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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I received Doug Feith’s recently released book ’War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn on the War on Terrorism’ from Amazon the other day and, whilst I haven’t begun to read it from cover to cover just yet, one of the first things I did do upon opening it was head straight for the index to look up what his explanation was for the role of the Office of Special Plans (OSP) in the lead up to the war against Iraq. To my surprise – though, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have been in the least bit surprised – there was next to nothing except a blanket denial that the OSP played any role at all in the lies and formulation of so-called ‘intelligence’ that led directly to the invasion and destruction of Iraq. Feith writes:

“…a few weeks after 9/11. I asked members of my staff to review all the intelligence paper flow – to look it over and summarize it, and to help me devise counterterrorist strategy and policy recommendations for Rumsfeld. It was a standard request for policy staffers: Extracting strategic insights from intelligence is what policy personnel do every day.

This project evolved into the Policy Counter Terrorism Evaluation Group (PCTEG), which became legendary as the supposed Pentagon “covert intelligence group” that was alleged to have manipulated intelligence to mislead the President and the public into war in Iraq. I use the word “legendary” literally, because nearly everything said about the PCTEG has been a legend – that is, make believe. False assertions about the project have been grist for thousands of political speeches and news articles. The legend’s proponents usually cite as their sources current or former intelligence officials (usually anonymous) who had bureaucratic or policy disagreements with Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, or me.” (p.116)

Feith then goes on to say that the PCTEG and the OSP were two entirely different entities and that Seymour Hersh had “garbled his reporting on the PCTEG” and that this has led to “many other writers, who think that reading the ‘The New Yorker’ is research, have mixed up the PCTEG with the OSP”. (pp.116-117)

This is a lie. The reality is that the PCTEG and the OSP was one and the same thing; the PCTEG simply morphed into the OSP. Virtually all of the officers that made up the PCTEG went on to serve with the OSP with two of them, David Wurmser and Michael Maloof, chasing the classic lies about the connections between ‘al Qaeda’ and Saddam Hussein, pushing this lie while serving with both the PCTEG and the OSP.

Apart from three paragraphs on pages 293-294 of his book that mentions the OSP completely sanitising it, readers are going to be very disappointed if they were expecting any real light to be shed on the activities of this office or Feith’s role in it.

Feith, it seems, has written 650 pages of pure lies – and I haven’t even read it yet – but, knowing what a lying toe-rag this warmongering monster is, you just know that you’re not going to be any wiser as a result of reading this lunatics work than you were before.

Friday, April 25, 2008


There are a couple of pieces in the latest edition of the Weekly Standard that are of interest.

After reading Fred Kagan’s piece, ‘Paying for the War’ in the latest edition of the neocons comic, one wonders if the only people that the neocons are trying to convince that the war in Iraq is going swimmingly for the US are themselves. Kagan writes: “Previous talking points of the antiwar party--the surge has failed, Iraqis will never reconcile, Iraqi troops won't fight, violence won't fall or, if it does, it won't stay down--have fallen by the wayside as they have been visibly disproven one by one.”

Over the last few weeks over 800 Iraqis, most of them civilians, have been killed by American bombings and shootings yet Kagan infers that violence has fallen and the ‘surge’ has worked. Just a few weeks ago the New York Times was telling us how a thousand or so Iraqi soldiers and police quit the fight against the insurgents, with some even joining with the insurgents, yet Kagan seems to think that the Iraqi army and police are enthusiastic about fighting their fellow Iraqis as they struggle against the invaders and occupiers.

Apart from the garbage he spouts about what is happening in Iraq, Kagan ignores entirely the plight of Americans at home who are having to foot the bill for Kagan’s war. Nor does he mention the Americans at home who are required to tolerate the loss of their loved ones as they are killed and maimed in order to support the fantasies of people like Kagan and his warmongering neocon cohorts who don’t seem to be too keen to join up themselves for a bit of fighting in the war that they lied their countrymen into.

There is, however, a certain sense of defeatism seeping into neoconservative commentary of late particularly as the Presidential race gathers momentum. Naturally, the neocons are supporting their man McCain for the Presidency in the hope that he will do Israel’s bidding and bomb Iran into regime change. I think, though, they are beginning to realise that their man McCain is, when the time comes, not likely to be the next President. As a result, the neocons are now expending a great deal of their writing energies on, not so much as backing Hillary Clinton, (even the neocons don’t think Clinton will get up as the Democrat candidate), but trying to convince their reader that Obama is the worst of the three current runners and that they should back McCain at the Big Election that counts if they can’t back Clinton.

As the war in Iraq gets bloodier and the Presidential race gets down to just two runners it’s going to be interesting to see just how desperate the neocon lies get as they realise that all of their aspirations are likely to tun pear-shaped over the next seven or eight months or so. Just as importantly, it will be interesting to see how the Israeli extreme right-wing and Likudnik hardliners adjust to the new reality.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


It’s interesting to note that, at long last, the mainstream media is hinting that the words ‘al Qaeda’ has simplistically become a metaphor for those that are fighting the US in Iraq and elsewhere and that ‘al Qaeda’ is not, as they have pushed for years, a specific organisation that is led and organised by the equally metaphoric and very dead ‘Osama bin Laden’.

Michael Cooper and Larry Rohter of ‘The New York Times’ today wrote: “As he campaigns with the weight of a deeply unpopular war on his shoulders, Senator John McCain of Arizona frequently uses the shorthand “Al Qaeda” to describe the enemy in Iraq in pressing to stay the course in the war there.” It’s a step in the right direction for the mainstream media to at last concede that ‘al Qaeda’ is indeed merely ‘shorthand’ for those that battle against US occupiers of various countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.

In much the same way as the Americans invoked the words ‘al Qaeda’ to denote those that raise their hands against them in defense of their lands, the Israelis today refer to all Palestinians that are fighting for their lands back as ‘terrorists’. The Israelis tried for a while to cast Palestinian fighters into the ‘al Qaeda’ mould but it was quickly revealed that those the Israelis ‘captured’ turned out to be Israeli intelligence patsies. They have occasionally tried it on since but haven’t of late been silly enough to actually insist that ‘al Qaeda’ is active with Palestinian fighters.

Monday, April 14, 2008


The situation in Iraq seems to be deteriorating rapidly yet the Western mainstream media is keeping very quiet about it. Moqtada al-Sadr has said that he will not be part of any political process in Iraq that allows the US and their allies to remain in Iraq and has denounced US Defence Secretary Robert Gates as a ‘terrorist’.

Meanwhile, some 1300 Iraqi police and soldiers have been sacked for refusing to fight against al-Sadr’s Mahdi insurgents and fighting continues to rage through southern Iraq and Baghdad instigated by al-Sadr and his Mahdi army and fully supported by Iran.

This, in turn, is being propagandised by Stephen Hadley, US National Security Advisor and one of a handful of neoconservatives that still hold senior positions in the Bush administration, who is now blaming Iran for all of America’s current woes in Iraq. For those that have been following the saga of twenty-first century Middle East history, one can easily see where this is all going despite the denials.

While the US cannot attack Iran simply because it is a threat to Israel – American public opinion would not now support such a policy – however, American public opinion, while still overwhelmingly opposed to the war in Iraq, may accept as fait accompli a surprise attack by the US on Iran if the reason given for such an attack is that Iran’s interference in Iraq is no longer tolerable and costing American lives.

Either way, the Israelis get what they want which, of course, was what this was all about in the first place. Sooner or later there will be a final confrontation. The only thing that has stopped it so far is American public opinion not supporting ‘war for Israel’. America is now looking for another excuse. The lack of mainstream media coverage of the situation is a worry. The world should be prepared for a surprise attack on Iran at any time.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Just a quick thought today.

Headlines that run like this: “The US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has renewed allegations against Iran, claiming that Tehran's support for militias in Iraq has grown” demonstrates an appalling arrogance on behalf of the US that seems to largely go unnoticed in the West which, to some extent, is a reflection on the West’s arrogance as a whole.

The US makes it sound as though the Iranians have committed some kind of heinous crime by supporting the insurgents. The phrase ‘renewed allegations against’ implies in no uncertain terms that Iran is wrong to support the militias. This is arrogant because that then implies that they think they are in the right to defeat the insurgents.

The hypocrisy, of course, is two-fold; first and most obviously, it is the US that have invaded and occupied land that does not belong to them and have done so for no other reason whatsoever other than for their own self interest, destroying an entire nation in the process. Secondly, the US, while busy telling the world what nasty people the Iranians are for supporting the Iraqi insurgents, are themselves doing exactly the same thing by supporting Israel in their quest to conquer lands that do not belong to them.

This is the height of self-righteous arrogance and hypocrisy.

Sunday, April 06, 2008


The recent attempt by Nouri al-Maliki to take on Moqtada al-Sadr has demonstrated two points; first, Maliki has no real powerbase without US support, and secondly, even with US support, al-Sadr has the ability to take on the Iraqi puppet government and the US in a guerrilla war with recruits joining any future insurgency that al-Sadr leads actually coming from the US-trained Iraqi police and army while others simply refuse to fight against the insurgents. One wonders how many Iraq government soldiers and police would have been willing to die for the American cause had push really come to shove, especially considering that most Iraqi army soldiers and police are only there because there is no other work and being part of the Iraqi puppet government forces provides a living as well as an opportunity to join in the insurgency against the US when the appropriate moment arrives.

Naturally, the neocon spin on recent events has been fairly predictable with one of their most prolific propagandists, Frederick Kagan, writing in the neocon comic, the Weekly Standard, on Wednesday that, “The Sadrists and Special Groups failed to set Iraq alight despite their efforts--Iraqi forces kept the Five Cities area (Najaf, Karbala, Hillah, Diwaniyah, and Kut) under control with very little Coalition assistance; Iraqi and Coalition forces kept Baghdad under control.“

This is the sort of complete nonsense and plain lies that one has come to expect from the neocons whenever things don’t go their way. It hasn’t occurred to the neocons that al-Sadr was merely testing the waters. Contrary to Kagan’s assertion that the Iraqi forces had everything under control, they were actually rapidly losing control to the point where they had to call in US and British airpower and, at the same time as losing control, were also losing men to al-Sadr’s Mahdi army.

The Mahdi army leader has proved that he can take on the US in a guerrilla war but it is clear that this will only happen if the US attacks Iran. Iran does not wish to invite the US to attack them and, for this reason, have asked al-Sadr to put a stop to the fighting and have negotiated a settlement with al-Maliki to not arrest al-Sadr’s Mahdi army militiamen.

However, it seems this may be only a temporary truce as al-Sadr prepares for a renewed showdown with the US and Iraq government.

But the big issue is not so much al-Sadr’s ability to take on the US and the Iraqi puppet government but the support al-Sadr is clearly receiving from Iran whose influence on Iraqi affairs is so obviously beginning to acutely annoy the Americans. As well as being able to demonstrate that they have the ability to actually stop and start major fighting in Iraq, they are also supplying increasingly both arms and training to Iraqi Shiite militias of both factions within the Iraqi Shiite grouping, al-Sadr and the Mahdi militia and al-Hakim leader of the al-Badr militia who, while still having their differences, have called a truce with each other in order to confront their common enemy, the US.

The question now is; has Iran’s influence in Iraq become intolerable for the US? For years the US and Israel have been accusing Iran of building a nuclear weapon, or at least having a nuclear weapons plan. This has been used as propaganda to get western public opinion to support an attack on Iran that would, they hope, lead to regime change. Unfortunately for the warmongers in the US administration and Israel, the world doesn’t seem to be biting – especially after all the lies they told in order to get the world to support a war against Iraq and especially since the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, has been unable to find any evidence to support Israeli and US claims about Irans nuclear weapons.

While Israel wanted the US to attack Iran so that Israel could then deal with Hizbollah and Hamas, the US was hesitant to be seen attacking Iran just because Israel wanted them to, something they had already been accused of when attacking Iraq. But now that Iran is clearly wielding so much influence in Iraq which is in direct conflict with US interests there, it may well be that the US now feels free to attack Iran in order to effect regime change while at the same time avoiding being accused of doing Israel’s bidding. It is no coincidence that anti-Iranian propaganda in the Israeli press seems to have dropped off a little of late as the emphasis on Iran moves from its influence on Hamas and Hizbollah which affects Israel, to Iran’s influence on Iraq which affects the US.

It seems the final confrontation may be closer than we realise if the US insist that Iran’s influence in Iraq is no longer tolerable.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Bob Wall, a veteran of popular Australian current affairs blog ‘Webdiary’, has been banned from posting and commenting at ‘Webdiary’ after years of being one of Margo Kingston’s strongest supporters because he has asked moderators and editors to hold true to their claims of being ‘Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent’, all values, it seems, that Webdiary dispensed with ages ago when it allowed right-wing liars and fraudsters with false identities and propagandising agendas to comment freely while stifling argument from the left.

Since Webdiary has seen fit not to allow Bob Wall to publicise his side of the story at 'Webdiary' after 'Webdiary' had published theirs, this blog gladly provides Bob Wall with a platform from which he can tell Webdiarists his side of the story and the truth about what is going on there.

WD Ban – some explanations.
Bob Wall

I will endeavour to clarify the circumstances of my 3 months ban from Webdiary. As you will see I was denied the opportunity of making my case to WD management and to answer the charges made against me. The latest version is in David Roffey’s Management Update where he has described a “series of acrimonious and threatening exchanges”. No evidence has been presented. The following is the situation from my side.

To quote David Roffey when he announced I had been banned from Webdiary:
“There have been a number of interactions with Bob over this thread, where he has made what the moderators feel to be unreasonable requests for the moderators to, essentially, weigh in on his side, with increasingly strident demands in emails etc.”
The request I was making was for fairness from the moderators in. There were posts published I considered to contain abuse, false accusations, baiting and such. I ignored most of this, particularly from Paul Morrella. When I did respond there was a marked double standard from the moderators. An example is that Ian MacDougall made the following comment:
"Otherwise one finishes up like friend Bob: unable to tell the difference between a neocon and a cow cocky."
When I used the term "cow cocky" to Ian, my post was not published.
Others who might have had posts that were not published might have been wondering why they were not considering some that were. In my case I believe I was not given equal rights as to responses which might be related to an email I received from Fiona Reynolds shortly after the thread was published and which included the following:
"Now, publication is conditional. As you are no doubt aware, this thread will generate a great deal of heat. You will not like some of the comments that will be posted. Neither will the moderators. However, there are other interpretations possible, and views that are genuinely held, even though you and others may regard them as distortions of the truth. Engage with the debate - but NOT by accusing other people of wilfully misreading, refusing to read, etc etc as you are inclined to do. And please don't bombard the moderators with NFPs complaining about liars and trolls. Otherwise the management (that means all of us) will seriously consider making the thread read-only."
Interpret that in light of what was published and, for those who had posts that did not appear, what was not. I also think that, if conditions were to be applied, they should been made known to me before the thread was opened, thus allowing me to consider the implications and to decide whether I wished to proceed under those conditions.
On Friday night I received an email from Fiona Reynolds which included:
You may remember that, with the agreement of all directors and moderators, publication of your Kandahar to Guantanamo thread was conditional – specifically, that if you "accus[ed] other people of wilfully misreading, refusing to read, etc., etc., as you are inclined to do" and/or if you "bombard[ed] the moderators with NFPs complaining about liars and trolls" that the thread would be made read-only.
Note my above point that I was not given the opportunity to agree to any conditions before publication. On Saturday morning I asked for evidence to support the charges:
"Please provide the evidence to support these accusations, i.e., examples on my thread where I accused people of wilfully misreading, refusing to read, etc., etc ...".
“Please provide copies of the NFPs where I complained about ‘liars and trolls’”.
I also asked:
“Are you prepared to make your charges and the evidence to support them and to allow me to challenge that evidence, online on WD?”
I received no answers. As I had received no answers to any NFPs or emails seeking clarification. As I recall there were two NFPs - and neither mentioned liars and trolls. No wonder Roffey on his aforementioned post referred to "emails, etc".
So what does this all mean? I sensed an attempt to either nobble me or to provoke me to an extent that I would give management a reason to ban me. Why? Perhaps there is an answer to be found in asking another question. One which I suggest other 'Diarists ask of management, which is;
Have representations been made to management from people who could be termed from the right, or more specifically, pro-Zionist? Have those representations been responded to?