The 9/11 Controversy

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I tend not to believe in conspiracy theories. I really don’t give government agents (or the CIA) that much credit. The government almost never gets any thing right, so why do the conspiracy theorists believe that in the most complicated of operations, there are agents who actually succeed.

Specifically, I don’t believe much in the conspiracy theories around 9/11, at least not that it was the intention of the US government. Maybe, yes, there were things covered up during the course of the day and later on, but not that the government masterminded it. Furthermore, Bin Laden himself has taken credit for the events (although he is not necessarily believable either). And the argument that Bush and the neo-cons planned the events to save the Bush presidency also fail to convince me, for one year before the events Bush was just beginning his mandate.

In any event, here is an article by Paul Craig Roberts that merits being read. Roberts is an award winning journalist, economist, and former government official, and I don’t see a motive for him fabricating a conspiracy theory or why we should apriori doubt his integrity. That doesn’t mean that I buy his doubts, but, as I have mentioned, it’s worth a read.

9-11, Six Years Later

By Paul Craig Roberts

09/11/07 — — On Sept. 7, National Public Radio reported that Muslims in the Middle East were beginning to believe that the 9-11 attacks on the WTC and Pentagon were false flag operations committed by some part of the U.S. and/ or Israeli government.

It was beyond the imagination of the NPR reporter and producer that there could be any substance to these beliefs, which were attributed to the influence of books by U.S. and European authors sold in bookstores in Egypt.

NPR’s concern was that books by Western authors questioning the origin of the 9-11 attack have the undesirable result of removing guilt from Muslims’ shoulders.

The NPR reporter, Ursula Lindsey, said that “here in the U.S., most people have little doubt about what happened during the 2001 attacks.”

NPR’s assumption that the official 9-11 story is the final word is uninformed. Polls show that 36 percent of Americans and more than 50 percent of New Yorkers lack confidence in the 9-11 commission report. Many 9-11 families who lost relatives in the attacks are unsatisfied with the official story.

Why are the U.S. media untroubled that there has been no independent investigation of 9-11?

Why are the media unconcerned that the rules governing preservation of forensic evidence were not followed by federal authorities?

Why do the media brand skeptics of the official line “conspiracy theorists” and “kooks”?

What is wrong with debate and listening to both sides of the defining issue of our time? If the official line is so correct and defensible, what does it have to fear from skeptics?

Obviously, a great deal considering the iron curtain that has been erected to protect the official line from independent examination.

Some may think that the 9-11 commission report was an independent investigation, and others will protest that we have the National Institute of Standards and Technology analysis, which explains the collapse of the Twin Towers as a result of airliner impact and fire.

The 9-11 commission was a political commission run by Bush administration insider Philip Zelikow. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the head of which is a member of President Bush’s Cabinet.

Zelikow was a member of President Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, a neoconservative stronghold. In February 2005, Zelikow was appointed counselor of the U.S. Department of State. Obviously, there was zero possibility that the 9-11 commission would hold any part of the Bush administration accountable for the numerous failures of U.S. government agencies on Sept. 11, much less would the commission investigate for any complicity.

If one looks at the credentials of skeptics compared to the credentials of defenders of the official line, it is impossible to dismiss skeptics as kooks. There are many people with strong imaginations on the Internet, but serious skeptics stick to known facts, known violations of standard procedures and the laws of physics. The vast majority of the people who call skeptics “kooks” are themselves ignorant of physics and have little comprehension of the improbability that such an attack could succeed without either the complicity or complete failure of government agencies.

Over the past six years, the ranks of distinguished skeptics of the 9-11 storyline have grown enormously. The ranks include distinguished scientists, engineers and architects, intelligence officers, air traffic controllers, military officers and generals, including the former commanding general of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, former presidential appointees and members of the White House staff in Republican administrations, Top Gun fighter pilots and career airline pilots who say that the flying attributed to the 9-11 hijackers is beyond the skills of America’s best pilots, and foreign dignitaries.

Dr. Andreas von Buelow, former West German minister of research and technology and former state secretary of the federal ministry of defense, said: “The planning of the attacks was technically and organizationally a master achievement. To hijack four airliners within a few minutes and within one hour to drive them into their targets with complicated flight maneuvers! This is unthinkable, without years-long support from secret apparatuses of the state and industry.”

Gen. Leonid Ivashov, chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, said: “Only secret services and their current chiefs — or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations — have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude. … Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the Sept. 11 attacks. They do not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders.”

Americans might concede that it is unusual that U.S. airport security would fail four times within a few minutes, that U.S. air defenses would fail across the board to intercept the hijacked airliners and that hijackers lacking in flight skills could conduct the exotic flight maneuvers that top gun fighter pilots say are beyond their own skills. Still, there is some possibility, however remote, that Allah could have blessed the hijackers with unbelievable luck.

But when we come to the explanation of the collapse of the Twin Towers, the official story lacks even a remote possibility of being true. Architects, engineers and physicists know that powerfully constructed steel buildings do not suddenly collapse at free-fall or near-free-fall speed simply because they were impacted by airliners and experienced short-lived, low intensity and limited fires.

Physicists also know that there was not enough gravitational energy to pulverize massive concrete into fine dust, to cut massive steel beams into appropriate lengths to be loaded and removed on trucks, and to eject dust and steel beams hundreds of yards horizontally. Physicists know that if intense fire were present throughout the towers sufficient to cause steel to weaken and suddenly collapse, such fires would not have left unburned and unscorched hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper, which floated all over lower Manhattan.

Physicists have raised unanswered questions about the official explanation’s neglect of the known laws of physics. Recently, Dr. Crockett Grabbe, a Caltech trained applied physicist at the University of Iowa, observed: “Applying two basic principles, conservation of energy and conservation of momentum, the government explanation quickly unravels. NIST conspicuously ignored these principles in their reports. NIST also ignored the observed twisting of the top 34 floors of the South Tower before it toppled down. This twisting clearly violates the conservation of both linear and angular momentum unless a large external force caused it. Where the massive amounts of energy came from that were needed to cause the complete collapse of the intact parts below for each tower, when their tops were in virtual free fall, is not answered in NIST’s numerous volumes of study.”

Some of NIST’s own scientists are questioning its reports. Dr. James Quintiere, former chief of the fire science division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, recently said that “the official conclusion that NIST arrived at is questionable” and called for an independent review of NIST’s investigation into the collapses of the WTC towers.

Quintiere has called attention to many problems with NIST’s investigation and reports: the absence of a timeline, failure to explain the collapse of WTC 7, the spoliation of the evidence of a fire scene, reliance on questionable computer models, the absence of any evidence for the existence of temperatures NIST predicts as necessary for failure of the steel and a Commerce Department legal structure that instead of trying to find the facts “did the opposite and blocked everything.”

On Aug. 27, 2007, a prominent member of the National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the National Medal of Science, Dr. Lynn Margulis, dismissed the official account of 9-11 as a “fraud” and called for a new, thorough and impartial investigation.

On Sept. 5, 2007, U.S. Navy Top Gun fighter pilot and veteran airline pilot Ralph Kolstad said that the flight maneuvers attributed to the 9-11 hijackers are beyond his flight skills. “Something stinks to high heaven,” declared Kolstad.

When faced with disturbing events, the Romans asked a question, “Cui bono?” Who benefits? This question was conspicuously absent from the official investigation.

Who are the beneficiaries of 9-11? The answer is: the military-security complex, which has accumulated tens of billions of dollars in profits; U.S. oil companies, which hope to get their hands on Iraqi and perhaps Iranian oil; the Republican Party, which saved a vulnerable newly elected president, George W. Bush, viewed by many as illegitimately elected by one vote of the Supreme Court, by wrapping him in the flag as “war president”; the Republican Federalist Society, which used 9-11 to achieve its goal of concentrating power in the executive; Vice President Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives, who used the “new Pearl Harbor” to implement their “Project for a New American Century” and extend American hegemony over the Middle East; and right-wing Israeli Zionists, who have successfully used American blood and treasure to eliminate obstacles to Israeli territorial expansion.

In addition to American troops and Iraqi and Afghan civilian casualties, a casualty of the neoconservative “war on terror” is the civil liberties that protect Americans from tyranny. President Bush and his corrupt Department of Justice (sic) have declared our constitutional protections to be null and void at the whim of the executive.

The greatest benefactors of 9-11 are the authoritarian personalities that John Dean says have taken over the Republican Party.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice.

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40 Comments

Filed under Essays

40 responses to “The 9/11 Controversy

  1. Physics, good old hard science is the savior against ignorance.

    Did our government knowingly allow this to occur, just as Pearl Harbor was no surprise attack? Undoubtedly, the odds favor yes.

    There was a hotel in Madrid, circa 1994 I believe, where the top 8 floors burned complete for 26 hours … with the same steel girders as used in WTC, strangely it survived, no collapse.

    Anyone who knows demolition, knows the manner those buildings came down, defies anything but demolition. Structurally compromised buildings do not collapse in orderly fashion.

    Anyone who knows the facts about the composite nature of alloys used in the formation of those girders is aware that they must be able to withstand temperatures of 3000+ degrees F, for a minimum of 4 hours. Strangely, they didn’t last for even one full hour.

    Anyone who knows about the kerosene based gel jet fuel used in modern aircraft, knows the flashpoint explosion of impact, would have consumed 99% of all present fuel, instantaneously.

    9/11 should have skeptics, and the conspiracy theorists belong the government, status quo.

    Bullshit always reeks, especially in the face of empiricism. Only a fool wouldn’t question the collapse of WTC.

    As from the annals of history, no better device is there for ensuring conformity with ease, and ease of shift into dictatorial police state mode, than through fear.

    Strangely, a General during Kennedy’s administration drew up this plan to use against Castro in Cuba. Due to pressure from his cabinet, he was forced to have the General dismissed for even suggesting the idea.

    Oh damn it, more absurdity? No, not this time, status quo human behavior.

    9/11 is a lie to serve the power brokers who demand the next step be socialism. The only conspiracy is the one against the Constitution, and the American people.

  2. ReWrite

    Socialism? Socialists have gained the least from 9/11.

  3. Socialism? Socialists have gained the least from 9/11.

    Socialism > removal of individual rights as all becomes proprietary of the state.

    Socialism > police state, to guard against the “free will” of the individual to act as an agent outside the state’s proprietary control.

    Socialism > all means controlled by the state.

    As I stated to you before, this is why a useful perspective is necessary. Socialist legislation has already been enacted in this country, (SSI, Welfare, Standing Military, State Education, State controlled economics, State treasury, State sponsored rights prohibition/removal). Socialism is defined by two means; linguistic definition and referenced application, (historical context).

    America is quickly moving towards what the former Soviet Union once was, and likely will be again.

  4. eric

    Well, ReWrite, actually James got you there.

    But that is the whole irony. Our foreign policy is based on Black/White — very Christian should I remind you (you are either for me or against me). I keep thinking of what is written on the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC, “Freedom is Not Free”. First we fought against communism and its expansion. We wanted to safeguard our way of life. That freedom was not free. Now we fight for our way of life against the threat of Islamofascism, and once again our freedom is not free and we must sacrifice our freedoms to protect them. Funny?

    What is even funnier is that the conversative right wing of the party that theoretically protects us from socialism and it taking away our private property, our privacy, and our freedom to express ourselves actually hopes to do the opposite. The want to legislate morality, bring the Bible into our classrooms, and guess what? The Republican Revolution is over. Federal government spending under the Republicans went way up. Bush tried to centralize education and put too more socially conservative (anti-individual) judges on the bench. So where is the freedom of expression and privacy?

    Yep, the conservatives have turned into centralists, anti-free trade protectionists, and moral dictaticans (if I may invent a word). The era of big government was over with Clinton’s Republican platform and came back to life with the Bush administration.

  5. Bravissimo Cugino!!!

    Flawless Victory

    Finish Him!!!

    And so it will come to pass, a self-fulfilling prophecy of history. The two will dissolve into one, a singular self-serving entity bred from the whore of avarice; her children, the plebeian populace, mindless, sobbing, ineffective hordes of followers thrashing at phantoms of nightfall and hidden shadows.

    I just hope they don’t get the new uniforms from China. That whole grey thing that Mao did, it was really rather boring, and I fancy myself an autumn.

  6. ReWrite

    You guys are so silly and immature.

    Anyway, big gov’t doesn’t mean socialism. Socialism is where property and wealth are distributed by the community… leading to a more even distribution of wealth. Bush and 9/11 have done no such thing.

    The Bush Administration has created a bigger gov’t and yes a more centralized gov’t in many ways, but that is not axiomatically the same as socialism… Bushco has created more of a Fascist state.

  7. That is the definitional ideal, not the referenced application, which invariably ends in totalitarian oppression.

  8. fascism

    1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

    Fascism, singular individual dictatorial authority.

    Socialism, selective group tyranny. (Bushie ain’t runnin’ this show alone, like I said he’s MO-ron, ain’t happenin’!!!)

  9. Charlie

    In view of the above, I’m Abstaining from diet drinks,ice cream sandwiches and graveerror for a week. James, how could you have come from my loins.

  10. Caveat Chuckster!!!

    Exactly to which post is my father referring?

    1,3,5,7,8? It helps when you narrow down the specific point of revulsion, rather than leaving it hanging in ambiguity.

    Speaking of repulsive and disgusting to the point of encouraging emesis … did you really have to bring your sweaty, unwashed loins into the conversation?

    My eyes!!! My eyes!!! I welcome the darkness, oh tha horra, tha unflinching horra!!!

  11. eric

    Uncle Chuck!

    Probably a good idea. I will try to change the subject to topics relating to my mundane daily life. It’s about time!

  12. ReWrite

    What did James do wrong? He is just schooling his youngest cousin.

  13. Charlie

    I hope you don’t do anything different Eric, I enjoy the political stuff, essays, everything. I wasn’t directing my comment to James, but overall on the conspiracy discussion. I knew my barb toward James would generate an appropriate and eloquent response which it did. I have little chance with him in any kind of discourse. The conspiracy talk about 911 struck too close to the congressional hearings involving Patraeus and Crocker, that I found distressing (make that disgusting) because of the disprespect shown oustanding Americans, performing a tough job. I think those presidential candidates incapable of conducting themselves in a respectful way at the hearing, and favoring forcing a precipitous withdrawal have disqualified themselves from the race. The questions should have been tough, but the insults came from people not of a calibre to represent our country in the white house or congress. How can anyone vote for a person that actually wants their country to lose in Iraq. In the unprecedented partisan climate, I’m convinced many of the best of our best are in the military from the foot soldiers to the generals. They have volunteered to try to salvage a situation we never should have been involved with, but now have a huge stake in. Hillary,Obama,Edwards, Reed,look like bottom feeders compared to Patraeus and Crocker. Heaven help us if their ilk actually expands its influence in the coming years.

  14. eric

    Chuck,

    Our soldiers will stay in Iraq even with a Democrat in office. As a matter of fact, the Democrats have continued to support the war even when they had a majority. Hillary and Edwards are playing the anti-war card because it is good for them as candidates, but the Democrats in Congress are not shutting the war down.

    And yes, I agree, the kids over there haven’t done anything wrong. They didn’t vote for the war or to be there. Oh yeah, Hillary did. You can’t win something that is wrong from the start, even with the best people on the ground.

    Thanks for reading!

  15. ReWrite

    The soldiers do have a tough job. I think the question is- is victory even possible, what does victory even mean.

    Like you said we should have never gone to Iraq, so how can we win a conflict we should have never started.

    You are also correct, the politicians you listed are pretty disgusting. They aren’t telling the truth- they don’t want to leave Iraq, they are just as beholden to Big Oil as any major politian.

    We all need to wake up and smell the gas fumes- victory in Iraq means control of Oil. So US military will be in Iraq, just as they are in Saudi Arabia (as a result of the 1st gulf war) forever… and for the sole purpose of guarding that Oil. Clinton, Obama, and rest all realize and embrace that- they are just showboating b/c the tides have turned on the war. So yes, the hearing is disgusting and a waste. Why not just ask the real question- “how can we guard the oil and get as many troops out as possible.”

    And the poor American troops have to put their life on the line, not for freedom, liberty, democracy (for the US or Iraq), but for 6 of top 10 fortune 500 companies who have a stake in the Oil.

    Until we get private money out of elections the politicians will continue to be fake respresentatives of the people and stop being the gov’t liason for big corporations.

    As the Weathermen said during the Vietnam war- it is time to “Bring the War Home.”

  16. The soldiers do have a tough job. I think the question is- is victory even possible, what does victory even mean.

    Now that is what is proper for the term “perspective”. Excellent.

    What does victory mean? What are the boundaries represented when we devolve into a stance of “victory only” by conquest? Whose definition is correct for the situation? Predicated upon what biases, serving which selective group – the plebeians or the overseers?

    These were the questions that should have been given over to the American populace prior to the inception of any military engagements.

    Now we are in a position of such extreme distress, we find ourselves with not only a nation of adversaries, but guerrillas waiting to jump any border to engage some killing, even ambiguous targeting.

    An older friend I converse with at my site uses the phrase, “follow the money”. I have yet to see where he’s been wrong. Those with more money win elections. In D.C., those with higher rate of back door secured economic tributaries, hold the sway. In the market place, those who hold the gold make all the rules disappear.

    Catastrophic economic collapse, or sudden open revolution ~ it’s just waiting in the wings.

    The war is already home, just too many spectators at current, fearing they may have to actually defend their possessing possessions.

  17. P.S. Pops, you just exhibited one of the most irritating proclivities of your generation: the easily falsifiable assertion that the government intends to always act in the best interest of the nation.

    9/11 isn’t conspiracy material, it’s a simple matter of known facts of physics. (Explain the Pentagon “incident” logically and empirically, and I’ll shut my stinkchucker … I’ll take 1000 to 1 odds, no one can.)

    Conspiracy: no fundamental backing from any hard science, ideological ranting.

    Dissent: logically/factually supported position from empirical data, in direct opposition to unsubstantiated claims, with the understanding of historical human behavior and regards to knowable duplicity in dissemination of government operations. (Why Machiavelli will always be the Prince of Pragmatics.)

  18. ReWrite

    James:
    “Catastrophic economic collapse, or sudden open revolution ~ it’s just waiting in the wings.”

    Unfortunately, I think the US is much closer to the former and not even close to the latter.

    “The war is already home…”

    What do you mean by that? Who is challenging the war in Iraq; have you seen any protests lately? I think most of America mildly frustrated with the lack of progress in Iraq (but would love to eliminate those “A-Rabs”)and those that do not feel that way, don’t really care enough to take a break from their Affluenza-like lives, which generally support the gov’t’s real purpose for being in Iraq- namely purchasing the latest and largest SUV on the market and then guzzling as much petrol as possible… not to mention the general obsession w/consumption that is also counter-productive to War.

    except for a few college campuses, no one is really rallying or organizing any efforts to challenge the gov’t against the War in Iraq.

    The notion of protests in America, reminds me of that scene in Arrested Development with the “Free Speech Zones.” Remember that? Where the anti-war protesters are taken to the middle of nowhere and put in a cage to protest the war.

  19. eric

    James,

    I added your Fora to my list of Favorite Websites. One of my three readers may mistakingly click on the link why they are desperately trying to get off of my blog! LOL.

  20. Cugino,

    That wasn’t necessary, but thank you for the advertisement! Although, if one is not necessarily in tune with your blog, my site may represent an equal problem.

    Rewrite,

    I’ll answer you later, currently my mind is strained between Camus and Husserl, and I’m getting a bit of an unpleasant temperament. I’m not ignoring your post, feeling high irritation is all.

  21. ReWrite formerly TheCommentKiller

    James no rush and no need to respond. I am sure i will “ReWrite” the same thing again… as i always do; so you can school me next time or whenever.

  22. Randy

    Folks,
    Here’s my take on the Iraq War, something we have consistently opposed.
    P.S. Little Charlie, sitting on my lap, just farted, much to his delight.

    Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 09/15/07
    Post Comment
    Stay the course.

    Like a broken record, that was the message delivered about the war in Iraq Thursday night by President Bush during his address to the nation and earlier in the week by his top military commander in Iraq, David Petraeus, and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Richard Crocker.

    Bush again insisted progress was being made in Iraq, that patience was required and that victory was essential for our national security. He said he accepted Petraeus’ recommendation to bring 5,700 troops home by Christmas and another 21,500 combat trooops by July. Troop strength would be reduced from its current level of about 168,000 to the pre-surge level of 132,000. That isn’t good enough.

    Troops should be pulled back as soon as it can be done safely. They should be redeployed at strategic points in Iraq’s periphery, particularly at crossing points in Iraq and Syria, and in Afghanistan. New diplomatic efforts should be made to re-engage allies in the broader war against terrorism, including deployment of troops at Iraq’s borders and the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    In hearings before Congress this week, it was clear that, despite some military progress, substantial troop levels would be required for years to come. The political situation in Iraq has not improved, and there is little reason to believe it will any time soon — at least not while we continue to flex our military muscle and seek to dictate the political terms.

    Neither democracy nor stability can be imposed on Iraq militarily. Its leadership is not ready for it. It has failed to meet important benchmarks regarding political reconciliation and sharing of oil revenues. It must work out its differences internally. The sooner we pull back, the sooner that is likely to occur.

    Bush has consistently ignored the will of the majority of Americans on the conduct of the war. He ignored the advice of many of his top military advisers. He ignored many of the key recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, which spent nine months exploring strategic options.

    The price being paid to stabilize a nation whose leaders aren’t prepared to seek a political solution is too high for an open-ended commitment. More than 3,700 American soldiers have died. More than 27,000 have been wounded. More than $450 billion has been spent on the war, and Bush soon will be asking Congress for billions more — money better spent on domestic needs, improving our homeland defenses and developing energy alternatives to reduce our dependence on Mideast oil.

    We do not subscribe to the notion that the war in Iraq is essential to successfully waging war against terrorism. There is considerable evidence it has made matters worse. When Democrats took control of Congress in November, they did so largely on the promise they would end our involvement in Iraq. They have failed to do so. It’s time for them to deliver.

  23. Neither democracy nor stability can be imposed on Iraq militarily. Its leadership is not ready for it. It has failed to meet important benchmarks regarding political reconciliation and sharing of oil revenues. It must work out its differences internally. The sooner we pull back, the sooner that is likely to occur.

    In the overall, I agree with the assessment of the piece, with two notable exceptions:

    1. Iraq will never be a democracy, parliamentary or otherwise. It simply isn’t the manner with which the cultures of Middle East nations have ever operated, in all of recorded history. They bear greatest resemblance to warlord fiefdoms.

    2. Pulling back/out is necessary, but will change nothing as far as political operation of the Iraq “government”. This is the largest problem, as there will be no peace in Iraq, as long as sectarian religion remains. That is also why there is zero chance of peace in any Middle East state where more than one sect of Islam resides within the same country, not just Iraq.

    This was the direct benefit of keeping Hussein in power, he was an equal opportunity destroyer, and opposed the sectarian stupidity, with malice and violence, which is the only effective method of dealing with Islamic fundamentalism and its abject sectarian positioning.

  24. eric

    I think that we tend to forget that democracy wasn’t so easy for the US either at the beginning of the 18th Century and the lack of unity and agreement upon what was the role of a unified state in light of very different economic realities amongst the states led to a civil war.

    And of course there is the huge irony: we want democracy but only if that democracy does what we tell it. Why don’t we push for democracy in Pakistan? We are supporting a Pakistanian military totalitarian (can you say Sadam Hussein?).

    It will be nice to see if the US ever acknowledges the real number of those Iraqis who have died since occupation, and admits that we have nothing in control. We don’t even control the road from the airport into the city. There is the argument that if we pull out thing will get worse. How can they get any worse? Why don’t we put in a more legitimate group of international peace keepers? Oh, then we couldn’t keep all the oil for ourselves. That’s right.

  25. It will be nice to see if the US ever acknowledges the real number of those Iraqis who have died since occupation, and admits that we have nothing in control. We don’t even control the road from the airport into the city. There is the argument that if we pull out thing will get worse. How can they get any worse? Why don’t we put in a more legitimate group of international peace keepers? Oh, then we couldn’t keep all the oil for ourselves. That’s right.

    Death during war is something that is just a fact of pragmatic reality. It’s not worth mulling over, or worse what American’s do, brooding. There’s a nice piece on my site in the Informal Philosophy section that deals with the nature of war. Written by my most favorite intellectual juggernaut, Tabula Rasa, from Turkey.

    Things would undoubtedly get worse if we were to do a tactical withdrawal, it isn’t even debatable. The region is completely destabilised without Hussein’s megalomaniac militant presence. He was effective, if nothing else.

    No “international peace keepers” would even consider going into Iraq. They are generally light infantry, poorly trained, and overwhelmingly weak. They know they would be instant targets. Iraq will collapse completely if we withdraw, and that is also part of the double edged sword; the populace of Iraq is so easily corruptible, their military is useless. Something that the “political leaders” know for a fact.

    Iraq is a quagmire, hopefully my children’s generation can do a better job of management. They’ll have to start by turning D.C. to ash in glorious revolution and cleansing fire.

  26. Charlie

    How many of those that are in favor of preciptously getting out of Iraq or doing so at a quicker pace than our top general thinks we can safely do so, just plain hate Bush so much they hope things turn worse and we ultimately lose. I hope no one in present company has strayed that far. That bothers the hell out of me because I really think it’s so amongst many Americans – and it’s shameful. And I hold Bush responsible for much of that divisiveness. It was obvious that all in the weak field of Democratic candidates were so hopeful the surge would fail that they prejudged the Patraeus report in advance. How many who reference the less optimistic General Jones Report fail to recognize it doesn’t cover the recent months when progress was made and dismiss his conclusion that a quick withdrawal would be disastrous. Rushing into Iraq will go down in history as one of the worst decisions ever made by one of our presidents, but the cry not to go in did not resound from those that are so critical now. I remember that because of how strongly I felt Iraq was under control and wondered why Bush didn’t receive more dissent from within the government. All of us who were silent at the time have a hand in that. The Asbury Park Press editorial expressed its opinion in a strong and respectful way unlike other papers that give great aid and comfort to our enemies. It was encouraging to read about secretary Gates saying withdrawals may end up happening faster, so I think the administration is listening – and I look for a lot more pressure on the Iraqi government toward reconciliation because of all the input at the hearings. As for your childrens’ generation,I think the prospects are not good if we end up with leaders that are so lacking in character as the main democratic contenders displayed at the hearings that I pretty much listened to from gavel to gavel. They disqualified themselves in my mind. What principals will our children get from people of that ilk that will prepare them to lead the next generations? Ironically, the military the liberals regard with such disdain, will ultimately have to be a much bigger force and lose many more lives to pick up the pieces from the cut and run folks.

  27. ReWrite formerly TheCommentKiller

    Charlie, excellent points!

    I was actually working on the Hill during the lead up to the war. In fall of 2002, I was asked to go to a press conference on Iraq, the key note speakers were McCain and Kerry (this was before Kerry was even considered a presidential candidate). After they made their speeches (and McCain said that Hussein is “weaker than ever” & the military would be in and out) they opened it up for questions to the public… i was first in line (of course) and i asked them a series of questions… one posed to McCain- Why Iraq now, if they are weaker then ever, McCain stumbled, admitted it was a “fair question” and then they closed down all questioning and rushed Kerry and McCain out.

    When i was protesting the war in 2002 (and in law school) not only did less than 25 students support our group (which was open to all of the graduate schools), but on a daily basis i got threatening emails and lots of hate in the school newspaper. And like you said, all of these clowns are now Anti-War/Anti-Bush. We question what Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Michael Vick are doing, but we could care less what gov’t is going to do w/ our volunteer Army.

    And as we think about change in the middle east we have to consider that it was West that divided up the middle east and as Eric pointed out, still plays a big role in deciding who is power. Has democracy ever had a chance in the middle east? I honestly don’t think so; i can’t of a country that the West has allowed democracy naturally come about.

    Anyway, let’s get back to important issue like the life of Nicole Richie.

  28. Peace in the Middle East, my ass. Can you smell the Islamic bullshit, can you?

    Yes your honor, the defense rests.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/16/AR2007091601487.html

    Yes, yes, everything that is wrong with Iraq and the Middle East is America’s fault. Islamics and Muslims are such peace loving people full of brotherly love, hope sprung eternal and obviously, wisdom.

    Someone hand me a shovel and a bucket. The shovel is just for digging a hole for the Q’uran, and the bucket for the overpowering emesis.

    I smell “The Stupids®”.

  29. ReWrite formerly TheCommentKiller

    It certainly isn’t “all america’s fault.” But to blame an entire religion (Islam) for all of the problems in the middle east and iraq is like blaming cocaine (not the users, suppliers, kingpins, law enforcement, other systems in place) for all of the social ills in area w/ a high concentration of cocaine users.

    I think you overestimate (or don’t understand) the role religion is playing in Iraq (and has played throughout history throughout the world). This war (and the insurgency) is about money and power= control of oil. Religion is the tool those in power use to mobilize people to further their interests.

  30. Religion is the tool those in power use to mobilize people to further their interests.

    I don’t think you understand. Before there were power brokers, economics or politics, there was Islamic fundamentalism.

    I say, you have it backwards, everything descends from blatant religious idiocy, and the rest of it is from outside movements that think they are going to have an effect … note that I said **think**.

    What is the prime mover of Saudi Arabian economics, politics and diplomacy? Oil or Wahhabism.

    If you say oil, your are confusing a tool and a prime mover.

    Just as you misused the cocaine metaphor ~ it isn’t the cocaine or any of the agents of that tool, the prime mover is addiction.

  31. ReWrite

    Yeah i guess we disagree on this one. I think societies have been moved by economics (and the power behind having economic superiority) not religion… religion is just used to polarize people for those economic interests.

  32. eric

    Before there was Islam there was a Middle East with plenty of other religions and laws and history (http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/imperial-history.html). Check out in general http://www.mapsofwar.com.

    The English and French divided up the Middle East at the end of World War I, and the English were incredibly interested in the oil contracts in Iraq throughout the 20th century.

    I think that you shouldn’t confuse Islamic Fundamentalism with regional tension that has been prevelant for thousands of years. As the Arabs says, “amongst Arabs, the only thing we agree upon, is to disagree”.

    Economics vs. Religion: we create religion as a way to distinguish ourselves. Laws all have an underlying economic justification that precedes the religous. Most of western civil law is based on Roman law, not Christian, and these laws are fundamentally based on what is mostly economically beneficial.

    Anyways, I can’t wait to move on to another topic, once I have some time.

  33. Rewrite,

    A bit of genetic history disagrees with your assertion, but that’s a rather exponentially verbose discourse. Aye, we disagree.

    Eric,

    The metaphysics behind religion existed before law and economics, shamanism is almost as old as the species itself.

    Roman Law was based upon Hellenism, and Hellenism, via Alexander the Great and Clement of Alexandria, was the prime mover of Christianity away from mysticism of Judaic tradition and Aramaic foundations, to the Romanised version of Christianity.

    Joseph Campbell. The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology. Includes the Hellenising of Judaic belief, notable from the printed form of new testament as primarily Coptic. This is what led to the fall of the Gnostics, and the end of Christianity as primarily from Judaic roots.
    Paul even leaves messages in the verses of the Bible … Colossians and Corinthians I believe, against the Hellenic thought from the Platonics, Epicureans and Stoics of Greece.

  34. eric

    Sounds like a bit of chicken and egg here, but the reason for upholding a verbal agreement for trading absent written law or for respecting who gets to kill certain prey while on the hunt has little to do with religion and much more to do with economics. I could enumerate the examples of the economics of customary law prior to legal systems but I will spare all. In general, though, I think it is a safe bet to say that civil law is generally based on the “social contract”, survival, and economics and religion has “promulgated” the economics into “moral teachings”. The purely economic would be things like civil liability, property rights, and to a certain extent marital rights, and then more “moralistic” also have the economic logic, ie, health, sanitation, and sexual behavior. So if religious rules are based on the underlying social contract (the we-need-to-get-along-factor), the spirtuality of religion is just a way to keep people in check.

  35. That’s where the error in the logic resides; social contract is descendant from metaphysics, religion/theism.

    First must come the “entitled to rights by existence”, (fear of mortality) before the “entitled to equal rights within the group”, (fear of diminished entitlement).

    In earlier groups of humankind, it was the extended family unit, and genetic proscription determined “shares”, alpha on down.

    One thing I note that you omit with regards to economics, is that there must be the process of appreciable valuation, to create the discrimination necessary for transaction. Early tribes worked off of reciprocity, without value assessment, essentially “need” and/or hierarchical position determined value.

  36. eric

    I suppose I am not being clear here or properly defining my terms. By social contract or law, I don’t mean any formal, established legal system. I refer to the defacto rules that set forth how we live together. For example, children obey their parents, not because of the Ten Commandments, but because the “social contract” (that unwritten agreement between individuals co-existing) dictates such.

    And by economics, I don’t mean supply and demand but by the defacto cost benefit analysis that inherently exists when establishing these unwritten rules for social interaction. Reciprocity is an economic, social contract, cost benefit-esque relationship that creates a defacto legal system.

    There is no need for equal rights in order for there to be a system of rules. Most systems of rules do not afford equal rights, beginning with the religious “legal” framework (God has the ultimate word and doesn’t need to treat people equally).

  37. I would never consider social contract anything other than an underpinning. One of those unseen currents within the radiating concentric circles of sociality. We do not pay attention to the fact that the social contract is in process in every “transaction” we take part in with another social member, family or otherwise.

    Again, I’m not going into the long version. But genetic impetus towards survival created the “need” of metaphysical perspective in a dispassionate and unconcerned Universe, and the individual within the group first assessment is always one of personal survival. According to Locke, Hobbes, Paine, Rawls and Rousseau the presence of equality from nascent good nature prescribed by “God”/metaphysics, is the exigency of social contract, i.e. we seek to engage level reciprocation as a matter of human nature, creature of the divine. That isn’t the case in observable application, but I’ll leave them to their fallacies.

    The “need” for the perception of equality is required for any systems of rules, that’s the entire unspoken/unseen basis of society. If it wasn’t a need, than genetic dominance would be the prime mover, but it isn’t any longer, and hasn’t been since the first village was established.

    Although you are correct that systems of rules do not afford equal rights, that isn’t the operating premise of the social hominid. We demand certain rights for taking part in the group, in adding to the group, therefore equality is assumed by the individual. Due directly to the group association, and why we willingly submit to legal frameworks. Sprinkle with religion, or some metaphysics if you prefer, bake for a few centuries, watch the rise of laws.

  38. Charlie

    Kind of related to the original topic of the post, Marti started going through letters written by familiy members around 1945 this week, and one sent by her father to her mother when he was in the service, included the front pages of a Buffalo, N.Y. newspaper. The main headline was about a major blizzard, but there was also a column talking about the conspiracy theory of the time – Roosevelt, Churchill and Pearl Harbor.

  39. There are no conspiracies, no such thing has ever been proven to exist.

    What has been proven, ad infinitum, ad nausea, is that hominids operate in easily modeled behavioral patterns.

    Roosevelt had three days advanced notice of the Japanese fleet moving towards Hawaii. Let me guess, he lost the memo from his generals? Power brokers will move to ensure their power, sometimes the prudent move, is to do nothing at all.

    Not to mention the deep recession our economy was in at the time, and we were sending resources consistently across Northern Atlantic in support of the war.

    Both the US and Japan had long-standing contingency plans for war in the Pacific focusing on the other’s surface fleet, developed during the 1930s as tension between the two countries steadily increased.

    Surprise attack indeed.

    In 1940, the US halted further shipments of airplanes, parts, machine tools and aviation gas to Japan, which they interpreted as an unfriendly act.

    But let us ignore history yet again.

    In the summer of 1941, the US ceased the export of oil to Japan due to Japan’s continued aggressive expansionist policy and because an anticipated eventual American entrance to the war in Europe prompted increased stockpiling and less commercial use of gasoline.

    I should think that we should have been surprised, there really was no impetus for the Japanese to attack.

    In July 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy informed Emperor Showa its reserve bunker oil would be exhausted within two years if a new source was not acquired.

    Of course, resource domination has never been impetus of war.

    It was decided to commence hostilities against the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands if the Empire’s requirements for access to resources were not resolved through diplomatic negotiations by October 10, 1941.

    Obviously, we were blinded and simply not in knowledge of the then believed peaceful Japanese, and their unthinkable plans of conquest towards resource superiority.

    Throughout the beginning of the Showa era, (mid-1920s through 1930s), Japanese nationalists exerted increasing influence over government policy, promoting creation of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere as part of Japan’s alleged “divine right” to unify Asia under emperor Showa’s rule [10]. Increasingly Japan’s expansionist policies brought her into conflict with her neighbors: Russia and China. Japanese actions included the 1905 war with Russia, the invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and finally, the full-scale invasion of China, which began at the Marco Polo Bridge in July 1937.

    In response to international condemnation of the 1931 conquest of Manchuria and the establishment of the Manchukuo puppet government, in 1933 Japan withdrew from the League of Nations. In 1935, Japan renounced the London Naval Conference which had limited the size of Japan’s naval forces, in relation to other large navies (in particular, the U.S.). The 1937 Japanese attack against China was condemned by the League of Nations, the U.S., Britain, Australia, and the Netherlands. These states had economic interests, territorial interests, or formal colonies in Southeast Asia, and had become increasingly alarmed at Japan’s military power and willingness to use it. In July 1939, the U.S. terminated the 1911 U.S.-Japan commercial treaty, which made clear its disapproval and, more concretely, allowed the U.S. to impose trade restrictions as additional pressure. These efforts failed to deter Japan from continuing the war in China nor from signing both the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi Germany and the Tripartite Pact with Germany and Italy.

    Or were we?

    I realise that it is considered to be in poor character to use profanity, but that seems to be the only thing that actual gets through the clouds of indoctrinated agreement that the government acts in the best interest of the people.

    Expecting war, and seeing an opportunity in the forward basing of the US Pacific Fleet at Hawaii, the Japanese began planning began in early 1941 for an attack on Pearl Harbor. For the next several months, planning, and organizing a simultaneous attack on Pearl and invasion of British and Dutch colonies to the South occupied much of the Japanese Navy’s time and attention.

    Strange that we were aware of so much of the movement and military expansionism of the Japanese, yet strangely, their four years of planning and naval exercises completely escaped the notice of our good intentioned government.

    Day of Infamy, indeed. I’ll take my absurdity without cream of falsity and sugared denial.

    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Thomas Jefferson

    An injured friend is the bitterest of foes.
    Thomas Jefferson

    I can’t imagine why any man would posit such erroneous points, especially being that there is no reference in support.

    Even of greater curiosity is why Niccolo Machiavelli would posit, no, rather assert, that history is doomed to repeat because humanity is a self-interested, short attention, pack of hairless primates incapable of learning …

    How absurd of these men, and they are called learned.

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