- Led by Dick Cheney, Bush administration neocons want
war on Iran. So does the Israeli Lobby, but it doesn't mean they'll get
it. Powerful forces in Washington and the Pentagon are opposed and so far
have prevailed. Nonetheless, worrisome recent events increase the possibility
and must be closely watched.
- Recall George Bush's January 10, 2007 address to the
nation. He announced the 20,000 troop "surge" and more. "Succeeding
in Iraq," he said, "also requires defending its territorial integrity
and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins
with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing 'terrorists'
and 'insurgents' to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran
is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt
(those) attacks....we will seek out and destroy the networks providing
advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq."
- That was then; this is now. On May 3, Andrew Cockburn
wrote on CounterPunch: "Six weeks ago, President Bush signed a secret
'finding' authorizing a covert offensive against the Iranian regime that,
according to those familiar with its contents, (is) 'unprecedented in its
scope.' " The directive permits a range of actions across a broad
area costing hundreds of millions with an initial $300 million for starters.
Elements of the scheme include:
- -- targeted assassinations;
- -- funding Iranian opposition groups; among them - Mujahedin-e-Khalq
that the State Department designates a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO);
Jundullah, the "army of god militant Sunni group in Iranian Baluchistan;
Iranian Kurdish nationalists; and Ahwazi arabs in southwest Iran;
- -- destabilizing Syria and Hezbollah; the current Lebanon
turbulence raises the stakes;
- -- putting a hawkish commander in charge; more on that
- -- kicking off things at the earliest possible time.
These type efforts and others were initiated before and likely never stopped.
So it remains to be seen what differences emerge this time and how much
more intense they become.
- More concerns were cited in a Michael Smith May 4 Times
Online report headlined "United States is drawing up plans to strike
on Iranian insurgency camp." It refers to a "surgical strike"
against an "insurgent training camp." In spite of hostile signals,
however, "the administration has put plans for an attack on Iran's
nuclear facilities on the back burner" after Gates replaced Rumsfeld.
The article makes several other key points:
- -- "American defense chiefs (meaning top generals
and admirals) are firmly opposed to (attacking) Iranian nuclear facilities;"
- -- on the other hand, they very much support hitting
one or more "training camps (to) deliver a powerful message to Tehran;"
- -- in contrast, UK officials downplay Iranian involvement
in Iraq even though Tehran's Revolutionary Guard has close ties to al-Sadr
and his Mahdi Army; and
- -- Bush and Cheney are determined not to hand over "the
Iran problem" to a successor.
- Earlier on April 7, Haaretz reported still more stirrings.
It was about Israel's "largest-ever emergency drill start(ed) to test
the authorities' preparedness for threats (of) a missile attack on central
Israel." Prime Minister Olmert announced that the "drill (was)
no front for Israeli bellicose intentions toward Syria" and by implication
Iran. Both countries and Hezbollah see it otherwise and with good reason.
Further, Israeli officials indicated that this exercise might be repeated
annually because they say Iran may have a nuclear capability by early 2009,
so Israel will prepare accordingly.
- No one can predict US and Israeli plans, but certain
things are known and future possibilities can be assessed. Consider recent
events. In mid-March, Dick Cheney toured the Middle East with stops in
Israel, the West Bank, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Oman, Afghanistan and Iraq.
It came after Centcom commander Admiral William Fallon "resigned"
March 10 (a year after his appointment) after reports were that he sharply
disagreed with regional administration policy.
- Public comments played it down, but speculation was twofold
- Fallon's criticism of current Iraq policy and his opposition to attacking
Iran. Before the March 10 announcement, smart money said he'd be sacked
by summer and replaced by someone more hawkish. It came sooner than expected,
and, even more worrisome, by a super-hawk. One with big ambitions, and
that's a bad combination. More on that below.
- First, recall another Pentagon sacking last June, officially
announced as a "retirement." George Bush was said to have "reluctantly
agreed" to replacing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace because of his
"highest regard" for the general. At issue, of course, was disagreement
again over Middle East policy with indications Pace was far from on board.
He signaled it on February 17, 2006 at a National Press Club luncheon.
Responding to a question, he said: "It is the absolute responsibility
of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral."
He later added that commanders should "not obey illegal and immoral
orders to use weapons of mass destruction....They cannot commit crimes
- These comments and likely private discussions led to
Pace's dismissal. This administration won't tolerate dissent even by Joint
Chiefs Chairmen. It's clear that officials from any branch of government
will be removed or marginalized if they oppose key administration policy.
Some go quietly while more notable ones make headlines that omit what's
most important. For one thing, that the Pentagon is rife with dissent over
the administration's Middle East policy.
- For another, the law of the land, and there's nothing
more fundamental than that. The administration disdains it so it's no fit
topic for the media. Law Professor Francis Boyle champions it in his classroom,
speeches, various writings and books like his newest - Protesting Power:
War, Resistance, and Law.
- Boyle is an expert. He knows the law and has plenty to
cite - the UN Charter; Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles; Convention
on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; Universal Declaration
of Human Rights; Hague Regulations; Geneva Conventions; Supreme and lower
Court decisions; US Army Field Manual 27-10; the Law of Land Warfare (1956);
and US Constitution.
- He unequivocally states that every US citizen, including
members of the military and all government officials, are duty bound to
obey the law and to refuse to carry out orders that violate it. Doing so
makes them culpable. Included are all international laws and treaties.
The Constitution's supremacy clause ("the supreme law of the land"
under Article VI) makes them domestic law. General Pace, Fallon and others
on down aren't exempt. Neither is the president, vice-president, all administration
members and everyone in Congress.
- Before Fallon's sacking, things were heating up. Three
US warships (including the USS Cole guided-missile destroyer) were deployed
to the Lebanese coast - officially "to show support for regional stability
(and over) concern about the situation in Lebanon." It's been in political
crisis for months, and it's got Washington and Israel disturbed - because
of Hezbollah's widespread popularity and ability to defend itself.
- Any regional US show of force causes concern, especially
when more is happening there simultaneously. Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly
Churkin criticized it, and Hezbollah said it "threat(ened)" regional
stability - with good reason. It believes conflict will erupt in northern
Occupied Palestine close to the Lebanese border. It's also preparing to
counter Israel's latest threat - an Israeli Channel 10 News report that
the IDF is on high alert "inside and outside Israel" and is prepared
to launch a massive attack if Hezbollah retaliates for the assassination
of one of its senior leaders, Imad Fayez Mughniyah, by a February 12 Damascus
- Then came Cheney's Middle East tour with likely indications
of its purpose - oil, Israeli interests and, of course, isolating Iran,
Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas further, and rallying support for more war in a
region where Arab states want to end the current ones. What worries them
most, or should, is the possibility that Washington will use nuclear weapons.
If so, consider the consequences - subsequent radioactive fallout that
will contaminate vast regional swaths permanently.
- After Cheney left Saudi Arabia, the state-friendly Okaz
newspaper reported that the Saudi Shura Council (the kingdom's elite decision-making
body) began formulating "national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear
and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom" should the Pentagon
use nuclear weapons against Iran. It's a sign Saudi leaders are worried
and a clear indication of what they discussed with Cheney.
- Saudi, Iranian and other world leaders know the stakes.
They're also familiar with Bush administration strategy and tactics post-9/11.
- Exhibit A: the December 2001 Nuclear Policy Review; it
states that America has a unilateral right to use first strike nuclear
weapons preemptively; it can be for any national security reason, even
against non-nuclear states posing no discernible threat;
- Exhibit B: the 2002 and hardened 2006 National Security
Strategies reaffirm this policy; the latter edition mentions Iran 16 times
stating: "We may face no greater challenge from a single country country
than Iran;" unstated is that Iran never attacked another nation in
its history - after Persia became Iran in 1935; it did defend itself vigorously
when attacked by Iraq in 1980;
- Exhibit C: post-9/11, the Bush administration scrapped
the "nuclear deterrence" option; in his 2005 book "America's
War on Terrorism," Michel Chossudovsky revealed a secret leaked report
to the Los Angeles Times; it stated henceforth nuclear weapons could be
used under three conditions:
- -- "against targets able to withstand non-nuclear
- -- in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological
or chemical weapons; or
- -- in the event of surprising military developments;"
that can mean anything the administration wants it to or any threats it
wishes to invent.
- WMD echoes still resonate. Now it's a nuclearized Iran.
Preemptive deterrence is the strategy, and Dick Cheney places the Islamic
Republic "right at the top of the list" of world trouble spots.
He calls Tehran a "darkening cloud" in the region; claims "obviously,
they're heavily involved in trying to develop nuclear weapons enrichment....to
weapons grade levels;" cites fake evidence that Iran's state policy
is "the destruction of Israel;" and official post-9/11 policy
identifies Iran and Syria (after Iraq and Afghanistan) as the next phase
of "the road map to war." Removing Hezbollah and Hamas are close
behind plus whatever other "rogue elements" are identified;
- Exhibit D: former Defense Undersecretary Douglas Feith's
new book, "War and Decision;" in it, he recounts the administration's
aggressive Middle East agenda - to remake the region militarily; plans
took shape a few weeks post-9/11 when Donald Rumsfeld made removing Saddam
Hussein official policy; the same scheme targeted Afghanistan and proposed
regime change in Iran and elsewhere - unnamed but likely Syria, Somalia,
Sudan, at the time Libya, removing Syria from Lebanon, and Hezbollah as
- On the Campaign Trail - Iran in the Crosshairs
- John McCain is so hawkish he even scares some in the
Pentagon. Here's what he said about Iran at a May 5 campaign event. He
called the Tehran government the gravest danger to US Middle East interests
and added: a "league of nations" must counter the "Iranian
threat. Iran 'obviously' is on the path toward acquiring nuclear weapons.
At the end of the day, we cannot allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. They
are not only doing that, they are exporting very lethal devices and explosives
into Iraq (and) training people (there as) Jihadists."
- It's no surprise most Democrats have similar views, especially
the leadership and leading presidential contenders. Obama calls Iran "a
threat to us all." For him, a "radical (nuclearized) Muslim theocracy"
is unthinkable, and as president he won't rule out using force. Nor will
he against Pakistan or likely any other Muslim state. Obama also calls
his support for Israel "unwavering." He fully endorsed the 2006
Lebanon war, and it's no secret where Israel stands on Iran and Syria.
- Clinton is even more menacing. One writer calls her a
"war goddess," and her rhetoric confirms it. On the one hand,
"Israeli security" tops "any American approach to the Middle
East....we must not - dare not - waver from this commitment." She
then calls Iran "pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-Israel."
She says a "nuclear Iran (is) a danger to Israel (and we've) lost
critical time in dealing" with the situation. "US policy must
be clear and unequivocal. We cannot and should not - must not - permit
Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons."
- Worst of all was her comment on ABC's Good Morning America
in response to (a preposterous hypothetical) about Iran "launch(ing)
a nuclear attack on Israel." Her answer: "I want the Iranians
to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran. And I want them
to understand that. We would be able to 'totally obliterate' them (meaning,
of course, every man, woman and child)." She then added: "I don't
think it's time to equivocate. (Iran has) to know they would face massive
retaliation. That is the only way to rein them in."
- At the same time, she, the other leading candidates,
and nearly everyone in Washington ignore Iran's official policy. The late
Ayatollah Khomeini banned nuclear weapons development. Today, Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad affirm that position, but western
media won't report it. They also play down IAEA reports confirming that
no evidence shows Iran has a nuclear weapons program or that it's violating
- Media Rhetoric Heating Up
- It happens repeatedly, then cools down, so what to make
of the latest Iran-bashing. Nothing maybe, but who can know. So it's tea
leaves reading time again to pick up clues about potential impending action.
Without question, the administration wants regime change, and right wing
media keep selling it - Iranian leaders are bad; removing them is good,
and what better way than by "shock and awe."
- Take Fouad Ajami for example from his May 5 Wall Street
Journal op-ed. It's headlined - "Iran Must Finally Pay A Price."
He's a Lebanese-born US academic specializing in Middle East issues. He's
also a well-paid flack for hard right policies, including their belligerency.
He shows up often in the Wall Street Journal (and on TV, too) and always
to spew hate and lies - his real specialty.
- His latest piece is typical. Here's a sampling that's
indicative of lots else coming out now:
- -- "three decades of playing cat-and-mouse with
American power have emboldened Iran's rulers;
- -- why are the mullahs allowed to kill our soldiers with
- -- in Iraq, "Iranians played arsonists and firemen
at the same time; (it's) part of a larger pattern;
- -- Tehran has wreaked havoc on regional order and peace
over the last three decades;"
- -- earlier, George HW Bush offered an olive branch to
- -- "Madeleine Albright (apologized) for America's
role in the (1953) coup;"
- -- all the while, "the clerics have had no interest
in any bargain;" their oil wealth gives them great latitude;
- -- "they have harassed Arab rulers while posing
as status quo players at peace with the order of the region;"
- -- they use regional proxies like "Hezbollah in
Lebanon, warlords and militias in Iraq, purveyors of terror for the hire;
- -- the (earlier) hope....that Iran would refrain from
(interfering) in Iran (was) wishful thinking;" now there's Iran's
nuclear "ambitions" to consider; the "Persian menace"
has to "be shown that there is a price for their transgressions."
- Sum it up, and it spells vicious agitprop by an expert
at spewing it. He's not alone. Disputing one of his assertions, a May 5
AFP report quotes Iraq government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh saying no "hard
evidence" shows Iran is backing Shiite militiamen or inciting violence
in the country.
- Consider the Arab street as well. It's unconcerned about
Iran but outraged over US adverturism. Recall also that on March 2 Iranian
President Ahmadinejad became the first Iranian head of state to visit Iraq
in three decades. Prime Minister al-Maliki and President Talabani invited
him and welcomed him warmly as a friend.
- That doesn't deter The New York Times Michael Gordon.
He's taken up where Judith Miller left off, and his May 5 piece is typical.
It's headlined "Hezbollah Trains Iraqis in Iran, Officials Say."
The key words, of course, are "Officials Say" to sell the idea
that their saying it makes it so. No dissent allowed to debunk them or
other administrative-supportive comments.
- This one cites supposed information from "four Shiite
militia members who were captured in Iraq late last year and questioned
separately." For Gordon and "Officials (who) Say," it's
incriminating evidence for what Washington has long charged - "that
the Iranians (are) training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran," and Hezbollah
is involved. The Pentagon calls them "special groups."
- Gordon goes on to report that Iran has gotten "less
obtrusive (by) bringing small groups of Iraqi Shiite militants to camps
in Iran, where they are taught how to do their own training, 'American
officials say.' "
- Once trained, "the militants then return to Iraq
to teach their comrades how to fire rockets and mortars, fight as snipers
or assemble explosively formed penetrators, a particularly lethal type
of roadside bomb....according to American officials."
- As usual, the "officials" are anonymous and
their "information has not been released publicly." Gordon continues
with more of the same, but sum it up and he sounds like Ajami, Judith Miller,
and growing numbers of others like them.
- On March 17, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)
put out an Action Alert headlined "No Antiwar Voices in NYT 'Debate.'
" It referred to The Times March 16 "Week in Review" section
on the war's fifth anniversary featuring nine so-called experts - all chosen
for their hawkish credentials. Included were familiar names like Richard
Perle, Fred Kagan, Anthony Cordesman, Kenneth Pollack and even Paul Bremer.
On May 4, The Times reconvened the same lineup for a repeat performance
that would make any state-controlled media proud.
- No need to explain their assessment either time, but
NYT op-ed page editor said this on July 31, 2005: The op-ed page (where
the above review was published) is "a venue for people with a wide
range of perspectives, experiences and talents (to provide) a lively page
of clashing opinions, one where as many people as possible have the opportunity
to make the best arguments they can." As long as they don't conflict
with official state policy, offend Times advertisers or potential ones,
acknowledge Iran's decisive role in ending the recent Basra fighting, or
mention the (latest) 2007 (US) National Intelligence Estimate that Iran
halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 - even though it's likely one
never existed and doesn't now.
- With Iraq still raging and hawkishness over Iran heating
up, it's disquieting to think what's coming, and it's got Middle East leaders
uneasy. Not about Iran, about a rogue administration with over eight months
left to incinerate the region in a mushroom-shaped cloud and no hesitation
about doing it.
- Enter the Generalissimo - Initials DP, Ambitions Outsized
- Fallon is out, and, in late April, Defense Secretary
Robert Gates said David Petraeus is being nominated to replace him as Centcom
commander. General Raymond Odierno (his former deputy) will replace his
former boss as Iraq chief. New York Times reporter Thom Shanker said these
"two commanders (are) most closely associated with President Bush's
current strategy in Iraq," so are on board to pursue it and maybe
up the stakes.
- Besides being a Latin American expert, James Petras writes
extensively on the Middle East and how the Israeli Lobby influences US
policy. His 2006 book, "The Power of Israel in the United States,"
is must reading to understand it. Petras has a new article on Petraeus.
It's incisive, scary, and unsparing in exposing the generalissimo's true
character, failings, and ambitions.
- Competence didn't make him Iraq commander last year.
It came the same way he got each star. In the words of some of his peers
- by brown-nosing his way to the top. It made him more than a general.
He's a "brand," and it got him Time Magazine's 2007 runner-up
slot for Person of the Year.
- The media now shower him with praise for his stellar
performance in an otherwise dismal war. So do politicians. McCain calls
him "one of (our) greatest (ever) generals." Clinton says he's
"an extraordinary leader and a wonderful advocate for our military."
Obama was less effusive but said he supports his nomination as Centcom
chief and added: "I think Petraeus has done a good tactical job in
Iraq....It would be stupid of me to ignore what he has to say." It
would also hurt his presidential hopes as the right wing media would bash
him mercilessly if he disparaged America's new war hero with very outsized
ambitions and no shyness in pursuing them.
- He got off to a flying start after being appointed to
the top Iraq job last year. The White House spin machine took over and
didn't let facts interfere with its praise. It described him as aggressive
in nature, an innovative thinker on counterinsurgency warfare, a talisman,
a white knight, a do-or-die competitive legend, and a man able to turn
defeat into victory.
- Others like Admiral Fallon had a different assessment,
and Petras noted it in his article. Before his removal, he was openly contemptuous
of a man who shamelessly supported Israel "in northern Iraq and the
Bush 'Know Nothings' in charge of Iraq and Iran policy planning."
It got him his April 16 promotion, and his week earlier Senate testimony
sealed it. He was strikingly bellicose in blaming Iran for US troop deaths.
That makes points any time on Capitol Hill, especially in an election year
when rhetoric sells and whatever supports war and Israel does it best.
- Petras adds that Petraeus had few competitors for the
Centcom job because other top candidates won't stoop the way he does -
shamelessly flacking for Israel, the bellicose Bush agenda, and what Petras
calls "his slavish adherence to....confrontation with Iran. Blaming
Iran for his failed military policies served a double purpose - it covered
up his incompetence and it secured the support of" the Senate's most
hawkish (independent) Democrat, Joe Lieberman.
- It also served his outsized ambitions that may include
a future run for the White House. His calculus seems to be - lie to Congress,
hide his failures, blame Iran, support Israel and the Bush agenda unflinchingly,
claim he turned Iraq around, say he'll do it in the region, and make him
president and he'll fix everything.
- He (nor the media) won't report how bad things are in
Iraq or the toll on its people. They won't explain the "surge's"
failure to make any progress on the ground. They won't reveal the weekly
US troop death and injury count that's far higher than reported numbers.
By one estimate, (including weekly Pentagon wounded updates), it tops 85,000
when the following categories are included:
- -- "hostile" and "non-hostile" deaths,
including from accidents and illness;
- -- total numbers wounded; and
- -- many thousands of later discovered casualties, mainly
brain traumas from explosions.
- Left out of the above figures are future illnesses and
deaths from exposure to toxic substances like depleted uranium. It now
saturates large areas of Iraq in the soil, air and drinking water. Also
omitted is the vast psychological toll. For many, it causes permanent damage,
and whole families become victims.
- Consider civilian contractor casualties as well. They
may be in the thousands. A February Houston Post report noted 1123 US civilian
contractor deaths. It left out numbers of wounded or any information about
foreign workers. They may have been affected most.
- Several other reports are played down. One is from the
VA about 18 known daily suicides. The true number may be higher. Another
comes from Bloomberg.com on May 5 but unreported on TV news. It cited Thomas
Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health on an April
2008 Rand Corporation study. It found about "18.5% of returning (Iraq
and Afghan) US soldiers (afflicted with) post-traumatic stress disorder
or depression (PTSD), and only half of them receive treatment."
- Much of it shows up later, and many of its victims never
recover. A smaller psychiatric association study put the PTSD number at
about 32%, and a January 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association
put it even higher - 35% of Iraq vets seeking help for mental health problems.
A still earlier 2003 New England Journal of Medicine Study reported an
astonishing 60% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans showing PTSD "symptoms."
Most victims said their duty caused it, but over half of them never sought
treatment fearing damage to their careers.
- The same Rand study said another 19% have possible traumatic
brain injuries ranging from concussions to severe head wounds. About 7%
of vets suffer a double hit - both brain injury and PTSD or depression.
It's a wonder numbers aren't higher as most active duty and National Guard
forces serve multiple tours - some as many as six or more in Iraq and Afghanistan
combined. Surviving that ordeal in one piece is no small achievement.
- Patraeus' calculus omits these victims and all other
war costs abroad and at home. They're consigned to an over-stuffed memory
hole for whatever outs the facts on the ground or his PR-enhanced image.
- Petras strips it away and calls him "a disastrous
failure" whose record is so poor it takes media magic to remake it.
This man will now direct administration Middle East policy. He supports
its aims, and if neocon wishes are adopted it means continued war and occupation
of Iraq, stepped up efforts in Afghanistan, and making a hopeless enterprise
worse by attacking Iran. No problem for Petraeus if it helps his ambitions.
They, of course demand success, or at least the appearance, the way Petraeus
so far has framed it. It remains to be seen what's ahead, and how long
defeat can be called victory.
- And one more thing as well. Congress will soon vote on
more Iraq-Afghanistan supplemental funding. Bush wants another $108 billion
for FY 2008. In hopes a Democrat will be elected president, Congress may
add another $70 billion through early FY 2009 for a total $178 billion
new war spending (plus the usual pork add-ons) on top of an already bloated
Pentagon budget programmed to increase.
- It's got economist Joseph Stiglitz alarmed and has for
some time. In his judgment, the Iraq war alone (conservatively) will cost
trillions of dollars, far more than his earlier estimates. That's counting
all war-related costs:
- -- from annual defense spending plus huge supplemental
- -- outsized expenses treating injured and disabled veterans
- for the government and families that must bear the burden;
- -- high energy costs; they're affected by war but mostly
result from blatant market manipulation; it's not a supply/demand issue;
there's plenty of oil around, but not if you listen to industry flacks
citing shortages and other false reasons why prices shot up so high;
- -- destructive budget and current account deficits; in
the short run, they're stimulative, but sooner or later they matter; they're
consuming the nation, and analysts like Stiglitz and Chalmers Johnson believe
they'll bankrupt us; others do as well like Independent Institute Senior
Fellow Robert Higgs who last year outed the nation's trillion dollar defense
budget; in a recent May 7 article, he wrote: "As the US government
taxes, spends, borrows, regulates, mismanages, and wastes resources on
a scale never before witnessed in the history of mankind, it is digging
its own grave;" others believe we're past the tipping point and it's
- -- debts must be serviced; the higher they mount, the
greater the cost; they crowd out essential public and private investment;
need growing billions for interest payments; damage the dollar; neglect
human capital; and harm the country's stature as an economic leader; the
more we eat our seed corn, the greater the long-term damage;
- -- debts also reduce our manoeuvring room in times of
national crisis; limitless money-creation and reckless spending can't go
on forever before inflation debases the currency; that's a major unreported
threat at a time monetary and fiscal stimulus shifted financial markets
around, and touts now predict we're out of the woods; they don't say for
how long, what may follow, or how they'll explain it if they're wrong;
- -- add up all quantifiable war costs, and Stiglitz now
estimates (conservatively) a $4 - 5 trillion total for America alone; watch
for higher figures later; both wars have legs; another may be coming; leading
presidential candidates assure are on board and have no objection to out-of-control
- -- Stiglitz will be back; his estimate is low; before
this ends, look for one of several outcomes - trillions more spent, bankruptcy
finally ends it, or the worst of all possible scenarios: an unthinkable
nuclear holocaust that (expert Helen Caldicott explains) "could end
life on earth as we know it" unless sanity ends the madness.
- The generalissimo is unconcerned. He's planning his future.
He envisions the White House, and imagine what then. Like the current occupant
and whomever follows, look for more destructive wars to serve his political
ambitions and theirs. They fall right in line with the defense establishment,
Wall Street, and the Israeli Lobby.
- Decades back, could anyone have thought things would
come to this. Hopefully, good sense will gain currency and stop this madness
before it consumes us.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays
from 11AM to 1PM for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests.
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