"..If the world's current dependence on oil continues to grow -- as recent reports about China's oil consumption seem to indicate -- many Muslim states will assume greater clout in world affairs, making it harder to treat each of them separately as distinct "identities" vis-à-vis other states.
The latest developments in the "war on terrorism" point to unifying movements in the Islamic world, either with Iran's help or under the banner of al-Qaeda and its allies -- a more coordinated attack on Western principles and Western interests in the Muslim world that cut across the religious and ethnic divides. While U.S. efforts in Iraq have faltered since 2003, the January 30 Iraqi election following a relatively successful election in Afghanistan will prove to be one of the turning points in the development of the Islamic world, which will either accept and foster the Western model and emerge as a collection of distinct and friendly states, or will finally break under the pressure of Iran and al-Qaeda and begin to emerge as a unified religious, political and military entity, heralding a new chapter in world history."
Sy Hersh says we've been taken over by a cult. Read the transcript of Mr. Hersh's recent appearance at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York.
"...we are been taken over basically by a cult, eight or nine neo-conservatives have somehow grabbed the government. Just how and why and how they did it so efficiently, will have to wait for much later historians and better documentation than we have now, but they managed to overcome the bureaucracy and the Congress, and the press, with the greatest of ease. It does say something about how fragile our Democracy is. You do have to wonder what a Democracy is when it comes down to a few men in the Pentagon and a few men in the White House having their way. What they have done is neutralize the C.I.A. because there were people there inside -- the real goal of what Goss has done was not attack the operational people, but the intelligence people. There were people -- serious senior analysts who disagree with the White House, with Cheney, basically, that's what I mean by White House, and Rumsfeld on a lot of issues, as somebody said, the goal in the last month has been to separate the apostates from the true believers. That's what's happening. The real target has been "diminish the agency." I'm writing about all of this soon, so I don't want to overdo it, but there's been a tremendous sea change in the government. A concentration of power."
The Iraq election is a sham. Many will not take part in the elections - not from fear, but because they're seen as phoney. Some say Iraqi democrats can't win in this desperate election. It's no wonder many see the elections as fake. [Only 10%] Of Iraqi expatriates, some not even citizens of Iraq, have begun Iraqi voting in the U.S. With a couple days to go, some Iraqis are asking: "What election?"
On last night's NIGHTLINE episode, there was a televised townhall meeting at a church in D.C., (with staged questions). They called it "Iraq-Why Stay?" Ted Koppel moderated. Joseph Wilson laid out a wonderfully rational plan for the future of our disengagement from Iraq. I hope someone's listening. I know our President's administration abhors Joseph Wilson. He's on to their sham and trickery, you see, and he makes his knowlege loud and clear. They wouldn't have exposed Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as CIA - a wicked, cruel, and traitorous act - if they didn't want revenge for the SOTU/yellowcake incident. Wilson reminded the town hall audience that the only reason we should ever commit our Armed Forces to war is to protect America from imminent national security threats. And that is NOT what we are doing in Iraq today. By the Bush administration's arrogance, they will ignore the good advice of men like Wilson and gravely injure America in the process, by weakening and abusing the military. This, my friends, is the kind of leadership we have today.
*For those of you who saw last night's Nightline's so-called "town hall meeting" and heard a man shouting at the end, I have found out who he was and what he was saying!
See his own accounting here.
I started chanting "GULF WAR SYNDROME" over and over again, very loudly so it filled the church and drown out Ted Koppel.
He replied, "I am sure I have no idea what you're taking about"
and I yelled, "It's about Depleted Uranium!"
Then I shut up, and he finished his closing and it was over.
As I was waiting to filter out with everybody else, I heard one of the Iraqi's, who was very upset, talking to a producer: "This is not what we expected, we were told we would get a chance to speak in the press release you sent us, and you did not give us the chance to say what we came to say."