Category Archives: iraq
That fetid nest of fifth columnist neo-fascists otherwise known as The American Enterprise Institute is at it again. The extremist reich-wing think tank has opened another front in their total war on America in the aftermath of a damning report by an international group of scientists that global warming is indeed a catastrophic reality. According to a piece posted at over at Common Dreams the AEI is throwing around wads of cash and casting a net for amoral shills willing to debunk the scientists. Not surprising since it also was reported this week that the Bush administration has engaged in a concerted campaign to censor the research of government agencies and environmental scientists that would interfere with the extreme pro-corporate, anti-science worldview of the rapacious looters of Wall Street and the winged monkey Rapture death cult. And it was of course all subsidized by American taxpayers.
Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world’s largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.
Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Travel expenses and additional payments were also offered.
The UN report was written by international experts and is widely regarded as the most comprehensive review yet of climate change science. It will underpin international negotiations on new emissions targets to succeed the Kyoto agreement, the first phase of which expires in 2012. World governments were given a draft last year and invited to comment.
The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration. Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI’s board of trustees.
The letters, sent to scientists in Britain, the US and elsewhere, attack the UN’s panel as “resistant to reasonable criticism and dissent and prone to summary conclusions that are poorly supported by the analytical work” and ask for essays that “thoughtfully explore the limitations of climate model outputs”.
The multi-faceted AEI attack machine has proven that it is far more versatile than only engaging in a single minded, relentlessly deranged neocon-Likudnik joint venture for raining down fire from the skies over Tehran in going after the IPCC as well. As a deadly multi-headed hydra with massive clout within the innermost power centers of the Bushreich one needs only to take a look at some of the names associated with this incubator of global fascism and world domination to get an idea on what a menace to democracy that it is. The AEI sports one hell of a roster of extremist right-wing freaks here are a few of the more well known who are listed as Scholars and Fellows:
Newt Gingrich: The egotistical, oversexed, philandering fascist dwarf with designs on the presidency has slimed out of this spider hole in recent months to denounce the First Amendment, engage in fear mongering and fomenting fascist sentiment. There are even some reich wingers out there with a Draft Newt movement – that’s the best damned idea that I have ever heard, give him a gun and ship his fat ass off to Iraq because after all, it is their war.
Lynne Cheney: Mrs. Dick is a key player for the AEI and has devoted much time to the cause between writing steamy lesbian pulp fiction novels and mounting McCarthyist campaigns along with that conniving little dual loyalist rat Joe Lieberman to purge ‘unpatriotic’ professors from the nation’s college campuses along the lines of similar efforts by the insidious neo-Nazi troll David Horowitz. It’s conventional wisdom that ‘shooter’ is a dangerous extremist but when looking a bit more closely at his ‘better half’ it’s becoming obvious who really wears the pants in the House of Cheney.
David Frum: Former Bush speechwriter and propagandist responsible for that “Axis Of Evil” statement that has proven so troublesome. Collaborated with fellow neocon Richard Perle on the anti-Muslim manifesto An End To Evil that laid out the case for perpetual war in the Middle East with the ulterior motive to carve out more lebensraum for Israel.
Richard Perle: Nicknamed The Prince of Darkness, Perle is a major player as well as a prominently featured talking head with intimate ties to Israeli hardliners. Perle’s resume and connections speak for themselves as to his importance to the neocon revolutionaries. He once remarked that investigative reporter Seymour Hersh was “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist.” Perle was also a key contributor to the notorious report advocating Israeli aggression: A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm that was adopted by then P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu and that largely mirrors the doctrine of the Bush-Cheney junta.
Frederick W. Kagan: The driving force behind ‘the surge’ strategy and a longtime uber hawk who moved in quickly to present the neocon alternative that would allow junior to tell Poppy and Jim Baker exactly where they could stick their Iraq Study Group report.
Irving Kristol: The ideological ‘father of neoconservatism’ and genetic father of the highly influential William Kristol of The Weekly Standard, FOX and now the right-leaning Time Magazine (hey, they put the horsefaced Ann Coulter on the cover awhile back too) and who was a co-founder along with Robert Kagan (Fred’s brother) of the Project for the New American Century.
Michael Ledeen: Arch neocon who very disturbingly was described as “Rove’s Brain” by Wayne Slater and James Moore in their book The Architect. Ledeen is a prolific writer of right-wing polemics and veteran spook once glowingly described by Ted Koppel: “Michael Ledeen is a “Renaissance man in the tradition of Machiavelli” and a driving force for a war with Iran. Leedeen is incidentally referred to by many as an admirer of the finer aspects of Italian fascism.
Joshua Muravchik: Neocon third stringer who recently wrote an op-ed piece that was actually published by a reputable mainstream newspaper (The Los Angeles Times) very subtly entitled Bomb Iran.
The American Enterprise Institute and its resident zealots, fanatics, haters and ideologues represent one of the greatest threats to world peace, democracy and the future survival of humanity on the planet. Yet it is allowed to operate with a façade of legitimacy with no scrutiny by the mainstream media, the political system and absolutely no accountability.
It serves as a Mecca for every warmongering politico with an axe to grind against traditional American values and constitutional democracy. Manchurian John McCain and that duplicitous little fiend Joe Lieberman laid out their case for escalation in a joint appearance in early January and the regulars are a veritable who’s who of American neocon thugs with an eye on taking down the republic.
It is purveyor of hatred, a destroyer of economies, an important component of the military industrial complex and an ally to foreign governments that pursue an agenda that is a threat to our own national security.
It is in darkness that cockroaches thrive and it is long past time to shine a light into this foul nest of festering anti-Americanism before we are all ultimately victims of all that is evil that is concocted within it’s walls.
Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’
Our very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost it’s way
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
War, children, it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
– The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter
Vonnegut of course was present at Dresden on the night that allied bombers laid waste to the ‘Florence of the Elbe’, a historic city as well as a non-military target with little or no air defense system that was packed with refugees and prisoners and was targeted by bombers that incinerated over one hundred thousand civilians. Vonnegut spoke of seeing the boiled bodies of schoolgirls floating in a water tower through his character Billy Pilgrim and also of being forced to dig through the wreckage in the aftermath to find “corpse mines” and described the odor of the bodies:
“They didn’t smell bad at first…but then the bodies rotted and liquefied, and the stink was like roses and mustard gas”
He also spoke of a character, another soldier who died of the dry heaves from having to go down into a corpse mine and being overcome by the stench:
“He tore himself to pieces, throwing up and throwing up”
Dresden doesn’t get much mention when it comes to our nation’s war history, neither does the decimation of the Japanese homeland by bombing of civilian areas nor the bombing of Viet Nam nor the brown skinned dead in any other foreign imperialist adventure undertaken by the politicians and their wealthy backers who cash in on the destroyed lives and flesh of those who become victims so that they may live opulent lives of carefree exploitation. I do want to make the statement that in doing so I am differentiating between ‘combatants’ and what is deemed to be acceptable ‘collateral damage’ to those dropping their bombs or launching their shells and missiles from far away lest they actually have to bear witness to the devastation. ‘Trout’s’ Gutless Wonder is a perfect metaphor for the apathetic and cruel philistines who allow for the murder of innocents to take place in their name as long as it doesn’t intrude upon their pathetic and selfish little lives.
I want to at this time take an opportunity to recognize it here for the sake of the memory of the dead and perhaps the hope of the living that we can one day finally recognize war for the profitable, industrialized slaughter that it is by listing a few accounts:
“The firestorm is incredible, there are calls for help and screams from somewhere but all around is one single inferno. To my left I suddenly see a woman. I can see her to this day and shall never forget it. She carries a bundle in her arms. It is a baby. She runs, she falls, and the child flies in an arc into the fire. Suddenly, I saw people again, right in front of me. They scream and gesticulate with their hands, and then – to my utter horror and amazement – I see how one after the other they simply seem to let themselves drop to the ground. (Today I know that these unfortunate people were the victims of lack of oxygen). They fainted and then burnt to cinders.” (Margaret Freyer: Dresden Resident)
“The elephants gave spine-chilling screams. The baby cow elephant was lying in the narrow barrier-moat on her back, her legs up in the sky. She had suffered severe stomach injuries and could not move. A 90 cwt. cow elephant had been flung clear across the barrier moat and the fence by some terrific blast wave, and stood there trembling. I had no choice but to leave these animals to their fate. I had known for one hour now that the most difficult task could ever bring was facing me. “Lehmann, we must get to the carnivores,” I called. We did what we had to do, but it broke my heart.” (Otto Sailer-Jackson: Dresden Zookeeper)
“We did not recognize our street any more. Fire, only fire wherever we looked. Our 4th floor did not exist anymore. The broken remains of our house were burning. On the streets there were burning vehicles and carts with refugees, people, horses, all of them screaming and shouting in fear of death. I saw hurt women, children, old people searching a way through ruins and flames. We fled into another cellar overcrowded with injured and distraught men women and children shouting, crying and praying. No light except some electric torches. And then suddenly the second raid began. This shelter was hit too, and so we fled through cellar after cellar. Many, so many, desperate people came in from the streets. lt is not possible to describe! Explosion after explosion. It was beyond belief, worse than the blackest nightmare. So many people were horribly burnt and injured. lt became more and more difficult to breathe. lt was dark and all of us tried to leave this cellar with inconceivable panic. Dead and dying people were trampled upon, luggage was left or snatched up out of our hands by rescuers. The basket with our twins covered with wet cloths was snatched up out of my mothers hands and we were pushed upstairs by the people behind us. We saw the burning street, the falling ruins and the terrible firestorm. My mother covered us with wet blankets and coats she found in a water tub”. (Lothar Metzger: Dresden Resident)
Among other things Vonnegut later wrote:
In a precursor to modern corporate number crunching the bombing run efficiency was maximized to the point where stripped B-29s were sent in flying so low that they literally reeked of burning flesh, a good and short although militaristic account on LeMay and the bombing has been written by Victor Davis Hanson and entitled The Right Man, this piece is featured in the World War II compilation called No End Save Victory, a pretty good book of essays that you could likely pick up cheap online. The ruthless efficiency of the incendiary bombings even had LeMay himself to comment that “I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal”.
The outrage over the images was made all the more conspicuous by it’s absence.
I am not merely being callous over the violent fate of the ‘contractors’ , I just have far more sympathy for the innocent victims. Victims such as the Hassan family whose seventeen members were packed into a 1974 Land Rover in the early days of the invasion and were driving toward their dream of democracy and freedom from the evil savagery of Saddam. Instead of democracy, this family (the grandfather was dressed in his finest garment, a pin striped suit to look American for the celebratory occasion of their deliverance) was slaughtered in an unimaginably horrific manner by a nervous American soldier at a checkpoint who panicked and unloaded a barrage of military ordnance into the oncoming vehicle. Eleven members of the family were destroyed, not just killed but destroyed…as a veteran you can appreciate the power of military weaponry. Lamea, the pregnant wife of Bakhat Hassan survived the attack that turned the vehicle into an abattoir in which she described as follows:
The equilibrium of international relations has not only been upset by these fools and charlatans but sent off spinning into the depths of some bizarre parallel universe in which up is down, wrong is right, truth is ignorance and war is peace. We have begun the journey down the rabbit hole, let us hope that the rabbit hole does not eventually end up being a mass grave. We are now on the precipice of the new crusades, a war of civilizations and religions perpetuated by those both ignorant of history as well as world culture.
We are now playing for keeps.