Friday, January 30, 2009

Turkish Prime Minister against Peres-Full Debate( English and Turkish )

Full english translation of his talk.........

Turkey's prime minister stalked off the stage at the World Economic Forum red-faced Thursday after reproaching Israel's president over the Gaza offensive by saying "You kill people."

The packed audience, as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli President Shimon Peres raised their voices and traded accusations.

Peres was passionate in his defense of Israel's 23-day offensive against Hamas militants, launched in reaction to eight years of rocket fire aimed at Israeli territory. As he spoke, Peres often turned toward Erdogan, who in his remarks had criticized the Israeli blockade of Gaza, saying it was an "open air prison, isolated from the rest of the world" and referred to the Palestinian death toll of about 1,300, more than half of those civilians. Thirteen Israelis also died.

The heated debate with Israel(Occupier of Palestine) and Turkey at the center was significant because of the key role Turkey has played as a moderator between Israel(Occupier of Palestine) and Syria. Erdogan appeared to express a sense of disappointment when he recounted how he had met with the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert just days before the offensive, and believed they were close to reaching terms for a face-to-face meeting with Syrian leaders.

Erdogan was angry when a panel moderator cut off his remarks in response to an impassioned monologue by Peres defending Israel's offensive against the Hamas rulers of Gaza.

"I find it very sad that people applaud what you said," Erdogan said. "You killed people. And I think that it is very wrong."

The angry exchange followed an hour-long debate at the forum attended by world leaders in Davos. Erdogan tried to rebut Peres as the discussion was ending, asking the moderator, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, to let him speak once more."Only a minute," Ignatius replied.

Mr. Peres, you are older than me. Your voice is too loud," Erdogan told Peres, saying his emotion belied a guilty conscious(sp).

"You kill people," Erdogan told the 85-year-old Israeli leader. "I remember the children who died on beaches. I remember two former prime ministers who said they felt very happy when they were able to enter Palestine on tanks."

When Erdogan was asked to stop, he angrily stalked off, leaving fellow panelists U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon and Arab League Secretary Amr Moussa.

"When it comes to killing, you know it too well," the Turkish leader said. "I remember two former prime ministers in your country who said they felt very happy when they were able to enter Palestine on tanks," Erdogan added.

When the moderator tried to cut short Erdogan's remarks, saying it was past time to adjourn for dinner, he answered in frustration, "Don't interrupt me. You are not allowing me to speak."

He then said: "I will not come to Davos again."

Ultimately, Erdogan stressed he left not because of a dispute with Peres but because he was not given time to respond to the Israeli leader's remarks. Erdogan also complained that Peres had 25 minutes while he was only given 12 minutes.
"I did not target at all in any way the Israeli people, President Peres, or the Jewish people," Erdogan told a news conference afterward.

"I am a prime minister, a leader who has specifically expressly stated that anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity," he said.

Peres and Erdogan raised their voices. "Mr. Ergodan said what he wanted to say and then he left. That's all. He was right." Of Israel, he said, "They don't listen."
Ergodan brushed past reporters outside the hall. His wife appeared upset. "All Peres said was a lie. It was unacceptable," she said, eyes glistening.

Nedd I say anything? I believe PM Erdogan has said it all.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

9/11 Truth: Rudy Giuliani & the Feds Destroyed the WTC Evidence

This is in answer to the tools (doops) at Counterknowledge.

Bishop Williamson - Facts vs. Emotion

Do a search for Fred Leuchter...also visit

Let's talk a bit about what Bishop Williamson has stated. He wisely avoids reducing his statement to a "soundbite", as requested by the interviewer. There are efforts to reduce simple observation of impossible facts to "anti-Semitism", charges that, once made, are never fully rescinded in the face of factual information to the contrary.

It is admitted by Franciszek Piper that there was "work" performed upon the "gas chambers" at the various concentration camps; because of this, we cannot, in good conscience, take anyone at their word regarding the goings-on at these camps.

Let the truth stand, no matter how painful it may be.

Here's an article from American Free Press:


Jewish groups mad at Pope’s decision; disapprove of too much free speech, forgiveness for Bishop Williamson

By Daniel W. Michaels

Judging by the anger in the Jewish community, Bishop Richard Williamson, the spirit of Catholicism past, had committed a very serious thought crime. The bishop just recently expressed his personal opinion on the holocaust:

“I believe that the historical evidence is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.”

The German government and courts, the Vatican, and the media were all alerted to the bishop’s “transgression.” Now, the unexpected Vatican response has outraged Rabbi David Rosen in Jerusalem.

Background: Many of the institutions that were dedicated to the preservation of the traditional values of the Christian West came under malicious attack in the turbulent 1960s, none more so than the Catholic Church. Traditionalists, clergy and laymen alike, who found the “modernization” of the church as prescribed in the Second Vatican Council (1960-1965) destructive of the values they had cherished and believed in, rejected the proposed changes and gradually drifted away from the “Mother Church.” Many of these dissidents eventually joined together to form the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) dedicated to preserving the beliefs and traditions of the pre-1965 church.

Members of the SSPX considered themselves to be the only truly genuine Catholics because, in their opinion, heretical leaders were misleading those who remained in the modern, errant church. Headed by strong conservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the SSPX has today become the world’s largest traditionalist Catholic priestly society. SSPX believes that Vatican II was grievously mistaken in its liberal policies of discarding much of the beauty and mystery of the church—the worldwide familiar use of Latin, the ecclesiastical music, the liturgy, the vestments, the rituals, and the Tridentine Mass, all developed and cherished over the centuries.

Before his death in 1991, Lefebvre consecrated Auxiliary Bishop Richard Williamson, a British convert to the church, to carry on the archbishop’s work. Williamson has upset the liberal community by admitting that he personally agrees with revisionists in recognizing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, questioning the holocaust, and sympathizing with imprisoned holocaust revisionist Ernst Zundel.

Bishop Williamson denies that the Society of St. Pius X is a schismatic sect, insisting that he and the Society adhere closely to the New Testament and keep the orthodox faith. He also denies that he is anti-Semitic on the grounds that he openly attacks all “enemies of Christ,” including communists and Freemasons.

The bishop’s breakaway church considers the Holy See’s misguided policy of welcoming ecumenical dialogues with nonbelievers and even with “enemies of Christ” objectionable. The attempted reconciliation with the Jews has, in the opinion of the society, needlessly exposed the church to attacks against core beliefs of the faith and against decisions made by popes past and present.

Williamson argues that, under the broad tolerance engendered by ecumenism, Jews and Freemasons, “enemies of Christ,” have contributed to the changes and corruption in the church as well as to the scandals that have surfaced since the implementation of Vatican II. Bishop Williamson feared that the mainstream church had fallen under the “power of Satan,” Malachi Martin used the expression other traditionalists have said “the smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary” to explain the aberrant behavior of clergy who have committed acts of pedophilia.

Although the present pope, Benedict XVI, has generally been described as a strict defender of Catholic orthodoxy, the society remembers him as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, one of the architects of the Second Vatican Council. As pope, he has offended the traditionalists by encouraging the construction of more mosques in Christian Europe, by his visit to the synagogue in Cologne and by his failure to enforce the church’s prohibitions against abortions and same-sex marriages more forcefully.

Worst of all, the society believes that Benedict’s tolerance has made him appear almost as a spokesman for the holocaust religion. Auxiliary Bishop Williamson drew fresh attention to himself and the Society by statements he made at a religious service held on All Saints Day in a seminary near Regensburg, Germany. A Swedish newsman at the event filmed the interview. When the conversation turned to the Jewish question, the filmed interview records Bishop Williamson saying as follows.

TV: Bishop are these your words? “There was not one Jew killed by the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies.” Are these your words?

BW: You are quoting from Canada, I believe, yes. I believe that the historical evidence is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.

TV: So there were no gas chambers?

BW: I believe there were no gas chambers, yes. I think as far as I have studied the evidence, I am not going by emotion, as far as I have understood this evidence, I think, for instance, people who are against what is widely believed today about, quote unquote, the holocaust. I think those people, the revisionists as they are called; the most serious conclude that between 200,000 and 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but not one of them by gassing in gas chambers.

You may have heard of the “Leuchter Report.” Fred Leuchter was an expert in gas chambers. He designed three gas chambers for three states for the execution of criminals. So he knew what was involved. And he studied what the supposed gas chambers in Germany, at some point in the 1980s, what remains of the supposed gas chambers, the crematoria in Birkenau, Auschwitz, for instance. And his conclusion, his expert conclusion was, it is impossible that this could have ever served for the gassing of large numbers of people. Because cyanide gas is very dangerous, if you, let’s suppose you gas 300 people that you crowded into a chamber and you gas them. It is very dangerous to go in and pull out
the corpses because one whiff of gas that is trapped in the clothes will kill the person. It is extremely dangerous.

Once you have gassed people, you’ve got to evacuate the gas. To evacuate the gas you need a high chimney, if it’s too low the gas sinks to the pavement and kills anybody walking by. . . . If there were a high chimney then the shadow most of the day would have fallen on the ground and the allied aerial photographers that flew over the camp would have picked up the shadows of the chimneys. There were never any such shadows; there were no such chimneys. In which case the Fred Leuchter testimony, “there can’t have been any gas chambers.”

He looks at the doors of the gas chambers. The doors have to be absolutely airtight. Otherwise again the gas escapes and kills the people outside. The doors of the gas chambers they show to tourists at Auschwitz are absolutely not airtight. They are absolutely not.

TV: What you are saying now is, the holocaust never occurred—not in the way historians see it today?

BW: I am going by the historical evidence according to people who have observed and examined the evidence. I believe what they conclude. If they change their conclusion, I’ll be likely to follow their conclusion because I think they judge by the evidence. I think that two to three hundred thousand Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none in gas chambers.

TV: If this is not anti-Semitism, what is it then?

BW: If anti-Semitism is bad, it is against the truth. If something is true, it is not bad. I am not interested in the word anti-Semitism. The word is very dangerous.

TV: [Another] bishop calls you an anti-Semite.

BW: The bishop can call me what he likes. He can call me a dinosaur; he can call me an idiot. It is not a question of name-calling. It is a question of historical truth. Historical truth goes by evidence and not by emotion. There has certainly been a huge exploitation. Germany has paid out billions and billions of Deutschmarks and now euros, because the Germans have a guilt complex about their having gassed 6 million Jews. But I don’t think 6 million Jews were gassed. But be careful, this is against the law in Germany. You could have me thrown into prison before I leave Germany. I hope this is not your intention. (End of interview.)

The bishop is obviously interested in the truth, not in word mongering or name-calling. Despite warnings and the imposition of excommunication from the Holy See, the alternate church founded by Lefebvre endured and even flourished to the extent that Pope Benedict has had to make very public concessions.

As early as 2005 then-Cardinal Ratzinger received the general of the Pius Brotherhood, Bernard Fellay, and the German head, Father Franz Schmidberger, at his summer residence, Castelgandolfo. Pope Benedict has since permitted greater use of Latin in the mass and has reinstated the old Good Friday prayer. Last May the pope let it be known that the Vatican embraces the unity of the priestly brotherhood. A healthy exchange of views between the society and the church in Rome has continued until a decision was reached last week.

To the shock of some and the satisfaction of others, Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunications of all four bishops of the Society of St. Pius X. Rabbi David Rosen, the Jerusalem-based head of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee and a key Vatican-Jewish negotiator, was outraged and cautioned that he could not see how business could proceed as usual. Further, Rosen called for the pope to issue a clear condemnation of all holocaust “denials” and “deniers.”

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, responded by saying that Bishop Williamson’s views were not acts of schism or other excommunicable offense under church law. “They are his personal ideas that we certainly don’t share, but they have nothing to do with the issue of excommunication and the removal of the excommunication,” Father Lombardi explained.

The German government and courts, which have always diligently pursued and prosecuted any perceived offense against victims of the holocaust, will no doubt again be called upon to investigate this affair.

Daniel W. Michaels was for over 40 years a translator of Russian and German texts for the Department of Defense, the last 20 years of which he was with the Naval Maritime Intelligence Center. He is a member of THE BARNES REVIEW’s contributing editorial board.

Is Peace Out Of Reach - A 60 Minutes Segment

Watch CBS Videos Online

Have you seen 60 Minutes' Is Peace Out of Reach segment from last Sunday? If you haven't, please take a moment to view it by clicking here. This piece marks the first time that a mainstream U.S. media outlet has dared to accurately portray what Israeli occupation and settlement mean for Palestinians living in the West Bank and to explain to the American public why this system is apartheid.

After viewing the clip, please take a moment to thank CBS for airing this bold and insightful look at how settlements and occupation are preventing real peace in Palestine/Israel. Click here or call 212-975-2006 to send a message to 60 Minutes' management commending them for telling the truth about life in theWest Bank.

Get Involved in the Media Conversation

As you know, this kind of honest reporting is all too rare in mainstream U.S. media, but you can help influence coverage of this issue. After thanking CBS for their quality journalism, click here to use our newmedia action tools to write a letter to the editor or an op-ed, or to meet with editorial boards and other media management. These media action tools can help you correct inaccurate and biased reporting in your local media.

We've been calling the situation in Israel/Palestine apartheid for years and we're glad that this language is finally breaking into the mainstream. You can learn more about why we say apartheid is happening in Israel/Palestine by reading about our anti-apartheid framework here.

Kudos to CBS for this bit of reporting - let's see if there will be more of the same.

Special thanks to Travis Kelly for the link.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How Long Has This Propaganda Been Occurring? I'd Have To Say At Least Since 1966!

I have, in my possession, a copy of WORLD HISTORY QUESTIONS by Irving Gordon, published by Amsco School Publications, Inc. There's a section titled the Middle East, so as I was bored, I took it with me to read on the subway.

Oh, the things I noticed!

1. Which natural resource accounts for the world importance of the Middle East today? [1] gold; [2] iron ore; [3] oil; [4] uranium

Okay...that's pretty mild, right...But I wanted to show you Question #1 so that you can see why I consider Question #2 to be should I say...out of place:

2. Israel is located [1] in ancient Mesopotamia; [2] on the Arabian peninsula; [3] in southeastern Europe; [4] in southwestern Asia

Isn't that interesting? Considering the many ancient civilizations in the Middle East, the location of Israel is the second question posed? Let's see some more:

12. When did Jews first live in Palestine? [1] after World War I; [2] during the Crusades; [3] with the founding of the state of Israel; [4] in ancient times


13. Which event in modern times caused large-scale Jewish immigration to Palestine? [1] Nazi persecution of Jews; [2] Russian Communist discrimination against Jews; [3] discovery of oil in Palestine; [4] English violation of the Balfour Declaration

Hmmm...hasn't Alan Dershowitz and others claimed that there's no such land as Palestine? You was a land without a people for a people without a land, right?

Next...there is a map of the Middle East (circa 1966), along with questions. The countries are denoted by a letter with the region. The test indicates that the country must be identified by a brief description given as a test let's go to Question #5:

5. Formerly part of a British mandate, this nation is surrounded by hostile Arab neighbors.

Gee...which nation could this be?

And last, but not least...the essay questions. Let's go to Questions #4 and 5:

4. In regard to the state of Israel, discuss [a] two arguments for a Jewish homeland in Palestine; [b] one military action by which Israel defended its existence; [c] three problems that currently face the state of Israel

5. State whether you agree or disagree with each of the following statements, giving two arguments to support your position: [a] Arab nationalism has been responsible for unrest in the Middle East; [b] the Suez Canal is less important, economically and militarily, today that it was before World War I; [c] the creation of Israel will eventually benefit the entire Middle East; [d] Israel was justified in invading Egypt in 1958; [e] the Cyprus issue can be solved only by partition of the island; [f] Nasser's policies have caused more disunity than unity among the Arab nations

Am I being "anti-Semitic" by pointing this out?'s not "anti-Semitic" to point out wrongful actions. If you rob a bank...does it matter as to what ethnicity one belongs?

That's it for now...if I get a favorable response to this, maybe I'll concentrate next on Test 37: World War I

Oh...that'll be a doozy...

Keep Your PCs Safe; We Are Witnessing A True HOLOCAUST In Action

I have, so far, managed not to contract the dreaded Conficker/Downadup infection...and I plan to keep it that way, at least in regards to my main computer. It will now become my entertainment station, and I will now utilize a backup PC as my main internet workstation.

If, by some unfortunate circumstance, you have contracted the dreaded infection, here are some removal instructions, along with a helper application (the application is zipped to prevent corruption - if you have Windows XP or VISTA, an uncompression utility is built into the OS; otherwise, try 7-Zip).

I am appalled at the level of dishonesty displayed by the government in Israel, with regard to the atrocities being visited upon the denizens of Gaza.

Let me make a clarification: I am not a sympathizer to the Palestinian cause. I have no preference to Palestinians over Israelis. I am an American born and's just that I was bred to DESPISE BRUTALITY AND INJUSTICE...and this is all that I see when I listen to a radio broadcast on 1010WINS, glance at a newspaper on the subway or peruse a "mainstream" news website.

Is it entirety possible that Israel is justified in their actions? Well, here's the can't justify pre-emptive strikes, and here's why:

You live in an apartment complex, and you and your next-door neighbor don't quite get it okay to shoot him, because you think they will do so if you don't first? It is NOT. This is why I fully support the Second Amendment - one should always be able to DEFEND onself from an attacker; if you outlaw firearms, only outlaws will have firearms.

Israel LIED when it was stated that there were no civilian casualties.

Israel LIED when it was stated that HAMAS broke the cease-fire.

Israel LIED when it was stated that they were not using white phosphorous, when they WERE.

I grew up believing that to earn respect, one should give respect. Israel is demanding the respect of Palestinians, without affording the same respect to them. You cannot expect for someone to recognize your "right to exist", and then not afford them the same right. This is the reason that the "two-state" solution was not accepted.

Sweden has cancelled a Holocau$t event - they didn't feel it was "appropriate" to observe such an event with the current massacre unfolding.

I agree.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Cease-Fire That Should Have Occurred Three Weeks Ago

Provided by Travis Kelly:

Israel has declared a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza... Samizdat will cease fire against Israel. For the moment. But let us not forget what has happened here, unreported by our corrupt MSM. While the U.N., Red Cross and human rights organizations worldwide accused Israel of ongoing war crimes, our abject Congress applauded them almost unanimously, even praising Israel's "humanitarian conduct." Obfuscated by our Orwellian press lords are these critical points:

If Israel had ever respected the global consensus established by 40 spurned U.N. resolutions (more than Iraq or any other nation), adopted the Saudi plan for a peace treaty with the whole 22-member Arab League, which both Fatah and Hamas agreed to, withdrawn from illegally occupied Palestinian territory and ended the blockade of vital life-support systems (an act of war, with up to 200 Palestinians dying per day from malnutrition or lack of medical supplies) — and then Hamas had launched rockets — Israel would be justified in retaliation, and could get U.N. approval for it. But nothing justifies this blitzkrieg carnage — the moral equivalent of Lidice — when the whole body of international law, largely derived from the Holocaust, declares at least minimal rights for a population under illegal occupation. Some may think the term "Zionazism" hyperbole — it is not. It is perfectly apt, as the examples at end of this issue demonstrate.

Am I the only one here outraged by this criminal complicity — outraged enough to denounce my representatives as the pack of cowards and cringing weasels they are? There is a new resolution proposed by Dennis Kucinich to end the occupation — "Dear congressman, I urge you to support..." Forget it. It has about as much a chance of passing, or even getting out of committee, as a camel passing through the eye of a needle. As Glenn Greenwald details below, our "representatives" have completely betrayed majority opinion and subordinated American interests to a rogue foreign nation — they need to be insulted, scorned and rebuked in the strongest terms. The taboo against criticism of Israel has died with the hundreds of children eviscerated in Gaza, and for any American still cringing before the disingenuous and duplicitously wielded stick of "anti-Semitism"... well, maybe the racist Orthodox rabbis are right — you are a bunch of miserable cattle.

Congressional Email directory

Unanimous Consent
by Glenn Greenwald

The next day, the Red Cross, which for a full week had been prevented by the IDF from entering Gaza, unveiled a gruesome discovery: numerous children, too emaciated even to stand up, had spent days in an apartment complex lying next to the corpses of their parents and other relatives as the IDF blocked ambulances from reaching them. The same day, the UN suggested that Israel had committed war crimes, citing an appalling incident in which the Israelis ordered some 110 civilians to enter a house and stay there, then proceeded to shell the building, killing 30 civilians inside. Though the IDF physically prevented journalists from entering Gaza, even in the face of a week-old order from the Israeli Supreme Court directing them to allow access, documented stories began emerging of large extended families in Gaza—parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and small children—extinguished by Israeli attacks.

The world recoiled in horror. Angry street demonstrations erupted in Europe, and condemnations of Israel from the UN and Red Cross were unusually strident.

It was at this moment that the American Congress inserted itself—and, in effect, the United States—into the war, and did so in the most one-sided manner possible. As the Palestinian body count and international anger mounted, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) introduced a non-binding resolution that expressed unequivocal American support for the Israeli attack and formally declared that all blame for the war and all responsibility to end it rested with Hamas... Berman’s resolution praised Israel for its humanitarian conduct of the war—even as the UN accused Israel of possible war crimes and the Red Cross vehemently complained about the IDF’s impeding of medical and other humanitarian services....

Though the resolution was nonbinding, it was not inconsequential. At a time when worldwide disgust was at its peak, the U.S. made Israel’s war our war, its enemies our enemies, its intractable disputes ours, and the hostility generated by Israeli actions our own...

What makes this accord among America’s political class more notable still is how disconnected it is from American public opinion. Last July, a poll from the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes found that 71 percent of Americans want the U.S. government not to take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Similarly, a Rasmussen study in early January—the first to survey American public opinion specifically regarding the Israeli attack on Gaza—found that Americans generally were “closely divided over whether the Jewish state should be taking military action against militants in the Gaza Strip” (41 to 44 percent, with 15 percent undecided), but Democratic voters overwhelmingly opposed the Israeli offensive—by a 24-point margin (31 to 55 percent). Yet those significant divisions were nowhere to be found in the actions of their ostensible representatives.

As pliant as the Democratic Party and the Congress were, there were still 22 senators and 133 House members—more than half of the Democratic caucus—willing to vote against the American invasion of Iraq...

There are few matters more important to America’s future than the extent to which we continue to involve ourselves in endless Middle East wars. Our immersion in these conflicts profoundly affects every aspect of our country’s welfare—military, diplomatic, economic, and civil. Yet there is an almost perfect inverse relationship between the significance of these policy questions and the extent to which they are debated by our political leaders.


More War Crimes

Israel stands accused of perpetrating a series of war crimes during a sustained 12-hour assault on a village in southern Gaza last week in which 14 people died.

In testimony collected from residents of the village of Khuza'a by the Observer, it is claimed that Israeli soldiers entering the village:

• attempted to bulldoze houses with civilians inside;

• killed civilians trying to escape under the protection of white flags;

• opened fire on an ambulance attempting to reach the wounded;

• used indiscriminate force in a civilian area and fired white phosphorus shells.

If the allegations are upheld, all the incidents would constitute breaches of the Geneva conventions.


Lead Rains of Gaza

by Israel Shamir

A professional child killer, Captain R, would make a career under Herod. He commanded a battalion in Gaza doing what he is good at: In 1994, he murdered a 13-year old Palestinian girl, Iman, by pulverising her little body with some 20 bullets as she lay on the ground. We should kill even three-year old children, too, he said to his soldiers. A military court actually gave him some $20,000 as an encouragement bonus, and he was promoted to the rank of major. He enjoyed coming back to Gaza, he told Maariv newspaper.

Women were killed, too, by soldiers sent by their Israeli sister Tsipi Livni. The BBC reported they called out civilians to leave their houses, women first, white flags a-waving. When some simple-minded Arabs did so, the Jews gave a hearty laugh and shot the women carrying the white flags...


Zionazism: parallels with Germany:

Germany: the Aryan "Master Race"
Israel: God's "Chosen People"

Germany: Jews and other non-Aryans are "Untermenschen" -- subhumans =
Israel: Gentiles (non-Jews) are "Goyim" -- cattle (animals)

Germany: terrorized and herded occupied populations into ghettos and =
concentration camps, then stole their land and possessions
Israel: terrorized and herded occupied populations into refugee camps =
and isolated enclaves, then stole their land and possessions

Germany: reprisal murders of subject populations -- between ten and =
forty massacred for every German killed
Israel: reprisal murders of subject populations -- one hundred or more =
massacred for every Israeli killed

Germany: "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" -- extermination
Israel: "Maimonidean Code" re: infidels -- extermination

Even liberal and moderate Jewish groups wholeheartedly endorsed the slaughter:

But it was the reaction of those organizations occupying the political middle ground between these two camps that was most noteworthy, and perhaps most decisive in framing the political debate over the war within the U.S. Almost universally, groups with a general reputation for liberal politics and moderate dovishness sided with the hawks, giving the military campaign their unqualified support and calling for a "sustainable" or "effective" – as opposed to "immediate" – cease-fire.

Arguably the most important of these groups is the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and its associated Religious Action Center, considered the leading liberal Jewish lobbying group on Capitol Hill. The URJ's initial statement, issued on Dec. 28 by Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the organization's president, called the Israeli attack "tragic" but "necessary" and "not[ed], with sadness, the predictable chorus of those in the international community calling for Israeli 'restraint.'"

While the Israeli public supported the blitzkrieg, others resisted:

Refuseniks in Israel

One resisters' organisation, Courage to Refuse, published a newspaper advert condemning the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians and calling on soldiers to refuse to fight in Gaza. "The brutal, unprecedented violence in Gaza is shocking. The false hope that this kind of violence will bring security to Israelis is all the more dangerous. We cannot stand aside while hundreds of civilians are being butchered by the IDF [Israel Defence Force]," it said. ""In the long run, it's not a war of defence. We are creating a thousand suicide bombers for the future from the brothers of the dead, the sons of the dead ... in the long term, we are creating more terror. You can't separate the war in Gaza from the fact that the Palestinian nation is under occupation for more than 40 years. I'm not justifying Hamas firing rockets but we Israelis should first look at what we are doing."


Travis Kelly Graphics

Editorial & History Cartoons

Cartoons on T-Shirts, Posters, Calendars, Mugs and more

Friday, January 16, 2009

An Advertisement You Will NOT See In U.S. Newspapers

Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War

Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War (If I've time, I'll create the hyperlinks; otherwise, please cut and paste the URLs printed below - thanks again to Travis Kelly!)

By Prof. Peter Dale Scott

URL of this article: Global Research, January 8, 2009

Paulson’s Financial Bailout

It is becoming clear that the bailout measures of late 2008 may have consequences at least as grave for an open society as the response to 9/11 in 2001. Many members of Congress felt coerced into voting against their inclinations, and the normal procedures for orderly consideration of a bill were dispensed with.

The excuse for bypassing normal legislative procedures was the existence of an emergency. But one of the most reprehensible features of the legislation, that it allowed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to permit bailed-out institutions to use public money for exorbitant salaries and bonuses, was inserted by Paulson after the immediate crisis had passed.

According to Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vermont) the bailout bill originally called for a cap on executive salaries, but Paulson changed the requirement at the last minute. Welch and other members of Congress were enraged by “news that banks getting taxpayer-funded bailouts are still paying exorbitant salaries, bonuses, and other benefits.”1 In addition, as AP reported in October, “Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. questioned allowing banks that accept bailout bucks to continue paying dividends on their common stock. `There are far better uses of taxpayer dollars than continuing dividend payments to shareholders,’ he said.”2

Even more reprehensible is the fact that since the bailouts, Paulson and the Treasury Department have refused to provide details of the Troubled Assets Relief Program spending of hundreds of billions of dollars, while the New York Federal Reserve has refused to provide information about its own bail-out (using government-backed loans) that amounts to trillions. This lack of transparency has been challenged by Fox TV in a FOIA suit against the Treasury Department, and a suit by Bloomberg News against the Fed.3

The financial bailout legislation of September 2008 was only passed after members of both Congressional houses were warned that failure to act would threaten civil unrest and the imposition of martial law.

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law, the two noted.4

Here are the original remarks by Senator Inhofe:

Speaking on Tulsa Oklahoma’s 1170 KFAQ, when asked who was behind threats of martial law and civil unrest if the bailout bill failed, Senator James Inhofe named Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as the source. “Somebody in D.C. was feeding you guys quite a story prior to the bailout, a story that if we didn’t do this we were going to see something on the scale of the depression, there were people talking about martial law being instituted, civil unrest.who was feeding you guys this stuff?,” asked host Pat Campbell. “That’s Henry Paulson,” responded Inhofe, “We had a conference call early on, it was on a Friday I think – a week and half before the vote on Oct. 1. So it would have been the middle what was it – the 19th of September, we had a conference call. In this conference call – and I guess there’s no reason for me not to repeat what he said, but he said – he painted this picture you just described. He said, ‘This is serious. This is the most serious thing that we faced.’”5

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA 27th District) reported the same threat on the Congressional floor (Rep. Sherman later downplayed his remarks slightly on the Alex Jones show):

“The only way they can pass this bill is by creating a panic atmosphere. Many of us were told that the sky would fall. A few of us were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no. That’s what I call fear-mongering, unjustified, proven wrong.”6

So it is clear that threats of martial law were used to get this reprehensible bailout legislation passed. It also seems clear that Congress was told of a threat of martial law, not itself threatened. It is still entirely appropriate to link such talk to the Army’s rapid moves to redefine its role as one of controlling the American people, not just protecting them. In a constitutional polity based on balance of powers, we see the emergence of a radical new military power that is as yet completely unbalanced.

The Army’s New Role in 2001: Not Protecting American Society, but Controlling It

This new role for the Army is not wholly unprecedented. The U.S. military had been training troops and police in "civil disturbance planning" for the last three decades. The master plan, Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, or "Operation Garden Plot," was developed in 1968 in response to the major protests and disturbances of the 1960s.

But on January 19, 2001, on the last day of the Clinton administration, the U.S. Army promulgated a new and permanent Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program. It encapsulated its difference from the preceding, externally-oriented Army Survival, Recovery, and Reconstitution System (ASRRS) as follows:

a. In 1985, the Chief of Staff of the Army established the Army Survival, Recovery, and Reconstitution System (ASRRS) to ensure the continuity of essential Army missions and functions.

ASRRS doctrine was focused primarily on a response to the worst case 1980's threat of a massive nuclear laydown on CONUS as a result of a confrontation with the Soviet Union.

b. The end of the Cold War and the breakup of the former Soviet Union significantly reduced the probability of a major nuclear attack on CONUS but the probability of other threats has increased. Army organizations must be prepared for any contingency with a potential for interruption of normal operations.

To emphasize that Army continuity of operations planning is now focused on the full all-hazards threat spectrum, the name "ASRRS" has been replaced by the more generic title “Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program.”7

This document embodied the secret Continuity of Operations (COG) planning conducted secretly by Rumsfeld, Cheney, and others through the 1980s and 1990s.8 This planning was initially for continuity measures in the event of a nuclear attack, but soon called for suspension of the Constitution, not just “after a nuclear war” but for any “national security emergency.” This was defined in Reagan’s Executive Order 12656 of November 18, 1988 as “any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.” The effect was to impose on domestic civil society the extreme measures once planned for a response to a nuclear attack from abroad.9

In like fashion ARR 500-3 Regulation clarified that it was a plan for “the execution of mission-essential functions without unacceptable interruption during a national security or domestic emergency.”

Donald Rumsfeld, who as a private citizen had helped author the COG planning, promptly signed and implemented the revised ARR 500-3. Eight months later, on 9/11, Cheney and Rumsfeld implemented COG, a significant event of which we still know next to nothing. What we do know is that plans began almost immediately – as foreseen by COG planning the 1980s -- to implement warrantless surveillance and detention of large numbers of civilians, and that in January 2002 the Pentagon submitted a proposal for deploying troops on American streets.10

Then in April 2002, Defense officials implemented a plan for domestic U.S. military operations by creating a new U.S. Northern Command (CINC-NORTHCOM) for the continental United States.11 In short, what were being implemented were the most prominent features of the COG planning which Oliver North had worked on in the 1980s.

Deep Events and Changes of Party in the White House

Like so many other significant steps since World War Two towards a military-industrial state, the Army’s Regulation 500-3 surfaced in the last days of a departing administration (in this case the very last day). It is worth noticing that, ever since the 1950s, dubious events--of the unpublic variety I have called deep events--have marked the last months before a change of party in the White House. These deep events have tended to a) constrain incoming presidents, if the incomer is a Democrat, or alternatively b) to pave the way for the incomer, if he is a Republican.

Consider, in the first category, the following (when a Republican was succeeded by a Democrat):

* In December 1960 the CIA secured approval for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, and escalated events in Laos into a crisis for which the Joint Chiefs proposed sending 60,000 troops. These events profoundly affected President Kennedy’s posture towards Cuba and Indochina.

* In 1976 CIA Director George H.W. Bush installed an outside Team B intelligence unit to enlarge drastically estimates of the Soviet threat to the United States, eventually frustrating and reversing presidential candidate Jimmy Carter’s campaign pledge to cut the U.S. defense budget.12

Equally important were events in the second category (when a Democrat was succeeded by a Republican):

* In late 1968 Kissinger, while advising the Johnson administration, gave secret information to the Nixon campaign that helped Nixon to obstruct the peace agreement in Vietnam that was about to be negotiated at the peace talks then taking place in Paris. (According to Seymour Hersh,“The Nixon campaign, alerted by Kissinger to the impending success of the peace talks, was able to get a series of messages to the Thieu government” in Saigon. making it clear that a Nixon presidency would offer a better deal. This was a major factor in securing the defeat of Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey.13 Kissinger was not the kind of person to have betrayed his president on his own personal initiative. At the time Nixon’s campaign manager, John Mitchell (one of the very few in on the secret), told Hersh that “I thought Henry [Kissinger] was doing it because Nelson [Rockefeller] wanted him to. Nelson asked Henry to help and he did.”14

* In 1980 the so-called October Surprise, with the help of people inside CIA, helped ensure that the Americans held hostage in Iran would not be returned before the inauguration of Reagan. This was a major factor in securing the defeat of incumbent Jimmy Carter.15 Once again, the influence of the Rockefellers can be discerned. A CIA officer later reported hearing Joseph V. Reed, an aide to David Rockefeller, comment in 1981 to William Casey, the newly installed CIA Director, about their joint success in disrupting Carter’s plans to bring home the hostages.16

Both the financial bailout, extorted from Congress and the escalated preparations for martial law can be seen as transitional events of the first category. Whatever the explanations for their timing, they will constrain Obama’s freedom to make his own policies. I fear moreover they may have the consequence of easing this country into unforeseen escalations of the Afghan war.

The Intensive Quiet Preparations for Martial Law

Let us deal first with the preparations for martial law. On September 30, 2008, the Army Times announced the redeployment of an active Brigade Army Team from Iraq to America, in a new mission that “may become a permanent part of the active Army”:

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks. . . . After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one. . . .They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control.17

This announcement followed by two weeks the talk of civil unrest and martial law that was used to panic the Congress into passing Paulson’s bailout legislation. Not only that, the two unprecedented events mirror each other: the bailout debate anticipated civil unrest and martial law, while the announced positioning of an active Brigade Combat Team on U.S. soil anticipated civil unrest (such as might result from the bailout legislation).

Then on December 17, 2008, US Northern Command chief General Renuart announced that “the US military plans to mobilize thousands of troops to protect Washington against potential terrorist attack during the inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama.”18

The US Army War College has also raised the possibility of the U.S. Army being used to control civil unrest, according to the Phoenix Business Journal:

A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report.

The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.19

It is clear that there has been a sustained move in the direction of martial law preparations, a trend that has been as continuous as it has been unheralded. Senator Leahy was thus right to draw our attention to it back on September 29, 2006, in his objections to the final form of the Fiscal Year 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, which gave the president increased power to call up the National Guard for law enforcement:

It . . . should concern us all that the Conference agreement includes language that subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military’s involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law. There is good reason for the constructive friction in existing law when it comes to martial law declarations.20

This quiet agglomeration of military power has not “just growed,” like Topsy, through inadvertence. It shows sustained intention, even if no one has made a public case for it.

How the Bush Administration Protected Predatory Lending and Let the Financial Crisis Grow

Let us now consider the financial crisis and the panic bailout. No one should think that the crisis was unforeseen. Back in February Eliot Spitzer, in one of his last acts as governor of New York, warned about the impending crisis created by predatory lending, and reveled that the Bush Administration was blocking state efforts to deal with it. His extraordinary warning, in the Washington Post, is worth quoting at some length:

Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders.

Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers. . . . Several state legislatures, including New York's, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices. . . .Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.
Let me explain: The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal [Treasury] agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers.

In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.21

Eliot Spitzer submitted his Op Ed to the Washington Post on February 13. If it had an impact, it was not the one Spitzer had hoped for. On March 10 the New York Times broke the story of Spitzer’s encounter with a prostitute. According to a later Times story, “on Feb. 13 [the day Spitzer’s Op Ed went up on the Washington Post website] federal agents staked out his hotel in Washington.”[22]

It is remarkable that the Mainstream Media found Spitzer’s private life to be big news, but not his charges that Paulson’s Treasury was prolonging the financial crisis, or the relation of these charges to Spitzer’s exposure. As a weblog commented,

The US news media failed to draw the obvious connection between the bizarre federal law enforcement investigation and leak campaign about the private life of New York Governor Spitzer and Spitzer's all out attack on the Bush administration for its collusion with predatory lenders.

While the international credit system grinds to a halt because of a superabundance of bad mortgage loans made in the US, the news media failed to cover the details of Spitzer's public charges against the White House.

Yet when salacious details were leaked about alleged details of Spitzer's private life, they took that information and made it the front page news for days.[23]

After Spitzer’s Op Ed was published, according to Greg Palast, the Federal Reserve, “for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.”[24]

What are we to make of Spitzer’s charge that the Bush administration interfered to preempt state laws against predatory lending, and of the fact that the mainstream media did not report that? A petty motive for the OCC’s behavior in 2003 might have been to allow the housing bubble to continue through 2003 and 2004, thus facilitating Bush’s re-election. But the persistence of Treasury obstruction thereafter, despite the unanimous opposition of all fifty states, and the continuing silence of the media about this disagreement, suggest that some broader policy intention may have been at stake.

One is struck by the similarities with the Savings and Loan scandal which was allowed to continue through the Reagan 1980s, long after it became apparent that deliberate bankruptcy was being used by unscrupulous profiteers to amass illegal fortunes at what was ultimately public expense.[25]

In the same way, the long drawn-out housing bubble of the current Bush decade, and particularly the derivative bubble that was floated upon it, allowed the Bush administration to help offset the trillion-dollar-plus cost of its Iraq misadventure,[26] by creating spurious securities that sold for hundreds of billions, not just in the United States, but through the rest of the world.

In the long run, this was not a sustainable source of wealth for America’s financial class, which is now suffering like everyone else from the consequent recession. But in the short run, the financial crisis and bailout made it possible for Bush to wage a costly war without experiencing the kind of debilitating inflation that was brought on by America’s Vietnam War.

The trillion dollar meltdown,[27] in other words, can be rationalized as having helped finance the Iraq War. When we turn to the martial law preparations, however, they are being made in anticipation of civil unrest in the future. Why such intense preparation for this?

The obvious answer of course is memory of the rioting that occurred in San Francisco and elsewhere during the great depression of the 1930s. Indeed that thought may be uppermost among those who recently arranged for the redeployment of a Brigade Combat Team from Iraq to America. But the planning for martial law in America dates back almost three decades, from the days when Reagan appointed Rumsfeld, Cheney and others to plan secretly for what was misleadingly called Continuity [i.e., Change] of Government. Concern about the 2008 recession cannot have been on their minds then, or on those who introduced the Army’s “Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program” on January 19, 2001. Instead the “full all-hazards threat spectrum” envisaged in that document was clearly ancillary to the doctrine of “full-spectrum dominance” that had been articulated in the Joint Chiefs of Staff blueprint, Joint Vision 2020, endorsed eight months earlier on May 30, 2000.[28]

The interest of Cheney and Rumsfeld in COG planning, including planning for martial law, also envisaged full spectrum dominance. This is made clear by their simultaneous engagement in the 1990s in the public Project for the New American Century (PNAC). PNAC’s goals were stated very explicitly in their document Rebuilding America’s Defenses: to increase defense spending so as to establish America’s military presence throughout the world as an unchallengeable power. This would entail permanent U.S. forces in central as well as east Asia, even after the disappearance [jam1] of Saddam Hussein.[29]

In short PNAC’s program was a blueprint for permanent overseas American empire, a project they recognized would not be easily accepted by an American democracy. Their call frankly acknowledged that it would be difficult to gain support for their projected increase in defense spending to “a minimum level of 3.5 to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product, adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually.” “The process of transformation,” the document admitted, “is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.”[30]

There is of course every reason to hope that the disastrous era of Rumsfeld and Cheney is about to end, with the election of Barack Obama. Obama has made it clear that he will pursue a foreign policy dedicated to diplomacy and multilateralism. In this spirit he has declared his willingness to talk to Iran without preconditions.

But Obama’s stated reason for disengagement from Iraq – “The scale of our deployments in Iraq continues to set back our ability to finish the fight in Afghanistan”[31] – is very ominous. Few serious students of the Afghan scene believe that America can “finish the fight in Afghanistan,” any more successfully than could the Russians or British before them. The U.S. position there is visibly deteriorating, while the U.S. strategy of cross-border attacks is having the effect of destabilizing Pakistan as well. The U.S.-backed Karzai regime has so little control over the countryside that Kabul itself is now coming under rocket attack. Experts on the scene agree that any effort to “finish” will be a long-term proposition requiring at a minimum a vastly escalated commitment of U.S. troops.[32]

One cannot predict the future, but one can examine the past. For thirty years I have been writing about the persistence in America of a war mentality that, time after time, trumps reasonable policies of negotiation, and leads us further into armed conflict. This dominant mindset is not restricted to any single agency or cabal, but is rather the likely outcome of on-going tensions between hawks and doves in the internal politics of Washington.

If a container of rocks and gravel is shaken vigorously, the probability is that the gravel will gravitate towards the bottom, leaving the largest rocks at the top. There is an analogous probability that, in an on-going debate over engaging or withdrawing from a difficult military contest, the forces for engagement will come out on top, regardless of circumstances. Available military power tends to be used, and one of the most remarkable features of history since 1945 is that this tendency has not so far repeated itself with atomic weapons.

Let me explain this metaphor in more concrete detail. Progressive societies (in this era usually democracies) tend to expand their presence beyond their geographic boundaries. This expanded presence calls for new institutions, usually (like the CIA) free from democratic accountability. This accretion of unaccountable power, in what I have elsewhere called the deep state, disrupts the public state’s system of checks and balances which is the underpinning of sane, deliberative policy.

We might expect of progressive democracies that they would evolve towards more and more rational foreign policies. But because of the dialectic just described, what we see is the exact opposite – evolution towards foolish and sometimes disastrous engagements. When Britain became more democratic in the late 19th Century, it also initiated the Boer War, a war very suited to the private imperial needs of Cecil Rhodes, but irrelevant if not deleterious to the interests of the British people.[33] Hitler’s dreams of a Third Reich, entailing a doomed repeat of Napoleon’s venture into the heart of Russia, suited the needs of the German industrialists who had financed the Nazis; but from the outset sane heads of the German military staff could foresee the coming disaster.

For over a half century now, beginning with Vietnam, unaccountable forces have been maneuvering America into unsustainable adventures on the Asian mainland. We now know that Kennedy did not intend ever to commit U.S. combat troops to Vietnam.[34] But the fatal planning to expand the Vietnam War north of the 17th parallel was authorized in the last week of his aborted presidency, probably without his being aware.[35] When elected, Jimmy Carter was determined to reduce the size and frequency of CIA covert operations.[36] Yet his national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, initiated maneuvers in Afghanistan that led to the largest CIA covert operation (and in my view, one of the most deleterious) of all time.[37]

Our archival historians have not yet fully understood either paradox, or the forces behind them. And as the philosopher George Santayana famously observed, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."[38]

The Future: Military Escalation Abroad and at Home?

Like both Kennedy and Carter, Barack Obama is a complex mix of hopeful and depressing qualities. Among the latter are his unqualified desire to “finish” (i.e., “win”) the war in Afghanistan, and his support, along with his party’s, for the final version of the Paulson bailout. In my view they go together.

Like the government negotiated resolution of the savings-and-loan-scandal of the 1980s, the financial bailout undisguisedly taxed the public wealth of the republic to protect and even enrich those who for some time had been undeservedly enriching themselves. Old-line leftists might see nothing unusual about this: it conforms to their analysis of how the capitalist state has always worked.

But it is only characteristic of the American state since the Reagan revolution of the 1980s. Before that time governmental policies were more likely to be directed towards helping the poor; afterwards the ideology of free-market literalism, even under Clinton, was invoked in numerous ways for the enriching of the rich.

The result of these government policies has been summarized by Prof. Edward Wolff:

We have had a fairly sharp increase in wealth inequality dating back to 1975 or 1976. Prior to that, there was a protracted period when wealth inequality fell in this country, going back almost to 1929. So you have this fairly continuous downward trend from 1929, which of course was the peak of the stock market before it crashed, until just about the mid-1970s. Since then, things have really turned around, and the level of wealth inequality today is almost double what it was in the mid-1970s..

Up until the early 1970s, the U.S. actually had lower wealth inequality than Great Britain, and even than a country like Sweden. But things have really turned around over the last 25 or 30 years. In fact, a lot of countries have experienced lessening wealth inequality over time. The U.S. is atypical in that inequality has risen so sharply over the last 25 or 30 years.[39]

Past excesses of American wealth, as in the Gilded Age and the 1920s, have been followed by political reforms, such as the income tax, to reduce wealth and income disparity. But as Kevin Phillips has warned, this type of reform must happen again soon, or it may not happen at all:

As the twenty-first century gets underway, the imbalance of wealth and democracy in the United States is unsustainable. . . . Either democracy must be renewed, with politics brought back to life, or wealth is likely to cement a new and less democratic regime—plutocracy by some other name.[40]

Judged by this criterion, the Paulson bailout as passed was not just an opportunity missed; it was a radical leap in the wrong direction. It is not reassuring that the bailout was passed with the support of Obama and the Democratic Party. This is rather a sign that plutocracy will not be seriously challenged by either party in their present state.

Warren Buffett may have been correct in saying that the bailout was necessary. But it is not hard to think of reforms that should have accompanied it:

1) there should have been transparency, not secrecy

2) public funds should not have been made available for bonuses or dividends (The richest 10 percent of Americans own 85 percent of all stock).[41]

And as a bailout for the automobile industry is debated, two more reforms seem self-evident:

3) any reduction in income should not affect workers alone, but all levels of employees equally

4) as has often been suggested, a limit should be established by law to the maximum ratio of the highest remuneration to the lowest in any industry – perhaps a ratio of twenty to one.

I am not making these obvious suggestions with any expectation that they will be passed or seriously debated. The plutocratic corruption of both our parties makes such a prospect almost unthinkable.

What I do want to contemplate is the serious prospect of war. America escaped from the depression of the 1890s with the Spanish-American War.[42] It only escaped the Great Depression of the 1930s with the Second World War. There was even a recession in the late 1940s from which America only escaped with the Korean War. As we face the risk of major depression again, I believe we inevitably face the danger of major war again.

In the meantime, some aspects of the financial meltdown, although they arose for many reasons and were not the result of some conspiratorial cabal, may be prolonged because of their utility to the war-minded. Consider that, from the perspective of maintaining America’s imperial thrust into Afghanistan (and even Pakistan), the financial crisis has had some desired consequences:

1) The dollar’s value against other international currencies, notably the euro, has improved, thus improving America’s balance of payments and also offsetting the threat to the dollar’s important role as the primary unit of international trade.

2) Thanks to the determined international marketing of overvalued derivatives based on predatory lending, the resulting financial crisis has been internationalized, with economies elsewhere suffering even greater shocks than the United States. This has relatively improved America’s capacity to finance a major war effort overseas (which has always had a major impact on the U.S. balance of payments).

3) The price of oil has plummeted from $147 a barrel last July to under $40, thus weakening the economies of Russia, China, and especially Saudi Arabia, the country whose international foundations have been supporting Al Qaeda.

The Afghan situation is grim, but it is not hopeless. Two skilled observers, Barnett R. Rubin and Ahmed Rashid, have proposed a political solution for the entire region that would promise greater security for the entire area than Obama’s ill-considered proposal to send 20,000 more U.S. troops.[43] In Rashid’s words,

President-elect Obama and Western leaders have to adopt a comprehensive approach that sees the region [with Afghanistan's neighbors, including Pakistan, India, Russia, China, Iran, and the former Soviet states] as a unit with interlocking development issues to be resolved such as poverty, illiteracy and weak governance. There has to be a more comprehensive but more subtle approach to democratising the region and forcing powerful but negative stakeholders in local power structures - such as the drug mafias - either to change their thinking or be eliminated.[44]

That observers with such recognized status are offering a sensible political solution does not provide me with much optimism. For three decades now Barnett Rubin has been offering sound advice on Iran and Afghanistan to Washington, only to be ignored by those lobbying for covert operations and military solutions. This dialectic is reminiscent of the Vietnam War, where for over a decade reasonable proposals to demilitarize the conflict were similarly ignored.

I repeat that the future is unpredictable. But I fear that Obama’s proposal to send 20,000 additional troops will carry the day, with its predictable consequences of a wider war in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.[45] With this I also fear an increased use of the U.S. Army to control protests by the American people.

I earnestly hope that my fears are misplaced. Time will tell.

1.WCAX, Burlington, Vermont - December 22, 2008, Cf. CNBC, October 30, 2008, “`You can get paid $30 million under this program,’ says Michael Kesner, who heads Deloitte Consulting's executive compensation practice. `There's no limit on what you can get paid.’”
2 John Dunbar, AP, October 25, 2007, .
3.David Hirst, “Fox joins battle cry for details of US bail-out,” BusinessDay, December 24, 2008, .
4 .
6. Rep. Brad Sherman, in the House, 8:07 EST PM, October 2, 2008, Rep. Sherman later issued the following clarification: “I have no reason to think that any of the leaders in Congress who were involved in negotiating with the Bush Administration regarding the bailout bill ever mentioned the possibility of martial law -- again, that was just an example of extreme and deliberately hyperbolic comments being passed around by members not directly involved in the negotiations.” Cf. Rep. Sherman on Alex Jones show, .
7 Army Regulation 500-3, Emergency Employment of Army And Other Resources, Army Continuity Of Operations (COOP) Program, , emphasis added. Cf. Tom Burghardt, “Militarizing the `Homeland’ in Response to the Economic and Political Crisis: NORTHCOM's Joint Task Force-Civil Support,” GlobalResearch, October 11, 2008, .
8 Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007), 183-87; cf. James Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet (New York: Viking, 2004), 138-45,
9 Scott, The Road to 9/11, 183-87.
10 Ritt Goldstein , “Foundations are in place for martial law in the US,” Sydney Morning Herald, July 27 2002,
11 Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11, 240-41.
12 Scott, The Road to 9/11, 60-61.
13 Robert Parry, “Henry Kissinger, Eminence Noire,” ConsortiumNews, December 28, 2008, : “Kissinger, – while serving as a peace-talk adviser to the Johnson administration – made obstruction of the peace talks possible by secretly contacting people working for Nixon, according to Seymour Hersh’s 1983 book, The Price of Power [p. 21].
14 Hersh, Price of Power, 18. Cf. Jim Hougan, Spooks: The Haunting of America (New York: William Morrow, 1978), 435: “Kissinger, married to a former Rockefeller aide, owner of a Georgetown mansion whose purchase was enabled only by Rockefeller gifts and loans, was always the protégé of his patron, Nelson R[ockefeller], even when he wasn’t directly employed by him.”
15 Scott, The Road to 9/11, 93-118.
16 Scott, The Road to 9/11, 82-87, 91, 104-05.
17 “Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1,” Army Times, September 30, 2008, Cf. Michel Chossudovsky, “Pre-election Militarization of the North American Homeland, US Combat Troops in Iraq repatriated to `help with civil unrest,’"GlobalResearch, September 26, 2008,
18 Agence France-Presse, December 17, 2008, .
20 Remarks Of Sen. Patrick Leahy, National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2007
Conference Report, Congressional Record, September 29, 2006,
21 Eliot Spitzer, “Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers,” Washington Post, February 14, 2008; A25, . Three months earlier, on November 8, 2007, Governor Spitzer and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo had published a joint letter to Congress, “calling for continued federal action to combat subprime lending practices” (
22 David Johnston and Philip Shenon, “U.S. Defends Tough Tactics on Spitzer,” New York Times, March 21, 2008.
23 “Why Eliot Spitzer was assassinated: The predatory lending industry had a partner in the White House,” Brasscheck TV, March 2008,
24 Greg Palast, “Eliot’s Mess: The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked,” Air America Radio’s Clout, March 14, 2008,
25 Without suggesting that the scandal was in any way centrally orchestrated or directed, it can be argued that the scandal was permitted to drag on so long because it was allowing profits from the illegal drug traffic to recapitalize the American economy and strengthen the beleaguered U.S. dollar.
26 Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict (New York: W.W. Norton, 2008). Cf. Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, “The three trillion dollar war,” The Times (London), February 23, 2008, : “On the eve of war, there were discussions of the likely costs. Larry Lindsey, President Bush's economic adviser and head of the National Economic Council, suggested that they might reach $200 billion. But this estimate was dismissed as “baloney” by the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. His deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, suggested that postwar reconstruction could pay for itself through increased oil revenues. Mitch Daniels, the Office of Management and Budget director, and Secretary Rumsfeld estimated the costs in the range of $50 to $60 billion, a portion of which they believed would be financed by other countries. (Adjusting for inflation, in 2007 dollars, they were projecting costs of between $57 and $69 billion.) The tone of the entire administration was cavalier, as if the sums involved were minimal.”
27 Charles R. Morris, The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash (New York: PublicAffairs, 2008).
28 Joint Vision 2020,; Scott, The Road to 9/11, 20, 24. “Full spectrum dominance” repeated what had been outlined earlier in a predecessor document, Joint Vision 2010 of 2005, but with new emphasis on the statement that “the United States must maintain its overseas presence forces” (Joint Vision 2020, 6). Cf. Joint Vision 2010, 4, “We will remain largely a force that is based in the continental United States.”
29 Project for the New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, ; Scott, The Road to 9/11, 23-24, 191-93.
30 Rebuilding America’s Defenses, 51, 75.
31 “War in Iraq,”, .
32 See e.g. Andrew Bacevich, Newsweek, December 8, 2008, : “In Afghanistan today, the United States and its allies are using the wrong means to pursue the wrong mission. Sending more troops to the region, as incoming president Barack Obama and others have suggested we should, will only turn Operation Enduring Freedom into Operation Enduring Obligation. Afghanistan will be a sinkhole, consuming resources neither the U.S. military nor the U.S. government can afford to waste.” Cf. PBS, Frontline, “The War Briefing,” October 28, 2008,
33 For the role of the Rhodes-promoted Jameson Raid in instigating the Boer War, see Elizabeth Longford, Jameson’s Raid: The Prelude to the Boer War (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1982).
34 Gordon M. Goldstein, Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam (New York: Times Books/Henry Holt, 2008).
35 John Newman, JFK and Vietnam: Deception, Intrigue, and the Struggle for Power (New York: Warner Books, 1992), 375-77, 434-35, 447; Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (Ipswich, MA: Mary Ferrell Foundation Press, 2008), 25-26, 28.
36 Ofira Seliktar, Failing the Crystal Ball Test: The Carter Administration and the Fundamentalist Revolution in Iran (Westport, CN: Praeger, 2000), 52.
37 Brzezinski later boasted that his “secret operation was an excellent idea. It drew the Russians into the Afghan trap” (“Les Révélations d’un ancien conseiller de Carter,” interview with
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Le Nouvel Observateur, January 15–21, 1998, http://; French version:; quoted at length in Peter Dale Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), 35). For my negative assessment of what some have described as the CIA’s most successful covert operation, see The Road to 9/11, 114-37.
38 George Santayana, Life of Reason, Reason in Common Sense (New York: Scribner's, 1905), 284.
39 Edward Wolff, “The Wealth Divide: The Growing Gap in the United States Between the Rich and the Rest,” Multinational Monitor, May 2003, Cf. Edward Wolff, Top Heavy: The Increasing Inequality of Wealth in America and What Can Be Done About It (New York: New Press, 2002).
40 Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (New York: Broadway Books, 2002), 422; quoted in Scott, The Road to 9/11, 3.
41 Wolff, “The Wealth Divide.”
42 For McKinley’s mercantilist “large policy” as a response to depression, see Philip Sheldon Foner, The Spanish-Cuban-American War and the Birth of American Imperialism, 1895-1902 (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972).
43 Barnett R. Rubin and Ahmed Rashid, “From Great Game to Grand Bargain: Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Foreign Affairs, November/December 2008, .
44 Ahmed Rashid, “Obama's huge South Asia headache,” BBC, January 2, 2009,,
45 Cf. Zia Sarhadi, “America's "good war" turns into quicksand,” MediaMonitors, January 5, 2009, “Obama’s announcement to send 20,000 additional troops to the `good war’ in Afghanistan has been greeted by the Taliban with glee. They regard it as an opportunity to attack a `bigger army, bigger target and more shiny new weapons to take from the toy soldiers.’ American generals have talked in terms of 40,000 to 100,000 additional troops, levels that are simply not available. America’s killing of hundreds of Afghan civilians in indiscriminate aerial attacks has been the most effective recruiting tool for the Taliban. Even those Afghans not keen on seeing the Taliban back in power are appalled by the level of brutality inflicted on civilians.”

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher. His most recent book is The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War, It can be ordered from the Mary Ferrell Foundation Press at
Scott’s website is

Travis Kelly Graphics

Editorial & History Cartoons

Cartoons on T-Shirts, Posters, Calendars, Mugs and more

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

TALES OF IRAQ WAR by LATUFF: The both sides of Gaza conflict

TALES OF IRAQ WAR by LATUFF: The both sides of Gaza conflict

Israel and Palestine in Chalkboard Video - Ryan Dawson

See more of Ryan's videos here!

From an article by Norman Finklestein:

July 2004, the highest judicial body in the world, the International Court of Justice, ruled Israel has no title to any of the West Bank and any of Gaza. They have no title to Jerusalem. Arab East Jerusalem, according to the highest judicial body in the world, is occupied Palestinian territory. The International Court of Justice ruled all the settlements, all the settlements in the West Bank, are illegal under international law.

The Association For Civil Rights In Israel

ACRI and SHATIL Establish Hot Line for Residents of South News

Information available on workers' rights during conflict, access to health, compensation, and more

ACRI and SHATIL have established a special hot line for residents of Israel's south, offering information in English, Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian about various rights and procedures in the context of the conflict. Residents of the south and members of the public are invited to contact the hot line at the days and times listed below for information and consultation on the following topics:

· Workers' rights during emergencies
· How to handle a lack of protection from rockets and warning sirens in your community
· How to access Home Front Command instructions
· Difficulties in access to health services in the south
· Difficulties and delays in mortgage or rental payments, as a result of the conflict in the south
· Information on allowances and other relevant services offered by the National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi)
· Protection of freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate during the conflict
· Compensation for property damaged in the conflict

Hot line operation hours:
Monday: 10:30-12:30, 15:30-18:30
Tuesday: 10:00-12:00
Wednesday: 10:00-18:00
Thursday: 15:30-17:30

08-628-2008, 073-244-5400
Sunday-Thursday: 10:00-13:00

Sunday: 11:00-13:00
Tuesday: 10:00-13:00
Wednesday: 10:00-13:00
Thursday: 13:00-16:00

Monday: 10:30-12:30, 15:30-18:30
Tuesday: 10:00-12:00
Wednesday: 10:00-18:00
Thursday: 15:30-17:30

08-628-2008, 073-244-5400
Sunday-Thursday: 10:00-13:00

Monday: 13:00-16:00
Tuesday: 10:00-16:00

08-628-2008, 073-244-5400
Sunday-Thursday: 10:00-13:00

Wednesday: 13:30-17:00

Tuesday: 13:30-17:30

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We Are NOT All Israelis!

From Travis:

I just received this missive, recounting an Israeli Mossad agent's warning to America -- terrorist attacks are coming to the homeland! -- and how we all can learn to defend ourselves by adopting Israeli habits.

"So, what can America do to protect itself?" he asks.

I have the answer to that -- stop supporting Israeli atrocities that the whole world condemns and blames the United States for -- our weapons, our money and our diplomatic support granted without oversight, spurning nearly unanimous world opinion and 40 U.N. resolutions calling on Israel to end the illegal occupation and strangulation of Palestinian land. That would be the number-one motive for terrorists attacking this country, as al Jazeera broadcasts the results, like these, around the world:

You can see more here, by the hundreds, if you can bear it:

Yes, this has become very personal now, which is why I will no longer remain silent -- in order to support a militant band of right-wing Zionist crazies intent on settling the remainder of Palestinian land and creating Eretz Israel, MY FAMILY and LOVED ONES must be put into jeopardy.

To hell with you, Mr. Aviv -- no, we are not all Israelis.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Mr. X>
Date: January 10, 2009 4:14:53 PM MST
To: Recipients

Mr. X

"The fall of Wall Street is to market
fundamentalism what the fall of the Berlin
Wall was to Communism." Joseph Stiglitz

From a retired FBI instructor that I went to high school with.

Begin forwarded message:

Juval Aviv was the Israeli Agent upon whom the movie "Munich" was based. He was Golda Meir's bodyguard -- she appointed him to track down and bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who took the Israeli athletes hostage and killed them during the Munich Olympic Games.

In a lecture in New York City a few weeks ago, he shared information that EVERY American needs to know -- but that our government has not yet shared with us.

He predicted the London subway bombing on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News stating publicly that it would happen within a week. At the time, O'Reilly laughed and mocked him saying that in a week he wanted him back on the show. But, unfortunately, within a week the terrorist attack had occurred.

Juval Aviv gave intelligence (via what he had gathered in Israel and the Middle East ) to the Bush Administration about 9/11 a month before it occurred. His report specifically said they would use planes as bombs and target high profile buildings and monuments. Congress has since hired him as a security consultant.

Now for his future predictions. He predicts the next terrorist attack on the U.S. will occur within the next few months.

Forget hijacking airplanes, because he says terrorists will NEVER try and hijack a plane again as they know the people onboard will never go down quietly again. Aviv believes our airport security is a joke -- that we have been reactionary rather than proactive in developing strategies that are truly effective.

For example:

1) Our airport technology is outdated. We look for metal, and the new explosives are made of plastic.

2) He talked about how some idiot tried to light his shoe on fire. Because of that, now everyone has to take off their shoes. A group of idiots tried to bring aboard liquid explosives. Now we can't bring liquids on board. He says he's waiting for some suicidal maniac to pour liquid explosive on his underwear; at which point, security will have us all traveling naked! Every strategy we have is 'reactionary.'

3) We only focus on security when people are heading to the gates.

Aviv says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times on the front end of the airport when/where people are checking in. It would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom or get a drink, and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved. In Israel , security checks bags BEFORE people can even ENTER the airport.

Aviv says the next terrorist attack here in America is imminent and will involve suicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places where large groups of people congregate. (i. e., Disneyland, Las Vegas casinos, big cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and that it will also include shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, etc., as well as rural America this time (Wyoming, Montana, etc.).

The attack will be characterized by simultaneous detonations around the country (terrorists like big impact), involving at least 5-8 cities, including rural areas.
Aviv says terrorists won't need to use suicide bombers in many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas , they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.

Aviv says all of the above is well known in intelligence circles, but that our U. S. government does not want to 'alarm American citizens' with the facts.

The world is quickly going to become 'a different place', and issues like 'global warming' and political correctness will become totally irrelevant.

On an encouraging note, he says that Americans don't have to be concerned about being nuked. Aviv says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons. They like to use suicide as a front-line approach. It's cheap, it's easy, it's effective; and they have an infinite abundance of young militants more than willing to 'meet their destiny'.

He also says the next level of terrorists, over which America should be most concerned, will not be coming from abroad. But will be, instead, 'homegrown' -- having attended and been educated in our own schools and universities right here in the U. S. He says to look for 'students' who frequently travel back and forth to the Middle East . These young terrorists will be most dangerous because they will know our language and will fully understand the habits of Americans; but that we Americans won't know/understand a thing about them.

Aviv says that, as a people, Americans are unaware and uneducated about the terroristic threats we will, inevitably, face. America still has only have a handful of Arabic and Farsi speaking people in our intelligence networks, and Aviv says it is critical that we change that fact SOON.

So, what can America do to protect itself?

From an intelligence perspective, Aviv says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for intelligence. We need to, instead, follow Israel 's, Ireland 's and England 's hands-on examples of human intelligence, both from an infiltration perspective as well as to trust 'aware' citizens to help. We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens; however, our U. S. government continues to treat us, its citizens, 'like babies'. Our government thinks we 'can't handle the truth' and are concerned that we'll panic if we understand the realities of terrorism. Aviv says this is a deadly mistake.

Aviv recently created/executed a security test for our Congress, by placing an empty briefcase in five well-traveled spots in five major cities. The results? Not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out. In fact, in Chicago , someone tried to steal the briefcase!

In comparison, Aviv says that citizens of Israel are so well 'trained' that an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds by citizen(s) who know to publicly shout, 'Unattended Bag!' The area would be quickly & calmly cleared by the citizens themselves. But, unfortunately, America hasn't been yet 'hurt enough' by terrorism for their government to fully understand the need to educate its citizens or for the government to understand that it's their citizens who are, inevitably, the best first-line of defense against terrorism.

Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children here in America who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, who were 'lost' without parents being able to pick them up, and about ours schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until parents could get there. (In New York City , this was days, in some cases!)

He stresses the importance of having a plan, that's agreed upon within your family, to respond to in the event of a terroristic emergency. He urges parents to contact their children's schools and demand that the schools, too, develop plans of actions, as they do in Israel .

Does your family know what to do if you can't contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency? He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow.

Aviv says that the U. S. government has in force a plan that, in the event of another terrorist attack, will immediately cut-off EVERYONE's ability to use cell phones, blackberries, etc., as this is the preferred communication source used by terrorists and is often the way that their bombs are detonated.

How will you communicate with your loved ones in the event you cannot speak? You need to have a plan. NEVER heard about the 200 MOSSAD agents captured around the time of the events of September 11th, 2001...did you?