrophe - it's one of the worst military catastrophes"

Annual Amnesty International Lecture: Noam Chomsky, 'The War on Terror' (utdrag Irak)

Noam Chomsky
18th January 2006

The invasion of Iraq is perhaps the most glaring example of the low priority assigned by US-UK leaders to the threat of terror. Washington planners had been advised, even by their own intelligence agencies, that the invasion was likely to increase the risk of terror. And it did, as their own intelligence agencies confirm.

The National Intelligence Council reported a year ago that “Iraq and other possible conflicts in the future could provide recruitment, training grounds, technical skills and language proficiency for a new class of terrorists who are `professionalized’ and for whom political violence becomes an end in itself,” spreading elsewhere to defend Muslim lands from attack by “infidel invaders” in a globalized network of “diffuse Islamic extremist groups,”

with Iraq now replacing the Afghan training grounds for this more extensive network, as a result of the invasion. A high-level government review of the “war on terror” two years after the invasion `focused on how to deal with the rise of a new generation of terrorists, schooled in Iraq over the past couple years.

Top government officials are increasingly turning their attention to anticipate what one called “the bleed out” of hundreds or thousands of Iraq-trained jihadists back to their home countries throughout the Middle East and Western Europe. “It's a new piece of a new equation,” a former senior Bush administration official said. “If you don't know who they are in Iraq, how are you going to locate them in Istanbul or London?”’ (Washington Post)

Last May the CIA reported that “Iraq has become a magnet for Islamic militants similar to Soviet-occupied Afghanistan two decades ago and Bosnia in the 1990s,” according to US officials quoted in the New York Times. The CIA concluded that “Iraq may prove to be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was in Al Qaeda's early days, because it is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat.”

Shortly after the London bombing last July, Chatham House released a study concluding that “there is `no doubt’ that the invasion of Iraq has `given a boost to the al-Qaida network’ in propaganda, recruitment and fundraising,` while providing an ideal training area for terrorists”;

and that “the UK is at particular risk because it is the closest ally of the United States” and is “a pillion passenger” of American policy” in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is extensive supporting evidence to show that -- as anticipated -- the invasion increased the risk of terror and nuclear proliferation. None of this shows that planners prefer these consequences, of course.

Rather, they are not of much concern in comparison with much higher priorities that are obscure only to those who prefer what human rights researchers sometimes call “intentional ignorance.” Once again we find, very easily, a way to reduce the threat of terror: stop acting in ways that – predictably – enhance the threat.
Though enhancement of the threat of terror and proliferation was anticipated, the invasion did so even in unanticipated ways. It is common to say that no WMD were found in Iraq after exhaustive search. That is not quite accurate, however. There were stores of WMD in Iraq: namely, those produced in the 1980s, thanks to aid provided by the US and Britain, along with others.

These sites had been secured by UN inspectors, who were dismantling the weapons. But the inspectors were dismissed by the invaders and the sites were left unguarded. The inspectors nevertheless continued to carry out their work with satellite imagery. They discovered sophisticated massive looting of these installations in over 100 sites, including equipment for producing solid and liquid propellant missiles, biotoxins and other materials usable for chemical and biological weapons, and high-precision equipment capable of making parts for nuclear and chemical weapons and missiles.

A Jordanian journalist was informed by officials in charge of the Jordanian-Iraqi border that after US-UK forces took over, radioactive materials were detected in one of every eight trucks crossing to Jordan, destination unknown. The ironies are almost inexpressible. The official justification for the US-UK invasion was to prevent the use of WMD that did not exist.

The invasion provided the terrorists who had been mobilized by the US and its allies with the means to develop WMD -- namely, equipment they had provided to Saddam, caring nothing about the terrible crimes they later invoked to whip up support for the invasion.

It is as if Iran were now making nuclear weapons using fissionable materials provided by the US to Iran under the Shah -- which may indeed be happening. Programs to recover and secure such materials were having considerable success in the ‘90s, but like the war on terror, these programs fell victim to Bush administration priorities as they dedicated their energy and resources to invading Iraq.

Elsewhere in the Mideast too terror is regarded as secondary to ensuring that the region is under control. Another illustration is Bush’s imposition of new sanctions on Syria in May 2004, implementing the Syria Accountability Act passed by Congress a few months earlier. Syria is on the official list of states sponsoring terrorism, despite Washington’s acknowledgment that Syria has not been implicated in terrorist acts for many years and has been highly cooperative in providing important intelligence to Washington on al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups.

The gravity of Washington’s concern over Syria’s links to terror was revealed by President Clinton when he offered to remove Syria from the list of states sponsoring terror if it agreed to US-Israeli peace terms. When Syria insisted on recovering its conquered territory, it remained on the list. Implementation of the Syria Accountability Act deprived the US of an important source of information about radical Islamist terrorism in order to achieve the higher goal of establishing in Syria a regime that will accept US-Israeli demands.

Chomsky on what he says to US troops in Iraq:

"I have plenty of correspondence with soldiers in Iraq and all you can do is offer them your sympathy and I hope that they make it safely and that their leaders will get them out of there. It's the same kind of advice you would have given to Russian soldiers in Afghanistan - you have to sympathise with them. It's not their fault, it's the fault of their commanders and I don't mean the military ones, I mean the civilians in the Pentagon and the White House."

Chomsky on torture allegations aimed at the US in war on terror:

"Condoleezza Rice was very careful to say 'we don't send people to countries where we believe they will be tortured,' so we send them to Egypt and Syria, but we don't believe they're going to be tortured there. How can you listen to that without laughing - what are they sending them there for?"

Chomsky on power:

"You don't believe what any governments say, you don't believe what corporate leaders say - the role of people in power is to deceive, it's not just the United States, we all know that. Systems of power are dedicated to deceit and delusion to maintain power and to pursue their interests."

Chomsky - pulls no punches in critique of US

"After 9/11, I didn't hear a word in the American media about the real causes of the attack. Nobody dared to criticize US foreign policy, for instance, the support to Islamic fundamentalists during the 80s, the American support to corrupt dictatorships in the Middle East, the blind support to Israel, etc.

They just said: 'they hate us because we're a free society.' Isn't this silence the best evidence that there's no real freedom of press in the USA?"

"Caspian Sea area oil is clearly going to transported via pipeline, perhaps from Baku to Turkey, perhaps via Afghanistan... given geopolitical concerns, what is most likely outcome of multi-polar struggle here?"

"Can the people of this country believe anything that the US says about torture not being committed on their behalf in EU countries.

"No one is talking anymore about oil. Isn't that still the main reason the US invaded Iraq and are Iraq's large reserves now under control of US corporations?"

Globalization, Iraq and Middle East Studies
Noam Chomsky interviewed by Danilo Mandic

What do the elections mean for Iraq?

Actually I agree that the elections were a success ...of opposition to the United States. What is being suppressed - except for Middle East specialists, who know about it perfectly well and are writing about it, or people who in fact have read the newspapers in the last couple of years - what's being suppressed is the fact that the United States had to be brought kicking and screaming into accepting elections.

The U.S.was strongly opposed to them. I wrote about the early stages of this in a book that came out a year ago, which only discussed the early stages of U.S. opposition. But it increased.

The U.S. wanted to write a constitution, it wanted to impose some kind of caucus system that the U.S. could control, and it tried to impose extremely harsh neo-liberal rules, like you mentioned, which even Iraqi businessmen were strongly opposed to.

But there has been a very powerful nonviolent resistance in Iraq - far more significant than suicide bombers and so on. And it simply compelled the United States step by step to back down. That's the popular movement of nonviolent resistance that was symbolized by Ayatollah Sistani, but it's far broader than that.

The population simply would not accept the rules that the occupation authorities were imposing, and finally Washington was compelled, very reluctantly, to accept elections It tried in every way to undermine them. So for example, the independent press was kicked out of the country. Al Jazeera, which is by far the most popular media in the country and most of the region, was simply kicked out on spurious grounds.

The U.S. candidate (the U.S. had a candidate: Iyad Allawi) was given every possible advantage: full state resources, access to any television, and so on and so forth. He got creamed. Every party, including even the U.S. government's party, was compelled to put in a plank, just by pressure of popular opinion, calling for U.S. withdrawal, withdrawal of the occupying forces. Even U.S.-run polls show that that's a very strong majority opinion, among Shiites as well. They were forced to put it in.

Even thought they didn't want it, they just had to. The U.S. announced at once after the election - in Britain, Blair, Bush and Rice announced at once - that there would be no timetable for withdrawal. It doesn't matter what the Iraqis want. The U.S. announced right away that the troops would stay there at least until 2007, in fact as far as building military bases to try to keep them there indefinitely.

Not to occupy the country, because for that they would much rather have Iraqi mercenary forces. Just like Britain ran India or Russia ran Eastern Europe, not with their own forces. But they have to be there to make sure things stay under control.

Then right now there's a struggle going on, as towhether the United States will be able to subvert the elections that itreluctantly accepted. I think you'll have a hard time finding a serious Middle Eastern scholar or anyone who pays attention who won't agree with this.

In fact it's quite obvious just from reading the serious pressreports on this. Of course once the United States was forced into accepting elections, the government and the media immediately pronounced that it was a great achievement of the United States. But it was quite the opposite.

But it's a good thing that it happened, in opposition to the U.S. In fact it's a major triumph of nonviolent resistance, and itshould be understood as such. And maybe it's a basis - now comes the question of whether Iraqis can succeed, in reaching, moving towards a stage where they will actually be able to run their own country,

which the U.S. is certainly going to oppose. There is no doubt of this. The last thing the United States wants is a democratic, sovereign Iraq.

To see why, it's enough to think for five minutes about what its policies are likely to be. Let's suppose there were a democratic Iraq with some degree of sovereignty. The first thing it'll do is try to improve relations with Iran.

It's not that they love Iran particularly, but they'd rather have friendly relations with the neighboring Shiite state than hostile relations. So, they'll move towards improving relations with Iran, especially because it has a Shiite majority.

If they're democratic enough, so the Shiite majority has a significant part. Thenext thing that will happen - and it's already beginning to happen - is that the victory of the Iraqis against the United States has begun to stir up similar sentiments in the Shiite areas (mostly Shiite areas) of Saudi Arabia, which is a neighbor. DM: ...and a US ally.

Yeah, but that's inside Saudi Arabia, and that happens to be where most of the oil is. They have been excluded by the US and Saudi leadership, but they're not going to be likely to accept that if there is a sovereign, democratic Iraq next door.

It's really a Shiite-dominated Iraq. And it's already beginning to happen. Well, you know, that'll lead towards a situation in which most of the world's oil would be under the control of a relatively autonomous Shiite alliance. The US won't tolerate that for a moment.

The next thing that would happen in a sovereign Iraq is that they would try to resume their very natural position as a leading state in the Arab world. They're the most educated country, the most advanced and so on. In many ways, it should be the leader in the Arab world.

Actually, those are factors that go back to Biblical times. And they'll try to resume that position, which means they'll try to rearm. They will confront the regional enemy, namely Israel, which has virtually turned into a US military outpost.

They may even develop weapons of mass destruction as a deterrent against Israel's overwhelming advantage, both militarily and in weapons of mass destruction. Those are very natural developments to be expected. Can you see the US accepting any of this? I mean, those are the likely consequences

- not certain, but likely consequences - of a relatively sovereign, more or less democratic Iraq. It's a nightmare for the United States. It's no wonder it tried to prevent elections in any possible way, and is now trying to undermine the results.

What happens is gonnabe on a terrain of plenty of struggle, and we have a role in it. US public opinion can be highly influential during the outcome. We don't live in a dictatorship; we have plenty of freedom if we want to use it. Itcan be used to help the Iraqis regain control of their own society.

DM: Specifically, on that, our readers are especially interested in the role of the university in this development that you are discussing. Let me give you one example that is of concern: you have been writing political works for more than four decades.

Yet, I have been unable to find a single undergraduate course in recent years here at Princeton that has had any of your political works on its reading list. Does that surprise you?

NC: It would surprise me if it were any different. In fact, if you were to mention my name to most of the faculty in the relevant areas, they would probably react with screams of horror. I mean, we have a very doctrinary intellectual class. They do not like deviation from a very narrow party line.

Now, in regional studies, it's very hard to control. That's one of the reasons why Middle East departments are coming under extreme attack from the more totalitarian forces in the country (like Horowitz, Pipes and others,

who can't stand the idea that there's some independent - or partially independent - sector of the society that isn't under tight...that isn't a wholly owned subsidiary of the business world and the right wing. So, they're going berserk. And it's happened in other areas. For example, in the 1980's, the main US preoccupation was its wars in Central America - brutal, vicious, terrorist wars, and

NC: Sure. Let me just take MIT, because I know it best, but it's the same everywhere. At the time I was writing, in the 1960's, if you walked through the halls of MIT, you would see white males, well-dressed, disciplined, respectful to their elders, and so on. You walk down those halls today: half women, about third minorities, casual relations among people show up in everything from clothes to personal relations.

Andthat's all over the country; I presume it's same at Princeton. Those are indications of very significant changes in the society, which becamemuch more civilized, including the universities.

Chomsky On Fake News and Other Societal Woes

Well there was a period, in the mid-19th century, that's the period of the freest press, both in England and in the US. And it's quite interesting to look back at it. Over the years, that's declined. It declined for two basic reasons.

One reason is the increased capital that was required to run a competitive press. And as capital requirements increased, that of course lead to a more corporatized media.

The other effect is advertisement. In the 19th century, the United States had something kind of approximating a market system. Now we have nothing like a market--And one of the signs of the decline of the market is advertisement. So if you have a real market you don't advertise: you just give information.

For example, there are corners of the economy that do run like markets--for example stock markets. If you have ten shares of General Motors that you want to sell, you don't put up an ad on television with a sexy model holding up the ten shares saying "ask your broker if this is good for you; it's good for me," or something like that.

What you do is you sell it at the market price. If you had a market for cars, toothpaste, or whatever, lifestyle drugs, you would do the same thing. GM would put up a brief notice saying here's the information about our models. Well, you've seen television ads, so I don't have to tell you how it works. The idea is to delude and deceive people with imagery. And the same has happened to the print media.

Take the New York Times for example. They have something called the news hole. When the editors lay out tomorrow's newspapers, the first thing they do is the important things - they put the ads around. Then they have a little bit left that's called the news hole, and they stick little things there.

Quite apart from that the media are just big corporations and of course represent the interests of their owners, their markets, which are advertisers,

and for the elite newspapers, more or less the managerial class, the educated population they deal with. The end result is that you get a very narrow perspective of what the world is like.

The alternative would be a free press. It's not hard to imagine, there actually was one in the mid-nineteenth century.

So that would mean a press that isn't reliant on massive capital concentration, corporate ownership, that is not reliant on advertising for its revenue, and would involve engaged people who are interested in understanding the world and participating in a reasoned discussion about what it should be like. I mean that's not inconceivable.

The PRindustry is very open. Take say television. In the industry when they have an hour of program, whatever it is, a comedy, a cop show, or whatever. In the industry there's what's called content and fill.

The content is the advertising. The fill is the car chase or the sex scene or something, that's supposed to keep you going between ads.

And if you look at a television program, actually I do it some times because I'm intrigued, the creativity and the imagination and the expenses and so on are for the ads; the car chase you can pull off the shelf. And in fact this has led to a serious deterioration of the political system.

I mean we don't have anything resembling a democracy anymore. Take a look at the last campaign. The campaign is run by the same people who sell toothpaste, exactly the same PR agencies. And when they sell a candidate they do it the exact same way they sell a lifestyle drug.

You don't put up information about the candidate, what you do is create delusional images that delude and deceive. The population knows it. A very small number of the population, about 10% of the voters, literally, knew the stands of the candidates on the issues. And it's not because they are stupid or uninterested. It's just like you don't know the characteristics of toothpaste.

There's really two separate questions about the media which are usually muddled. One is what they're trying to do and the second one is what's the affect on the public.

The affect on the public isn't very much studied but to the extent that it has been it seems as though among the more educated sectors the indoctrination works more effectively. Among the less educated sectors people are just more skeptical and cynical.

Well look I think it's a very optimistic future, frankly.

Yes very much so. There's something we know about the country, this country, more than any other. We know a lot about public opinion, it's studied very intensively. The results are very rarely reported but you can find them.

It's an open society and you can find them. What they show is remarkable. What they show first of all is that both political parties and the media are far to the right of the general population on a whole host of issues

and the population is just disorganized, atomized and so on. This country ought be an organizers paradise.And that's why the media and the campaigns keep away from issues.

They know that on issues they're going to lose people. So therefore you have to portray George Bush as a - look he's a pampered kid from a rich family who went to prep school and elite university, and you have to present him as an ordinary guy,

who makes grammatical errors, which I'm sure he's trained to make, he didn't talk that way at Yale, fake Texas twang, and he's off to his ranch to, you know, cut brush or something.

That's like a toothpaste ad and i think a lot of people know it. Given the facts about public opinion, it means what's needed is something not very radical. Let's become as democratic as say the second largest country in the hemisphere, Brazil.

I mean there last election was not between two rich kids who went to the same elite university and joined the same secret society where they're trained to be members of the upper class. And they can get into politics because they have rich families with a lot of connections. I mean people were actually able to elect a president from their own ranks.

A man who was a peasant union leader, never had a higher education, and comes from the population. They could do it because it's a functioning democratic society. I mean there were tremendous obstacles, repressive state, huge concentration of wealth, much worse obstacles than we have.

But they have mass popular movements. They have actually actual political parties, which we don't have.

There's nothing to stop us from doing that. I mean we have a legacy of freedom which is unparalleled. It's been won by struggle over centuries, it was never given, and you can use it, or you can abandon it. It's a choice.

I think people are very discontented and their attitudes towards the media are very cynical and skeptical.

They don't know where to get angry or who to band with. But that's again the lack of democratic structures.

I mean if you have popular movements. Well why are unions so detested by elites? Because Unions are one of the few ways in which people without great privilege, working people, can actually get together - for workers education, for interaction, for participation in political arena and so on.

So therefore they have to be destroyed. It's true that it's a very atomized society, and there are a lot of reasons for that. The last 25 years things have gotten much worse. The US has gone through a unique period of economic history.

Real wages for the majority of the population have stagnated or declined. Working hours have gone way up - they're now the highest in the highest in the industrial world, wages are the lowest.

And people are deluged from infancy. You know I watch children's television with my grandchildren sometimes. From practically infancy you are deluged with propaganda that says your life depends, your value as a human being depends on how many useless commodities you consume.

So you have a working family, you know, husband and wife, working to keep food on the table, their kids want to buy everything there is even though they don't need it or want it. Then you go deeply in debt and then you're trapped. You don't have time to talk to people - you don't know what your neighbors think. Popular attitudes are just not reported. Sometimes it's fantastic.

So after the federal budget came out last february, the major public opinion institute in the country did a careful poll of people's attitudes toward the budget. It was just like a mirror image of what the budget was.

Where federal spending is going up - military, Iraq, Afghanistan - people wanted it to go down, large majorities, where it was going down, same large majorities, people wanted it to go up: social spending, education, renewable energy, support for the united nations, so on. A huge majority wants Bush to rescind tax cuts for the rich, people with over $200,000 income and so on.

Well how was that reported? Well a friend of mine did a database search and nothing. Zero. Only one newspaper in the country - some small town newspaper in Iowa.

Look they've just internalized the values. They'll tell you, and they're correct, that nobody is ordering them to do anything. That's right. Nobody is ordering them to do anything.

The indoctrination is so deep that educated people think they're being objective. Actually this is a point that Orwell made.

You and everybody else has read Animal Farm, I'm sure, but you and everybody else hasn't read the introduction to Animal Farm. There's a good reason for that: because it was suppressed. The introduction was found 30 years later in Orwell's own published papers.

The introduction to Animal Farm says look this book is a satire on a totalitarian state but I'm going to talk about England, Free England. In Free England it's not that different. Without state coercion unpopular ideas can be suppressed and are. And then he described how.

He didn't go in much details but Orwell said partly it's because the press is owned by wealthy men who have every reason not to want certain ideas to be expressed. But the more important reason, he said, was because of a good education.

By the time you've gone through, you know, Oxford and Cambridge and here you could say Harvard and Princeton and so on, and even less fancy places, you have instilled into you the understanding that there are certain things that just wouldn't do to say, and that's what a good deal of education is.

So the people who come out of it - and there are many filters, if people go off and try to be too critical there are many ways of discouraging them or eliminating them one way or the other. Some get through, it's not a uniform story.

There are plenty of journalists with integrity and honesty. And many of them, some personal friends, will give a much harsher picture of the media than I do, because they have to live with it. But the basic points that Orwell made are fundamentally correct.

The more educated you are the more indoctrinated you are. And you believe you are being free and objective, whereas in fact you're just repeating state propaganda.

Well for example you could trace the source of what I just told you about popular attitudes about the budget. But the point is that you have to do an individual research project, and who's going to do that?

So some guy comes home from his 50 hour week, his wife is working 50 hours, the kids are demanding this and that, does he have time to do an individual research project? That's what popular associations are for.

When you have unions, political parties, women's groups, whatever it may be, people can get together and do those sorts of things. Individuals can't do them.

NC: The truth of the problems with the media is NPR [National Public Radio] is not that different. So I listen to NPR when I'm driving for as long as I can stand it, that's supposed to be the liberal media, just take a look at their reporting.

So last night I was listening to the reporting on Bush's speech about how to get victory in Iraq. Just imagine - just do a thought experiment. Suppose you were in Russia under Brezhnev or let's say in the early 80s and you heard reports about the war in Afghanistan.

Well, I'm sure it would have been the same thing. They would have discussed how can we get victory, how can we destroy the terrorists, will this tactic work, will that tactic work, we're losing too many soldiers and so on. Well, just like the most liberal journal in the US.

Did anybody ask the question in Russia: do we have a right to invade another country? Can you imagine anyone asking that question here? But in Russia there's a difference. That was totalitarian control, if you said the wrong thing you'd go off to the gulag. Here it's just willing subordination to power.

It's indoctrination so profound that educated people can't even understand the question that I just raised. Try it with journalists.

Ask them: can there be journalism on the Iraq war that can be something different from the college newspaper cheering for the home team.

Ask. There can't be because they can't think of it. It's like Orwell said: it's just inculcated into you that there are certain things that it wouldn't do to think.

Interw: But there are ways, that's what's so exciting about the Internet. Chomsky: And there are plenty of opportunities.

On the Iraq Election (längre version)

When Bush and Blair invaded Iraq, the reason was what they insistently called a 'single question.'Will Iraq eliminate its weapons of mass destruction?' That was the single question

Then very quickly it turned out that that wasn't the reason of the invasion. The reason was what the President's liberal press calls his 'Messianic Mission' to bring democracy to Iraq.

Well, anyone with a particle of sense would know that you can't take that seriously and, in fact, if you look at the events that followed, it just demonstrated that. The US tried, in every possible way, to prevent elections in Iraq.

Finally, they were compelled to accept elections by mass non-violent resistance, for which the Ayatollah Sistani [moderate Shi'ite leader] was a kind of a symbol.Finally, Bush and Blair had to agree to elections.

Elections mean you pay some - in a democracy at least - you pay some attention to the will of the population. Well, the crucial question for an invading army is: 'do they want us to be here?'

Well, we know the answer to that. The British Ministry of Defence carried out a poll a couple of months ago, it was secret, but it leaked to the British Press - I don't think it's been reported in the US. They found that 82 percent of the population wanted the coalition forces, British and US forces to leave. One percent of the population said that they were increasing security.

(We've seen an awful lot of Iraqis taking part in the elections, two thirds, we're told. The turnout was quite high...)

The US and Britain announced at once, at once, we will not have a timetable to withdraw - standard procedure - you want the local forces to run their own countries. So Poland under the Russians, the Polish army runs it, the Polish civilians are the bureaucrats, Russians are in the background. The same in say, El Salvador.

However, it is as clear as a bell that the US, and Britain behind it, are doing everything they can to prevent a sovereign, more or less democratic Iraq. And they are being dragged into it step by step.

Now the truth of the matter, obvious to anyone not committed to the party line, is that Iraq has huge oil resources, maybe the second in the world, mostly untapped, that it's right in the middle of the main energy-producing region of the world

And that taking control of Iraq will strengthen enormously the US's control over the major energy resources of the world. It will, in fact, give the US critical leverage over its competitors, Europe and Asia, that's Zbigniew Brzezsinski's [Carter's national Security Adviser] accurate observation.

(People from the Iraqi community were expressing similar sentiments that they felt they were in some way having their destiny in their own hands for the first time)

NC: That's exactly what I've been saying for the last three years and I just said it again here. The victory of the non-violent resistance in Iraq, which compelled the occupying forces to allow elections, that's a major victory. That's one of the major triumphs of non-violent resistance that I know of.

It wasn't the insurgents that did it - the US doesn't care about violence, they have more violence. What it can't control is non-violence and the non-violent movements in Iraq..The question is what Westerners will do about it. Will we be on the side of the occupying forces or will we be on the side of the Iraqi people, who want democracy and sovereignty?

NC: That's like saying the Russians invaded Afghanistan and they can't just leave it to the Jihadis so therefore they have to stay there. An invading army has no right whatsoever, none. It has responsibilities. Its primary responsibility is to act in a way that the population of the country demands.

Suppose that the parliament, instead of being an elite force, dominating the population, suppose the parliament represents popular will, say the popular will of 80 percent of Iraqis who want the occupying forces to withdraw, according to the British Ministry of Defence. Suppose that happens? Well then the occupying forces should immediately initiate withdrawal and leave it to the Iraqis. Just think for a minute.

What would an independent Iraq be likely to do, an independent, more or less democratic Iraq? Think. I mean if you're going to have a Shi'ite majority. Therefore the Shi'ites will have a lot of influence in policy, probably a dominant influence. The Shi'ite population in the south, which is where most of the oil is, would much prefer warm relations to Iran over hostile relations to Iran.

Furthermore they are very close relations already, the Badr Brigade, which is the militia that mostly controls the south, was trained in Iran. The clerics have long-standing relations with Iran; the Ayatollah Sistani actually grew up there. Chances are pretty strong, they'll move towards a some sort of a loose Shi'ite alliance, with Iraq and Iran.

Furthermore right across the border in Saudi Arabia, there's a substantial Shi'ite population, which has been bitterly oppressed by the US-backed tyranny in Saudi Arabia, the fundamentalist tyranny. Any move towards independence in Iraq is likely to increase the efforts to gain a degree of autonomy and justice. That happens to be where most of Saudi Arabia's oil is. So you can see not far in the future a loose Shi'ite alliance controlling most of the world's oil, independent of the US.

Furthermore, it´s beginning to turn toward the East. Iran has pretty much given up on Western Europe, it assumes that Western Europe is too cowardly to act independently of the US, well it has options. It can turn to the East. China can't be intimidated. That's why the US is so frightened of China. It cannot be intimidated. In fact, they're already establishing relations with Iran and in fact even with Saudi Arabia, both military and economic.

There is an Asian energy security grid based on Asia and Russia but bringing in India, Korea and others. If Iran moves in that direction, having abandoned any hope in Europe, it can become the lynchpin of the Asian energy security grid.

(And say that this may be part of an attraction for the Shi'ite groups in Iraq as well to sort of join this movement away from the Western world influence as it were?)

Yes, they have every reason to. In fact it might even happen in Saudi Arabia. From the point of view of Washington planners, that is the ultimate nightmare. That is why they're fighting tooth and nail to prevent democracy and sovereignty in Iraq.

The Iraqi people have resisted and it's a very impressive resistance. I'm not talking about insurgency. I'm talking about popular, non-violent resistance under bitter conditions. There's a labour movement forming, which is a very important one. The US insists on keeping Saddam's bitter anti-labour laws, but the labour movement doesn't like it.

Their activists are being killed. Nobody knows by whom, maybe by insurgents, maybe by former Baathists, maybe by somebody else. But they're working. There's the basis of a popular democracy being developed there, much to the horror of the occupying forces, but it's going on and it could have very long term consequences in their national affairs, which is why Bush and Blair have so desperately been trying to prevent democracy and any form of sovereignty and have been forced to back off step by step.

This is also going on with the economic arrangements. The US moved in and immediately tried to open up the economy to foreign take-over by imposing outrageous and in fact illegal laws for privatisation. You know, Iraqis don't want that, they want to take control of their own economy and resources. There's a battle going on about that.

The violence in Iraq is a serious problem for the Iraqis and I tend to agree with, apparently the majority of Iraqis, that it's the occupation forces that are stimulating the violence. The fact that an insurgency even developed in Iraq is astonishing. I mean it's an amazing fact that the US has had more trouble controlling Iraq than the Germans had in controlling occupied Europe or the Russians in

controlling Eastern Europe. After all, the countries under Nazi or Russian occupation were run by domestic forces, domestic police, domestic armies, and domestic civilian forces. The Nazis and the Kremlin were in the background and if needed, they came in, but mostly it was domestically run. There were partisans in Western Europe and they were very courageous, but they would've been wiped out very quickly if it hadn't been for enormous foreign support and, of course, Germany was at war.

Well, in Iraq none of these circumstances prevailed, there was no outside support for the resistance. The little support that has arisen, and it is very slight, is mostly engendered by the invasion. But there's no outside support. The country had been devastated by sanctions. The US was coming in with enormous resources to rebuild it and they have turned it into a total catastrophe.

It's one of the worst military catastrophes in history. You look at figures for something like, say malnutrition; is way up since the US took over, that's unbelievable. It's one of the few wars that can't be reported, not because reporters are cowards, but because it's too dangerous.

Reporters are mostly in the Green Zone or else they go out with a platoon of marines. There are some, like Robert Fisk, Patrick Cockburn and a couple of others who are independent and brave, but not many. This is an incredible catastrophe.

But it's very likely, and I tend to agree with apparent opinion of most Iraqis on this, that it's the invading armies themselves that are engendering the violence. Well, they're carrying out plenty of it, but the violence of the insurgents would probably recline if they left and allowed Iraqis to be on their own.

I have plenty of correspondence with soldiers in Iraq and all you can do is offer them your sympathy. You hope that they make it safely and that their leaders will get them out of there. The same kind of advice you would've given to Russian soldiers in Afghanistan. You have to sympathize with them;

it's not their fault. It's the fault of their commanders. I don't mean their military commanders, I mean the civilians in the Pentagon, in the White House and their counterparts in England.

Nobody was talking about oil all along if you look. It was considered outrageous to talk about oil. Protesters did, but take a look at the mainstream. It was considered a conspiracy theory, Marxist, delusional and so on to talk about oil. Although every sane person knows that that was the reason.

Furthermore the Iraqis know that. Right after the president gave his dramatic speech at the National Endowment for Democracy, announcing his 'Messianic Mission' to bring democracy to Iraq, after the collapse of the 'single question,' right after that a poll was reported.

Gallup took a poll in Baghdad and asked people why they think the US invaded. About one percent agreed with 100 percent of educated Western´s opinion, to bring democracy Five percent said to help Iraqis. Most of the rest said the obvious: to take control of Iraq's resources and to strengthen the US strategic position in the region.

And incidentally, going back to the writer, it's not so much a matter of gaining access to Iraq's resources, you can get access even if you don't control a country. I mean the oil market is something of a market. What matters is to control, not access. It's a very big difference. The main theme of US policy since the Second World War has been to control the resources of the Middle East, the energy resources.

That would give what George Cannon, one of the early planners, called 'veto power' over their allies, they wouldn't get out of line because we'd have our hand on the spicket. Now at that time, for about 30 years, North America was the major oil exporter. The US wasn't using any Middle East oil, but it nevertheless was dedicated and it was the main theme of US policy to maintain control over it.

If you look at US intelligence projections for the future, they project that the US must control Middle East oil, but that it itself will rely on more stable Atlantic Basin resources, Western Africa, Western Hemisphere resources.

Europe and Japan will rely on the less stable Middle East resources, but the US will control them. That's the way you prevent independence from developing. That's why the Asian Energy Security Grid and the Shanghai Cooperation Council are regarded as such a threat by the US.

The meetings right now, the Malaysian meetings, East Asian meetings, that's a threat. It's a coalescence of power moving independently of the US. You look back through the history of the Cold War, and it was the same with regard to Europe.

A major concern throughout the Cold War was what was called European Third Force, which might find a way independent of the US in Europe, and there was every effort made to prevent that. A long story, and that makes sense if you want to run the world, you want to make sure there are not independent forces out of your control.

My own guess frankly, was that the invasion of Iraq would be over in about three days and that the US would install a stable client regime. It should have been one of the easiest military victories in history. But they did turn it into a catastrophe.

My guess back at that time was that the next place the US would move would be the Andes in the Western Hemisphere. This is a traditional region of US domination, but from Venezuela down to Argentina, the region is pretty much out of control and that's a very serious worry for US planners. They expect the Western Hemisphere to be obedient and placid.

And if you look at modern history the US has intervened violently and brutally throughout the Western Hemisphere for a long time to ensure obedience, overthrowing democratic governments, installing murderous military dictatorships, carrying out large-scale terror and it goes on pretty much to the present. It is somewhat out of control.

Venezuela is increasingly going on an independent path and Venezuela is very important, the US took it from the British in 1921, kicked the British out at the time of the beginning of the oil-based economy because it was recognized that Venezuela had enormous oil resources, also others. And it has been one of the main oil suppliers under US control ever since, but it's moving towards independence.

Chavez is enormously popular in Venezuela; in fact, support for the elected government is higher in Venezuela than in any other Latin American country. Venezuela is beginning to diversify its international relations; it's starting to export oil to China and may do so even more soon. The same is true of the other raw materials exporters, Brazil and Chile, not to the extent of Venezuela, but increasing.

Furthermore, the region has left of centre governments. All through the regions, a few exceptions but almost all of them, and some of them are defying the IMF. Argentina simply defied IMF orders, told them to get lost, and did very well as a result.

Furthermore, there's a large Indian population in Latin America from Bolivia up to Ecuador, very large, and they're beginning to organise and become independent. The left wing leader Evo Morales has now won that election. They've overthrown a couple of governments in Ecuador. They're also calling for an Indian nation throughout this region.

Now, they do not want their resources taken from them, they have plenty of resources, a lot of oil. They want either to control their own resources, rather than having it taken over by foreigners, or - many of them - don't even want resources to be developed, so there are plenty of indigenous people in Ecuador who don't particularly want their lifestyle disrupted so that people drive SUVs in New York City. It's an area of deep concern the US. There are more US military in Latin America today than at the height of the Cold War.

Incidentally, we should stop talking about the free market,that's another ideological trick. The US does not believe in a free market. The US itself is a largely state- based economy. You use computers and the Internet and telecommunications and lasers and aeroplanes and so on, most of it comes out of the dynamic state sector. The economy is handed over to private businesses if they make some profit out of it, but mostly state-based and same is true of pharmaceuticals and biology-based industries..

The US then moved into the next step, which is subversion; if you can't carry out a military coup, try to subvert the government. So the US had been pouring in aid into what are called officially 'anti-Chavez, pro-democracy elements.' That's where the money is going. The fact is that Venezuela leads Latin America in support for democracy. And support for the elected government is going up very sharply since Chavez took over in 1998.

There is a very standard tactic. The US used the same standard tactic in Haiti a couple of years ago. It was clear that Aristide, who they didn't like, was going to easily win the election, so they got together with the opposition and got the opposition, which was quite small, to pull out and then they could say, well look it's not legitimate, he's a tyrant. The most striking example of this was an election in Nicaragua 1984.

About torture. Condoleezza Rice was very careful to say we don't send people to countries where we believe they're going to be tortured, so we send them to Egypt and Syria, but we don't believe they're going to be tortured there. How can you listen to that without laughing? What are they sending them there for? The reason they're sent to Guantanamo is elementary, any child can understand it. Guantanamo is not under US judicial jurisdiction, so therefore they can do to people whatever they want, without habeas corpus, without judges and so on.

If they weren't torturing them, they would put them in New York, where they'd be under the legal system and the rendition, which is a shocking crime, is obviously to send people to places where they can be tortured. What Condoleezza Rice actually said is ´we take the word of the countries to which we're sending them that they're not going to torture them,' meaning we know they torture everybody, but we're going to take their word they're not going to torture these people. How can we even listen to these words?

Well, talking about the elite sectors, the reason they don't protest is they more or less agree. The general population doesn't agree. The question: can you believe what the US says? Of course not, you don't believe what any government say, you don't believe what corporate leaders say. The role of people in power is to deceive, it's not just the US, I mean, we all know that.

The clear point of view is what I said before: let the people of Iraq decide. An invasion is a crime, in fact it's the supreme crime, a supreme international crime which contains within it all the evil that follows. I'm not saying we should hang the criminals who carried out the crimes, as it was done at Nuremberg, rather we should get rid of them. The invaders have no rights.

They have responsibilities. There is the prime responsibility to pay huge reparations to the people invaded for all the destruction they caused and that would include the sanctions, which were monstrous. The second one, as much as you can, is to keep to their will.

Yes, of course Syria should have been out of Lebanon in 1976, when we helped bring them in. The immediate impetus for getting Syria out was a car bombing of Rafik Hariri. Unless the CIA was involved in that bombing, the US has nothing to do with getting Syria out.

There was a very important development in Lebanon of democratic forces, complex. One of the strongest forces in Lebanon is Hezbollah, which has a strong Shi'ite support. The US, of course, is opposed to it. But yes, we should permit for the first time democracy to function in Lebanon, meaning getting our dirty hands out of their affairs.

You could say the same about Iraq. Iraq has a long democratic tradition, goes back a century. It was crushed by the British invasion, but it continued to function in many different ways. There was some hope for it with the 1958 revolution, which was a kind of populist revolution which threw out the British and began to introduce social measures and so on and so forth. It introduced the constitution, which is far more liberal than the current one.

Well the US and Britain couldn't stand that, so they backed and maybe initiated a coup, a military coup to put the Baath party in. That crushed Iraqi democracy for years. We should let Iraqi democratic forces, which go way back, to flourish and develop internally. We can say the same thing right throughout the region.

What makes things better is popular movements. That is what effects policy, that's how we've gained the freedoms that we have and we have a lot of freedom, but it didn't come from above and it didn't come from intellectuals. It came from organised popular movements, which demanded more freedom, like the non-violent resistance in Iraq, which forced the US and Britain to permit elections.

That's how we got the right to vote here. That's how we got women's rights, that's how we got freedom of speech and so on. Constant struggle. That's why there are such efforts to break up popular movements.

And yes, that's the way to make things better as in the past, plenty of concrete ways to do it. We're much more able to it than in the past because of the freedoms that have been won. We have a legacy of freedom, which has been won.We can use it, improve it, carry it forward or we can abandon it.

Israel and

Palestine-Israel-USA, Politics, 12/26/2005

MIT professor Noam Chomsky recently gave an interesting background on the Palestinian -Israeli issue

"Where we go from here" is largely up to us. Transparently, it requires some understanding of how we got here.

Israel's leading specialist on Jerusalem and the West Bank, Meron Benvenisti, writes: The Separation wall snaking through the West Bank will create "three Bantustans," north, central and south, all virtually separated from East Jerusalem, the center of Palestinian commercial, cultural and political life.

..The "human disaster" being planned, he continues, will also "turn hundreds of thousands of people into a sullen community, hostile and nurturing a desire for revenge,"

Another example of the sacrifice of security to expansion that has being going on for a long time. A European Union report concludes that US-backed Israeli programs will virtually end the prospects for a viable Palestinian state by cantonization and by breaking the organic links between East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

There was no effort to conceal the fact that Gaza disengagement was, in reality, West Bank expansion. The official plan stated that Israel will permanently take over major "population centers, cities, towns and villages, security areas and other places of special interest to Israel." That was endorsed by the US Ambassador, as it had been by the President, breaking sharply with US policy.

Along with the disengagement plan, Israel announced investment of tens of millions of dollars in West Bank settlements. Prime Minister Sharon approved new housing units in the town of Ma'aleh Adumim to the East of Jerusalem, the core of the salient that divides the southern from the central Bantustan, along with other expansion plans.

Ha'aretz political commentator Aluf Benn added that the timing was "no coincidence." Rather, it underscores Sharon's determination that Gaza disengagement is a component of the plan to expand permanent control over the West Bank.

There is near unanimity that all of this violates international law. The consensus was expressed by US Judge Buergenthal, in his separate declaration attached to the World Court judgment ruling the Separation wall illegal. In his words, "the Fourth Geneva Convention, and international human rights law, are applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory and must [therefore] be faithfully complied with by Israel."

Accordingly, "the segments of the wall being built by Israel to protect the settlements are ipso facto in violation of international humanitarian law" – which means 80% of the wall. Two months later Israel's High Court rejected that judgment ruling that the Separation Wall "must take into account the need to provide security for...Israelis living" in the West Bank, including their "property" rights.

This is consistent with Chief Justice Barak's doctrine that Israeli law supersedes international law, particularly in East Jerusalem, annexed in violation of Security Council orders. Practically speaking, he is correct, as long as the US continues to provide the required economic, military, and diplomatic support, as it has been doing for 30 years, in violation of the international consensus on a two-state settlement.

You can find documentation about all of this in work of mine and others who have supported the international consensus for 30 years. In Israeli literature, like Benny Morris's histories, you can find ample evidence about the nature of the occupation – in his words, "founded on brute force, repression and fear, collaboration and treachery, beatings and torture chambers, and daily intimidation, humiliation, and manipulation," along with stealing of valuable lands and resources.

Like other Israeli political and legal commentators, Morris reserve special criticism for the Supreme Court, whose record "will surely go down as a dark day in the annals of Israel's judicial system."

Keeping to the diplomatic record, the first important step forward was in 1971, when President Sadat of Egypt offered a full peace treaty to Israel in return for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories. That would have ended the international conflict. Israel rejected the offer, choosing expansion over security – in this case, expansion into the Sinai, where General Sharon's forces had driven thousands of farmers into the desert to clear the land for the all-Jewish city of Yamit.

The US backed Israel's stand. Those decisions led to the 1973 war, a near disaster for Israel. The US and Israel recognized that Egypt could not be dismissed, and finally accepted Sadat's 1971 offer at Camp David in 1979. But by then, the agreement included the demand for a Palestinian state, which had reached the international agenda.

In 1976, the major Arab states introduced a resolution to the UN Security Council calling for a peace settlement on the international border, based on UN 242, the basic document as all agree, but now adding a call for a Palestinian state in the occupied territories.

The US vetoed the resolution, again in 1980. The General Assembly passed similar resolutions year after year, with the US and Israel opposed. The matter reached a head in 1988, when the PLO moved from tacit approval to formal acceptance of the two-state consensus.

Israel responded with the declaration that there can be no "additional" Palestinian state between the Jordan and the sea – Jordan already being a Palestinian state -- and that the status of the territories must be settled according to Israeli guidelines.

The US endorsed Israel's stand. I can only add what I wrote at the time: it's as if someone were to argue that Jews don't need a "second homeland" in Israel because they already have New York.

In May 1997, Israel's Labor Party at last agreed not to rule out "the establishment of a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty (in areas excluding) major Jewish settlement blocs," that is, in the three cantons that were being constructed with US support. The highest rate of post-Oslo settlement was in 2000, the final year of Clinton's term, and Prime Minister Barak's.

Maps of the US-Israel proposals at Camp David in 2000 show a salient east of Jerusalem virtually bisecting the West Bank, and a northern one virtually dividing the northern from the central canton. The current map considerably extends these salients and the isolation of East Jerusalem. The crucial issue at Camp David was territorial; not the refugee issue, for which Arafat agreed to a "pragmatic" solution, Israeli scholarship reveals.

No Palestinian could accept the cantonization, including the US favorite Mahmoud Abbas. Clinton recognized that Palestinian objections had validity, and in December 2000 proposed his "parameters," which went some way towards satisfying Palestinian rights. Clinton reported that Barak and Arafat had both "accepted these parameters as the basis for further efforts. Both have expressed some reservations."

The reservations were addressed at a high-level meeting in Taba, which made considerable progress, and might have led to a settlement. But Israel called it off. That one week at Taba was the only break in 30 years of US-Israeli rejectionism.

High-level informal negotiations continued, leading to the Geneva Accord of December 2002, welcomed by virtually the entire world, rejected by Israel, dismissed by Washington. That could have been the basis for a just peace. It still can be. However, by then, Bush-Sharon bulldozers were demolishing any basis for it.

Every sane Israel hawk understood that it is absurd for Israel to leave 8000 settlers in Gaza, protected by a large part of the army while taking over scarce water resources and arable land. The sane conclusion was to withdraw from Gaza while expanding through the West Bank.

That will continue as long as Washington insists on marching "on the road to catastrophe" by rejecting minimal Palestinian rights, to quote the warning of the four former heads of Israel's Shin Bet Security Service. There are clear alternatives, and if that march to catastrophe continues, we will have only ourselves to blame.