typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Archive for September 2007

Alexander Downer is pube deficient – here’s proof

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Well… he’s Minister for four an’ a half hairs isn’t he?

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September 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm

John Howard pledges to ratify Kyoto

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Burmese bloggers & the monks’ demands…

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This is straight from Al Jazeera. They spoke by phone with a Buddhist monk called Uppekha, who is part of the All Burma Buddhist Monks Alliance.

Uppekha said he had expected more help from the UN and emphasised that all the protests had been peaceful.
He said: “We have a chance to create our own rights. We have a chance to create our own freedom.
“We are peaceful demonstrators but the government is taking this violent crackdown. We are suffering violence from a military junta.
“We dont understand why the UN aren’t helping us. They are just talking, talking, blowing in the wind.”

When a monk suggests military, martial, or international action to support gunned down peaceful protests… it’s gotta mean something. I just think it’s disgusting that the “world leaders” are congratulating themselves on cutting military and financial aid to Burma’s military regime. The media are also singing this song – when there really should be more questions about why these bastards didn’t have their lines of weapon supply and access to foreign assets cut long ago.

And it does seem kind of sick that “democracy” can be delivered by missile, bomb, dictum, and invasion… but not by request or obvious necessity.

Al Jazeera also reports on the cutting of access to Burmese blogs and provides hyperlinks for easy direct access to what remains up online. Al Jazeera has compiled a wide array of background and update pieces and they can all be explored via any of these links.

And thank God for Australia’s strong grip on context. The fact that protesters were allegedly beaten up today by police outside the Burmese embassy in Canberra does not say anything specific about Australian reverence for the military junta. But it does highlight how inappropriate the reflexive clamping down on peaceful protest really is. That Australian protesters in Australia were beaten up for protesting against a government that has been killing its own critics simply provides a striking back drop. The complete picture points toward the natural endpoint of the excessive laws forced through in the last 5 years, with a tip of the hat to the consequent problem of overzealous policing.

Still, at least common sense has prevailed somewhere. Because there is nothin more logical than invading an allegedly despot nation to take away their non-existent weapons, realizing you fucked up, and then selling their unstable government $2.3 billion worth of armaments so you can come back and do it all again, gee – i don’t know, maybe next week?

A Department of Defense official speaking anonymously said “well that clinches it. This time next week, we’re going to be bombing the shit out of Irony.”

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September 29, 2007 at 1:34 am

Is The Sydney Morning Herald the new Daily Telegraph?

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It may be a strange question, considering that the old Daily Telegraph is still around. Nevertheless, what other possibility is there? For quite some time, SMH has been putting food on the tables of such self-contradicting wrong-wing nonces as Miranda Devine, Gerard Henderson, Michael Duffy, Alan Ramsey, etc. The justification is that the publication is pluralist and therefore provides comfort and staging to a number of different and potentially valid viewpoints. It’s an admirable goal but goes somewhat unachieved.

Yes, the paper certainly features reputable journalists and writers fluent and competent in a number of areas – Wendy Frew, Peter Hartcher, Philip Coorey, Mike Carlton, Ross Gittins, Annabel Crabb, the FOI Guy – to reel off a few from the top of my head. But that is not balance. That is the essential core of any worthwhile news publication.

But to balance Duffy et al the Herald would need to retain the services of rambling and irrational pseudo left wing quasi-intellectuals with a propensity for verbal diaorrhaea and monocular agenda-driven hateful nonsense poorly hidden behind tolerance for a cult of almost-personality. Maybe they should call me…

But why has my threshold been breached today of all days? Well, how about this – an Opinion piece from Bjorn Lomborg. It’s 2007 and a widely read publication is giving oxygen to Bjorn Lomborg. What reaction would be warranted if they gave similarly unqualified space to David Irving?

The Herald says that

Bjorn Lomborg is head of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School, and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It.

The Herald does not say that Lomborg is a statistician parading as a climatologist, nor does it mention that The Skeptical Environmentalist was thoroughly eviscerated and buried by specialists and experts when it surfaced like a turd at a pool party in 2001. Read the rest of this entry »

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September 27, 2007 at 5:55 pm

“Childrens do learn”. George Bush narrowly defeats challenge from Miss Teen South Carolina.

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There are ELEVEN people in this Photo.

Pick the TEN which you would trust to run a country…

“Are our childrens learning?” asked George

“Yes,” he replied, “our childrens do learn”

Don’t believe me? It’s all here. File under ‘how dumb is this bastard sent forth from Satan’s junk?’

Although it’s only a footnote to the story really, here is the part which really rocks my world:

Just a day earlier, the White House inadvertently showed how it tries to prevent Bush from making even more slips of the tongue than he already does.

As Bush addressed the UN General Assembly yesterday, a marked-up draft of his speech briefly popped up on the UN website, complete with a phonetic pronunciation guide to get him past troublesome names of countries and world leaders.

The W is for Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeak.

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September 27, 2007 at 1:48 pm


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“A moment I’ve been dreading. George [Bush Sr] brought his ne’re-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Maybe I’ll call Kinsley over at The New Republic and see if they’ll hire him as a contributing editor or something. That looks like easy work.”

                Ronald Reagan in his recently published diaries,May 17, 1986.

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September 27, 2007 at 12:51 pm

Forced Limbo on Gunns Pulp Mill

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Interestingly, mainland papers are obsessing on the mill proposal as a political rather than environmental issue. It is legitimate, obviously, to identify the issue as both politicised and political, but it is a somewhat shameful indictment of social priorities that people are perhaps too “green fatigued” from all the discussion of climate change to give a damn about biodiversity. Anyway, political editor at The Age Michelle Grattan has the story here and Sue Neales at Ground Zero has the story here for the Hobart Mercury.

Long story short – the chief scientist has both rescued and wedged the federal government. Rescued, in that the onus of responsibility for the ineptitude of the proposal is shifted back to Gunns, and there is now an option for the environment minister to legitimately delay further while more modelling and legislating is called for. Wedged, in that the Howard Cabinet most likely wants to just sign off on the mill and lock in their aspirational marginal Tasmanian forest industry lobbyist vote – you know, the easily bought one which both major parties seem so desperate to coddle that they’ll piss away evolution, principle, common sense, and leadership.

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September 27, 2007 at 11:49 am

Charcoal God, thy name is Mr. Fish

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File under sad-but-true, needed-to-be-said, and US-democracy-in-general

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September 26, 2007 at 2:43 am

Direct communications from Burma.

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Amazing to find a page on the BBC World Service hosting direct communications from people inside Burma. Personally I think that what is happening there right now is stunning and however it ends it is already the most sincere and realistic call for democracy heard on the planet this millennium, imho.

Here are two of the most recent comments – but the entire feature warrants reading. I fear it will soon be running stories of torture and tragedy.

We don’t know what will happen today, we are waiting to see how the situation develops. The junta announced that they will suppress the demonstrations whether by civilians or monks, anyone who disobeys their orders. We have suffered for a long time under the wicket junta. We are so afraid of them and cannot say what we think of feel. We respect our Buddhist monks very much. Our country has many natural resources but we are very poor. We are a disgrace in the whole world because of our rulers. But we hope for a golden future. We hope for the freedom of Aung San Su Kyi. Kyi, Rangoon

Today the city is quiet and people go to work as normal. There are lots of rumours, but for the time being everything is calm. People are anxious to see what’s going to happen. According to the government’s warnings, today could be a big day. China is key. The US have announced new sanctions, but this is nothing. Burmese people do not welcome them and do not care about them. They want help, not sanctions. If the US wants to make a change here, they should threaten that if China continues its support for the Burmese military, they won’t take part in the Olympics. Everything else is a joke. Michel, Rangoon

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September 26, 2007 at 2:26 am

George Bush visits a school (again)

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George Bush goes to a primary school to talk to the kids to get some PR. After his talk he offers question time.

One little boy puts up his hand.  George asks him his name.

” Stanley ,” responds the little boy.

“And what is your question, Stanley?”

“Actually, I have 4 questions:

First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN?

Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes?

Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?”

Fourth, why are we so worried about gay-marriage when ½ of all Americans
don’t have health insurance?

Just then, the bell rings for break. George Bush informs the kiddies that
they will continue after the break.

When they resume George says, “OK, where were we? Oh, that’s right, It’s
question time. Who has a question?”

A different little boy puts up his hand. George points him out and asks
him his name. “Little Sammy” he responds.

“And what is your question, Little Sammy?”

Actually Sir, I have 6 questions:

First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN?

Second, why are you president when Al Gore got more votes?
Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?

Fourth, why are we so worried about gay marriage when 1/2 of all
Americans don’t have health insurance?

Fifth, why did the break bell go off 20 minutes early?

And sixth, what the f**k happened to Stanley?”

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September 25, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Tassie Pulp Mill Video round up

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Malcolm Turnbull(shit into action) was on Lateline tonight. Given that he received the independent report from chief scientist Jim Peacock today, Tony Jones asked him to dance the “what the report said” jig. Interesting. Very much so. Watch it here.

or stick around and check out this unbleached goodness…..

brief and to the point, and I reeeeeeally like the thought experiment at the end.

recently posted media exclusive featuring Paul Lennon and Gunns CEO John Gay speaking candidly with Tasmania’s youth. Features startling revelations about the Premier’s childhood and how it has effected his vision for Tasmania. Not to be missed.

new ad for Tasmania from Senator Christine Milne

one of many worthwhile mill-related addresses from he of huevos grandes, Greens Senator Bob Brown

a revealing interview with Paul Lennon. . . actually, it’s not that revealing. . . this just summarises what’s been in the papers all year – but does it bee-yoo-diffly.

wacky cute-weird Tasmanian pulp mill doco featuring Matt Damon…. seriously….. it’s Matt                  Damon.

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September 25, 2007 at 1:37 am

Indigenous activist Adam Hill walks his chalk…

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Pretty bloody impressive. . . even moreso for a first-timer. Here is Ausfailure National Tantrum by Adam Hill. Better still – read his story.

Ladies and Gentlemen… the 2007 Chalk the Walk ‘Ausfailure National Tantrum’.

by Adam Hill

Adam Hill - Ausfailure National Tantrum

A dear friend and ex University mate (Andi Meher) has been running this amazing street art competition for a couple of years now called ‘Chalk the Walk‘. I was persuaded to enter this year, and I must admit, having never created a ‘chalk’ pavement artwork before, was a little reluctant. Read the rest of this entry »

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September 24, 2007 at 2:40 pm

Bohemian Rhapsody in Lego

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it’s been that kind of a day

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September 23, 2007 at 10:22 pm

H.S.I.: Mammalian Intent – Australia-Japan whaling latest.

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Efforts by Humane Society International (H.S.I.) to legitimize the Australian Whale Sanctuary took a step forward at the Federal Court of Australia in late September.

In 2004, H.S.I. first sought an injunction – an order seeking to restrain action that would otherwise be an offence – to prevent the Japanese whaling fleet operated by Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd slaughtering whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary, Antarctica.

The process was interrupted in 2005 by the determination of Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock that allowing H.S.I. to sue the whaling company would not be in Australia’s national interest.

The full bench of the Federal Court, however, determined that H.S.I. should be able to proceed with their action. Three years on, H.S.I. must now seek advice from the Attorney-General as to whether the Howard government still views enforcement of Australian law in Australian waters off Antarctica as purely discretionary.

The timing is now crucial for over a thousand whales facing explosive and electrified harpoons this summer in the name of “scientific research”.

Since the year 2000 when the relevant Australian laws were enacted, Japan has killed over 1200 whales within the sanctuary’s waters alone. Ably supported by Junior Counsel Chris McGrath and senior solicitor Jessica Wood from the Environmental Defender’s Office, Stephen Gageler Q.C. presented locations and numbers of whales killed to the court from detailed records kept by the whalers.

In Gageler’s discussions with Justice Allsop, the subject of last season’s Antarctic hunt was naturally discussed. A seriously reduced kill by the Japanese was attributed to intervention by Sea Shepherd as well as a 10-day fire and breakdown aboard the factory ship Nisshin Maru. Allsop J. did also ponder aloud why Sea Shepherd, “the other side, as it were” were not arrested on their visit to a Melbourne port following the “altercation”. The discussion turned to the possible nature of ports as places of refuge. Read the rest of this entry »

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September 23, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Kim Beazley, arriva derci.

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Australia’s federal parliament is increasingly short on characters, no doubt about it. The deficit, unsurprisingly, is most evident in the two major parties. There’s a truly excellent farewell here from Annabel Crabb to Kim Beazley who made his Final Address this week.

Regardless of what people may have thought of Beazley, I think two things are evident.

1. That in the most difficult of circumstances on his final day as leader of the ALP last year, he showed the most Statesmanesque qualities of any mainstream party politician in a bloody long time.

2. The fact that all media headlines about this final session were to do with catfights, rather than the fact that nearly all Federal Liberals boycotted Beazley’s Final Address illustrates the fact that too many political journos need to have their nose rubbed in a story to understand its significance.

Oh well. He wasn’t a burning torch as a leader but he’s a better human than far too many of the people currently holding office. Good luck post-cantberra Kim. I hope you’re the Australian ambassador to either the US or the UN in 2008.

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September 22, 2007 at 2:47 am

George Bush is the most pig ignorant motherf@$%er to be put in charge of a nuclear arsenal ever EVER – and that means you’re probably even more clueless than Reagan, and that’s clueless.

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No article. That’s it. Just needed to put it out there.

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September 22, 2007 at 1:04 am

Posted in assholes

Chomsky’s latest view around Iran.

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Noam Chomsky’s latest writing on US foreign policy – Cold War II – is as eloquent, insightful, readable, and profoundly clarifying as ever. I actually got the urge to go info-seeking after reading this appalling new piece on Al Jazeera about how Mahmoud Ahmadinejadh is currently being denied permission to place a wreath at the WTC site in New York when he attends the UN next week. So Iran can help the US locate Al Qaeda operatives in the Middle East… but can’t lay flowers at a shrine? It’s as much about symbolic hypocrisy as the anti-abortionists who support war.
If you need a reason to take 20 minutes to properly digest the article, check out the following excerpt. If you really don’t have the time right now, please do yourself a favour and get clued up on this later. Either way – not to be missed, seriously.

Without irony, the Bush administration and the media charge that Iran is “meddling” in Iraq, otherwise presumably free from foreign interference. The evidence is partly technical. Do the serial numbers on the Improvised Explosive Devices really trace back to Iran? If so, does the leadership of Iran know about the IEDs, or only the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Settling the debate, the White House plans to brand the Revolutionary Guard as a “specially designated global terrorist” force, an unprecedented action against a national military branch, authorizing Washington to undertake a wide range of punitive actions. Watching in disbelief, much of the world asks whether the US military, invading and occupying Iran’s neighbors, might better merit this charge — or its Israeli client, now about to receive a huge increase in military aid to commemorate 40 years of harsh occupation and illegal settlement, and its fifth invasion of Lebanon a year ago.

It is instructive that Washington’s propaganda framework is reflexively accepted, apparently without notice, in US and other Western commentary and reporting, apart from the marginal fringe of what is called ‘the loony left.” What is considered “criticism” is skepticism as to whether all of Washington’s charges about Iranian aggression in Iraq are true. It might be an interesting research project to see how closely the propaganda of Russia, Nazi Germany, and other aggressors and occupiers matched the standards of today’s liberal press and commentators..

The comparisons are of course unfair. Unlike German and Russian occupiers, American forces are in Iraq by right, on the principle, too obvious even to enunciate, that the US owns the world. Therefore, as a matter of elementary logic, the US cannot invade and occupy another country. The US can only defend and liberate others. No other category exists. Predecessors, including the most monstrous, have commonly sworn by the same principle, but again there is an obvious difference: they were Wrong, and we are Right. QED.

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September 21, 2007 at 1:41 am

Must Play Loud

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  – the original video –

– the fatter audio –

– richie hawtin rework –

serious whale story on the way – hang in there


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September 20, 2007 at 2:34 am

Dubya vs. Miss South Carolina

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September 17, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Trees Not Tantrums: bitchy whining and the Gunns pulp mill

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The Poncey Sulks of John Gay & the new green propaganda.

This will not be a long and detailed analysis, this doesn’t proffer intriguing new interview insights, this is simply a short piece to draw attention to a tendency gone too far and a future newly mapped.

Even if we don’t consider Gunns’ action of directly trying to target 20…15…14 protesters with massive financial penalties, and even if we don’t go digging into the murky background of the decision to chase the Weld Angel for buck$ – even if we just consider John Gay’s pulp and whinery projects (not a typo, btw) then there is an alarming tendency to tantrum on the part of Tasmania’s biggest splinter-maker.

Hell, I can only take so much of thinking about this because it really pisses me off – let’s even limit the discussion to this year. Read the rest of this entry »

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September 17, 2007 at 12:11 pm

Pulp Mill Essentials

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Is it a link to a lively discussion which demonstrates just what a fucktard one must be before qualifying as a spokesperson for woodchipping, or have i decided to turn this into a blog featuring grown-up television shows and former 60 Minutes reporters forced to do dispute resolution soft porn to earn a crust? Click the pic and find out / spin the wheel, raggedy man!

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September 13, 2007 at 11:29 pm

Cuaron & Klein – The Shock Doctrine (video)

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for a lavish web-based research resource with continued informational expandiness, go to The Shock Doctrine online, for more of Naomi Klein’s bombastic writing and associated coverage hit her homepage at NaomiKlein.org or for a page full of associated YouTubery go here.

Alfonso Cuaron, by the way, is the utter frickin geeeeenius who directed the utterly must-see Children Of Men.

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September 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Australian Senator calls for War on Islam

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The Australian Christian Democratic Party (aka Senile Racist Homophobes for Jesus) have used this special day – the 6th anniversary of the World Trade Centre Attacks (as well as all other human tragedies associated with power imblances and this particular date) – to call for an all-out War on “Islamism”.

Their fundamental (deliberate choice of word, btw) concept of “Islamism” is that it’s a state of complete rejection of all non-Islamic values and beliefs – which does of course mean that it’s a murderous, woman-bashing, clitoris-removing, suicide-bombing, child-killing, murdering-of-the-innocents, defilement-of-God, racist, intolerant, baby-raping, self-aggrandizing and hateful way to live.

If this particularly offends you, you might want to email them via office@cdp.org.au or even phone them on (61 – 2) 9144 4568. There’s already been one bomb scare today, so maybe something less playful – like a direct spray of reasoned contempt – would be more appropriate.

The whole release follows. It’s almost too painfully fucktarded to ridicule in detail. Suffice to say, Reverend Fred Bile and his holy sidekick Pastor Paul Green think they’re being clever by calling for war on a faith held by around one-third of the world’s population because these are the ‘weapons’ they’re advocating: Read the rest of this entry »

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September 11, 2007 at 1:20 pm

A Special Thought For 9-11

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meanwhile, across town…..

















The US Air Force would do better for all Americans and the remaining 6 billion UnAmericans if they were to bomb a ranch in Texas. . . after first evacuating Barney, of course.

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September 11, 2007 at 1:46 am

Us Air Force – suiting up for Holocaust via Tehran?

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Part of the beauty in the writing at Counterpunch and perhaps even moreso at Harpers is that it really cuts through the static on issues that are actually submerged rather than clarified by saturation media coverage.

More particularly, I remember a string of nights late last year when I tracked Middle Eastern news coverage and commentary late into the night expecting to see “The Inevitable Iran Incident” which would set off all the dominoes put in place for just such an event. The wind was taken from U.S. sails setting course for a bloodied Persian shore and regional apocalypse by an Iraq failure that seemingly could no longer be spun into anything but that – a failure, a badly planned and fatally unsuccessful war launched from a platform of deliberate deceit and achieving the exact opposite of all stated intentions, but perhaps most unstated goals: privatization, deregulation, and seizing of strategic territory and resources by lethal and toxic force.

But I digress. It was a few months into the year before US Bush-it artisans were able to keep a straight face while blaming US deaths and failure in Iraq on, not the fuckheads who launched the war from Washington, Texas, but on Iran. Incredibly, some of this shit does seem to have stuck.

Alexander Cockburn has just filed this article, “Will the U.S. bomb Iran?” at Counterpunch. In his typically straight-up-the-middle style, Cockburn eviscerates the forthcoming peachy Iraq outlook by 2-star trainer-come-George’s favourite 4-star general Petraeus.

Amid the disaster of their Middle Eastern strategy Bush and his advisors may hype themselves into one last desperate throw, emboldened by the fact that the selling of the surge has been a success even though all the Democrats need to do is cite the UN, which says the number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has gone from 50,000 to 60,000 a month. Or quote Associated Press which counted 1,809 Iraqi civilians killed in August, compared with 1,760 in July. The Sunni split in Anbar province is not one likely to be replicated in Baghdad or elsewhere and anyway had nothing to do with the hike in US troop levels. Bush didn’t dare go to Baghdad.

But he also relays Noam Chomsky’s latest outlook on the US position on Iran, and it’s very worthy reading.


More alarming perhaps than informed speculation are the nuggets of info which fall from the pages at Harpers like a piano from a monorail. The current commentary from a former CIA official outlining why he now believes that an attack on Iran is not just probable, but highly so, is nerve-tingling.


It looks like a military strike is in the works and I base that on two things: observable fact and the rhetoric emanating from the White House. There’s a lot of movement of troops and materiel into the region–it’s stuff the United States can’t hide. It’s a huge expense to put Navy battle groups in the Gulf and we’ve got three of them there. We’ve also moved new fighter planes to Guam amidst much public fanfare. You can plainly see the upturn in US Naval activity in and around the Norfolk Naval installations. The movement of ships, re-supply, ammunition loading and general level of activity is high.

The Naval facilities and the ammunition loading areas are well known, and the activity is readily visible, especially at night. There’s a stream of ships coming in to load up and when they take off new ones come in. There’s only one part of the world where all that stuff is heading. Also, everyone I know who would be involved in an attack on Iran–pilots and other air assets–is gone. Normally some of them are around but now all of them are away at the same time.

The insight sits well amongst a survey from February of this year of attitudes and observations by independent security and foreign policy analysts, and another of former CIA officials.

It is insane, but the Doctrine of Preemptive Defence – as illegitimate as it may be – has enough credibility now within the realms of those likely to unleash it – America, Israel, Britain, and associated toadying client states – that we may very well wake up soon and find that this war going on around the world has truly become a World War.

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September 11, 2007 at 1:43 am