Friday, August 31, 2007
Little-Noticed Regulation Allows Construction On Military Installations
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Posted: August 31, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern
The U.S. Army is authorized to create civilian prison labor camps on military installations, according to a little-noticed regulation.
The camps are allowed if the request comes from the Federal Bureau of Prisons or state corrections facilities under leasing requirements defined by federal law.
WND's discovery of the regulation comes shortly after Bush administration directives expanding presidential powers during an emergency.
The Army prison camp policy is defined in Army Regulation 210-35, entitled "Installations: Civilian Inmate Labor Camps," signed Feb. 14, 2005, by Sandra R. Riley, then-administrative assistant to the secretary of the Army.
The regulation revises an earlier civilian inmate labor camp regulation signed Dec. 9, 1997, under the Clinton administration.
Ned Christensen, spokesman for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command, confirmed to WND the 2005 version of Army Regulation 210-35 is currently valid and fully operative.
The regulation specifies "the Army's primary purpose for allowing establishment of prison camps on Army installations is to use the resident nonviolent civilian inmate labor pool to work on the leased portions of the installation."
The regulations specify Army personnel running the prison camps will prepare an "Inmate Labor Plan" that will comply with 18 U.S.C. 4125(a), governing civilian inmate labor.
That section of the U.S. Code allows the U.S. attorney general to make available to the heads of U.S. departments, including the Army, the services of U.S. prisoners to engage in labor, including "constructing or repairing roads, cleaning, maintaining and reforesting public lands, building levees and constructing or repairing any other public ways or works financed wholly or in major part by funds appropriated by Congress."
The regulation currently limits the Army's Civilian Inmate Labor Program "to using inmates from facilities under the control of the Federal Bureau of Prisons," noting the bureau "provides civilian inmate labor free of charge to the Army."
The regulation specifies that a benefit of the program to the Army is "providing a source of labor at no direct cost to Army installations to accomplish tasks that would not be possible otherwise due to the manning and funding constraints under which the Army operates."
WND previously reported that in May President Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive-51 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive-20, which granted near-dictatorial powers to the president in the event he declares a national emergency.
The directives loosely define "catastrophic emergency" as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy or government functions.
When the president determines a catastrophic emergency has occurred, he can take over governmental functions at all federal, state, local, territorial and tribal levels, as well as direct private sector activities, to ensure the U.S. emerges from the emergency "with an enduring constitutional government."
That means, essentially, when the president determines a national emergency has occurred, he can confer to the office of the presidency powers usually assumed by dictators to direct any and all government and business activities until the emergency is over.
Christensen could not answer WND questions regarding whether the president could declare a national emergency under NSPD-51/HSPD-20 and instruct the Bureau of Prisons to have the Army construct civilian prison camps.
"The last time civilians were incarcerated on U.S. Army installations was when the Japanese were interred during World War II," Christensen told WND.
Still, Christensen acknowledged that Fort Dix has two civilian labor prisons on its property, one federal and one state.
"Fort Dix routinely uses inmate labor for grounds maintenance and some other manual labor, such as filling sandbags," Christensen told WND in an e-mail. "So, the Fort Dix program is used to provide activity for trusted inmates and labor to the government at no cost."
WND also reported KBR, formerly the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton Co., has a contingency contract in place with the Department of Homeland Security to construct detention facilities in the event of a national emergency.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, spokeswoman Julie Zuieback confirmed to WND on May 29 that the Department of Homeland Security in January awarded KBR a $385 million contract to construct detention facilities on a contingency basis.
Christensen said it was outside his area to comment on whether the DHS could ask KBR to build a civilian prison labor camp on an Army installation.
WND called the White House and the Department of Homeland Security and left detailed messages about the substance of this story but received no response.
Related Special Offer:
Sen. Tom Coburn's "Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders into Insiders"
Emergency detention plan: 'This way to the camps!'
Bush grants presidency extraordinary powers
Jerome R. Corsi is a staff reporter for WND. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972 and has written many books and articles, including his latest best-seller, "The Late Great USA." Corsi co-authored with John O'Neill the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry." Other books include "Showdown with Nuclear Iran," "Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil," which he co-authored with WND columnist Craig. R. Smith, and "Atomic Iran."
By Louay Safi
The blame game is led today by neoconservative pundits who often present Islam as the new villain to be confronted by American military power. They have consistently presented Muslims as incapable of democratic rule.
Blaming Islam for the lack of democratic and scientific developments in Muslim countries is not a new idea but an old enterprise, rooted in the nineteenth and twentieth century European Orientalism.
The late Edward Said succeeded, in the 1980s, in unmasking Orientalist notions within Western academia and exposing its false pretense. In his seminal work, Orientalism, Said demonstrated that Orientalist views of Islam were used to justify the European colonial ambitions in the Muslim world.
Said's monumental work was pivotal for the eventual transformation of Middle Eastern studies in Europe and the United States, as it forced the academia to embrace more scholarly and objective methods when studying the Muslim world.
Specialists who were intent on presenting Islam and Muslims in a negative light were unhappy with the positive portrayal, as were those who previously considered their work to be objective.
Many were particularly disturbed by the rise of authentic voices that presented Islam as a vibrant religion, whose followers share many of the values and concerns of the West. Led by Princeton University historian, Bernard Lewis, they attempted to refute Said's work and defend Orientalism. But Said's thesis was profound, and Orientalists never fully recovered.
The September 11th terrorist attacks on mainland United States gave a new momentum to the Orientalist spirit. Bernard Lewis once again led the effort to revive Orientalist notions with the publishing of his 2002 book, What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response.
Using subtle arguments, he indeed placed the blame on Islam and Islamic traditions for the failure of Middle Eastern societies to develop and modernize like the West.
Lewis' book has since been followed by an avalanche of similar articles and publications, mostly by neoconservative journalists and pundits, who reinforce Lewis' thesis and even blame Islam for the rise of terrorism as well as the rising tension between the West and the Muslim world.
The blame game is led today by neoconservative pundits who often present Islam as the new villain to be confronted by American military power.To ensure that their views are not challenged by the academic community, neoconservatives are working hard to undermine academic freedom by intimidating scholars that present a balanced view of the Middle East.
They have consistently presented Muslims as incapable of democratic rule, and who espouse values that are antithetical to world peace and religious tolerance.
Martin Kramer's Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America, a diatribe against Middle East Studies in U.S. universities, and Daniel Pipes' Campus Watch, an organization devoted to smearing professors critical of U.S. foreign policy and Israeli's treatment of Palestinians, are two such examples.
This campaign is one that aims to intimidate free thinking on Middle East politics and silence voices that challenge their perspective.
Although many of the anti-Islam writers and neoconservative pundits play on the fear of the general public by publishing books for a general audience, others have been done for policymakers under the cover of respected institutions and think tanks, such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the RAND Corporation.
Readers should note that this activity began in 1992 when Defense Department staffers I. Lewis Libby and Paul Wolfowitz drafted the "Defense Policy Guidance." and was followed more discretely and in more depth in a report, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," published in 2000 by the Project for the New American Century.
The neoconservative attitudes of, and approach to, Islam and the Middle East is well illustrated by a widely publicized report written by Cheryl Benard and published by the RAND Corporation in late 2003 under the title Civil and Democratic Islam.
Like other neoconservatives, Benard blames the rise of intolerance, anti-democratic tendencies, and terrorism on all Muslim individuals and groups that closely adhere to Islamic values and practices.
RAND openly advocates "religion building" as the only way to counter terrorism and anti-Americanism.There is no contention over the need for reform, and the need for cultural and social reforms in Muslim societies and communities is well articulated by Muslim intellectuals long before Islam became the main focus of Western reporters and pundits.
Religion building is an invitation to world powers to reform Islam. It is a call for reinterpreting Islam and restructuring Muslim societies so as to counter the rise of militancy in Muslim societies.
Indeed, reform has been underway for more than a century now, and Muslims have been engaged in an internal struggle to redefine modern Islamic societies in ways that aim at empowering civil society and ensuring democratic control.On balance, Islam has been a positive force, rather than a villain to be arrested and chastised, in the development of the modern Middle East.
The contention is rather over how reform is to be achieved, and who is more capable of leading the reform.
The contention is over whether reform can or should be imposed by outsiders who have little understanding of Muslim societies and vague sense of the nuances of local cultures, and who call on world powers to use their political and military clout to impose sociopolitical design on Muslim societies and communities.
A call for external intervention to restructure the Islamic faith and rebuild Muslim societies is faulty, and is guilty of misreading Islam and ignoring the sociopolitical reality that gives rise to global terrorism. Religion building is perilous, complex, ill-conceived, and practically untenable.
It is a distraction and a blatant attempt to avoid any serious evaluation of the responsibility of world powers for the radicalization of Muslim politics.
The rise of radical Islam cannot be explained purely on the level of religious doctrine.
Radicalization of Muslim politics is directly connected to the rise of authoritarian regimes in Muslim societies.
Authoritarian Middle Eastern regimes that suppress open debate and silence opposition have long enjoyed the support of successive U.S. administrations.
The focus on radical groups perpetrating violence in the name of Islam prevents some analysts from appreciating the centrality of Islamic notions and values in the progress toward a more open society and vibrant culture.
A full assessment that takes into account the impact of Islamic reform on Muslim society would illustrate that pessimism toward Islam, reflected in RAND's Civil Democratic Islam and similar documents, is unwarranted.
While urging support to one group and opposition to another, neoconservative pundits remain oblivious to the connection of the various ideological groups to the larger population in Muslim societies and to one another.
The United States, as an external political actor that is increasingly perceived by Muslims as biased and uneven-handed, cannot positively affect political development by rendering support on the basis of artificial religious preferences. Rather, it must base its positions on intrinsic values and political principles.
In actuality, Benard's recommendations are nothing but a recycling of the very old foreign policies that got us where we are today and that have led to the radicalization of the Middle East.The United States has tried in the past to put its weight behind Muslim secularists.
The result has been the aggravation of the internal political balance and the radicalization of the societies where the U.S. took sides on the basis of superficial criteria and short-term interests.
It was the very approach of siding with modernists against socialists and traditionalists that got the United States into trouble with the Iranians, the Lebanese, and, most recently, the Palestinians.
The report is conspicuously silent on the effects of U.S. foreign policy, which has been frequently characterized by Muslims as one of inconsistency and double standards: one that supports friendly dictators and corrupt, but useful, regimes in the Muslim world, while pushing for democratic reform in Eastern Europe; one that defends human rights in China, but ignores them in the Middle East; and one that protests Palestinian violence against Israel, but remains silent in the face of Israeli violence in Palestine.Indeed, the politicization of Islam and the rise of anti-Americanism are directly linked to the very efforts that aim at marginalizing Islam and forcing Western secularism on Muslim society.
RAND's Civil Democratic Islam is a case in point and illustrates the tendency to treat Islam as an anomaly to be evaluated on the basis of different standards than the one used to evaluate Christianity, Judaism, and other world religions.
The author of Civil Democratic Islam has surprisingly chosen religious identity rather than political values to distinguish foes from friends.
While Civil Democratic Islam declares democracy and civil rights to be its ostensible goals, it surprisingly stresses religious doctrine and lifestyle to distinguish democratically oriented Muslims.
Benard can hardly say the same thing about similar practices among Christians and Jews.
The author would not use the same terms to describe Joe Lieberman, the U.S. senator from Connecticut, who is also a practicing orthodox Jew.
Containing radical groups and ensuring more friendly and cooperative relations with the Muslim world requires a drastic shift in policy and attitude.Rather than using lifestyle and religious criteria to assign guilt, the U.S. government needs to extend its founding principles to followers of all religions, and ensure that it does not use different standards for dealing with different religions.
Rather than searching for "lifestyle" criteria to separate friends from foes, the United States' position should be based on principles and values.
The United States should support and cooperate with political forces in the Middle East that uphold the values of freedom, equality, and tolerance of ethnic and religious diversity, and should embrace those who display commitment to democracy and the rule of the law, regardless of their religion, religious doctrines, and their "lifestyle."
The United States must be consistent in pursuing its support for democracy and human rights, and must ensure that the principles of right and justice that guide its relations with Europe also apply to its relations with Muslim societies.
American Muslims can be of great help in fighting terrorism and extremism, and in bridging the deepening divide between the United States and the Muslim world.Louay Safi has published extensively on such issues as socio-political development, modernization, democracy, human rights, and Islamic resurgence, including eight books and numerous academic papers.
American Muslims have deep understanding of both Muslim and American cultures, and are well-positioned to help reconcile Islam and the West.
American Muslims have already made remarkable achievements at reconciling Islamic values with the founding principles of the United States, and have managed to develop good and important experiences as to how Islamic values can bear on modern living.
They can be instrumental in sharing their experiences of aligning Islamic values and education with democratic institutions and practices with coreligionists in Muslim countries.
But for that to happen in more effective ways, American Muslims need to be involved in policy making and implementation, rather than allowing themselves to be marginalized and chastised.
In addition to involving American Muslim leaders in consultation on policies relating to Islam, the Muslim world, and the war on terror, civil society and government organizations should:
(1) engage Muslim leaders who represent social and political groups that are committed to democracy, instead of relying completely or exclusively on the views of experts who do not have firsthand contact or experience with Muslim groups;
(2) ensure that U.S. foreign policy is always respectful of democratic principles and values, the rule of law, and protection of human rights;
(3) apply the same set of principles and values to all people, regardless of their religious and ethnic affiliation;
(4) withdraw support from authoritarian regimes, and send a clear message by requiring an open political system and free and fair elections as a precondition for economic cooperation;
(5) have a clear position regarding Islam, and avoid sending mixed messages to Muslim communities and societies.
This article is a condensed summary of a more elaborate paper on the question.
For full version of the arguments, please refer to Dr. Safi's paper at:
Original Source: Agence France-Presse
Published: Thursday August 30, 2007
A US Marine was ordered to execute a room full of Iraqi women and children during an alleged massacre in Haditha that left 24 people dead, a military court heard Thursday.
The testimony came in the opening of a preliminary hearing for Marine Sergeant Frank Wuterich, who faces 17 counts of murder over the Haditha killings, the most serious war crimes allegations faced by US troops in Iraq.
Wuterich, dressed in desert khakis, spoke confidently to confirm his name as the hearing to decide if he faces a court martial began at the Marines' Camp Pendleton base in southern California.
The 27-year-old listened intently as Lance Corporal Humberto Mendoza recounted how Marines had responded after a roadside bomb attack on their convoy in Haditha on November 19, 2005 left one comrade dead.
Mendoza said Marines under Wuterich's command began clearing nearby houses suspected of containing insurgents responsible for the bombing.In cross-examination, however, Major Haytham Faraj suggested a girl who survived the shootings had identified Mendoza as the gunman, sparking an angry reaction from prosecutors.
At one house Wuterich gave an order to shoot on sight as Marines waited for a response after knocking on the door, said Mendoza.
"He said 'Just wait till they open the door, then shoot,'" Mendoza said.
Mendoza then said he shot and killed an adult male who appeared in a doorway.
During a subsequent search of the house, Mendoza said he received an order from another Marine, Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum, to shoot seven women and children he had found in a rear bedroom.
"When I opened the door there was just women and kids, two adults were lying down on the bed and there were three children on the bed ... two more were behind the bed," Mendoza said.
"I looked at them for a few seconds. Just enough to know they were not presenting a threat ... they looked scared."
After leaving the room Mendoza told Tatum what he had found.
"I told him there were women and kids inside there. He said 'Well, shoot them,'" Mendoza told prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Sean Sullivan.
"And what did you say to him?" Sullivan asked.
"I said 'But they're just women and children.' He didn't say nothing."
Mendoza said he returned to a position at the front of the house and heard a door open behind him followed by a loud noise.
Returning later that afternoon to conduct body retrieval, Mendoza said he found a room full of corpses.
"The girl in question already identified another Marine," Sullivan stormed. "This is completely unethical, inappropriate and has no basis in fact."
Mendoza had given similar testimony during a preliminary hearing against Tatum earlier this year.
Investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Paul Ware, who is presiding in Wuterich's hearing, last week recommended dropping murder charges against Tatum, describing Mendoza's evidence as "too weak".
Prosecutors allege Marines went on a killing spree in Haditha retaliation for the death of their colleague in the bomb attack.Defense lawyers will argue that Wuterich followed established combat zone rules of engagement.
A total of eight Marines were initially charged in connection with the Haditha deaths.
Four were charged with murder while four senior officers were accused of failing to properly investigate the killings.
Of the four Marines charged with murder, two have since had charges withdrawn, while allegations against Tatum are also expected to be dismissed.
Published: 31 August 2007
French soldiers stationed in Rwanda during the genocide in 1994 have been accused of "widespread rape" by a Rwandan commission investigating France's role during the conflict.
The commission, which is due to publish its final report in October, will also provide fresh evidence that French soldiers trained the Interahamwe, the extremist Hutu militia responsible for most of the killing, and even provided them with weapons.
The allegations threaten to plunge relations between Rwanda and its former colonial master to a new low. It could also lead to Rwanda seeking reparations from France at the International Court of Justice. "That is something we are considering," said one government official.
France's support for the genocidal Rwandan regime – both before and during the slaughter – has been well documented, but the new report sheds some light on the extent of that backing.The commission was established by the Rwandan president Paul Kagame in April last year and is headed by a former minister of justice.
In particular, it provides the first evidence that French soldiers sent to Rwanda during the genocide as part of a UN-mandated force to protect civilians carried out "widespread rape" of genocide survivors.
Jean Paul Kimonyo, one of the commissioners, said: "They were asking for Tutsis – not women – Tutsis."
France has accused the commission of being little more than a kangaroo court and when the seven commissioners visited France earlier this year, French authorities made it clear that they were not welcome.
Dr Kimonyo, himself a former press aide to Mr Kagame, said he initially shared some of those fears.
"The law which established the commission said France was guilty already. We were very uneasy about it. But the evidence is overwhelming."
Based on testimony given at public hearings by genocide survivors and former soldiers trained by French forces, plus evidence from piles of official paperwork left by the fleeing Hutu regime, the commission believes it has enough proof to convince the international community.
Dr Kimonyo said: "France was directly involved in the preparation of the genocide. They were training the Interahamwe in a systematic manner. They were training them to kill, to kill as fast as possible as one witness said, using knives and machetes. What were they training them for? It is very disturbing."...
How France Intervened
Tutsi-led rebel forces, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), invade the north of the country. President Juvénal Habyarimana, a Hutu backed by the French, calls in support. Three hundred French paratroopers secure Rwanda's International Airport and fight off the invading forces. In a few days 600 more French troops are sent in to "protect and evacuate French citizens".
France continues to send military advisors and arms. The army grows from 5,000 to 28,000.
Lieutenant Colonel Chollet, the commander of French forces in Rwanda, becomes army chief of staff and advisor to the Rwandan presidency.
3 February 1993:
The RPF launches a major attack, capturing the town of Ruhengeri and moving towards the capital. Hundreds of French troops are sent to Rwanda along with huge quantities of ammunition to back up the government forces.
20 February 1993:
Threatened by the rapid French deployment, the RPF forces call a unilateral ceasefire and withdraws.
6 April 1994:
President Habyarimana's plane is shot down, triggering the genocide of almost one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
French troops launch "Operation Turquoise", aiming to establish a "safe zone" in the south-west of the country. Although some killings continue in the zone, President François Mitterrand later claims it has saved "tens of thousands".
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Military force alone is unlikely to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, a top U.S. commander said Thursday, noting that most insurgencies end with a political solution.
Maj. Gen. Robert Cone, who is in charge of equipping and training Afghan security forces to take over from international troops, said the local units were making good progress, but declined to say when they would be strong enough to allow foreign forces to go home.
...Violence is soaring in Afghanistan despite years of counterinsurgency operations by international troops and millions of dollars spent in equipping the country's army and police units.
Cone cautioned that military force alone would likely not be enough to beat the Taliban and other militants battling foreign and Afghan government troops.
"You can say you defeated them in a single campaign ... but again given the complex nature of this environment, they might be back again the very next year," he told a media conference in the capital Kabul. "I think the real issue is probably not a military solution in the long term."
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
By Sharmila Devi in Jerusalem
Published: August 30 2007 19:48
Last updated: August 30 2007 19:48
Israeli infrastructure that divides the West Bank and confines 2.5m Palestinians to enclaves does not provide a basis for a two-state solution to the conflict, said a United Nations report on Thursday.
...Mr Williams also pointed to the Jewish settlements in his final briefing to the UN Security Council on Wednesday...“Settlement activity undermines hope for a contiguous Palestinian state,” he said.
Almost 40 per cent of the West Bank is off-limits to Palestinians because of Israeli settlements, military infrastructure and a system of roads designed to ease access for Jewish settlers (see map above), justified by Israel as protection from terrorism.
The report points out: “These measures are also intimately linked to maintaining settler access and their quality of life.”
Israel took the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 1967.
Settlements are deemed illegal under international law, but about 450,000 Jewish settlers now live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. ...
By Alan Hamilton
August 30, 2007
Careless talk, they used to say during the Second World War, costs lives. Careless handling of nuclear weapons – banging them about and dropping them like so much scrap metal – could cost a great deal more.
Two of Britain’s most serious nuclear weapons accidents in the 1980s were caused by continual lapses in safety procedures, and were much more serious than was admitted at the time.
However, the Ministry of Defence continued to insist yesterday that there had been no risk to the public on either occasion.
Newly declassified documents obtained by New Scientist magazine detail the incidents in which the weapons were dropped or damaged while they were being moved.
The first accident happened on May 2, 1984, at the RAF base at Brüggen, Germany. A nuclear warhead was damaged in transit when its container slid off a wet trailer as it cornered. The warhead, still in its container, rolled on to the tarmac and was dented.
Brüggen base was shut down while the bomb was partially dismantled and scientists were flown from Britain to X-ray the warhead. It was eventually taken back to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermas-ton, Berkshire, to be decommissioned.
An MoD board of inquiry at the time concluded that the accident was caused by the “wrongful act” of failing to attach the bomb container to the trailer. It recommended that six ser-vicemen be disciplined.
The documents, obtained under freedom of information law, show that a regulation requiring bomb containers to be secured when being moved had been routinely ignored since October 1981. Brüggen’s commander at the time, whose name has been removed from the released report, admitted that the breach had become almost a standard operating procedure, despite being an “outrageously high-risk practice”.
The second accident occurred at Coulport naval base, Strathclyde, on December 3, 1987, when a faulty Polaris missile was being unloaded from the sumarine HMS Repulse. As it was being locked down on a trailer, a crane hoisted it into the air, causing it to swing wildly and to crash into the trailer supports.
According to the MoD inquiry at the time, the weapon suffered “adverse shock”. The report blamed broken controls on the crane, which had missed its full programme of mechanical and electrical checks.
If the crane had been properly maintained, the report concluded, “it is highly probable that the incident would not have occurred”.
The Ministry of Defence continued to insist yesterday that both incidents had been minor. They had been fully investigated to rigorous safety standards and, where necessary, procedures had been modified, a spokeswoman said.
“The MoD continues to maintain the highest standards of safety and security during the storage, transportation or deployment of nuclear weapons,” a spokesman said. “There has never been an accident involving UK nuclear weapons that has presented any risk to the public.”
Thursday, August 30, 2007
By Patrick J. Buchanan
August 27, 2007 Issue
Asked during World War II why the British continued to fight so ferociously, Churchill is said to have snorted, “If we stop, you’ll find out.”
The question arises in the war on terror: we know who the main enemy is, al-Qaeda, the men and movement responsible for 9/11, but what are they fighting for? What is their war all about?
A year ago, in Salt Lake City, President Bush, addressing the American Legion, sought to define the war from his perspective:
“The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation—the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty.
And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism—the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest.”
Certainly terrorists who massacre innocents are fanatics. Certainly, the caliphate bin Laden’s acolytes would establish would be tyrannical. But if the enemy were only a cabal of terrorists, hell-bent on establishing a tyranny, they would not be on the verge of expelling us from Iraq and perhaps from Afghanistan.
Why are we losing the war if President Bush has correctly defined the stakes in this “ideological struggle”?
One reason is that the true goals of bin Laden, the insurgents in Iraq, and the Taliban are not so abstract as those of Mr. Bush. They are concrete, understandable, realizable, and appealing to millions.
In his declaration of war on the United States, bin Laden listed three goals:Not only do these goals have broad appeal to Arab peoples, bin Laden has achieved victory in the first. After 9/11, U.S. forces were pulled out of Saudi Arabia at the request of the king.
expel U.S. forces from the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, stop the persecution of innocent Iraqis through U.S.-UN sanctions, and end the Israeli repression and dispossession of the Palestinian people.
And while Bush calls this an ideological struggle, the enemy has allied itself with some very powerful ideas. As did Mao and Ho Chi Minh, our enemy has captured the flag of nationalism:
We fight to get your troops off our land! We fight to get your hooks out of our government! Leave us to rule ourselves!More importantly, our enemy has rooted his cause in a 1,400-year-old religion that has 1.2 billion adherents, has survived crusades, invasions and occupations, and is growing again in militancy and converts---
Our enemy, be it Shia or Sunni in Iraq or the Taliban in Afghanistan, claims to be fighting for a rule of law, Sharia, sanctioned by the Koran, and a form of government the Prophet mandates for Islamic peoples. And that is not some secular-liberal, do-your-own-thing democracy.
As for the tactics the enemy uses, decent Muslims the world over are said to be growing disgusted with the slaughter by suicide bombers of men, women, and children.
But are these not the tactics the French maquis and Italian and Yugoslav partisans used on the Nazis and their collaborators? Was this not the way Israelis expelled the British, the Algerians expelled the French, the Afghans expelled the Soviets, the ANC overthrew apartheid, and Hezbollah drove the IDF out of Lebanon?If we know what al-Qaeda is fighting for, what exactly are we fighting for?
Clausewitz would understand: terrorism is the extension of Islamist politics by other means.
Taking the president literally, we are fighting for the right of Islamic peoples “to speak, and worship, and live in liberty.”
Here we come to our dilemma. Devout Muslims in Islamic lands do not believe people should be free to blaspheme or insult the Prophet. They do not believe all religions are equal or should be treated equally. They do not believe Christians should be free to preach in their lands. The punishment for those who do, and for those who convert from Islam in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia as well as Iran, is death.
Moreover, in every Middle East country, Islamic parties have broadening support.It is our friends in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, the Gulf states, and Israel who seem most apprehensive about any more elections among the Arab masses. The Islamists seem to welcome them—and to succeed in them.
In free elections in Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and Iran, Islamists made gains or racked up victories. In Turkey, a moderate Islamic party just won national power.
It is Western secularism that is in retreat.
Should U.S. soldiers die for democracy in the Islamic world, when democracy may produce victory for the political progeny of the Muslim Brotherhood? Is that worth the lives of America’s young?
Copyright © 2007 The American Conservative
By Stewart Payne
Last Updated: 2:11am BST 30/08/2007
German scientists and technicians were abducted at the end of the Second World War and made to work in Britain as part of a secret programme to plunder the defeated nation's trade secrets and intellectual assets, declassified government documents have revealed.
An elite British Army unit captured hundreds of Germans in possession of Nazi scientific and technical know-how and transported them across the Channel to work in government ministries and private companies.
Others were forced to travel to Britain, where they were interviewed by commercial rivals and detained if they did not reveal trade secrets.
The unit, known as T-Force, was lightly armed and highly mobile.
Following the D-Day landings it was tasked with seizing anything of scientific or military value.
The purpose was two-fold. Initially the scramble to uncover Nazi military secrets in the dying days of the war was seen as helpful in ending the conflict in the Far East and a method by which Britain could benefit from German knowledge to give it a commercial edge as it rebuilt its war-ravaged economy.
As the Cold War developed, it was also part of a campaign to prevent the Soviet Union from benefiting from Nazi scientific and industrial assets.
The Foreign Office papers, marked "top secret" and discovered at the National Archives at Kew, show that, in addition to those Germans believed to have volunteered to work in Britain, hundreds more were rounded up and transported to the UK against their will.
The documents concede that methods used resembled those of the Gestapo, Nazi Germany's secret police.
A memo written by a civil servant working with the British military in Germany in August 1946 explained the procedure. "Usually an NCO arrives without notice at the house or office of the German and warns that he will be required.
He does not give him any details of the reasons, nor does he present his credentials.
"Some time later the German is seized (often in the middle of the night) and removed under guard."
"This procedure savours very much of the Gestapo methods and, quite apart from causing great and unnecessary inconvenience to the individual and to the industry employing him, it is bound to create feelings of alarm and insecurity."
The abductions were carried out in the British-controlled zone of post-war Germany on the orders of two organisations.
One, the British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee (Bios) was made up of armed forces and Whitehall representatives, and was answerable to the Cabinet.
The other was the Field Information Agency (Technical), or Fiat, a joint Anglo-American military intelligence unit that earmarked scientists for "enforced evacuation" from US and French zones, and from Berlin.
Both had offices in London from where investigators would be sent to Germany, looking for human resources as well as machinery that could be shipped back to Britain. Representatives from leading companies such as ICI, BSA Tools, and Courtaulds were included in the teams.
After the war, T-Force was formed into the Enemy Personnel Exploitation Section, which escorted Bios and Fiat investigators, and took away the scientists and technicians identified as being in possession of knowledge useful to the UK.
After interrogation, which could last for months, they were either released or put to work in Britain. Those who worked were paid 15 shillings (75p) a week.
The files suggest that up to 1,500 scientists and technicians were identified for removal to the UK "whether they are willing or not".
All the occupying powers used various methods to loot Germany of its scientific and technical know-how. By 1947 there was concern that this was impeding Germany's reconstruction, and the programmes were stopped.
The policy of forcing scientists to work in the UK changed to offering them contracts, with many taking up work with British aerospace and armaments companies.
12 June 2007: Wartime spies have their cover blown by MI5
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Book Of Iconic Nun's Letters Shows She Was Tormented By Her Doubts In Her Faith
LONDON, Aug. 23, 2007
(CBS) In life, Mother Teresa was an icon — for believers — of God's work on Earth. Her ministry to the poor of Calcutta was a world-renowned symbol of religious compassion. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In a rare interview in 1986, Mother Teresa told CBS News she had a calling, based on unquestioned faith. "They are all children of God, loved and created by the same heart of God," she said.
But now, it has emerged that Mother Teresa was so doubtful of her own faith that she feared being a hypocrite, reports CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips."These are letters that were kept in the archbishop's house," the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk told Phillips.
In a new book that compiles letters she wrote to friends, superiors and confessors, her doubts are obvious.
Shortly after beginning work in Calcutta's slums, the spirit left Mother Teresa.
"Where is my faith?" she wrote. "Even deep down… there is nothing but emptiness and darkness... If there be God — please forgive me."
Eight years later, she was still looking to reclaim her lost faith.
"Such deep longing for God… Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal," she said.
As her fame increased, her faith refused to return. Her smile, she said, was a mask.
"What do I labor for?" she asked in one letter. "If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true."
The letters were gathered by Rev. Kolodiejchuk, the priest who's making the case to the Vatican for Mother Teresa's proposed sainthood. He said her obvious spiritual torment actually helps her case.
"Now we have this new understanding, this new window into her interior life, and for me this seems to be the most heroic," said Rev. Kolodiejchuk.
According to her letters, Mother Teresa died with her doubts. She had even stopped praying, she once said.The church decided to keep her letters, even though one of her dying wishes was that they be destroyed. Perhaps now we know why.
© MMVII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The following YouTube video of a poem, was not part of the above article, but was provided by me.
It is recited in Arabic, and an English translation appears at the bottom of the screen.
After the poem ends, some verses from the Holy Qur'an are also recited.
Oh, Christ Worshipers! A Poem قصيدة ابن القيم عن النصرانية
A Poem By Ibn Al Qayyim About Christiantyقصيدة ابن القيم عن النصرانيه for all of you who are looking for the truth, (translated)...
By Ryan Singel
08.29.07 2:00 AM
The FBI has quietly built a sophisticated, point-and-click surveillance system that performs instant wiretaps on almost any communications device, according to nearly a thousand pages of restricted documents newly released under the Freedom of Information Act.
The surveillance system, called DCSNet, for Digital Collection System Network, connects FBI wiretapping rooms to switches controlled by traditional land-line operators, internet-telephony providers and cellular companies. It is far more intricately woven into the nation's telecom infrastructure than observers suspected.
It's a "comprehensive wiretap system that intercepts wire-line phones, cellular phones, SMS and push-to-talk systems," says Steven Bellovin, a Columbia University computer science professor and longtime surveillance expert.
DCSNet is a suite of software that collects, sifts and stores phone numbers, phone calls and text messages. The system directly connects FBI wiretapping outposts around the country to a far-reaching private communications network.
Many of the details of the system and its full capabilities were redacted from the documents acquired by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but they show that DCSNet includes at least three collection components, each running on Windows-based computers.
The $10 million DCS-3000 client, also known as Red Hook, handles pen-registers and trap-and-traces, a type of surveillance that collects signaling information -- primarily the numbers dialed from a telephone -- but no communications content. (Pen registers record outgoing calls; trap-and-traces record incoming calls.)
DCS-6000, known as Digital Storm, captures and collects the content of phone calls and text messages for full wiretap orders.
A third, classified system, called DCS-5000, is used for wiretaps targeting spies or terrorists.
What DCSNet Can Do
Together, the surveillance systems let FBI agents play back recordings even as they are being captured (like TiVo), create master wiretap files, send digital recordings to translators, track the rough location of targets in real time using cell-tower information, and even stream intercepts outward to mobile surveillance vans.
FBI wiretapping rooms in field offices and undercover locations around the country are connected through a private, encrypted backbone that is separated from the internet. Sprint runs it on the government's behalf.
The network allows an FBI agent in New York, for example, to remotely set up a wiretap on a cell phone based in Sacramento, California, and immediately learn the phone's location, then begin receiving conversations, text messages and voicemail pass codes in New York. With a few keystrokes, the agent can route the recordings to language specialists for translation.
The numbers dialed are automatically sent to FBI analysts trained to interpret phone-call patterns, and are transferred nightly, by external storage devices, to the bureau's Telephone Application Database, where they're subjected to a type of data mining called link analysis.
FBI endpoints on DCSNet have swelled over the years, from 20 "central monitoring plants" at the program's inception, to 57 in 2005, according to undated pages in the released documents. By 2002, those endpoints connected to more than 350 switches.
Today, most carriers maintain their own central hub, called a "mediation switch," that's networked to all the individual switches owned by that carrier, according to the FBI. The FBI's DCS software links to those mediation switches over the internet, likely using an encrypted VPN. Some carriers run the mediation switch themselves, while others pay companies like VeriSign to handle the whole wiretapping process for them.
The numerical scope of DCSNet surveillance is still guarded. But we do know that as telecoms have become more wiretap-friendly, the number of criminal wiretaps alone has climbed from 1,150 in 1996 to 1,839 in 2006. That's a 60 percent jump. And in 2005, 92 percent of those criminal wiretaps targeted cell phones, according to a report published last year.
These figures include both state and federal wiretaps, and do not include antiterrorism wiretaps, which dramatically expanded after 9/11. They also don't count the DCS-3000's collection of incoming and outgoing phone numbers dialed. Far more common than full-blown wiretaps, this level of surveillance requires only that investigators certify that the phone numbers are relevant to an investigation.
The Justice Department reports the number of pen registers to Congress annually, but those numbers aren't public. According to the last figures leaked to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, judges signed 4,886 pen register orders in 1998, along with 4,621 time extensions.
CALEA Switches Rules On Switches
The law that makes the FBI's surveillance network possible had its genesis in the Clinton administration. In the 1990s, the Justice Department began complaining to Congress that digital technology, cellular phones and features like call forwarding would make it difficult for investigators to continue to conduct wiretaps. Congress responded by passing the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, in 1994, mandating backdoors in U.S. telephone switches.
CALEA requires telecommunications companies to install only telephone-switching equipment that meets detailed wiretapping standards. Prior to CALEA, the FBI would get a court order for a wiretap and present it to a phone company, which would then create a physical tap of the phone system.
With new CALEA-compliant digital switches, the FBI now logs directly into the telecom's network. Once a court order has been sent to a carrier and the carrier turns on the wiretap, the communications data on a surveillance target streams into the FBI's computers in real time.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation requested documents on the system under the Freedom of Information Act, and successfully sued the Justice Department in October 2006.
In May, a federal judge ordered the FBI to provide relevant documents to the EFF every month until it has satisfied the FOIA request.
"So little has been known up until now about how DCS works," says EFF attorney Marcia Hofmann. "This is why it's so important for FOIA requesters to file lawsuits for information they really want."
Special Agent Anthony DiClemente, chief of the Data Acquisition and Intercept Section of the FBI's Operational Technology Division, said the DCS was originally intended in 1997 to be a temporary solution, but has grown into a full-featured CALEA-collection software suite.
"CALEA revolutionizes how law enforcement gets intercept information," DiClemente told Wired News. "Before CALEA, it was a rudimentary system that mimicked Ma Bell."
Privacy groups and security experts have protested CALEA design mandates from the start, but that didn't stop federal regulators from recently expanding the law's reach to force broadband internet service providers and some voice-over-internet companies, such as Vonage, to similarly retrofit their networks for government surveillance.
Meanwhile, the FBI's efforts to keep up with the current communications explosion is never-ending, according to DiClemente.
The released documents suggest that the FBI's wiretapping engineers are struggling with peer-to-peer telephony provider Skype, which offers no central location to wiretap, and with innovations like caller-ID spoofing and phone-number portability.
But DCSNet seems to have kept pace with at least some new technologies, such as cell-phone push-to-talk features and most VOIP internet telephony.
"It is fair to say we can do push-to-talk," DiClemente says. "All of the carriers are living up to their responsibilities under CALEA."
Matt Blaze, a security researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who helped assess the FBI's now-retired Carnivore internet-wiretapping application in 2000, was surprised to see that DCSNet seems equipped to handle such modern communications tools. The FBI has been complaining for years that it couldn't tap these services.
The redacted documentation left Blaze with many questions, however. In particular, he said it's unclear what role the carriers have in opening up a tap, and how that process is secured.
"The real question is the switch architecture on cell networks," said Blaze. "What's the carrier side look like?"
Randy Cadenhead, the privacy counsel for Cox Communications, which offers VOIP phone service and internet access, says the FBI has no independent access to his company's switches.
"Nothing ever gets connected or disconnected until I say so, based upon a court order in our hands," Cadenhead says. "We run the interception process off of my desk, and we track them coming in. We give instructions to relevant field people who allow for interconnection and to make verbal connections with technical representatives at the FBI."
The nation's largest cell-phone providers -- whose customers are targeted in the majority of wiretaps -- were less forthcoming. AT&T politely declined to comment, while Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon simply ignored requests for comment.
Agent DiClemente, however, seconded Cadenhead's description.
"The carriers have complete control. That's consistent with CALEA," DiClemente said. "The carriers have legal teams to read the order, and they have procedures in place to review the court orders, and they also verify the information and that the target is one of their subscribers."
Despite its ease of use, the new technology is proving more expensive than a traditional wiretap.
Telecoms charge the government an average of $2,200 for a 30-day CALEA wiretap, while a traditional intercept costs only $250, according to the Justice Department inspector general. A federal wiretap order in 2006 cost taxpayers $67,000 on average, according to the most recent U.S. Court wiretap report.
What's more, under CALEA, the government had to pay to make pre-1995 phone switches wiretap-friendly. The FBI has spent almost $500 million on that effort, but many traditional wire-line switches still aren't compliant.
Processing all the phone calls sucked in by DCSNet is also costly. At the backend of the data collection, the conversations and phone numbers are transferred to the FBI's Electronic Surveillance Data Management System, an Oracle SQL database that's seen a 62 percent growth in wiretap volume over the last three years -- and more than 3,000 percent growth in digital files like e-mail. Through 2007, the FBI has spent $39 million on the system, which indexes and analyzes data for agents, translators and intelligence analysts.
To security experts, though, the biggest concern over DCSNet isn't the cost: It's the possibility that push-button wiretapping opens new security holes in the telecommunications network.
More than 100 government officials in Greece learned in 2005 that their cell phones had been bugged, after an unknown hacker exploited CALEA-like functionality in wireless-carrier Vodafone's network. The infiltrator used the switches' wiretap-management software to send copies of officials' phone calls and text messages to other phones, while simultaneously hiding the taps from auditing software.
The FBI's DiClemente says DCSNet has never suffered a similar breach, so far as he knows.
"I know of no issue of compromise, internal or external," DiClemente says. He says the system's security is more than adequate, in part because the wiretaps still "require the assistance of a provider." The FBI also uses physical-security measures to control access to DCSNet end points, and has erected firewalls and other measures to render them "sufficiently isolated," according to DiClemente.
But the documents show that an internal 2003 audit uncovered numerous security vulnerabilities in DCSNet -- many of which mirror problems unearthed in the bureau's Carnivore application years earlier.
In particular, the DCS-3000 machines lacked adequate logging, had insufficient password management, were missing antivirus software, allowed unlimited numbers of incorrect passwords without locking the machine, and used shared logins rather than individual accounts.
The system also required that DCS-3000's user accounts have administrative privileges in Windows, which would allow a hacker who got into the machine to gain complete control.
Columbia's Bellovin says the flaws are appalling and show that the FBI fails to appreciate the risk from insiders.
"The underlying problem isn't so much the weaknesses here, as the FBI attitude towards security," he says. The FBI assumes "the threat is from the outside, not the inside," he adds, and it believes that "to the extent that inside threats exist, they can be controlled by process rather than technology."
Bellovin says any wiretap system faces a slew of risks, such as surveillance targets discovering a tap, or an outsider or corrupt insider setting up unauthorized taps. Moreover, the architectural changes to accommodate easy surveillance on phone switches and the internet can introduce new security and privacy holes.
"Any time something is tappable there is a risk," Bellovin says. "I'm not saying, 'Don't do wiretaps,' but when you start designing a system to be wiretappable, you start to create a new vulnerability. A wiretap is, by definition, a vulnerability from the point of the third party. The question is, can you control it?"
Snapshots of the FBI Spy Docs
Wired Blog: Threat Level
FBI's Secret Spyware Tracks Down Teen Who Made Bomb Threats
Crashing the Wiretapper's Ball
The Ultimate Net Monitoring Tool
Critics Slam Net Wiretapping Rule
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
By Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane
Published: Tuesday August 28, 2007
The United States has the capacity for and may be prepared to launch without warning a massive assault on Iranian uranium enrichment facilities, as well as government buildings and infrastructure, using long-range bombers and missiles, according to a new analysis.
The paper, "Considering a war with Iran: A discussion paper on WMD in the Middle East" – written by well-respected British scholar and arms expert Dr. Dan Plesch, Director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, and Martin Butcher, a former Director of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and former adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament – was exclusively provided to RAW STORY late Friday under embargo.
We wrote the report partly as we were surprised that this sort of quite elementary analysis had not been produced by the many well resourced Institutes in the United States," wrote Plesch in an email to Raw Story on Tuesday.
Plesch and Butcher examine "what the military option might involve if it were picked up off the table and put into action" and conclude that based on open source analysis and their own assessments, the US has prepared its military for a "massive" attack against Iran, requiring little contingency planning and without a ground invasion.
The study concludes that the US has made military preparations to destroy Iran’s WMD, nuclear energy, regime, armed forces, state apparatus and economic infrastructure within days if not hours of President George W. Bush giving the order. The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely. The US retains the option of avoiding war, but using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions.
Any attack is likely to be on a massive multi-front scale but avoiding a ground invasion. Attacks focused on WMD facilities would leave Iran too many retaliatory options, leave President Bush open to the charge of using too little force and leave the regime intact.
US bombers and long range missiles are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours.
US ground, air and marine forces already in the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan can devastate Iranian forces, the regime and the state at short notice.
Some form of low level US and possibly UK military action as well as armed popular resistance appear underway inside the Iranian provinces or ethnic areas of the Azeri, Balujistan, Kurdistan and Khuzestan. Iran was unable to prevent sabotage of its offshore-to-shore crude oil pipelines in 2005.
Nuclear weapons are ready, but most unlikely, to be used by the US, the UK and Israel. The human, political and environmental effects would be devastating, while their military value is limited.
Israel is determined to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons yet has the conventional military capability only to wound Iran’s WMD programmes.
The attitude of the UK is uncertain, with the Brown government and public opinion opposed psychologically to more war, yet, were Brown to support an attack he would probably carry a vote in Parliament. The UK is adamant that Iran must not acquire the bomb.
The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely. The US retains the option of avoiding war, but using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions.
When asked why the paper seems to indicate a certainty of Iranian WMD, Plesch made clear that "our paper is not, repeat not, about what Iran actually has or not." Yet, he added that "Iran certainly has missiles and probably some chemical capability."
Most significantly, Plesch and Butcher dispute conventional wisdom that any US attack on Iran would be confined to its nuclear sites. Instead, they foresee a "full-spectrum approach," designed to either instigate an overthrow of the government or reduce Iran to the status of "a weak or failed state."
Although they acknowledge potential risks and impediments that might deter the Bush administration from carrying out such a massive attack, they also emphasize that the administration's National Security Strategy includes as a major goal the elimination of Iran as a regional power.
They suggest, therefore, that:
This wider form of air attack would be the most likely to delay the Iranian nuclear program for a sufficiently long period of time to meet the administration’s current counterproliferation goals. It would also be consistent with the possible goal of employing military action is to overthrow the current Iranian government, since it would severely degrade the capability of the Iranian military (in particular revolutionary guards units and other ultra-loyalists) to keep armed opposition and separatist movements under control. It would also achieve the US objective of neutralizing Iran as a power in the region for many years to come.
However, it is the option that contains the greatest risk of increased global tension and hatred of the United States. The US would have few, if any allies for such a mission beyond Israel (and possibly the UK). Once undertaken, the imperatives for success would be enormous.
Butcher says he does not believe the US would use nuclear weapons, with some exceptions.
"My opinion is that [nuclear weapons] wouldn't be used unless there was definite evidence that Iran has them too or is about to acquire them in a matter of days/weeks," notes Butcher. "However, the Natanz facility has been so hardened that to destroy it MAY require nuclear weapons, and once an attack had started it may simply be a matter of following military logic and doctrine to full extent, which would call for the use of nukes if all other means failed."
The bulk of the paper is devoted to a detailed analysis of specific military strategies for such an attack, of ongoing attempts to destabilize Iran by inciting its ethnic minorities, and of the considerations surrounding the possible employment of nuclear weapons.
In particular, Plesch and Butcher examine what is known as Global Strike – the capability to project military power from the United States to anywhere in the world, which was announced by STRATCOM as having initial operational capability in December 2005. It is the that capacity that could provide strategic bombers and missiles to devastate Iran on just a few hours notice.
Iran has a weak air force and anti aircraft capability, almost all of it is 20-30 years old and it lacks modern integrated communications. Not only will these forces be rapidly destroyed by US air power, but Iranian ground and air forces will have to fight without protection from air attack.
British military sources stated on condition of anonymity, that "the US military switched its whole focus to Iran" from March 2003. It continued this focus even though it had infantry bogged down in fighting the insurgency in Iraq.
Global Strike could be combined with already-existing "regional operational plans for limited war with Iran, such as Oplan 1002-04, for an attack on the western province of Kuzhestan, or Oplan 1019 which deals with preventing Iran from closing the Straits of Hormuz, and therefore keeping open oil lanes vital to the US economy."
The Marines are not all tied down fighting in Iraq. Several Marine forces are assembling in the Gulf, each with its own aircraft carrier. These carrier forces can each conduct a version of the D-Day landings. They come with landing craft, tanks, jump-jets, thousands of troops and hundreds more cruise missiles. Their task is to destroy Iranian forces able to attack oil tankers and to secure oilfields and installations. They have trained for this mission since the Iranian revolution of 1979 as is indicated in this battle map of Hormuz illustrating an advert for combat training software.
Special Forces units – which are believed to already be operating within Iran – would be available to carry out search-and-destroy missions and incite internal uprisings, while US Army units in both Iraq and Afghanistan could mount air and missile attacks on Iranian forces, which are heavily concentrated along the Iran-Iraq border, as well as protecting their own supply lines within Iraq:
A key assessment in any war with Iran concerns Basra province and the Kuwait border. It is likely that Iran and its sympathizers could take control of population centres and interrupt oil supplies, if it was in their interest to do so. However it is unlikely that they could make any sustained effort against Kuwait or interrupt supply lines north from Kuwait to central Iraq. US firepower is simply too great for any Iranian conventional force.
Experts Question The Report's Conclusions
Former CIA analyst and Deputy Director for Transportation Security, Antiterrorism Assistance Training, and Special Operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism, Larry Johnson, does not agree with the report’s findings.
"The report seems to accept without question that US air force and navy bombers could effectively destroy Iran and they seem to ignore the fact that US use of air power in Iraq has failed to destroy all major military, political, economic and transport capabilities," said Johnson late Monday after the embargo on the study had been lifted.
"But at least in their conclusions they still acknowledge that Iran, if attacked, would be able to retaliate. Yet they are vague in terms of detailing the extent of the damage that the Iran is capable of inflicting on the US and fairly assessing what those risks are."
There is also the situation of US soldiers in Iraq and the supply routes that would have to be protected to ensure that US forces had what they needed. Plesch explains that “"firepower is an effective means of securing supply routes during conventional war and in conventional war a higher loss rate is expected."
"However as we say do not assume that the Iraqi Shiia will rally to Tehran – the quietist Shiia tradition favoured by Sistani may regard itself as justified if imploding Iranian power can be argued to reduce US problems in Iraq, not increase them."
John Pike, Director of Global Security, a Washington-based military, intelligence, and security clearinghouse, says that the question of Iraq is the one issue at the center of any questions regarding Iran.
"The situation in Iraq is a wild card, though it may be presumed that Iran would mount attacks on the US at some remove, rather than upsetting the apple-cart in its own front yard," wrote Pike in an email.
Plesch and Butcher write with concern about the political context within the United States:
This debate is bleeding over into the 2008 Presidential election, with evidence mounting that despite the public unpopularity of the war in Iraq, Iran is emerging as an issue over which Presidential candidates in both major American parties can show their strong national security bona fides. ...
The debate on how to deal with Iran is thus occurring in a political context in the US that is hard for those in Europe or the Middle East to understand. A context that may seem to some to be divorced from reality, but with the US ability to project military power across the globe, the reality of Washington DC is one that matters perhaps above all else. ...
We should not underestimate the Bush administration's ability to convince itself that an "Iran of the regions" will emerge from a post-rubble Iran. So, do not be in the least surprised if the United States attacks Iran. Timing is an open question, but it is hard to find convincing arguments that war will be avoided, or at least ones that are convincing in Washington.
Plesch and Butcher are also interested in the attitudes of the current UK government, which has carefully avoided revealing what its position might be in the case of an attack. They point out, however, "One key caution is that regardless of the realities of Iran’s programme, the British public and elite may simply refuse to participate – almost out of bloody minded revenge for the Iraq deceit."And they conclude that even "if the attack is 'successful' and the US reasserts its global military dominance and reduces Iran to the status of an oil-rich failed state, then the risks to humanity in general and to the states of the Middle East are grave indeed."
Larisa Alexandrovna is managing editor of investigative news for Raw Story and regularly reports on intelligence and national security stories. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Muriel Kane is research director for Raw Story.
Juan Cole discusses his new book, Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East and the relevance and lessons of Napoleon's expedition in Egypt to the current American occupation of Iraq.
New America Foundation/American Strategy Program Director Steve Clemons offers comments and moderates the discussion.Juan Cole is a professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan, the President of the Global Americana Institute, and the publisher of Informed Comment, a blog that specializes in providing translations and commentary on the modern Middle East.
From the elimination of undesirables from the human race; mass culling in the name of saving the earth; to altering the genetic code of humanity with advanced technology; eugenics has moved into a new era.
By Daniel Taylor
Old-thinker news August 27, 2007
Comment: This report is not meant to be a comprehensive history of eugenics. The initial article that I was going to write was less than half of what you will read here, but as I investigated this area I discovered how ignorant I was as to how expansive this topic is. Initially researching John D. Rockefeller, a Pandora's box of information opened up, inevitably leading to the topic of this article. I hope that this information will help you come to a greater understanding of this subject, and to warn others of its grave dangers.
From the elimination of undesirables from the human race; mass culling in the name of saving the earth; to altering the genetic code of humanity with advanced technology: Eugenics has moved into a new era.
What Is Eugenics?
The word eugenics comes from the Greek words eus (good or well) and genēs (born) meaning "well born". The American Heritage dictionary of the English language describes eugenics as, "The study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding." Sir Francis Galton was the man who coined the term, and developed the first eugenic policies. Galton expressed distress at the lack of emphasis on the betterment of the human race during his time, comparing men and women of his day to "pariah dogs".
In 1864, Galton wrote in an article titled "Hereditary Character and Talent," published in two parts in MacMillan's Magazine,
"If a twentieth part of the cost and pains were spent in measures for the improvement of the human race that is spent on the improvement of the breed of horses and cattle, what a galaxy of genius might we not create! We might introduce prophets and high priests of civilization into the world, as surely as we can propagate idiots by mating cretins. Men and women of the present day are, to those we might hope to bring into existence, what the pariah dogs of the streets of an Eastern town are to our own highly-bred varieties."
The history of eugenics in America is filled with controversy and harrowing stories of forced sterilization throughout many U.S. states. In 2002 Mark R. Warner, the governor of Virginia issued an apology for the thousands of individuals that the state had sterilized from 1924 to 1979.
USA Today reported on the governors statement,
"With the governor's statement Thursday, Virginia becomes the only of the 30 states that conducted eugenics sterilizations to apologize. There are believed to be more than 60,000 eugenics victims nationwide.
'Today, I offer the commonwealth's sincere apology for Virginia's participation in eugenics,' Warner said.
'As I have previously noted, the eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state government never should have been involved," he said. 'We must remember the commonwealth's past mistakes in order to prevent them from recurring.'"
The aristocratic, wealthy elite of America played a central role in the development of eugenics in America and abroad. Two such elite families are the Rockefellers and the Carnegies.
In 1902, Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Institute which among other things, funded the Eugenics Record Office in America. The ERO (1910-1944) operated from Cold Spring Harbor in New York. Eugenics policies, which led to the sterilization of thousands of Americans, were developed in this office.
The Rockefellers, perhaps more so, were also heavily involved with eugenics. Rockefeller influence in American eugenics can be traced to the beginnings of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. John D. Rockefeller, along with Averell Harriman gave $11 million to create the facility in the early 1900's.
Rockefeller influence also spread overseas to Germany, where the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry, and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Eugenics, Anthropology and Human Heredity resided. Much of the money used to run these facilities came from Rockefeller.
These weren't just average scientific institutes; the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes would become the center for Nazi eugenics programs.
As documented by Gary Allen in "The Rockefeller File" the Rockefellers continue to give money to eugenics and population control related organizations,
"In 1970, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave $500,000 to the Population Council. The Rockefeller Foundation gave ecology grants of $10,000 to the New School for Social Research, and $10,000 to the Population Reference Bureau."
In 1973, the Rockefeller Foundation again gave $500,000 to the Population Council and $25,000 to the Population Crisis Committee, while the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave $250,000 to the Population Council, and $250,000 to the Population Institute.
The Population Council was founded by John D. Rockefeller the 3rd in 1952. The first president of the Council, Frederick Osborn, was appointed by Rockefeller. Osborn was the leader of the American Eugenics Society, and member of the Galton Society, founded in 1918.
Osborn stated in the 1956 edition of "The Eugenics Review" that,
"...the reasons advanced must be generally acceptable reasons. Let's stop telling anyone that they have a genetically inferior genetic quality, for they will never agree. Let's base our proposals on the desirability of having children born in homes where they will get affectionate and responsible care, and perhaps our proposals will be accepted. It seems to me that if it is to progress as it should, eugenics must follow new policies and state its case anew, and that from this rebirth we may, even in our own lifetime, see it moving at last towards the high goals which Galton set for it."
Killing To Save The Earth
Since the early days of eugenics, a new "brand" of this science has emerged in modern times. The environmental branch of eugenics believes that, due to overpopulation, measures must be taken to either impede population growth through various eugenic policies, or take drastic measures to eliminate living human beings from the earth. Unlike those who advocate eugenics to strictly rid humanity of "undesirables," some advocate the culling of humanity in general in order to save planet earth.
Many globalist initiatives surround environmental issues, one of which has been population control and reduction.
John Glad, a professor of Russian studies who has taught at several universities and worked for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, wrote a book titled "Future Human Evolution: Eugenics in the Twenty-First Century."
In the introduction, Glad writes,
"Eugenics views itself as the fourth leg of the chair of civilization, the other three being a) a thrifty expenditure of natural resources, b) mitigation of environmental pollution, and c) maintenance of a human population not exceeding the planet’s carrying capacity. Eugenics, which can be thought of as human ecology, is thus part and parcel of the environmental movement."
"In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it's just as bad not to say it." - Jacques Cousteau
"The world has a cancer, and that cancer is man." - Merton Lambert, former spokesman for the Rockefeller foundation
"...The first task is population control at home. How do we go about it? Many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve such control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size." - Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, p.130-131
"If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels." - Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, leader of the World Wildlife Fund - quoted in "Are You Ready For Our New Age Future?," Insiders Report, American Policy Center, December '95
"A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal." - Ted Turner - CNN founder and UN supporter - quoted in the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, June '96
"Even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable." - Sir Julian Huxley, first director general of UNESCO (1946-1948)
News articles regarding sterilization:UNICEF Nigerian Polio Vaccine Contaminated with Sterilizing Agents Scientist Finds KADUNA, Nigeria, March 11, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A UNICEF campaign to vaccinate Nigeria's youth against polio may have been a front for sterilizing the nation.
U.N. Complicit in Forced Sterilizations There is compelling evidence that the United Nations collaborated in the forced sterilization of poor, rural women in Peru from 1995 to 1997.
Video presentation by David Ayoub, M.D.: Mercury, Autism and the Global Vaccine Agenda
In 2004 the publication World Watch published an article titled, "Global Population Reduction: Confronting the Inevitable," by Ken Smail, a professor in the Anthropology department of Kenyon College in Ohio. In this article, Smail proposes that the earth's carrying capacity will reach, or has reached already, its limit. In what Smail calls a modern day "Malthusian dilemma", he cites measures to merely slow population growth as being inefficient, stating that,
"Looking past the near-term concerns that have plagued population policy at the political level, it is increasingly apparent that the long-term sustainability of civilization will require not just a leveling-off of human numbers as projected over the coming half-century, but a colossal reduction in both population and consumption." [emphasis added]
Smail says that a large scale global population reduction is inevitable, but that there are two possible ways for this to happen,
"That there will be a large-scale reduction in global human numbers over the next two or three centuriesappears to be inevitable. The primary issue seems to be whether this process will be under conscious human control and (hopefully) relatively benign, or whether it will turn out to be unpredictably chaotic and (perhaps) catastrophic."
The New Eugenics
"Eugenic goals are most likely to be attained under another name than eugenics." - Frederick Osborn
Since the founding of eugenics, the movement has changed, but it has retained its core goals over the years.
Thomas H. Campbell of the University of California believes that the eugenics model of Galton is outdated and impractical, as do many other scientists. Instead of relying on breeding "better humans," without the intervention of technology, many scientists believe that technological means should be employed to further our "evolution."
With the rise of advanced scientific technologies, the ability to alter the genetic code of living organisms, and the augmentation of human bodies has become a reality.
Some individuals who are involved with the modern eugenics movement see the rise of these capabilities as an opportunity to create or alter human beings to acquire the most "desirable traits" and rid humanity of traits deemed "undesirable".
Is there a link between eugenics and the Human Genome Project? If so, what does this mean for future generations?
During the 34 years (1910-1944) the Eugenics Records Office was active, it collected information on specific human traits in what was called The Trait Book. Also collected was information on "Pedigree" families and their specific traits. Today, the Human Genome project is in effect carrying on what the Eugenics Records Office could only dream of.
James Watson, who began the initial research for the Human Genome Project, directed the operation from 1988-1992. Watson then served as director at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and would eventually become president of the Laboratory in 1994. Watson's beliefs about the betterment of mankind mirror those of past eugenics leaders.
Watson is quoted as saying at a 1998 UCLA conference that,
"I mean, sure, we have great respect for the human species .... But evolution can be just damn cruel, and to say that we've got a perfect genome and there's some sanctity to it, I'd just like to know where that idea comes from. It's utter silliness. And the other thing, because no one really has the guts to say it, I mean, if we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn't we do it?"
Craig Venter caused many to question his ethics when he moved to found Celera Genomics in 1998, carrying the study of the human genome into the private sector, using the "shotgun strategy" to sequence the human genome at a faster clip than the public project.
In a press release dated March 1, 2001, Celera Genomics announced that it signed a "multi-year agreement" with AMDeC LLC to "allow member institutions to access Celera's database information [Human Genome data] through its Celera Discovery System." Some of those member institutions included Rockefeller University, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Interestingly, Rockefeller University was founded by John D. Rockefeller in 1901 with a dedication to biomedical research. Today, David Rockefeller, grandson to John D. Rockefeller Jr., is the Chairman of the Rockefeller University Council.
Venter further maddened fellow scientists when he moved to patent human genes. Serious ethical discussions took place after the first attempts to patent human genes, but ultimately the decision stood to allow patenting. The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued guidelines on patenting.
The American Medical Association describes the guidelines,
"The rules are intended to help end a bitter debate on gene patenting. These regulations have put to rest any question about whether genes can be patented at all -- making it clear that companies may indeed patent both whole genes as well as pieces of genes..."
The guidelines allow patenting when the those applying for a patent on a gene show a "utility" for the gene. The AMA goes on to state that arguments were heard opposing the decision based on the fact that these genes were not created by anyone, and thus could not be patented. The AMA describes how the Patent office rejected these ideas,
"The PTO firmly rejected this notion based upon the fact that a gene may be removed from a person, then a clone of that gene may be made in a machine, which is then not a part of nature, but a product of the lab."
A search in the online patent database for "human genes" yields an astonishing 159021 results.
The apex of a futuristic eugenics program comes with the advent of designer babies, embryos that are genetically enhanced through various methods. The knowledge gathered through the study of the human genome will, according to some, lead to the ability to create such designer babies.
In 2000, the BBC aired a documentary called "Who's Afraid of Designer Babies?" Featured in this clip is Lee M. Silver, professor at Princeton University and former investigator for Cold Spring Harbor (1980-1984).
The future is now: Genetically altered babies already born
There is still doubt among scholars and scientists that the Human Genome Project will lead to a new eugenics program, such as designer babies. They cite limitations on current technology and the need for further research as reasons for this position. However, unknown to many, genetically altered babies have already been born. The implications of this development are immense, but it has received little attention. Because these babies were "created" in the private sector and the lab did not receive government funding, there were no governmental restrictions on what could be done.
As Wired magazine reported in 2001,
"Researchers have genetically-altered humans for the first time, but experts question the moral implications of tinkering with the unborn.
The scientists weren't looking to create genetically-enhanced Michael Jordans or Anna Kournikovas. Rather, they repaired the defective eggs of prospective mothers by injecting them with DNA from the eggs of healthy donors.
But regardless of the scientists' intentions, they've created the first human offspring with changes to their "germline," or the genes they'll pass on to future generations. In this case, the babies' genes contain DNA from two women instead of just one.
Researchers at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of Saint Barnabas in West Orange, New Jersey, have achieved 15 births using the technique. In their paper, published in the March 2001 issue of the Human Reproduction journal, they say at least 15 additional healthy babies have been born as a result of this technique in other labs.
The researchers performed the fertilizations in 1997 and 1998. In March, they published data on the results of DNA fingerprint tests on two of the children, each one year old, confirming that they contain a small quantity of additional genes not inherited from either parent.
Most scientists consider altering the germline unethical, since no one knows what the long-term effects might be. The researchers, however, are confident the technique is safe."
What Will The Future Look Like?
What will the future hold in a world in which eugenics, utilizing advanced technology, has become a reality?
Lee Silver describes in his book "Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World", a future scenario in which humanity splits into two distinct classes, the "GenRich" and the "GenPoor."
"The GenRich--who account for 10 percent of the American population--all carry synthetic genes. Genes that were created in the laboratory....The GenRich are a modern-day hereditary class of genetic aristocrats....All aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry are controlled by members of the GenRich class."
Those who are not as fortunate to have access to genetic modification, called "Naturals" by Silver, will "...work as low-paid service providers or as laborers."
Bertrand Russel says in "The Impact of Science on Society" (1953) on pages 49-50 that,
"Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulers and ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revolt of the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organized insurrection of sheep against the practice of eating mutton."
Hollywood has apparently been keeping up to date on genetic technologies, adding their own theatrical twist. The movie "Gattaca", released in 1997, portrays a despotic future world in which designer babies are born every day, and the perfection of genes has become the center of society.
Watch The Gattaca Trailer:
Thomas H. Campbell of the University of California believes that humanity is destined to gain access to methods of "autoevolution." Writing in his paper, "The Moral Imperative of Our Future Evolution", Campbell describes future technologies and their eugenic implications. Campbell praises eugenics policies, and cites the Human Genome Project as a positive development in the identification of "defective" genes.
"We have catalogued defective genes behind a variety of dreadful neurological and metabolic disorders as parts of programs to eliminate them eugenically. Our systematic mapping of the human genome will identify many others. Everyone applauds the goal of purging these defects in our heredity - notwithstanding quibbles over the ethics of the techniques of amniocentesis, abortion and even contraception. I emphatically embrace this eugenic program even though its evolutionary impact is insignificant. Most defective genes are rare, and their total elimination does little for evolution except squeeze the range of variation of humans."
"We probably will begin our interventions into brain and embryonic development with drugs and hormones and subsequently engineer the desirable intrusions into the genome. Then, after a further generation of accumulating biological information about individual gene function, developmental pathways, and the neural substrate of brain function, evolutionists probably will write novel genes for these traits from scratch using a DNA synthesizer."
"Of course, the methods for evolving our genetics extend beyond biotechnology. Ultra-sophisticated parallel processing computers and software programs will predictively model how particular gene configurations translate into phenotype, and how particular phenotypic traits can be engineered into developmental pathways. As a start, new computer technology is being developed today as an integral part of the human genome project."
Campbell, like others, says that future genetic technologies will be extremely expensive, leaving the average person out of the loop. Campbell expresses his approval of this expense due to the fact that only the "most successful generative lines" will have access to these technologies.
"The costs will be enormous, far beyond what most people could afford. This has kept our democratic society from appreciating that these possibilities will be used and will be important. However, their feasibility cannot be judged from what the average person will be willing to pay to procreate. What matters are the resources that the most successful generative lines will be able to apply to their goals. A million dollars per conception seems a great underestimate to me for the beings who hold evolution's frontier."
The legacy of Galton, John D., and Carnegie lives on. Though terms have changed, the names of organizations altered, the methods of propagandizing the public reformed; the ideology behind eugenics is being carried into the twenty-first century, and a new eugenics is creeping into our society. Will humanity as we know it today become a fossil as some have proposed? Public awareness is the key. The information contained in this report needs to be spread far and wide, for the future of humanity as we know it depends on it.