Bulletin 216


1 December 2005
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

The grim news seemed to be multiplying these past few days. A growing concern that war criminals are no longer held accountable is now expressed at every level of American society.

Every institution in capitalist societies across the world is in danger of becoming a site for copycat behavior, by imitation of the rich and powerful in higher circles of authority, where lawlessness and the abuse of power is exercised with impunity, and where criticism is met routinely by silence, if not by outright intimidation. This end to dialogue, this contempt for democratic decision-making, at the local level and at the national level, is a tactic that can lead only to a rise in violence. At the international level this practice will end in an escalation of violence to a degree perilous to humanity itself.

We must join the millions of citizens throughout the world who ask that those responsible for crimes against humanity be held accountable and that the victims, past and present, be awarded reparations in acknowledgement of the failures of our limited democracy and as a re-commitment to democratic values, such as tolerance, justice and equality.

Among the items below, are disturbing documents that any mature student of American society should examine as part of a serious effort to come to terms with the decay within American institutions today. We encourage our readers to contribute to the effort of putting an end to the imperialist violence we now witnessed day after day in the Middle East and to the repression that tens of thousands of Americans are suffering today for their stance against the war in Iraq .

Item A. below is a shocking video clip depicting what appears to be insane drive-by killings by paramilitary personnel associated with the imperialist forces in Baghdad.

Item B. is an article by Noam Chomsky in which he warns that the war in Iraq might be nothing less than the detonator of something bigger, much bigger, and for this reason alone it must be stopped now.
[We invite readers read Newsletter N30 on the CEIMSA web site which is Professor Jean Bricmont's account of the French betrayal of its heritage of tolerance from the time of the Enlightenment. In the 18th Century, Voltaire became famous for his declared trust in human reason: "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it." This proud and noble cry for humanity has been all but silenced, momentarily, as Professor Bricmont explains in our Newsletter N30.]

Item C. is part of the newly released documents made available by the National Security Archives in Washington, D.C., which reveal for the first time the political process by which the United States government gave strategic support to the horrendous crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor that lasted for a quarter of a century, beginning in 1975.

Item D. is an article by award-winning investigative reporter, by Seymour Hersh. In this article, Where is the Iraq war headed next?, he attempts to describe the hysterical escalation of the war in the Middle East which is now being conducted by the Bush II administration, and which includes the formation of a new composite American Special Forces team, known as an S.M.U. (special-mission unit) that has begun invading Syria.

Item E. is news from the home front: Bill Moyers reports in an  interview with John Eggerton on the right-wing "serial abusers" who now control Public Broadcasting Service in America .

Item F. is a public invitation from the Council for the National Interest Foundation, in Washington, D.C., announcing a meeting with author and former U.S. Representative, Paul Findley, on 1 December to discuss "How can we prevent a 'clash of civilizations'? 

Item G. is a message from Presidential Candidate, Ralph Nader, who again rallies support for a confrontation with pro-war political forces in the U.S. , whom he believes are increasingly alienated from public opinion and will eventually loose control of the political institutions they once dominated.

Item H. is a petition forwarded to us by Professor Judith Ezekiel at the University of Toulouse, from The World Can't Wait organization that has become a pillar of the anti-war movement.

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Grenoble, France

from Truthout :
28 November 2005

Video Allegedly Exposes Security Contractors
http :// www.truthout.org/multimedia.htm
A "trophy" video made by private security guards showing them  randomly shooting Iraqi civilians as they drive their car in the streets of Baghdad. The discovery of this film has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet. This video has renewed concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq , could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis. William Rivers Pitt writes: The Abu Ghraib images were bad enough. Now we have these so-called Aegis videos, allegedly showing contractors in Iraq driving the road between Baghdad and the airport. In the video, men speaking with Irish or Scottish accents use an assault rifle to indiscriminately blast other cars on the road. The video shows cars peppered with bullets careening to and fro, crashing into each other and rolling into the trees. In the background, Elvis Presley can be heard singing 'Mystery Train.'

from Noam Chomsky :
4 July 2005

It's Imperialism, Stupid
Noam Chomsky

Khaleej Times, July 4, 2005
In his June 28 speech, President Bush asserted that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken as part of "a global war against terror" that the United States is waging. In reality, as anticipated, the invasion increased the threat of terror, perhaps significantly.

Half-truths, misinformation and hidden agendas have characterized official pronouncements about US war motives in Iraq from the very beginning. The recent revelations about the rush to war in Iraq stand out all the more starkly amid the chaos that ravages the country and threatens the region and indeed the world.

In 2002 the US and United Kingdom proclaimed the right to invade Iraq because it was developing weapons of mass destruction. That was the "single question," as stressed constantly by Bush, Prime Minister Blair and associates. It was also the sole basis on which Bush received congressional authorization to resort to force.

The answer to the "single question" was given shortly after the invasion, and reluctantly conceded: The WMD didn't exist. Scarcely missing a beat, the government and media doctrinal system concocted new pretexts and justifications for going to war.

"Americans do not like to think of themselves as aggressors, but raw aggression is what took place in Iraq," national security and intelligence analyst John Prados concluded after his careful, extensive review of the documentary record in his 2004 book "Hoodwinked."

Prados describes the Bush "scheme to convince America and the world that war with Iraq was necessary and urgent" as "a case study in government dishonesty ... that required patently untrue public statements and egregious manipulation of intelligence." The Downing Street memo, published on May 1 in The Sunday Times of London, along with other newly available confidential documents, have deepened the record of deceit.

The memo came from a meeting of Blair's war cabinet on July 23, 2002, in which Sir Richard Dearlove, head of British foreign intelligence, made the now-notorious assertion that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" of going to war in Iraq.

The memo also quotes British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon as saying that "the US had already begun 'spikes of activity' to put pressure on the regime."

British journalist Michael Smith, who broke the story of the memo, has elaborated on its context and contents in subsequent articles. The "spikes of activity" apparently included a coalition air campaign meant to provoke Iraq into some act that could be portrayed as what the memo calls a "casus belli."

Warplanes began bombing in southern Iraq in May 2002 10 tons that month, according to British government figures. A special "spike" started in late August (for a September total of 54.6 tons).

"In other words, Bush and Blair began their war not in March 2003, as everyone believed, but at the end of August 2002, six weeks before Congress approved military action against Iraq ," Smith wrote.

The bombing was presented as defensive action to protect coalition planes in the no-fly zone. Iraq protested to the United Nations but didn't fall into the trap of retaliating. For US-UK planners, invading Iraq was a far higher priority than the "war on terror." That much is revealed by the reports of their own intelligence agencies. On the eve of the allied invasion, a classified report by the National Intelligence Council, the intelligence community's center for strategic thinking, "predicted that an American-led invasion of Iraq would increase support for political Islam and would result in a deeply divided Iraqi society prone to violent internal conflict," Douglas Jehl and David E. Sanger reported in The New York Times last September. In December 2004, Jehl reported a few weeks later, the NIC warned 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 'professionalised' and for whom political violence becomes an end in itself." The willingness of top planners to risk increase of terrorism does not of course indicate that they welcome such outcomes. Rather, they are simply not a high priority in comparison with other objectives, such as controlling the world's major energy resources.

Shortly after the invasion of Iraq , Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the more astute of the senior planners and analysts, pointed out in the journal National Interest that America 's control over the Middle East "gives it indirect but politically critical leverage on the European and Asian economies that are also dependent on energy exports from the region." If the United States can maintain its control over Iraq, with the world's second largest known oil reserves, and right at the heart of the world's major energy supplies, that will enhance significantly its strategic power and influence over its major rivals in the tripolar world that has been taking shape for the past 30 years: US-dominated North America, Europe, and Northeast Asia, linked to South and Southeast Asia economies.

It is a rational calculation, on the assumption that human survival is not particularly significant in comparison with short-term power and wealth. And that is nothing new. These themes resonate through history. The difference today in this age of nuclear weapons is only that the stakes are enormously higher.

from National Security Archives :
November 28, 2005

A Quarter Century of U.S. Support for Occupation in East Timor

East Timor Truth Commission report uses declassified U.S. documents to reveal support for Indonesian invasion and occupation of East Timor from 1975 until U.N. sponsored vote in 1999

National Security Archive provides more than 1000 documents to East Timor Truth Commission after Bush administration refuses cooperation

For more information contact:
Brad Simpson - 443/845-4462


"I'm assuming you're really going to keep your mouth shut on this subject?"
- National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger to his staff in October 1975 in response to reports that Indonesia had begun its attack on East Timor.

Washington D.C., November 28, 2005 - Today, East Timorese President Xanana Gusm㯠transmits to Parliament the final report of East Timor's Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR) on human rights violations committed in East Timor between 1974 and 1999, and the National Security Archive is making available to the public some of the more than 1,000 formerly classified U.S. documents that it provided to assist the work of the CAVR.

According to the CAVR, the timing of the release to the public of either the 2,500 page report or its executive summary will now be determined by East Timor's Parliament. The National Security Archive's Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project is releasing these U.S. documents in the hopes of encouraging the speediest possible release and widest possible dissemination of the CAVR's findings, which are strongly critical of the role of the international community in supporting Indonesia 's invasion and occupation of East Timor. Today is also the 30th anniversary of East Timor's (Timor-Leste) November 28, 1975 declaration of independence.

"We expect the final report of the CAVR to demonstrate, as these documents do, that Indonesia's invasion and occupation of East Timor and the resulting crimes against humanity occurred in an international context in which the support of powerful nations, especially the United States, was indispensable," said Brad Simpson, assistant professor of history at University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Director of the National Security Archive's Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project. "These documents also point to the need for genuine international accountability for East Timor's suffering, especially as Indonesia embarks on its own truth commission process."

The documents included in this briefing book were declassified in response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Archive's Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project, after the Bush Administration refused a CAVR request for U.S. documents. The project aims to assist efforts to document and seek accountability for more than three decades of human rights abuses committed during the rule of Indonesian President Suharto (1965-1998).

Among the revelations in these formerly secret documents:

* U.S. officials adopted a "policy of silence" and sought to suppress news and discussion of East Timor, though they knew of Indonesian plans to invade nearly a year in advance;

* The Ford Administration knew that Indonesia had invaded East Timor almost entirely using U.S. equipment, knew the use of this equipment was illegal, and discussed circumventing any possible Congressional ban on military aid to Indonesia;

* In 1977, Carter Administration officials blocked declassification of the explosive cable transcribing President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger's December 6, 1975 meeting with Indonesian President Suharto in which they explicitly approved of Indonesia's invasion of East Timor;

* Through the 1980s, U.S. officials continued to receive - and deny or dismiss - credible reports of Indonesian massacres of Timorese civilians;

* In 1993, the U.S. Ambassador in Jakarta concluded that the Suharto regime's effort to integrate East Timor into Indonesia had failed, and that "the repressive and pervasive Indonesian military presence is the main obstacle to the government's goal of integration.";

* In September 1999 the CIA reported on Indonesian military and militia violence following East Timor's vote for independence as a form of terrorism, reporting that "the military has supported or worked alongside the militias."

from ICH :
28 November 2005

Where is the Iraq war headed next?
By Seymour M. Hersh

11/28/05 " New Yorker" -- -- In recent weeks, there has been widespread speculation that President George W. Bush, confronted by diminishing approval ratings and dissent within his own party, will begin pulling American troops out of Iraq next year. The Administrations best-case scenario is that the parliamentary election scheduled for December 15th will produce a coalition government that will join the Administration in calling for a withdrawal to begin in the spring. By then, the White House hopes, the new government will be capable of handling the insurgency. In a speech on November 19th, Bush repeated the latest Administration catchphrase: As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down. He added, When our commanders on the ground tell me that Iraqi forces can defend their freedom, our troops will come home with the honor they have earned. One sign of the political pressure on the Administration to prepare for a withdrawal came last week, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Fox News that the current level of American troops would not have to be maintained for very much longer, because the Iraqis were getting better at fighting the insurgency.

A high-level Pentagon war planner told me, however, that he has seen scant indication that the President would authorize a significant pullout of American troops if he believed that it would impede the war against the insurgency. There are several proposals currently under review by the White House and the Pentagon; the most ambitious calls for American combat forces to be reduced from a hundred and fifty-five thousand troops to fewer than eighty thousand by next fall, with all American forces officially designated combat to be pulled out of the area by the summer of 2008. In terms of implementation, the planner said, the drawdown plans that Im familiar with are condition-based, event-driven, and not in a specific time framethat is, they depend on the ability of a new Iraqi government to defeat the insurgency. (A Pentagon spokesman said that the Administration had not made any decisions and had no plan to leave, only a plan to complete the mission.)

A key element of the drawdown plans, not mentioned in the Presidents public statements, is that the departing American troops will be replaced by American airpower. Quick, deadly strikes by U.S. warplanes are seen as a way to improve dramatically the combat capability of even the weakest Iraqi combat units. The danger, military experts have told me, is that, while the number of American casualties would decrease as ground troops are withdrawn, the over-all level of violence and the number of Iraqi fatalities would increase unless there are stringent controls over who bombs what.

Were not planning to diminish the war, Patrick Clawson, the deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told me. Clawsons views often mirror the thinking of the men and women around Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. We just want to change the mix of the forces doing the fightingIraqi infantry with American support and greater use of airpower. The rule now is to commit Iraqi forces into combat only in places where they are sure to win. The pace of commitment, and withdrawal, depends on their success in the battlefield.

He continued, We want to draw down our forces, but the President is prepared to tough this one out. There is a very deep feeling on his part that the issue of Iraq was settled by the American people at the polling places in 2004. The war against the insurgency may end up being a nasty and murderous civil war in Iraq , but we and our allies would still win, he said. As long as the Kurds and the Shiites stay on our side, were set to go. Theres no sense that the world is caving in. Were in the middle of a seven-year slog in Iraq , and eighty per cent of the Iraqis are receptive to our message.

One Pentagon adviser told me, There are always contingency plans, but why withdraw and take a chance? I dont think the President will go for ituntil the insurgency is broken. Hes not going to back off. This is bigger than domestic politics.

Current and former military and intelligence officials have told me that the President remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq , and that he is impervious to political pressure, even from fellow Republicans. They also say that he disparages any information that conflicts with his view of how the war is proceeding.

Bushs closest advisers have long been aware of the religious nature of his policy commitments. In recent interviews, one former senior official, who served in Bushs first term, spoke extensively about the connection between the Presidents religious faith and his view of the war in Iraq . After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the former official said, he was told that Bush felt that God put me here to deal with the war on terror. The Presidents belief was fortified by the Republican sweep in the 2002 congressional elections; Bush saw the victory as a purposeful message from God that hes the man, the former official said. Publicly, Bush depicted his reelection as a referendum on the war; privately, he spoke of it as another manifestation of divine purpose.

The former senior official said that after the election he made a lengthy inspection visit to Iraq and reported his findings to Bush in the White House: I said to the President, Were not winning the war. And he asked, Are we losing? I said, Not yet. The President, he said, appeared displeased with that answer.

I tried to tell him, the former senior official said. And he couldnt hear it.

There are grave concerns within the military about the capability of the U.S. Army to sustain two or three more years of combat in Iraq . Michael OHanlon, a specialist on military issues at the Brookings Institution, told me, The people in the institutional Army feel they dont have the luxury of deciding troop levels, or even participating in the debate. Theyre planning on staying the course until 2009. I cant believe the Army thinks that it will happen, because theres no sustained drive to increase the size of the regular Army. OHanlon noted that if the President decides to stay the present course in Iraq some troops would be compelled to serve fourth and fifth tours of combat by 2007 and 2008, which could have serious consequences for morale and competency levels.

Many of the militarys most senior generals are deeply frustrated, but they say nothing in public, because they dont want to jeopardize their careers. The Administration has so terrified the generals that they know they wont go public, a former defense official said. A retired senior C.I.A. officer with knowledge of Iraq told me that one of his colleagues recently participated in a congressional tour there. The legislators were repeatedly told, in meetings with enlisted men, junior officers, and generals that things were fucked up. But in a subsequent teleconference with Rumsfeld, he said, the generals kept those criticisms to themselves.

One person with whom the Pentagons top commanders have shared their private views for decades is Representative John Murtha, of Pennsylvania, the senior Democrat on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. The President and his key aides were enraged when, on November 17th, Murtha gave a speech in the House calling for a withdrawal of troops within six months. The speech was filled with devastating information. For example, Murtha reported that the number of attacks in Iraq has increased from a hundred and fifty a week to more than seven hundred a week in the past year. He said that an estimated fifty thousand American soldiers will suffer from what I call battle fatigue in the war, and he said that the Americans were seen as the common enemy in Iraq . He also took issue with one of the White Houses claimsthat foreign fighters were playing the major role in the insurgency. Murtha said that American soldiers havent captured any in this latest activitythe continuing battle in western Anbar province, near the border with Syria . So this idea that theyre coming in from outside, we still think theres only seven per cent.

Murthas call for a speedy American pullout only seemed to strengthen the White Houses resolve. Administration officials are beyond angry at him, because he is a serious threat to their policyboth on substance and politically, the former defense official said. Speaking at the Osan Air Force base, in South Korea , two days after Murthas speech, Bush said, The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. . . . If theyre not stopped, the terrorists will be able to advance their agenda to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel , to intimidate Europe, and to break our will and blackmail our government into isolation. Im going to make you this commitment: this is not going to happen on my watch.

The President is more determined than ever to stay the course, the former defense official said. He doesnt feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage People may suffer and die, but the Church advances. He said that the President had become more detached, leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney. They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway, the former defense official said. Bushs public appearances, for example, are generally scheduled in front of friendly audiences, most often at military bases. Four decades ago, President Lyndon Johnson, who was also confronted with an increasingly unpopular war, was limited to similar public forums. Johnson knew he was a prisoner in the White House, the former official said, but Bush has no idea.

Within the military, the prospect of using airpower as a substitute for American troops on the ground has caused great unease. For one thing, Air Force commanders, in particular, have deep-seated objections to the possibility that Iraqis eventually will be responsible for target selection. Will the Iraqis call in air strikes in order to snuff rivals, or other warlords, or to snuff members of your own sect and blame someone else? another senior military planner now on assignment in the Pentagon asked. Will some Iraqis be targeting on behalf of Al Qaeda, or the insurgency, or the Iranians?

Its a serious business, retired Air Force General Charles Horner, who was in charge of allied bombing during the 1991 Gulf War, said. The Air Force has always had concerns about people ordering air strikes who are not Air Force forward air controllers. We need people on active duty to think it out, and they will. There has to be training to be sure that somebody is not trying to get even with somebody else. (Asked for a comment, the Pentagon spokesman said there were plans in place for such training. He also noted that Iraq had no offensive airpower of its own, and thus would have to rely on the United States for some time.)

The American air war inside Iraq today is perhaps the most significantand underreportedaspect of the fight against the insurgency. The military authorities in Baghdad and Washington do not provide the press with a daily accounting of missions that Air Force, Navy, and Marine units fly or of the tonnage they drop, as was routinely done during the Vietnam War. One insight into the scope of the bombing in Iraq was supplied by the Marine Corps during the height of the siege of Falluja in the fall of 2004. With a massive Marine air and ground offensive under way, a Marine press release said, Marine close air support continues to put high-tech steel on target. . . . Flying missions day and night for weeks, the fixed wing aircraft of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing are ensuring battlefield success on the front line. Since the beginning of the war, the press release said, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing alone had dropped more than five hundred thousand tons of ordnance. This number is likely to be much higher by the end of operations, Major Mike Sexton said. In the battle for the city, more than seven hundred Americans were killed or wounded; U.S. officials did not release estimates of civilian dead, but press reports at the time told of women and children killed in the bombardments.

In recent months, the tempo of American bombing seems to have increased. Most of the targets appear to be in the hostile, predominantly Sunni provinces that surround Baghdad and along the Syrian border. As yet, neither Congress nor the public has engaged in a significant discussion or debate about the air war.

The insurgency operates mainly in crowded urban areas, and Air Force warplanes rely on sophisticated, laser-guided bombs to avoid civilian casualties. These bombs home in on targets that must be painted, or illuminated, by laser beams directed by ground units. The pilot doesnt identify the target as seen in the pre-briefthe instructions provided before takeoffa former high-level intelligence official told me. The guy with the laser is the targeteer. Not the pilot. Often you get a hot-read from a military unit on the groundand you drop your bombs with no communication with the guys on the ground. You dont want to break radio silence. The people on the ground are calling in targets that the pilots cant verify. He added, And were going to turn this process over to the Iraqis?

The second senior military planner told me that there are essentially two types of targeting now being used in Iraq : a deliberate site-selection process that works out of air-operations centers in the region, and adaptive targetingsupportive bombing by prepositioned or loitering warplanes that are suddenly alerted to firefights or targets of opportunity by military units on the ground. The bulk of what we do today is adaptive, the officer said, and its divorced from any operational air planning. Airpower can be used as a tool of internal political coercion, and my attitude is that I cant imagine that we will give that power to the Iraqis.

This military planner added that even today, with Americans doing the targeting, there is no sense of an air campaign, or a strategic vision. We are just whacking targetsits a reversion to the Stone Age. Theres no operational art. Thats what happens when you give targeting to the Armythey hit what the local commander wants to hit.

One senior Pentagon consultant I spoke to said he was optimistic that American air will immediately make the Iraqi Army that much better. But he acknowledged that he, too, had concerns about Iraqi targeting. We have the most expensive eyes in the sky right now, the consultant said. But a lot of Iraqis want to settle old scores. Who is going to have authority to call in air strikes? Theres got to be a behavior-based rule.

General John Jumper, who retired last month after serving four years as the Air Force chief of staff, was in favor of certification of those Iraqis who will be allowed to call in strikes, the Pentagon consultant told me. I dont know if it will be approved. The regular Army generals were resisting it to the last breath, despite the fact that they would benefit the most from it.

A Pentagon consultant with close ties to the officials in the Vice-Presidents office and the Pentagon who advocated the war said that the Iraqi penchant for targeting tribal and personal enemies with artillery and mortar fire had created impatience and resentment inside the military. He believed that the Air Forces problems with Iraqi targeting might be addressed by the formation of U.S.-Iraqi transition teams, whose American members would be drawn largely from Special Forces troops. This consultant said that there were plans to integrate between two hundred and three hundred Special Forces members into Iraqi units, which was seen as a compromise aimed at meeting the Air Forces demand to vet Iraqis who were involved in targeting. But in practice, the consultant added, it meant that the Special Ops people will soon allow Iraqis to begin calling in the targets.

Robert Pape, a political-science professor at the University of Chicago, who has written widely on American airpower, and who taught for three years at the Air Forces School of Advanced Airpower Studies, in Alabama, predicted that the air war will get very ugly if targeting is turned over to the Iraqis. This would be especially true, he said, if the Iraqis continued to operate as the U.S. Army and Marines have doneplowing through Sunni strongholds on search-and-destroy missions. If we encourage the Iraqis to clear and hold their own areas, and use airpower to stop the insurgents from penetrating the cleared areas, it could be useful, Pape said. The risk is that we will encourage the Iraqis to do search-and-destroy, and they would be less judicious about using airpowerand the violence would go up. More civilians will be killed, which means more insurgents will be created.

Even American bombing on behalf of an improved, well-trained Iraqi Army would not necessarily be any more successful against the insurgency. Its not going to work, said Andrew Brookes, the former director of airpower studies at the Royal Air Forces advanced staff college, who is now at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in London. Can you put a lid on the insurgency with bombing? Brookes said. No. You can concentrate in one area, but the guys will spring up in another town. The inevitable reliance on Iraqi ground troops targeting would also create conflicts. I dont see your guys dancing to the tune of someone else, Brookes said. He added that he and many other experts dont believe that airpower is a solution to the problems inside Iraq at all. Replacing boots on the ground with airpower didnt work in Vietnam , did it?

The Air Forces worries have been subordinated, so far, to the political needs of the White House. The Administrations immediate political goal after the December elections is to show that the day-to-day conduct of the war can be turned over to the newly trained and equipped Iraqi military. It has already planned heavily scripted change-of-command ceremonies, complete with the lowering of American flags at bases and the raising of Iraqi ones.

Some officials in the State Department, the C.I.A., and British Prime Minister Tony Blairs government have settled on their candidate of choice for the December electionsIyad Allawi, the secular Shiite who served until this spring as Iraqs interim Prime Minister. They believe that Allawi can gather enough votes in the election to emerge, after a round of political bargaining, as Prime Minister. A former senior British adviser told me that Blair was convinced that Allawi is the best hope. The fear is that a government dominated by religious Shiites, many of whom are close to Iran , would give Iran greater political and military influence inside Iraq . Allawi could counter Irans influence; also, he would be far more supportive and co��ative if the Bush Administration began a drawdown of American combat forces in the coming year.

Blair has assigned a small team of operatives to provide political help to Allawi, the former adviser told me. He also said that there was talk late this fall, with American concurrence, of urging Ahmad Chalabi, a secular Shiite, to join forces in a coalition with Allawi during the post-election negotiations to form a government. Chalabi, who is notorious for his role in promoting flawed intelligence on weapons of mass destruction before the war, is now a deputy Prime Minister. He and Allawi were bitter rivals while in exile.

A senior United Nations diplomat told me that he was puzzled by the high American and British hopes for Allawi. I know a lot of people want Allawi, but I think hes been a terrific disappointment, the diplomat said. He doesnt seem to be building a strong alliance, and at the moment it doesnt look like he will do very well in the election.

The second Pentagon consultant told me, If Allawi becomes Prime Minister, we can say, Theres a moderate, urban, educated leader now in power who does not want to deprive women of their rights. He would ask us to leave, but he would allow us to keep Special Forces operations inside Iraqto keep an American presence the right way. Mission accomplished. A coup for Bush.

A former high-level intelligence official cautioned that it was probably too late for any American withdrawal plan to work without further bloodshed. The constitution approved by Iraqi voters in October will be interpreted by the Kurds and the Shiites to proceed with their plans for autonomy, he said. The Sunnis will continue to believe that if they can get rid of the Americans they can still win. And there still is no credible way to establish security for American troops.

The fear is that a precipitous U.S. withdrawal would inevitably trigger a Sunni-Shiite civil war. In many areas, that war has, in a sense, already begun, and the United States military is being drawn into the sectarian violence. An American Army officer who took part in the assault on Tal Afar, in the north of Iraq, earlier this fall, said that an American infantry brigade was placed in the position of providing a cordon of security around the besieged city for Iraqi forces, most of them Shiites, who were rounding up any Sunnis on the basis of whatever a Shiite said to them. The officer went on, They were killing Sunnis on behalf of the Shiites, with the active participation of a militia unit led by a retired American Special Forces soldier. People like me have gotten so downhearted, the officer added.

Meanwhile, as the debate over troop reductions continues, the covert war in Iraq has expanded in recent months to Syria . A composite American Special Forces team, known as an S.M.U., for special-mission unit, has been ordered, under stringent cover, to target suspected supporters of the Iraqi insurgency across the border. (The Pentagon had no comment.) Its a powder keg, the Pentagon consultant said of the tactic. But, if we hit an insurgent network in Iraq without hitting the guys in Syria who are part of it, the guys in Syria would get away. When youre fighting an insurgency, you have to strike everywhereand at once.

from Bill Moyers :
28 November 2005

    Moyers Has His Say
    By John Eggerton

Former NOW host on media bias and his feud with former CPB Chairman Ken Tomlinson.

    Bill Moyers became the central figure in absentia in the controversy surrounding former Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson. It was Tomlinson who pointed to Moyers' NOW newscast on PBS as a chief reason for his efforts to bring "balance" to public broadcasting by adding conservative shows. Moyers has since left NOW and is currently president of the Schumann Center for Media & Democracy. He spoke with B&C's John Eggerton in the wake of a CPB Inspector General report concluding Tomlinson had violated the law by dealing directly with a programmer during the creation of a show to balance Moyers' program.

    You are the exemplar of liberal PBS bias, according to Ken Tomlinson. Was your show liberally biased?

    Right-wing partisans like Tomlinson have always attacked aggressive reporting as liberal.

    We were biased, all right - in favor of uncovering the news that powerful people wanted to keep hidden: conflicts of interest at the Department of Interior, secret meetings between Vice President Cheney and the oil industry, backdoor shenanigans by lobbyists at the FCC, corruption in Congress, neglect of wounded veterans returning from Iraq, Pentagon cost overruns, the manipulation of intelligence leading to the invasion of Iraq.

    We were way ahead of the news curve on these stories, and the administration turned its hit men loose on us.

    Tomlinson actually told The Washington Post that he was irate over one of our documentary reports from a small town in Pennsylvania hard-hit by outsourcing.

    If reporting on what's happening to ordinary people thrown overboard by circumstances beyond their control and betrayed by Washington officials is liberalism, I stand convicted.

    It is an old canard of right-wing ideologues like Tomlinson to equate tough journalism with liberalism. They hope to distract people from the message by trying to discredit the messenger.

    NOW threw the fear of God into Tomlinson's crowd because they couldn't dispute the accuracy of our reporting.

    And when we weren't reporting the truth behind the news, we were interviewing a wide variety of people: Ralph Reed and Ralph Nader; Cal Thomas and Molly Ivins; Robert Bartley, editor of the Wall Street Journal; Katrina Vandenheuval, editor of The Nation; The Conservative Union's David Keene; Dorothy Rabinowitz (also of the Wall Street Journal); Charles Lewis of the Center for Public Integrity; the Club for Growth's Stephen Moore; historian Howard Zinn; and Indian activist Arundhati Roy. And on and on.

    Did you get any direct pressure from Tomlinson or CPB to change the content of your show?

    The people at PBS told me they were getting excruciating pressure because of our reporting, including threats to de-fund public television unless "Moyers is dealt with." They never identified the source of that pressure.

    We know now it was Tomlinson. [Tomlinson] even told some people [we have confirmed it with two people who were present] that "Moyers is a coward because he doesn't want to talk to people who disagree with him."

    Hello? See the above list of all the conservatives who appeared on the show.

    What happened to the debate idea between you two?

    I asked him repeatedly. He refused. He didn't even respond. But when all this started to unfold early last year, I asked three times to meet with the CPB board and try to find out what was going on.

    I thought we could reason together and maybe agree on how to cooperate to protect Public Broadcasting's independence. I mean, I not only read the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, I helped to create it. CPB's job was to be a firewall between guys like them and the producers, journalists, and content of public broadcasting.

    I thought at the time that I was dealing with people who cared about this institution. I didn't realize they had gone over to the dark side.

    What prompted your departure from NOW?

    I needed a break, and I also sensed that we were up against serial abusers and that I could fight back more effectively if I weren't on the air.

from Council for the National Interest Foundation :
1250 4th Street SW, Suite WG-1
Washington, District of Columbia 20024
November 29, 2005

CNI Public Hearing



Exiting Iraq , Engaging Iran and Syria

Featuring Former Congressman Paul Findley (R-IL)

U.S. Capitol Building,
Room SC-4
(North side of the Capitol Building)
Thursday, December 1st, 2005
2:30 to 4:30 PM

How can we prevent a "clash of civilizations"? As former Congressman Paul Findley (R-IL) says, "If we fail to exit Iraq promptly, our nation and the world risk being engulfed in a wider, more grisly conflict that could suddenly degenerate into an enormous, costly clash of civilizations, Christendom versus Islam." At the hearing, Congressman Findley will present a new exit strategy for Iraq .

Paul Findley served in the U.S. Congress for 22 years, 1961 to 1983, on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. During his tenure on Capitol Hill, Mr. Findley was widely respected for his efforts to bring a fair and balanced American Middle East policy. He is the author of the bestselling book "They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel 's Lobby."

Joining him will be Prof. Lawrence Davidson and his wife Janet Amighi, two recent visitors to Iran and Syria . They will present their analysis of current religious, economic, and political trends in the region based on their interviews, including several hours with Bashar al-Assad and his wife, and their own long involvement in the area.

Speakers include:

from Ralph Nader :
29 November 2005

Dear Friend,
Lets keep this short and sweet.
The Democrats are now in a corner.
Many voted to authorize the war in Iraq , for which they are also culpable with the Republicans.
They have two choices.
They can either do as John Murtha and John Edwards did, admit they were wrong, and call for a pullout policy.
Or they can keep their heads in the sand a la Hillary Clinton and stay the course.
If they go the Hillary route they lose again in 2006 and 2008 and beyond.
If they follow the two Johns, they have a chance.
For the sake of the country, I hope they follow the two Johns.
But don't hold your breath.
Democrats and their supporters have a lot to answer for.
They have a lot on their minds and on their collective conscience.
Many Democrats in Congress voted to authorize this war that has cost more than 2,000 young American deaths and tens of thousands of serious injuries. Iraqi civilian casualties are enormous.

You on the other hand our brave, and steadfast supporters you opposed the war when it was unfashionable to do so.
You opposed the war when the two Johns and Kerry and Clinton and the rest were giving Bush cover.
You opposed the war tickets of Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards.
You stood tall with us, at the November 1st Cooper Union Speech in New York and around the country to raise the flag of decency, and justice, and peace.
You were abused, misused, and refused for standing tall.
And of course, so were we.

One last point:
John Edwards, in his November 13, 2005 op-ed piece in the Washington Post, leads with these three words:
I was wrong.
As we pointed out during the 2004 campaign, at Cooper Union:
Kerry/Edwards was wrong about the war.
Bush/Cheney was wrong about the war.
And whats the flip side?
Nader/Camejo was right about the war.
You were right about the war.
We were right about the war.
Its important to set the record straight.

Armed with the truth, we will move together in the New Year with a majority of the American people to end this disaster.
And rebuild a new politics from the ground up.
Thank you for your steady support and bright horizons.


from Judith Ezekiel :
30 November 2005
Subject: Fwd: Hampton Statement for Forwarding

Dear Friend,
7 students at Hampton University, a historically Black college, are facing expulsion hearings THIS FRIDAY.  Their "crime" was distributing "unauthorized" literature about the Bush regime's policies around AIDS, Katrina, Homophobia, the Iraq war and the Sudan as part of the November 2nd protests initiated by The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime (worldcantwait.org).

Please read, forward, and join Howard ! Zinn, Michael Eric Dyson and others in adding your name to the enclosed statement defending these students.
To add your name, send an email to: youth_students@worldcantwait.org, or sunsarasworld@yahoo.com. Please specify how you would like to be identified.
Sunsara Taylor
Co-Initiator of the World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime

Drop the Charges and Stop the Harassment Against the Hampton University Students Against the Bush Regime!
Students who act! to Drive Out the Bush Regime, especially when they remain firm in the face of police and administrative threats, are heroic.  They must be defended.  Their example must be followed.
Students at Hampton University participated in nation-wide outpourings in over 70 places and 200 schools on November 2nd to launch of a movement to drive out the Bush regime.  In the course of organizing, they were followed by campus police, targeted! by video surveillance, and forced to turn over their ID⪙s for the simple act of distributing literature.  That these students were targeted for the content of their activities is demonstrated by the fact that other students routinely post unauthorized flyers (often with scantily clad women advertising parties) without harassment.
On Friday, November 18th, 3 student organizers were issued summons for a hearing on over possible expulsion the following Monday morning, giving them no time during the working week to contact lawyers, parents, or campus administrators.  After hundreds of phone-calls from around the country to the Dean⪙s Office, their hearing was postponed.  Days later, 4 more students were issued summons and campus police shut down an interview being filmed by the local media, attempting to prevent their story from getting out.
The attacks on the student organizers at Hampton University, a historically black college with a mostly Republican administration, is an ugly harbinger of the ⪜dissent-free⪝ future the Bush regime is trying to lock into place.  These attacks are part of a pattern of repression against high school and college students nation-wide on November 2nd that disproportionately targeted black, Latino and other oppressed students.
A standard cannot be set where the President of the United States can stay on vacation as a major city⪙s poor and black people are left for five days without food or water, where influential friends of this President are allowed to float out genocidal notions of aborting all black babies to bring crime rates down, and where the President⪙s policies of ⪜abstinence-only⪝ in the face of an international AIDS pandemic threaten millions of lives, but where students who dare to act to end this are silenced and expelled from school.
As it says in the Call for The World Can⪙t Wait ⪓ Drive Out! the Bush Regime, ⪜This will not be easy. If we speak the truth, they will try to silence us. If we act, they will to try to stop us. But we speak for the majority, here and around the world, and as we get this going we are going to reach out to the people who have been so badly fooled by Bush and we are NOT going to stop.⪝
We, the undersigned, demand that the Hampton University administration to drop all charges against, cease their political harassment of, and to apologize to these students.  These students must not be expelled!  We also call on students at campuses nation-wide to send statements of s! upport, and to join, strengthen and support the movement to Drive Out the Bush Regime because the World Can⪙t Wait!
Rosalyn Baxandall,
Distinguished Teaching Professor, SUNY Old Westbury*
Edget Betru, Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative- Center for Constitutional Rights*
Eileen Boris,
University of California, Santa Barbara*
Judith Ezekiel, Universite de Toulouse le Mirail*
Carl Dix, National Spokesperson, Revolutionary Communist Party
Bea Kreloff, director Art Workshop International*
Allen Lang, National Student Organizer, The World Can⪙t Wait ⪓ Drive Out the Bush Regime!
Efia Nwangaza, Executive Director, African American Institute for Policy Studies &  Planning
Katha Pollitt, writer The Nation*
Sonia Jaffe Robins,
freelance writer and editor
Sunsara Taylor, Co-Initiator of The World Can⪙t Wait ⪓ Drive Out the Bush Regime!
Barbara Winslow, Brooklyn College*
Laura X, Women⪙s History Library*
Howard Zinn, Historian and Author
*affiliations for identification purposes only
Demand that the 7 students facing expulsion be cleared of any disciplinary measures and that the intimidation and punishment for student protest stop!

Call the Dean of Men (Woods! on Hopewell Jr.) at 757-727-5303, the Dean of Women at 757-727-5486.

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Universite Grenoble-3
Grenoble, France