Saturday, April 15, 2006

Raw Story: U.S. engaged in state-sponsored terrorism in Iran

While the Bush administration continues to bluster about its "global war on terror", we now are beginning to learn that they are actively supporting and employing members of a terrorist organization in Iran known as MEK, according to a report today in Raw Story.

Last Thursday, Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna reported (On Cheney, Rumsfeld order, US outsourcing special ops, intelligence to Iraq terror group, intelligence officials say) that, according to former and current intelligence officials, the Pentagon has been using a right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) as an operational asset "to create strife in Iran in preparation for any possible attack."

"[I]nstead of securing a known terrorist organization, which has been responsible for acts of terror against Iranian targets and individuals all over the world – including US civilian and military casualties – Rumsfeld under instructions from Cheney, began using the group on special ops missions into Iran to pave the way for a potential Iran strike," Larisa reported.

"They are doing whatever they want, no oversight at all,” an intelligence source told Larisa.

Larisa reported that the MEK soldiers were told to "quit" their organization and were "renamed" in accordance with a plan conceived by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld so that they could be "converted" into a military special ops team.

According to a UN official close to the Security Council whom Larisa interviewed, the "newly renamed MEK soldiers" were being employed in the place of U.S. military advance teams to commit "acts of violence in hopes of staging an insurgency of the Iranian Sunni population." (emphasis mine)

“We are already at war,” the UN official told RAW STORY.

If true, how much credibility does our government have with its "war on terror" when it is employing some of the same tactics? Is one man's terrorist another man's freedom fighter?

Apparently, our leadership is comprised of hypocrites. So what else is new?

While this story is damning enough on its own, it begins to beg the broader question surrounding the original impetus for this "war on terror". If our leaders are willing to employ terrorists to further their aims in Iran, were they also willing to do so back in 2001 when a sleepy American populace was so rudely awakened by the horrible events of 9/11? Perhaps the support of attacks on other nations' citizens is a far cry from inflicting such brutality on one's own, but history tells us that it may not be so far-fetched, after all, in this country.

What will it be next? I shudder to think.

Peters' Principle on Iran

Ralph Peters, author and retired military officer, penned an op-ed piece in the New York Post last weekend. In "Does Iran Want War?", Peters (pictured) attempts to convey his belief that Iran is well on its way to drawing the U.S. into a military confrontation, one that should end with Iran being pummeled unmercifully by American military might.

Aside from the fact that Peters' essay makes it seem like he's a card-carrying member of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), his descriptions of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad easily could be construed as representative of President Bush, as well.

THE most dangerous error we could make in our sharpening confrontation with Iran is to convince ourselves that its leaders will act rationally. Few wars are rooted in dispassionate analysis. Self-delusion sparks most such catastrophes.

In the context of the United States' attack on Iraq, these words do ring true. Irrational self-delusion and cooked - rather than dispassionate - analysis led the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal to wage an unnecessary and costly war.

Given that historical record, what should we expect of a radical-theocrat regime that has no serious grasp of American psychology, that rules an embittered populace it longs to excite and unify, and that believes it's literally on a mission from God?

Radical-theocrat regime? An embittered populace? On a mission from God? Sound familiar?

Given the closed nature of Iran's ruling clique, it's impossible to know. The most-probable situation is that differing factions within the leadership are at different stages of willingness for war, with some ready to fight and others fearful. Cooler heads may prevail - but "cooler heads" is a relative term in Tehran.

Have the inner-circle Iranian leaders replicated yesteryear's decision-making process of Osama bin Laden and his deputies in their Afghan camps - a hothouse atmosphere in which limited evidence was processed selectively and mutual-enablers convinced each other that a few attacks on American landmarks would drive Washington into a global retreat?

Sounds eerily like the current U.S. administration and its infamously insulated President. The neo-con, PNAC crowd that wants to conquer the world has proven to be too much for most of the "cooler", diplomatic heads in Washington. Attack first and ask questions later is their modus operandi.

Limited evidence that was processed selectively? Mutual enablers convincing each other to attack? Hmmmm.

Whether or not President Ahmadinejad is a madman, he speaks like one. He has no past experience of global statecraft and no grasp of the different mental and moral structures of other civilizations. The extent to which his ability to calculate objectively has been suppressed by a psychological addiction to religious extremism remains an open question. But the portents look bleak.

If that doesn't describe President Bush to a tee, I don't know what does.

Clearly, Peters' view of Iran and its leader is not dissimilar from the reality of our own leadership. And perhaps that's where this entire situation turns grave. When you have leaders on opposite sides who display similar deficiencies of character and wisdom, the result cannot be anything but bad. Mutual megalomania infused with a dangerous elixir of religious and ideological insanity doesn't bode well for a peaceful, globally-beneficial solution.

Peters concludes his piece with a call for gruesome aggression against Iran.

If we're pulled into war, we need to strike hard and fast - before Iran's allies can make mischief in international forums. We should destroy as much of Tehran's nuclear infrastructure as possible, eliminate its air force and air defenses and wreck its naval facilities beyond repair - no matter the collateral damage. (Peters' emphasis, not mine) The madmen in Tehran must pay an unbearable price.


But a half-hearted military response to Iranian aggression would only strengthen the confidence of our enemies and invite future confrontations.

We pulled too many punches in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and now we're paying the price. If Tehran drags us into war, we should make the conflict so devastating and painful that even our allies are stunned.

If Peters' words are, indeed, representative of current thinking within the White House and the Pentagon, then what does that say about us as a society?

It says, loud and clear, "We're doomed."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's the civil rights struggle of the 21st century!

If someone asked you to name the next, great civil rights struggle in this country, what might you guess?

Illegal immigration? Nope.

Gay marriage? I don't think so.

Abortion rights? Yeah, right.

If the Rev. Rick Scarborough (pictured) is correct, then the next civil rights struggle will center on the right of Christians to be intolerant - in some cases, overtly so - of gays and lesbians. It seems that those of a religious nature are tired of having to be nice to everyone. So, in order to legally exercise their perceived right to bash others, they are taking their fight to the courts. Would these be "activist" courts that the right spends so much of its time speaking out against?

The religious right aims to overturn a broad range of common tolerance programs: diversity training that promotes acceptance of gays and lesbians, speech codes that ban harsh words against homosexuality, anti-discrimination policies that require college clubs to open their membership to all.


The legal argument is straightforward: Policies intended to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination end up discriminating against conservative Christians. Evangelicals have been suspended for wearing anti-gay T-shirts to high school, fired for denouncing Gay Pride Month at work, reprimanded for refusing to attend diversity training. When they protest tolerance codes, they're labeled intolerant.

If this is the crap that the religious right is selling, then I'm not buying. Do these people not realize that they look like utter ignoramuses? They seem to be filled with so much hatred. Is that what organized religion has devolved into?


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Quote of the Day: "The president is revealed as the leaker-in-chief."

That was House member Jane Harman (D-CA) in response to the news that Scooter Libby's disclosure of classified information in 2003 was approved by President Bush. Certainly, the President has the right to de-classify information, but it remains to be seen if he followed the proper procedures to do so in this case.

"Procedures? We don't need no stinking procedures!"

No doubt, Mr. Bush will use his well-worn rationalization, "We're at war, man!", to justify his actions. As we know all too well by now, war - or "war", as the case may be - allows the President to do anything he damn well pleases. He can cry war and, almost immediately, all laws lose their relevance when it comes to this president. Nice.

All hail our Leaker-in-Chief! (not)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"Enemies of Virtue" Triumph!

Based on Tom Delay's decision to resign his House seat this week, I guess the "enemies of virtue" must have prevailed after all.

It's about time!!