For archive purposes, this article is being stored on website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.


The madness of Tony Blair
August 5 / 6, 2006
Yes, It is a Crusade!
Tony Blair's Mad Speech About Iraq
By Patrick Cockburn
D ear Prime Minister,
Among the letters I receive about Iraq a few are clearly written by demented people.
Their paranoid style is easily recognizable.
They use capital letters to distinguish the forces of darkness and the forces of light in Iraq.
They have a simple-minded, conspiratorial explanation for the war.
They are ignorant of well-substantiated facts about Iraq and the Middle East.
They are openly contemptuous of critics who do not share their crystal-clear vision of events.
All the traits of those insane letter writers
I was astonished, reading your speech on the Middle East delivered to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council on August 1, to find all the traits of those insane letter writers.
There is even the same mad person's obsessive capitalization.
In the complex crises in the Middle East and beyond you say you see primarily 'a struggle between what I will call Reactionary Islam and Moderate, Mainstream Islam'
Your vision is an apocalyptic one.   You see 'an elemental struggle about values.'
And it turns out that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq 'were not just about changing regimes but changing value systems.'
Child wounded by US attack
The banner was not actually 'regime change' it was 'values change."'
Claim by Islamic fighters entirely correct
Some of this is syrupy guff much along the lines that Private Eye's fictional Tony Blair, the Vicar of St Albans, often utters.
But if taken seriously it means that the US and Britain intervened in Afghanistan and Iraq to interfere with the Muslim religion and to support those Muslims who agree with Tony Blair's interpretation of their faith.
In other words the claim by the Islamic fighters in Iraq is that their religion is under attack by new crusaders from the west is, by your admission, entirely correct.
A further deeply disturbing aspect of your speech is its ignorance.
Sometimes this is even admitted.
In years before 9/11 you say 'We had barely heard of the Taliban.'
But the Taliban [ Mujahideen as the resistance fighters of Afghanistan call themselves — those who fight in a jihad — ], backed by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, had been taking control of Afghanistan for years.
Surely you had more than barely heard of them.
Paranoid single cause-explanations
As with so many paranoid single cause-explanations of the world your speech shows blindness to other, often fundamental, developments.
Many women and children wounded and killed in US attack
In Iraq this means not only that the US and British governments have no idea what is going on but, because they can never admit error, they are unable to devise new policies to replace those that have failed.
This has been the pattern of the last three years since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
For instance you say that it is Muslim religious extremism alone which causes violence in the region and their actions have nothing to do with the US occupation.
But all the evidence is to the contrary.
A poll by the Ministry of Defence last year showed that 82 per cent of Iraqis want US and British forces to withdraw from the country.
Supported armed resistance
I have been visiting Iraq since 1978 and have been spending half my time in the country since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
It was evident from the summer of 2003 that the five million string Sunni community supported armed resistance.
Whenever I went to where an American soldier had been killed or wounded local people were dancing with joy.
It was this which gave strength to extreme Islamic groups.
They had a friendly environment in which to operate.
Al Qaeda had no base in Iraq before 2003; its few adherents' only base was in the Kurdish mountains beyond the control of Baghdad.
It was entirely the doing of George Bush and yourself that they have now established themselves in Iraq and grow stronger by the day.
Instead you suggest that the real problem is that 'Syria allowed Al-Qaeda operatives to cross the border.'
Traditional Islam is growing
Reactionary Islam does not fear elections because it wins them.
The victors in the last election in Iraq in December 2005 were the Shia and Sunni religious parties among the Arabs and the Kurdish parties.
The main secular group under Iyad Allawi, despite strong support from the US and Britain, did poorly at the polls.
Traditional Islam is growing stronger in Sunni Iraq because it has shown that it can fight the foreign invader in a way that secular nationalists, like Saddam Hussein, demonstrably failed.
Among the Shia it is the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr, the nationalist cleric, who won 30 seats in the Iraqi parliament.
The political success stories in Iraq are of those who combine Islam, nationalism and an ability to fight.
Puppet, quisling soldier trained by US
The US, with Britain trotting along behind, may soon find it embroiled in a war with the 15-16 million strong Shia community in Iraq as well as with the Sunni.
Frighteningly unaware of reality
Your speech is essentially a 'neo-con' view of Iraq.
It is frighteningly unaware of reality on the ground.
Your own departing ambassador William Patey wrote in a memo to you leaked last week that a civil war was more likely than a democracy.
Some 3,000 civilians were killed in June.
Gen John Abizaid, the top US commander in the Middle East, told a Senate Committee on Thursday that "I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I have seen it, in Baghdad in particular, and that it not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war."
In the eyes of most Iraqis the civil war started six months ago if not before.
There are now two wars going on in Iraq: one is between Shia and Sunni and the second between insurgents and occupiers.
Iraq is splitting apart.
The country may survive as a geographical expression but not more.
Twice in the last century British prime ministers claimed they had discovered the source of all evil in the Middle East.
Lloyd George wanted to fight Ataturk and Turkey in 1922 and lost office immediately.
Anthony Eden went to war to overthrow Nasser in 1956 with equally grim consequences for himself.
Your intervention in Iraq has been even more disastrous from the British point of view.
I only hope al Qaeda, Hezbollah or Hamas do not translate your speech into Arabic since every paranoid paragraph confirms their claim that they are battling a western crusade against Islam.
Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent of London and CounterPunch.
Blair is wildly exaggerating the threat posed by terrorism
Craving a monstrous enemy, the prime minister has vastly overstated this supposed threat to world security
Simon Jenkins
Wednesday November 22, 2006
The Guardian
Destruction and Civilian Victims of the Anglo-American Aggression in Iraq
What is it about a desert that drives men mad?
On Monday morning the prime minister stood on the Afghan sand and said: "Here in this extraordinary piece of desert is where the fate of world security in the early 21st century is going to be decided."
Tony Blair was talking to soldiers he had sent to fight the toughest guerrillas on earth for control of southern Afghanistan.
He told them: "Your defeat [of the Taliban] is not just on behalf of the people of Afghanistan but the people of Britain ... We have got to stay for as long as it takes."
Lost touch with reality
The prime minister's brain has clearly lost touch with reality.
Even under the Raj there was no conceivable way Britain could conquer and hold the arc of territory to which Blair was referring.
It stretches from the Persian Gulf through Iranian Baluchistan and Afghanistan to Pakistan.
No central government has come near to controlling this region, and its aversion to outside intervention is ageless and ruthless, currently fuelled by the world's voracious appetite for oil and opium.
But it poses no threat to world security.
The sole basis for Blair's statement is Mullah Omar's hospitality to the fanatic, Osama bin Laden, at the end of the 1990s.
As we now know, this was never popular (an Arab among Pashtuns); after 9/11, when the Taliban had collaborated with the west over opium, either Bin Laden would eventually have had to leave or the Tajiks would have taken revenge for his killing of their leader, Sheikh Massoud.
Destruction and Civilian Victims of the Anglo-American Aggression in Iraq
Even the Pakistanis were on his tail.
Either way, Talib Afghanistan was no more a "threat" after 9/11 than were the American flying schools at which the 9/11 perpetrators trained.
So what is Blair getting at?
He once confessed to his hero, Roy Jenkins, that he regretted not having studied history at Oxford.
He never spoke a truer word.
War clearly not being won
The concept of world security as holistic and vulnerable to incidents such as 9/11 is nonsensical.
Politics is not a variant of the Gaia thesis, in which each component of an ecosystem depends on and responds to every other.
There is no butterfly effect in international relations.
For want of a victory in Helmand, the Middle East is not lost, nor for want of victory in the Middle East is western civilisation lost.
This is as well, since Blair's resumed war in Afghanistan is clearly not being won.
We know from the former army chief Lord Guthrie that Blair, despite promising to "give the army anything it takes", has refused the extra troops and armour needed by the pathetically small expeditionary force of 7,000 in Helmand.
He has already had to switch tactics from winning hearts and minds to American-style "search and destroy", blowing up villages with 1,000lb bombs (as we saw on TV last week).
British commanders are describing "successes" in terms of enemy kills.
Army killings only presage revenge attacks
They should recall that Victorian officers in the Punjab were told that such boasts would be treated as a sign of failure, not success.
Such killings infuriated the population and presaged revenge attacks.
Aggression in Iraq
Has the British army learned nothing?
Blair has not been able to persuade his Nato allies in Europe of his apocalyptic world-view.
The use of the word terrorism to imply some grand military offensive against the west may sound good in White House national security documents and Downing Street speeches.
But terrorism is not an enemy or an ideology, let alone a country or an army.
Destruction and Civilian Victims of the Anglo-American Aggression in Iraq
It is a weapon, like a gun or a bomb.
It is not something that can be defeated, only guarded against.
Nor can terrorism ever win.
Blair's flattering reference to it was in reality to al-Qaida and to the Islamist jihadism whose cause he has so incessantly advertised.
As the American strategist Louise Richardson points out in What Terrorists Want, al-Qaida has not the remotest chance of defeating the west or undermining its civilisation.
Only a deranged paranoid could think that.
Some group or other will always look for ways to commit random killings, against which national security services need to be vigilant.
But this is not war.
Richardson points out that these groups are being grotesquely overrated.
They cannot plausibly deploy weapons of true mass destruction, and remain stuck with the oldest terrorist tool of all, the man with a bomb (and if we are really negligent, with a plane).
While terrorism can take on different guises, it is not new and is not a threat to human society to rank with a world war or a nuclear holocaust - as the home secretary, John Reid, has absurdly claimed.
Terrorist incidents are the outcome of someone's mental pathology and are of no political significance - unless cynical leaders in a targeted community choose otherwise.
What is sad about Blair's statement is not its strategic naivety but the psychology behind it.
Aggression in Iraq
Wildly distorted concept of menace
Why have the leaders of Britain and America felt driven to adopt so wildly distorted a concept of menace?
In an analysis of terrorism in the latest New York Review of Books, Max Rodenbeck offers plausible but depressing answers.
They include the short-term popularity that war offers democratic leaders, the yearning of defence chiefs and industries to prove the worth of expensive kit and, in Iraq's case, "the influence of neoconservatives and of the pro-Israeli lobby, seeing a chance to set a superpower on Israel's enemies".
All this is true, but I sense a deeper disconnect.
The west is ruled by a generation of leaders with no experience of war or its threat.
Kurds wave
regional flag
Blair and his team cannot recall the aftermath of the second world war, and in the cold war they rushed to join CND.
They were distant from those real global horrors.
Crave an enemy
Yet now in power they seem to crave an enemy of equivalent monstrosity.
Modern government has a big hole in its ego, yearning to be filled by something called a "threat to security".
After 1990 many hoped that an age of stable peace might dawn.
Rich nations might disarm and combine to help the poor, advancing the cause of global responsibility.
Instead two of history's most internationalist states, America and Britain, have returned to the trough of conflict, chasing a chimera of "world terrorism", and at ludicrous expense.
They have brought death and destruction to a part of the globe that posed no strategic threat.
Now one of them, Tony Blair, stands in a patch of desert to claim that "world security in the 21st century" depends on which warlord controls it.
Was anything so demented?
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006 comment by Kewe —
The author of the above article assesses a threat to the West by resistance forces as not credible.
That is true in two aspects:
1) Resistance fighters in Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq have no aim to control or 'take over' the West.
Kurd PKK
resistance fighters
2) Resistance attacks are to stop us messing with them, as resistance forces in the West would similarly do if we were attacked on a par that we are attacking them.
However there is another most serious consideration to this.
The West — The United States in particular — is being defeated.
It is being defeated in every way possible, but most in the collapse of its system of economics.
While the United States is waging its insane war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and paying Israel to attempt to kill as many people as it can in Gaza and the West Bank Palestine, its economic engine is being destroyed, is destroyed.
The largest debtor nation in the world can only sustain its activity while its creditors in the East, chiefly China, decide to allow it.
Once China feels it is in its interest to pull the plug, no amount of fire power, or worn out military force, will allow the United States to continue to control the world.
300 million people cannot control 6 billion.
The evil that has been committed already rears its head.
War crimes in Lebanon
A body of a man from the southern village of Marwahin, who was killed along with 17 others near the village of Shamaa.
War crimes in Lebanon.

Bombs passed through UK with full approcal of Blair, his Cabinet, and the British Labour Party.

The Israel military, including weapons: tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

A body of a man from the southern village of Marwahin, who was killed along with 17 others near the village of Shamaa.
Bombs passed through UK with full approcal of Blair, his Cabinet, and the British Labour Party.
War crimes in Lebanon.
Hey!   If the bombs  we  you dropped...
Not on Iraq stupid!
They don't think about that!
That's history....
Blair 'feels betrayed by Bush on Lebanon'
19th August 2006
Blair and Bush
The alliance between George Bush and Tony Blair is in danger after it was revealed that the Prime Minister believes the President has 'let him down badly' over the Middle East crisis.
A senior Downing Street source said that, privately, Mr Blair broadly agrees with John Prescott, who said Mr Bush's record on the issue was 'crap'.
The source said: "We all feel badly let down by Bush.   We thought we had persuaded him to take the Israel-Palestine situation seriously, but we were wrong.   How can anyone have faith in a man of such low intellect?"
Offers juice to his grandfather
The disclosure comes ahead of a mini recall of Parliament to allow MPs to vent their fury over Mr Blair's handling of Israel's war with Hezbollah and whether the recent terror plot in Britain was affected by his role in the Iraq war.
Foreign Affairs Minister Kim Howells, who has criticised Israeli attacks on women and children, is to be summoned before an emergency meeting next month of the Labour-dominated Commons foreign affairs select committee.
The highly unusual move to allow a Parliament evidence session during the summer recess mirrors emergency meetings called after the July 7 bombings in London.
The rift between No10 and the White House stems from British anger that Mr Bush failed to do enough to pursue the 'road map' to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, which he approved, at Mr Blair's instigation, on the eve of the Iraq war.
"We have been banging on at them for three years about the need to address the Palestinian problem but they just won't engage," said a senior Government insider.   "That is one of the reasons there is such a mess now."
It is understood Mr Blair hopes to undertake a highly controversial one-man mission to the Middle East when he returns from his holiday, including a trip to war-torn Lebanon.
Until now, the Prime Minister has given Mr Bush 100 per cent backing on all foreign policy issues since the Iraq war in 2003.   But Mr Blair's refusal to distance himself publicly from the White House's all-out support for Israel's attacks on Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon has enraged Labour MPs and several Ministers.
However, a Downing Street official said: "We believe our best approach is to use our influence with the American government to persuade them of the importance of making progress to achieve peace in the Middle East."
Mr Blair's advisers say his portrayal by critics as Mr Bush's 'poodle' is a travesty and claim he gets results by hammering out their differences in private.
US Israel airstrike on Lebanon
But they do not deny that, behind the facade of public support, Downing Street's patience with Mr Bush has never been stretched so far.
The decision by the foreign affairs committee to stage its emergency debate on September 13 — after Mr Blair opposed calls for a full recall of Parliament — is a further reflection of backbench unrest.
MPs have been demanding that the Government explains its stance on the crisis, which saw Mr Blair back Israel's use of force against Hezbollah militants in Lebanon which has left hundreds of civilians dead and thousands homeless.
Mr Howells will be questioned over the Government's handling of the crisis, which has seen the Cabinet deeply divided over Israel's actions.   He will also be asked to update MPs on the latest UN peacekeeping efforts which will see thousands of international troops deployed into a buffer zone on the Israel-Lebanon border.
Labour committee member Eric Illsley confirmed that the committee would take evidence from Mr Howells on September 13.   He said: "There has been a public clamour for a full recall of Parliament."
Meanwhile John Prescott has been involved in another foul-mouthed incident over Tony Blair's policy on the Middle East, it was claimed last night.
He is said to have had a heated exchange with Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, one of the few Cabinet Ministers to defend Mr Blair's stance on Israel's war with Hezbollah, when the conflict was raised during a Cabinet meeting and Lord Falconer denied that Ministers had disagreed on the issue.
Mr Prescott, one of the Ministers who led the revolt, allegedly snapped at Lord Falconer: "Of course they f****** did, you were f****** there."
©2006 Associated Newspapers Ltd
March 29, 2003
The Madness of Tony Blair
Matthew Parris

Most of us have experienced the discomfort of watching a friend go off the rails.
At first his oddities are dismissed as eccentricities.
Boys outside house damaged by US
Many men, women and children wounded and killed
An absurd assertion, a lunatic conviction, a sudden enthusiasm or unreasonable fear, are explained as perhaps due to tiredness, or stress, or natural volatility.
We do not want to face the truth that our friend has cracked up.
Finally we can deny it no longer — and then it seems so obvious: the explanation, in retrospect, of so much we struggled to reconcile.
Sometimes the realisation comes fast and suddenly.
It did for me at university when my Arab fellow student Ahmed, who for months had been warning me of the conspiracies of which he suspected we might be victims, pulled me into his room to show me the death-ray he could see shining through his window.
It was somebody’s porch-light.
Likewise, the madness of King George III, which came in spells, was undeniable when it came.
At other times the realisation is a slow, sad dawning of the obvious.
Sometimes it is a friend about whom we worry.
Sometimes it is a prime minister.
I will accept the charge of discourtesy, but not of flippancy, when I ask whether Tony Blair may now have become, in a serious sense of that word, unhinged.
Genius and madness are often allied, and nowhere is this truer than in political leadership.
Great leaders need self-belief in unnatural measure.
Simple fraudsters are rumbled early, but great leaders share with great confidence tricksters a capacity to be more than persuaded, but inhabited, by their cause.
Almost inevitably, an inspirational leader spends important parts of his life certain of the uncertain, convinced of the undemonstrable.
So do the mentally ill.
It can be extremely difficult to distinguish between a person who is sticking bravely to a difficult cause whose truth is far from obvious, and a person who is going crazy.
It took us quite a while to explain David Icke’s beliefs in the only useful way in which they could be explained — and he was on the political fringe.
A national leader commands vastly more respect and will be given the benefit of many more doubts than Mr Icke ever was.
Colleagues, commentators and the wider public are usually late to face up to evidence that the boss has gone berserk, even though the evidence may have been around for quite some time.
There are good reasons for this.
To call somebody mad is bad manners even when fair comment.
Relatives comfort each other after US killing of their children
Many men, women and children wounded and killed
To tackle your opponent’s argument by questioning his sanity can look like a childish copping-out from sensible discussion.
How can the victim answer back?
But the charge is sometimes germane.
It may become the only thing worth considering.
Winston Churchill had lost the plot long before the proper public discussion this deserved got under way.
And I myself believe that one of my political heroes, Margaret Thatcher, began to lose her mental balance well before the end, and before those close to her allowed themselves to consider this explanation of her behaviour.
For me the suspicion first dawned when the then Prime Minister devised for the Lord Mayor’s banquet a dress with such an extravagant train that she needed someone to help her with it into the Mansion House.
This was when she was beginning to refer to herself as “we”, and treating friends who warned her of her fate as treacherous.
A telltale of incipient insanity is when the victim begins to take a Manichaean view of the universe.
There are good reasons why those at the top can go quietly bonkers before their inferiors wake up to the warning signs.
The first is obviously deference.
“The Madness of King Tony” might — I accept — seem an impertinent way of discussing our leader during a war when, whatever application it may have in Tony Blair’s case, it applies to Saddam Hussein in spades.
Beyond deference, however, those at the top of the pyramid who are anxious to impress us with truths which are not obvious have another powerful weapon at their disposal.
They can credibly claim to know more than we can be told.
To the man in the street, the most potent of Mr Blair’s arguments for invading Iraq is that he and George W. Bush are in possession of special intelligence which supports their stand but which cannot be divulged.
And no doubt that is true.
The question is about the amount of support such intelligence lends, not its existence.
Note from your own experience, as well as from the history books, how those with a claim which sounds incredible tend to support it by claiming a private source of information they are unable to share.
Joan of Arc heard voices.
Ahmed said he could feel the lethal qualities of the apparent porch-light and reminded me that his enemies would obviously decoy the ignorant by disguising death-rays in this way.
One or another version of God has been a time-honoured way for madcap leaders to give their actions an authority not apparent to the five senses of their audiences.
Cornered by reality, “private sources” are the last refuge of the deluded.
Is Mr Blair among them?   Let me outline some of my grounds for worry.
Any one of these grounds might be dismissed as negligible, or indicative of nothing more sinister than conviction; but cumulatively I find them worrying.
Medics try to revive victim of US attack
Many men, women and children wounded and killed
Mr Blair has stopped sounding like a career politician.
He has lost the professional polish of a man doing a job, and developed that fierce, quiet intensity which, from long experience of dealing with mad constituents, I know that the slightly cracked share with the genuinely convinced.
He has lost his feel for whom to confront, or when and where, and puts himself into situations (like the slow handclapping by anti-war women) which do not assist his case.
Historians may point to Mr Blair’s private — but publicised — audience with the Pope as an early sign of a dawning unrealism about the perceptions of others.
Did he this week stop for a moment to think what impression would be made on grieving parents by his wild-eyed suggestion (based on misinformation) that two British soldiers had been executed by the Iraqis in cold blood?
Blair’s long-standing tendency to compartmentalise logic (a habit all politicians share to some degree) is now being pushed to extremes.
The speeches the “old” Europeans are making — about giving Iraq more time, accepting gradual progress and not sticking to a literal interpretation of earlier demands — are exactly the speeches Mr Blair himself gives (persuasively) in defence of letting the IRA off the decommissioning hook.
This logic-chopping alarms.
The Prime Minister has lost his sense of how his indignation at Iraqi brutality jars, coming from someone attacking a country whose puny forces are grotesquely outgunned by ours.
His anger at the French (whose position has been consistent and identical to that which Blair held until a year ago) is inexplicable to those of us who are not doctors.
He displays a demented capacity to convince himself that it is the other guy who is cheating.
He has started saying things which are not only unsustainable, but palpably absurd.
The throwaway remark to Parliament that he would ignore Security Council vetoes which were “capricious” or “unreasonable” was more than ill-considered: coming from a trained lawyer it was stark, staring bonkers.
It was breathtaking.
For risibility I would bracket it with Ahmed’s death-ray.
The whole country should have been crying with laughter.
That the British media should have been mesmerised into reporting him in any other way still leaves me dumbfounded.
No sane lawyer could have said what Blair said.
He keeps retreating into a hopeless, desperate optimism: another sign of lunacy.
Hold mattess where young nephew Ali killed by US
Many men, women and children wounded and killed in US attack
He seems to have promised the Americans he could deliver Europe, and told the Europeans he could tame America.
There was scant ground for hope on the first score and none on the second.
The belief that irreconcilables can be reconciled by one’s personal contacts and powers of persuasion is a familiar delusion among people who are not quite right in the head.
While each futile promise is in the process of being demonstrated to be undeliverable, he goes into a sort of nose-tapping, “watch this space” denial.
When finally the promise is abandoned he turns insouciantly away — and makes a new promise.
This week he has been promising to sort out the Americans, and persuade them to let the United Nations supervise the post-conflict administration of Iraq.
He is probably telling the Americans he can sort out the Security Council.
He can do neither.
Meanwhile, he has forgotten that his previous position was that the coalition partners invaded as agents of the UN anyway, so it isn’t up to Washington to give permission.
Any bank manager used to dealing with bankrupts with a pathological shopping habit who have severed contact with arithmetic will recognise the optimism.
Have the rest of the Cabinet tumbled yet to the understanding that this may not be about Iraq at all, but about the Prime Minister?
My guess is that those closest to Mr Blair must be beginning to wonder privately.
It is time people pooled their doubts.
Copyright 2003     Times Newspapers Ltd
But you cannot kill this many people...
— as Bush and Blair
The British Labour Party
The Conservative Party
The U.S. Democratic Party
The Republican Party
The US, UK military forces
As all have killed and injured
You cannot kill and injure this many people without there being real evil involved
This is not just madness
This is more than madness
Kewe —
September 5, 2006
What the Fortune Teller’s Parrot Taught Me
By Alexander Cockburn
Many women and children wounded and killed in US attack
Though the numbers are dwindling, some people still go through their whole adult lives thinking that the next Democrat to hunker down in the Oval Office is going to straighten out the mess, fight for the ordinary folk, face down the rich and powerful.
I got off the plane in New York in 1972 at the age of 31 with one big advantage over these naïve souls.
I’d already spent twenty years seeing the same hopes invested in whatever Labor Party candidate was on the way to 10 Downing Street.
By the time I reached my prep school at the age of nine, the first postwar Labor government was already slipping from power.
Back in the summer of 1945, if any party was ever given a mandate, it was surely Labor, propelled into office by the millions who had spent the war years awakened by unusual circumstance — a familiar effect of war — to fresh awareness of the barely inconceivable incompetence and arrogance of the British upper classes and memories of the prewar Depression when the Conservatives ruled the roost.
With one voice they said, there must be a better way.
The Tories thought they were going to win.
After all, Churchill was presiding over defeat of the Axis in the war, and the apparatus of gerrymander was still in place, including an electoral register unchanged from 1935 thus rendering those in their twenties as disenfranchised as American felons today.
University graduates and businessmen could vote twice.
There were predictably archaic methods to undercount the overseas armed forces vote from troops overwhelmingly for Labor.
But Clement Attlee's Labor Party swept to tremendous victory.
When the dust settled, Labor had 393 MPs out of a total of 640, the greatest majority in their history, with the Tories limping along with 213 MPs, almost exactly the reverse of what happened 38 years later when Thatcher trounced Foot and got a majority of 143, which she swiftly put to radical use.
In 1945, with an invincible majority of 146 and vast popular hunger for radical change, the challenge was great but Labor’s leaders — Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin, Herbert Morrison and the others — rose and mastered it, managing successfully in the next five years to keep the British class system intact in all essentials.
Of course the Conservatives savagely attacked the onset of “socialism”, but the “welfare state” had more to do with the war-time command economy than with any attack on the dominion of capital.

Ludicrous Diversion - 7/7 London Bombings Documentary

On the 7th of July 2005 London was hit by a series of explosions.
There were calls for an impartial inquiry which have been rejected by the British Labour govenment.
Tony Blair described such an inquiry as a ‘ludicrous diversion’.
What don’t they want us to find out?
You probably think you know what happened that day.
But you don’t.
September 5, 2006
What the Fortune Teller’s Parrot Taught Me
By Alexander Cockburn
A cross the channel the French used their Marshall Plan handouts from the US to reorganize their infrastructure and plan the railway network the British now worship as they surge in a few hours from Paris to Marseilles.
The British themselves, Miss Muffetts of propriety, paid off old debts and rejected new ideas.
Prepared for burial
Killed in US attack on Sadr City October 2007
French-style planning?
“We don't do things like that in our country,” Bevin scoffed. “We don't have plans, we work things out practically."
My awareness of this first Labor government was limited, though I do remember my father telling me “we” — this was 1947 when I was six — now owned the railways.
I was no early bloomer.
A year later the British Special Branch, tapping my father’s phone as part of a continuous program of surveillance of the man, lasting from 1934 to 1954, monitored me urging him to come home to read me Christopher Robin, a conversation finally released into the National Archives in 2004 and perused by my brother Patrick, who swiftly reported the Christopher Robin request to me.
Christopher Robin!
By the time he was seven John Stuart Mill was already re-reading Aeschylus, although he confessed later, he did not know what an emotion was until he was twenty, which shows the downside of intellectual precocity.
We went off to live in Ireland, followed by the Special Branch onto the boat where, so the archives now show, they made “a discreet search” of my father’s suitcase, prowling through his socks and shirts in search of the Communist Master Plan, while 4,000 drunks heading home for Easter wondered why the ship wasn’t getting under way.
September 5, 2006
What the Fortune Teller’s Parrot Taught Me
By Alexander Cockburn
Prepared for burial
Killed in US attack on Sadr City October 2007
Irish politics, as ripe in intricate corruption as those of Naples or Bangkok, had scant relevance to the vices of the Labor Party or the Democrats of the United States.
I returned to England for the late 1950s and 60s.   Great was the rejoicing when, in 1964, Harold Wilson led the Labor Party to slim victory, ousting the Conservatives after 13 long years.
Years of disappointment immediately followed, with a celerity that had to wait until 1993 to be equaled by the almost instant collapse of the Clinton administration as any kind of reforming force.
By 1972 Edward Heath sat in 10 Downing Street.
Now I was nearly 30 and yearned for escape.
I could see English politics stretching drearily ahead.   After Wilson’s return there would be James Callaghan.   After Callaghan, Michael Foot.   After Foot, Neal Kinnock.   After Kinnock....
One day in the late summer of 1972 I had occasion to be in the portion of south London known as Balham.   It was hot, and the streets infinitely dreary.   I must get away, I muttered to myself, like Razumov talking to Councillor Mikulin in Conrad’s Under Western Eyes.
I turned in the direction of the subway station.   A dingy sign caught my eye, in a sub-basement window.   Parrot readings.
I was puzzled.   Surely it should be Tarot.
I knocked, and the sibyl, in Indian saree, greeted me.
She had tarot cards and a parrot, a method of divination with an ancient lineage in India.
She dealt the cards.   The parrot looked at them, then at me, then at the fortune teller.
Some current of energy passed between them.   The sybil paused, then in a low yet vibrant voice, bodied forth the future to me, disclosing what lay ahead in British public life.
Her lips curved around the as yet unfamiliar words “New Labor”.
Falteringly, raising her hands before her eyes in trembling dismay at the secret message of the cards, she described a man I know now to be Tony Blair.
I paid her double, then triple as, amid the advisory shrieks of the parrot, she poured out the shape of things to come.
September 5, 2006
What the Fortune Teller’s Parrot Taught Me
By Alexander Cockburn
Grieve for loved ones killed in US attack on Sadr City October 2007
That parrot in Balham had read the cards correctly.
It is probably still alive, and I’m sure that if I were to return for another consultation, it would cry out, “I could have told you so”, and cackle heartily as it described the blasted expectations raised by Democrats stretching from Carter to Clinton.
We approach the midterm elections; soon thereafter the great masquerade of Election 2008 will commence.
There will, I can guarantee it, be once again hopes for change, courtesy of a Democrat.
I will remain without illusions and I feel more will join me.
Like the Labor Party, the Democrats offer no uplifting alternative and, in this fraught world, not even the pretense that they differ in essentials from the Republicans in the way they propose to deal with the rest of the world.
I might even offer a maxim here: the greater the hunger for change, the more thunderous the popular cries for decisive, radical action, the more rapid will be the puncturing of all hopes, as though the whole point of the electoral exercise, of 1964 and 1966 in the case of Wilson, and of 1992 in Clinton’s, had been to demonstrate to those foolish enough to have thought otherwise the lesson that all hopes and fierce expectations notwithstanding, business will continue as usual.
It’s the same lesson European governments now regularly give European voters.
The French vote against neoliberalism, despite the stentorian advice of the entire political establishment.
The voters prevail, with a thunderous “Non!”
The political establishment, as represented in the major parties, pays no attention.
Same in Germany, same in Italy, same in Britain.
Same in the United States.
As is now widely recognized, most of all by the voters, there is no effective opposition here, any more than there is in the UK, where many Establishment commentators confide that they think Tony Blair has gone mad.
...The current maps are useless.
The parrot did a much better job.
Blair, speaking in New York accuses Iran of backing terrorism and is warning the world faces a situation akin to 'rising fascism in the 1920s'
Blair speaking in New York, has accused Iran of backing terrorism and is warning the world faces a situation akin to rising fascism in the 1920s

Blair at the 62nd annual Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York.

Lets make it the 1930's, Wormtongue, and call it correctly — rising fascism is exactly where you are!

(Wormtongue — a wizened figure of a man, with a pale face, heavy lidded eyes and a long pale tongue...

... the wise speak only of what they know, therefore be silent, and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth... )
Lets make it the 1930's, Wormtongue, and call it correctly — rising fascism is exactly where you are!
(Wormtongue — a wizened figure of a man, with a pale face, heavy lidded eyes and a long pale tongue...
... the wise speak only of what they know, therefore be silent, and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth... )
Or perhaps we should say it's 1929?
Go on, let's just say we're somewhere in the late 1920's
And let's direct our view, not Eastwards, but Westwards
That's it!
Now you've got it
Posse gathering Blair!
For you too!
Ahmadinejad demonstrations outside the United Nations.

Photo: Aljazzera/Gallo/Getty
Ahmadinejad demonstrations outside the United Nations
Photo: Aljazzera/Gallo/Getty
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Ahmadinejad's message to the world
By Mark LeVine
It was quite a week for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president.
First he faced down the president of Columbia University and a host of hostile questioners in Harlem.
Then he headed down to Midtown Manhattan, where for 45 minutes he held the world's attention at the United Nations, before heading farther south, to Caracas, Venezuela, for talks with his close ally, President Hugo Chavez.
Local papers, such as the Daily News and The New York Post, featured headlines announcing that "The Evil has Landed" and lambasting the "Mad Iran Prez" for his past denials of the Holocaust, refusal to unequivocally renounce a quest for nuclear weapons, and call to have Israel "wiped off the map."
So much nonsense in one phony man
Not to mention the Orwellian lies he spewed
(An inaccurate translation of the Persian "bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad," which is better — but less violently and therefore less usefully — rendered in English as "erased from the page of time" or "fate").
Even Lee Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, introduced him with an unprecedented — and to the minds of many academics, not to mention Iranians, uncouth — verbal attack, accusing him of being little more than a "petty dictator".
[Ignorance, not to mention a knee-bending pandering to the elite, sadly has become the most prominent feature of University Presidents in the waxing fascist state that now is the US, a practice now copied by many teachers of academics in Western countries - Kewe]
In its critiques of Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia, the mainstream US press focused most of its attention on Ahmadinejad's tendentious claim that "there are no homosexuals in Iran" (belied by an evening stroll through Tehran's famous Daneshjoo Park), and his attempt to redefine his position on the Holocaust (it happened, but more research is needed to know its true extent).
At the UN, his criticism of "widespread human rights violations" elicited the expected derisive response in light of his own government's increasingly repressive policies, while his declaration that the nuclear case against Iran "is closed" suggested, to most commentators, continued intransigence by Iran in the face of supposedly universal opposition to its nuclear programme.
Students protest, but not at Columbia at their stupid University President, the protest is in Tehran, at Ahmadinejad
The President of the country has a history of going to the university and getting booed (by the children of the rich Iranian elite)
Send in the police goons to taser the students?
Unknown in Iran today
Discourteous treatment'
Few commentators considered how Ahmadinejad's words were heard outside of the US media circus.
And those who did, such as Timothy Rutton of the LA Times, focused purely on the reaction in the Muslim world, arguing that, as a "totalitarian demagogue", Ahmadinejad gained legitimacy because of the discourteous treatment by Columbia's president.
Rutton wrote: "Bollinger's denunciation was icing on the cake, because the constituency the Iranian leader cares about is scattered across an Islamic world that values hospitality and its courtesies as core social virtues."
"To that audience, Bollinger looked stunningly ill-mannered; Ahmadinejad dignified and restrained."
Underlying Rutton's argument is the still-widespread belief, whose roots lie deep in Europe and America's histories as imperial powers, that Muslims and the other formerly colonised peoples value "honour", "pride" and "hospitality" far more than they do issues of substance.
Indeed, they remain incapable of making well-reasoned and documented criticisms of a West, and the United States in particular, that remains by definition technologically, politically, and morally superior to the developing world.
'Poverty and deprivation'
It's no wonder, then, that almost no one in the American media focused on the substantive claims of Ahmadinejad's speech at the UN.
Chief among them were his argument regarding the "alarming situation of poverty and deprivation".
"Let me draw your attention to some data issued by the United Nations," he said, before calling to the attention of the world's leaders the fact that close to one billion people live on less than $1-a-day and that there is a rapidly increasing gap between the world's rich and poor.
He mentioned the continued disgraceful figures for infant mortality, schooling and related human development indicators in the developing world.
Perhaps wanting to be courteous, Ahmadinejad blamed "certain big powers" for the plight of a large share of humanity — he might have added that according to UN estimates almost half the world lives on less than $2 per day.
But he didn't need to name names; most of the developing world, including the Muslim world, share his belief that their plight is linked to a world economic system whose goal, for more than half a millennium, has been to exploit the peoples and resources of the rest of the world for the benefit of the more advanced countries of the West.
Students protest at the Presidents visit to Tehran University
(Protest by the children of the rich Iranian elite, unhappy small portions of the family wealth is being transferred to the poorer populations)
Discourteous treatment
That is precisely why so many people in the developing world remain opposed to Western-sponsored globalisation, which for most critics, including in the Arab/Muslim world, is little more than imperialism dressed up in the rhetoric of "free markets" and "liberal democracy".
It is this much wider audience, from the favelas of Rio De Janeiro and the shanty towns of Lagos as much as the slums of Casablanca, Sadr City or Cairo, to whom Ahmadinejad was speaking.
His discourse was strikingly similar to that of his biggest ally, Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, who in his speech before the assembly last year had fewer qualms (perhaps because he's neither Arab nor Muslim) about pointing fingers at whom he considers responsible for the sorry shape of so much of the world.
Hoisting Noam Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival above his head, he exclaimed that "the hegemonic pretensions of US imperialism ... put at risk the very survival of humankind".
America, not Iran, Chavez argued, is "the greatest threat looming over our planet".
The Ahmadinejad-Chavez axis has been compared by American politicians such as Florida Republican Congressman Connie Mack to the relationship between Fidel Castro and Russia.
Such analogies are far off the mark.
A more accurate historical comparison would be to the relationship between Egypt's Gemal Abdel Nasser and India's Jawaharlal Nehru, when both came together at the Bandung conference in 1955 to attempt to build a coherent bloc of nations that could protect its interests against those of the two major superpowers, the US and the Soviet Union.
'Human underdogs'
Writing after attending the Bandung Conference, the American novelist Richard Wright exclaimed that it was a meeting of "the despised, the insulted, the hurt, the dispossessed - in short, the underdogs of the human race".
It was this shared experience of oppression that grounded the "Bandung Spirit", which leaders such as Nasser used to develop the "pan-" ideologies (-Arab, -African, -American, -Islamic) that proved a thorn in the side of US policymakers for much of the Cold war.
The difference between Chavez and Ahmadinejad and their "Third World" predecessors, is, in a word, oil.
'Courteous treatment'
— that's how you do it, Columbia
Iran and Venezuela possess the third- and seventh-largest oil reserves in the world, totaling well over 200 billion barrels — that's not much less than the proven reserves of Saudi Arabia.
The two countries will earn well over $80bn in revenues this year alone.
As important, both countries possess non-oil sectors that are surprisingly robust, according to many estimates, for the majority of both Iran's and Venezuela's Gross Domestic Product.
This provides both countries with billions of dollars to spend on foreign aid, as demonstrated by Ahmadinejad's stopover in Bolivia, where he pledged $1bn in Iranian aid and development to the poverty stricken country.
US policymakers' view of the world through the "you're either with us or against us" prism divides the globe into those who support the US and Europe (and the "West" more broadly), and those who support al-Qaeda and "Islamofascism", a term which has been created precisely to ensure that Americans conflate Osama bin Laden with Ahmadinejad, and both with Hitler.
But few people outside of the West buy this comparison, or the larger black-and-white world-view it reflects.
Instead, in Africa and Latin America, Ahmadenijad's argument that "humanity has had a deep wound on its tired body caused by impious powers for centuries" resonates far more deeply than George Bush's hollow-sounding calls for democracy and "ending tyranny".
Colonial rule
The West advises Africa to "get over" colonialism, but the pain of colonial rule is still felt by those suffering under the policies imposed by the IMF and/or the World Bank, or from the continued subsidisation of American and European agribusiness while their countries are flooded with below-market wheat, soy or corn.
It is to those people whom Ahmadinejad promised — in language that strikingly mirrors US President Bush's often religiously-hued speeches — that "the era of darkness will end" with the "dawn of the liberation of, and freedom for, all humans".
Americans may not like Ahmadinejad's or Chavez's internal politics, ideological orientations, or foreign policies.
But for most of the third world, which is tired of centuries of domination by the West, the two leaders are a breath of fresh air, who are coming not as conquerors, but as comrades.
They are free of the condescending "civilising mission" that, from Napoleon's invasion of Egypt to the US invasion of Iraq, always seem to include war, occupation, and the appropriation of strategic natural resources under foreign control as part of their mandate.
And because of this, most of the citizens of the developing world, rightly or wrongly, couldn't care less about Ahmadinejad's positions on Israel, the Holocaust, and nuclear weapons, never mind homosexuals, none of which affect them directly.
They care only that he is sticking-it-to their old colonial or Cold war masters, and offering "respect", "friendship" and billions of dollars in aid with no strings attached.
Americans, Europeans and Israelis can fret about it all they want, but it will not change this reality.
Only a reorientation of the world economy towards real sustainability and equality will dampen his appeal, and that's not likely to happen soon.
Which means that Americans will be hearing a lot more of Ahmadinejad and leaders like him in the future.
The question is, will they be listening?
Subtitles, captions, added by
TEHRAN — Speaking of business as unusual.
A mere two months ago, the news of a China-Kazakhstan pipeline agreement, worth US$3.5 billion, raised some eyebrows in the world press, some hinting that China's economic foreign policy may be on the verge of a new leap forward.
A clue to the fact that such anticipation may have totally understated the case was last week's signing of a mega-gas deal between Beijing and Tehran worth $100 billion.
Billed as the "deal of century" by various commentators, this agreement is likely to increase by another $50 billion to $100 billion, bringing the total close to $200 billion, when a similar oil agreement, currently being negotiated, is inked not too far from now.
The gas deal entails the annual export of some 10 million tons of Iranian liquefied natural gas (LNG) for a 25-year period, as well as the participation, by China's state oil company, in such projects as exploration and drilling, petrochemical and gas industries, pipelines, services and the like.
The export of LNG requires special cargo ships, however, and Iran is currently investing several billion dollars adding to its small LNG-equipped fleet.
Still, per the admission of the head of the Iranian Tanker Co, Mohammad Souri, Iran needed to purchase another 87 vessels by 2010, in addition to the 10 already purchased, in order to fulfill the needs of its growing LNG market.
Iran has an estimated 26.6-trillion-cubic-meter gas reservoir, the second-largest in the world, about half of which is in offshore zones and the other half onshore.
It is perhaps too early to digest fully the various economic, political and even geostrategic implications of this stunning development, widely considered a major blow to the Bush administration's economic sanctions on Iran and particularly on Iran's energy sector, notwithstanding the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) penalizing foreign companies daring to invest more than $20 million in Iran's oil and gas industry.
While it is unclear what the scope of China's direct investment in Iran's energy sector will turn out to be, it is fairly certain that China's participation in the Yad Avaran field alone will exceed the ILSA's ceiling; this field's oil reservoir is estimated to be 17 billion barrels and is capable of producing 300 to 400 barrels per day.
And this is besides the giant South Pars field, which Iran shares with Qatar, alone possessing close to 8% of the world's gas reserves.
Iran applying
for church to
become a
World Heritage
To open a parenthesis here, until now Tehran has been complaining that Qatar has been outpacing Iran in exploiting its resource 6-1.
In fact, Iran's unhappiness over Qatar's unbalanced access to the South Pars led to a discrete warning by Iran's deputy oil minister and, soon thereafter, Qatar complied with Iran's request for a joint "technical committee" that has yet to yield any result.
For a United States increasingly pointing at China as the next biggest challenge to its Pax Americana, the Iran-China energy cooperation cannot but be interpreted as an ominous sign of emerging new trends in an area considered vital to US national interests.
But, then again, this cuts both ways, that is, the deal should, logically speaking, stimulate others who may still consider Iran untrustworthy or too radical to enter into big projects on a long term basis.
Iran's biggest foreign agreement prior to this gas agreement with China was a long-term $25 billion gas deal with Turkey, which has encountered snags, principally over the price, recently, compared with Iran's various trade agreements with Spain, Italy and others, typically with a life-span of five to seven years.
Thus some Iranian officials are hopeful that the China deal can lead to a fundamental rethinking of the risks of doing business with Iran on the part of European countries, India, Japan, and even Russia.
Concerning India, which signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran initially in 1993 for a 2,670-kilometer pipeline, with more than 700km traversing Pakistani territory, the Iran-China deal will undoubtedly give a greater push to New Delhi to follow Beijing's lead and thus make sure that the "peace pipeline" is finally implemented.
The same applies, mutatis mutandis, to Russia, which has as of late been dragging its feet somewhat on Iran's nuclear reactor, bandwagoning with the US and Group of Eight (G8) countries on the thorny issue of Iran's uranium-enrichment program.
The Russians must now factor in the possibility of being supplanted by China if they lose the confidence of Tehran and appear willing to trade favors with Washington over Iran. Russia's Gazprom may now finally set aside its stubborn resistance to the idea of entering major joint ventures with Iran.
Iran appears more and more interested to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and form a powerful axis with its twin pillars, China and Russia, as a counterweight to a US power "unchained".
The SCO comprises China, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
China, Russia and Iran share deep misgivings about the perception of the United States as a "benevolent hegemon" and tend to see a "rogue superpower" instead.
Even short of joining forces formally, the main outlines of such an axis can be discerned from their convergence of threat perception due to, among other things, Russia's disquiet over the post-September 11, 2001, US incursions in its traditional Caucasus-Central Asian "turf", and China's continuing unease over the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan; this is not to mention China's fixed gaze at a "new Silk Road" allowing it unfettered access to the Middle East and Eurasia, this as part and parcel of what is often billed as "the new great game" in Eurasia.
Indeed, what China's recent deals with both Kazakhstan (pertaining to Caspian energy) and Iran (pertaining to Persian Gulf resources) signifies is that the pundits had gotten it wrong until now: the purview of the new great game is not limited to the Central Asia-Caspian Sea basin, but rather has a broader, more integrated, purview increasingly enveloping even the Persian Gulf.
Increasingly, the image of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a sort of frontline state in a post-Cold War global lineup against US hegemony is becoming prevalent among Chinese and Russian foreign-policy thinkers.
For the moment, however, the Iran-Russia-China axis is more a tissue of think-tanks than full-fledged policy, and the mere trade interdependence of the US and China, as well as Russia's growing energy ties to the US alone, not to mention its weariness over any perceived Chinese "overstretch", militate against a grand alliance pitted against the Western superpower.
In fact, the Cold War-type alliances are highly unlikely to be replicated in the current milieu of globalization and complex interdependence; instead, what is likely to emerge in the future are issue-focused or, for the lack of a better word, issue-area alliances whereby, to give an example, the above-said axis may be inspired into existence along geostrategic considerations somewhat apart from purely economic considerations.
Hence what the SCO means on the security front and how significant it will be hinges on a complex, and complicated, set of factors that may eventually culminate in its expansion, from the current group of six, as well as greater, alliance-like, cooperation.
It is noteworthy that in Central Asia-Caucasus, the trend is toward security diversification and even multipolarism, reflected in the US and Russian bases not too far from each other.
In this multipolar sub-order, neither the US is capable of exerting hegemony, nor is Russia's semi-hegemonic sway without competition.
In the Caspian Sea basin, for example, Kazakhstan has opted to take part in several distinct, and contrasting, security networks, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Partnership for Peace program, the Commonwealth of Independent States' Collective Security Organization, the SCO, and membership in OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe).
Kazakhstan is not, however, an exception, but seemingly indicative of an expanding new rule of the (security and strategic) game played out throughout Central Asia-Caucasus.
Economically, both Kazakhstan and Russia are members of the Central Asia Economic Cooperation Organization, and all the Central Asian states are also members of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), which was founded by the trio of Iran, Turkey and Pakistan.
Certain economic alliances are, henceforth, taking shape, alongside the budding security arrangements, which have their own tempo, rationale and security potential.
Concerning the latter, in 1998, the ECO embarked on low security cooperation among its members on drug trafficking and this may soon be expanded to information-sharing on terrorism.
Also, Iran has also entered into low security agreements with some of its Persian Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The SCO initially was established to deal with border disputes and is now well on its way to focusing on (Islamist) terrorism, drug trafficking and regional insecurity.
Meanwhile, the US, not to be outdone, has been sowing its own bilateral military and security arrangements with various regional countries such as Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, as well as promoting the Guuam Group, which includes Azerbaijan and Georgia, formed alongside the BTC (Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan) pipeline as a counterweight to Russian influence.
Consequently, the overall picture that emerges before us is, as stated above, a unique multi-trend of military and security multipolarism defying the logic of Pax Americana.
In this picture, Iran represents one of the poles of attraction, seeking its own sphere of influence by, for instance, entering into a military agreement with Turkmenistan in 1994, and, simultaneously, exploring the larger option of how to coalesce with other powers in order to offset the debilitating consequences of (post-September 11) unbounded Americanization of regional politics.
A glance at Chinese security narratives, and it becomes patently obvious that Beijing shares Iran's deep worries about US unipolarism culminating in, as in Afghanistan and Iraq, unilateral militarism. Various advocates of US preeminence, such as William Kristol, openly write that the US should "work for the fall of the Communist Party oligarchy in China".
Unhinged from the containment of Soviet power, the roots of US unilateralism, and its military manifestation of "preemption", must be located in the logic of unipolarism, thinly disguised by the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq; the latter is, in fact, as aptly put by various critics of US foreign policy, more like a coalition of the coerced and bribed than anything else.
But, realistically speaking, what are the prospects for any regional and or continental realignment leading to the erasure of US unipolarism, notwithstanding the US military and economic colossus bent on preventing, on a doctrinal level, the emergence of any challenger to its global domination now or in the future?
The strategic debates in all three countries, Russia, China and Iran, feature similar concerns and question marks.
For one thing, all three have to contend with the difficulty of sorting the disjunctions between the different sets of national interests, above all economic, ideological and strategic interests.
This aside, a pertinent question is who will win over Russia, Washington, which pursues a coupling role with Moscow vis-a-vis Beijing, or Beijing, trying to wrest away Moscow from Washington?
For now, Russia does not particularly feel compelled to choose between stark options, yet the situation may be altered in China's direction in case the present drift of US power incursions are heightened in the future.
The answer to the above question should be delegated to the future.
For now, however, the quantum leap of China into the Middle East and Caspian energy markets has become a fait accompli, no matter how disturbed its biggest trade partner, the US, over its geopolitical ramifications.
Article published in 2004
Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press) and "Iran's Foreign Policy Since 9/11", Brown's Journal of World Affairs, co-authored with former deputy foreign minister Abbas Maleki, No 2, 2003.   He teaches political science at Tehran University.
Copyright 2004, Asia Times Online
Sick person
Sick mentally and spiritually
Calls Iran 'the centre of global terror'
Look a little closer Peres
Iran applying for ancient Armenian church
to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
UK New Fascism
84-year-old Canadian man with Alzheimer’s disease died in handcuffs in UK custody after being held for almost two weeks by UK border police
UK police threaten Guardian editor with terrorism charges over Snowden leaks
Chancellor George Osborne spent £10.2m modernising Whitehall HQ
Essex County Council have demanded harsh new restrictions on the Press ability to report the case
     Prisons for profit      
      Bill to ban protests       
      State-backed RBS to hand out £500m in bonuses     
US destroyed Fallujah as it tries to destroy the rest of Iraq
Published on Monday, July 4, 2005 by
by Sheldon Drobny
Justice O'Connor's decision in Bush v. Gore led to the current Bush administration's execution of war crimes and atrocities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places in the Middle East that are as egregious as those committed by the Third Reich and other evil governments in human history.
The lesson is clear.
Those people who may be honorable and distinguished in their chosen profession should always make decisions based upon good rather than evil no matter where their nominal allegiances may rest.
Justice O'Connor was quoted to have said something to the affect that she abhorred the thought of Bush losing the 2000 election to Gore.
She was known to have wanted to retire after the 2000 election for same reason she is now retiring.
She wanted to spend more time with her sick husband.
Unfortunately, she tarnished her distinguished career with the deciding vote in Bush v. Gore by going along with the partisan majority of the Court to interfere with a democratic election that she and the majority feared would be lost in an honest recount.
She dishonored herself and the Supreme Court by succumbing to party allegiances and not The Constitution to which she swore to uphold.
And the constitutional argument she and the majority used to justify their decision was the Equal Protection Clause.
The Equal Protection Clause was the ultimate basis for the decision, but the majority essentially admitted (what was obvious in any event) that it was not basing its conclusion on any general view of what equal protection requires.
The decision in Bush v Gore was not dictated by the law in any sense—either the law found through research, or the law as reflected in the kind of intuitive sense that comes from immersion in the legal culture.
The Equal Protection clause is generally used in matters concerning civil rights.
The majority ignored their basic conservative views supporting federalism and states' rights in order to justify their decision.
History will haunt these justices down for their utter lack of justice and the hypocrisy associated with this decision.
Sheldon Drobny is Co-founder of Air America Radio.
Unspeakable grief and horror
                        ...and the circus of deception continues...
— 2018
— 2017
— 2016
— 2015
— 2014
— 2013
— 2012
— 2011
— 2010
— 2009
— 2008
— 2007
— 2006
— 2005
— 2004
— 2003
Circus of Torture   2003 — now
He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
And of course I am.
Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
"It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
Let's change it!
Mother her two babies killed by US
More than Fifteen million
US dollars given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use
4 billion US dollars per year
Nanci Pelosi — U.S. House Democratic leader — Congresswoman California, 8th District
Speaking at the AIPAC agenda   May 26, 2005
There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.   This is absolute nonsense.
In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been:  it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist.
The greatest threat to Israel's right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran.
For too long, leaders of both political parties in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear and missile technology....
In the words of Isaiah, we will make ourselves to Israel 'as hiding places from the winds and shelters from the tempests; as rivers of water in dry places; as shadows of a great rock in a weary land.'
  Afghanistan — Western Terror States: Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, Italy      
       Photos of Afghanistan people being killed and injured by NATO      

For archive purposes, this article is being stored on website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.