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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Benny Morris, An Honest Zionist Historian

Originally published here on 30 August 2004.

The following is an interview with Benny Morris conducted by Ari Shavit (originally published in Haaretz). Benny Morris strikes me as an honest man, and one who is not afraid to confront either the authority, or the entrenched notions.

I think he is utterly wrong in his advocacy of extremism. He describes various war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers during the 1948 War. According to his description, those crimes were the main reason why hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs fled from their homes,- and he believes that this was a deliberate tactic used to achieve precisely that result. Of war crimes he describes in his works, Morris says,
"There is no justification for acts of rape. There is no justification for acts of massacre. Those are war crimes. But in certain conditions, expulsion is not a war crime. I don't think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes. You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands."

This sounds like a rerun of the general justification extremists of all stripes have used throughout history.

However, unlike many other students of the matter, Morris seems honest and calls things by their proper name. That is commendable, and I think he is an author and a historian whose works are definitely worth a read.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"Friendly Fire",- By Design

Originally published here on 21 August 2004.

"Friendly fire" is an unfortunate part of pretty much any war. The fog of battle sometimes leads to soldiers firing on fellow soldiers wearing the same uniform. All of the world's militaries work towards developing procedures to avoid such tragic and wasteful mistakes but none have thus far completely succeeded in this quest.

However, according to Body of Secrets, a book authored by the investigative journalist James Bamford, in the 1960's the US military considered attacks on Americans disguised to appear perpetrated by the Cuban forces. The objective: convincing the American public of a necessity of going to war with Cuba. As David Ruppe writes in his ABC News article,
Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.
That was not merely a thought that popped up in some general's head early in the morning after having a few too many drinks at an Officers' Club the night before. That appears to have been a detailed set of military plans.
America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."

The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, "the objective is to provide irrevocable proof … that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic]."

Fortunately, none of those fiendish ideas were to become reality as they were rejected by the Kennedy administration.

Many Americans think that no one in a position of power in the US would ever even contemplate intentionally harming his fellow Americans in order to create a pretext for promoting their agenda. That assertion appears to have little foundation. Some pretty powerful people within the defense apparatus are clearly documented to have been thinking along the same lines as those at many other times and in many other places throughout history who had intentionally attacked their own populace in order to convince the public of the perceived enemy's aggressive intents.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Canadian Sovereignty And Missile Defense

Originally published here on 28 February 2005.

It's now clear how the Bush administration sees things: Canadian sovereignty exists only at its pleasure. If we do what Washington wants, we retain our sovereignty. If we don't, all bets are off.

This is what U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci clarified last week in his angered response to Paul Martin's announcement that Canada won't join the U.S. missile defence scheme. Cellucci noted that Washington would simply deploy its anti-missile system over Canadian airspace anyway, and expressed puzzlement over Canada's decision to "in effect, give up its sovereignty."

No doubt the Soviets felt similar puzzlement as they rolled into Czechoslovakia in 1968. What's with these crazy Czechs? Don't they get it? All they have to do is co-operate with Moscow and they can retain their "sovereignty."

Writes Linda McQuaig in her article about the diplomatic row between Washington and Ottawa over the issue of the "missile shield". A very apt article, in my opinion. She is probably also right when she says,
...Canada's gutsy refusal to go along was the right move — and one that, incidentally, will win us higher standing in the world.

It is also interesting,- and, may I say, telling,- how many writers, seemingly independently of each other, allude to the Soviet times as they assess the Bush Administration and US foreign policy of today.

Could This Be Part of What Sibel Edmonds Can Not Talk About?

Originally published here on 19 August 2004.

Sibel Edmonds is a former FBI translator who has a lot to say. She would say more if she weren't gagged by the US Department of Justice. Even what she managed to say should arouse your curiosity if truth about 9/11 and our counter-terrorism efforts is of interest to you.

Daniel Hopsicker is a journalist whom I tend to view with some skepticism. Maybe, it is just me, but he seems to have too much of a knack for finding lots and lots of sensational connections,- some of which I tend to think don't amount to much. You can find various publications of his here. However, in this article of his, he may be on to something. In the article Sibel Edmonds is quoted extensively and the content seems to match things Edmonds either does not know, or is not allowed to properly describe.

I have read a number of publications both describing Edmonds and authored by her. I have written about her before (follow these links:1, 2). I believe her to be credible. She may be given to exaggerating facts, she may be bitter, but I do not believe that she is given to either lying or hallucinating. While a lot of facts are still missing, I believe that the story of Sibel Edmonds is an important one, the one to stay on and follow. And, like I said before, what Daniel Hopsicker is describing may indeed be factually correct,- and directly related to Edmonds' disclosures.

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