Taxi to the Dark Side Wins Oscar

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Writer/Director Alex Gibney with producer Eva Orner

The Oscar nominated documentary film on the US government and its torture policies that I was raving about won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature last Sunday night.

ALEX GIBNEY: Thank you very much, Academy. Here’s to all doc filmmakers. And truth is, I think my dear wife Anne was kind of hoping I’d make a romantic comedy, but honestly, after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition, that simply wasn’t possible. This is dedicated to two people who are no longer with us: Dilawar, the young Afghan taxi driver, and my father, a Navy interrogator, who urged me to make this film because of his fury about what was being done to the rule of law. Let’s hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light. Thank you very much.

I think winning the Oscar was great but previously I had mentioned how The Discovery Channel was accused of political censorship of the film. Well, it turned out great that HBO decided to buy out the television rights to the film and hopefully will air it in September.

Congratulations, Alex Gibney! A brilliant film maker and a great Peaceful Warrior!

Latest Polls: Bush Approval Rating at 19%

bush


“Among all Americans, 19% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president…”

Click here to see the complete poll.

The poll conducted by Manchester, NH based, American Research Group shows that Bush’s approval ratings have dropped to a historic new low – 19%. It is even lower among Americans registered to vote.

According to the poll, a total of 78% of Americans say the national economy is getting worse and 47% say the national economy is in a recession. A total of 42% of Americans, however, say they believe the national economy will be better a year from now, which is the highest level for this question in the past year.

The president’s dabbling in the Middle East’s highly complex political scene has left him with absolutely no reputation to save. But there is a place he can try to save his last shreds of dignity: Africa.

The Mother Continent (I was born there) has seen her share of conquistadors and colonialists raping and pillaging the continent, so what is one more? Bush’s recent visit to Africa was what I see as a publicity stunt to try and save the little following he has had and to prevent his Presidency being crowned the worst in history.

I wonder what that 19% of Americans who approve of the Bush Administration policies even today are thinking? More importantly – how is McCain on his way to becoming the Republican nominee? Every Republican I know hates Bush and believes McCain policies are going to be the same and much worse.

The Folly of Attacking Iran: Lessons from History

Americans are often a people who look to the future and quickly forget what the past has to teach. This book shows the peril of not learning from the history of efforts to overthrow foreign governments.

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All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup And The Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer is an enlightening book that I just finished reading. It is a riveting account of how the CIA, led by the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt, orchestrated the 1953 coup in Iran that overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran and replaced him with the Shah. The policy of deposing leaders that the US doesn’t approve of throughout the years has had aftershocks that are felt even today.


This is a 5 minute video that features author Stephen Kinzer who discusses the folly of attacking Iran. This is particularly relevant today as the US fervently and furiously is beating its drums in anticipation for a war with Iran.

In the beginning of the 20th century, oil was discovered in Iran and the British company Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (today known as British Petroleum or BP) made a deal to pump out the oil and sell it. It held the monopoly of Iran’s oil, which at the time, was the largest oil reserve in the world.

Up until the 1950s the British company was pumping oil and giving the Iranians a mere 16% of the profits, while using the rest to maintain the British Empire’s military machine to oppress its colonies throughout the world. This continued until the 1950s when Iranians finally got sick of the being ripped off. The oil from Iranian soil was being sucked out and sold off by a single British company and leaving nothing for Iran.

In 1951, Mohammad Mossadegh became the first democratically elected Prime Minister and Iran’s parliament unanimously decided to nationalize the oil company. They believed that the profits from oil from Iranian soil should be used to benefit the Iranian nation and its people, and not help in aiding the British Empire’s repression around the globe.

This naturally enraged the British government. How dare anyone challenge the British Empire? They decided to first attack Iran, overthrow the government of Mossadegh and take over the country (I know, it sounds all too familiar) and approached the USA for assistance. But the USA under President Harry Truman wouldn’t support an invasion or overthrow of a democratically elected foreign government. He said that was not the job of the CIA. Then in November 1952 Dwight Eisenhower got elected and policy changed. The British sought his help and he sent Near East Director of the CIA – Kermit Roosevelt (grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the USA) to execute the coup d’etat that overthrew Mossadegh.

Mossadegh was sentenced to three years in prison followed by house arrest for life. In his place the US helped install the pro-American Shah of Iran.

Iran was a democracy in 1953 until the US and UK intelligence orchestrated the coup d’etat that toppled Mohammad Mossadegh. The pro-US Shah of Iran, Raza Shah Pahlavi turned out to be a cruel dictator and a tyrant. His rule was heavily reliant on the scraps that the US threw in the form of foreign aid and arms.

This basically sent a message to the region’s leaders that America doesn’t support democracy in the Middle East and as long as Britain and America get their oil – it doesn’t matter who rules or how the country is ruled. America will support and aid tyrants, oppressors, dictators and ever murderous thugs (i.e. Saddam) as long as they have access to oil. It is evident that this is still the foreign policy of the USA even today. (Look up the 2000 coup of Venezuela that deposed Hugo Chavez for a few days – there’s a reason why he hates Bush).

The Shah’s harsh and oppressive rule brought about an anti-American backlash that led to the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran which toppled the Shah and turned the country into an Islamic Republic.

This is what happens when you wage a war on democracy. Today this policy of attacking nations that pose no threat to us, incinerating their citizens with “daisy cutters” and carpet bombing civilians with depleted uranium, occupying their nations, torturing their citizens who resist, locking them up in Guantanamo Bay (illegally US-occupied part of Cuba) and installing a puppet government has to go – these are not American values.

Iran has made a number of attempts to reach out and engage in a dialogue with the USA and would probably respond better to talks than threats of violence.

Americans, make a note – history has a lot of lessons to offer, it is foolish to ignore them.

Is America a Police State?

Anyone who dares to question the Bush government’s warmongering will be severely dealt with.

Watching this video brings back the nightmares of South Africa during the Apartheid rule.

This is how Israel humiliates and destroys any Palestinian voice calling for justice.

Is this really happening in America? the country that is supposed to be the model for global democracy?

This video is a breakdown of what happened in Seattle when the Police attacked the crowd with chemical weapons without provocation or reason.

They use video footage from the Police cameras themselves to demonstrate the point that the Police indeed incite riots and attack crowds for no reason.

Ron Paul gave this speech titled “Is America a Police state?” to Congress on June 27, 2002. Here are some excerpts:

The principal tool for sustaining a police state, even the most militant, is always economic control and punishment by denying disobedient citizens such things as jobs or places to live, and by levying fines and imprisonment. The military is more often used in the transition phase to a totalitarian state. Maintenance for long periods is usually accomplished through economic controls on commercial transactions, the use of all property, and political dissent. Peaceful control through these efforts can be achieved without storm troopers on our street corners.

Terror and fear are used to achieve complacency and obedience, especially when citizens are deluded into believing they are still a free people. The changes, they are assured, will be minimal, short-lived, and necessary, such as those that occur in times of a declared war. Under these conditions, most citizens believe that once the war is won, the restrictions on their liberties will be reversed. For the most part, however, after a declared war is over, the return to normalcy is never complete. In an undeclared war, without a precise enemy and therefore no precise ending, returning to normalcy can prove illusory.

When the government keeps detailed records on every move we make and we either need advance permission for everything we do or are penalized for not knowing what the rules are, America will be declared a police state. Personal privacy for law-abiding citizens will be a thing of the past. Enforcement of laws against economic and political crimes will exceed that of violent crimes (just look at what’s coming under the new FEC law). War will be the prerogative of the administration. Civil liberties will be suspended for suspects, and their prosecution will not be carried out by an independent judiciary. In a police state, this becomes common practice rather than a rare incident.

Discovery Channel Accused of Political Censorship

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Just over a week ago I posted about the Oscar nominated documentary film by Alex Gibney – Taxi to the Dark Side.

Well, turns out The Discovery Channel bought the U.S. television distribution rights for “Taxi to the Dark Side” after it won the top prize at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

They assured Gibney that they were committed to the film and into broadcasting it.

Now apparently they have changed their minds. They are dropping plans to broadcast the film because they feel it is “too controversial”.

Since they bought the rights to the movie and won’t air it anymore they will not allow anyone else to air it either.

Click here to listen, watch or read the transcript of the interview.

Just great….we can get tortured by mind-numbing “reality TV” and forcefully shoved with “news” every time Britney takes a piss but this documentary which is shows the truth, is educational and informative is “too controversial”?

I guess we wouldn’t want the American people to be pulled away from their beloved American Idol and Paris Hilton and actually watch shows that are factual, educational and informative. No – let’s keep the American people in the dark about how their government tortures and kills innocent people.

Shame on The Discovery Channel. Write to them and let them know politely that you would like them to air “Taxi to the Dark Side”:

Click here to contact the Discovery Channel.

The Media Blackout on the Ron Paul Revolution

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It is amazing how the media totally blocked coverage of Ron Paul.

He won every Presidential debate according to the opinion polls and even Rudy Giuliani said “Ron Paul won every debate!”

He broke two fund raising records last year for raising the most money on a single day – more than any other candidate Republican or Democrat running for President – one on Guy Fawkes Day – Nov 5th ($4.2 million) and another on Boston Tea Party Day December 16th ($6.4 million – beating even Hillary’s $6.2 million record) yet none of this was ever reported on the mainstream media.

Ron Paul is the only anti-war candidate on the ballot and still his top donors are all from the US Military. Dr. Paul’s total military donations of $249 thousand are almost as much as the $260 thousand of combined donations received by the other five remaining candidates:

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080203005049&newsLang=en

Why are the people in the military supporting Ron Paul? Why is CNN, Fox News, ABC, NBC all ignoring this? Is it not “newsworthy”?

None of this is ever being reported in the media. Ron Paul received less coverage (0.3% of total) in the media than Bill Clinton who’s not even running:

http://www.mediachannel.org/wordpress/2008/02/12/mccain-clinton-and-obama-in-coverage-derby-photo-finish/

The media has made up its mind, people can’t vote for Ron Paul if they do not know about him and his views – despite majority of Americans not supporting the war – they are forced to read about only Hillary (Israeli favorite – AIPAC, the Israeli lobby donated more money to her than any other candidate) and John “Bomb Iran” McCain – the die hard pro-war candidates in the race.

More blackout information at:

http://tinwiki.org/wiki/Ron_Paul_Media_Blackout

The media can block out Ron Paul….but they will never change our minds about our support on his views and what he stands for.

The Ron Paul Revolution is here to stay, baby!

“If I may quote Trotsky of all people, this Revolution is permanent. It will not end at the Republican convention. It will not end in November. It will not end until we have won the great battle on which we have embarked. Not because of me, but because of you. Millions of Americans — and friends in many other countries — have dedicated themselves to the principles of liberty: to free enterprise, limited government, sound money, no income tax, and peace. We will not falter so long as there is one restriction on our persons, our property, our civil liberties. How much I owe you. I can never possibly repay your generous donations, hard work, whole-hearted dedication and love of freedom. How blessed I am to be associated with you.”
-Ron Paul, February 8, 2007.

God Bless Ron Paul! A True American!

Stupid Excuses to Attack Iran

The US mainstream media is yet again cheer leading as the Bush administration starts its brainwashing campaign to convince Americans into believing that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons program, despite all evidence from multiple US intelligence agencies that refute the allegations.

The Bush administration claims that once they have the nuclear weapons they will strike Israel. And as Israel’s ally we have to protect them. Even at the expense of American lives.

Just think about it. Put away your blindness and ignorance for a second and look at it from a logical point of view. Do not let the media or the government fool you again like it did when they claimed Iraq could launch a biological or chemical attack in 45 minutes.

Pretend for a second that Iran has atomic bombs. Look at this map:

Iamamuslim

Israel is surrounded by Muslim countries. The atomic bomb would also kill Palestinians and Arabs. Israel is 20% Arab also. The radio active fallout will reach everywhere from Turkey to Iran itself which is less than 600 miles away from Israel.

This time, my fellow Americans, do not let them fool you into supporting a war with Iran. Iran poses no threat to us or Israel. Iraq war has already cost us half a trillion dollars so far and may cost much, much more. Why should we pay so much so that government “contractors” like Blackwater, Halliburton, Bechtel and others can overcharge the US government for its services? As it is there are more mercenaries than American troops.

The US economy is in shambles. Yet no one wants to address the 94% increase in foreclosures, the tanking of the dollar due to massive trade deficits, runaway government spending or discuss that there’s a recession in the country.

America is worried about Iran opening an oil bourse trading in non-dollar denominations but what happened to the good old days of US exports?

The reason the dollar was so much in demand was because American companies produced products that the rest of the world actually wanted.

Now even our American flags are “Made in China”.

Hadar: A Pre-election Attack on Iran Remains a Possibility

Cato Institute (a libertarian public policy research institute that promotes individual liberty, free markets and peace) researcher Leon Hadar states that an attack on Iran may happen before the next President is elected – in his view journalists in the corporate mainstream media have not been asking the relevant questions:

A pre-election attack on Iran remains a possibility
ASK THIS | February 05, 2008

President Bush still believes the Iranians are developing nuclear weapons – and so do the Israelis. So for journalists to assume that neither the U.S. nor Israel will attack Iran before the November election could constitute another failure of imagination. Cato’s Leon Hadar suggests questions the press should ask the presidential candidates about what they think the American response should be to various scenarios in the region – including a Gulf-of-Tonkin-like alleged provocation.

By Leon Hadar
LeonHadar@aol.com

Since the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran was issued at the end of the last year, much of the reporting and analysis in the MSM has been promoting the conventional wisdom in Washington: That a U.S. attack on Iran is now “out.”

The Bush Administration had been warning that it might use its military power to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. But with U.S. intelligence agencies making it clear that Iran wasn’t developing nuclear weapons, the administration had suddenly lost its casus belli. Without one, the conventional wisdom suggested, President Bush would not be able to mobilize American and international support for an attack on Iran, which in any case would have been a very costly operation.

And yet, even as this conventional wisdom was taking hold, the following events also took place:

1. Reports from Israel during Bush’s recent to the Middle East suggested that the president made it clear he didn’t consider the NIE a reliable source of guidance as far as his policy towards Iran was concerned. It was not difficult to conclude based on reports quoting “sources” that Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney seemed to be marginalizing the significance of the NIE – recalling a similar kind of disdain they exhibited towards the conclusion of the Iraq Study Group. In fact, based on Bush’s behavior then – increasing the number of U.S. troops contrary to the recommendation for establishing a timeline for a withdrawal – members of the press should be considering the possibility that he is just as likely to act against Iran as he was before.

2. The incident in the strategic Strait of Hormuz during which Iranian speedboats buzzed three US navy ships and the Pentagon said that US forces were “literally” on the verge of firing on the Iranian boats. That incident should have led journalists to put the scenario in which the United States strikes Iranian nuclear sites on the backburner – and instead consider the possibility that a military confrontation between U.S. and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf could take place as a result of (a) a provocation by the Iranians (b) a provocation by the Americans or (c) a misunderstanding.

3. Israeli officials also dismissed the NIE conclusions. Moreover, the Israelis expressed concern that Washington seemed to be losing its will to confront Iran and warned that they might have no choice but to launch an Osirak-like unilateral strike against Iran’s nuclear installation. Neither officials in the Bush Administration nor Republican or Democratic lawmakers in Congress have challenged Israel’s right to take such a unilateral action, especially against a regime whose leaders have disputed the legitimacy of the Jewish state and even made Holocaust-denying statements. The media should consider the possibility that the Israelis could take action – and that since they believe that a Democratic administration would not be quite as supportive of the Israeli position as the Bush administration, they could decide to take action against the Iranians before or after Bush leaves office.

So here are some of the questions American journalists could be asking the likely Democratic and Republican presidential nominees:

Q. The recent incident in the Strait of Hormuz highlighted the danger that provocations by either side or just misunderstanding could ignite a Tonkin-Gulf-like military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran that could degenerate into an all-out war. Do you believe that President Bush has the legal power to retaliate militarily against an alleged Iranian provocation without Congressional authorization?

Q. Are you concerned about a so-called “surprise” in a form of a Tonkin-Gulf-in-the-Persian-Gulf that could affect the outcome of the election? Have you or your aides raised this issue with officials in the administration or discussed it with your colleagues in Congress?

Q. Under what circumstances can President Bush count on your support if he decides to strike Iran before the election in November? Under what circumstances would he not have your support?

Q. The Israelis have also warned that they could take a unilateral action and strike against Iran’s nuclear sites if the U.S. and the international community fail to prevent the Iranians from pursuing their nuclear military program. Should the president demand that Israel get U.S. permission before deciding to strike Iran’s nuclear sites? What should the consequences be if Israel attacks without U.S. permission?

Q. Would you agree to supply Israel with bunker busting bombs to help it destroy the Iranian installations?

Q. Can the Israeli government count on your support if it decides to strike Iran before the election in November?

Leon T. Hadar is a research fellow at the Cato Institute, specializing in foreign policy, international trade, the Middle East, and South and East Asia.

Hadar has taught at American University and Mount Vernon College, where he served as director of international studies. He was a fellow at the Institute on East-West Security Studies in New York and at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Hadar is a graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He earned his MA degrees from the schools of journalism and international affairs and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, and his Ph.D. in international relations is from American University.
He is the author of Quagmire: America in the Middle East (1992) and Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

E-mail: LeonHadar@aol.com

Connecting The Many Undersea Cut Cable Dots

Connecting The Many Undersea Cut Cable Dots

by Richard Sauder
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
4 February 2008

The last week has seen a spate of unexplained, cut, undersea communications cables that has severely disrupted communications in many countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. As I shall show, the total numbers of cut cables remain in question, but likely number as many as eight, and maybe nine or more.

The trouble began on 30 January 2008 with CNN reports that two cables were cut off the Egyptian Mediterranean coast, initially severely disrupting Internet and telephone traffic from Egypt to India and many points in between. According to CNN the two cut cables “account for as much as three-quarters of the international communications between Europe and the Middle East.“ CNN reported that the two cut cables off the Egyptian coast were “FLAG Telecom’s FLAG Europe-Asia cable and SeaMeWe-4, a cable owned by a consortium of more than a dozen telecommunications companies”.(10) Other reports placed one of the cut cables, SeaMeWe-4, off the coast of France, near Marseille.(9)(12) However, many news organizations reported two cables cut off the Egyptian coast, including the SeaMeWe-4 cable connecting Europe with the Middle East. The possibilities are thus three, based on the reporting in the news media: 1) the SeaMeWe-4 cable was cut off the coast of France, and mistakenly reported as being cut off the coast of Egypt, because it runs from France to Egypt; 2) the SeaMeWe-4 cable was cut off the Egyptian coast and mistakenly reported as being cut off the coast of France, because it runs from France to Egypt; or 3) the SeaMeWe-4 cable was cut both off the Egyptian and the French coasts, nearly simultaneously, leading to confusion in the reporting. I am not sure what to think, because most reports, such as this one from the International Herald Tribune, refer to two cut cables off the Egyptian coast, one of the two being the SeaMeWe4 cable,(11) while other reports also refer to a cut cable off the coast of France.(9)(12) It thus appears that the same cable may have suffered two cuts, both off the French and the Egyptian coasts. So there were likely actually three undersea cables cut in the Mediterranean on 30 January 2008.

In the case of the cables cut off the Egyptian coast, the news media initially advanced the explanation that the cables had been cut by ships’ anchors.(10)(13) But on 3 February the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said that a review of video footage of the coastal waters where the two cables passed revealed that the area had been devoid of ship traffic for the 12 hours preceding and the 12 hours following the time of the cable cuts.(5)(11) So the cable cuts cannot have been caused by ship anchors, in view of the fact that there were no ships there.

The cable cutting was just getting started. Two days later an undersea cable was reported cut in the Persian Gulf, 55 kilometers off of Dubai.(11) The cable off of Dubai was reported by CNN to be a FLAG Falcon cable.(10) And then on 3 February came reports of yet another damaged undersea cable, this time between Qatar and the UAE (United Arab Emirates).(6)(7)(11)

The confusion was compounded by another report on 1 February 2008 of a cut undersea cable running through the Suez to Sri Lanka.(19) If the report is accurate this would represent a sixth cut cable. The same article mentions the cut cable off of Dubai in the Persian Gulf, but seeing as the Suez is on the other side of the Arabian peninsula from the Persian Gulf, the article logically appears to be describing two separate cable cutting incidents.

These reports were followed on 4 February 2008 with a report of even more cut undersea cables. The Khaleej Times reported a total of five damaged undersea cables: two off of Egypt and the cable near Dubai, all of which have already been mentioned in this report. But then the Khaleej Times mentions two that have not been mentioned elsewhere, to my knowledge: 1) a cable in the Persian Gulf near Bandar Abbas, Iran, and 2) the SeaMeWe4 undersea cable near Penang, Malaysia.(3) The one near Penang, Malaysia appears to represent a new incident. The one near Bandar Abbas is reported separately from the one off Dubai and is evidently not the same incident, since the report says , “FLAG near the Dubai coast” and “FALCON near Bandar Abbas in Iran” were both cut. Bandar Abbas is on the other side of the Persian Gulf from Qatar and the UAE, and so presumably the cut cable near Bandar Abbas is not the one in that incident either. Interestingly, the report also states that, “The first cut in the undersea Internet cable occurred on January 23, in the Flag Telcoms FALCON submarine cable which was not reported.(3) This news article deals primarily with the outage in the UAE, so it raises the question as to whether this is a reference to yet a ninth cut cable that has not hit the mainstream news cycle in the United States.

By my count, we are probably dealing with as many as eight, maybe even nine, unexplained cut or damaged undersea cables within the last week, and not the mere three or four that most mainstream news media outlets in the United States are presently reporting. Given all this cable-cutting mayhem in the last several days, who knows but what there may possibly be other cut and/or damaged cables that have not made it into the news cycle, because they are lost in the general cable-cutting noise by this point. Nevertheless, let me enumerate what I can, and keep in mind, I am not pulling these out of a hat; all of the sources are referenced at the conclusion of the article; you can click through and look at all the evidence that I have. It’s there if you care to read through it all.

1) one off of Marseille, France

2) two off of Alexandria, Egypt

3) one off of Dubai, in the Persian Gulf

4) one off of Bandar Abbas, Iran in the Persian Gulf

5) one between Qatar and the UAE, in the Persian Gulf

6) one in the Suez, Egypt

7) one near Penang, Malaysia

8) initially unreported cable cut on 23 January 2008 (Persian Gulf?)

Three things stand out about these incidents:

1) all of them, save one, have occurred in waters near predominantly Muslim nations, causing disruption in those countries;

2) all but two of the cut/damaged cables are in Middle Eastern waters;

3) so many like incidents in such a short period of time suggests that they are not accidents, but are in fact deliberate acts, i.e., sabotage.

The evidence therefore suggests that we are looking at a coordinated program of undersea cable sabotage by an actor, or actors, on the international stage with an anti-Muslim bias, as well as a proclivity for destructive violence in the Middle Eastern region.

The question then becomes: are there any actors on the international stage who exhibit a strong, anti-Muslim bias in their foreign relations, who have the technical capability to carry out clandestine sabotage operations on the sea floor, and who have exhibited a pattern of violently destructive policies towards Muslim peoples and nations, especially in the Middle East region?

The answer is yes, there are two: Israel and the United States of America.

In recent years, Israel has bombed and invaded Lebanon, bombed Syria, and placed the Palestinian Territories under a pitiless and ruthless blockade/occupation/quarantine/assault. During the same time frame the United States of America has militarily invaded and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, and American forces remain in both countries at present, continuing to carry out aggressive military operations. Simultaneous with these Israeli and American war crimes against countries in the region, both Israel and the United States have made many thinly veiled threats of war against Iran, and the United States openly seeks to increase its military presence in Pakistan’s so-called “tribal areas”.(15) Israel and the United States both have a technically sophisticated military operations capability. Moreover, the United States Navy has a documented history of carrying out espionage activities on the sea floor. The U.S. Navy has long had special operations teams that can go out on submarines and deploy undersea, on the seabed itself, specifically for this sort of operation. This has all been thoroughly documented in the excellent book, Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew (New York: Public Affairs, 1998). The classic example is Operation Ivy Bells, which took place during the Cold War, in the waters off the Soviet Union. In a joint, U.S. Navy-NSA operation, U.S. Navy divers repeatedly tapped an underwater cable in the Kuril Islands, by swimming out undersea, to and from U.S. Navy submarines.(14)

This sort of activity is like something straight out of a spy novel thriller, but the U.S. Navy really does have special submarines and deep diving, special operations personnel who specialize in precisely this sort of operation. So cutting undersea cables is well within the operational capabilities of the United States Navy.

Couple this little known, but very important fact, with the reality that for years now we have seen more and more ham-handed interference with the global communications grid by the American alphabet soup agencies (NSA, CIA, FBI, HoSec) and major telecommunication companies. Would the telecommunication companies and the American military and alphabet soup agencies collude on an operation that had as its aim to sabotage the communications network across a wide region of the planet? Would they perhaps collude with Israeli military and intelligence agencies to do this? The honest answer has to be: sure, maybe so. The hard reality is that we are now living in a world of irrational and violent policies enacted against the civilian population by multinational corporations, and military and espionage agencies the world over. We see the evidence for this on every hand. Only the most myopic among us remain oblivious to that reality.

In light of the American Navy’s demonstrated sea-floor capabilities and espionage activities, the heavy American Navy presence in the region, the many, thinly veiled threats against Iran by both the Americans and the Israelis, and their repeated, illegal, military aggression against other nations in the region, suspicion quite naturally falls on both Israel and the United States of America. It may be that this is what the beginning of a war against Iran looks like, or perhaps it is part of a more general, larger assault against Muslim and/or Arab interests across a very wide region. Whatever the case, this is no small operation, seeing as the cables that have been cut are among the largest communication pipes in the region, and clearly represent major strategic targets.

Very clearly, we are not looking at business as usual. On the contrary, it is obvious that we are looking at distinctly unusual business.

The explanations being put forth in the mainstream news media for these many cut, undersea communications cables absolutely do not pass the smell test. And by the way, the same operators who cut undersea cables in the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea, Malaysia and possibly the Suez as well, presumably can also cut underwater cables in the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound. This could be a multipurpose operation, in part a test run for isolating a country or region from the international communications grid. The Middle East today, the USA tomorrow?

What’s that you say? I don’t understand how the world works? That kind of thing can’t happen here?

In any event, if the cables have been intentionally cut, then that is an aggressive act of war. I’m sure everyone in the region has gotten that message. I’m looking at the same telegram as they are, and I know that it’s clear as a “bell” to me.(14)

It is little known by the American people, but nevertheless true, that Iran intends to open its own Oil Bourse this month (February 2008) that will trade in “non-dollar currencies”.(16) This has massive geo-political-economic implications for the United States and the American economy, since the American dollar is at present still (if not for much longer) the dominant reserve currency internationally, particularly for petroleum transactions. However, due to the mind-boggling scale of the structural weaknesses in the American economy, which have been well discussed in the financial press in recent weeks and months, the American dollar is increasingly shunned by corporate, banking and governmental actors the world over. No one wants to be stuck with vaults full of rapidly depreciating dollars as the American economy hurtles towards the basement. And so an operational Iranian Oil Bourse, actively trading supertankers full of petroleum in non-dollar currencies, poses a great threat to the American dollar’s continued dominance as the international reserve currency.

The American fear and unease of this development can only be increased by the knowledge that, “Oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have set 2010 as the target date for adopting a monetary union and single currency.”(2) The American government’s fear must have ratcheted up another notch when Kuwait “dropped its dollar peg” in May “and adopted a basket of currencies”, arousing “speculation that the UAE and Qatar would follow suit or revalue their currencies.”(2) Although all the GCC members, with the exception of Kuwait, agreed at their annual meeting in December 2007 to continue to peg their currencies to the American dollar,(2) the hand writing is surely on the wall. As the dollar plummets, their American currency holdings will be worth less and less. At some point, they will likely decide to cut their losses and decouple the value of their currencies from that of the dollar. That point may be in 2010, when they establish the new GCC currency, maybe even sooner than that. If Iran succeeds in opening its own Oil Bourse it is hard to imagine that the GCC would not trade on the Iranian Oil Bourse, given the extremely close geographic proximity. And it is hard to believe that they would not trade their own oil in their own currency. Otherwise, why have a currency of their own? Clearly they intend to use it. And just as clearly, the three cut or damaged undersea communications cables in the Persian Gulf over the last week deliver a clear message. The United States may be a senescent dinosaur, and it is, but it is also a violent, heavily armed, very angry senescent dinosaur. In the end, it will do what all aged dinosaurs do: perish. But not before it first does a great deal of wild roaring and violent lashing and thrashing about.

There can be no doubt that Iran, and the other Gulf States, were intended recipients of this rather pointed cable cutting telegram, for all of the reasons mentioned here; and additionally, in the case of Iran, probably also as a waning for its perceived insults of Israel and dogged pursuit of its nuclear program in contravention of NeoCon-Zionist dogma that Iran may not have a nuclear program, though other nations in the region, Pakistan and Israel, do.

I must mention that one of my e-mail correspondents has pointed out that another possibility is that once the cables are cut, special operations divers could hypothetically come in and attach surveillance devices to the cables without being detected, because the cables are inoperable until they are repaired and start functioning again. In this way, other interests who wanted to spy on Middle Eastern communications, let’s say on banking and trading data going to and from the Iranian Oil Bourse, or other nations in the Middle East, could tap into the communications network under cover of an unexplained cable “break”. Who knows? — this idea may have merit.

It is noteworthy that two of the cables that were cut lie off the Egyptian Mediterranean coast, and another passes through the Suez. During the height of the disruption, some 70 percent of the Egyptian Internet was down. (13) This is a heavy blow in a day when everything from airlines, to banks, to universities, to newspapers, to hospitals, to telephone and shipping companies, and much more, uses the Internet. So Egypt was hit very hard. An astute observer who carefully reads the international press could not fail to notice that in recent days there has been a report in the Egyptian press that “Egypt rejected an Israeli-American proposal to resettle 800,000 Palestinians in Sinai.” This has evidently greatly upset the Zionist-NeoCon power block holding sway in Tel Aviv and Washington, DC with the result that Israel has reportedly threatened to have American aid to Egypt reduced if Egypt does not consent to the resettlement of the Palestinians in Egyptian territory.(17) This NeoCon-Zionist tantrum comes hard on the heels of the Israeli desire to cut ties with Gaza, as a consequence of the massive breach of the Gaza-Egypt border by hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in January 2008. (18)

What are NeoCon-Zionist tyrants to do when their diplomatic hissy fits and anti-Arab tirades no longer carry the day in Cairo? Or in Qatar and the UAE? Maybe they get out the underwater cable cutters and deploy some special operations submarines and divers in the waters off of Alexandria and in the Suez and in the Persian Gulf.

This would be completely in line with articulated American military doctrine, which frankly views the Internet as something to be fought. American Freedom Of Information researchers at George Washington University obtained a Department of Defense (Pentagon) document in 2006, entitled “Information Operation Roadmap”, which says forthrightly and explicitly that “the Department must be prepared to ‘fight the net’”.(20) This is a direct quote. It goes on to say that, “We Must Improve Network and Electro-Magnetic Attack Capability. To prevail in an information-centric fight, it is increasingly important that our forces dominate the electromagnetic spectrum with attack capabilities.“ (20) It also makes reference to the importance of employing a “robust offensive suite of capabilities to include full-range electronic and computer network attack.”(8)(20)

So now we can add to our list of data points the professed intent of the American military to “fight the net”, using a “robust offensive suite of capabilities” in a “ full-range electronic and computer network attack.”

Maybe this sudden spate of cut communications cables is what it looks like when the American military uses a “robust offensive suite of capabilities” and mounts an “electronic and computer network attack” in order to “fight the net” in one region of the world. They have the means, and the opportunity, I’ve amply demonstrated that in this article. And now we also have the motive, in their own words, from their own policy statement. The plain translation is that the American military now regards the Internet, that means the hardware such as computers, cables, modems, servers and routers, and presumably also the content it contains, and the people who communicate that content, as an adversary, as something to be fought.

Oh yes, just a couple of more dots to connect before you fall asleep tonight:

1) The USS San Jacinto, an anti-missile AEGIS cruiser, was scheduled to dock in Haifa, Israel on 1 February 2008. The Jerusalem Post reported that this ship’s anti-missile system “could be deployed in the region in the event of an Iranian missile attack against Israel.”(1) Are we to expect another “false flag” attack, like the inside job on 9-11 perhaps? — an attack that will be made to appear that it comes from Iran, and that is then used as a pretext to strike Iran, maybe with nuclear weapons? And when Iran retaliates with its own missiles, then the Americans and Israelis will unleash further hell on Iran? Is that the Zionist-NeoCon plan, or something generally along those lines?

2) I have to wonder because just this past Saturday, there was a report in the news that, “Retired senior officers told Israelis … to prepare ‘rocket rooms’ as protection against a rain of missiles expected to be fired at the Jewish State in any future conflict.” Retired General Udi Shani reportedly said, “The next war will see a massive use of ballistic weapons against the whole of Israeli territory.”(4)

Now that we know the Israeli military establishment’s thinking, and now that we have a view into the American military mindset, we ought to be looking at international events across the board with a very critical, analytical eye, especially as they relate to possible events that either are playing out right now, or may potentially play out in the relatively near future, say in the time frame of the next one month to five years. These people are violent and devious; they have forewarned us, and we should take them at their word, given their murderous record on the international stage.

Contact the author at: dr_samizdat@yahoo.com

References

1) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?c=JPArticle&cid=1202064573279&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
2) http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/business/?id=24186
3) http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2008/February/theuae_February121.xml&section=theuae
4) http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080202132053.iohfg5ob&show_article=1
5) http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/04/2153455.htm
6) http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i03tUdyj8wf2Xa9P4trWEjqAJdyQ
7) http://www.arabianbusiness.com/510132-internet-problems-continue-with-fourth-cable-break?ln=en
8) http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=7980
9) https://confluence.slac.stanford.edu/display/IEPM/Effects+of+Fibre+Outage+through+Mediterranean
10) http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/02/01/internet.outage/?iref=hpmostpop
11) http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/02/04/technology/cables.php
12) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/business/worldbusiness/31cable.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
13) http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/01/31/Cut-cable-disrupts-Internet-in-Middle-East_1.html
14) http://www.specialoperations.com/Operations/ivybells.html
15) http://www.guardian.co.uk/pakistan/Story/0,,2213925,00.html
16) http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=37468&sectionid=351020103
17) http://www.roadstoiraq.com/2008/02/02/egypt-rejected-an-american-israeli-proposal-to-re-settle-800000-palestinians-in-sinai/
18) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/01/24/wgaza124.xml
19) http://www.smartmoney.com/news/on/index.cfm?story=ON-20080201-000320-0524
20) http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB177/info_ops_roadmap.pdf