16 May 2006
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
The struggle for the future, writes communications professor Dr.
Anthony Wilden, must be at the level of strategy, and not
simply tactics. In his book, The
Rules are No Game, he argues that power is never absolute : like
other modes of communication, power is always constrained by codes of
rules. These constraints of system, structure, and strategy are the
rules that are no game.
In this discussion of "the strategy of communication" and "context
theory", Wilden quotes the Russian film maker Sergei Eisenstein whose
1942 book, The Film Sense, makes use of Friedrich Nietzsche's
critique that appears in his essay, The Case of Wagner (1888) :
Before the debacle of any
goal-seeking open system, Wilden observes, only the most mediocre and
narrowly ambitious arrivistes are attracted to leadership
roles. As the system in which they would lead has no future, their sole
is to advance individually, which requires that they terminate their
solidarity with the system as a whole and with any of the constituent
parts which might serve as a liability to their upward mobility and
their entry into a higher system. What makes this endeavor a tragic
error --a logical fallacy on the level of trying to escape from one's
own shadow-- is that in maintaining and contributing to the expansion
of this system-in-its-last-days a collateral damage continues to be
inflicted on the environment in which the system is operating.
- What is the characteristic of all literary decadence? It
is that life no longer
- resides in the whole. The word gets the upper hand and
jumps out of the
- sentence, the sentence stretches too far and obscures the
meaning of the
- page, the page acquires life at the expense of the whole
--the whole is no
- longer a whole; it is composite, summed up, artificial, an
unnatural product. (p.204)
A system which destroys its environment destroys itself.
Wilden's sophisticated multi-disciplinary study of relationships
between goal-seeking open systems in their historic context leads to
the conclusion that non-communication is impossible, but false
information can be created; that awareness of self and of social
context is a capacity of our species, but like rats in a cage, we are
sometimes reduced to experimentation by others. Unlike rats, however,
our species is capable of perceiving context, of experiencing a gestalt
that signifies to them the configuration of the whole and the direction
in which the system of which they are a part is taking them.
It would appear that chimpanzees in laboratory experiments share,
albeit to a lesser degree, this human capacity of understanding social
is an article by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman on the new totalitarianism sent to us by San Diego community
organizer Monty Kroopkin.
from economics professor Richard Du Boff, is an analysis of U.S. military spending in
fiscal year 2004-2005, provided by the prestigious Center for Defense Information.
is a well-documented account, sent to us by Professor Edward S. Herman,
of another BIG
LIE, the fourth
international crime committed by the U.S. government in the past
from Truthout, is a series of
free access Internet videos, including the massive Mothers' Day
demonstrations in the United States against the continuation of
killings in Iraq.
from criminal law Attorney Robert Rivkin, is news of a new anti-war
voice in the United States, West Point Graduates
Against The War, by James Ryan.
And finally, item F. is an exchange between Francis
and U.S. Senate candidate, Michael
We wish to
and our colleagues in Montpellier for their continued good-humored
support of our scientific efforts here at CEIMSA-IN-EXILE.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université Stendhal - Grenoble 3
From Monty Kroopkin :
13 May 2006
Subject: The "New Totalitarianism" now defines a desperate neo-con end
This is my cover note to the free press article. I have sent it to
It is for publication, as a response to the article.
I think you will find this essay on the "New Totalitarianism" in the
In a context of the new exposure of the NSA dragnet databases on phone
and email records, it may also suggest the regime extending its
definition of "war on terror" to label all who disagree as "enemies".
Like the Nazis before them, they have not started by arresting the
leading Democrats, but it may just be a matter of time before they get
around to them (and the millions of rank-and-file members of the
Democratic Party will be told their opinions are illegal and punished
if they say anything in public). No. I am not a member of that party.
So I am not making any comment of support for it (I actually
think they are almost as bad as the Republicans). But if you read this
article, and reflect on the history of fascist regimes and also the
history of political repressions in this country (like the Palmer Raids
and the McCarthyism period), you will see my point.
Monty Reed Kroopkin
from Richard Du Boff :
12 May 2006
Subject: U$A = number 1 and more than half
The Defense Monitor 35 (March/April
See page 2 of the
internet PDF file.
Below is the summary :
Spending: 2004-2005 Worldwide Expenditures
Most of the data used in the military spending
graph shown here were obtained from the most recent edition of the
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook (2005)
and depicts an American defense budget that composes nearly half of
total worldwide defense expenditures for that year. However, data for
the worldwide expenditures and the figure used for U.S. military
spending were obtained from the 2005 U.S. Defense Budget calculated by
Office of Management and Budget, and these figures do not reflect an
additional $25 billion appropriated to the Defense Department in 2005
for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With that amount included,
the total U.S. military spending would exceed the total defense
spending by the rest of the world combined.
compiled by Wunslow T. Wheeler and
from Edward Herman :
11 May 2006
See CounterPunch, May 11, 2006
( http://www.counterpunch.org/herman05112006.html )
Aggression-Time Once Again:
With the United States
having initiated wars in violation of the UN Charter, and hence engaged
in the “supreme international crime,”1 against Yugoslavia,
Afghanistan, and Iraq in 1999, 2001, and 2003, one might have expected
that its commencement of a fourth aggression only a few years later
against Iran would arouse the UN, EU, other international institutions
and NGOs, and even the supposedly moral and independent Free Press, to
serious protest and counter-action, including referral to the UN
Security Council under Chapter VII’s “threat of peace” articles and
support of possible diplomatic and economic sanctions. This has
not happened, and in fact the Bush administration has successfully
mobilized the UN, whose “primary responsibility” is the “maintenance of
international peace and security,” and the EU, as well as the Free
Press, to facilitate its fourth attack.
The Fourth U.S. “Supreme International Crime” in Seven Years Is Already
Underway, With the Support of the Free Press and “International
by Edward S. Herman and David
We say that the fourth aggression is already underway, because once
again, as in the Iraq case, the United States has been
attacking Iran for many months, and not just with verbal insults and
threats. It has been flying unmanned aerial surveillance drones over
Iran since 2004; it has infiltrated combat and reconnaissance teams
into Iran “to collect targeting data and to establish contact with
anti-government ethnic minority groups” (Seymour Hersh);2 it
has bestowed an ambiguous “protected” status upon the Mujahedin-e
Khalq, a group which, since 1997, the U.S. Department of State has
designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization, but a group that the
Washington regime now uses to launch cross-border attacks on Iran from
within U.S.-occupied Iraq;3 and it and its Israeli
client have repeatedly threatened larger scale and more open attacks.
This pre-invasion aggression was an important feature of the overall
aggression against Iraq, where the US and British greatly increased
their “spikes of activity” with massive bombing well before the March
19, 2003 invasion4major acts of war and aggression
begun as early as April 2002, that were almost wholly ignored by the
Free Press and “international community.”
What is mind-boggling in
all this is that new attacks and threats by a country that is in the
midst of a serial aggression program, that runs a well documented and
widely condemned global gulag of torture,5 that has
committed major war crimes in IraqFallujah may well replace
Guernica as a symbol of murderous warfare unleashed against
civilians6and that openly declares itself exempt from
international law and states that the UN is only relevant when it
supports U.S. policy,7 is not only not condemned for its
Iran aggression, but is able to enlist support for it in the EU, UN and
global media. This enlistment of support occurs despite the
further fact that it is now generally recognized that the Bush and
Blair administrations lied their way into the Iraq invasion-occupation
(but still quickly obtained UN and EU acceptance of the occupation and
ensuing ruthless pacification program),8 and that they
cynically misused the inspections program, all of which makes the new
accommodation to the aggression-in-process and planned larger attack
The mechanism by which this is accomplished by the aggressor state is
to cry-up an allegedly dire threat that Iran might be embarking on a
program to obtain nuclear weaponsit might be doing this
secretively, and although it has submitted itself to IAEA inspections
for the past three years, it has not been 100 percent cooperative with
the Agency.9 Combining this with demonization,10
intensive and repeated expressions of indignation and fear, and threats
to do something about the intolerable threat, the Washington regime has
managed to produce a contrived “crisis,” with huge spikes in media
attention and supportive expressions of concern and actions by the UN,
IAEA, and international community.11 These groups join
the aggressor partly to avoid offending it, but also to try to
constrain its determination to get its waybut in the process they
accept its premises that there is a real threat and hence give at least
tacit support to its aggression program, and sometimes more. On
the home front, with the acceptance of the seriousness of the
manufactured crisis by the mainstream media and Democrats, and with
leading politicos like Hillary Clinton and Evan Bayh even egging Bush
on, the noise creates its own self-fulfilling pressures on the
leadership that manufactured the crisis, who now must “do something”
about it to avoid political loss.12
This time, the EU appears to be cooperating even more fully in the
developing aggression against Iran than it did in the Iraq
case. Although Iran has an absolute and “inalienable” right to
enrich uranium under NPT rules (i.e., the NPT’s sole condition is that
the enrichment can only be “for peaceful purposes”), and although the
NPT imposes upon other parties to the treaty the obligation to
“facilitate…the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and
scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of
nuclear energy,”13 under British, French and German urging
Iran, in November 2004, agreed “on a voluntary basis to continue and
extend its suspension to include all enrichment related and
reprocessing activities,” while these states agreed to continue
negotiations in good faith for the sake of an agreement that “will
provide objective guarantees that Iran's nuclear programme is
exclusively for peaceful purposes,” and “firm guarantees on nuclear,
technological and economic cooperation and firm commitments on security
But subsequent stages of
negotiations foundered mainly because the three EU states could not
provide Iran with guarantees on security-related issues without also
securing U.S. guarantees for the sameand not only were U.S.
guarantees never forthcoming, but Washington and Israel escalated their
threats instead. Moreover, it is the longstanding U.S.
position that “no enrichment in Iran is permissible," in the words of
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. "The reason
for that,” he added, “is that even a small so-called research
enrichment program could give Iran the possibility of mastering the
technical deficiencies it's currently encountering in its
program. Once Iran has the scientific and technological
capability to do even laboratory size enrichment, that knowledge could
be replicated in industrial-size enrichment activities elsewhere,
that's why we've felt very strongly that no enrichment inside Iran
should be permitted, and that remains our position."15 In
short, the United States unilaterally refuses to allow Iran its rights
granted it by the NPT.
Now some 18 months later,
a U.S.-led consortium of states has introduced a draft resolution
within the UN Security Council with the intent of imposing upon Iran a
deadline for terminating all indigenous “enrichment-related and
reprocessing activities” (pars. 1-2), as well as calling on all states
to prevent the transfer of the technology and the expertise “that could
contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and
missile program” (par. 4)thereby following the U.S. lead and
criminalizing Iran’s and only Iran’s pursuit of its “inalienable”
rights under Article IV of the NPT, and treating Iran’s otherwise
legal, NPT-sanctioned enrichment program as a Chapter VII threat to
international peace and security. Equally striking, this draft
resolution also expresses the Security Council’s “intention to
consider such further measures as may be necessary to ensure compliance
with this resolution…” (par. 7).16 This is exactly the
kind of phraseology that, if adopted, the Washington regime would have
be eager to interpret as a use-of-force type resolution,
regardless of whether other members of the Security Council went along
We regard the terms of
this draft resolution as well as the general thrust of British, French,
German, and European Union diplomacy on the Iranian nuclear issue to be
a perfect accommodation to the needs of the aggressor state, which
openly denies Iran its “inalienable” rights under NPT rules.
This also constitutes a death-blow-by-politicization to the NPT and a
gross abuse of the functions and powers of the Security Council, all in
deference and service to a program in violation of the most basic
principle of the UN Charterthat all members “shall settle their
international disputes by peaceful means” and refrain from the “threat
or use of force” (Article 2).
Since the spring of 2003, U.S.
power has produced a steady and indignant focus on Iran’s alleged
foot-dragging on inspections. As in the case of Iraq’s failure
through March 2003 to prove that it did not possess any “weapons of
mass destruction” (WMD), the U.S.-driven allegations and inspections
regime channeled through the IAEA have focused on Iran’s parallel
failure to disprove a negativenamely, that Iran prove that it is
not secretly engaging in practices that are prohibited under the NPT
and subsequent Safeguards Agreement (May 15, 1974) and the Additional
Protocols (signed December 18, 2003, though only observed “on a
voluntary basis”). Moreover, throughout the current 38-month
cycle of allegations and inspections to which the IAEA has now
subjected Iran, the IAEA has repeatedly adopted a phraseology to the
effect that the IAEA is “unable to confirm the absence
of undeclared nuclear material and activities inside Iran”an
inherently politicized condition that no state would be capable of
meeting, no matter what it agreed to do, and whose application depends
ultimately on the strength of the political forces that pressure the
IAEA to continue the search.17 With enough political
pressure, no amount of “transparency” and “confidence-building”
measures on the part of the accused state can meet it, as was evident
in the Iraq case. And as long as the IAEA reports that it is
unable to confirm the absence of undeclared nuclear material and
activities inside Iran, Iran is helpless before the IAEA’s negative
The “threat” and crisis
have been sustained in the media by the use of patriotic and
fear-mongering frames and suppressions of relevant fact that may even
be more brazen and misleading than those justifying the invasion of Iraq.
The crisis-supporting frames are: (1) that Iran is a dangerous
theocratic state, with an irrational and unstable political and
clerical leadership that has supported terrorists and threatened Israel
and is therefore not to be trusted with a nuclear program; (2) that it
has been secretive about its nuclear program, has not been fully
cooperative with the inspections program of the IAEA, and that the
reason for this secrecy is Iran’s intention to develop nuclear weapons;
(3) that its acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability would be
intolerable, would destabilize the Middle East if not the whole of
Western Civilization, and must be stopped.
In sustaining these frames
it is necessary to suppress major facts, such as: (1) that there is no
proof that Iran plans to go beyond the civilian uses of nuclear
materials to which it is entitled under the NPT and the IAEA has never
claimed that it has evidence of such weapons efforts or plans; (2) that
both the United States and Israel possess large and usable nuclear
arsenals,18 and both have attacked other countries in
violation of the UN Charter, which Iran has not yet done; (3) that Iran
is far less dangerous than Israel and the United States because it is
very much weaker than the two that threaten it, and could only use
nuclear weapons in self-defenseoffensive use would be suicidal,
which is not the case should the United States and Israel attack Iran;
(4) that Iran was secretive about its nuclear program because it
recognized that the United States and Israel would have opposed it
bitterly, but Iran at least did sign up with the NPT and has allowed
numerous intrusive inspections, whereas Israel was allowed to develop a
nuclear weapons program secretly, with U.S., French and Norwegian aid,
refused to join the NPT, and remains outside the inspections system;19
(5) that both the United States and Israel are virtual theocratic
states, profoundly influenced by religious parties whose leaders are
arrogant, racist, and militaristic, and who have posed persistent
threats to international peace and security; (6) that both the United
States and Israel have supported terrorists on a larger scale than Iran
(e.g., Posada, Bosch and the Cuban terrorist network, the Nicaraguan
contras, Savimbi and UNITA, the South Lebanon Army, among many others);
and (7) that it is the United States and Israel that have destabilized
the Middle East, by aggression and ethnic cleansing in violation of
international law and by forcing a huge imbalance in which only Israel
is allowed nuclear weapons among the countries of the Middle East, a
condition which allowed Israel to invade Lebanon and enables it to
ethnically cleanse the West Bank without threat of retaliation.
A first alternative-frame that might be used but is not to be found in
the mainstream media is based on the fact that, year-in and year-out,
the United States has been a chronic violator of the NPT’s Article VI
requirement that all parties “pursue negotiations in good faith on
effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an
early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and
complete disarmament under strict and effective international
control.” In the context of the U.S.-driven accusations about
Iran’s violations of the NPT, it is worth emphasizing that in a 1996
decision by the International Court of Justice, the fourteen judges on
the Court ruled unanimously that “There exists an
obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion
negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under
strict and effective international control.”20 The United
States has brazenly ignored this ruling, refusing to countenance any
form of disarmament or international control over its sovereign rights
on questions of war and peace, openly working on improving its nuclear
weapons,21 and even threatening to use them against Iran.22
Hence the United
States not only has unclean hands, but its own illegal policies and
threats pose a clear and present danger that the UN and international
community should be addressing right now. Furthermore, not only
is Iran not an immediate threat, but given the U.S. threat to Iran and
the U.S. refusal to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons and
to pledge non-use against nuclear weapons-free countries like Iran,
Iran has a moral right to try to acquire such weapons for
self-defense. Noting what the Americans had done to a nuclear-weaponless
Iraq in 2003, the Israeli historian Martin van Creveld has written,
“Had the Iranians not tried to build nuclear weapons, they would be
This point is
reinforced by a second alternative frame: namely, that the United
States is using the Iran nuclear threat as a gambit closely analogous
to the WMD claim that it employed as the lying rationale for the
invasion-occupation of Iraq. As before, the gambit is a cover for
a desire to force a “regime change” in Iran to make it into
another amenable client state. This is sometimes even openly
acknowledged, and helps explain the frenzied threat-inflation and
artificial creation of a crisis that can be used as the pretext for an
attack and possibly produce turmoil and political change in Iran.
It also helps us understand the continual U.S. refusal to negotiate
with Iran and/or to offer a security guarantee in exchange for possible
Iranian concessions on its nuclear plans. The same process
occurred in the run-up to the Iraq invasionthe United States
inflated the threat, created a crisis, refused to negotiate with Iraq,
and would not allow inspectors to complete their search for WMD
allegedly because of the dire threat, but more plausibly because
of a longstanding U.S. determination to engineer a regime change.
As noted, the mainstream
media have followed the party line on the Iran “crisis” and
failed almost without exception to note the problems and deal with
matters raised in the alternative frames. Remarkably, despite
their acknowledged massive failures as news organizations and de
facto propaganda service for the Bush administration in the lead up
to the Iraq invasion,24 with the administration refocusing
on the new dire threat from Iran it took the mainstream media no time
whatsoever to fall into party-line formationfrom which they have
not deviated. Thus, they never go into the U.S. violations of its
NPT obligations, never discuss international law and its possible
application to U.S. pre-invasion aggression and threats of open attack,
just as they ignored the subject in reference to the Iraq invasion.25
They never challenge the threat-inflation or consider any possible
Iranian right of self-defense. (We may recall that the Free Press
was able to make an almost completely disarmed Guatemala a frightening
threat back in 1954, as well as the badly weakened Iraq in
2002-3.) The media never suggest that the United States may be
abusing the inspections processnever harking back to its abuses
and outright lying as regard the Iraq inspections effortand they
never suggest ulterior motives for the aggressor.
In treating EU, UN and
IAEA responses, the media never suggest that the real problem is
containing the United States. In the comical version
offered and hardly contested in the media, it is often suggested that
there is a threat of “appeasement” of Iran, and that if the world
is “to avoid another Munich,” and the “Security Council fails to
confront the Iranian threat,” it is up to the United States to “form an
international coalition to disarm the regime.”26 But
there is never a hint that the problem might be appeasement of the
United States. Or that the applicable Munich analogy might not
apply to the Iranian nuclear program at all, as the 1938 Pact among the
European powers that impelled Czechoslovakia to accept the cession of
the Sudetenland to the Nazis is analogous to the ongoing UN and EU role
in facilitating the designs the United States is pursuing toward
not have done a better job for any planned Soviet venture abroad than
the Free Press is once again doing for the Bush administration.
It is clear that when it comes to actions that the superpower (or
its leading client states) chooses to take, international law is
completely inoperative, and that this has become institutionalized and
accepted by the “international community” (which doesn’t include the
global underlying population). In the case of Iran, it is as if
the lessons of the recent past, and even of the ongoing present in
Iraq, simply disappear, and similar imaginary “threats” and misuse of
supposedly neutral international bodies like the IAEA and its
“inspections” can be re-run in a miasma of hypocrisy. In fact, as
we have noted, the situation has deteriorated, with the UN and EU now
playing an active aggression-supportive role, following the U.S.
lead in denying Iran its “inalienable” rights under the NPT and making
its pursuit of those rights into a criminalized “threat to
peace,” setting the stage for a more direct U.S. attack.
Our conclusion is
twofold. First, given the U.S. and Israeli possession of nuclear
weapons, their threat to possibly use them in attacking Iran, and the
record of both countries in major law violations such as the
U.S. violation of the UN Charter prohibition of aggression and the
Israeli violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention on obligations
of an occupying power, and given the fact that the Washington regime is
already in the early phases of aggression against Iran, the UN and
Security Council should be urgently focusing on the U.S. aggression
instead of some minor inspection delinquencies on the part of Iran (and
it goes without saying, instead of giving positive aid to the
Second, if there is a concern over violations of the NPT, far more
important than Iran’s deficiencies are the U.S. failure to
undertake any measures to eliminate nuclear weapons and its protection
of Israel as the sole nuclear power in the Middle East, and remaining
outside IAEA jurisdiction. In fact, the United States is
improving its nuclear arsenal with the express intention of making
nuclear strikes more “practicable.” As these threaten Iran as
well as many other countries, common sense dictates that this violation
of the NPT is vastly more important than any attributable to
Iranreal or imaginary.
In a decent and sane
world, bringing the U.S. violations of the NPT and its nuclear
improvement actions before the UN and Security Council ought to have a
very high priority, second only to stopping the U.S. aggression already
underway against Iran and which threatens an enlargement of the
conflagration begun by its prior and still raging “supreme
international crime” in Iraq.
---- Endnotes ----
1. “To initiate a war of aggression…is not only an
international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing
only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the
accumulated evil of the whole.” See "
The Common Plan or Conspiracy and Aggressive War," in Judgment
of the International Military Tribunal for the Trial of German Major
War Criminals, part of the Nuremberg
War Crimes Trials website maintained by the Avalon Project at
Yale Law School.
2. Seymour Hersh, " The Iran Plans," New Yorker, April
3. See " Foreign Terrorist Organizations,"
Ch. 8 of Country Reports on Terrorism
2005, U.S. Department of State, April, 2006, pp. 30/212
– 31/213. On the U.S. Government’s decision in July 2004 to grant
“protected” status to the MEK members semi-permanently encamped at
Ashraf in eastern Iraq, see "Daily Press
Briefing," Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman, U.S. Department of
State, July 26, 2004. As the spokesman for Tehran’s Foreign
Ministry noted in reaction, “The United States is using its fight
against terrorism as a tool, and we knew from the beginning that this
fight is void and they are not serious. Using the Geneva
Convention to protect this terrorist group is naive and unacceptable.” "
U.S. war on terror is a sham, says Iran," Daily Times
(Pakistan), July 28, 2004.
4. See Matthew Rycroft, "
The secret Downing Street memo," July 23, 2002 (as posted to the Times
Online, May 1, 2005); also Michael Smith, "The war before the war,"
New Statesman, May 30, 2005; Michael Smith, "General admits
to secret air war," Sunday Times, June 26, 2005; David
of Activity'," ZNet, July, 2005; and David Peterson, "British Records on
the Prewar Bombing of Iraq," ZNet, July, 2005.
5. Jonathan Steele and Dahr Jamail, "
This is our Guernica," The Guardian, April 27, 2005; Mike
Marqusee, " A
name that lives in infamy," The Guardian, November 10, 2005.
6. See, e.g., Gretchen Borchelt et al., Break
Them Down: Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by U.S. Forces,
Physicians for Human Rights, May, 2005; Leila Zerrougui et al., Situation
of detainees at Guantánamo Bay (
E/CN.4/2006/120), UN Commission on Human Rights, February 15, 2006;
and By the Numbers: Findings of
the Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project, Center
for Human Rights and Global Justice, Human Rights First, and Human
Rights Watch, February, 2006.
7. At a symposium in 1994 titled “Global Structures: A
Convocation: Human Rights, Global Governance and Strengthening the UN,”
the current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John R. Bolton
stated: “The United States makes the U.N. work when it wants it to
work, and that is exactly the way it should be, because the only
question -- the only question -- for the United States is what's in our
national interest? And if you don't like that, I'm sorry. But that is
the fact.” See Nomination of John R. Bolton, Hearing before the
Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, April 11, 2005.
8. The blood spilled during the criminal U.S. and U.K. military
seizure of Iraq had yet to dry before the UN Security Council placed
its stamp upon the occupation with a litany of scramble-for-Iraq
resolutions, beginning with Resolution
1483 (May 22, 2003), lifting economic sanctions that dated all the
way back to Resolution
661 (August 6, 1990).
9. See " The Iran ‘Crisis’,”
Edward S. Herman and David Peterson, ColdType,
10. On demonization, see David Peterson, "The Language
of Force," ZNet, January 16, 2006.
11. For some recent opinion surveys of American beliefs and
attitudes, all of which, in the manufactured crisis of the moment, find
Iran and Muslims to be grave threats to Americans, see Jeffrey M.
Americans Rate Iran Most Negatively of 22 Countries," Gallup,
February 23, 2006; Joseph Carroll, “Americans
Say Iran Is Their Greatest Enemy," Gallup, February 23, 2006;
Claudia Deane and Darryl Fears, "
Negative Perception Of Islam Increasing," Washington Post,
March 9, 2006; " States
of Insecurity," Atlantic Monthly,
April, 2006; Dana Blanton, " FOX News Poll: Do Not Trust Iran,"
FOXNews.com, May 9; " FOX
News / Opinion Dynamics Poll," May 9.
12. On the American Democratic Party not only "not differ[ing]
significantly from the administration," but " trying to outflank the
administration by being even more hardline," see Anatol Lieven, "
There is menace in America's policy of prevention," Financial Times,
March 20, 2006 (as posted to the website of the New
American Foundation). The lunatic
(though still counterfactual) scenario laid out by Timothy Garton Ash
The tragedy that followed Hillary Clinton's bombing of Iran in 2009"
April 20, 2006), is imaginable in the first place only because in the
democratically crippled American political system, what are marketed as
alternatives remain captive of the reigning de facto consensus.
13. Here quoting Article IV of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (effective March 5, 1970).
14. See the copy of the agreement between the E3/EU and Iran
signed in Paris on November 15, 2004, as reproduced in INFCIRC
637, IAEA, November 26, 2004, pp. 3-4.
15. Quoted in “No uranium enrichment 'permissible' for
IranUS envoy,” Agence France Presse, March 6, 2006. Note that we
can find no entry for Bolton's remarks on the website of the United States
Mission to the United Nations, e.g., under Press Releases, January -
March, 2006. Also see David Peterson, "Overthrowing the NPT the
American Way," ZNet, March 7, 2006..
16. For the actual text of the draft resolution as it existed on
May 3, see " TEXT-UN
council gets draft text on Iran nuclear program," Reuters-AlertNet,
May 3. And for reporting on the May 3 draft, see, e.g., Elaine
U.S., Britain and France Draft U.N. Resolution on Iran's Nuclear
York Times, May 3; "
UN Security Council considers action on Iran's nuclear
programme," UN News Center, May 3; John Ward
Anderson and Colum Lynch, "
U.S. Crafts Response on Iran," Washington Post,
May 3; Maggie Farley, "
Security Council Gets Iran Nuclear Resolution," Los
Angeles Times, May 4; Warren Hoge, "
Britain and France Press U.N. to Oppose Iran Nuclear
Efforts," New York Times,
May 4; Column Lynch, "
Security Council Is Given Iran Resolution," Washington
Post, May 4; Edward Alden and Caroline Daniel, "
US pushes for Iran financial sanctions," Financial Times,
May 8. Also see Marjorie Cohn’s "Bush Setting up
Attack on Iran," Truthout, May 8.
17. To quote the latest installment in the
IAEA’s series of reports to its Board of Governors (at least the 17th
overall), “the Agency is unable to make progress in its efforts to
provide assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and
activities in Iran.” Implementation of the NPT
Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran (
GOV/2006/27), April 28, 2006, par. 33, p. 7. IAEA-channeled
allegations about the Iranian nuclear program have been formulated in
this manner since the very beginning.
18. For a current assessment of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, see
Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "
U.S. nuclear forces," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
January/February, 2006; and for Israel’s, see Robert S. Norris et al.,
Israel nuclear forces, 2002," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
19. For a history of Israel’s development its nuclear weapons,
entirely outside the NPT and international controls, see Avner Cohen
and William Burr, "
Israel crosses the threshold," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,
May/June, 2006; and "
Israel Crosses the Nuclear Threshold," National Security Archive
Update, April 28, 2006.
20. See Legality
of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, International
Court of Justice, July 8, 1996, pars. 98 – 103, and Opinion F.
Although an “advisory opinion,” and thus not legally binding on states,
to date this counts as the most authoritative legal decision to have
been produced on issues stemming from the existence of nuclear weapons
and states’ obligations under the NPT.
21. On U.S. plans to upgrade its already peerless nuclear
stockpile and the means of delivering it, see James Sterngold, "
Upgrades planned for U.S. nuclear stockpile," San Francisco Chronicle,
January 15; Walter Pincus, "
U.S. Plans to Modernize Nuclear Arsenal," Washington
Post, March 4.
22. On the potential U.S. threat to use nuclear weapons against
Irana case in which even so much as a hint or a whisper of threat
is deafening, and leaked warnings about such threats even
loudersee Hersh, " The Iran Plans," New Yorker,
April 17, 2006; Sarah Baxter, "
Gunning for Iran,"
April 9, 2006; and Peter Baker et al., "
Studying Military Strike Options on Iran,"
April 9, 2006. Also see the material reported under the " Divine Strake" entry on the Weapons of Mass
Destruction webpage of GlobalSecurity.org .
23. Martin van Creveld, "
Sharon on the warpath: Is Israel planning to attack Iran?" International
Herald Tribune, August 21, 2004.
24. The classic case having been "
The Times and Iraq," New
York Times, May 26, 2004; and the accompanying webpage The Times devotes
to this topic, "
The Times and Iraq: A Sample of the Coverage," May, 2004. Though we add the caveat that the
documents contained herein, and the conclusions affirmed by The
Times about the role that it played during the build-up for the
invasion, grossly understate The Times’s real culpability.
25. Howard Friel and Richard Falk, The Record of the Paper:
How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy (London: Verso,
2004). In 70 editorials on Iraq between September 11, 2001 and
March 21, 2003, The Times editors never once mentioned
international law. See chapter 1.
26. Nile Gardiner and Joseph Loconte, "
The Gathering Storm Over Iran," Boston Globe, May
3. Conversely, usage of the false Munich analogy and the charge
of “appeasement” abounds. See, e.g., "
Iran's Nuclear Challenge,"
Editorial, Washington Post, January 12; William Kristol, "
And Now Iran; We can't rule out the use of military force," Weekly
Standard, January 23; and Kim Willsher, "
'Only a fraction of Teheran's brutality has come to light'," Daily
Telegraph, March 19. This last example was particularly
revealing. In it, Maryam Rajavi, described as the “leader of the
largest exiled Iranian opposition group,” the National Council for
Resistance for Iran, reportedly “says Western governments must
end their ‘dangerous appeasement' of Iran's regime and recognise
the worth of her group….” Unmentioned is the fact that the U.S.
Government (officially, anyway) includes her group along with the
Mujahedin-e Khalq on its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.
See note 3, above.
Iran gambit could be a cover for a partial invasion-occupation of the
geographic region of Iran where in the words of the U.S. Department of
Energy the “vast majority of Iran’s crude oil reserves are located,”
that is, “in giant onshore fields in the southwestern Khuzestan region
near the Iraqi border.” Contrary to popular myth, this would not
entail going “all the way to Tehran,” as a saying attributed to the
Neoconservatives has it, but only as far as the greatest concentration
of Iran’s proven oil reserves extend, where southeastern Iraq borders
Khuzestan. See "Iran ," U.S.
Energy Information Administration, January, 2006, p. 2. As this
same report adds, "in September 2005, several bombs were detonated near
oil wells in Khuzestan, raising concerns about unrest amongst ethnic
Arabs in the region" (p. 2).
from : t r u t h o u t
To: Francis Feeley
Subject: Pentagon Weigh Deploying Troops to US-Mexican Border
Date: Sat, 13 May 2006
FOCUS | Bush, Pentagon Weigh Deploying Troops to US-Mexican Border
Once again the Bush administration is turning to the military to
help solve a domestic problem. But instead of hurricane aid or
preparations to cope with avian flu, the Pentagon is being asked to
possibly provide thousands of National Guard troops to shore up the US
border with Mexico, as part of President Bush's effort to gather
support for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws.
VIDEO | A Somber Mother's Day Weekend in DC
A Report by Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez
This Mother's Day will not be a time of joy for the almost 2,500
mothers who have lost their son or daughter in Iraq. Many of those
mothers will be in Washington, DC, participating in a weekend full of
activities ranging from a silent march to a 24-hour vigil. TruthOut's
Geoffrey Millard and Scott Galindez are in Washington and will be
sending in video reports throughout the weekend.
VIDEO | Dispatch From North Dakota
A Film by Chris Hume
Even though progressive talk radio is gaining popularity with the
American public, the Christian Right is working hard to silence it.
TruthOut correspondent Chris Hume visits progressive radio host Ed
Schultz in Fargo, North Dakota, to examine this underdiscussed topic.
from Robert Rivkin :
Subject: Fw: West Point Graduates Against The War
Date: Sun, 14 May 2006
This is an amazing development -- when West Point graduates,
those trained to grumble about their Commander in Chief in
private, decide to go public with their loathing and
Please pass it on.
- This is a free update from ZNet.
- There is a tendency, too widespread, for activists
to sometimes grasp defeat from the jaws of victory. It is a fatal
mistake. Don't do it.
- We need an urgency that doesn't bow but we also need
a sense of proportion that lets us see progress in a long struggle and
expand it. All over ZNet you will find pieces that not analyze what is,
but that also evidence what might be, what can be done, what people are
doing, and what gains are being made.
- Sometimes the evidence of those gains is
overwhelming and inspiring. Here is an article we received from the
author just a few minutes ago.
Point Graduates Against The War: Now Is The Time
Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the
dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell
above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for
We members of West Point Graduates
Against The War stand appalled at the deceitful behavior of the
government of the United States and, in particular, its widely known
malefactors. Their lying, cheating, stealing, and rendition of evasive
statements not only has demeaned these deceivers and our country, but
they have placed vast numbers of innocent people in deadly peril as a
direct result of their deceptions. We will not serve these lies, that
is, we will not work for, be a servant to, provide for, assist, or
promote the interests of this dishonorable administration. By remaining
silent we tacitly serve; we are no longer silent.
The illegal assault and occupation in
Iraq has killed tens of thousands of innocents, both American, Iraqi,
and others, causing incalculable damage to Iraq and the Iraqi people,
as well as the reputation and honor of the United States of
The behavior of this administration
is particularly odious since it makes mockery of the code of
conduct instilled in us at West Point. "A cadet will not lie, cheat, or
steal, or tolerate those who do." This has provided us with a lifelong
respect for the truth, and a sense of responsibility to do the
right thing, even if that means admonishing our country's leadership.
Our position may be counter to the
opinion of many of our fellow graduates. Our views are most probably
not the views of the official institution that is West Point. It does
its work, we ours. Yet, we are undeniably full-blown products of that
place, trademarked by the West Point way of behavior. "Duty, Honor,
Country," the motto of the Academy, our watchwords, as well. And we
express our views as an organization of graduates, as retired generals
of similar pedigree express their own. The difference? There are more
of us than there are generals.
Admiral John Paul Jones, the father
of the American navy, said it best. "I would lay down my life for
America, but I cannot trifle with my honor." This administration has
done neither. Chicken hawks in wolves' clothing, they have been
derelict in duty, honor, and country.
Consider their sending under-equipped
troops into battle under false pretenses, the widely-known ignoring
of Second Amendment protections of the Constitution, the
"quaintness" of the Geneva Convention, or Colin Powell's ill-starred,
mendacious UN presentation. Their lies and misleading statements,
detailed in so many places, have become epic. They tried to make their
case. They failed. Facts and time have proven these people untrustworty
and incompetent. They lied, tens of thousands died, and that is a moral
Shamelessly, the president of the
United States mocks his own deceitful behavior at White House
Correspondents' Dinners. People have perished from his infamous words,
and he and his ilk, and the ilk of journalists, all guffaw and wink and
preen. Duty, Honor, Country? Be serious.
We are graduates of the United States
Military Academy at West Point, New York who are against the war in
Iraq, and any other future wars similarly premised. Our ranks include
sons, daughters, and spouses of deceased graduates. All of us stand in
common cause against the deceitful policies and lies of the Bush
administration. We are heartened by supporters from all over the world,
but particularly the American taxpayers who gave and maintain the life
of the institution that bore us into the adult world of service to our
country. And, in that spirit, we now act.
We are not politicians, professional
media pundits, retired generals, peace-at-any-price activists,
conscientious objectors, Communists or traitors. We seek to overthrow
nothing. Except the pattern of deceit by this administration that has
so sorely damaged this country, its standing in the world, and the
We have no historic legacy of public
life that we are out to maintain because we have had no public life. We
are ordinary people, forged by one unforgettable unifying experience -
West Point. We studied there, we trained there, we were inspired there.
We are the voice of a growing band of men and women, graduates of West
Point, not perfect people, but honorable. And we speak for the many
who, because of their circumstance, are reluctant or unable to speak.
We call likeminded graduates of West
Point to stand with us and speak out against the deceitful policies of
this administration, and the resulting destruction of the honor of the
United States, and the dissipation of its military.
Alarm and call to action
Say no to preventive war. Heed
President Eisenhower's words. "When people speak to you about a
preventive war," he said, "you tell them to go and fight it."
Say no to torture. Demand that the
United States government respect the conventions of war. We must lead
by example, preserving some aspect of humanity in the carnage and
devastation. Today, we gaze into the abyss of perpetual war. Be aware,
as Nietzsche warned, "If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also
Say no to the trashing of the honor
of our country. Stay the forked tongues of this deplorable
This is not a partisan issue. Both
sides of the legislative chambers have aided and abetted this corrupt
administration. We exhort everyone to stand with us and to write to
their political representatives. We will do the same. Tell them that
you don't appreciate their silence on these vital issues. Tell them to
support and defend the Constitution as they have sworn to do. Demand
honorable behavior from all public officials. Tell them how you feel
about what THEY have allowed to happen to our country. And tell them
that we, West Point Graduates Against The War, sent you. Tell them that
we stand with you. It's the truth!
"Now is the time!" Martin Luther King
said long ago. Indeed, NOW is the time.
We live on the precipice of yet
another "arranged" war. This time it's Iran. As in Iraq, the
demonization is well underway. The dogs of war are foaming and
gnashing. Deja vu all over again, or, as we used to say at West Point,
S.O.S, "Same Old Stuff," or words to that effect.
And all this in the name of homeland
security. Please be serious. As Dwight Eisenhower said, "If all that
Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They'll have enough
to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to
preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow
his neck to any dictatorial government."
Today, we have clear intimations of
just such a government. We think that Americans are not so easily
cowed, and that the vast majority demands far more than a diet of false
statements, and confinement in endless, immoral wars.
New voices can change the world. They
always have. Stand with us!
Cofounder: West Point Graduates Against
From Michael Parenti :
To: Francis FEELEY
Subject: For Your Information.
Francis FEELEY wrote:
I just voted for you for U.S. Senator from California and Barbara Lee
for my representative from Oakland.
I hope you get elected and can stop the war more effectively than
Dianna Feinstein, for whom I voted last time.
Thank you Francis, that is very kind of you.
I hadn't planned on running, but I will keep tabs to see if I am
If I am, then there will be a choice job waiting for you in Washington
with lots of patronage and unaccounted funds that you can spend on
yourself and very little work.
(You see? I'm already corrupted by the smell of public office!)
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université de Grenoble-3