The Center for an Informed America

NEWSLETTER #30
February 26, 2003


Protest Sign of the Week

 Sorry once again for the delay in getting this newsletter out. It took me considerably more time than I thought it would to wrap my house in duct tape and plastic sheeting to ward off a biological attack. It wasn't easy, but I think I've finally got the place airtight now.

At first, I was just going to create one 'safe room,' like the friendly people on TV advised me to do. But I'm a little claustrophobic, so I decided to just seal the entire interior of the house. And then, for added protection, I sealed the outside as well.

The neighbors seemed a bit perplexed, until I told them all that we were tenting the house for termites. I think they're getting a little suspicious though, since it's been 'tented' for a couple of weeks now, and we've been living in it the whole time.

The living room has been converted into a decontamination chamber, so getting in and out is a hassle, but I feel a whole lot safer. I just hope that the attack, when it comes, doesn't last very long, because I've noticed that my home, while now completely free of all toxins, is also noticeably lacking in oxygen.

But the important thing is that I am prepared for the terrorist attack that the good folks at Homeland Security assure us is coming. And I have no doubt that it is indeed coming. The terrorists have, after all (and we're talking about the real terrorists here, by the way, not the imaginary ones), been rather unrelenting in their attacks, especially since September 11, 2001.

They have attacked Afghanistan, they have attacked the Constitution, they have attacked the Bill of Rights, they have attacked the right to vote and to have that vote counted, they have attacked the environment and Social Security and Medicare and ...

Now they are preparing to attack Iraq. And there is a certain sense, it seems to me, of deja vu in the air. The attack has been planned for too long to not proceed; the Bush Brigades will not back down. The problem is that, despite rather valiant and creative efforts, Team Bush hasn't been able to sell this unprovoked war to an American, or to an international, audience.

It's much like the situation they would have been facing a couple of years ago if they had just decided, suddenly and for no readily apparent reason, to start selling the public on the idea of launching a massive assault on the nation of Afghanistan. That was, of course, also an attack that had been planned long in advance.

As it turned out though, the Afghan 'war' was an exceptionally easy sell, particularly after a bunch of crazed Saudis managed to crash airplanes into the WTC towers in such a precise way that the towers both collapsed in spectacularly choreographed implosions, all covered on live television.

And so it wasn't surprising that Team Bush had no problem whipping up immediate and nearly universal public support for bombing the piss out of Afghanistan. Actually, it was a little surprising, since the alleged hijackers were almost all Saudis, which doesn't really, on the surface, seem to translate to a rationale for bombing and occupying Afghanistan.

But let's not dwell on that. The point here is that, without 9-11, the Bush team's script for the pummeling of Afghanistan (a script which predated the alleged provocation) would have been a tough sell, both at home and internationally ... much like the situation that we find ourselves in today.

I notice that a little piece of legislation that has been dubbed 'Patriot Act II' is being floated around, promising yet further sweeping attacks by the terrorists on our alleged democratic rights. And if I recall correctly, the first Patriot Act had been bouncing around for some time before September 11, 2001, but it wasn't the kind of thing that anyone was going to try to sell to the American people.
(Patriot II: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/feb2003/poli-f22.shtml, http://www.public-i.org/dtaweb/report.asp?ReportID=502&L1=10&L2=10&L3=0&L4=0&L5=0, http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=2192053, http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/lewis.htm, and http://www.aclu.org/SafeandFree/SafeandFree.cfm?ID=11835&c=206.)

So there we were in 2001, holding one script for launching a blatantly illegal, unprovoked attack on the nation of Afghanistan, and another script for launching a blatantly unconstitutional, wholesale attack on democratic rights, but neither of them were likely to find much support with the public.

But then along came some hijacked airliners ... and suddenly everything changed.

And now here we are in 2003, holding one script for launching a blatantly illegal, unprovoked attack on the nation of Iraq, and another script for launching a blatantly unconstitutional, wholesale attack on democratic rights, but neither of them are likely to find much support with the public.

Unless ... those hijacked airliners make a return engagement, or something else occurs that will suitably inflame public opinion against ... well, against whomever Washington chooses to point a finger at, both inside and outside these borders.

That's why I have my house sealed up tight. Quite frankly, these terrorists seem a little desperate to me. They've tried everything imaginable to sell their 'war' script, but have failed miserably. There's no telling what they'll try next.

Their psy-war attacks, in the form of increasingly frantic 'terrorism alerts,' have become laughably predictable. The false arrests to create the illusion of breaking up terrorist 'cells' around the world, maybe even right in your own neighborhood, are heavy-handed and obvious. And the menacing Osama bin Laden tapes have been overplayed, to say the least. Yet another new one would be about as welcome as another Michael Jackson television special.

All of which begs the rather obvious question: how much longer do you think it will be before that strange little triangular thing on Michael Jackson's face atrophies and just falls off, leaving him with no nose at all -- which could conceivably, though by no means necessarily, leave him looking even more bizarre than he already does?

What does Michael's plastic surgeon say when the Gloved One strolls in to see about getting a little bit more of his nose shaved off? Does he agree that it's a good idea? "You know, Michael, your nose is much smaller than it was when you were a young black man, and it's smaller than it was when you were a young white man, but I think it's still a little too large for the androgynous alien look that you're going for now. How much should we take off this time? I would suggest that we take it all off, but I can make a lot more money if we just keep taking a little bit off at a time. And how about the lips? There's still a little bit there that can come off. And maybe we should start trimming back the ears. What do you think?"

Anyway, the real point is that Washington has been unable to generate any appreciable level of support for its imperial ambitions, unable to produce or fabricate any sort of convincing evidence, unable to generate a level of fear sufficient to herd to flock, and unable to enlist the support of allies who must posture for the home crowd -- due to the fact that they have to face elections where actual ballots are cast and counted.
(unlike, for instance, elections elsewhere: http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0131-01.htm and
http://www.blackboxvoting.com/Georgia-fix.html)

And yet, there is little doubt that the attack on Iraq will proceed, and the Son of the Patriot Act will become the law of the land -- one way or another.

That is why there is a real possibility that the terrorists may strike again. And when they do, it may be in L.A. The reason I say that is because one of the terrorists has managed to infiltrate the highest levels of the LAPD. I'm talking here, of course, about the new police chief, William Bratton.

Amazingly, almost no one seems to have noticed that such a high-profile terrorist has assumed control of the LAPD. These terrorists are sneaky that way. But I'm on to him. I'm pretty sure that he was sent here to lay the groundwork for the attack and its aftermath.

That's why I loaded up a cart at Home Depot with duct tape and plastic sheeting.

Luckily, I work in construction, so it didn't raise too many eyebrows when I did so. "Just protecting one of his jobs from the rain," the Depot staffers probably said to themselves, "or maybe doing some asbestos abatement work. He's definitely not one of those wackos who's preparing for a biological attack."

That business about working in construction, by the way, is true. And that is the real reason that this newsletter didn't make it out in a timely manner. My day job of late hasn't left much time for my night job.

I mention this because some readers have some rather peculiar notions about who I am. One of you wrote recently to ask me, in strictest confidence, if I didn't in fact also write as David Icke, Chuck Grossman (of Yellow Times), and some other writer whose name now escapes me.

I guess it would be futile to deny it. It's all me. I also do Mike Ruppert and Steve Gowans (that one's kind of obvious -- I was running out of names and just said "screw it; I'm just going to drop the 'Mc' -- nobody will figure it out") and me and another guy trade off doing Jared Israel (I write the good stuff, and the other guy writes the shitty stuff).

You're not buying that story? Well ... let's see what else I have for you. How about this: some readers think that I might be a spook. Sometimes they come right out and ask: "Are you a spook?" Other times they smugly assert that they know that I am. One reader was actually hoping that I was. That, he said, would be "kind of cool."

Unfortunately for that particular reader, I am not that cool. I do kind of feel like a spook at times though. Or maybe an anti-spook. Something like that. What that means, essentially, is that I have become rather adept at leading a double life.

I have the perfect cover during the day -- a rather mundane, nondescript, working stiff, suburban existence -- closer to Ozzie and Harriet than to The Osbournes, except that when dad leaves the house, he actually has to go to work. Because that, you see, is how the bills are paid.

Speaking of the Osbournes, by the way, exactly how dysfunctional do you have to be for Ozzy Osbourne to publicly question your fitness as a parent? Oops, sorry, I guess I already milked the Michael Jackson angle, didn't I?

What I wanted to say is that, as hard to believe as it may be, I actually do have a real job. The kind that you have to go to every day, sometimes even on weekends. The kind that basically suck, but you have to go every day anyway, because ranting and raving on the Internet about the rampant corruption and criminality of the Bush administration, while obviously a job of great importance, is not rewarded in Western culture the way that, say, banging nails is.

Yeah, I know, that really is a sad story. It probably could use some violin accompaniment. Unfortunately, I don't know how to add sounds to my postings.

The point of this is ... oh, who am I kidding? I don't even know what the point is. I'm not even sure there is a point. I'm going to have to reread what I wrote to see if I can figure it out ... OK, apparently the point was that I lead a double life. During the day, disguised as mild-mannered "Dave," I am never recognized as my notorious alter-ego.

If you were ever to encounter me in a work setting, which would generally be in an unfinished office building, you would be very unlikely to hear a conversation that went like this: "You know that guy, Dave, that is remodeling our offices? I wonder what he thinks about our foreign policy in the Middle East?"

No, that would only occur late at night, after I've changed into my superhero costume to become "The Conspiracy Theorist" (actually, I don't need to wear the superhero costume, since I never actually leave my house while in superhero mode, but there's something about the feel of a tight leotard that would probably be best left unexplored).

But enough about me. I've probably already revealed too much. I don't want to violate my contract with Fox, which has purchased my story to present as a new reality series entitled "Joe Commentator," in which a dim-witted construction worker masquerades as a knowledgeable political commentator and fools a group of unsuspecting readers. Stay tuned ...

Meanwhile, what I really want to talk about is Colin Powell - the Bush administration's alleged voice of sanity, the purported lone dove in a nest full of bloodthirsty hawks - who has now become, as one news report dubbed him, a "reluctant warrior." And I guess if even Colin Powell is now convinced that launching a blitzkrieg raid on Iraq is a swell idea, then the Bush team must have a pretty strong case for doing so. They haven't shown it to anyone, of course, but they must have it, or else a fine, upstanding man of conscience like Colin Powell wouldn't be banging the war drums so shamelessly.

While it's not quite as good as an endorsement from the UN Security Council, a thumbs-up from Powell is the next best thing. If the 'evidence' is good enough for Colin, then it's good enough for me. And, apparently, good enough for a whole lot of people who had previously been posing as tepid critics of the administration's war drive.

Most of the poseurs in the Democratic Party are now convinced. All the 'liberal' poseurs in the media are now convinced. It's clear now to just about everyone that there is no other course of action than to lay waste once again to the nation of Iraq. There's really nothing else we can do.

And the psy-war campaign marches on ... complete with way-over-the-top terrorist 'alerts' to scare and confuse the masses (as well as to justify the attempted cancellation of scheduled anti-war marches); a grotesquely over-hyped national 'tragedy' to unite the country behind our fearless leaders; and the seemingly obligatory new message from a disembodied voice that could belong to almost anyone, but is said to be that of none other than the Great Evil One himself, and which was first aired, once again, by Al Jazeera, which we are supposed to think is a constant thorn in Washington's side, but which would have been shut down long ago if it actually was.

Meanwhile, why don't we stop for a reality check? Colin - who, if I'm not mistaken, works in close proximity to Bush, both of them occasionally providing safe haven for Dick - is not now, nor has he ever been, a 'dove' (and yes, that was a crude sexual joke that you just read), he is not a voice of reason, he is not a moderating force within the Bush administration, and he is certainly not someone to look to for political guidance.
(http://www.disinfo.com/pages/dossier/id803/pg1/ and
http://www.onlinejournal.com/Commentary/Wingo021303/wingo021303.html)

In truth, there are no voices of moderation on the Bush team. The people now contemplating waging unprovoked chemical and nuclear warfare against the helpless civilian population of Iraq did not sit down at the beginning of Bush's term and say: "You know what? We should bring Colin Powell on board. We really need someone to rein the rest of us in or there's no telling how many people we will slaughter."

What was said was more likely along the lines of: "We really need someone who will provide the illusion of balance in this administration. Someone who the public trusts and views as a moderate, but who has a lot of experience covering up the torture, rape and massacre of civilians in Vietnam, and the crimes committed by the Iran/Contra gang, and the war crimes committed in Panama, and the war crimes committed in Iraq, and ... has anyone talked to Powell yet?"

Powell has merely been playing the role that he was assigned to play, which is to serve as something of a lightning rod for the millions of Americans out there who have had doubts about the warmongering of the Bush administration, and who are looking for someone - anyone - to provide some guidance.

Having become the Pied Piper of the Doubting Thomases, it is now time, as the onset of the attack grows near, for Powell to undergo a miraculous transformation and, by doing so, pull as many wavering Americans into the fold as possible. A healthy assist is being provided, as always, by the media.

Nice performance, Colin. You are doing a fine job. You should be very proud. Your son, by the way, is also doing a fine job over at the FCC. You should be very proud of him as well.

While we're on the subject of Iraq, it occurs to me that the last time someone named George Bush led us into a war with that nation, the story sold to the American people was that Baghdad had one of the world's largest, most powerful, and most feared military machines and therefore posed a dire threat not only to the region, but to the entire world. Once Operation Desert Slaughter began, however, that much-touted army was nowhere to be seen, and the country appeared to be almost entirely defenseless against the U.S.-led onslaught, directly contradicting the notion that Iraq was ever a military threat to anyone.

Now, twelve years later, after suffering a severe pummeling and being saddled with twelve years of sanctions and intermittent bombings that have made it all but impossible to rebuild the nation's military forces, as well as its civilian infrastructure, another George Bush is portraying a much weaker Iraq as being an international menace.

With that in mind, I have a few questions for all the flatliners out there who have become accustomed to parroting the cascade of lies emanating from Washington:

  • Why, when hindsight tells us that the last Bush administration to sell us this story was lying, and rather brazenly, should we now believe the very same story being sold by the very same mouthpieces in the new Bush administration?
  • Why, if Iraq is such a military powerhouse, was it unable to gain any ground in its war with Iran after years of fighting, even with an extensive amount of covert Western support? How can Iraq be a threat to the region if it needs help just to reach a draw with its nearest rival?
  • How can a country that is so poorly equipped militarily that it can't even defend its own airspace, and reportedly hasn't been able to pick off a single U.S. aircraft during twelve years of illegal over-flights and occasional bombing 'sorties,' pose any sort of a threat to its neighbors?
  • Why, if waging war with neighboring Iran and 'gassing its own people' are such inexcusable crimes, did the Baghdad bunch receive generous Western support while engaging in such actions?
  • And why, if waging war with neighboring Iran and 'gassing its own people' are such inexcusable crimes, was the regime allegedly responsible for such actions not removed twelve years ago? Isn't it 'double jeopardy' to bomb a country again for something that it has already been bombed for?
  • Why, when Saddam Hussein was largely forgotten for a decade or so after the first 'war' that was supposed to relieve him of his command, and when Osama bin Laden has been largely forgotten after the 'war' that was supposed to be about bringing him to justice, should we now believe that the goal of this 'war' has anything to do with Saddam Hussein?
  • If Saddam Hussein is in possession of 'weapons of mass destruction,' as the Washington gang has repeatedly assured us that he is, is it really a good idea to repeatedly assert that the primary goal of the invasion will be 'regime change'? If Saddam has been served notice, loud and clear, that his days are numbered, then what possible reason would he have for not deploying any and all 'weapons of mass destruction' that he can get his hands on?
  • Country "A" has been accused of possessing weapons of mass destruction, though no tangible evidence has been produced to support those allegations. Country "A" has not threatened to use such weapons, if they do exist, nor has it threatened to attack Country "B." Country "B," on the other hand, possesses enormous stockpiles of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. Country "B" also has the dubious distinction of being the only nation that has wielded all three as instruments of war. Country "B" has already launched one massive assault on Country "A," which included the use of radioactive weaponry (Depleted Uranium: http://www.disasternews.net/news/news.php?articleid=1687,

  • http://www.coastalpost.com/03/01/03.htm, http://www.lifeinfo.de/inh1./texte/GLOBE_INTEL1.html, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/01/13/MN233872.DTL, http://www.unobserver.com/layout5.php?id=715&blz=3, and http://www.voice4change.org/stories/showstory.asp?file=030210~cfwp.asp) and indirect biological warfare (the deliberate targeting of water treatment and sanitation facilities in order to create the breeding grounds for otherwise preventable diseases). Country "B" is now about to begin a second assault on Country "A," and has openly threatened to, and has drawn up plans to, deploy both nuclear (http://globalresearch.ca/articles/STE302A.html, http://www.latimes.com/la-na-nukes3feb03004428,0,6347310.story, and http://globalresearch.ca/articles/VAR302A.html) and biochemical (http://www.counterpunch.org/hammond02072003.html and http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=378740) weapons in carrying out that attack . Here then are the questions: which is the aggressor nation -- Country "A" or Country "B"? Which is the international outlaw? Which is the 'rogue state'? Which poses the greater threat to world peace and global stability? Take your time; I know they're tough questions.
What else is new to report? ... oh yeah, there was something about one of the Space Shuttles having a re-entry problem. It was hard to find any media coverage though, so I'm not really that clear on the details.

I do know that it was a tragedy of epic proportions. The entire nation is still grieving over it. The global village attended a memorial service, during which the president's words washed away some of our pain, but the hurt still lingers. How much tragedy, after all, can one nation endure?

This tragedy was of such magnitude that I believe I am required here, based on much of what I have read lately, to pay some kind of homage to the handful of fallen heroes. But I think I'll pass.

I'll pass because I'm not entirely convinced that the deaths of the seven astronauts were any more tragic than the deaths of countless others whose lives came to an abrupt end that day. Reader "Nick" noted that, elsewhere in the world, there were two major vehicular accidents that each claimed more lives than were lost in the Columbia disaster.

And assuming that February 2nd was a statistically average day, approximately 115 lives were tragically cut short right here in America due to vehicular accidents. Twelve days after the Columbia incident, a single head-on collision on a Texas interstate highway, just below where the Columbia broke up, left seven dead. The media barely paid attention.

Elsewhere in the world, 274 Iraqi children died on February 2nd due to the intolerable conditions created by the deliberate destruction of the country's infrastructure, the imposition of exceedingly harsh 'sanctions,' and the massive environmental damage caused by the widespread use of depleted uranium and the deliberate targeting of chemical facilities on the ground.

That death toll assumes, of course, that February 2nd was an average day. Nothing unusual about it. U.S. policies and actions kill 274 Iraqi children every day. Enough children's corpses to fill all the graves of the victims of the September 11 attacks every 11 days. And it's been like that in Iraq for twelve years now.

And we're just getting started ...

Returning then to the subject of the space shuttle ... if I remember correctly, this is the second shuttle that has made a rather spectacular exit from the space program. I mention this only because I find it odd that two space shuttles have suffered catastrophic breakdowns, whereas the Apollo missions always brought our astronauts home safe and sound.

My guess is that the aerospace technology that we had in the 1960s was rather primitive compared to what we have today. Call it a hunch. And yet our mission then was far more complex and required far more advanced technology than our mission today. We have lowered our sights, after all, from putting men on the moon to merely putting men into orbit.

We may have the Cadillac of orbiting spacecraft now, but 'back in the day' we put a rickety old Model T on the fucking moon -- and got it back with our heroes alive. And we kept on doing it, and our boys kept on coming back every time. Oh sure, there was that one time with Apollo 13 when it was allegedly touch-and-go, but, by God, we solved the problem and we got our astronauts back alive.

Nowadays, we can't even get our boys home safe after sending them up to work on some orbiting weapons systems. So I guess what I'm wondering is: how did we manage that perfect safety record with the Apollo program (aside from, of course, that fire during training exercises that disposed of some troublesome astronauts)?

It is utter madness, of course, to suggest that that safety record was due to the fact that it is easier to fake repeated successes than it is to actually achieve repeated successes. But it does seem kind of odd that we pulled it off not just once, but repeatedly. And with 1960s technology that, to be honest, basically sucked.

Some readers will recall that (younger readers may want to cover their eyes here, because the information to follow is shocking), in the 1960s, a full complement of 'home electronics' consisted of a fuzzy, 13-channel, black-and-white television set with a rotary tuning dial and no remote.

And yes, I am quite aware that it wasn't consumer electronics that allegedly sent men to the moon. The point here though is that advances in aerospace technology, or in any other type of technology, mirror advances in consumer technology.  So it is safe to say that, technologically speaking, the 1960s fell somewhere within the Dark Ages.

But we didn't need any of the fancy technology that we have today to land Buzz and the boys on the moon. No sir. Nor to get them back. They reentered in a space capsule that looked like it was left over from the set of a Roger Corman flick, but which nonetheless safely parachuted into the ocean. Every time. And we didn't need to cover those capsules with all those high-falutin tiles either.

Back in the 'sixties, we just used good-old Yankee ingenuity. We MacGyvered those spaceships to the moon. All that was needed was an old Volkswagen, a body kit, some duct tape and a roll of bailing wire. That, and a few Nazi scientists recruited through Project Paperclip.

Well, dear readers, once again I have run out of space before getting to the material that was promised in the previous newsletter. Actually, I haven't, strictly speaking, run out of space, since the length restrictions on these missives are entirely self-imposed. But you get the point.

Before signing off though, I have some noteworthy links to pass along. This first one, to an organizational chart on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website, reveals that the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research has merged the functions of counter-terrorism and pediatric drug development, creating the Office of Counter-Terrorism and Pediatric Drug Development. Does anyone other then me find that a bit disturbing?
(http://www.fda.gov/cder/pediatric/PediatricOrgchart.htm)

If not, then does anyone other than me find it a bit disturbing that Henry the K's replacement to head the allegedly independent investigation into the events of September 11, 2001 has business ties to a brother-in-law of our arch-enemy, Osama bin Laden?
(http://www.fortune.com/fortune/print/0,15935,410237,00.html, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO212A.html, and http://truthout.org/docs_02/020303E.htm)

Still no takers? Then how about this: does anyone other than me find it a bit disturbing that the U.S. media - the very same allegedly 'liberal' media that flogged the Gary Condit/Chandra Levy story unmercifully - has had absolutely nothing to say about the fact that the corpse of a woman with whom former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough (Fl) was having an affair turned up in the congressman's office with a messy head wound?
(http://www.liberalslant.com/journalists.htm)

Am I still alone here? Tough crowd, obviously. Well then, does anyone find it disturbing, or perhaps revealing, that Donald Rumsfeld, during an interview with a journalist for Parade Magazine, spoke of a "missile" in connection with the attack on the Pentagon?
(http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Nov2001/t11182001_t1012pm.html)

Let's see what else I have here ... does anyone find it disturbing, though not necessarily shocking, that the U.S. now fairly openly embraces torture as an 'interrogation' tool? (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/12/26/1040511135568.html, http://www.hrw.org/press/2002/12/us1227.htm, http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,866235,00.html, http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/dec2002/tort-d30.shtml, and http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/post911fp/renditiontorture.htm)

That applies, one presumes, only to 'terrorist' suspects. And, I suppose, to U.S. citizens who have been declared to be 'combatants.' (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030108/ap_on_go_ot/afghan_american_prisoners_6)
And occasionally, perhaps, to guys that try to take photographs of the hotel that Dick Cheney is staying in. (http://www.2600.com/news/view/article/1441)

I can't help wondering exactly what sort of information it is that U.S. interrogators need to force from 'terrorist' suspects. Would the interrogation go something like this?
Interrogator: "Where is Osama bin Laden?"
al Qaeda suspect: "I can't really tell you for sure, but I heard he has a little place in Washington a few doors down from Don Rumsfeld."

In other news, the Los Angeles Times reported, just a couple of days before Christmas 2002, that a U.S. soldier had been killed in Afghanistan. He was, according to the report, "the 23rd U.S. service member to be killed since the fighting in Afghanistan began in autumn 2001. The previous fatality was on May 19."

Some readers may find these statistics a little hard to believe. Only 23 killed on our side in more than 14 months of fighting? No fatalities at all between May and December? Seven months of waging war without a single fatality? How could that be? How could it be that taking in a show at a club is significantly more hazardous to your health than fighting in a war?

Don't people die in a war anymore? Don't any of our 'enemies' fight back?

The reality is that our servicemen are not supermen (though the Pentagon is busily working at making them just that: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/05/1041566309313.html and http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd01132003.html). The other side does fight back, and idealistic young Americans - their heads filled with delusions of John Wayne-style heroism - do have their dreams brought to a sudden, violent end.

A report by Jihad Unspun provides somewhat different casualty figures than those given by the Times: http://www.jihadunspun.net/articles/08212002-Casualty.Report/casualty02.html. Based on reports that managed to make it into various avenues of the media, allied casualties are shown to run to nearly 1,000. The real figure is likely much higher even than that.

U.S. casualties in Iraq Attack II will be significantly higher. Too high, most likely, for them to be completely concealed from the American people. Speaking of Iraq, it was the U.S. and its Western allies, in case anyone still doesn't know this, who supplied Iraq with its 'weapons of mass destruction' back in the days when it had a nasty habit of actually using them.
(http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/12.21A.us.firms.iraq.htm, http://www.news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1422882002, and http://www.ccmep.org/2002_articles/Iraq/121802_leaked_report_says_german_and_us.htm)

Still on the subject of Iraq, here is a piece by Joe Bob Briggs that didn't get nearly the circulation that it deserved when it was first published back in November of 2002 (http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20021111-014603-8803r). I see, by the way, where Saddam Hussein would like to publicly debate George Bush. Sounds like 'Must See TV' to me. Much better would be a televised debate between Bush and the always eloquent Fidel Castro. (http://www.swans.com/library/art9/mws041.html)

And yet still on the subject of Iraq, ABC News revealed that the U.S. plans to unleash an enormous new bomb known as a MOAB, which is said to be even larger and more powerful than the 'Daisy Cutters' that we recently dropped on Afghanistan. The blast from a MOAB is said to be "similar to a small nuclear weapon."
(http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/World/newbomb030225.html)

The final words of the ABC posting are quite telling. They read as follows: "But one important aspect of using this type of weapon, sources say, will be psychological impact on enemy troops. It is intended to terrorize Iraqi troops, drastically reducing their desire to continue the fight."

That, you see, is what terrorists do: they use brutally violent means to foment terror which is intended to coerce compliance. They use weapons that are "intended to terrorize." They try to break the will of the 'enemy.' That is what they're doing here in America. That is what they did in Afghanistan. And that is what they will do in Iraq. That is what terrorists do.

Elsewhere in the news, Pennsylvania has decided that it is perfectly acceptable for police to shoot pre-teen children in the back (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/feb2003/penn-f25.shtml), while New York wants to vastly increase the spying powers of the NYPD. (http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0251/lee.php)

At least twenty cities (http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/12.21D.20.cities.htm), oops, make that twenty-two cities (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20030110/ap_on_re_us/rights_resolutions_1), have now rejected the Patriot Act and Homeland Security legislation, even while Team Bush moves to further strengthen Big Brother's hand by monitoring ISPs. (http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/4779109.htm and
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=9507)

The WSWS reported that an investigation into warnings that preceded the bombing in Bali was a whitewash (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/jan2003/igis-j07.shtml). Probably so, but at least there was a fake investigation -- which is more than can be said for the September 11 attacks. Or the anthrax attacks.

In the unlikely event that such investigations ever do get underway, here are some pieces of evidence that investigators might consider (both from decidedly right-wing sources): American Free Press claims that a tape from the WTC towers containing firefighters' voices has been suppressed precisely because the tape casts serious doubts on the notion that the towers' collapses were due solely to the aircraft crashes and fires (http://www.americanfreepress.net/08_09_02/New_York_Firefighters__/new_york_firefighters__.html); and Judicial Watch charges that the White House staff was put on Cipro on September 11 -- before any hint of the coming anthrax attacks (http://www.judicialwatch.org/2953.shtml). Hmmm ...

One reader asked the other day whether there was any new news on the Wellstone crash investigation. Funny you should ask. On February 21, crash investigators released some preliminary investigative reports. According to the L.A. Times, they reveal that the lead pilot almost canceled the flight due to poor weather, but later changed his mind.
(http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-wellstone22feb22,1,940810.story)

While the emphasis appears to be on smearing the pilot and co-pilot, likely as a prelude to the issuance of a report claiming pilot error, investigators are also looking at "the procedures used to de-ice the plane, and the FAA's oversight of aviation charter companies." There was no mention of whether investigators had looked at, or ruled out, sabotage as a cause of the crash.

Wrapping things up, let's take a quick look at: the UK's Celldar Project, which aims to use mobile phones to track anyone, anywhere, anytime (http://www.guardian.co.uk/mobile/article/0,2763,811034,00.html/); Army Secretary Thomas White and Enron (http://www.counterpunch.org/leopold01032003.html); Zionist collaboration with the Nazis during World War II (http://www.counterpunch.org/brenner1223.html); the fabrication of evidence against protesters in Genoa (http://www.fair.org/activism/genoa-update.html); some mysterious webs in Texas (http://www.galvnews.com/report.lasso?wcd=6722); and the Bush Team's 'no-fly' list (http://www.interventionmag.com/cms/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=278).

Finally, here is a link to a wonderfully insightful and satirical look at 'conspiracy theories' and September 11 (http://adelaide.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=4246&group=webcast), and another to a site featuring a set of 'Friendly Dictator' (defined as: thugs supported and financed by the U.S.) trading cards that you can collect and trade with friends and family. (http://home.iprimus.com.au/korob/fdtcards/Cards_Index.html)

And that, as they say in Hollywood, is a wrap. See you next, uhmm, week  ...
 
 

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