Thanks for Dancing...

[Bush stayed put in Crawford this year; I'd guess that the protests that met him there were more subdued than those what would have had he gone to Iraq again -- assuming that people in Iraq could exercises democratic rights Bush claims to be helping to bestow upon them. Below is a piece I wrote in 2003 with Bob Jensen when Bush popped up in Iraq for Thanksgiving. It makes reference to "Dances with Wolves", which was shown on PBS today.

[Most striking scene on this viewing for me was John Dunbar dancing alone around the fire in his camp -- made a nice connection between Native American and modern dance. Standout line was Dunbar saying that white hunters, who slaughtered a field of buffalo only for their pelts and tongues, were "a people without value and without soul."

[Until I did a search today, I didn't realize that the hit movie came out the year before the 1991 Gulf War; guess it's harder for some to make the connections than others. "The Journal of John Dunbar." Now there's a potential best seller.]

New Purported Bush Tape Raises Fear of New Attacks

by the Disassociated Press 

A tape today surfaced in U.S. media outlets of someone purporting to be George W. Bush at a U.S. military base in Baghdad.

Intelligence analysts around the world are studying the videotapes. "It certainly looked and sounded like him, but we get so few glimpses at Bush in real-life situations that it is hard to tell," said one operative from a Western intelligence agency.

People who know Bush said it appeared to be him. "That's him, all right," said one longtime associate.

The tape shows the man claiming to be Bush praising U.S. attacks in Iraq. "We will stay until the job is done," he threatened.

The videotape was delivered to the Baghdad bureau of FOX News by an intermediary courier who has brought material before from the U.S. military, according to the U.S. network.

There were calls for FOX to be banned from some Arabic countries for broadcasting American militaristic propaganda.

While the quality of the tape was not poor, the alleged Bush did appear tired in portions of it, prompting speculation that he is on the run.

The man claiming to be Bush said: "We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost in casualties, defeat a brutal dictator and liberate 25 million people only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins."

Analysts pointed out that given the ongoing nature of the Iraqi resistance since "the end of major combat operations," that comment could have been recorded anytime in the past six months.

"When the man identified as Bush tells U.S. troops, 'You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq so we don't have to face them in our own country,' well, it's a little hard to believe that even the Bush White House would try to spin that," said the operative from a Western intelligence agency.

"How could anyone believe, after all that has been disclosed about the lies and distortions used to manipulate the public into accepting this war, that U.S. troops are defending the American people in Iraq? No major world leader would be so obtuse or so low as to try to sell that to people at this stage."

Members of the Iraqi Governing Council who met with the man identified as Bush said they had met with a man identified as Bush and were delaying comment until Paul Bremer was available to tell them what their comments would be.

Omar Ali, an Iraqi in a poor area of Baghdad said: "I don't understand why he didn't stay. Just because the U.S. nearly starved us with the sanctions for 12 years, killed my cousin during the invasion, busted down my door last week and is trying to find a way to steal our oil -- does he think that Iraqis would want to hurt him, our great liberator?"

Private Charles Sanders, who has been stationed in Iraq since the invasion said: "I was supposed to be back home by now. It was really getting depressing, but this is great. Sure, I don't get to look into the eyes of my little girl, or hold my wife tenderly in my arms, but the president served me turkey!"

Susan Jones in Pittsburgh, who this morning was driven to tears while watching "Dances with Wolves" on cable TV, said: "I was planning on talking over the Thanksgiving Day table with my family about how we slaughtered the Indians and enslaved the blacks, bullied Latin America and bombed Vietnam, and now were occupying Iraq. I don't know, is it just me, or do we just have this brutal aggressive side to us? But now I guess, well, just talk about Bush's visit instead."

When asked whether she was certain the president had gone to Iraq, Laura Bush said she hadn't noticed her husband had left the Crawford ranch. "I assumed he was out clearing brush," the First Lady said.

Correspondents Robert Jensen and Sam Husseini contributed to this report.

[originally published at husseini.org on Nov. 25, 2005]

Confronting Miller: Kalb Covers for Miller who Covers ... for Whom?

I admit it, I was angry. Tens of thousands killed, the rule of law under major assault, the United States driven to war on a pack of lies. And there, Judith Miller was having a very pleasant chat with Marvin Kalb of the "Kalb Report" at the National Press Club last Monday night.

Before the event, I'd discussed with Jon Schwarz the best question to ask Miller. We decided it should be about her two famous "aluminum tubes" stories published in September, 2002 claiming Iraq had an ongoing nuclear weapons program.

The first story was published on September 8. It indicated the tubes were surely intended for uranium enrichment, with no hint of the vociferous debate within U.S. intelligence agencies over this. The second story, on September 13, did mention the debate -- but also included this:

An administration official called discussions about the aluminum tubes and Iraq's intentions "a normal part of the intelligence process"... He added that the best technical experts and nuclear scientists at laboratories like Oak Ridge supported the C.I.A. assessment [the tubes were for a nuclear program].

This would seem to settle the matter for any normal reader of the New York Times -- sure, there are a few uninformed holdouts, but the people who really know what they're talking about think the tubes are part of a program for nuclear weapons.

There's just one problem: what this "administration official" said was flatly false. Indeed, it's one of the most brazen lies told by the Bush administration in the lead up to war.

As the Senate Intelligence Committee found in July, 2004 the director of Oak Ridge's Field Intelligence Element said "the vast majority of scientists and nuclear experts at the DOE and the National Labs did not agree with the CIA's analysis."

Several month later in October, 2004, the New York Times itself reported that the government's "A-Team" of experts -- including the head of Oak Ridge's national security advanced technology group -- strongly disagreed with the C.I.A.

So I was curious: what would Judith Miller now say about this? Would she break her confidentiality agreement with an administration official who'd given her a falsehood to help deceive the world toward war?

No. No, she wouldn't.

Miller was given incredible leeway to talk and not talk about what she pleased by Kalb. In the course of their discussion, Miller did rather proudly cite her second aluminum tubes story of September 13, 2002.

So I asked: "Your second story on the aluminum tubes, which you referenced, talked about administration officials saying that the scientists in Oak Ridge thought that the aluminum tubes were suited towards nuclear weapons production. We now know that that's false. The scientist at Oak Ridge thought no such thing. But the administration officials lied to you. Are you going to continue to protect these administration officials who use you as a conveyor belt or are you right here and now --"

[audience clapping]

Kalb, silencing audience: "Hold on, Hold on."

I continued: "-- are you right here and now going to start to come clean and put your readers allegedly above the people who you schmooze with and your sources in the government who pushed toward war … Are you going to tell us who that administration official was who put forward that false fact?"

Kalb turned to Miller and asked her: "Do you want to answer the question?"

Miller responded: "Um -- I reported what I knew at the time and you will see that the New York Times reported, finally, the Oak Ridge story."

I immediately challenged the evasion, asking her to answer my question. Kalb tried to stop me; Miller then said: "I'm not going to answer it ... because I don't even remember writing that sentence about Oak Ridge because I haven't even looked at the story, certainly not for a year before I went to jail. If you want to see what it's like to protect officials, trying going to jail and then you can judge my reporting. I did the best I could, I'm not perfect, but the only thing we can do is keep going out and keep trying to get to the truth; the Times did that."

When I tried to point out the fallacy of her talking about "trying to get to the truth" when she just refused to do so by not giving the us the name of the official who dispensed propaganda through her, Kalb interrupted my follow-up: "You're being unfair." When I told him he, like Miller, was a pathetic excuse for a journalist, he told me to leave; I didn't and was naive enough to blandly say I wouldn't leave, rather than offer to be happy to leave if Miller would answer the question, which she never did.

The blogger (who I don't know) Lost in America, covered it thus: "Marvin Kalb, the last man hired by Murrow, used the Kalb Report's one hour and 15 minutes to let Judith talk about whatever she was most comfortable with. And when a member of the audience asked a tough question about her unnamed sources, Kalb got upset, Miller did not answer and three security people showed up quickly in the back. ... Kalb served a lot of fluff tonight -- a tea party for the elite, where no mud shall be thrown and no exposures shall be made."

So, Miller is saying she "doesn't remember writing that sentence about Oak Ridge," which no one cares if she remembers writing. And that after going to jail to protect official sources "then you can judge my reporting," which is ridiculous on its face.

More broadly, Miller says she wants continue reporting, but what she's doing is continuing to coverup. In this attitude, she is a distilled microcosm of the mass of U.S. media which was at bare minimum complicit in the WMD lies.

If Miller were really interested in getting at the "truth" by doing good reporting to overcome bad, then she could begin by telling us the name of that official; who, if she were interested in the "truth," she would be furious with. Also, she said in her chat with Kalb that Bush was bent on war no matter what, which directly contracts what Bush himself claims; if she were a bit of a journalist, clearly she'd be interested in revealing more of that.

But it's worse than her being a pathetic excuse for a journalist, she is part of the continuing efforts to lie about this war, and proved that Monday night once again by refusing to share with us who the source was that used her -- or was she using the source? -- to deceive for a war that killed tens of thousands...

[originally published at husseini.org on Nov. 16, 2005]

Zarqawi and Bush Bomb Because We Let Them

A group calling itself "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" has reportedly claimed responsibility for the bombings in Jordan; the group is headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who takes his name from the impoverished town of Zarqa in Jordan where he was born.

I visited the place when I was in Jordan earlier this year. I was traveling with my dad back from Syria to Amman and we stopped in for an hour, wandering its crowded streets. My dad lived in Zarqa for a time after being driven out of his home in the Galilee, now northern Israel, by Zionist forces in 1948. Zarqa is a cramped small city now, but in 1948 virtually all that was there was an Army base.

My dad, as a teenager ended up there, separated from his immediate family, along with thousands of other Palestinians in what became a refugee camp. It swelled further after Israel's conquest during the 1967 War turned hundreds of thousands more Palestinian villagers and townspeople from the West Bank into refugees in Jordan. There are other camps around Amman which are still more refugee camp and less city.

People in Zarqa are poor and struggling for the most part, you can now see some footage of it on TV, because of Zarqawi's notoriety, which rather illustrates a point few Americans would care to think of too long.

My dad was lucky. He could have ended up stuck in Lebanon, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinian remain. But he had a relative, who would later become my Godfather, who was an officer in the Jordanian Army. He helped my dad out, though early on my dad barely had enough to eat at times, in spite of the crucial though minimal help of the UN.

Also, notably, Jordan, unlike other Arab countries did give citizenship to the Palestinian refugees. Now we have Israeli leaders like Netanyahu claiming that "Jordan is Palestine" -- because Jordan took many Palestinians in, and so, by this argument, Israel is virtually absolved of the moral and legal wrongs it has committed to the Palestinians, and can even flirt with finishing the job off by pushing more Palestinians it is occupying into Jordan, or at least tacitly threaten to do so as a bargaining chip.

My dad and I also went to the U.S. embassy in Amman, basically a fortress, and asked the police in front of it we could take pictures. They did their jobs and told us we couldn't (I've been detained doing that sort of thing) but I got the distinct impression that they wouldn't shed many tears if it were bombed.

Some other relatives took me to one of the Western hotels, though not one of those which were bombed. What struck me about it was the general eeriness of that well-off part of Amman, not just the hotels, attempting a Western upper middle class "normalcy" in the midst of poverty and regional turbulence. It was typified for me by the site of blonde East European waitresses serving drinks at the hotel. A country like Jordan frankly doesn't seem like a country; it's more a recent political entity, like Israel, created by outside powers (the U.K. and the U.S.) for their strategic goals.

Now the mantra is Abdullah vs. Zarqawi. I don't think it's a secret that the likes of Bin Ladin have some support in Jordan; he is commonly perceived as the only one "standing up" to the violence, wrongs, lies and hypocrisies of the U.S. and Israeli governments. Now, many in Jordan are demonstrating against Zarqawi and, in the process are explicitly backing King Abdullah.

But Abdullah largely serves the interests of those who rule the U.S. and Israeli governments and thus enables their crimes, whether it's Israel occupying and oppressing the Palestinians for generations; or the U.S., which has clearly been bent on regional dominance and is now occupying Iraq. Seymour Hersh, much lauded by progressives, wrote a in piece shortly after 9-11 titled "The C.I.A. and the Failure of American Intelligence" that the Jordanian government dealt effectively with terrorists: "The Jordanians did not move directly against suspected Abu Nidal followers but seized close family members instead -- mothers and brothers."

Abdullah has typically kept the people in Jordan in line, muzzling their views, preventing protests -- unless they are convenient like the ones today.

Zarqawi's bombings are being used by the monarchy to consolidate its power; and Zarqawi uses Abdullah's complicity in the crimes of the U.S. and Israel to commit mass murder of his own. He achieves stardom through the martyrdom of others. Others who seemingly can no longer tolerate the oppressor's wrong, forgo the slings as arrows of outrageous fortune and take up arms against a sea of troubles, and so end them; at least for themselves, perhaps they are certain what comes after; but they do so shooting out worse than slings and arrows at their victims, survivors and their loved ones.

Zarqawi's too violent even for Bin Ladin; but then he's had it a bit harder. Some warned before the invasion of Iraq that such action would spawn more Bin Ladins, I don't think anyone suggested any of them would be more ruthless.

The people of Jordan and the Mideast are hungry for someone to stand up to the U.S., but it seems too much for them that they, and not just people in Baghdad, Tel Aviv and Manhattan might be the targets. This is mirrored by people in the U.S. who note, even if it's just to themselves, that Bush is doing tolerably well, because he has "taken the fight to the terrorists," and neither Al-Qaeda nor its spawn have detonated anything on the HomeLand.

By creating havoc Zarqawi facilitates the demonization of anyone seriously critical of U.S. policy; shrinks the space that others may bring some semblance of justice and equity to the situation; though perhaps they have been too slow in doing so -- but there's the rub.

Yes, it is right to condemn both paths: Arab rulers who serve as virtual vice-roys of empire -- and obviously the murderous renegades like Zarqawi.

But it's also too easy to simply condemn the paths of Zarqawi and Abdullah. What is Abdullah to do? Stand up to the U.S. so that he can be crushed? What is Zarqawi to do? Wait for the thousands of Non-Governmental Organizations to bring peace and justice to the Palestinians and Iraqis like they never have done?

Wake up! We must all wake up! Bush and Bin Ladin and Abdullah and Zarqawi rule because everyone else has failed to take loving possession of the Earth; has failed to build the local and global relationships necessary for us to live with each other with love.

The most obvious case: The "peace movement" in the U.S. is at a standstill, other than about the U.S. dead; it was a quasi-global movement. On February 15, 2003, shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there were mass protests in many cities around the world. Why was that not been seriously built upon? Why?

Bin Ladin and Zarqawi cannot be the only ones "standing up" against a U.S. Empire. The people of the world have to be able to stand up, have to find the ways of communicating to stand up together.

Zarqawi's group may have taken "credit" for the bombings, but it's we who bear responsibility; for this, and God forbid, far worse.

[originally published at husseini.org on Nov. 11, 2005]

Trying to Look the Reality of Female Suicide Bombers in the Eye

Reports have it that Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman, attempted to blow up wedding celebrators, passerbyers and herself at the Radisson Hotel in Amman last Thursday. The Associated Press is reporting that her brother Thamer al-Rishawi "was killed during a U.S. assault on Fallujah in April 2004, when an air-to-ground missile hit his pickup as he was driving wounded people to a hospital, according to Ramadi residents speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from militants."

There are lots of reasons to doubt virtually every bit of information one gets from the mainstream media, particularly in situations like these -- including the implication that the above-cited sources do not fear retribution from U.S. militants and their proxies. But if the AP's words bear a resemblance to the actual facts, this case would have some similarities to the that of Hanadi Jaradat.

Hanadi Jaradat, as "a 29-year-old lawyer from Jenin [in occupied Palestine], blew herself up in the Haifa Maxim restaurant in early October [2003], killing 21, including four children. Her younger brother Fadi was executed by an Israeli undercover unit in front of her, despite her trying to protect him. On June 12th [2003], three days before Fadi's [planned] wedding, the family was in the courtyard of the house. Salah Jaradat, Fadi's cousin and a member of Islamic Jihad, came to visit his pregnant wife, Ismath, and their two-year-old son, who were living with the family." The Israelis killed Salah, Fadi and threatened Hanadi. Four months later, Hanadi took out her "revenge" on people who were nowhere in sight around when her brother and cousin were slain. [see: here]

A month ago, I put up a "profile" of Hanadi Jaradat on the trendy "soft porn" webpage SuicideGirls, giving her the identity RealSuidiceGirl. I was trying to get people to examine the reality of female suicide bombers. Hanadi Jaradat didn't do it for the promise of seventy, or however many it is, virgins; except maybe to desperately, disifiguredly provide them with a better life. I doubt she did it because some imam told her to. What she did was inhumane, but she, as a human, is crying out to be understood.

But the motivations of suicide bombers, particularly females, are typically ignored or explained away. Are they really just victims of patriarchy? These women are seeming to end their lives for a cause, but so few, in the U.S. at least, seem to curious about what their motives are for such a definitive act. Is this because so many people in these United States don't seem to believe in anything at all, yet -- or is it "and so" -- desperately cling to extraordinarily empty lives?

Here was my profile of Hanadi Jaradat on SuicideGirls.com:


MEMBER: RealSuicideGirl

MEMBER SINCE: October 2005

AGE: 30 (Sep 22, 1975)

LOCATION: Palestine

HOMETOWN: Jenin

SIGN: I've seen it.

OCCUPATION: Law, until that proved insufficient.

STATS: Don't commodify people.

BODY MODS: A few.

FAVORITE BANDS: Chrissy Hynde.

FAVORITE FILMS: Battle of Algiers.

FAVORITE BOOKS: The Qur'an, The Bible, Give Me Liberty: The
Uncompromising Statesmanship of Patrick Henry

FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Xena the Warrior Princess.

VICES: Deadly revenge.

CURRENT CRUSH: Mordechai Vanunu.

INTO: Fighting oppression.

MOST HUMBLING MOMENT: You have to ask?

5 ITEMS I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT: I only wanted two: My brother and justice.

MAKES ME HAPPY: Family. The Act of Sacrifice.

MAKES ME SAD: Israeli colonial aggression. Your imperialist government. Your
lying media. Your passivity. The need for sacrifice.

GETS ME HOT: You have a very crude culture, the way you talk of such things.

I LOST MY VIRGINITY: Not.

FAVORITE SEXUAL POSITION: My mother -- who I actually talk about
these things with -- tells me she really enjoys something I can hardly
wait to try -- oh, no, I guess I'll have to

FANTASY: For you to understand.

CURRENT THOUGHTS ON SG: I hate it [this was a choice on their very
limited pulldown menu; I had wanted to say "Shallow sensuality attempting
to distract people from the political horrors of this world; yet, it's some kind
of human contact, sort of."]

WEBSITE: http://www.aztlan.net/women_martyrs.htm

WISHLIST: http://www.al-awda.org


A snapshot of an earlier version of the profile was taken by Machination, which also blogged about itNetporn-l chatted about it. Within a few days, SuicideGirls.com took down the profile, without explanation. My emailing the founder, missy@suicidegirls.com produced no results. So much for frank, open discussion in the lofty tradition of Western liberalism on this forum it seems.

[originally published at husseini.org on Nov. 11, 2005]

Some Notes on Current Reporting on Miller

Yesterday's Washington Post piece by Howard Kurtz on the Judith Miller case quotes New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller: "It's excruciating to have a story and not be able to tell it, and annoying to be nibbled at by the blogs and to watch preposterous speculation congeal into conventional wisdom." Hmmm. That feels familiar, like when some of us raised questions about claims about Iraqi WMD's before the invasion of Iraq but the mainstream media congealed a conventional wisdom about WMDs that was utterly false -- excruciating like that? No, not at all that excruciating. 

Kurtz tells us that "But Miller refused to accept a waiver from her source, Cheney aide I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, because she did not consider it voluntary." Here, Kurtz accepts at face value Miller's claim of motivation for her actions; a dubious thing, but all too common in U.S. media. Actually, such a practice is a violation of a basic principle of objectivity, which U.S. journalism purports to uphold. Journalists should not report as fact the motives that a given actor claims, for example the one million times the U.S. media claimed that Bush was concerned about Iraqi WMDs. Or now, that he wants democracy in the Mideast. Kurtz, if he were a serious media critic, would be scrutinizing such practices rather than engaging in them.

Kurtz reports that "The [Jason] Blair revelations sparked a staff revolt against the autocratic management style of executive editor Howell Raines, who was ousted and replaced by Keller, a former managing editor." Well, why didn't Miller's WMD stories manifest a staff revolt? Her stories were clearly far more egregious than Blair's. Had the Times done the minimal thing -- fire Miller after the invasion when it became apparent to even the most indoctrinated person desiring a tiny a shred of truth that Miller's reporting was propaganda, then the Times would not have to deal with the entire Valerie Plame affair, which didn't happen until the Summer of 2003.

But alas, this raises a question many of the Bush critics don't seem eager to ask: Why did Wilson wait so long to help publicly expose the administration's deceptions? Asking such questions should not cause Bush and company to appear innocent of major crimes, but it would more accurately reflect that others share a measure of guilt, or at least complicity or insufficient effort, and should also be held to proper account. That is if truth and not simple Bush-hatred are the motivations to be ascribed to such critics. 

[originally published at husseini.org on Oct. 14, 2005]

The Exit Strategy

In the days after 9-11 I was on a couple of panels about the attacks. Several months later while doing a vanity google search I came across a falsified depiction of what I said in a magazine called Reason which purports to be in favor of human freedom.

The thrust of the article was that people who were critical of the Bush administration and the way it was using 9-11 were not offering an alternative. To buttress this thesis, the writer of the piece, Sam MacDonald, falsely claimed that when he questioned me at the panels I couldn't really offer anything constructive about what the Bush administration could do.

The fact of the matter is that I did offer a very serious course of action, but MacDonald didn't seem to what to hear it. Do you? Here it is: After 9-11 the Bush administration should have ... Told the truth.

When I suggested this after 9-11 I was specifically thinking of the evidence that Bin Ladin was guilty of 9-11 -- which I didn't doubt was the case -- but I thought it important that the evidence the Bush administration was claiming that he was guilty should be shared. I thought it odd that it wasn't shared, given that I thought he was guilty. I also wanted the administration, or anyone for that matter, to tell the truth generally about U.S. policy in the Mideast. From the truth about the U.S. government's prior backing of people like Bin Ladin to the truth about why a lot of people in the Mideast were very resentful of U.S. policies like its backing Israeli aggression and insisting on the draconian sanctions on Iraq.

As it turned out, there were very good -- or perhaps we should say very bad -- reasons that even the evidence regarding Bin Ladin's guilt was not shared. Among other things, it could have revealed early on that the Bush administration all but ignored intelligence findings with headlines like "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike U.S." Had that gotten out in Sept., 2001, the people of the U.S. would have gotten an early sense of how much their security counted to the administration which was about to wage two major invasions in the name of ... their security.

Similarly, now we are hearing people saying that the slogan of much of the peace movement "End the War, Bring the Troops Home Now" is unrealistic and not really constructive. Many are saying: "We can't cut and run." Presumably we are supposed to think hard about a prolonged "exit strategy." We are suppose to pretend that we are doing this in concert with the Bush administration as if they have displayed a real desire to withdraw from Iraq, but simply lacked the method and are waiting around for our help.

What should be done now, is what should have been done after 9-11, is what should be done always: Tell the truth.

Discussion of things like Bush's lies are had in the U.S. as if the rest of the world is unaware of them. As if the only victims -- and the only people who have a sense of the lies -- are in the United States. Don't you think that the fact that Bush lied and has not been made to acknowledge that in any way has something to do with the dynamics of the resistance in Iraq?

Let Bush tell the truth. Let him tell the truth about his lies about weapons of mass destruction, let him tell the truth about the bogus Al Qaeda links to Iraq, let him tell the truth about why many people in the Mideast resent U.S. policies. Let him tell the truth about the puppet government his administration is putting in place in Iraq, let him tell the truth about U.S. military bases being built there, let him tell the truth -- why let him answer this simple questions honestly: "Does Israel possess nuclear weapons?" If past actions are a guide, Bush will not answer it honestly, if at all.

The exit strategy from Iraq is to tell the truth.

Chiseled into the marble wall at CIA headquarters is a verse from the gospel of John: "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Knowing the truth, or pretending to know it, isn't enough. I think you have to say it to be free. Bush knows that Israel has a huge nuclear arsenal, but the White House does not acknowledge this simple, obvious truth. (see: here)

Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed Israel's nuclear arsenal and has suffered in prison for 18 years for it -- and continues to suffer various restrictions for it -- is nonetheless free because he spoke the truth. (see: here)

Not telling the truth is a way of hunkering down, of digging in your heels because you are not open to the alternatives before you. Not telling the truth is a strong indication that you don't want an exit strategy; rather you want to continue the crime spree, each evil action a distraction from the last so that the crimes spree, let's call it imperialism in this case, can continue. Not telling the truth is a symptom that your stated goal (protecting people in the U.S.) has little to do with, indeed, may be contrary to, your actual goals (control over oil, building empire, fueling the military, getting big contracts, buttressing Israeli domination, cutting deals with local proxies oppressing their people).

So-call critics come up with convoluted proposals, as if they were president or want to be, as to what should happen. These proposals often take the administrations goals at face value. And as such, they sometimes actually enable the administration's actions.

If Bush -- and a lot of other people -- were to tell the truth, you'd be surprised what might happen. If he did that, his words would not inflame resentment, but would lead to real dialogue. Let Bush tell the truth and you'll be surprised how many people in the Mideast and around the world would react. Let Bush and everyone else tell the truth and you'll be surprised how many doors -- exit doors, entrance doors -- will fling open.

[originally published at husseini.org on Sept. 19, 2005]

A Statement from Mother Nature

I understand many of you in the human race, at least those in the north of what you call the Western Hemisphere, are talking much of the "victims of mother nature" and such notions. The vast majority of these people -- in what you call the United States, particularly "the Gulf Coast", are not My victims, they are your victims. They are the victims of the corruption and callousness of your social organizations -- the governments and corporations in which you have organized yourselves, or to which you have allowed yourselves to be coerced.

The increased temperatures resulting from global warming which your shortsighted "economic development" has wrought have, as your computer models predicted, resulted in hurricanes of increased ferocity.

You buildup cities below sea level, where hurricanes regularly go and then attempt to blame Me when there is a flood. You not only flout Me, but you don't attend to each other. The government of the USA -- which claims to represent the people -- does not attend to the levees in New Orleans while you spent your resources bombing people in what you call Iraq. Your complaints are worse than the complaints of one who throws a stone straight up in the air and then gets hit with it. Gravity is a given. The least some of you could do is stop thowing bombs at others.

Continuously I create the days and seasons which bring forth the miracle of Life. I understand there is very little discussion of that in your "news" media. Reporters talk of the alleged "victims" or the "wrath of mother nature", but they do not talk of "the wonders of Mother Nature" which are before all of you if you care to see them. I don't say this for myself, but in the hope that you will understand the realities of this Existence.

It is good that your media -- which, if you let them, seem set upon becoming your collective consciousness -- have brought you images of your most recent victims. These people are largely the poor of an affluent country -– victims of your bizarre pecking order based on possession of bits of green paper; of deranged differentiating bases on skin color.

Hopefully, this will increase your caring for other humans on the globe, particularly the poor of poor countries. Maybe you can take a good look, people of the Unites States, at your other victims, most obviously those in Iraq, they cry like the people in New Orleans. Or those starving in Niger, which also has not occurred because of My actions -- but inspire of them. It is the economic policies of human, though inhumane, institutions which almost always result in such tragedies.

The government of the United States is called by many a "superpower." What is power? Trillions of dollars and massive weapons to destroy? That is not power, that is abomination. Bring forth Life -- that is Power.

You must look beyond these ways you categorize each other -– "color", "nation", "class". Then you look beyond your species at all Creation.

Children of the Earth: You need to know one another. You people in the USA particularly need to know the tragedies of war and poverty, even though many of the affluent among you seem willfully oblivious to these tragedies and their role in creating them. You are bent on a suicidal course unless you organize yourselves in different ways. I wonder if such a death might be your tacit choice, but why do you seem intent on endangering so much of the rest of the Earth?


Sam Husseini, whose work entails working with notable analysts and activists, received this statement via fax earlier today.

[originally published at husseini.org on Sept. 13, 2005]

A Quick Way to End the Insurgency: Impeach Bush Now

Sectors of the peace movement in the U.S. -- at least those which still show signs of having a pulse -- have seized upon the Downing Street Memo which might finally draw out in some substantive fashion the deceitful manner in which the U.S. moved toward the invasion of Iraq. The group AfterDowningStreet.org has called for an inquiry into possible impeachable offenses committed by Bush.

Meanwhile other people in the U.S. who continue to back Bush are focusing on "how to end the insurgency." They talk of the U.S. military casualties in Iraq and see that Donald Rumsfeld now states that the insurgency could last 12 years.

The two camps actually answer each other.

If you want to end the insurgency -- or resistance, depending on your views -- then make an honest accounting of what your own government has done. Doing that will be perceived and respected by others. Bush lied the country into war and initiated the war in an unconstitutional manner. The fact that the Congress, the media, and, to a large extent, the U.S. public were complicit in this does not absolve Bush. They each should be judged as expeditiously as possible, but Bush should be impeached -- now.

Doing so will have an impact in the Mideast and beyond.

Consider:

After the February 15, 2003 protests, the leadership of Hezballah said they would no longer burn U.S. flags. They perceived that substantial parts of the U.S. public were outwardly opposing the then-impending invasion of Iraq. They changed.

More recently, the Iranian people also perceived how the U.S. functions:

They were basically threatened no matter who won their election. They discerned that that the U.S. attacked Iraq even though Iraq did not have weapons or mass destruction and was allowing access to UN inspectors (despite the fact that such inspections had been used for espionage against Iraq in the past). Based on this, the Iranian people did the obvious thing: They voted for the candidate who is almost always described as the "hardliner" -- but on economic issues sounds like a socialist -- and not the WTO-loving "reformer."

Such actions by Iranians might tick off liberals in the U.S., but if these liberals had done their alleged job and really changed U.S. politics, the dynamics would be different in the Mideast.

There might still be a bit of time to redress this before further calamities occur.

An impeachment of Bush, for the right reasons -- and not for some peripheral technicality -- might be the surest, quickest way to ending the violent resistance in Iraq, ending further bloodshed and beginning a real democratic process which is designed by Iraqis in accord with the region and not U.S. administration and corporate ambitions. All the people in Iraq -- including the resistance which the administration tells us it is speaking to, at least on days they are not dismissing them as "terrorists" -- will take note. And, like Hezballah, which is converting itself to a political party, they will change.

The people of the U.S. can demand an impeachment of Bush and signal to the people of Iraq, the Mideast and the world that they will take matters into their hands and show they want a modicum of people and justice on this planet. That is, if the people of the U.S. actually do want a modicum of peace and justice on this planet.

[originally published at husseini.org on June 28, 2005]