Posted by: quiscus | March 25, 2009

March 25, 2009

1.  “One of NORAD’s “air sovereignty” tasks before 9/11 was watching foreign aircraft fly over American airspace. NORAD before 1997 said of such foreign aircraft, “Today NORAD, which monitors some 7,000 crossings of our airspace daily…”

The quote above is contradicted by the following 2008 quote from NORAD, “Since the tragic events of 9/11, NORADs role which previously was outward-looking now includes monitoring airspace within North America.”

2.    Tuesday marked the tenth anniversary of the bombing of the nation formerly known as Yugoslavia – an act of aggression that prefigured America’s post-9/11 rampage and set the stage for our endless “war on terrorism” in many more ways than are at first apparent.

To begin with, the Yugoslav war, like the Iraq invasion, was predicated on a lie: that as many as 100,000 Kosovars and others were either killed or “ethnically cleansed” from Kosovo, and that this was the conscious plan of the Yugoslav military and political leadership. The 100,000 figure was casually thrown around in the run-up to the bombing, and “Stop genocide!” was the battle-cry of the War Party – a curious agglomeration of the usual neocons and the liberal-Left. This Bill KristolSusan Sontag popular front was greatly aided by the personal intervention of Hillary Clinton, who hectored her husband, then the president of the United States, into launching the U.S. attack.

Yet what took place was not genocide but the random brutality of a typical civil war, and the 100,000 figure is very far from the truth. That number didn’t hold up for very long, at any rate, and was subsequently revised downward several times: 50,000, 25,000, 10,000. The final body count: less than 8,000, and these included both sides, military as well as civilians. This is not good, but it is hardly genocide.

Yet people believe the myth of the Yugoslav “genocide” to this day, just as a great many Americans continue to believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A lie has only to be repeated often enough before it enters the popular consciousness as “truth” – that’s the first lesson in any good war propagandist’s lesson book. Surely the War Party had a crack team of liars working overtime back then to put one over on the American people, beaming nonstop misinformation 24/7, as U.S. warplanes bombed one of the oldest cities in Europe at 20,000 ft. – an act of cowardice that underscored the sheer venality of those who launched the conflict. We went to war without UN sanction at the behest of a domestic lobby with a dubious agenda, one that ran directly counter to the national interests of the U.S. and yet was pursued, to the end, with disastrous consequences for all concerned. Does any of this sound familiar?”

3.  “Indeed, in 1999 the Independent pointed to the example of Iraq as an argument in favour of intervention in Kosovo, comparing critics of NATO bombing to ‘those who say that the sanction Saddam Hussein should face for trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction is a telling-off’ (22 March). Back then it seemed so self-evident that Iraq ought to be bombed that this could be offered as a clinching argument in favour of also bombing Serbia. Today, the Iraq War has few defenders, but Kosovo is still widely regarded as a successful and ‘moral’ intervention. For that, we have the media to thank.”

4.  “‘Global War On Terror’ Is Given New Name

The Obama administration appears to be backing away from the phrase “global war on terror,” a signature rhetorical legacy of its predecessor.

In a memo e-mailed this week to Pentagon staff members, the Defense Department’s office of security review noted that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’ ”

The memo said the direction came from the Office of Management and Budget, the executive-branch agency that reviews the public testimony of administration officials before it is delivered.

Coincidentally or not, senior administration officials had been publicly using the phrase “overseas contingency operations” in a war context for roughly a month before the e-mail was sent.

5.  What kind of drug is she on?

Head of San Francisco Fed Bank: We Don’t Know What We’re Doing, So We’ll Do More of It

The head of the Fed bank in San Francisco, Janet Yellen, has more or less admitted that the Fed has no idea what it is doing, but that such ignorance only argues for taking more aggressive action

Arianna Huffington says that we should “take the steering wheel out of Geithner’s hands”. We should pry it out of the Fed’s hands, as well, for they are collectively steering us off of a cliff.”

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