Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Please Join In Prayer For The Victims Of The Natural Disaster Today

Prayer is very powerful, and today is a good day for it. And there is so much death and destruction for our brothers and sisters in the Southern U.S., in what looks like a scene after a nuclear war. Parts of our nation look like a poor Third World nation right now. And tales of suffering and scenes of destruction are heartbreaking.

Today is a very good day to pray for help with the human suffering of our fellow Americans. Many very nice people have lost everything, including the lives of family members. All good people need to appeal to God to spare more deaths, to offer quick healing to the hearts broken and property lost. Many poor people with no insurance are now homeless and are now refugees. This will be a major problem to solve. God's help for the entire situation is greatly needed. Please take some time to pray today. This is very important.

The Islamic Jihad Few Remember

History is usually not the strongest point with many Americans. And few know that WWI was actually the largest organized crusade for Islamic Jihad against Christian Europe during the last century. During the Middle Ages many know of the Islamic control of Europe, especially in Europe, but Americans know far less about the conflict between the Islamic and Christian world. This last organized crusade against Christian Europe was by the Ottoman Empire, comprising Turkey during WWI. Brtish and French soldiers suffered one of the worst military defeats by this military from Turkey at Gallipoli, in which more than 200,000 British, and more than 47,000 French solduers lost their lives. Had Turkey and the Ottoman Empire won WWI, Germany would have controlled upper parts of Europe, and Turkey would have spread Islam to many areas in Europe, Italy, Spain, and possibly even France.

The relevance of this conflict with Islam during WWI is important in understanding the current ethnic problems in Iraq.

After WWI, Britain invaded and held ethnic areas of the defeated Ottoman Empire, including three areas in the MidEast, that it was rumored that Winston Churchill drew together on a bit of paper in a hotel room as a new nation under British control, "Iraq". For more than 40 years Britain fought fierce nationalist violence in Iraq, siding more with the ethnic interests of the Sunni community, and more opposed to Shiite and Kurdish interests. Britain even used mustard gas attacks on entire villages fgured to be hotbeds of nationalist violence. In 1958, an Arab nationalist uprising swept Britain out of power in Iraq. Britain was losing contol in the conquered MidEast areas. Earlier the first successful Arab nationalist uprisng was from Gamel Nasser in Egypt, which only served to inspire similar uprisings and violence. Many such as a young Saddam Hussein were greatly inspired by Gamel Nasser as was the Iraqi Baath Arab Socialist party. Arab socialism was on the move in the MidEast, and British control had the rug pulled out from their control of conquered areas of the old Ottoman Empire.

The current problems in Iraq that make a breakup of Iraq likely are brewing in the problems over writing a viable constitution for Iraq. The ethnic divide from the artificial nation that Britain threw together after the WWI defeat of the Ottoman Empire are becoming very apparent. Both the Shiites and their Kurdish allies are not really writing a document for the establishment of a long term state of Iraq, but are writing a document that is a division of assets more like a divorce paper, where oil assets are being divided to the Shiite and Kurdish ethnic groups, and Sunnis are simply being given the sand of Iraq. And it is entirely likely, due to the recent Kurdish violence within Turkey, that the Kurdish ethnic group may well intend to create a new MidEast nation of Kurdistan, which could involve Turkey in future warfare.

It is amazing how the Bush Administration took an artificial nation with this history of violence against foreign interests such as the British control from post WWI, past WWII, on until 1958, and decided this is where to make a stand for Arab "democracy". Of all MidEast states, Iraq had to be the most likely state to have insurgent conflict, and to break apart into three seperate ethnic states, and to create the possibility of conflict with Turkey with a push by the Kurdish community to command their own state of Kurdistan.

All of those who wave the flag, or attack Cindy Sheehan, really miss the point in Iraq. The possibility of Iraq ever becoming a peaceful democratic state was always highly unlikely. The three ethnic groups that Britain threw together and created in the artificial state of "Iraq" would most likely never become a single peaceful Arab democratic state. The constitutional process in Iraq is closer to divorce papers and the breakup of Iraq is more likely than not. How the Bush Administration will deal with this will be fascinating .

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

China Ratifies World Health Organization Tobacco Control Framework

The leadership of China, concerned about the devastating impact of tobacco on their nation which has become the world's largest consumer of tobacco, has ratified the WHO(World Health Organization) framework to control tobacco use. This is an important step towards stemming the 1.2 million tobacco deaths each year as well as harm, injury and death to nonusers including children from secondhand smoke.

China announced that sales of cigarettes via vending machines would be immediately banned. And with a full 36% of China's population smoking, which is far worse than the 19-21% of Amercans that smoke, the costs to society in lost productivity, unneccessary medical costs and injuries is immense. The costs of smoking to a society can even rival the cost of a small war in increased medical costs and lost productivity.

Here are some important facts related to the devastating impact of tobacco:

In Tennessee, a smoking parent is enough grounds to deny child custody in the case of a divorce to that parent according to child welfare guidelines followed by judges in that state.

In Istanbul, Turkey a medical center found that 74% of children aged 3-8 who required ear tube surgery due to inner ear infection had the presense of a chemical that indicated nicotine in the child's urine. This means that secondhand smoke was the most likely factor to create inner ear infections in most young children.

In the U.S., Philip Morris USA issued an Email that accepted responsibility for secondhand cigarette smoke as a cause of SIDS(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Perhaps the smaller immune system of infants cannot tolerate the 4,000 poisons contained in cigarettes and death is caused by cigarette smoke poisoning.

In Britain, children as young as 12 who have become nicotine drug addicts by smoking are now being given nicotine patches to control their addiction.

In the U.S. while 5.4 million children yearly survive injuries from secondhand cigarette smoke such as asthma and inner ear infections, costing $4.6 billion a year to treat, another 6,200 children die from injuries from secondhand cigarette smoke.

A Japanese study linked parents smoking to discolored gums in children as well as cavities and gum disease. Secondhand smoke destroys the oral health of children whose immune systems cannot defend against these poisons which include heavy metals such as lead, nickel and cadmium. A full 70% of children in the study who had a smoking parent at least suffered gum discoloration.

The U.S. Department of Human Services blames secondhand smoke for lung and sinus cancers as well as respiratory infections.

The U.S. Surgeon General blames the asthma epidemic on secondhand smoke. The rate of asthma is greatly increasing in the U.S. , and public smoking is a likely cause.

In Oregon, discarded cigarettes accounted for 95 fires in the last three weeks. This included a school fire that destroyed the school, an apartment building fire, and 93 grass or wooded areas fires. These fires are expensive in property and environmental damage, as well could involve the injury or loss of lives of firefighters or other persons.

The tobacco industry which is mainly located in the U.S. has long profitted from promoting a drug addiction that causes persons with no will power to practice their addiction in public places and spread death and injury to children and nonsmokers. At least the government of China is accepting the challenge to follow the WHO guidelines to protect the health of it's massive population. In the U.S., the lobby efforts of big tobacco still roadblock most legislation, but with China and other states taking the lead, more American politicians may respond with proper actions to ban public smoking and greatly limit this immoral and evil industry which injures and kills children and nonsmokng adults.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Misinformation A Key Asset In War Support

Sunday, the Fox News Sunday program featured two mothers who lost their sons in Iraq. This was deeply sad and I feel terribly for both. The mother who opposed the war was quite articulate in her views. But I was greatly concerned about some some of the misinformation that the mother who supported war believed. And on Sunday, on a religious program, John Hagee also presented some information about Iraq, unfortunately much of it was greatly confused and also contradictory.

Americans certainly have the right to their own opinions, or even bad opinions. But in the case of John Hagee, bad information acts as a recruiting tool for his personal politics. This is not intentional, but the net effect.

The mother who supported the war did so because of a mistaken belief that Saddam Hussein had some connection to Al Qaeda, 9/11 or even Osama Bin Laden, wrong, wrong wrong, on all three counts. And John Hagee presented a greatly confused sermon in which the 12,000 members of the Badr Brigade where presented as terrorists to fight America by Iran. This is not quite accurate. Iran's Revolutionary Guard has trained, supplied and paid the salary for these elite militia fighters to work behind the lines of Iraq to battle Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard during the Iran-Iraq War. The Badr Brigade is a militia that supports the goals of Iran, but is not exactly the same as a terrorist army meant to fight Americans in Iraq, as Badr members are elected officials in Iraq, and opponents of the Sunni minority and the mainly Sunni insurgents. The Badr Brigade is not a desirable organization, armed members recently replaced the secular Mayor of Bagdad in an armed coup. This type of violence is hardly democracy.

And John Hagee presented some claims that Saudi Arabia is sponsoring terrorism. There are problems with this as well. The government of Saudi Arabia has sponsored some religious schools in which some teachers have promoted Islamic extremism, but that is the agenda of individual teachers, and not the intent of the government of Saudi Arabia. And of course most the 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia, yet that is where this cell of Al Qaeda fighters were based, and not some project of the Saudi government. The Saudi government has in fact battled terrorists, which is a true fact that John Hagess did identify.

It is highly unfortunate that many supporters of the war seem to share a variety of misinformation about Iraq, and the Iraq war, and misinformation about terrorism. While the Bush Administration never actively promoted this particular misinformation, it has found this to be a key bedrock of much of the support for the war policy of Bush. And it takes support where it can find it, which is unfortunate, as little effort to educate the public about true facts and information have been undertaken.

But the Administration was hardly better informed about Iraq in many ways. The history of three ethnic groups with no connection forced together by Britain after WWI's victory over the Ottoman Empire was ignored. But now these ethnic tensions manifest itself in the Sunni insurency and strong Sunni objections to the constitution will also likely lead to either civil war or the breakup of Iraq. And the 40 year history of British combat against nationalist insurgent fighters was ignored and the illadvised invasion of Iraq by the U.S. began in 2003.

The father of the current president rejected an invasion of Iraq in one of his books because he knew the difficulty of this effort. But overly optimistic estimates by Donald Rumsfeld and others promoted this war with the wrong equipment, and not expecting the long insurgent conflict of which the Humvees have become a major war liability for the troops. Waging a war in a nation with three dissimilar ethnic groups, and a long history of violence from WWI to the present was absolute insanity. It was unfortunate, but the brutality of Saddam Hussein actually kept the ethnic tensions in check. Now this problem is daily present in the insurgency attacks, violence, carbombings, roadside bombs, hostage taking and other acts.

Misinformation about Iraq got America into this war, and misinformation maintains some public support for the war. And nonsense from the President that we're fighting terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here is merely absurd. Iraq has become a magnet for insurgents from nearly all Islamic states, and a majority in many Islamic states are very antiAmerican in their sentiments. With so much antiAmericanism the likelyhood of another 9/11 attack because of the Iraq War is more likely, not less likely. While Al Qaeda was responsible for 9/11, the attacks in Britain were caused by anti war Pakistani radicals who opposed the British role in Iraq. This alone proves that Islamic terrorism related to the war as well as the old threat from Al Qaeda are now both present. This hardly supports the absurd premise that fighting terrorists in Iraq will prevent more terrorism in the U.S. There is no guarantee from terrorists if, when or where they will strike. They are unpredictable.

America knew little about the history of Iraq, yet blindly trusted a policy from the Bush Administration that was hardly knew much more about Iraq's history. And here we are with all the problems. To paraphrase a famous quote: Those that know very little of history are merely doomed to repeat it.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Canary In The Coalmine

The struggle to write a constitution for Iraq represents all the problems and frustrations of the whole Iraq problem for the U.S. With only the Shiites and Kurds really signing off in support of the new constitutional draft, and the Sunni minority which represents about 22% of Iraq, and the lion's share of most of the homegrown insurgency, largely left out of the process, a volatile situation for continued ethnic insurgency warfare or even civil war is being set up. This is very regrettable, and likely a flashpoint for true conflict rather than mere political posturing by Sunni politicians for a better deal in the constitutional construction process.

The Shiite majority and their Kurdish allies have so far made the constitutional draft a reflection of their own economic interests in the oil revenues of Iraq, as well as for their personal political goals such as ethnic autonomy. The Sunni minority is largely left out of the process, and not only out-voted in the Iraqi National Assembly, but also largely without oil interests in their largely Western portion of Iraq. In fact, the current draft document may be setting Iraq up to be broken into three ethnic states, A Kurdish Northern state, and a Shiite Southern state, both with substantial oil revenues, and a Sunni state in Western Iraq, whose chief asset is merely sand. This document that largely excludes Sunni ethnic and economic interests will likely foster this breakup of Iraq, or even a civil war or a continued insurgency as angry Sunni interests, who feared a loss of power in Iraq with the toppling of Saddam Hussein are now witnessing a realization of their own worst fears.

This would be a difficult situation for the U.S. How would the U.S. respond to being caught up in the center of a true civil war. Or if Iraq breaks up, would U.S. troops only stay in the Sunni sectors or will they be part of deployments in three seperate states? It seems rather than preserving Iraq, the U.S. may have so fully destablized this state that it's breakup is now highly likely.

Shortly after the WWI, Britain conquered parts of the Ottoman Empire in the MidEast, and with the discovery of oil in the Kurdish area of Iraq, Britain found this a very important asset to support the growth of British industry as their industrial revolution continued to bloom. Important assets like oil could brought under British control in the aftermath of WWI, and could conceivably be justified by post-war arrangements after the major combat war with Turkey. Winston Churchill was even rumored to have written the map for Iraq that combined the three seperate ethnic groups together in a hotel room on a bit of paper. But Britain had difficulty controlling nationalist forces within Iraq, and resorted to use of aircraft, armored vehicles and even mustard gas attacks on entire villages in Iraq to settle down the antiBritish violence. For forty years, Britain battled with nationalist elements in Iraq until the 1958 rebellion forced Britain out of Iraq.

The iron hand of Saddam Hussein basicly forced Iraq to remain a single state. However with this iron rule gone, a history of a future united Iraq is highly unlikely. The Sunni conflicts with the constitution writing process prove that the old ethnic divisions that Britain had to deal with in the 40 year nationalist conflict still remain. During the rule of Saddam Hussein these ethnic conflicts were merely kept in check by his brutality, rather than actually resolved. And the mustard gas attacks of Kurdish villages by Saddam Hussein proved that the same sort of violence that the British once used to suppress ethnic dissent still proved to be effective.

Iraq was never a real nation. These three ethnic groups had nothing in common. What the U.S. will do with the three broken pieces of this state if a breakup is in Iraq's future will be a good question. But the ethnic conflicts over the constitution should be taken as a "canary in the coalmine" that ethnic divisions will likely break Iraq apart. This is yet another problem that the U.S. had not planned for, but the past history of Iraq clearly warned of.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Big News Blackout

It was only days ago that conservative Websites were pulling out any statistics from the housing market, U.S. Labor Bureau or opinion polls to prove to their followers that the policies of Bush were somehow working. Now that increasingly bad poll and other numbers are coming out, there is a conspicuous absence of any new data on the conservative Websites.

It is quickly becoming a case of no news is good news, as there is no possible way to put a spin on increasingly bad data and poll numbers.

Within the last couple days new poll numbers put the job approval of Bush down to just 40%, with 56% disapproving. And another poll found that support for his Iraq War is down to just 37%. And new statistics on consumer confidence took a sharp slide during July thanks to the sky high fuel prices.

It is entirely likely that the housing boom may be over due to increased interest rates from the Federal Reserve Board, and because of a 50% inflation rate in gasoline prices since January, consumers are entirely likely to sharply cut back spending at U.S. retailers and a new recession may even be looming if gasoline prices are not reined in.

Just like how the Iran crisis reminded voters of problems such as the economy during the Jimmy Carter Administration, the high fuel prices and the failure of Bush to meet with Cindy Sheehan days ago are quickly souring the U.S. public and unwinding not only Bush, but the long-term prospects for continued Republican majority rule in the 2006 elections.

The American public is not always able to fully understand many complex issues, but a simple straight-forward issue like paying nearly $3.00 a gallon for gasoline is an issue that every consumer can understand in those terms. And this has become the straw that has broken the camel's back for Bush. This issue has brought about a rapidly sagging approval for the Iraq War and Bush's approval both. And the failure to meet with Cindy Sheehan, and the poorly advised efforts to counter protest against her or to denounce her for her politics fail to understand that most in the public view her as mother who lost a son, rather than a purely politically moltivated figure. Even if most Americans or politicians may not agree with the politics of Cindy Sheehan is not the issue at hand, but the fact that she lost her son is. And the highly partisan nature of some of Bush's supporters to attack her reinforce an image of particular nastiness that is not at all helpful to Bush. And his continued failure to meet her, while making constant speeches related to Iraq is beginning to reinforce a growing public perception of arrogance by Bush. This is a highly destructive public perception to take root, and along with the seeming Bush Administration inaction on high fuel prices, the freefall for the bush Administration in public opinion polls has begun in earnest.

The Democrats cannot take full advantage of this public opinion freefall without being viewed by the public on the positive side of popular issues. Without a public perception of this role for Democrats as offering a worthwhile alternative, the election prospects for a huge Democrstic resurgence in the 2006 midterm elections are far more limited.

On the flip side of this equation, with a shrinking positive public perception for Bush on Iraq and other issues, some conservative Websites are increasing involved in junk journalism with an increasing level of highly personal and juvenile attacks on leading Democrats, compared to the more substantial issue journalism that is to be expected of Websites operated by adults, and not by school age children. This highly partisan cheerleading may attract those with a limited view of politics who are merely superficial Republican partisans, but for those interesting in more sincere political discussions and exchanges, probably acts as a true negative and a turnoff.

As usual, it seems that left-leaning progressive, liberal, and Democratic Websites are far less organized than those by right-leaning conservatives and Republicans. Yet the failure of Democratic Websites to promote a true alternative agenda, and for the Republicans to promote what is seen as an increasingly unpopular agenda, as well the increasingly nasty nature on some Websites is hardly helpful either.

Both political wings could stand some real organizational and leadership skills. But for now those who are supporting Bush are attempting to maintain support in the face of increasing bad news. This is the reason for an increasing blackout of real news to report and the growth industry of political trashtalk on some sites. One trend is inevitable to follow a downfall in public opinion, while the second is a regrettable defensive consequence.

Friday, August 26, 2005

War At Mere 37% Support In New Poll

A new poll conducted for the AP has found support for the Iraq War at a mere 37%, and 9 out of 10 adults support the right for those opposed to the war to publicly oppose it. This is further evidence of the disconnect from reality of the Bush Administration who looks for constant new evolving reasons to justify this war.

Back as far as 1997, when Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz all members of the defense contractor funded PNAC(Project For The New American Century)searched for reasons to justify the restart of the old 1990-91 Gulf War, testimony of Paul Wolfowitz to Congress included the need for America to secure oil supplies under the control of Saddam Hussein, on one side of the Strait of Hormuz, and with Iran on the other side. Then the argument evolved into one of a claim that Saddam may or may not have WMDs in a letter rejected by then President Bill Clinton, signed by Donald Rumsfeld and other PNAN members to restart the old Gulf War in 1998. After that date, members of the PNAC and defense industry searched for a candidate who would support the restart of the old Gulf War, and Bush seemed to be their best bet. As Governor when some in the funeral industry were being investigated in Texas, it had been argued on many Websites that Bush helped this industry out in a scandal that could have ended his career if all the facts were made public. This kind of blind devotion yo big business made Bush a near legend to business interests. Bush was seen as the perfect poster boy to stand with the big money interests and to start a war based on shallow evidence to benefit big corporations like the defense industry interests who really wanted this war.

Right after the 2001 inauguration, Paul O'Neill, former Secretary Of The Treasury, claimed that the Bush Administration was completely obsessed with restarting the old Gulf War in Iraq. The 9/11 attacks distracted the efforts for a while, but then finally were used in a false public perception that Iraq was somehow responsible for 9/11. It seems that most Americans are no experts on MidEast history or personalities, and the Bush Administration did not promote these false perceptions, but rather took advantage of the public wave of support these false generalaties created and used this to bolster their efforts. And claims of Dr. Condoleezza Rice claimed that Iraq may be responsible for a "mushroom cloud" if the U.S. did not act. Then the war was started and of course no WMDs were found because all of this either destroyed by the UNSCOM arms inspections or by order of Saddam Hussein who did not want any evidence to be found that would implicate him in a war crimes trial. Now that Iraq has gone badly, the latest evolving story from Bush is that we're fighting "terrorists" in Iraq, or better there than here, which is another absurdity as the insurgency is a result of the American role in Iraq.

Just like LBJ, who used falseshoods related to the attack on the USS Maddox which many claim never ever happened to get America involved with both feet into Vietnam, Bush cannot accept that fact he was wrong about Iraq, and feels that each latest evolving story might catch on with the public, hoping enough are gullible enough to accept the latest evolving story as a good justification for nearly everything that has gone wrong with this war.

But the worst may be yet to come with Iraq, the Sunni minority is not at all happy with the proposed constitution which may create the breakup of Iraq into three seperate countries or fuel a bloody civil war. Either would be virtually uncontrollable for the U.S. There are many reasons that Iraq is similar to Vietnam, while different but worse in it's own way. Vietnam was bad, but certainly did not involve the MidEast oil supplies in close range or a possible broad conflict with Israel and Iran. The MidEast is now unstable because of Iraq, which may clearly start to fail within days to months unless the Sunni minority can be brought into, rather left out of the constitution process. Time will tell.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Pat Robertson's Firestorm

I'm actually a big fan of Christian television, however programs that attempt to promote outrageous and irresponsible political notions rather than offer a gentle moral prodding in a direction that promotes a responsible and moral environment do unsettle me.

This week, the Rev. Pat Robertson gave Christian television a blackeye with his suggestion that the irresponsible leftist president of Venezuela should be "assassinated". Many in the Christian community including some pastors have condemned this as an unChristian viewpoint for Robertson to publicly promote on his 700 Club program. And the Bush Administration's State Department characterized any such attempt on a democratically elected head of state such asVenezuela President Hugo Chavez as being flatly illegal and contrary to U.S. law.

I don't agree with the politics of Pat Robertson, but he's basicly a likable fellow, with an interesting Christian program, the 700 Club, which does have many uplifting stories of faith. And Robertson even joined with politically liberal Hollywood and rock music figures recently in the "One" campaign. But the show does seem to take a bad editorial turn when Pat Robertson is the host, as blantantly far right politics such as the irresponsible call for the U.S. to assassinate Hugo Chavez are promoted. When others host the program, the content revolves more around prayer and uplifting little stories of faith. And even much of the "CBN News", seems to be not that bad of reporting. Certainly the stories are to the right of even Fox News, yet have interesting content.

I sort of like Pat Robertson. He's basically a kind man. But he has political views far from the political mainstream, even for the Republican Party. All during August he has called for prayer to change the Supreme Court. Yet only two of the current court members were appointed by a Democrat, in fact both by Bill Clinton, all the other seven members are registered Republicans who were appointed by Republican presidents. The problem is that even among these Supreme Court Republicans, Pat Robertson's politics are so far to the right, that nearly half of the Republicans on the Supreme Court seem like blazing liberals to Robertson. And calling on prayer or God to change the Supreme Court to the political liking of Pat Robertson seems like an irresponsible abuse of prayer to me.

And Monday, after creating the firestorm over his comments supporting the assassination of Hugo Chavez, Robertson claimed he stood by his comments on Tuesdays, but today, on Wednesday, Robertson confused the problems he created for himself by claiming the AP misquoted him, and attempted to blame the media for his problems. But later today retracted that statement with a sincere apology that he was wrong and that calling for the assassination a democratically elected foreign leader was also wrong.

There are so many good Christian programs on television, that avoid politics and instead promote faith or responsible values. Joel Osteen of the Lakewood Church in Houston, is nicknamed the "smiling preacher" because he never has a bad word about anyone, an no politics to promote either. Pastor Mark Findley of the Seven Day Adventist faith has the wonderful, It Is Wrtten program. Charles Stanlley, the former elected head of the Southern Baptist Convention has an excellent uplifting program. Robert Schuller has The Hour Of Power, with a wonderful uplifting Christian message quite similar to the works of Rev. Vincent Pealle. Pat Robertson could learn much from these moderate religious programs who never promote political assassination or radical right politics like Robertson has, and instead promote a responsible Christian conduct.

My Website does involve both politics and what I believe to be responsible Christian values such as to question untruths promoted by government, opposition to the serious sin of war which does not respect the standards of God, that all human life is sacred, and a temple of the Spirit of God, and economic justice for the poor and oppressed. Pat Robertson has a right to his political opinions, but also the responsibilty to be sure that these opinions have some basis in Biblical values. If any lesson for Mr. Robertson should be taken from the current controversy he created, it is to more carefully script and think about his opinions before expressing them. If an opinion doesn't seem to be proper, it should then not be aired to the one million viewers of the 700 Club program.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Army Seeks To Replace Humvee In Urban Combat Role

One of the biggest mistakes of Donald Rumsfeld's poorly planned Iraq War, was the use of the lghtly protected Humvee as a sort of police patrol car in Iraq's urban combat. Donald Rumsfeld had been involved in planning for the Iraq War since 1997 according to his participation with the Project For The New American Century as documents on their Website will clearly prove. Yet Rumsfeld seemed to spend little effort to plan for the proper equipment to execute this mission in Iraq. This has contributed to many needless deaths in Iraq.

Some National Guardsmen from Oregon even have used pieces of plywood and sandbags to protect their National Guard Humvees that they nicknamed "plywod coffins". And while there are 24,000 Humvees in use in Iraq, more than 350 deaths have taken place of American soldiers in these poorly protected vehicles.

In Vietnam, the far better armored M113 Gavin was used, and offered far better protection to the troops in that war. Yet with very poor war planning from Donald Rumsfeld, the Humvee ended up playing a far larger role in Iraq than it ever should have played. The Humvee has a place in the military, but not in urban warfare like Iraq. The Humvee is way too vulnerable to roadside bombs and other attacks. In fact it almost reminds one of the primitive warfare of WWII with jeeps such as the 1960's Rat Patrol TV show portrayed. For a modern combat role, the Humvee is absolutely the wrong vehicle to use.

Georgia Tech Research Institute has been working on designs such as a boat bottom design to deflect roadside bombs and a lightweight armor shell to protect the soldiers from bullets and light shells and explosives. However it may be 2008 or later before a new vehicle to replace the Humvee is available, which also proves that the U.S. intends a role in Iraq after 2008. And this fact is in itself depressing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez Heads Down The Wrong Leftist Path

Some major Communist systems such as China and Vietnam long ago recognized that constructive relations and trade with all nations including the United States is both vital and realistic. This has resulted in major U.S. trade, friendly relations and has proven some benefits to both the U.S. and China and Vietnam. But the populist leftist president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez is following the failed lead of Cuba's dictator Fidel Castro to political isolation with the U.S. and economic disaster.

In the late 1950's, Fidel Castro became the darling of some of the American left who expected him to become an populist land reformer, but instead Castro became a nuclear threat menace and a tyrant who oppresses any political opponents. Instead of being a leftist with constructive relations with the U.S., Castro isolated himself from American trade and travel, and instead of developing Cuba into a wealthy vacation land for American tourists has made Cuba a poor nation that suffers from economic isolation by failing to cooperate with America enough to develop the Cuban economy. Hugo Chavez is following the same path to disaster in Venezuela.

Chavez has managed to become a near clone of Fidel Castro recently. A new law imprisons anyone who is critical of the government and places the newsmeda under tight censorship rules. Chavez is threatening to cut off oil sales to the U.S., and is using the massive oil income of Venezuela to buy Russian arms such combat jets and is building up a reserve military force of as many as 2 million reserve fighters. The uniforms of the army now resemble the uniforms of the Cuban military. And Chavez has closely aligned himself with failed leftist leaders of South and Central America, including Daniel Ortega, the former President of Nicaragua, and ex -guerilla leader, Shafick Handel.

All of this is an alarming trend. Will Venezuela cut off oil exports to the U.S. and become a new arena for conflict with Washington? Could Venezuela acquire nuclear arms and become a military threat to the U.S. ? Could Venezuela attempt to export "revolution" to other Latin American states and any democratic elections become a thing of the past in these South American states that have slowly moved towards free elections.

Instead of building some sort of socialist system with capitalist economic ambitions such as China or Vietnam, Hugo Chavez is heading his nation on a bad course that could entail some sort of conflict with the U.S. over oil or involving military use. If Reagan was President now, the U.S. would already be at war with Venezuela. This is absolutely unproductive. And equally unhelpful is some suggestions like that of Rev. Pat Robertson who today suggested that the U.S. get rid of Chavez by assassination or other means. This absolutely the wrong direction to take.

The best way to lower the conflict with Venezuela is for Bush to invite Hugo Chavez to the White House, express interests of peace with this nation and to draw Chavez closer to America. The wrong thing to do is to further aggravate the situation, and to futher isolate Venezuela from the U.S. and create a possible series of foreign policy interest conflicts with this oil rich state in South America.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Views Critical Of Iraq War Grow

Over the past few days, includng the Sunday morning talk shows, fresh evidence of more and more Americans becoming critial of the Iraq War is apparent. Not only the growing support for the protest effort of Cindy Sheehan has ignited the antiwar community, but even Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam War vet has become critcal of the war effort.

On Sunday, Meet The Press addressed the issue I have expressed here for the last few days, that militias in Iraq are threatening the entire American success and undermining the government in Iraq. And General Westly Clark, addressed another concern that I stated here, the influence of Iran and Syria in Iraq, as an undermining force.

While there is a huge disagreement with the direction for the American efforts, ranging from Cindy Sheehan's "withdrawal now from Iraq" sentiment, to a direction of others to fix the problems that are dooming the American effort, the trend is clear. Even among many who support the war effort only because America is now so involved with "both feet into Iraq" , there are serious concerns about the listing effort.

Today another deadline looms for the government of Iraq to finish their draft of the nation's constitution or to dissolve and hold new elections. This will be a disaster for America, and leave America holding up the broken pieces of a failed policy. Hopefully some document can be approved today and at least maintain the appearance of forward momentum in Iraq. But insugents are taking advantage of today's deadline are already staged successful attacks on an oil pipeline and electrical service. Both of these are difficult to repair, and create more disatisfaction in Iraq. The situation in Iraq is very bad. Any like Senator Trent Lott who claimed that America is winning in Iraq are hardly looking reality in the face.

I know one thing. I wouldn't buy a used car from anyone who claim's America is winning in Iraq.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Army Preparing For American Troops In Iraq For 2009

Sometimes I feel like a prophet, but I was highly critical of the recent "disinformation" claim that troop levels from Iraq would be cut. Well, sure enough now it is confirmed by Army Chief Of Staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker that the Army is preparing for American ground forces, probably comparable to the 138,000 currently, in Iraq for 2009.

Just like Vietnam, America has both feet into Iraq, and now feels that it has too much to lose to simply withdrawal from Iraq. Yet conditions are showing no clear sign of improvement that I see. Many of my previous posts detail problem after problem in Iraq.

But with no clear intent to disarm militias, prevent corruption within the new government, and the inability to restore any semblence of order in Iraq, America soldiers will not be leaving Iraq anytime soon.

No doubt Democrats will attempt to use Iraq as an issue in 2006 and 2008, and probably to some benefit, although nearly all Democrats originally supported this war. While Vietnam turned the 1964 LBJ landslide into a narrow win for Republican Nixon by 1968, Nixon took until 1973 to withdrawal Americans from that war. Democrats will try to politically benefit from Iraq, but will likely follow a similar policy as evidenced by Senator Joe Biden and others. In fact, Democrats may even try to run from the "right" on Iraq policy and think that more American troops in Iraq will help. It won't . The country is a primitive society of militias tht won't disarm, and it was only the fear of the brutality of Saddam Hussein that forced most in Iraq to behave like model citizens. The American role in Iraq is not taken as seriously, and is far less successful.

Probably with either the Democrats or the Republicans, American soldiers will remain in Iraq for a good long time. The situation in Iraq is not likely to improve anytime soon that I see.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Myth Of The "Free Election" In Iraq

Those that support the Bush Administration role in Iraq sometimes use a variety of exaggerated facts, half truths and even outright falsehoods to make their case to support the war. One of the greatest of these myths sold as fact is the myth of the "free election" in Iraq.

But from shortly after the American invasion of Iraq, Paul Bremmer proposed a caucas system designed to be under tight American control that would allow the American controlled Coalition Provisional Authority to have tight control over which parties and candidates would be allowed to rule Iraq. However as an effort to secure American public support, and to promote the notion of "Arab Democracy", plans were made to hold "elections" in Iraq.

While the Bush Administration made a major American public promotion of the coming elections in Iraq, some like Thomas Warrick of the State Department actually worked on a plan to channel covert American funds to candidates associated with longtime CIA associate, Allawi and his associated candidates and parties. Warrick was able to garner support at the State Department, Pentagon, and National Security Council for this plan to rig the Iraqi election in favor of candidates associated with Allawi by the channeling of the covert funds. However, it was an official in the office of Colin Powell that stopped this specific plan.

On the day that the elections were held in Iraq, a major public relations effort by the Bush Administration promoted the "success" of this event, as did most of the American mainstream media. Yet it took a full 12 days to count the votes, a period in which some American officials admitted that "disputed ballots" were kept out of the vote count. The Independent Electoral Commision of Iraq(IECI) found that in the city of Mosul for example, that a full forty percent of ballots could not be "allocated to a specific polling station". And former UNSCOM arms inspector, Scott Ritter claimed that votes for candidates associated with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani proIranian coalition of candidates and parties were pared down, although the vote for this coalition was so overwelming that removing as much as nearly 15 or 20% of their votes made no difference in the overwelminng victory over the Allawi coalition candidates.

And even the outcome of elections are not always accepted in Iraq either. Members of the proIranian Badr Brigade militia hold many positions of power in the Iraqi government. In Baghdad, 120 armed members of this militia replaced the secular Mayor of Baghdad, Alaa al-Tamimi, in their armed coup, with Badr Brigade militia member, Hussein al-Tahhan.

Publicly democracy for Iraq is a popular notion for American public consumption to bolster support for the Bush Administration and the Iraq War. But in Iraq the reality of truly free elections is a myth, and the use of the armed coup by militia members to replace public officials is still popular.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Myth Of The Battle For Democracy In Iraq

One of the greatest myths of the Iraq War, is that it is a battle for democracy against antidemocratic insurgents. But most of those who wave the flag and chant slogans to "support the President", haven't any knowledge that Iraq has no traditions of democracy and is a land of competing militias not interested in the democratic rule of Iraq.

The largest militia in Iraq, is the Kurdish Peshmerga militia, which numbers 100,000. It is a grave concern to Turkey that this organization would like to seek independence from Iraq and set up an independent Kurdish state. But America has good relations with this huge Kurdish military organization, and unlike other militias in Iraq is one of the few non-threatening to American interests in Iraq.

While the Sunni insurgent fighters and the foreign fighters who infiltrate from Syria and other Islamic states are given the most publicity in the American newsmedia, the Badr Brigade which was originally organized by Iran's Revolutionary Guard army in the 1980's by Iran is given little publicity. Yet the British military intelligence finds it one of the most lethal and worst terrorist organizations operating within Iraq. Yet very few in America understand the fact that the Badr Brigade is heavily infiltrated into Iraq's elected government.

While British intelligence blames the Badr Brigade and a second Iranian Revolutionary Guard funded organization founded by terrorist leader Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani for very lethal attacks in Iraq, included the most sophisticated use of powerful roadside bombs, the fact of the matter is that the Badr Brigade is deeply infiltrated within a major role in many levels of government in Iraq, including Provincial Governor's offices.

The Commander of the Badr Brigade, Hadi al-Ameri is a member of the recently elected Iraqi National Assemby, and is a leader of Public Integrity Committee in the Iraqi government supposedly to rid the country of "corruption". The Interior Minister of the Iraqi government is also a Badr Brigade member. Six Provincial Governors are members of the Badr Brigade. And just a week ago, 120 armed members of the Badr Brigade replaced the secular Mayor of Baghdad, Alaa al-Tamimi with Badr Brigade member, Hussein al-Tahhan. The Badr Brigade believes the bullet, not the ballot is the means to power in Iraq. And this terrorist militia organization is so deeply entrenched in the Iraqi government, that the government continues to praise not condemn the actions of the Badr Brigade organization.

With no tradition in democracy in Iraq, the American war in Iraq has merely succeeded in creating a spiral of competing ethnic, religious and state sponsored militias, terrorists, insurgents and a state of near anarchy. The Badr Brigade is the most likely to consolidate power within Iraq, with the use of coups, thuggery, and other antidemocratic acts to seize power in Iraq. The armed coup that replaced Baghdad's Mayor is a good example of the bullet rather than the ballot philosophy that the Badr Brigade intends to use where elections seem too tiresome to the Badr militia.

The Bush Administration fails to publicly acknowledge beyond the mere acceptance just last week of Donald Rumsfeld, that Iran is involved in Iraq, because it states the hopelessness of the case for the Iraq War. While America is tied down fighting the Sunni insurgents as well as the foreign fighters and terrorists like al-Zarqawi, equally dangerous proIranian forces such as the Badr Brigade use violence such as the armed coup against the Baghdad Mayor to wrest power in Iraq.

Regardless of whether Americans continue to lose their lives fighting in Iraq or not, an organization such as the Badr Brigade will consolide more and more power in Iraq, and eliminate "free" elections, and a terrorist organization such as the Badr Brigade will eventually rule Iraq. "Free" elections will disappear as soon as possible with an organization such as this in power in Iraq.

This is the depressing truth about Iraq. A violent nation of competing militia groups, and violence to achieve power. The Badr Brigade only used the past elections in Iraq to "officially", grab some power. But this terrorist militia organization with deep ties to Iran's Revolutionary Guard military will not settle for disarming or waiting for elections in the future. When the Badr Brigade views any attempt to grab power in Iraq, through an armed coup or not, it will take that opportunity. This is the "democracy" that Bush claims that America is fighting for in Iraq.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

1600 Vigils Were Held To Support Cindy Sheehan Last Night

One of the biggest misunderstandings of the political handlers of President Bush, and some, but certainly not all of his supporters is that much of the public cannot comprehend many complex political issues, but small issues that are more easy for the public to grasp can become major news, and can become a political minefield if not handled very well.

The Terry Schiavo incident became just that. The public cannot grasp all of the political or military ramifications of arms limitation, Iraq, or other foreign policy issues, nor can the public comprehend all the ramifications of economics issues. But an easy to understand issue like the Terry Schiavo feeding tube controversy or the vigil outside of President Bush's 5 week Crawford, Texas vacation site can be filled with plenty of political peril.

On the surface it seemed like the Terry Schiavo feeding tube controversy involved a compasionate concern that a handicapped woman who was not in mortal harm from any medical condition should not starved to death. I shared this moral concern. However, public reaction backfired on Republican's who got involved in the situation that the public thought should have been resolved by the family of Terry Schiavo. But the handlers of President Bush have learned little of the political perils of such public involvement in what the public considers to be private family matters, or the opposite of this, failing to show compassion to a mother who sacrificed a son in the Iraq War. Small events like this can cause massive politcal ramifications.

Last night, with the organizational help of of, 1600 vigils to support Cindy Sheehan were held around America. And two more mothers from Portland, Oregon and other cities that lost sons are headed to Crawford, Texas to support Cindy Sheehan. The President, his handlers and some supporters do not understand that failing to meet with Cindy Sheehan is backfiring and weaking both support for the Iraq War, and the moral authority of his Presidency.

Of course the political views of Cindy Sheehan, that America should immediately leave Iraq are not realistic. Even if it is accepted that gross falsehoods were promoted to groom American public opinion to enter Iraq are acknowledged, this still does not detract from the fact that a mother sacrificed a son in the Iraq War that the President and his Administration heavily promoted. There is a moral obligation to meet with families who lost members in this war in the mind of the public regardless of their politics. A mother who lost a son in Iraq is viewed by the public as simply that, and her politics are unimportant.

The strategy of Bush, to ignore Cindy Sheehan, while meeting with wealthy fundraiser contributors on his Crawford ranch, while some of his conservative backers on Websites and other areas bitterly denounce Cindy Sheehan or anyone who suggests that wise politics is to meet with this woman and get the event over with and prevent a public confidence crisis for his administration, is clearly not working. Bush could present a warm human side to Cindy Sheehan, while respectfully disagreeing with her political views. Instead he is reinforcing the image of that "smirky" self-righteous politician with hard right supporters who bitterly denounce anyone who speaks ill of his policies. Most Americans do not like this image, including many who voted for Mr. Bush. The politics of nasty partisan attacks on a mother who sacrificed her son in the Iraq War are gutter politics. And the claims that her son should have known what he was getting himself into in Iraq, compare against the claims of Rumsfeld and others in the administration who claimed that Americans would be warmly welcomed in Iraq and the war would be very easy.

The wise political course is for Bush to meet with Sheehan. But in failing to do this, a whole undoing of his Iraq War policy may be resulting from failure to meet with Cindy Sheehan. Bush and some of his most partisan supporters need to accept reality that the Iraq War is very unpopular. And the Cindy Sheehan event is promoting numerous protests for the first time since this war. Now that the protest genie is out of the bottle, more and more war protests may become common. Bush has undertaken a giant step an undoing the moral authority of his presidency and promoting antiwar activity that may force an early exit from Iraq before the situation is stabilized there. The war may be wrong and based on clear falsehoods from the Bush Administration, yet since the U.S. has committed to this massive foreign policy mistake, it should be quickly concluded with leaving a stable government, police force and military in Iraq before America leaves if it really ever intends to leave.

Russia, Pakistan, India And Iran All Conduct Recent Missile Tests

A number of nations have each tested new missiles within the last few days. In each case, these missiles could be armed with nuclear warheads.

Just yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin boarded a sleek Russian TU-160 bomber that launched a new Sineva hypersonic cruise missile that destroyed a target home a distance away. While the Russian government publicly claimed that this highly accurate missile can be used to fight "terrorists", this new extremely fast missile flies faster than sound and is actually designed to undermine American antimissile air defenses, which the Russian's believe to violate previous signed arms limitations treaties. As of yet, no known U.S. military defenses could defend against a missile of this speed or type if equipped with a nuclear rather than conventional warhead. Certainly if information of a Chechen leadership meeting at a site could be confirmed, the conventional version of this weapon may have some military use, but the real intent is a continuation of the post-Cold War arms race by Russia and the U.S., and is unfortunate for this reason.

Pakistan tested it's first cruise missile on August 11, as a birthday present to Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf who turned 62. The Babur cruise missile can be fitted with either conventional or nuclear warheads. India and Pakistan signed an agreement recently to inform each other of missile tests, but Pakistan did not inform India of the test of the new Babur cruise missile, claiming that the treaty did not cover guided missiles.

On July 17, India tested a new Akash surface-to-air, antiballistic missile, with a range of 17 miles. While not as advanced as many of the Pakistani designs, it still represents a widening fleet of various levels of missile weaponry by both India and Pakistan and an arms buildup in that region of Asia.

Last month, Iran tested a new solid rocket motor that extended the range of it's Shahab-3 missiles based on the North Korean Nodong design from 1,300 kilometers to 2,000 kilometers. These can be used to hit locations in Southern Europe or even Israel or Turkey with nuclear warheads.

These four nations represent just one month of a world arms race that continues month by month, year by year. The huge world arms race by a number of states usually means that many of these weapons are soon sold on the world arms market to other nations, and the world becomes more armed each month. Rather than create a Cold War standoff like the one between the former Soviet Union and the U.S., one nation will someday feel it has the advantage over a neighbor it is in conflict with and pull the nuclear triggger someday. This hardly makes the world safer or more secure.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Sinister Side Of "No Child Left Behind" Few Know Of

One of the least known facts of the "No Child Left Behind" legislation of 2001 was the intent to use the system to create a Pentagon database of information on 30 million young people from the ages of 16 to 25 who would be targeted by military recruiters for planned war efforts by the Bush Administration. And these plans dated well before Sept 11, 2001 and proved no linkage to terrorism at the time. But Sept 11, 200l allowed these provisions of the Pentagon database of young people to go unquestioned under the security concerns of the nation since that event.

Nearly every major policy of the current Bush Administration has either a corporate or military advantage written in. And "No ChildLeft Behind" is yet another example. In 1997, William Kristol along with other interests associated with he defense contractor industry, including future Bush Administration members Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Dick Cheney and others formed a prodefense contractor business lobby policy organization known as the Project For The New American Century, or PNAC. On January 26, 1998, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and others wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton to urge the restart of the old 1990-91 Gulf War in Iraq. But Bill Clinton refused.

In the letter, members of the PNAC stated that they were unsure whether Iraq actually possessed WMDs, and stated this in saying that," we wil be inable to determine with any reasonable level of certainty whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons". Yet the intelligence information in 1998 was virtually the same as in 2003, when Bush, Dr. Rice and others used public fear to promote images of a "mushroom cloud" unless America acted against Iraq. The information was largely based on Ahmed Chalabi, who was convicted in Jordan of the largest banking fraud scheme in the nation's history, yet was paid about $330,000 a month to an organization run by Chalabi and his brother by the U.S. government.

The original plan by the Bush Administration was to promote wars in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Sudan to reshape the Muslim world, to not only secure oil supplies for the American economy, but to politically reshape the Muslim world. The defense contractor interests used the PNAC as a cover to promote military activity that would create a huge arms market for their arms and for massive reconstruction contracting. Indeed, large buildings in Iraq such as Saddam's palaces that served no military importantance were destroyedby excessive "shock and awe' bombing destruction with $1 million dollar cruise missiles solely so that Halliburton could rebuild a new structure on the bombed site at a huge profit per project.. Massive war profiteering was behind the PNAC efforts to promote seven wars in Muslim states, yet the wars were so poorly planned that in just the first one, Iraq, America had found itself bogged down by Syrian and Iranian sponsored insurgent efforts.

It was a little known fact that when "No Child Left Behind" was created, that it was really an attempt to create a Pentagon computer database of young people who could be either encouraged by military recruiters to join the war efforts or else drafted to help prosper the wealthy military contractor and oil interests who control the Bush Administration who planned seven wars to create massive profits. 42 members of the Bush Administration are oil company former executives, paid consultants or major stockholders, and 32 members of the Bush Administration are associated with defense contractor interests, as former executives, major stockholders or paid consultants. While Bush sought to mislead the public during the 2000 Presidential debates, claiming he opposed "nation building", that was in fact exactly what he planned. "No Child Left Behind" was a major part in creating the Pentagon database to man these "nation building" wars to prosper the major corporations that control the Bush Administration and the American government.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Iran's Military Organizes Insurgent Fighters In Iraq

One virtually unknown fact is that the military of Iran, the Revolutionary Guard, trains and organizes terrorist and insurgent cells to kill coalition forces in Iraq. Both America and Britain have suffered many deaths from these efforts actively organized by the Iranian military.

The largest terrorist insurgent organization directly organized under the direction of the Iranian military, is the Badr Brigade, that involves as many as 12,000 insurgent fighters currently in Iraq. Other organizations such the Mujahedin For Islamic Revolution In Iraq may involve less fighters, but appear to be an elite organization of terrorist fighters.

With a hardline government that is defying the world community by breaking the IAEA seals on the Isfahan reactor, claiming that a "peaceful" use of nuclear power is intended, the real goals of building a nuclear weapons force appears to be the most likely goal of the extremist government of Iran.

Maybe for fear of Iran using mines or other means in the very narrow Strait Of Hormuz to stop all oil flow to the U.S. and the West, until only recently, both American and British military intelligence has publicly ignored the organized Iranian military threat. This appears to be politically based. It is a strange war when enemy combatants are not publicly acknowleged. However for months I indicated here that the U.S. has a cease fire treaty with the antiIranian government terrorist organization, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, and Iranian fighters challenge both bases of this organization and coalition forces in Iraq as well. Vietnam proved that when a war is fought politically, with boundary limitations, and combat limitations, a war of this sort cannot be won. The Iraq War is also being fought with political, military and boundary limitations, and is the prime reason that America has not been able to secure Iraq and probably cannot secure Iraq. The Iraq War simply cannot be won with such limitations.

The war with Iran started only days after the beginning of the 2003 war in Iraq, but only within the last few days has anyone in the Bush Administration acknowleged an active Iranian military effort. That came only days ago from Donald Rumsfeld.

Iranian College Students Begin Human Shield Duty

In Iran, college students have begun human shield duty around the Isfahan reactor. This is because of an expectation of an attack from the Israel or the U.S. that may come very soon, perhaps in weeks.

The story about the world concern over the Iranian reactor's enrichment of uranium is a major story worldwide, but not in the United States.

With many college students supporting a nuclear future for Iran, the support for proreform efforts has waned in Iran, where many students would sign up for war against the U.S. and Israel.

With a hardline government in Iran, and support for reform quickly waning, an environment that could lead to serious war may come sooner rather than later.

More From The Land Of Disappointment:Iraq

Today came more disappointing news from Iraq, where a constitution could not be decided on. In reality, the government was supposed to disolve and new election was supposed to be held if today's dealine could not be reached.

In a land of disappointment, with a poor population of nearly the size of Canada, constant terrorism, 70% unemployment, 2 million in Baghdad without running water, many with only 3 or more hours a day of electricity, an armed militia that replaced Baghdad's mayor last week in a coup installing one of their own members as mayor, and other constant reminders of the instability of this awful country, it was no great wonder that another disappointment, such as the failure to meet the constitution deadline.

There is an old joke. A young fellow doesn't want to get out of bed and go to church. His mother argues with him. "I want you to get out of bed and go to church". Give me two good reasons, mother", the young fellow retorted. The mother replied, "Well, for one, I'm your mother. And second you're the pastor".

In a similar way, the U.S. tried to push the Iraqi government to get the work done, almost like a parent trying to get a child to do homework, or the joke about the young pastor not wanting to get out of bed. But to little avail.

With an ineffective government in Iraq that achieves little for the average Iraqi, cannot complete a constitution, is ineffective in organizing a military or a police force, the U.S. can see itself stuck in Iraq for a very long time.

It is a typical disappointing day in Iraq.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Justice Sunday II Another Bad Political Sequel

One of the worst aspects of the Supreme Court vacancy is the way the Roberts nomination is being politicized. The involvement of Progress For America, an organization almost wholly supported by the heir to the Wal-Mart fortune and a few other wealthy interests who have share a financial stake in favorable rulings from the supreme Court in decisions that involve big corporations vs. consumers was one of the first. Then the absurd NARAL ad, which was outrightly a false smear that Roberts somehow supported violent abortion protestors. Then the very partisan Email from RNC head Ken Mehlman. And of course the daily propaganda about how bad the current Supreme Court is from the 700 Club and Pat Robertson, although all but two court members are registered Republicans.

Now the latest attempt to poison the well is from a coalition of right wing groups who claim to be profamily and Christian, who staged Justice Sunday II last night. One of the main supporters of the Justice Sunday event was Focus On The Family founder, James Dobson. However this event wasn't important enough for Dobson to interupt a vacation in France, and he only addressed the event by a videotape. Some speakers including convicted felons like Chuck Colson, who the public largely stopped listening to after his Watergate crimes conviction in the 70's. Tom Delay also addressed the group's event, but made no mention of his ethics problems. And Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council used a baseball oriented show and tell to energize Christian right supporters with a message of Christian's under siege, or a us against them philosophy, which is characteristic of all brainwashing efforts by fringe organizations. Fringe groups try to isolate members from society, and create a paranoid impression that the fringe members are under siege from society. In this case the Supreme Court is made into a villain, that can be fixed by loading it with far right justices who will impose their opinions on society.

The shopping list is frightening of all the Justice Sunday organization's goals. These include a complete breakdown of any seperation between church and state. This could lead a state church, or perhaps a coalition of right wing churches being seen as legitimate, and other churches not. The right to privacy is challenged, including the right for homosexuals not to be arrested in their own homes for private consenting conduct. And other religious right demands that are unreasonable and outrageous for a free society to even consider.

The Roberts nomination should be decided on all documents made available for Senators to judge his ability to fairly rule on cases, as well an open questioning by Senators. Instead ads by business interests, including for Wal-Mart interests, abortion clinic interests, and now religious right interests are poisoning the process.

Roberts is most likely a corporate conservative rather than a merely social one. The interests of big corporations will get a big boost on the court with his nomination. The Senators should question whether, Roberts, a former attorney for coal industry interests, Toyota and Chrysler business interests is the best choice for a fair and balanced court. Will the consumer and public get a fair hearing with such a justice or not is a good question. Does he enter the bench with too many leanings not to be fair and impartial, or is he biased too much. This is what deserves a fair and open consideration in hearings in the Senate.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Bush Declines His Standing With Failure To Meet With Cindy Sheehan

During his five week working vacation in Crawford, Texas, President Bush is doing significant damage to his standing with the public on the Iraq War or any possible public support that may be required to stand up to Iran's nuclear threat, by failure to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother who lost a boy in Iraq.

The message of Cindy Sheehan may be wrong. Even Joeseph Biden admitted that Iraq will become a haven for terrorists and insurgents if America should leave Iraq right now, unless America leaves a stable Iraqi army and government before they leave. However despite this wrong message, Bush should meet with Cindy Sheehan and offer his compassion and prevent more political slippage on Iraq and the Administration's standing with the public.

But instead of handling this situation with some sense of good politics, the Bush White House is squandering away more support and more credibility to the public. The flag waving of some counter protestor's fail to get the message that Bush should have met days ago with Cindy Sheehan even if part of her message is wrong. Karl Rove is probably the man who has the say what Bush does next in major events, if not everyday events. How Rove can allow this situation with Sheehan to cause so much bad-will is a sign of a declining lame duck administration that has lost touch with political realities and the power of the television screen to make or break public support. The Republicans won narrow across the board victories based on national security concerns of the public in the 2004 election. It is Iraq and things like failing to meet with a mother who lost her son in the war that are undoing the uneasy grip on power Republicans now hold. You'd expect the party strategists like Rove to be smarter than this.

Iran Claims More War Options Than The U.S. If Attacked

Iran has responded to the Interview by Presiden Bush on Channel 1 in Israel, claiming to have more options than the U.S. if attacked. And unfortunately that may indeed be correct.

Any attack against the nuclear research sites would most likely fail because they are too deeply dug in and cannot be reached by smart bomb, "bunker buster" bombs. And the only the reactor at Isfahan is vulnerable to attack. This Tuesday, college students are intending to start forming a human shield to protect this reactor from an attack by the U.S. or Israel. And this just about sums up the military options for the U.S. or Israel.

But Iran does indeed hold more cards to cause mayhem if the Isfahan reactor is attacked. With Shahab-3 missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers, Iran can and will attack the Dimona reactor in Israel, and could expose it's reactor and create a Chernobyl type radiation disaster. Iran could choke off the supply of all MidEast oil, by sinking a few junk ships in the narrow Strait Of Hormuz. And Iran could send it's 3 million man Revolutionary Guard Army to attack in Iraq and push onto through Jordan to invade Israel. Million more conscripts could be called up. Israel could stop this by launching part of it's 200 nuclear missiles against this massive land invasion, but many of the American soldiers serving in Iraq may be killed by getting caught up in the nuclear crossfire of Israel to blunt the Iranian invasion. iran could sink U.S. aircraft carriers by suicide attacks or with cruise missiles designed to sink American aircraft carriers. And Iran could step up terrorism in the U.S. , with possible agents already in place here. Iran could even step support for insurgents in Iraq, and flow far more guns and fighters than they currently are involved in. Iran does have more options than the U.S. or Israel. Yet the U.S. or Irsrael would definately win a military situation with Iran, although it would mean a major war.

Unlike Iraq, Mr. Bush should realize that any conflict with Iran probably will interupt all the MidEast oil supplies, and will involve major war with significant deaths and will most like result in the deaths of many Americans in Iraq, from either Iranian missiles or from land invasion fighting, or the nuclear crossfire from Israel. If Mr. Bush decides to pull the trigger this time, then the stakes will be very high. The first war time use of nuclear weapons since WWII will most likely take place as Israel attempts to blunt a massive land attack from Iran. The minor quagmire in Iraq will be nothing compared to major war with Iran.

New Ken Mehlman Email Attempts To Use NARAL Ad Politically

When NARAL poisoned the political environment by running a clearly false attack ad against John Roberts the other day, it was bad enough. But now a new Email by RNC head Ken Mehlman is attempting to use this unfortunate ad for political purposes.

In a new Email sent out today, Mehlman claims that many Democrats such as Howard Dean and others have refused to condemn the false NARAL ad. Yet Democrats had nothing to do with the ad, which is by an independent 527 that represents the financial interests of the abortion industry, and some comments by some in the Democratic Party already insisted that independent 527 ads such as by NARAL or the proRoberts Progress For America will not influence their hearings on Roberts. Democrats cannot be expected to take responsibility for 527 ads from an business lobby organization that they have no connection to. And some Democrats are prolife and do not agree with organizations lke NARAL. Mehlman has the right to promote GOP policies or Roberts, but connecting Democrats responsibility to condemn ads that are not part of Democratic Party functions is unfair and absurd partisan politics.

NARAL has a financial interest in the legal abortion industry, of which there have been 44 million abortions since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, or a number equal to the population's of California, Oregon and Washington. Any ads run on behalf of this organization are intended to financially benefit this industry interest group. It is a business lobby organization. And the proRoberts Progress For America represents the business interests of the heir to Wal-Mart , and other major interests.

If Ken Mehlman is trully interested in a fair hearing for Roberts, he should not make it a sharply partisan event. This will only insure a vote along party lines, rather than a fair hearing of facts whether Roberts is a proper choice or not. The probusiness ad by NARAL was unfortunate enough. But poisoning the well by condemning Democrats for not condemning an ad they had no part in, seems to be a highly partisan attempt to mobilize proRoberts forces, rather than a serrious attempt to force Democrats to take responsibility for something they have no part in. Nonsense like this needs to stop. Politics brings out the very worst sometimes.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Bush Raises The Possibility Of Military Action Against Iran

Speaking from his Crawford, Texas vacation site, in an interview with Israel's Channel 1, President Bush stated that "all options are on the table" in dealng with Iran. While Bush also claimed that "force" against Iran is a "last resort", similar language was used before the start of the war in Iraq. Usually such talk seems to indicate that a military option choice has already been decided. The public acknowledgement usually indicates that military planning has been underway, and military targets and options have been discussed at the Pentagon and White House.

In July, some like Scott Ritter, former UNSCOM arms inspector actually believed a military attack on Iran was planned and signed off on by Bush. But in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister, Sharon and the head of Israeli military intelligence, new inteligence by the Israeli military clearly indicated that nuclear research sites in Iran had been dug into deep bunkers in many locations, and could not be reached by smart bomb "bunker busters" by either the Israeli or the United States Air Forces.

Iran presents three dangers for the United States: These range from the nuclear threat to both Israel and the U.S., the sending of terrorist insurgent fighters and supplies into Iraq, and the possibility of choking off the entire MidEast oil supply to the United States and the West, as Iran controls the very narrow Strait Of Hormuz, and could off this vital seaway, and prevent all oil from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain from reaching the U.S. or Western economies.

The Isfahan reactor in Iran is vulnerable to U.S. or Israeli attack, but intelligence claimed 4,000 centrifuges vital to enrichment of uranium into UF-6 gas needed for nuclear weapons conversionare in the deep bunkers. Any military attack on the reactor has a promise by Iran to attack Israel's Dimona reactor. This week, a top general in Iran's Revolutionary Guard announced that Iran had improved their Shahab-3 missiles to a 2,000 kilometer range, after successful tests of a solid fuel motor in July. Previous Shahab-3 missiles only had a 1,300 kilometer range. And possible new GPS satellite controlled guidance systems now make the missiles accurate within one meter.

The Shahab-3 missiles are based on the North Korean Nodong missiles. However Iran has become skilled at producing and improving their own missiles and other military goods. With past help from the Pakistan's A.Q. Khan Research Labortory, Iran not doubt has both the knowledge and equipment required to produce nuclear weapons from enriched uranium. While some scientists in Israel believe that Iran's own nuclear weapons may take two years or longer to develop, it is unlikely that the U.S. will wait to to the last minute.

Just like the language surrounding Iraq, just before the start of the war there, an attack on Iran will probably be sudden and much sooner rather than later. But the possibility of a major war resulting from this military incident is very high. And the possibility of Iranian state sponsored terrorism in the U.S. would likely increase as well. Iran's 3 million man army will no doubt attempt to invade Isreal, and Israel may launch nuclear missiles to stop this assault and invasion. For the first time since WWII, nuclear war may again be a reality as Israel will attempt to thwart Iran's huge conventional forces army. Any military action against Iran will trigger a larger war in all likelyhood. And even though this unthinkable, a nuclear armed Iran is also unthinkable. No good military options actually exist. If diplomacy fails, the worst possible outcomes will be reality in this huge problem of Iran seeking to enrich uranium and defy the IAEA and the world community.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Roberts Attack Ad That Went Too Far

There are many reasons to be concerned about the corporate lobby legal background of John Roberts on behalf of the coal industry to gut clean air and antistrip mining rules. But another organization concerned about Roberts nomination has gone way too far.

NARAL, the proabortion organization had sought to sidetrack Roberts with an ad they planned to air on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and CNN with a $500,000 advertising campaign. Only CNN accepted a $125,000 the advertising campaign from NARAL. The problem is that the NARAL ad against Roberts is blantantly false. The other networks rejected the ad, but CNN decided to run the ad even though they knew the ad was blantantly false according to one source.

In 1991, Roberts and some other attorneys helped to write a legal brief for a Supreme Court case that limited actions of an abortion clinic to limit protestors. The clinic sought to use a 1871 law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act to limit protests at their clinic by protestors, however the Supreme Court rejected the use of this law to be applied in this manner. But the antiRoberts ad by NARAL used images of an abortion clinic bombing which occured 7 years later, and claimed that Roberts was responsible for the violence. Eric Rudolph and other extremists with no connection in any way to Roberts have been convicted of abortion clinic bombings. It can be argued that Roberts has helped to keep the channel for protests open, against war, or other controversial topics with his efforts in the 1991 case, limiting the use of the 1971 Ku Klux Klan Act. Had the clinic prevailed, antiwar, antiWal-Mart, and other protestors could be charged with serious crimes for constitutionally protected protests.

There are plenty to reasons to be concerned about Roberts. Will he be a disaster for court cases regarding consumers, the environment, and be too probig business. But NARAL's blatantly false ad proves the way not to campaign against Roberts, or anyone else for that matter. There should be zero tolerance for false advertising for or against political issues and candidates. The 2004 Swift Boats Ads are another example, two veteran's who praised John Kerry's Vietnam efforts during a veteran's event a few years earlier that were recorded on camera made strong charges of just the opposite on behalf of the Swift Boats campaign in 2004. Were they lying at the veteran's event or in the Swift Boats ad? "Bearing False Witness", is not only is against the Ten Commandments standard, but is rotten scorched earth politics as well that poisons politics. An honest debate on the Roberts nomination, not a mere smear, or a mere rubber stamp should be expected. And 527's such as the Swift Boats Veterans should be be held to the same standards of the NARAL ad, where advertising where contrary evidence exists should be judged whether the ad is truthful or blantantly false.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Pentagon May Decide To Increase Iraq Force Today

Only days ago when public opinion poll numbers proved a declining support for the Iraq War, and a concentrated "disinformation" campaign was begun by the White House where some claims that troop levels may be lowered in coming months, and Secretary Of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice claimed that the insurgency was losing both political and military strength, a Pentagon meeting will take place today that may decide to increase the number of American soldiers in Iraq.

Just like Vietnam, a string of statements that were overly optimistic from the White House and Pentagon were constantly floated, while troop strength levels steadily increased. Iraq is exactly the same. Violence is increasing, as the Defense Secretary Rumsfeld admits that Iran is supplying many of the weapons to the insurgency in Iraq, and Iran is also seeking to enrich uranium to build an inventory of nuclear arms in another crisis that has been under-reported in the U.S. media .

The U.S. is forced to bolster it's forces in Iraq because of the increased Iran threat in which their 3 million man Revolutionary Guard Army could invade Iraq and push through Jordan onto a land invasion of Israel if Israel should attack the Isfahan reactor where the nuclear enrichment is taking place. Soldiers levels are quietly being raised in other close MidEast states. A contigent of National Guard soldiers based in Salem, Oregon are leaving for Texas training for stationing in Kuwait today. Not only in Iraq, but in neighboring MidEast state, American forces will be increased as a result of the fresh nuclear and conventional forces threat from Iran in the coming months.

And with increased violence in Iraq, with larger more lethal roadside bombs, the current troop levels seem to be insufficient to provide security in Iraq. Out of the original 147,000 Iraqi forces that were claimed to be trained for combat duty by U.S. advisors, the Pentagon recently admitted, that a mere 3,000 are actually combat ready to stand on their own.

While Israel is the most likely to act against Iran, American forces are being bolstered to respond to this threat as well as the worsening situation in Iraq.

With the Rumsfeld admission of the Iranian supply of arms to insurgents in Iraq, as well as the new nuclear threat from Iran caused by the Isfahan reactor IAEA seals being broken to enrich uranium into possible nuclear arms, a new case may be made by the White House of a reason for an American response or to justify a troop buildup in Iraq. With the last Iraq War spending bill, $500,000 was included for permanent military base construction, which probably means that America intends to permanently station at least some forces in Iraq. Also in Southern republics that were former parts of the Soviet Union, attempts to base American troops have been undertaken.

The situation with Iran may hit the U.N. Security Council soon, but China is likely to veto any action against Iran, as China's economy is dependent on a $70 billion dollar natural gas deal that is vital to it's economy. Most likely either Israel or the U.S. may act militarily against Iran without the approval of the Security Council if it appears that China will block any action. With little world support for theIraq War, and an unpopular and confrontive choice in U.N. Ambassador, Robert Bolton, the ability of the U.S. to garner world support for this far more serious situation is now limited. The U.S. wasted too much clout on the Iraq War, which was seen as unnecessary by many in the world community. Now with a serious possible nuclear situation in Iran, support for any U.S. led action is gone. One of the worst legacy's of the Bush Administration is a dramatic loss of world foreign policy clout. With serious situations like Iran looming, this is a very a serious problem.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Federal Reserve Board Adds to Misery With New Interest Rate Hike

As expected, the Federal Reserve Board has again raised interest rates. But this makes no sense. The leading cause of most recent inflation has been caused by oil price increases which have rippled through the economy, boosting the price of all products. As the costs to produce all consumer goods increase as a result of oil at nearly $64 a barrel, and consumers on limited budgets have to consider whether to buy food or gasoline, or this winter, heating oil, will be hard pressed with possible interest rate hikes that may hit the credit cards they hold. And hard pressed families destroyed over huge health care bills for an unexpected illness are sharply limited to seeking bankruptcy protection, thanks to a bill lobbied for by the big credit card companies and banks, and passed by Congress and signed by Bush.

It is ironic that because oil has boosted prices, the Federal Reserve Board adds to the misery by boosting interest rates. This is a proof that instead of selective wage and price controls, boosting interest rates is a poor vehicle for inflation control. Once again the poor will be hard hit as this trend of rate hike, after rate hike takes place.

Many of the oil companies are international corporations, so controlling inflation with interest rates in the U.S. has little impact to control high oil prices that spur inflation. Interest rate hikes to control inflation is a very poor vehicle to curb inflation. It tends to victimize the poor far more than globalized corporations who operate without borders, and sometimes without conscience as well.

Russia, World Community, React To Worsening News From Iran

Russia has joined the world community in expressing deep concerns that Iran is apparently now involved in uranium enrichment at a nuclear facility. And President Bush offered a comment from his Crawford, Texas working vacation today about the situation with both Iran and North Korea. The U.N. Security Council may be the next to react.

And claim of oil rich Iran needing nuclear power for peaceful means was also quickly undermined by a statement Tuesday morning claiming that Iran has extended the range and accuracy of it's Shahab-3 missiles to a range of 2,000 kilometers and an accuracy of within one meter, from General Ahmad Vahid, of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

The Shahab-3 missiles are based on the North Korean Nodong missiles. And since a trade agreement with China for civilian aircraft made during the Clinton Administration, GPS satellite tracking technology meant for peaceful aircraft landing and tracking operations has been adopted into a military use for missile guidance systems. With so much trade between China, North Korea and Iran, Iran's military most likely has found a way to adopt GPS satellite tracking technology to their Shahab-3 missiles. And Iran has been able to build it's own tanks, fighter aircraft, armored personnel carriers as well as missiles since 1992. After a Soviet arms embargo to the region during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. Iran responded with plans to build their own military wares, often based off Soviet, Chinese or North Korean designs.

Iran not only has a 3 million man Revolutionary Guard Army and a small navy as well, but could call up millions more conscripts in the event of an attack on the Iranian nuclear research sites which are spread into many locations and heavily dug underground to prevent an attack by American or Israeli bunker buster type bombs. In 1981, Israel shocked the world with a sudden surprise attack on the reactor at Osirak. But Iran has promised destruction of the Israeli Dimona reactor in retailiation for any such attack. The Israeli Dimona reactor is most likely the source of enriched uranium for the Israeli nuclear program, and any destruction of this site by Iran could cause not only an open radiation problem that will destroy farming, but threaten the public in Israel as well. It would also threaten Israel's ability to produce more nuclear weapons if a war should last for a few weeks rather than hours or days.

Israel has a clear military advantage over Iran in military arms, but certainly not in manpower. Israel has a suspected 200 nuclear mounted on land based ballistic missiles, and also aircraft or submarine missiles. There are also nuclear landmine trenches dug alng the Northern border near Lebanon to prevent Syrian tanks from invading from the North in the event of a new MidEast war that could breakout if the situation with Iran continues to worsen into war between Israel and Iran, if Israel would strike at the Iranian reactor to stop the enrichment of uranium into arms.

It was known that Iran conducted tests of a solid fuel motor for it's Shahab-3 missiles in July. And if the ability to launch a satellite can be achieved by Iran, then the possibility to put missiles into orbit to attack the mainland U.S. could be eventually achieved. Iran has long referred to America as the "Great Satan". With such a deep hatred of both Israel and the U.S., a nuclear armed Iran is a very grave threat. The new radical president of Iran may consider it a religious achievement for Islam to burn both Israel and the U.S. off the face of the planet. Iran has become the center of revolutionary Islam versus the more moderate following of the Muslim faith in most nations.

At this point things seem to be quickly moving in a direction that is not at all positive in Iran. Hopefully the U.N. Security Council can put some teeth in some sanction or action against Iran and prevent a serious conflict. But things have worsened within just the last two days to a real crisis point within days if the situation is not quickly contained.

Oil Company That Made Suspect Contribution To Nixon Involved In New Probe

While the Watergate scandal of the Nixon Administration is well known, a far less well known potential scandal emerged at a later date among the records of Rosemary Woods, the personal secretary of Richard Nixon. Rosemary Woods was best known for her supposed mistake that caused an 18 minute erased gap in a vital evidence tape that could have implicated Nixon in approving illegal activity related to Watergate. According to the records of Rosemary Woods, Amerada Hess Corporation donated $250,000 to Nixon's campaign, and within two months a government investigation into an oil contract in the Virgin Islands was suddenly dropped. Normally the CREEP(Committee To ReElect The President) would retain records of normal political contributions, so why Nixon's own personal secretary kept a special list of donations is highly suspect. A "special" contribution, and the subsequent dropping of a government investigation raises questions of a possible scandal that could have brought criminal charges against Nixon. Had this blown into a scandal, Nixon may have become the first President to become a convicted felon.

Now a new situation involving Amerada Hess Corporation has developed. The SEC is investigating the possibility that some "special" payments through Riggs Bank were made to government officials in Equatorial Guinea. If such payments are proven by the SEC to have been made to seek some sort of favor among foreign government officials, they could be a possible violation of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act.

A role of a business should be to do business, not to get involved in scandals involving questionable contributions or payments to government officials, whether it be to influence the White House, or to influence foreign governments. The stockholders who invest in a corporation have a right to expect far better of some corporations who conduct themselves in a manner that could hurt the value of that investment. Mr. Bush may want the retired persons of America to invest part of their retirement in the private stock of corporations. But that stock value is fragile when some corporations are not always on the best of behavior.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Iran Pushes The Nuclear Envelope To A Dangerous Level

The International Atomic Energy Agency and the world community is alarmed that Iran has decided to push the nuclear envelope and introduce raw uranium at a facility in Isfahan, Iran. The next step is to break the seals the IAEA placed on the facility, and process the raw uranium into uranium hexafluoride and then enrich this into nuclear weapons fuel. And according to a informant from Iran, Alireza Jafarzadeh, Iran has constructed 4,000 centrifuges not declared to the IAEA to enrich uranium into nuclear weapons. Iran may be days away from the beginning of a crash nuclear arms program, where Iran may develop a number of nuclear arms within weeks once the IAEA seals are broken and enrichment into nuclear fuel is begun.

Many of my features on this website have hammered on this important issue over the last few months. The fact that Iran will force a serious military showdown and create a terrible world war most likely over their nuclear intentions or other serious issue is clearly warned of in Ezekiel 37-39. Ezekiel was a form of historian for the state of Israel. 2,600 hundred years ago his book of the Old Testament pointed out the enslavement of Judea and Sumaria, and the eventual re-establishment of modern Israel in late days, but a very serious war in which nuclear arms are used, results. Iran is called Persia in this book, yet all the facts appear to be in place with EU involvement in seeking a failed nuclear peace agreement with Iran (Persia) right before the situation worsens.

For a planned military attack on Iran set for July, it was thought by former UNSCOM arms inspector, Scott Ritter, that President Bush had already signed off on an millitary attack plan against Iranian research sites a few months earlier. But Israel, whose own intelligence services are among the world's very best, indicated that Iran had dug their nuclear research sites in so deeply that American designed bunker buster bombs could not surgically take out these sites. Israeli Prime Minister Sharon arrived at the White House with the head of Israeli military intelligence and laid out these problems to President Bush, which seemed to make a surgical military strike against the nuclear research sites of no real use. Bush then had to resort to pressure and diplomacy from the EU states of Britain, France and Germany, as the U.S. has no diplomatic ties to Iran, and no clout to prevent their nuclear enrichment plans . But Iran rejected the best EU proposal this weekend. Now Iran has pushed the envelope with the introduction of raw uranium at a site in which the IAEA seals may be soon broken, and the processing into weapons grade enriched uranium may be the next step. With help from the A.Q. Khan Research Laboratory of Pakistan, Iran can easily build such nuclear weapons. And with the help of North Korea, long range Nodong based conventional missiles from Iran, known as Shahab-3 missiles can hit portions of Europe and of course, Israel. And according to Benjamin Netanyahu, after the breakup of the Soviet Union, a few Russian scientists picked up a little extra money by supplying Iran missile technology secrets. Iran may seek to insulate itself against an attack like Iraq by the U.S. with nuclear missiles, yet by raising the nuclear stakes, Iran could also force such an attack by Israel or the U.S.

Israel is the most likely to act militarily against Iran, but only if such an effort would be effective. For some time Isreal's air force has practiced bombing missions in Turkish air space with an agreement between the U.S. and Turkey. And America has helped supply 5,000 "smart bombs" to Israel, including 500 uranium tipped bunker busters. But with the military intelligence of Israel indicating that Iran has dug their nuclear sites in so deeply, it appears a military option by Israel, the state most likely to react to Iran's nuclear program is very limited and not that likely to be very effective. The primary source of much information about Iran's nuclear program is the Mujahedin E-Khalq, a antiIranian terrorist organization that the Bush Administration has a ceasefire agreement with, and has been helpful to the CIA with military intelligence about Iran's nuclear program. Even Richard Perle, a member of the PNAC(Project For The New American Century) which included Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney and Bolton, helped to support the MEK at a fundraiser event held in the U.S., as a sign that the Bush Administration closely relies on MEK as a quasi-ally for CIA and military intelligence needs.

This weekend, perhaps the most far right member of the Sharon government in Israel, Bejamin Netanyahu, resigned in anger over a pull-out from Gaza by settlers. Netanyahu would be the most likely member of the Israeli government to pull the trigger on Iran over any nuclear threat. Yet despite the fact that Netanyahu is gone, and the Iranian nuclear sites may too deeply dug in, still there is a reason to believe that Israel cannot and will not allow not any nuclear threat from Iran to exist. Israel attacked a reactor in Iraq over similar concerns. But with less good military options, yet a real security threat to little Israel, Israel may see themselves as forced to defend themselves as international diplomacy appear to look very toothless in their view.

Iran has a 3 million man military, and although it has far less military hardware than the U.S. or Israel, it still could force a dangerous reaction to any military strike by Israel. This huge army could invade into Iraq and attack the American forces and attempt to push on to invade Israel. which could force Irael into a nuclear launch against an invading Iranian army of millions. There are many scenarios that are unthinkable if Israel should attack Iran, and Iran respond militarily. And Iran could also choke off the entire supply of MidEast oil to punish the world or the U.S. by sinking a few junk ships in the narrowest portion of the Strait Of Hormuz.

Iran should rethink any decision to begin uranium enrichment. But they appear to totally disregard the opinions of the world community. Within days, unless Iran chooses to back down, this could be the beginning of the greatest conflict in the history of the planet. A nuclear Iran is unthinkable. But a huge war caused by this crisis is even more unthinkable.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Peter Jennings: The Latest Victim Of The Tobacco Industry

A very great news legend had his life tragically cut short because of the evils of cigarette smoking. Peter Jennings was well loved and respected. A calming and continental voice of class for the news. Yet despite his seeming endless wisdom, Jennings smoked 20 years ago, and restarted shortly during the 9/11 attacks of terrible stress for America. The effect of all the 4,000 poisons in cigarette smoke and the amount of harmful additives which can number as much as 600 in number, cut down Peter Jennings life. His pained gravelly voice from the effects of the cancer should be a clear warning of anyone of normal intelligence to realize that cigarettes are nothing but poison, to both the smoker and nonsmoker alike.

A recent Email from Philip Morris USA regarding the harmful effects of cigarette smoke is startling in their admissions of the harm from cigarettes.

The Email acknowledged that " Public health officials have concluded that secondhand smoke from cigarettes causes disease, including lung cancer and heart disease, in non-smoking adults, as well as causes conditions in children such as asthma, respiratory infections, cough, wheeze, otitis media(middle ear infection) and Sudden Infant death Syndrome. In addition, public health officials have concluded that secondhand smoke can exacerbate adult asthma and cause eye, throat and nasal irritation".

But most startling is the conclusion that secondhand smoke is such a serious health danger that Philip Morris USA supports government action to regulate public smoking and post health warning notices in areas where public smoking is permitted. The Philip Morris USA Email continues, "Philip Morris USA believes that the conclusions of public health officials concerning environmental tobacco smoke are sufficient to warrant measures that regulate smoking in public places. We also believe that where smoking is permitted, the govenment should require the posting of warning notices that communicate public health officials' conclusions that secondhand smoke causes disease in non-smokers".

So where is government on following the safety recommendations of Philip Morris USA? Smokers can stand on crowded public sidewalks, and choose to impose their poisons on all others standing for about half a block radius. Smokers can smoke in public store entrances. Smokers can smoke in crowded traffic with windows wide open with their poisons injuring all in traffic with open or even in some cases closed windows. Smokers can smell up the homes of nonsmokers as smoke soaks into their homes those with asthma or other health conditions through tiny window clearances as wind blows up from the street or sidewalk. Philip Morris USA warns of the health dangers of their products, yet few smokers are ticketed or arrested for public smoking. And virtually no warning signs are posted in areas where smokers are. The people who are rude enough to smoke in public places face few legal sanctions against the enormous and expensive health problems they create.

Government cannot prevent people from smoking in their own homes. But based on the Email from Philip Morris USA, it should clearly act to end all public smoking and fine or arrest persons who harm children or the ill with these unnecessary poisons by criminalizing all public smoking.