Bulletin N° 242


Bastille Day 2006
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

I was living in the Pigalle district of Paris in the mid 1970s, when I finished the research for my Ph.D. dissertation. Before defending my thesis at the University of Wisconsin in 1976, I had already begun a new research project, the social history of my neighborhood in Paris. I was particularly interested in the modes of social control. Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre had became actively involved in defending the rights of prostitutes, and a controversy emerged between those, on the one hand, who perceived prostitutes as "workers" and defended their rights to collective bargaining agreements (it was thought at the time that this reform might free them from the tyranny of the Pimp) and, on the other hand, those who perceived prostitution as a form of "slavery", not to be reformed but, instead, to be abolished.

A great deal of testimony and new analysis grew out of this social movement in the mid-1970s. One particularly interesting insight was the nature of the prostitutes'   relationships with Pimps (les maquereaux). In his role as manager, the Pimp often had almost exclusive ownership privileges over his prostitutes. He alone determined how much of their earnings they could keep, and he also determined what sanctions they would suffer if ever they tried to withhold more of their earnings, or keep any other secrets from him. The explosive emotional encounters between Pimp and prostitute always ended in the same way: this man subjected his women to fear and humiliation, which served as a conspicuous object lesson for all prostitutes, and she obediently returned to her niche in that part of the dependent hierarchy he had created.

The Extinction Rule of logical levels within dependent hierarchies, such as the Pimp/prostitute relationship, suggests that the lower levels, which are of greater complexity in the social pyramid, cannot exist outside the context with the higher, less complex levels, which in a legitimate hierarchy constitutes the environment of the lower levels. The reverse is not true; the higher less complex levels can continue to exist after the extinction of  the lower levels of the hierarchy. This fact might explain the necessity for violent interventions periodically on the part of the manager-Pimp in order to prevent the dissolution of the level he occupies in this illegitimate hierarchy, (and real relationships between legitimate levels would perhaps improve if this illegitimate intermediate level were removed from its political dominance over the prostitute). The same pattern, some have argued, can be seen in the general relationship of capital to labor, again a dependent hierarchy which necessitates violent interventions on the part of capital in order to maintain control over labor. This labor-management relationship has far-reaching cultural consequences at every level of society. (By contrast, legitimate dependent hierarchies encompass relationships of necessary dependencies, because each order of complexity, being an open system, must depend on the order above it, which is in fact its environment of matter-energy and information and is therefore essential for its existence, its survival, and its eventual reproduction. Thus, for example, within the dependent hierarchy of the mother/child relationship survival values are reproduced by the constraints imposed by the mother, or in the producer/consumer relationship use values are generated by the producers. Likewise the dependent hierarchy of nature/society/culture represents increasing levels of complexity in descending order, the existence of which depends on the environment of the above levels which also impose legitimate constraints at the lower levels.)

One of my objectives in the Pigalle study was precisely to examine how illegitimate power over the prostitutes in this neighborhood was attained and defended. By using a variety of techniques within the context of real, imaginary, and symbolic relations, the Pimp maintains advantages over the women he controls. This was one focus of my research, when the revolt of the prostitutes in Pigalle sparked a national debate among French intellectuals.

I had prepared for this study by reading the pioneering works in communication theory by Raymond Birdwhistell, William Labov, and Gregory Bateson's classic collection of essays, Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Today this debate has returned, but the context has changed. . . . For evidence of this change, see :

The Prostitution Industry & The World Cup

Evelina Giobbe, entitled  "An Analysis of Individual, Institutional, and Cultural Pimping," "It takes a village to create a prostitute."

Frances Furguson, on Fantasy and Escape from Reality

On modern slavery

The psychology of authoritarian managers of capital cannot be understood when abstracted from its social and historical context. The very profitable investment opportunities afforded by crisis capitalism today are contingent on a new authoritarian mode of management, which can guarantee standards of production by successfully constraining the expression of species consciousness for long-term survival, as well as manifestations of class consciousness for economic equality and group consciousness for political justice. The prototype for this style of management is the Pimp who operates almost exclusively on the ontological level of individual disadvantages.

On The Modern Pimp as culture hero

On the "boys" in the business

The Pimp Game, by Mickey Royal (on "how so few can control so many")

For more on "male" domination of the "effeminate" mind see The Authoritarian Personality, by T.W. Adorno, et al. The purpose of this research is described in the Preface of this book :

This is a book about social discrimination. But its purpose is not simply to add a few more empirical
findings to an already extensive body of information. The central theme of the work is a relatively
new concept --the rise of an "anthropological" species we call the authoritarian type of man. In contrast
to the bigot of the older style he seems to combine the ideas and skills which are typical of a highly
industrialized society with irrational or anti-rational beliefs. He is at the same time enlightened and
superstitious, proud to be an individualist and in constant fear of not being like all the others, jealous
of his independence and inclined to submit blindly to power and authority. The character structure
which comprises these conflicting trends has already attracted the attention of modern philosophers
and political thinkers. This book approaches the problem with the means of socio-psychological research. (p.xi)

Emotional domination by the Pimp is the hallmark of his control. He speaks with the authority of realism. The rules of power and privilege are clear for all to see, and any revolt within the hierarchy is perceived as an unwelcome disruption of the natural order, if not a suicidal departure from reality. In his book, The Rules are No Game, Anthony Wilden describes the self-righteous emotionalism that passes for justice in the illegitimate hierarchies of all colonial systems, imaginary and real, including systems of male supremacy and prostitution.
   Today the post-Vietnam strategy is readily made flesh in medieval brutality: in state terrorist tactics
and the technology of torture, new and old, constantly refined by the ever-expanding stromtrooper
elites around the world. ...
   On examination forty years after the event, these 'boys books" are not at all the "good clean fun" or
the "ideal worlds" we imagined them to be. They are suffused throughout with an ideology of retribution,
if that's the word I want --an ideology of (white) might makes right. They present on the whole a view
of "justice" that unconsciously prepares the mind for the unjust act. They ignore the common basis of
social organization: "natural justice" in English common law and "due process" in the more advanced
capitalist democracy of the United States.
   The result of this unconscious learning is disastrous to civil society. As if by the inherent godliness of priests,
or the awful majesty of law, or the divine rights of kings, the ideology of retribution --the self-righteous
punishment of real and imaginary wrongs-- turns into what every colonizer recognizes as the strategy of
colonialism: The absolute right of "absolute good" (the colonizers) to do absolutely anything to absolutely
anyone they have defined as criminal, immoral, animal, or evil.
   Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay. (p.324)

The early feminist researchers in domination/subjugation relationship studies developed new concepts derived from very close observations of real relationships.

Simone de Beauvoir on "The Second Sex"

Susan Brownmiller's book, Against Our Will

Anthony Wilden reviewed Brownmiller's book :
   A fascist I define as anyone who enjoys inflicting violence or suffering, physical or mental, on other living beings.
In 1975, in an unforgettable book Against Our Will, Susan Brownmiller spelled out in horrifying detail the secret
history of the grand strategy used by imperial generals in wars of conquest, colonial warfare, slave rebellions,
peasant revolts, and people's wars.
   The objective is to destroy the will to resist; the target is the entire population; the strategy is terror; the means is
torture; the usual end is death; most of the victims are women and children; the worst instrument is rape.
   To do this, you simply let your men loose on anyone they choose. You use men and boys you have brutalized
through race and class oppression and the army, police, and prison systems as your instruments of imperial terror
against young and old.
   As the men say, 'All's fair in love and war.'Rape is not a crime of passion, but a crime of power, a deliberate, conscious act of torture and degradation. Rape
is the cross-burning and the lynching that keeps every woman in her place --and dependent on some men (father,
brother, boyfriend, husband, son, police) to protect her from other men.
   As the women say, Pornography is the theory, rape is the practice.'In colonial war and banditry, individual men and often gangs of men rape and mutilate women and children, girls
and boys, and, less often, other men. For imperial troops and bandits this is an act of 'manhood' --meaning here
the power of God over anyone and everyone without  a weapon or the strength to fight back.
   In basic training with the US Army, the first definition in the Naming of Parts has long been this one:

                          This is my rifle (18-year-old holds up M-16)
                          This is my gun (puts hand to crotch)
                          One is for killing
                          The other for fun.

'All's fair in love and war' is the manifesto of the mercenary, the bandit, the free fire zone, the death squad. Imperial
troops and bandits fight for the power to do with other people exactly what they please. People's armies obey strict
codes of ethics --and above all Chu Teh's Tenth Rule: 'Never take liberties with women'.
   General Chu Teh (b.1886) laid down his fifteen Rules of Discipline in 1928, as his peasant guerrillas battled the Nationalist
forces of Chiang Kai-shek and the warlords in the rural uprising whose failure led to the formation of the celebrated 4th
Red Army and the 22-year-long guerrilla partnership between Chu Teh, the soldier, and Mao Tse-Tung, the commissar.
   Chu Teh's Tenth Rule was implicitly observed by the Viet Cong guerrillas and the North Vietnamese regulars throughout
the Vietnam war, as the Saigon correspondents knew very well, but did not care to report --perhaps because among
American troops rape was known as 'SOP' or 'standard operating procedure'. The man who broke the Saigon press corps'
silence was Peter Arnett, a New Zealander, who told Susan Brownmiller, who put it in her book. (pp.27-28)

Jean-Paul Sartre describes the extremes to which illegitimate hierarchies are defended in his statement "On Genocide", given at the Second Session of the Bertrand Russell International War Crimes Tribunal on Vietnam, held in Denmark in November 1967.

Discussions among the left have produced a radical analysis of the prostitution industry as a subsystem of the greater capitalism-in-crisis system. The non-reformist solution to all forms of exploitation is, according to this radical egalitarian view, democracy at a meaningful level.

More on the social context of prostitutes and pimps

Guaranteed income the only alternative to Prostitution

Perhaps the best documentary film which depicts the illegitimate hierarchy of Corporate Control of American Society is now available on the Internet. Please visit :

"The Corporation" Film

1) Videos and internet links made available by CEIMSA:

2) Free Videos :
Information Clearing House with videos

Check our "The Corporation" video on the video menu on the left of the home page.

3) More free Videos :
TruthOut with videos

For a lucid exposé of the illegitimate hierarchy of the American electoral system, we recommend Michael Parenti's article "On the Stolen Election". Please visit the CEIMSA web site page :


or go directly to Parenti's article by clicking on Atelier N°15, Article N° 37 :


And finally, readers will find below five articles received by CEIMSA this week which speak to this contemporary theme of illegitimate hierarchies originating from American Society :

Item A. is a recent New York Times advertisement entitled "A Troubling Alliance" and paid for by Council for National Interest, voicing protest against continued U.S. subsidies for Israeli imperialist aggressions against the Palestinian people.

Items B. and C. are commentaries on the rape and murder last week of fifteen-year-old Abeer Qasim Hamza in Iraq by a group of U.S. soldiers.

Item D. is Dahr Jamal's reflections on Orwellian "doublethink" employed by American officials in Iraq..

Item E. is a description of the criminal plunder of Iran's historical artifacts and efforts to constrain this classic imperialist behavior by professors at the University of Chicago.

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research
Université Stendhal - Grenoble 3

From : Council for the National Interest Foundation :
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006
Subject: America and Israel: A Troubling Alliance

America and Israel: A Troubling Alliance

The response to our Fourth of July weekend Sunday New York Times advertisement (July 2nd, "Week in Review" section) has been very strong. Despite the fact that the webserver handling our inbound email traffic and websites had a massive failure for four days, from July 6th through the 9th, in the week following publication of the full-page ad, we have received hundreds of emails and dozens of telephone calls from new supporters.

Failure of the website was due to a bad hard drive, which was corrected as quickly as possible. We are hoping that those who tried to send emails to us during the period July 6th through 9th and were unsuccessful will repeat their messages to us.

This is the second in a series of six full-page advertisements appearing opposite the editorial page in the Sunday New York Times, which has a circulation of 1.8 million and a readership of 3 million across the country and internationally. The advertisement dated July 2nd and titled "America and Israel: A Troubling Alliance" is available in three different formats on our website for downloading or resending to others who might be on your own email lists. The next ad will be coming out in September, if not before, so if you haven't yet made a contribution to our campaign, you can do so by clicking the button below or by mailing a check to the address below.

Eugene Bird

America and Israel: A Troubling Alliance

Sunday, July 2nd, 2006 (PDF)

Also available as a JPEG or as text only.

From : Council for the National Interest Foundation :
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006
CNI Calls for U.S. Action, Engagement on Real Israel-Lebanon Issues

CNI Calls for American Action, Engagement on Real Israel-Lebanon Issues

July 14, 2006 (Washington, DC) - In a statement titled "A Reality Check: The Three Real Issues Between Israel and Lebanon," two former congressmen and a former ambassador, board members of the Council for the National Interest, call on the President and the U.S. State Department to immediately send a high level envoy to the Middle East whose task would be not just a ceasefire but a settlement of the three major issues between Israel and Lebanon. The signatories include former Congressman Paul Findley (R-IL), a long time member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, former Senator James Abourezk (D-SD), Vice-Chairman of the CNI Foundation and founder of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and former Ambassador Robert Keeley, the Chairman of the CNI Foundation board.
In taped interviews conducted by a CNI delegation to the region in January, Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and Hezbollah Secretary-General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah separately expressed the need for negotiation on the three outstanding issues between Israel and Lebanon. Those outstanding issues include making available to Lebanese authorities a map of the 140,000 mines Israel left in Lebanon after withdrawing in 2000, the return of three small sectors of land that overlook the Litani River in Lebanon that Israel still retains, and the return of three Lebanese prisoners that Israel still holds.

Eugene Bird, President of the Council for the National Interest, is available for interviews regarding discussions he participated in as part of a CNI delegation earlier this year at 202-863-2951 or by sending an email to CNIFoundation@gmail.com. The interview subjects included the following, among others:
  • Prime Minister Fuad Siniora of Lebanon
  • Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah
  • the brother of the longest-serving Lebanese prisoner still held in Israeli jails
  • President Emile Lahoud of Lebanon
  • President Bashar al-Assad of Syria
  • Khaled Meshal, Hamas political leader in Damascus, Syria
  • Mahmoud Zahar, Hamas political leader in the Gaza Strip

An hour-long video including segments of each of these interviews, titled "Islam and Democracy," is available from the Council for the National Interest by sending an email to CNIFoundation@gmail.com. Streaming video clips will be made available on Monday, July 17th.


The Council for the National Interest Foundation calls for American action, engagement on the real issues between Israel and Lebanon

July 14, 2006

The complicity of the United States in the Israeli actions against civilians in Gaza and Lebanon are apparent to the whole world. Former Congressman Paul Findley (R-IL), a long time member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, former Senator James Abourezk (D-SD), Vice-Chairman of the CNI Foundation and founder of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and former Ambassador Robert Keeley, the Chairman of the CNI Foundation have asked the Council for the National Interest to strongly advise the Secretary of State and the President to adopt a more active role in the current crisis in the Middle East.

Eugene Bird, president of the CNI Foundation said, “No one is denying the right of a nation or a people to defend itself. But Israel does not have the right to destroy bridges, roads, power stations and international airports in a vindictive show of force, in what will likely be a futile attempt to force the release of the two soldiers captured near the border.”

The right to defend a nation of people also applies to even the followers of Hezbollah trying to regain still-occupied territory and prisoners held illegally by Israel. Hezbollah is not seen as a terrorist organization in Lebanon, but as a legitimate resistance movement that succeeded in forcing Israel to retreat after eighteen years from most all of Southern Lebanon.

A special high-level envoy of the President should be sent to the region to seek an end to the attacks on civilians by both Israel and Hezbollah. But the United States should not stop there; there are three issues between Israel and Lebanon, which must be solved if the same old pattern of tit-for-tat is to be ended once and for all. The absence of the United States from engaging in the region, especially in the past six months has been the most remarkable reason for the breakdown of the ceasefires.

The fact that the most democratic Arab country is being attacked by Israel undercuts the claim often made by members of the current administration that democracies never go to war with each other. The president is correctly concerned, as he has stated that the Israeli retaliatory attacks on Lebanon should not undermine Prime Minister Siniora’s government. It is of course ironic that the major civilian targets for Israel were the international airport and the bridges and highway named after Rafiq al-Hariri. We can only hope that Israel did not consult with the United States before striking these particular targets.

The U.S. Arms Export Control Act restricts the use of U.S. weapons to legitimate self-defense and internal policing; U.S. weapons cannot be used to attack civilians in offensive operations. The U.S. Foreign Assistance Act prohibits U.S. aid of any kind to a country with a pattern of gross human rights violations.

In the first few days of the offensive against Lebanon tens of millions of dollars worth of U.S. munitions have been used by Israel against a country friendly to the United States and a government fully supported by America. The fact that civilian structures that were a part of the major rebuilding of Lebanon by Hariri were destroyed in less than 48 hours with American weapons is a sad commentary on the lack of real American policy towards not only Lebanon but other countries of the Levant. And none of the military actions are at all helpful to Israel.

There are real issues between Lebanon and Israel that should have been settled with the help of the United States long ago. Israel failed to keep her promise to make available maps of the 140,000 mines she left behind in Lebanon. Three small sectors of land overlooking the Litani River were retained by Israel and were the cause of complaints from the government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, not just Hezbollah. The three Lebanese prisoners that were moved by Israel, contrary to the Geneva Convention prohibition against an occupying power transporting prisoners into its own territory, should have been returned long ago.

The U.S. has ignored all three complaints made repeatedly by the Siniora government.

The Council for the National Interest delegation to the Palestinian elections also visited Beirut and talked with all factions from the President on down. In almost every case, the three issues cited above were mentioned and an appeal was made for the United States to take some action before it was too late. That was six months ago and now the United States is faced with the possibility of a full-scale Middle East war in Lebanon and Syria and a continuing civil war in Palestine.

The way out of this morass of easily foreseen crises is for the United States in consultation with Egypt, Jordan and even with Syria to take the lead to settle these three issues. That would be real preventative diplomacy.

One idea that should be explored is the incorporation of the Hezbollah militia into a new and expanded Lebanese army. This has been done in other parts of the world when rebel insurgents join coalitions and become apart of governance.

So long as the American administration backed by congressional voices parroting the Israeli line that the Hezbollah attack was launched without cause or reason, the administration will be risking a widening of the present attacks on Lebanon. That would not be in the interest of the United States nor is it in the interest of Israel.

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

from Truthout :
Date 2 July 2006

GIs May Have Planned Iraq Rape, Slayings

Investigators believe American soldiers spent nearly a week plotting an attack in which they raped an Iraqi woman, then killed her and her family in an insurgent-ridden area south of Baghdad, a US military official said Saturday.

from Information Clearing House :
Date 4 July 2006

Raped And Murdered: Victim Was 15 year Old Child
Details emerge in alleged atrocity by U.S. troops

He found Abeer sprawled dead in a corner, her hair and a pillow next to her consumed by fire, and her dress pushed up to her neck.

from Dahr Jamail :
Date 3 July 2006

Orwell in Iraq: Snow Jobs, Zarqawi and Bogus Peace Plans
by Dahr Jamail

"My personal opinion is that the only way we will lose this war is if we pull out prematurely," said Colonel Jeffrey Snow, who commands a brigade of soldiers in Iraq. Snow, as reported by AFP on June 30th, fears losing public support in the US for the ongoing occupation of Iraq because of "negative perceptions" at home due to news that is "always bad."

Reuters reported, also on June 30th, Snow admitting that resistance attacks in Baghdad have risen despite the recent security crackdown that brought tens of thousands of American and Iraqi soldiers, new checkpoints and curfews in the capital city.

The same Col. Snow, unable (or more likely, unwilling) to provide statistics on the increased number of attacks, instead used the excuse that the steps the US military took to tell the Iraqi people about the new security measures kept resistance fighters informed of the military's plans. On that note, it couldn't be more obvious that someone in his position is there for his ability to follow orders, rather than his aptitude toward the application of logic.

In another dazzling flash of brain activity, Snow, who obviously thinks "war" is a suitable term for the illegal occupation of Iraq, commented, "We expected there would be an increase in attacks, and that is precisely what's happened." He also added, "I believe that these attacks are going to go down over time. So I remain optimistic."

Snow is obviously annoyed with the fact that select media outlets continue to report the increasing violence, ongoing deaths of Iraqi civilians and US soldiers, and th?t the country is, at this point, essentially as devastated as it was when Hulagu Khan's Mongols sacked Baghdad 748 years ago.

Just three days before the flash of brilliant analysis by Snow, the Iraqi health ministry announced it had received 262 corpses within the previous four days as the result of armed operations all over the country. It also reported that 580 people were injured in the same time period, and did not count people known to have been abducted and
murdered but whose bodies have not yet been found.

But Snow seems to be less concerned with the reality on the ground than he is with public perception of the hell that Iraq has become. While he admits that his own troops have come under a greater number of resistance attacks, he preferred to offer his professional critique of media coverage on the failed state of Iraq.

"Our soldiers may be in the crosshairs every day, but it is the American voter who is a real target, and it is the media that carries the message back each day across the airwaves. So when the news is not balanced and it's always bad, that clearly leads to negative perceptions back home," said the leader of the 1st Brigade of the 10th mountain Division, which has been in Iraq nearly one year.

Determined to leave reporters with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside about the situation in Iraq, as well as to explain his obvious contradictions, Snow added, "The way I would answer that is that attacks here recently are up in our area. However, the overall effectiveness is down. So you may perceive that as double-speak."

While Snow was busy contemplating his gifts of double-speak the next day, July 1st, a car bomb attacked a police patrol in Sadr City, Baghdad, killing at least 62 people and wounding over 100.

With the plan to secure Baghdad, "Operation Forward Together," now three weeks old, and the so-called terror leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, killed, the security situation has only continued to deteriorate.

"Killing Zarqawi has not improved the situation in Iraq one bit," said Loretta Napoleoni, Fullbright Scholar at Johns Hopkins University, author of the books Terror Inc. and Insurgent Iraq. While speaking to an audience in Seville, Spain, where we both gave lectures about the situation in Iraq this past weekend, the expert about Zarqawi and terror groups now operating in Iraq added, "In fact, it might well have made things worse. There is evidence to back the claim that al-Qaeda gave information to the Multi-National Forces about Zarqawi to have him killed, since they had been having problems with him for quite some time. Thus, killing him may well have strengthened the link between al-Qaeda and Sunni resistance groups in Iraq."

When I interviewed Napoleoni, she told me that the image of Zarqawi portrayed by Western media outlets was basically the antithesis of reality. "He [Zarqawi] was not in control of the Sunni resistance. He was in control of a very small group of jihadists, predominantly foreign fighters. He was extremely unpopular among the other factions of Sunni resistance fighters. Some of the members of the resistance even tried two times to remove him because he was a negative political influence."

While talking with Napoleoni I wondered if Col. Snow truly believed his own rhetoric. I asked her what she thought of the constant assertions in Western corporate media outlets that Zarqawi was the "leader of the Iraqi resistance."

"Well it's not true. It's absolutely not true," she told me, "I don't know what they base these kinds of statements on. The resistance in Iraq is quite complex, including the Shia factions, and of course al-Zarqawi was not in control of that. Finally, al-Zarqawi was a foreigner. This is the key element. The Iraqi resistance would never follow a foreigner as a leader."

Hoping to shed some light on how people like Col. Snow, along with so many US citizens, remain so ignorant about the reality on the ground in Iraq, I asked Napoleoni, who lectures regularly on the financing of terrorism as well as being an economist, another question.

Who is actually conducting the terrorism in Iraq? "The majority of the suicide missions are carried out by non-Iraqis. There are lots of people coming from the Gulf. There is a jihadist web site that lists the names of the martyrs, and you can see that they come from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and even from the Emirates. This is the majority of the suicide missions. Some people come from Syria and Jordan, but the vast majority of people come from the Gulf."

So much for ongoing attempts by the Cheney administration to implicate Syria and Iran in collaborating with the Iraqi resistance. All Cheney needs to do is have his puppet, Mr. Bush, ask his pal, the King of Saudi Arabia, why they are allowing so many martyrs into Iraq.

Col. Snow take note, because if you really want to know what you are attempting to hide from people in the US, you should ask Napoleoni. According to her, the reason why Zarqawi and the few terrorist groups operating in Iraq are given so much media attention is because the Cheney administration "needs to personalize the enemy and needs to have a dichotomy between good and evil. This has been, very much, the Bush [Cheney] administration's policy right from the beginning. His [Bush's] first speech after 9/11 was "You are either with us or you are against us." So he clearly stated there is nothing in between. So al-Zarqawi had to be an evil individual the same way that Saddam Hussein was portrayed as an evil individual because, you know, there is a moral battle here."

Col. Snow and other gullible US citizens should heed her conclusion about why the myth of Zarqawi was blown so large and wide. "Of course this [moral battle] is the umbrella under which the economic battle and the hegemonic battles are taking place," she said.

While we were discussing the US-propagated myth of Zarqawi, I decided to ask Napoleoni to comment on the absurd statements made by Western corporate media outlets claiming that Zarqawi was in control of Fallujah during the November 2004 massacre in the city.

"Al-Zarqawi was never in control of Fallujah," she told me, "In fact, he was never in Fallujah." As we discussed the second US assault on Fallujah in depth, she mentioned that negotiations between resistance groups, tribal leaders and the US military were happening right up to the launching of Operation Phantom Fury against Fallujah.

"The reason why that negotiation failed was because after it was agreed, the Americans basically demanded to have al-Zarqawi, and of course the people of Fallujah couldn't give him to the Americans because he was not in Fallujah," she said, confirming what I'd been told by my sources in the city.

Another recent clue as to why resistance attacks against US and Iraqi forces have been on the rise as of late is the "failed" reconciliation plan put forth by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The vague plan offered by the Shia-dominated puppet government was flawed from the beginning, and when I asked Napoleoni what she thought of the "plan" she said, "I don't think it is going to work at all. I think it is a window dressing for the West. I think it is one of these political decisions in order to sell an image to the West saying, "Oh, the new government in Iraq is actually offering peace. But this peace is going to be rejected; therefore the new government has no other choice but to continue repressing the people."

She continued, "I don't think there was anything in that proposal that was written in order to bring a deal. Because if you look at this, it is impossible for any of those groups to accept it. It's too vague, for a start. Also, it basically prohibits amnesty for anybody who has done any activity motivated by political violence. So of course this was rejected because there was no way an amnesty is going to be accepted by the Sunni when we are in a situation where the government is in the hands of the Shia."

There is one thing that Col. Snow said about the US corporate media that he and I agree on. Napoleoni, who worked for several banks and internation?l organizations in Europe and the US as well as having brought heads of state from around the world together to create a new strategy for combating the financing of terror networks, agreed as well.

And that is when Col. Snow told reporters, "It is the American voter who is a real target."

from Niki Akhavan :
Date July 03, 2006

Looting Iran

by Niki Akhavan

It took years of painful sanctions and numerous bombing campaigns before looters swept in to steal Iraq’s archaeological treasures. It seems that in the case of Iran, the theft may precede sanctions and war.

The University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute is currently in possession of ancient Iranian artifacts including a collection of 2,500-year-old tablets acquired on loan in 1937 which chronicle the daily workings of the Persian Empire. The University is being sued to turn over the artifacts as restitution to victims of a 1997 bombing in Israel. Representing five Americans injured in that attack, David J. Strachman successfully sued the Iranian government for $71.5 million dollars on the grounds that Iran is responsible as a state sponsor of terrorism. In order to recover this sum from a non-responsive Iranian government who has thus far declined to appear in the U.S. courts or to acknowledge their judgments, Strachman has demanded that the University and several museums auction their collection of ancient artifacts and turn over the funds to him and his clients. Last week, he came one step closer to achieving his goal when a federal judge rejected one of the University’s main defense arguments.

In 2004, scholars at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute began taking significant steps towards renewing their relationship to their counterparts in Iran. For the first time since close cooperation between Iran and the University ended in 1979, the Institute returned a number of the ancient tablets to the Iranian Cultural Organization as a “good faith” gesture made in the hope of negotiating agreements for new excavations and joint training and publication programs. If Strachman succeeds in forcing the sale of the remaining artifacts, the reconciliation between the University and Iran will not be the only relationship that will be undermined.

Iranians from a range of backgrounds, be they staunch supporters or sworn enemies of their current government, are increasingly becoming aware of the double standards, misrepresentations, and unjust maneuverings around domestic and international laws that seem to be at play when it comes to Iran. The backlash against the propaganda war against Iran and Iranians can be found in events both trivial and deadly serious. Fans of the Iranian National Soccer team were infuriated, for example, when American sportscasters used the occasion of Iran’s opening match against Mexico to rehash the Western media’s favorite clichés about President Ahmadinejhad and his controversial statements regarding Israel and the Holocaust. The games of no other national teams have been inappropriately used as a political forum, and this fact did not escape Iranian viewers, whose bitterness at an earlier than expected exit from the World Cup was further agitated by unsavory sports coverage.

While the wrangling over Iran’s nuclear program may not inflame as many passions as did the World Cup, it too has become yet another arena wherein Iran and Iranians are treated according to a seemingly different set of standards than that which is applied to the rest of the world. Iran is a voluntary signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the terms of which guarantee its right to completing Uranium enrichment cycles on its own soil for the purposes of developing a civilian nuclear program. As the so-called “international community” deploys various carrots and sticks in attempts to persuade Iran not to exercise this right, Iran’s nuclear armed and non-NPT signing neighbors in the region are not only exempt from being subject to inspections of their nuclear facilities, but are variously rewarded with praise and economic aid. The continuing application of this double-standard is irksome and counter-productive: it will force the majority of Iranians who support a civilian nuclear program to further dig in their heels, and it will lead those who oppose nuclear technology to distrust the intentions of administrations who claim to act for the good of the Iranian people.

In the end, if Iranians are divided over the nuclear issue, there is at least one subject around which they can fanatically converge, even more so than they do with their National Soccer Team, and that is Iran’s ancient cultural and historical heritage. What the University of Chicago has in its possession is part and parcel of a heritage that belongs to the Iranian people and cannot be identified as the property of any ruling government. To force their sale on the dubious grounds that Strachman has offered and the U.S. courts have accepted is a manipulation of justice and a nail in the coffin of reconciliation between Iran and the United States.

Niki Akhavan is an anti-war activist and a PhD candidate at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she is completing a PhD thesis on the relationship between new media technologies and contemporary Iranian cultural politics. She is a board member of the recently formed "Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran" ( http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/).

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