IMPEACH GEORGE BUSH!! The Bulldog Manifesto The Bulldog Manifesto: August 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 

Skeleton in the Closet: America's Great Divide

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." -- John Kenneth Galbraith

A few days ago, the US Census Bureau reported that nearly 12.7% of all Americans currently live below the poverty line. That figure was higher for the fifth consecutive year in a row. Meanwhile, according to Forbes magazine in 2004, "the combined net worth of the nation's wealthiest [400 people] climbed to $1 trillion, up $45 billion in 12 months." Of the richest 400 Americans, there were 313 billionaires, a record number!
"How many yachts can you waterski behind? How much is enough?" -- Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen)in Oliver Stone's classic movie Wall Street.
Using the last major US Census Bureau statistics from 1998, the richest 1% of households own 38 percent of all wealth. The richest 5% own more than half of all the wealth. To put it another way, the top 5% maintain more wealth than the remaining 95% percent of the population, collectively.

To put the 'Great American Divide' in context, assume there are 100 people who have $100 to split up amongst them. Although nobody expects the money to be shared evenly at $1.00 per person, everybody expects that some basic fairness may be applied in the process.

But suppose the $100 gets divided as follows:

1 person gets $38.10
4 people get $5.32 each
5 people get $2.30 each
10 people get $1.25 each
20 people get $.60 each
20 people get $.23 each
40 people get 1/2 cent each

That is how the money is divided in America. As the one person who now makes $38.10 begins to take even a greater share as time goes by, the divide gets wider. Eventually, you have a situation where the people become quite upset with the situation, perhaps feeling that the system is skewed a bit unfairly.

According to the economic measure called the Gini coefficient (which measures the concentration of wealth as an index that goes from zero to one, one being the most unequal), wealth inequality in the United States, as of 1998, has a Gini coefficient of .82. According to some economists, .82 is "pretty close to the maximum level of inequality you can have".

Speaking to a congressional panel in June of 2005, conservative icon and boy toy, Alan Greenspan, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, showed remarkable concern for the growing wealth divide.
"As I've often said, this is not the type of thing which a democratic society - a capitalist democratic society - can really accept without addressing." (Christian Science Monitor, June 14, 2005)
Yes, that's right, the divide is so great that even Alan "Fucking" Greenspan starts sounding like a liberal!
""He is the conventional wisdom," says Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank. "When I'm arguing with people, I say, 'Even Alan Greenspan....' " " (Christian Science Monitor, June 14, 2005)
So, what are our leaders doing about this divide? Abso-fucking-lutely nothing! Unless, of course, you consider repealing the Estate Tax, shielding corporations from liability, giving tax cuts to the upper class, and blowing up major segments of our nation's bankruptcy laws helpful to the situation. You see, rather than bridge the gap, it seems as if our "leaders" are only making it worse. More than that, they are instituting measures that, for all intents and purposes, concretize the current class divide for future generations. The ultra-rich are guaranteed their familial dynasties for generations to come.
"We make the rules, pal. The news, war, peace, famine, upheaval, the price of paper clips. We pick that rabbit out of the hat while everyone sits around wondering how the hell we did it." -- Gorden Gekko (played by Michael Douglas)in Oliver Stone's classic movie Wall Street
But what can we do about it? First off, we need to realize that there are more of 'us', than there are 'them'. Second, we need to stop coddling the aristocracy, including politicians from our own political party. Using party politics of "Democrats" and "Republicans", the ruling class always gets to play us off against one another in a football game of sorts. As we senselessly beat the crap out of one another in this football game, they are robbing us blind. That needs to stop. Lately, as Thomas Frank, editor of The Baffler said, we have "a French Revolution in reverse -- one in which the sans-culottes pour down the streets demanding more power to the aristocracy."

Brainwashed by television programming and pop culture, most Americans don't even recognize that they work four months out of the year for a government that basically serves at the pleasure of the most wealthy. Some Americans actually give their lives fighting in wars catered to the profit of the most wealthy. It's sheer insanity. And when national disasters happen, like Hurricane Katrina, that same government who has catered to the whims of the richest, has nothing left to give to the ones who suffer the most. Instead, it calls upon the generosity of the ones with the least to pitch in and help. The people need to wake up!

Although it might not happen anytime soon, you never know. If things get bad enough, it could happen sooner rather than later. After all, football gets quite unimportant when gas starts costing $5.00 a gallon and the mortgage cannot be paid. (Perhaps this is why uber-conservative Alan Greenspan is smart enough to recognize the danger of a Great Divide -- because eventually, the 'have nots' are going to rise up.)

Lastly, we need to fight. I'm not advocating violence here, I'm advocating spirit. We need a fighting spirit. We need to recognize bullshit when we see it and we need to call it out.
"A little boy and his father go to the circus. The little boy sees a full-grown elephant with a rope tied around his leg. At the other end of the rope is a wooden stake driven into the ground. The little boy is amazed that the big elephant doesn't break the rope and pull the stake out of the ground.

The father explains that when the elephant was a baby, his trainers tied a heavy chain around his leg. The other end was tied into an iron stake driven deep into the ground. The baby elephant pulled and tugged many, many times and was finally conditioned to believe he couldn't get away. Now they keep a rope tied to his leg to remind him, and when he feels resistance he stops trying.

If the elephant gave it 100% one more time, he would be free and gone." -- Positive Mental Imagery
Well, this elephant is ready to tug again!

 

National Guard Spread Thin-- Iraq and Hurricane Katrina

Historically, the National Guard has consistently been used to protect the American homeland in times of emergency. Although mobilized in World War II, the National Guard has never been used in a "war of choice" until recently in Iraq. Desperate for troops, Donald Rumsfeld has relied heavily upon the National Guard in Iraq. In fact, 40% of the troops in Iraq are reserves or Guardsmen. Worse than that, these Guardsmen have been pushed to their unforseeable limits.

And now, along comes Hurrican Katrina.

In response to Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard has been mobilized with troops coming from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to assist in the emergency response. But with National Guard troops already spread thin across Iraq and Afghanistan, how much more can the National Guard take?

MSNBC reported that despite Iraq deployment, "troop strength for hurricane deployment is strong." But MSNBC fails to mention that Alabama is sending troops to Mississippi because 3,000 of Mississippi's own National Guard troops are in Iraq serving alongside the Marines 155th Armored Brigade.

Luckily, the states in Katrina's path have relatively large Guard forces overall. But states with less overall Guardsmen and a higher percentage of Guardmen in Iraq have expressed concern that they may already be stretched too thin. For example, about 1,800 of Idaho's 4,400 Guard troops are serving abroad, a somewhat dangerous figure when considering the high risk of forest fires in the middle of a drought - fires that Guardsmen would otherwsie help fight by providing logistical support to front-line firefighters.

In October of 2004, former Governor Jesse Ventura predicted that the Bush administration's utter mismanagement of the National Guard would pose great risks for Americans at home. Perhaps he was right.

During Hurricane Ivan, Ventura argued that the Bush administration was “jeopardizing homeland security” by leaving state governors “woefully short-handed.” After all, the men and women who join the National Guard have a higher tendency toward professions like law enforcement, fire fighting and emergency response. Due to the war in Iraq, communities across the nation are short of the first responders needed to cope with everything from terrorist attacks to more mundane crimes and emergencies-- leading Ventura to ask, “Whose security are we defending the most, Iraq’s, or ours?”

Katrina is far worse than Ivan. If we were spread thin during Ivan, how thin are we now during Katrina?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 

Our Country Would Never Deceive Us Into a War! No Chance!

I'm always amazed at how seemingly reasonable people quickly deny the possibility that we, the American people, could be lied into a war by our "leaders". I'm amazed because our very history is rife with examples where our government has wrongly deceived us into war. Certainly,if they did it once, twice, three times, they would do it again, wouldn't you agree? Then why is it that people have a hard time swallowing what should now seem so obvious?

Lets go back and look at some history, shall we?

"Remember the Maine! To Hell With Spain!"
We can start all way the back on February 15, 1898. On that day, the USS Maine, an American battleship, blew up and sank in the stillness of Havana Harbor, offshore from Cuba. Our government declared a month later that the ship blew up because of an explosive mine in the water. The tragedy was a precipitating cause of the Spanish-American War that began in April, 1898. At the time, it was used as pretext for war by those who were already inclined to go to war with Spain. The government used the rallying cry "Remember the Maine! Death to Spain"

As it turned out, the USS Maine was not blown up from an enemy mine. With the benefit of modern forensic science, the explosion is now widely believed to have been an accident caused by the spontaneous combustion of gunpowder magazines situated too close to heat sources. Modern analytical tools, especially computer simulations, have all but confirmed this. Furthermore, recently revealed government documents suggest that our government was aware that the USS Maine was not actually sunk by an enemy mine. In essence, the American citizens were lied to, and soldiers gave their lives for an expansionist war.

Avenge Pearl Harbor!
In recent years, many controversial texts have uncovered facts revealing that our government likely had knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack prior to December 7, 1941. On their accounts, not only had we broken Japan's codes, but a British double agent had also uncovered the plot to attack Pearl Harbor well before the attacks, and warned our government. But even if you don't buy into "Roosevelt knew" revelation, nobody can dispute that our government did everything possible to lure Japan into war.

FDR began his program of economic warfare by embargoing strategic goods. In September, he banned exports of iron and steel to Japan. In June 1941, he restricted oil shipments to Japan. Soon thereafter, FDR froze Japan's funds in the United States. This was followed by many public demands for Japanese capitulation. Roosevelt also refused to meet with Japan's Prime Minister.

Caught in an economic trap, Japan did not hide their intention of going to war with the US, and went so far as to speak of war if no settlement were reached by November of 1941.

In any event, Pearl Harbor happened, and it galvanized the American public's willingness to enter WWII behind the rallying cry "Avenge Pearl Harbor!" Regardless of whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, the point is, the citizens of the USA were likely lied to.

Operation Northwoods
Operation Northwoods was a government plan devised and approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and likely to be carried out with the help of the CIA, in order to manufacture consent for a war against Cuba in the early 1960's. The documents exhibit a considerable willingness on the part of our government to deceive, severely endanger, and/or kill its own civilians. In particular, the Joint Chiefs recommended the following actions:

1. Using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba.
2. Start false rumors about Cuba by using clandestine radios.
3. Stage mock attacks, sabotages and riots and blame it on Cuban forces
4. Sink an American ship at the Guantanamo Bay American military base - reminiscent of the USS Maine incident at Havana in 1898, which started the Spanish-American War - or destroy American aircraft and blame it on Cuban forces.
5. "Harassment of civil air, attacks on surface shipping and destruction of US military drone aircraft by MIG type [sic] planes would be useful as complementary actions."
6. Destroy a fake commercial aircraft supposedly full of "college students off on a holiday"
7. Stage a "terror campaign", including the "real or simulated" sinking of Cuban refugees:
8. "We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute [sic] to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized."

The plan was devised in 1962. For nearly 40 years, Operation Northwoods remained merely a "conspiracy theory" until it was finally uncovered via the Freedom of Information Act. But it clearly shows that our government has no problem with lying to us, or even considering harming us for the purpose of provocating war.

Gulf of Tonkin Incident
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident was presented to the American public as two attacks by North Vietnamese gunboats without provocation against two American destroyers (the USS Maddox and the USS C. Turner Joy) in August of 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Pentagon Papers, later revealed the Johnson administration of the United States had virtually fabricated the attacks. The US-supported South Vietnamese regime had been attacking oil processing facilities in North Vietnam, with planning and support from the CIA, for the very purpose of providing a pretext to initiate the Vietnam War.

9/11-- "We Will Never Forget!" Anthrax-- 'We Will Immediately Forget!'
I've discussed it at length before, and I won't go into it further today. You can look into my past posts at The Bulldog Manifesto to see what I think about 9/11, and how we were lied to there for the purpose of taking this country into a series of wars designed to capture valuable oil fields and oil pipelines. Heck, the Project for a New American Century, the Neocon think tank spelled it our for us. They planned many of the events of today, years ago. Namely, they planned to confiscate the Afghan oil pipelines and the Iraqi oil reserves. If you haven't opened your eyes to this yet, all I can say is, "wake up".

You should also be familiar with my views on Anthrax, and how those attacks were of major significance in scaring the pants off the American public. You should be aware that the Anthrax spores came from an army base at Fort Detrick, as you should also know that once the FBI uncovered this fact, the Anthrax story has been buried-- never to be discussed. But that never stopped Colin Powell from waving a vial of faux anthrax before the United Nations in the run up to the Iraqi War.

The Downing Street Memos
So now we come to the Downing Street Memos. Here we have a smoking gun document that shows that the American and British governments decided to "fix the facts and intelligence around the policy" of going to war in Iraq. And yet, even with all of our history, many otherwise reasonable people cannot bring themselves to admitting that "yes, we were lied to!"

What more does it take? How many lies does it take until you look at your government in the proper light? What does it take for you to hold your government accountable?

Or could it be that you want to be lied to?

Sunday, August 28, 2005 

Is This Acceptable? Do You Want More?

On August 20, 2005, various Utah SWAT teams raided a legally permitted party on private land in an unpopulated area outside the limits of Salt Lake City. The SWAT teams descended onto the party with helicopters, fully armed paramilitary soldiers armed with automatic weaponry, body armor, tear gas, and police attack dogs. The party goers were intimidated, threatened at gunpoint, and some physically assaulted by the policemen and their attack dogs. Tear gas was also dispered onto the crowd of teenagers.

Now, over a week later, VIDEOTAPE from the party has begun to surface on the Internet (although many videotapes were reportedly illegally seized by the police at the time of the raid). (Utah County Sheriff's Press Release can be seen HERE)

Ahhh, the police state at work. Slowly and slowly, our great nation moves closer to a fascist police state. Just wait until they pass the Patriot Act II. One more terrorist attack on American soil, and say goodbye to the last of your civil liberties. Think I'm kidding?

I highly recommend each person go and read, at the minimum, the summary of the Patriot Act II. The act is presently shelved. But like I said, one more terrorist attack, and they'll pass the bill just like they passed the first one-- without the American public even noticing until it's too late (just like Patriot Act I). Read it, and write a letter to your Senators and Congressman telling them that "under no circumstances" should they ever consider passing a law like Patriot Act II.

 

Sunday Funnies

Check out this Quicktime POST over at Pretzel's Blog. It's damn funny! Enjoy!

Friday, August 26, 2005 

The Daily GOP Smokescreen

Another day, another minion of the Republican party.

Is it me or does it seem like each new day presents us with another controversy to deflect the attention from the unwinnable war campaign in Iraq? Earlier in the week, we had Pat Robertson extolling the virtues of assasination. Last night, we had tele-psychotic pundit Ann Coulter telling the world that New Yorkers are, for all intents and purposes, cowards. Last week, we had Rush Limbaugh telling the world that Cindy Sheehan's entire story was just a big fraud. Heck, over the course of the past month, I can give you almost a daily example of some Bush lackey going on television with some extremist viewpoint, inevitably resulting in the news media spending the day discussing the controversial minion rather than the controversial war.

Robert Novak's walk off of the CNN set. Michelle Malkin being Michelle Malkin. Fred Dobson comparing stem cell researchers to Nazi doctors. You name it. Ever since Cindy Sheehan arrived on the scene, the wing nuts have been out in force creating one smokescreen after another for the administration. After all, if we're talking about the wing nuts, we're not talking about the real crime-- a war that was based on lies. A war that continues to be poorly managed. A war that has no timetable for ever ending. A war that becomes more obviously unwinnable each day. A war that keeps killing American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. A war that will likely end up with either an Iraqi Civil War or an Islamic Theocratic Republic of Iraq.

Once the Michael Jackson story ended, the media jumped on board the Natalee Holloway story. Once they sucked the life out of that story, Cindy Sheehan came into the picture. That's about the time the wing nuts sicked the GOP minions and GOP sycophants on the American public. It's as if they figured, 'heck, if there is nothing to distract the American public, we'll just have to make the stories up on our own.'

Like a bad car accident, we all are obliged to stop and stare as we drive by, perhaps muttering a few words like "I'm glad it wasn't me" and move on, forgetting the entire time that we aren't even wearing our own seatbelt and that our car is almost running out of gas.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005 

Neoconservatism 101 -- Politics of the Wolf

It's funny how some of the right wingers get all loopy when they hear somebody speak the truth. They can't handle hearing it. (i.e., Cindy Sheehan, Ambassador Joe Wilson, Scott Ritter, Sen. Max Cleland, Richard Clarke, and Hans Blix) Nothing bothers these people more than the truth. It drives them up the friggin' wall. They will smear anybody who speaks the truth. There is a reason for this, and it comes from the very foundation of the Neoconservative belief system.

The Neoconservatism movement is built upon the notion that its better to get people to believe in "noble lies" than have them unsettled by the truth. The father of Neoconservatism, Leo Strauss, argued that:
"Contemporary liberalism was the logical outcome of the philosophical principles of modernity, as practiced in the "advanced" nations of the Western world in the 20th century. He believed that contemporary liberalism contained within it an intrinsic tendency towards relativism, which in turn led to the nihilism that he saw as permeating contemporary American society."-- Wikipedia on Leo Strauss
Thus, for Strauss, overcoming relativism was of primary importance.

"Strauss noted that thinkers of the first rank, going back to Plato, had raised the problem of whether good and effective politicians could be completely truthful and still achieve the necessary ends of their society. By implication, Strauss asks his readers to consider whether "noble lies" (Plato) have any role at all to play in uniting and guiding the cities of man. Are certain, unprovable "myths" taught by wise leaders needed to give most people meaning and purpose and to ensure a stable society? Or can society flourish on a foundation of those "deadly truths" (Nietzsche) limited to what we can know absolutely?"
You see, neoconservatism is a political school of thought that suffers from an elevated ego. The proponents of the theory believe they know "what's good for the rest of us". These people believe that the American people are better off ignorant and blind, than with actual freewill. In their view, freewill can lead to nihilism. And to them, nihilism will lead to the end of civilization.

To put it another way, in the view of the Neocons, people are no different than a pack of wolves. In a wolf pack (no relation to neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz), the dogs need to know their place in the pecking order or the pack will become unstable and inefficient. Through dominance, submission, and aggression, each dog will find it's place, and the pack will be happy. The Neocons believe that people need a hierarchy of order-- people need to be given commands that are easy to understand, and they need to have a routine. Freewill is bad for the pack. Uncertainty is bad for the pack. Questioning the alpha-male puts the balance of the pack in danger. If the leader of the pack wants you to roll over, do it. Don't ask questions, just do it. Good dog!

You see, if the wolf pack can't understand quantum mechanics, evolution, the general theory of relativity or esoteric spiritual or philosophical texts-- teach them something they can understand, regardless of whether it's right or not. Make it simple, make it rigid, and do not waiver from it ever. Stay the course, or the rest of the wolves may get restless. The pack needs, above all else, uniformity and security. They need to know what is good and what is bad. There is no grey area for a wolf. A wolf hunts, it doesn't question it's existence, it's habitat, or the alpha-male.

You see, neoconservatism does not give Man much credit (or compassion). It is anti-humanist. It is sheer wolf. It believes ignorance is better than knowledge. It values power more than love. It fears science, knowledge and enlightenment. It fears foreign packs. But most of all, it fears its true nature as a human being. And thus, it fears truth.

Mythologically speaking, Neoconservatism plays only to Man's masculine attributes (power, violence, discipline, order, etc.) without care for it's feminine attributes (love, compassion, chaos (think of the Goddess Aphrodite, goddess of Love and Chaos) etc.) As such, neoconservatism is completely out of balance. It fails to recognize half of our given human nature. It is out of touch with the moon-- the mother. It exhalts the sun-- the father. It disregards compassion, and knows not how to forgive. It thrives on competition and cannot handle cooperation. Neoconservatism is a philosophy of self-destruction.

So next time you see some neoconservative doing everything under the sun to avoid the truth-- have pity on him. He has not yet realized that he is a human being. His world view does not permit him to seek the truth. On the contrary, a neocon has not evolved from his animal past. He has no other choice than to just "howl at the moon."


PLEASE NOTE: THE BULLDOG MANIFESTO DOES NOT WISH TO INSULT ANY FELLOW CANINES WITH THE PRECEDING POST. THE BULLDOG MANIFESTO BELIEVES WOLVES ARE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS, AND HAVE SOME VERY GOOD THINGS TO TEACH US. WOLVES ARE NICE. HUMAN BEINGS BEHAVING LIKE WOLVES ARE NOT NICE.

 

Orwellian 101

"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." -- George Orwell, from the book 1984, published in 1949.

In the book 1984, the totalitarian government known as "Big Brother", uses high technology and cleverly crafted language known as "Newspeak" to control the minds of the masses. In that fictional world, any person thinking about notions of freedom or revolution was punished with torture or severe brainwashing. You see, in that world, thinking about true freedom was considered a "thoughtcrime". So Big Brother used "Newspeak" to get people to think in narrow terms, limiting the range of thought, in order to make "thoughtcrime" impossible.

I'm getting sick and tired of the Orwellian Newspeak. Just turn on the television, all you hear is Orwellian Newspeak. Nothing is as it seems.

Examples:

Nation Building
Lately I've been hearing pundits argue the pros and cons of "nation building". Sorry, I prefer the old term-- "colonialism". You see, when you invade and occupy a sovereign nation in an instance where they have not attacked you and thereafter kill and oppress their people for your national interests, its called colonialism. So even if I hear the mainstream media focusing on the negative aspects of "nation building", they already missed the point. Using the term "nation building" automatically removes the thought of colonialism from the discussion. With "nation building" as a starting point, all you're left to argue is whether its good or bad to "build nations". So how bad could it be?

You don't build a nation by killing and oppressing it's people, ruining it's infrastructure, and usurping its natural resources. Thats called "colonization". And you certainly don't build nations by introducing radioactive material to the population. This brings us to........

Depleted Uranium
Your television will never mention the topic of depleted uranium. Depleted Uranium (DU) is a dense, radioactive metal used for armor-piercing shells. American tanks and A-10's fired DU munitions all over Iraq, littering the Iraqi terrain with an estimated 75 tons of DU shells. (These shells have been found to contain traces of Plutonium, which is the most toxic substance we know of. With a half-life of 4.5 billion years, Iraq is destined to be a radioactive nightmare for the rest of human history.)

Beside the fact that our media rarely discusses depleted uranium, when it does get mentioned, it's misleadingly called "depleted uranium". That's Orwellian newspeak again. It should really be called what it is-- "Enriched Uranium"
"The term "Depleted" refers to the removal of uranium-235, but the process for its removal is called "Enrichment." It is Enrichment because what remains is uranium-238, a highly potent radioactive carcinogen that emits alpha particles. Once in our body, either inhaled, or in a flesh wound, or even ingested in contaminated food or water --- you get cancer in your lungs bones, blood or kidneys (Caldicott, 2002). There is one more way, the Uranium is Enriched. Uranium-236 and Uranium-238, otherwise know as Plutonium is laced into the so-called "Depleted" uranium weaponry." -- David M. Boje, Ph.D. (March 13, 2003).
You see, this clever language makes it hard for the public to discern that we fought a nuclear war in Iraq. To be precise, it was an Enriched Uranium Nuclear War. And there is a profound reason for this Orwellian language-- Enriched Uranium weaponry is illegal under the terms and conditions of the Geneva Convention. It is a violation of the Geneva Convention to leave harmful materials on a battlefield after the conflict has ceased.

This brings us to....

Dirty Bombs
Funny thing is, when other people use weapons similar to our "depleted uranium" we call those weapons "dirty bombs". When discussing the threat from the point of view of the potential victim rather than the victimizer, our government is finally honest in it's description. And with that more honest term, "dirty bomb", the government is able to elicit fear.

'We use depleted uranium (harmless), they use dirty bombs (dangerous)'

True, "dirty bombs" work differently than "depleted uranium shells" but their long-term effects are quite similar. Both leave the same kind of horrific damage-- a radioactive mess!

This brings us to.....

Operation Iraqi Freedom
In the late 1980's, the Pentagon became very clever in it's description of military events. Wheras in the past, the government had simply adopted honest and generic titles for its foreign wars (i.e. Vietnam War, Korean War, World War II, etc.), in 1989 the Pentagon became Orwellian. Specifically, the Pentagon decided to call the invasion of Panama "Operation Just Cause". It's not easy to argue against a war when that war isn't even labeled as a war, and is furthermore labeled on it's face as a 'just cause'? Just like Orwell's Newspeak, the government is able to sell us language which limits our ability to think for ourselves.

Operation Iraqi Freedom is no different. Who doesn't want the Iraqis to be free? So how could anybody protest a war that is 'righteous' on its face? Certainly anybody who disagrees with Operation Iraqi Freedom is anti-freedom, right?

With purposeful traingulation, the government chooses language that puts independent thinkers at a strong disadvantage. The government is well aware that most people don't have the time (or ability) to think through or beyond the language that they introduce. You see, when they choose the words that can be used in the discussion, and sell it to an unquestioning and/or brain-dead media, it becomes increasingly difficult to speak out without having to first breakdown all of the preconceptions that arise from the language. I mean really, how could anybody protest 'Iraqi freedom'?

This brings us to......

Defense Contractors
We've all heard about the armed "defense contractors" roaming Iraq. These are people who work for private defense companies (e.g. Halliburton, Bechtel, etc.), armed with state of the art weaponry, and immune from all liability for any acts they commit in Iraq. In essence, these are men who can "privately" (and secretly) kill whomever they wish in Iraq without any oversight or risk of penalty. In the old days, they used to call these people what they really are, as defined in the dictionary-- "mercenaries".

The term "defense contractor" makes it sound like they are all out there building schools or installing an extra bathroom in some poor Iraqi family's house. Perhaps some of them are actually building schools. But the reality is, the mercenaries comprise the second largest military force in Iraq. Yup, there are more private warriors than British troops. Using Orwellian speak, however, the government gets to obfuscate the hidden reality of the mercenaries. They are armed and beholdent to nobody!

Conclusion
There are so many more examples of Orwellian speak. If your Orwell Radar is turned on, you will catch it everywhere. Social Security Reform (should be called "Social Security Removal"), No Child Left Behind (should be called "No Child's Behind Left"), Death Tax (should be referred to as the "Wealthy Family Inheritance Tax"), Clear Skies Initiative (should be called the "Clear Lies, Dirty Skies Initiative"), the Defense of Marriage Act of 2004 (should be called the "Sexual Intolerance Act of the Book of Leviticus")....and it goes on and on.
"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end, we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible because there will be no words in which to express it... The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought as we understand it now." -- character from Orwell's 1984.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005 

Thou Shall Not Kill -- Get it Through Your Fat Head, Mr. Robertson!

Four words-- "Thou Shall Not Kill"

Seems pretty straight forward, doesn't it? Perhaps one of the clearest laws in all of human history. Four words. No exceptions. Handed down from God, so they say. Published in the world's most famous book. Pretty simple, right?

Now, we have the so-called "Christian Right". Led by Pat Robertson and a few others. A group of people who claim they are Christians. A group of people who claim to be doing God's work. A group of people who would love nothing more than to see the Ten Commandments in every school, court room, park, and public building. So you think they would have a pretty good understanding of the Ten Commandments, right?

Not so fast.

Look at what Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and the conservative Christian Coalition said yesterday about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez:
"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he [Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war....We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with." -- August 22, The 700 Club
If you don't believe me, you can see it for yourself on video here.

Now, I certainly realize that Pat Robertson has not killed anybody with his own hands (at least not that I know of). But the fact that a so-called 'man of God' is on television advocating the assasination of a human being; therefore promoting a clear violation of God's law, well, that strikes me as being just a tad hypocritical.

You see, God didn't say "Thou shall not kill unless you are an American." He also did not say, "Thou shall not kill unless you are a billionaire diamond dealing, media mogul, who fools trusting individuals to hand over their savings accounts for admission into the Kingdom of Heaven." Believe me, even the most broad interpretation of "Thou Shall Not Kill" does not give a diamond dealing exploiter of slave labor the right to promote the killing of another human being. It just doesn't work that way. I checked it out.

Thou Shall Not Kill. It's pretty darn simple. Why can't Pat Robertson get it through his fat head?

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Matthew 7:15
"Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24

Monday, August 22, 2005 

Double Feature: Dead Wrong and Hijacking Catastrophe

If you didn't get a chance to see it last night, don't worry...here it is. I'm talking about CNN's special report entitled Dead Wrong. Frankly, I am amazed this program aired on a mainstream media. And considering it's mainstream media, its pretty damn good. Its only an hour long, and well worth it.

CNN's Dead Wrong (hosted by DailyDissent.org).

Then, when you are done watching, a perfect compliment to that program is Hijacking Catastrophe (Realplayer video hosted by Stopthelie.com)

The total running time for both programs combined is approximately 2 hours 15 minutes. WELL WORTH THE TIME!

Friday, August 19, 2005 

It's the Oil, Stupid!

According to an August 4, 2005 report conducted by the Institute of International Finance, ever since the US invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar [collectively known as the Gulf Cooperation Council ("GCC")] have experienced unparalleled levels of economic growth.
"The GCC is in the midst of a period of exceptional economic performance. We are now forecasting aggregate GDP to expand by more than one-third for 2005 and 2006, while foreign assets are estimated to rise in these two years by more than $360 billion." -- IIF Managing Director Charles Dallara
Not coincidentally, since the war in Iraq began, the price of a barrel of oil has more than doubled.

But how did this happen? Is it just luck on the part of Saudi Arabia and the other GCC states? Or could it have something to do with Iraq and the diminished oil supply on the broad market?

According to a US Department of Energy website, Iraq is estimated to hold 115 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, and possibly much more undiscovered oil in unexplored areas of the country. Unfortunately, occupied Iraq is only pumping oil at a fraction of its peak capability.
"Under optimal conditions, and including routes through both Syria and Saudi Arabia that are now closed or being utilized for other purposes, Iraq's oil export infrastructure could handle throughput of more than 6 million bbl/d (2.8 via the Gulf, 1.65 via Saudi Arabia, 1.6 via Turkey, and perhaps 300,000 bbl/d or so via Jordan and Syria). However, Iraq's export facilities (pipelines, ports, pumping stations, etc.) were seriously disrupted by the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the 1990/1991 Gulf War, the most recent war in March/April 2003, and periodic looting and sabotage since then. Currently, Iraq's export capacity is theoretically as high as 2.5 million bbl/d (around 2.0 via the Gulf and 0.3-0.5 via Turkey)." -- Department of Energy Report on Iraq, June of 2005.
Since the invasion, there have been 257 attacks on Iraqi oil infrastructure including the country's 4,350-mile-long pipeline system. Due to these attacks, Iraqi oil has had a very hard time making it to the market. This, in turn, has had an effect on the scarcity of oil and therefore the price of oil. And voila, thats how you have the situation we have today-- where aggregate GCC exports are forecast at $391 billion in 2005 and $416 billion in 2006, similar to the combined total for Brazil, India and Russia."

To put it in perspective by way of comparison, revenues from oil exports were just $61 billion in 1998 and averaged under $100 billion for the ten years to 2003. Not too bad for the Saudis, is it?
"Saudi Arabia's oil export revenue between 2004 and 2006 is forecast to be greater than that for the whole of the 1990s."
Considering how Bush spared no attempt to link 9/11 to Iraq, and used 9/11 as one of the assortment of reasons to invade Iraq, isn't it quite troubling that Saudi Arabia is profiting so much from 9/11 and the ensuing war in Iraq? When you consider that 15 of the alleged 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi citizens, isn't that just a tad perplexing?

Are Bush's ties to the House of Saud still unworthy of government oversight and investigation? Or are we finally going to say 'enough is enough'?

Let's play connect the dots, shall we? Bush is financially tied to the Saudis. The Saudis (ahem, ahem....with Bush's consent and assistance) pull off the 9/11 attack. Bush uses 9/11 to do what the PNAC and Bush's Neocon friends have wanted to do since 1998-- invade Iraq. In a state of managed chaos, Iraqi oil is trickled onto the world market while world oil demand is also on the steady rise. As a result, the price of oil skyrockets. Bush and his friends get the sweet Iraqi oil deals, and Bush and the Saudis reap major profits off of the increased price of oil ber barrel. (Not to mention the great profits Bush's Carlyle Group, Cheney's Halliburton, and Schultz's Bechtel get to make off of the rebuilding of Iraq)

If you still think this war was about WMD's or democracy, get your head examined. Iraq has an estimated 115 billion barrels of oil waiting to be pumped (with a likelihood, according to the DOE, that there is even more which has yet to be discovered). Strictly at today's price of oil, without factoring the time value of money or inflation or the ever increasing price of oil as supply dwindles, Iraqi oil is worth over $7.5 trillion dollars. That's about 4 years worth of America's entire gross domestic product! Now consider how much that oil will be worth in five or ten years when the demand is even higher as China and India become even more desirous of oil. Oh brother, we are talking about oil that is likely worth about $50 trillion dollars when you consider all the factors.

Last year, the United State's entire gross domestic product was $2.2 trillion. Still think oil had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq?

Thursday, August 18, 2005 

The Bulldog is Barking

Well, its official, last week's post entitled "Know Your Enemy: Who are We Fighting in Iraq?" won the Blog Critic's Editors Award for best political post of the week.

So if you haven't done so already, please feel free to add The Bulldog Manifesto to your links list or simply Blogroll this site. After all, there are more posts coming. The Bulldog is barking!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005 

The Minutemen Project and the La Reconquista Lie

Have you ever heard of "La Reconquista"? Odds are, if you aren't a raging bigot or a member of the Minutemen Project, you probably haven't heard of it at all. But perhaps its time to learn about it. After all, notions of "La Reconquista" are being used to fuel racism and promote vigilantism in America.

You see, La Reconquista is a theory which contends that Mexico and Latin America, at large, are conspiring to conquer the American southwest. However, unlike some other conspiracies, the proponents of La Reconquista offer no piece of evidence to support their accusations other than the fact that many Latin Americans are entering into the country. (Curiously, was the influx of Irish immigrants in the 1860's proof of a secret Irish invasion to conquer America? Oh wait, those guys were white....my bad.)

Relying on good ole' fashion American xenophobia and red neck bigotry, groups like the Minutemen Project are espousing the notion of "La Reconquista" to get xenophobicaly minded and perhaps bigoted people to support their cause. And what, you may be asking, do the Minutemen people want to do with the people who illegally cross the border into the United States?

Shoot them, of course!
"It should be legal to kill illegals," said Carl, a 69-year old retired Special Forces veteran who fought in Vietnam and now lives out West [and part of the Minutemen Project]. "Just shoot 'em on sight. That's my immigration policy recommendation. You break into my country, you die." Southern Poverty Law Center, Summer 2005
Unfortunately, Carl is not alone. It seems that this belief is rather common among Minutemen Project militiamen.
"I agree completely [said another Minutmen Project militia man]....You get up there with a rifle and start shooting four or five of them a week, the other four or five thousand behind them are going to think twice about crossing that line....The thing to do would be to drop the bodies just a few hundred feet into the U.S. and just leave them there, with lights on them at night....That sends the message 'No Trespassing,' in any language."
You see, if you can convince nationalistic xenophobic racists that their country is being invaded by the brown man for an eventual conquest of America, murder is justifiable because 'we are at war against the invaders'. Brilliant scapegoating, wouldn't you say?

This is why it's important to understand the Reconquista pitch, because they use it to create a heightened state of emergency.

'We are under foreign attack! Kill dem Mexicans!'

And in case you haven't been keeping score at home, lately the Minutmen have also come out of the closet, so to speak. At a recent event, they unfurled an American flag alongside the Southern Cross Flag next to, you guessed it, the Nazi Party flag! (Finally, some people on the right wing who are actually honest...sick and twisted, but honest. Kudos to the Nazi Minutemen for setting an example all right wingers can follow.)

Yup, so if your keeping score, they believe in La Reconquista, Naziism, and murdering people who are, at worst, committing a petty offense. So, as hateful as these people are, you would think that our government wouldn't want to promote their cause, right? WRONG!

On July 28, U.S. Rep. John Culberson of Houston, Texas introduced a federal bill to fund armed militias to catch people trying to illegally cross from Mexico and Canada. (Yeah, I'm sure these guys are really bothered by the Canadian illegal immigrants...yeah right.) The bill would authorize the use of $6.8 billion dollars for militias. Thats right, billion, not million. So its kind of substantial in scope, you could say. Oh yeah, the bill already has 48 Republican co-sponsors.

In case you forgot, "scapegoating" is just one of the 14 elements of a fascist regime.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005 

An American Cold (Civil) War

This country is no longer a melting pot. That is what the people on the Far Right would have us all believe. America is no longer the place where people can differ in their political opinions, differ in their religious beliefs, or differ in their culture. For the Right Wing, its assimilate or be damned!

And because of this, a civil war is slowly erupting in America. As Bush wages a war in Iraq using our military, Americans are fighting a cold war against one another at home. And it seems as though the cold war is getting warmer each day.

Whereas our nation's prior civil war was fought on the battlefields of Gettysburg, Antietam, and Bull Run, the current war is being fought on the Internet, television, and radio. But what exactly are we all "fighting" about?

Basically, it comes down to two diametrically opposed world views. And as pervasive as the world views are, they are rarely discussed openly. Instead, we publicly fight over the issues that extend from the world views.

On the one hand, you have the Left, which accepts that the world as an uncertain and chaotic place, a place where people have differing views, religions, cultures, and backgrounds, yet sharing a common humanity. And on the Right, which holds that the world can (and must!) be ordered under the auspices of an American umbrella of judeo-christian religion, culture, and Right Wing politics. (See, Project for the New American Century and "full spectrum dominance".)

Pursuant to the Left, we are all unique and different on the outside, but inherently human and similar on the inside. For the Right, they believe they have the answers, and essentially, we all need to assimilate in culture, religious values, and politics...or else!

The Right wants to close the borders, make English the official and exclusive language, and 'purify the non-believers.' The Left wants to live and let live. The Right believes it can build nations by force. The Left believes nations build themselves, one person at a time. The Right preaches Christianity, but acts out social Darwinism. The Left speaks of scientific evolution, but acts out Christianity. The Left wants the government to serve the people (social security, nationalized health care, public education, etc.), the Right wants the people to serve the government (tax cuts for the ruling class, corporate welfare, expandsion of the military industrial complex, attacks on civil liberties, etc.).

These are the world views. And like I said, they are rarely discussed. Rather, we spend our time discussing the issues that naturally extend from the unspoken views. For example, we fight over immigration, social security, healthcare, public education, and our foreign policy. But it all goes back to the world views.

Do you believe people have a right to be who they want to be, or do you believe people need to behave as similarly and narrowly as possible? Do you believe freedom means "live and let live" or "do as I say"? Is liberty something that can be controlled by a few people, or is liberty inalienably the right of every man and woman on the planet? Do you believe in "every man for himself" or "a brotherhood of man"? If you are a Christian, do believe in Christ's words, or do you believe in the words of those who have interpreted and manipulated Christ?

Choose your side. And choose wisely.

Monday, August 15, 2005 

Cindy Sheehan's Divorce: So Fucking What?!?!

Well, well, well, it seems as though Cindy Sheehan and the peace movement have finally been checkmated by the revelation that Mr. Sheehan has apparently filed for divorce against Mrs. Sheehan. Yup, the Queen of Compassion, Michelle Malkin broke the story today-- Cindy Sheehan's husband has filed for divorce! And with that, the anti-war movement has abruptly come to an end. We all know that 'once a woman is divorced by her husband, she loses all credibility.'

OK, enough with the sarcasm. Just when I thought the right wing couldn't get more vile and disgusting, they went ahead and beat their own record for sliminess. It seems as though these heartless GOP fundamentalists are now trying to argue that Mrs. Sheehan cannot be trusted because her husband is trying to divorce her. Are they serious?

So what?!?!

Have these fuckers no shame? Are they not aware that bereaved parents frequently divorce soon after the death of a child? And what the heck does it matter anyway? So they are divorcing. So what? Does that now mean that her son was not killed in Iraq? Does that somehow mean that she is a bad person? Does that mean that what she is saying is not true?

I have great sympathy for Cindy Sheehan, but I sincerely pity Michelle Malkin. Cindy Sheehan had her soul ripped apart by the loss of her son. Michelle Malkin sold her soul for internet traffic, celebrity status, and book sales.

 

Firing a Shotgun Near Cindy Sheehan

Check out this post by The Martian Anthropologist regarding Larry Mattlage, the dumb hick who fired a shotgun in the vicinity of grieving mother, Cindy Sheehan.

Sunday, August 14, 2005 

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Friday, August 12, 2005 

Sun Tzu said: 'Know Your Enemy'

Yesterday, George W. Bush said that we could not pull out of Iraq because it "would send a terrible signal to the enemy." This begs the question-- 'who is the enemy?'

In Iraq, the enemy is elusive. For the past two years, the U.S. military has chased so-called insurgents through the vast deserts of western Iraq and up and down the Euphrates River valley. But to little avail. According to military leaders, we still know very little about the "enemy"-- Who are they? Where are they? What will they do next?
"Sunni Muslim insurgents -- some angry about the downfall of Saddam Hussein, others fighting for a Sunni theocracy -- have joined with Muslim extremists coming across a porous desert border looking for the glory of international jihad. The guerrilla fighters often leave a rearguard to fight advancing U.S. forces, while moving the majority of their men to other towns where the Marines have no presence and the police forces have disbanded." Detroit Free Press, August 8, 2005
So when the President says that he doesn't want to send a bad message to the "enemy", who is he referring to?

Yeah, I've heard that the enemy is a "terrorist". But can you please tell me what a terrorist looks like in Iraq? Yeah, I've also heard that the enemy is an "insurgent"? But could you please tell me what an insurgent looks like?

The truth is, our enemy has no head, takes no definitive shape, and does not manifest any locus of power. In essence, the enemy is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The enemy in Iraq is, for all intents and purposes, unknowable.
"We cannot recognize the enemy because he dresses like a civilian and he drives in a civilian car. He looks like everyone else." Detroit Free Press, August 8, 2005
Can the President tell us how this non-existent enemy will be found or how it will be defeated? Does he think we will simply wear out this elusive enemy on its home turf?

In Sun Tzu's The Art of War, the oldest military treatise in the world, the great Chinese warrior stated:
"When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength." Art of War, at II:2.
But more importantly, Sun Tzu stated:
"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." Art of War, at III:18. (Emphasis Added.)
Unfortunately, our President does not know his enemy. Yet, like a child, he is stubbornly trying to outlast and defeat the unknowable ghost in the closet. And similar to Vietnam, without ever losing a battle, for every victory gained, we are bound to suffer a defeat. Moreover, unlike Bush, our elusive "enemy" does follow the Art of War game plan.
"You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended. You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked." Art of War, at VI:7.
Is this not the definition of guerilla warfare?

Oh, the folly and arrogance of George W. Bush. He speaks like a child and wages war like a neophyte. How will we know when the last enemy is gone, when he can't be sure where the first enemy is hiding?

The war in Iraq is doomed to fail. I take no pleasure in this inevitable fact. I only wish it would end sooner rather than later. So when the President says it 'makes no sense to leave Iraq now,' he fails to realize that it makes less sense to stay in Iraq. How many more must die?

Something tells me, these right-wingers will not realize the futility of this campaign until many, many more have died. And certainly, when that happens, rather than realize that this campaign was doomed from the outset pursuant to longstanding war principles, they will simply blame the loss on, you guessed it, the Left. Once again, like children, they will avoid responsibility and choose rather to blame others. Until twenty or thirty years from now....when they do it all over again in some other far off land....

Thursday, August 11, 2005 

Finally, a Mainstream Media Outlet is Questioning 9/11

On August 6, 2005, a UK mainstream newspaper, The Daily Mail, published an article raising many of the serious concerns regarding the 9/11 cover-up. The article is written by Tony Rennell, and was featured on pages 36, 37, and 38 of the newspaper. (They didn't post the article on their online site). Although I don't particularly agree with everything in the article, its at least nice to see a mainstream source raise the questions that have not been answered re: 9/11.

Here is the article:

The plot by America’s military bosses was devilish in both design and intent – to fabricate an outrage against innocent civilians, fool the world and provide a pretext for war. In the pentagon, a top secret team drew up a plan to simultaneously send up two airliners painted and numbered exactly the same, one from a civil airport in America, the other from a secret military airbase nearby.

The one from the airport would have military personnel on board who had checked in as ordinary passengers under false names. The one from the airbase would be an empty drone, a remote-controlled unmanned aircraft.

Somewhere along their joint flight paths, the passenger-carrying plane would drop below radar height, and disappear, landing back at the airbase and unloading its occupants in secret.

Meanwhile, the drone would have taken up the other plane’s designated course. High over the island of Cuba, it would be exploded in mid-air after broadcasting an international distress call that it was under attack from enemy fighters.

The world would be told that a plane load of blameless American holidaymakers had been deliberately shot down by Fidel Castro’s Communists – and that the US had no choice but to declare war and topple his regime.

This ‘agent provocateur’ plan – code named OPERATION NORTHWOODS and revealed in official archives – dates from 1962 when the Cold War was at its height. (Bulldog Manifesto adds: See Operation Northwoods here and here)

Four decades later, there are a growing number of people who look back at this proto-conspiracy and then to the events of 9/11 and see uncanny and frightening modern parallels.

For Cuba, read Iraq, say these skeptics. For the dummy airliner, read the Twin Towers in New York.

The Northwoods plan is crucial to the argument presented in a hugely provocative – many would say fantastical – yet, at times, genuinely disturbing new analysis of 9/11 by two radical British based journalists, Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan.

Did the CIA actively help the hijackers?

In it, they examine various conspiracy theories that suggest the Bush administration connived in the devastating aerial attacks on New York and Washington four years ago.

The reason? To give Bush the excuse he wanted to push ahead with his secret, long-held plane to invade Iraq and capture its oilfields.

As we shall see. Many of the theories they raise are outlandish in the extreme. It would be easy to dismiss them as hokum, the invention of over-active imaginations among those whose instinct is always to find some way to blame America for the world’s ills.

Are we really supposed to believe that the CIA actively helped the hijackers succeed – or even that the US government staged the whole attack and itself murdered thousands of its own citizens?

Some would say that even in discussing suck notions, we are lending comfort to terrorists and doing a disservice to the dead.

However, much of evidence the authors present is undeniably compelling – and their arguments sound rather less preposterous in the light of OPERATION NORTHWOODS all those years ago. That plan was proposed in all seriousness by America’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in a memo to the Secretary of Defence. It got as far as the Attorney General – Robert Kennedy, brother of the president, John Kennedy, before being vetoed.

It is proof, says Henshall and Morgan, that forces at the top of the US Government are capable of conceiving a deadly, devious and fraudulent plan to further their own secret ends – even under such a supposedly ‘nice guy’ president as JFK.

In which case, can the idea of a 9/11 plot by those who serve the deeply mistrusted Bush really be ruled out with total certainty, without at least considering the arguments?

Of course, the official explanation for 9/11 is that Al Qaeda just got lucky that sunny morning in September 2001.

The terrorists conducted their attacks without outside help, by this account, and intelligence and other blunders by the US authorities that contributed to their terrible success – for example, ignored warnings that an attack involving aeroplanes was likely, or issuing US entry visas to 19 Islamic fanatics set on murder – were just that: blunders.

This is the White House’s version and it was endorsed by a Washington commission of inquiry under Thomas Kean published last year.

But, according to Henshall and Morgan, the story is full of gaping holes and unanswered questions. And the most startling question, which remains unresolved, they say, is why the hijackers’ principal target, the two 110-storey towers at the World Trade Centre in New York crumbled so easily.

No-one who watched each building suddenly cascade into dust and debris in just 20 seconds will ever forget the slow-motion horror. But now the question is asked: was it all too pat, too neat?

Though 30 years old, the towers had expressly been built to survive the impact of a Boeing 707, a plane the same size and carrying as much fuel as the ones that struck. That they collapsed after being hit and fell at such speed was unprecedented in the history of architecture. It astonished many engineers.

The official explanation is known as the Pancake Effect – steel supports melting in the intense fireball, causing the floors to tumble down on each other.

The problem here is that the heat from the explosions was probably not nearly as great as people tend to assume.

There was indeed a lot of kerosene from the aircraft fuel tanks when flight 11 from Boston hit the North Tower between the 94th and the 98th floors but pictures show that most of this fireballed outwards. Experts have questioned whether the fire ever got hot enough to melt the buildings’ steel frames.

Oddly, too, original estimates by firefighters after the second plane, Flight 175, hit the South Tower, were that the blaze was containable.

Two firefighters actually reached the crash zone on the 78th floor and a tape exists of them radioing down that just two hoses would be enough to get the fire under control (The Bulldog Manifesto adds: Here is the tape. Its the firefighters describing the fire inside the building before it collapsed)– in which case the situation should have been little different from a ‘normal’ office fire, and no steel tower ever collapsed as the result of such a blaze.

‘The fire wasn’t hot enough to cause a collapse’

Kevin R Ryan, laboratory director at a US underwriting firm specializing in product safety, was sacked from his job last year after questioning the official explanation. (The Bulldog Manifesto adds: Here are a bunch of links regarding this fact.)

“The buildings should have easily withstood the thermal stress caused by the burning jet fuel”, he said. “If steel did soften or melt, this was certainly not due to jet fuel fires of any kind, let alone the briefly burning fires in those towers. That fact should be of great concern to all Americans.”

Intriguingly, Ryan claimed that his firm had checked and approved the steel used in the towers when they were built. This was later vehemently denied by the bosses who sacked him.

To add to the mystery, the tape of the two firemen was kept secret and when relatives were finally allowed to listen to it, they had to sign strict confidentiality agreements.

If the Pancake Effect theory is wrong, there’s one obvious alternative: that the towers were brought down by the sheer impact of the planes hitting them. But this, according to the skeptics, ignores basic physics. (The Bulldog Manifesto adds: Check this out.)

The initial hit on the North Tower, for example, destroyed 33 of the 59 columns in its north face. This meant the damage was asymmetrical, so any resulting collapse would surely have been lopsided.

In fact, the building fell evenly. The TV aerial on the summit sank vertically, in a straight line.

There were other strange anomalies. According to the Kean Commission, when the first plane struck: ‘A jet fuel fireball erupted and shot down a bank of elevators, bursting into numerous lower floors, including the lobby level, and the basement four storeys below ground.’

Unlikely, say Henshall and Morgan. A firm by a French documentary crew, who by chance were following a New York firefighting team that day, shows the first men arriving. The lobby was covered in fine debris and the windows were shattered but there was none of the soot or oily residue that burning jet fuel would have left behind.

Meanwhile down in the basement, a 50-ton hydraulic press was reduced to rubble and a steel and concrete fire door demolished. Witnesses there said the destruction was less like that from a fireball flash and more like that from a bomb.

Some firefighters told reporters that day that they thought there had been bombs in the building – before apparently being silenced by their chiefs. So had Al Qaeda cleverly placed explosives inside the rowers as well as attacking them from the air?

Or, as conspiracy theorists would have it, had some homegrown agency mined the towers to make sure they fell – but neatly without collapsing over the rest of Manhattan, America’s financial and business heartland?

The authors quote an expert demolition contractor from Pennsylvania, Michael Taylor, who said the fall of the buildings ‘looked like a controlled demolition’.

Another expert, Van Romero, vice-president for research at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, reached the same opinion after studying videos of the disaster, and concluded that ‘explosive devices inside the buildings’ caused them to collapse. (The Bulldog Manifesto adds: Here is a bio on Van Romero.)

Strangely and without explanation, he recanted that view just ten days after going public with it. Might he possibly have been leaned on?

Even stranger, say Henshall and Morgan, was the collapse of a third building on the World Trade Centre site, a smaller 47-storey block known as WTC7, which was largely ignored by the world’s media. (The Bulldog Manifesto adds: Check this out on WTC7. In my view, Building 7 is the easiest way of revealing the truth about 9/11. Building 7 is simple and easy to understand. More than that, it can't be denied!

It had not been hit by a plane yet it, too, mysteriously fell many hours after the Towers had gone.

The official explanation for this was that fuel stores caught fire as a result of debris from the burning towers, the building began to bulge in one corner, and after that it was unsalvageable.

But remember that, according to Henshall and Morgan, a steel-framed building had never collapsed as a result of a fire before this day. And, again according to the authors, WTC7 appears almost untouched by fire in photographs taken at the time.

The landlord of the World Trade Centre site, Larry Silverstein, explicitly suggested at one point that WTC7 was deliberately demolished. He told a US TV documentary that a decision was taken to ‘pull’ the building rather than risk loss of life, though this was later denied.

Certainly, according to Henshall and Morgan, the building’s fall in seven seconds was just as textbook-tidy and suspicious as the collapse of the Twin Towers. Given that it also housed offices of the US Secret Service, the CIA and the Defence Department, this has led conspiracy theorists to give it a key role in the supposed 9/11 plot – as we will see shortly.

Part of the whole problem, according to Henshall and Morgan, is that vital evidence about what happened was destroyed or muddied in the wake of the atrocity.

One expert said there were bombs inside the towers

Ground Zero, the base of the towers, was fiercely protected by the authorities – understandably so because it not only contained human remains but a cache of seized drugs held in an FBI office and more than $1 billion of gold from bank vaults in the Buildings.

Yet what went on behind all the heavy security?

After most air disasters, the wreckage of the planes is meticulously gathered up and pieced together in search of clues.

Extraordinarily, in the course of removing the rubble from the Twin Towers to a nearby landfill site, the 9/11 salvage operation seems to have ‘lost’ four six-ton aircraft engines, besides failing to find the ‘black box’ flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders from either of the planes.

These data boxes – which could have revealed exactly what happened in the doomed jets – are deliberately designed to withstand heavy impacts and exceptionally high temperatures. It is, according to experts, very rare for them not to be recovered after an accident.

Unfortunately, according Henshall and Morgan, there was a singular lack of official zeal even to establish the very basic fact that the aircraft that hit the Twin Towers were the same as those that took off from Boston.

Perhaps, with almost the entire world watching the attacks on TV, it hardly seemed necessary to prove the glaringly obvious. But this failure to follow standard procedures for accident investigation once again gave encouragement to the conspiracy theorists.

And then there was the oddity of the single passport. The black boxes may have been destroyed and steel girders melted – yet somehow one of the hijackers’ passports avoided this inferno and was found intact in a nearby street by ‘a passer-by’. (The Bulldog Manifesto adds: Here is a good resource regarding the "miracle passport".)

To Henshall and Morgan, that seems absurd, as does the almost instant identification of this person as a hijacker rather than a passenger or a Twin Towers office worker. Conspiracy theorists suspect the passport was planted to help establish the official story in the first, critical hours after the disaster.

Why didn't fighter planes intercept the hijackers?

Still more unanswered questions surround what happened at the Pentagon in Washington, in the third successful terrorist attack that day.

After taking off from Dulles Airport, Washington, American Airlines Flight 77 dropped off the radar screens for 36 minutes when its transponders sending signals back to air traffic control were switched off.

When the blip reappeared, it was closing on the city but where precisely the aircraft had been for the past half an hour was a mystery. Nor could anyone in air traffic control figure out what it was.

Experienced officials apparently watched its speed and maneuverability and thought it must be a military plane. Conspiracy theorists maintain this is precisely what it was.

In a repeat of New York, no evidence has ever been produced from the wreckage to prove that it was Flight 77 that hurtled into the side of the Pentagon at 350mph.

Photographs show that the hole it made was large enough for the fuselage of a Boeing 757 but not for the wings and the tail, though these supposedly disappeared through the gap and then vapourised.

For the conspiracy theorists, this points to a conclusion that what hit was not Flight 77, and not even a jetliner.

Some witnesses claim the plane they say hit the Pentagon was a small one, an eight – or 12-seater, and that it did not have the roar of an airliner but the shrill whine of a fighter plane, One witness is convinced it was a missile.

The authors say the matter could be cleared up by CCTV footage of the crash from a nearby filling station, a hotel and traffic surveillance cameras. Unfortunately, the FBI seized all three videos within minutes of the crash and they have never been released.

In essence, to the extreme conspiracy theorists, what took place on 9/11 was a repeat of the aborted OPERATION NORTHWOODS.

Far from being an attack by Islamic terrorists, they say, the events were a complete hoax, a conjuring trick by the US government in just the same way that Kennedy’s generals wanted to fool the world over Cuba.

Planes were swapped, ‘drones’ slammed into the World Trade Centre (which was mined with explosives as well) and the Pentagon, and the identities of alleged hijackers from the Middle East were stolen or invented to put the blame on Al Qaeda. (The Bulldog Manifesto does not subscribe to the remote contol theory. Its pure speculation at this point to assume that.)

Along with the ‘passengers’ who apparently boarded the planes, the ‘suicide hijackers’ are now either dead or living under different identities, just as the pentagon planned fro the military personnel it was going to use back in 1962. (The Bulldog Manifesto adds: See this BBC article) )

The theory seizes on the fact that, like the plane that apparently hit the Pentagon, both Flight 11 and Flight 175 switched off their transponders on their way to the Twin Towers and disappeared from Radar screens. According to the skeptics, this gave them time and opportunity to land at the handily located Griffiss Air Force Base, a Pentagon command center which also houses research laboratories into advanced computers and radar. There, they were supposedly replaced by remote-controlled substitutes.

In technical terms, this is not as far fetched as it sounds. The US military experimented with unmanned aircraft as far back as World War II and there have been successful jet models since. Well-connected conspirators, so the theory goes, would have little difficulty getting their hands on a system to fit in an airliner. (The Bulldog Manifesto adds: Once again, I don't subscribe to the 'drones' theory. There aren't any real facts there..)

The switch would supposedly be foolproof because, as we have seen, the aircraft in the ruins would not be properly identified.

Then there was the smaller building known as WTC7. It was the obvious point from which to run the New York end of the scam, guiding the planes into their target. Afterwards, of course, the evidence had to be destroyed, hence its demolition.

Taken as a rush, and without looking at the detail this might seem vaguely plausible. But could we really have been so totally and utterly conned?

Common sense says no. An operation of such intricacy and complexity would require the co-operation – and the silence until death – of thousands of people. Everything we have read about the victims on the planes, and their heartbroken relatives, would be a carefully constructed sham.

It might just be possible in a totalitarian society but surely not in a flawed yet robust democracy like America. And with four missions (the hijackers of the fourth plane, Flight 93, were overthrown by its passengers), not just one as in OPERATION NORTHWOODS? No.

To be fair to Henshall and Morgan, they make it clear that they themselves are not advocating such an extreme theory of empty planes and hoax attacks.

They admit the Pentagon’s radar reconstructions suggest the planes were not switched, and that alleged Al Qaeda ringleaders are said by their interrogators to have confirmed the official account.

Instead of retreating into fantasy, they simply insist that something is being held back – that we have not been told the full story. And it’s hard to discount all their arguments.

Why, they ask, were air traffic controllers so slow to report suspected hijackings to the military that day in breach of standard procedures, with the result that fighter planes arrived too late to intercept?

Flight controllers in four separate incidents were unaccountably slow to realize that something was wrong and alert the military authorities. Even after one plane was definitely known to have been hijacked, they failed to respond promptly when others went missing. The air force scrambled from the wrong base.

For some reason, too, when fighter planes eventually were scrambled to New York, they were from an airbase 150 miles away, rather than the much closer one in New Jersey. The Twin Towers were ablaze before they got there.

All the while the local TV channels were smoothly getting eye-in-the-sky helicopters into the air over the World Trade Centre. In the words of the authors: “Their routine mobilizations stand in stark contrast to the apparent impotence and indecisiveness of the $350-billion-a-year US military.

Yet for all the shortcomings of the Federal Aviation Authority and the US Air Force that day, no-one was ever fired or reprimanded.

One explanation for this paralysis is that there was, as fate would have it, an air defence exercise going on in US airspace that same day, codenamed Vigilant Guardian. The air traffic controllers were confused by this, thinking the planes disappearing from their screens might be part of the exercise.

Coincidence? No say the 9/11 sceptics. This was exactly the sort of smokescreen operation that anyone wanting to make life easier for the hijackers would launch to paralyse any authorities that might get in the way.

When the first evidence came that hijackings were taking place, traffic control officials wasted valuable time wondering whether or not this was part of the Vigilant Guardian exercise.

Suck a smokescreen fits well with two types of government-inspired plot postulated by 9/11 sceptics – popularly known as ‘LIHOP’ and ‘MIHOP’.

‘LIHOP’ – ‘Let It Happen On Purpose’ – holds that since the turn of the new century, radical right-wingers in Washington (the so-called new-cons) had been keen to get a US military presence in the Middle East oilfields and were also desperate to do something about Al Qaeda, which had been targeting US interests overseas.

When evidence came in of an impending terrorist attack, they decided to ignore it. They intended that it should succeed. It would act at the very least as a ‘wake-up’ call to their apathetic fellow countrymen and at best as an excuse for war.

In the much the same way, some historians believe, President Roosevelt knew in advance from broken codes about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 – but let it happen, at the cost of 2,400 lives, because he wanted an excuse to join World War II.

‘MIHOP” takes a step on from this – ‘Make it Happen On Purpose’. This theory has the same motivation but the active involvement of US agents. Planted in Al Qaeda, they helped organize the plot, or at the very least cleared a path for the hijackers.

These agents may even have tried to keep down casualty figures, which some think were suspiciously small in the circumstances.

The plane that hit the Pentagon was seen to swerve at the last minute and hit an area of the building that was largely unoccupied – and which had just been fitted with reinforced external walls and blast-resistant windows. A crash into the other side would have killed and maimed many thousands instead of just 125.

In New York, too, more than 50,000 inhabitants of the Towers were targeted but just 2,600 killed – not least because of the orderly way in which the buildings collapsed, after most of the occupants had been evacuated. Was this an example of a ‘managed’ atrocity?

For most observers, the idea of US involvement in the attacks still strains credulity beyond breaking point. Yet that catalogue of unanswered questions remains troubling.

Some are very basic. How, for example, did the hijackers manage to slip past airport security with weapons?

The White House explanation is plastic knives, but there has never been any independent confirmation of how the men were armed. Some passengers who made phone calls from the doomed planes said they witnessed stabbings but others spoke of bombs and even guns being used.

To some, the official recourse to ‘plastic knives’ smacks of a cover-up to conceal security lapses – or worse, a deliberate turning of blind eyes.

Doubts are even raised over the gung-ho story of Flight 93, the fourth plane in the attacks, which passengers apparently seized back from the hijackers, causing it to crash into a field but miss Washington.

The legend of the heroic cockpit-storming, launched to cries of ‘Let’s Roll’, was a product of tapes that have never been authenticated or released to anyone other than the victims’ relatives, who were sworn to secrecy.

Henshall and Morgan say the matter could be cleared up if recordings or billing evidence from phone companies were produced but they never have been.

This call for transparency is the thrust of their whole argument. It is time, they say, for a full and truly independent inquiry into 9/11 that will reveal all the facts and silence the rumours.

One thing it could consider would be the anthrax attack on America three weeks after 9/11. Five recipients of contaminated letters died, postal facilities were closed, as were office buildings on Capitol Hill where hundreds of lawmakers and staff were tested and given an antibiotic.

At the time, this was seized on by the Washington power-brokers pressing for action against Iraq. ‘Who but Saddam Hussein could have supplied Arab terrorists with anthrax,’ they asked.

By contrast, skeptics about 9/11 see this as this finishing touch to the grand plot – an attempt to distract attention from any doubts about the atrocities and the lessons to be learned from them.

They may have a case. The letters mysteriously stopped and the anthrax spores were identified by scientists as a particular strain stemming only from the government’s own labs in Maryland.

But by then the scare had shut down congress at a crucial time, when questions about 9/11 were beginning to surface, and helped deepen the mood of fear and paranoia among ordinary Americans.

It was those fears, say the skeptics, that Bush exploited to get his way on Iraq. Had he plotted it that way all along? Henshall and Morgan raise enough awkward points to make it a thought that cannot simply be laughed out of court.

After all, Bush and Blair, took us to war assuring us that ‘the Iraq regime continues to possess some of the most lethal weapons ever devised’. Yet those weapons of mass destruction have not been found and many doubt they existed.

With public trust one of the major casualties of the war, can any of us be absolutely sure we have not been caught up in a lie and perhaps a bigger one even than we ever though possible?

In their inquiries Henshall and Morgan may have discover no smoking guns – but they have certainly left a whiff of something sinister in the air.

All Bark. No Bite.
The Bulldog Manifesto


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