Friday Note Jumble

I put the computer to sleep after I got back late last night, and then it suddenly spun the fans up to maximum and totally locked out. I had way too much shit running, as usual, but I am not impressed with the recent deterioration in the G5's stability. I know there are anomalies in the directory structure on my main HD and I ought to just wipe it and install OS X fresh again, but obviously that's a big hassle.

Anyway I got a mountain of links still sitting around, so let's get into them quickly.

Senator Feingold wants Habeas Corpus hearings. The crappy moral relativism of the Beltway dwellers can't handle Feingold: all principles are just "playing politics." This piece illustrates all kinds of things about how the media makes real issues into cardboard cutouts, using the Feingold Censure situation as an example. ABC's Halperin has the exact same problem.

Fair enough: the Newt World Order: Chunky fascism for mediocre wonks.

Some bizarre entity called Vigil consisting of retired spies and other such cats are roaming about the internet trying to entrap terror cells. PrisonPlanet thinks it's sketchy.

KGB Spy blah blah: No shortage of speculations on this one, from Prisonplanet to others. Just use your google and basically don't believe anything because everything about this reeks of information warfare. MOSNews says he blamed the Kremlin. OK.

Florida 13th district sketchballs: In Katherine "Novak" Harris' old district in the Sarasota area, the Democrat running for Congress narrowly lost, but an improbably high number of people in Sarasota County did not record votes in that race, and hundreds of voters complained that the touchscreen machines were bad. A major investigation of the machines, conducted by the County government under scrutiny, has already shown that they are extremely unreliable and undervoted a lot. This is a huge opportunity to expose these shady machines.

Haaretz finds Syria an improbable assassin of Pierre Gemayel:

The accusation leveled at the Syrians by Saad Hariri, son of assassinated former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, the hints by Prime Minister Fuad Siniora urging the establishment of an international tribunal to try Hariri's killers, and statements by anti-Syrian elements in Lebanon, put Syria at the top of the list of suspects in Tuesday's assassination of Lebanese Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel.

However pure political and diplomatic logic makes it difficult to see Damascus behind the assassination. The day Gemayel was killed, Syria chalked up one of its most significant diplomatic achievements since its defeat in Lebanon in April 2005: the renewal of full diplomatic relations with Iraq.

Syria is also on the way to achieving a semi-official stamp of approval from Washington as able to calm things down in Iraq. Syria could have been on the verge of an important political success in Lebanon - the possible fall of Fuad Siniora's government, which would mean Syria could increase the power of its supporters in the government by means of the Hezbollah ultimatum. If that came about, the international tribunal on the murder of Rafik Hariri would be delayed, or at least be of a sort convenient for the Syrians.

Check out the Israeli Peace Now and their West Bank settlement and outpost reports. For example Hill 777. See also a speech at the Rabin memorial this year. More on Peace Now's work exposing the theft of Palestinian privately owned land for West Bank settlements.

FoxNews Financial Guy: We End the War "By Bombing Tehran, Not by Getting it so Some Iraqi Woman Doesn't Have to Wear a Burqa Anymore":

You could send in 100,000 troops as long as we're treating them like sacrificial lambs, Neil. And we've asked these troops to win a war without bombing a [inaudible], you know, without hitting a mosque. Everything we've done has been to, you know, boost our image on the, you know, Muslim street. That's not why we went to war in the first place.

The market wants us to end the insurgency and the war. You do that by bombing Tehran, not by getting it so some Iraqi woman doesn't have to wear a burqa anymore.

We haven't put fear in the hearts of militant Islam. That's why we went to war. To win the war against militant Islam.

Murderous psychos. Anyway. Also before the war started they didn't have to wear burqas. Hm.

When will Israel attack Iran??! Israeli PM Olmert is in a pretty confusing spot right now, making both dove and hawk noises: Iraq war was good for Israel: Olmert. The ironically named 'Rootless Cosmopolitan' Tony Karon looks critically and realistically at how Israeli domestic politics could force a war between the U.S. and Iran soon. This article is yet another example of how Jewish folks have plenty of articulate criticisms of the Israeli establishment that are never voiced on American cable TV:

But the most dangerous element of the equation, I believe, is the hysteria being cultivated by the Israelis. Hersh mentions that Israel is telling the U.S. they have human intelligence on Iran developing trigger devices for a nuclear bomb, but U.S. intelligence is unable to verify these claims. More worrying, however, is the public campaign being waged by Israeli leaders. Olmert warns American Jewish leader that Israel has come to a “pivotal moment” at which its survival depends on confronting Iran. Bibi Netanyahu (the Newt Gingrich of Israeli politics; a discredited crank who manages to grab headlines only by uttering alarmist rubbish) warns darkly that its 1938 all over again. (Memo to Mark Foley: You ought to try this, it could be a surefire route to political rehabilitation…)

This fevered scaremongering is all about Israeli domestic politics, as Aluf Benn explains.

Karon had a good article in TIME about how Iraq's Violence Spins Beyond Anyone's Control. This also connects to the wise words from one Dr. Leon Hadar of CATO: When will Israel attack Iran?

And... finally. According to most press reports, the Baker-Hamilton Commission is going to issue a report before the end of the year which will recommend U.S. engagement with Iran and perhaps the re-start of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (meaning more U.S. pressure on Israel).

So... when you take all the above items into consideration I would say that Israel has a "window of opprtunity" of about two months to attack Iran's nuclear sites. Such an attack will certainly be good news for the neocons and their allies, since it would sabotage any possible U.S. efforts to engage Iran and to end the Iraq mess. An Israeli attack will also probably ignite a U.S. confrontation with Iran.

Baker vs. Olmert = AIPAC vs. realists? Yeah things are complicated in the mideast, and we may have a situation where Israel's leadership are at loggerheads with James Baker, simply because detente between Syria, Iran and the U.S. over Iraq will result in more political pressure on Israel. Kurt Nimmo on this situation. AIPAC-style establishment rightwingers have disliked Baker since he has been very anti-West Bank settlement especially during the first Bush Administration. Nimmo:

On the subject of Greater Israel, a topic near and dear to the Israeli government and their neocon helpers, Baker induces dread. As the Jerusalem Post notes, back in 1989, Baker told AIPAC that “now is the time to lay aside once and for all the unrealistic vision of a Greater Israel. Israeli interests in the West Bank and Gaza, security and otherwise, can be accommodated in a settlement based on [UN Security Council] Resolution 242. Forswear annexation; stop settlement activity; allow schools to reopen; reach out to the Palestinian as neighbors who deserve political rights.”

No doubt AIPAC members were sent reeling.

....It should be obvious Israel’s Mossad engineered the assassination of Pierre Gemayel in Lebanon as a response to the Baker Boys and the emerging recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. It was, in effect, a stone thrown to kill two birds—one, to sully Syria and thus make any accommodation proposed by Baker and Hamilton untenable and second to ratchet up ethnic and religious animosity in Lebanon, a process well underway in the wake of Pierre Gemayel’s timely murder.

Nimmo also observes another neocon, the ex-Larouchite Joshua Muravchik demanding Iran's decimation. Also he notes Michael Ledeen says everyone against the neo-cons is an antisemite.

However, for Ledeen, the problem is “our leaders may be so demoralized that we could just surrender in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the realists and the antisemites desire. But that would only delay the reckoning, and ensure that the war will be far bloodier.”

Too bad so many Jews think neocons are idiots.

Random: I looked a bit at "Zionism in the Age of the Dictators," a 1983 book reviewing connections between dictatorships and Zionist political movements, including the hardline Stern Gang. One of those awkward things. Also looking back at the Lebanon war, it's worth looking at How Washington Goaded Israel into War. This was from back in August, but relevant still as dumb hawks keep circling.

Speaking of mean, dumb hawks, Daniel Pipes says:

Iraq's plight is neither a coalition responsibility nor a particular danger to the West.... Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one.

What a racist - including an ugly cartoon. Anyway.

Bizarre comparison of Vietnam == Iraq - forgetting the whole implanted French Catholic thing, from a Marine Corps University prof. Did the US foment more sectarian violence in Iraq intentionally? Conspiratorials think that sectarian violence was the goal. US fights Sadr: where does that fit into this?

Syria is wild card in dueling meetings on Iraq. Al Jazeera English gets a positive review on Antiwar.com but American cable providers decline to hook up audiences.

WaPo: Civil war could ripple outward: NEARBY NATIONS DREADING IRAQ'S DISINTEGRATION.

Random Russian 9/11 conspiracy: one of those conspiracy theories about 9/11 is that Uday Hussein and Vladimir Putin had 9/11 foreknowledge, and there were reports in late summer 2001 in the Russian establishment paper Pravda that an economic attack in the U.S. was expected to be staged by some mysterious international group with "trillions" in assets. Ok whatever. Stuff on that here and here. Also New World Order Blah Blah Blah.

Infowars: "As Long As You're Not Doing Anything Wrong, You Have Nothing To Worry About".

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