Sunday, December 28, 2008

Israeli Airstrikes Kill Hundreds In Gaza

After months of a sickeningly brutal blockade, in which more than a million people have been deprived of life's essentials, the blockaders have escalated the "conflict".

The first wave of "retaliation" was a series of airstrikes in which -- according to reports -- 60 warplanes attacked 50 targets, killing more than 200 people and injuring at least 400 others.

The assault continues even now, with threats of more air attacks and a world-wide propaganda campaign against the victims.

The "elected" "leaders" of many western nations are disgorging the propaganda, and major "news" services are catapulting it, with the usual assistance from the blogosphere, including some allegedly dissident elements [to which I would be ashamed to link].

We can expect every Israeli action to be explained as a "reaction" to an endless series of provocations, for which the Telegraph gives some context:
Nine Israeli civilians have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza since [...] September 2005.

Over the same period, at least 1,400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces in Gaza, according to figures compiled by B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights group.
According to the Guardian,
The raids [...] took place mid-morning rather than at night [...] Some of the missiles struck densely populated areas as children were leaving school. Parents rushed into the streets to search for them.
Civilians rushed wounded people in cars and vans to hospitals because there weren't enough ambulances to transport all the dead and wounded.

"There are heads without bodies .... There's blood in the corridors. People are weeping, women are crying, doctors are shouting, " said nurse Ahmed Abdel Salaam from Shifa Hospital, Gaza's main treatment center.

"There is a time for calm and there is a time for fighting, and now is the time for fighting," said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, vowing to expand the operation if necessary.
With an Israeli election just six weeks away, it will almost certainly be "necessary".

It will be done "properly", too, as Ha'aretz notes [via the Angry Arab]:
"Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Saturday instructed the Foreign Ministry to take emergency measures to adapt Israel's international public relations to the ongoing escalation in the Gaza Strip. Livni instructed senior ministry officials to open an aggressive and diplomatic international public relations campaign, in order to gain greater international support for Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip."
UPDATE: The horror and the propaganda continue, as Israel pounds Gaza for a second day.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas And The GWOT [3]: Sell Your Stocks And Run

There's something incomparably obscene about being at war at Christmas -- let alone a war of choice, let alone a war with religious underpinnings that's billed as just and righteous, but -- like all the wars of my lifetime -- just happens to be about money, and power, and oil ...

... all of which takes me back to one of the first posts I ever wrote for this humble and frozen blog, four years ago today:
Some days I just cannot get past the utter depravity of it all. We've got cold-blooded mass murder; routine torture; blind, blinded, blinding patriotism; and a media-inspired madness that has self-described Christians clamoring for all manner of grotesque and inhuman cruelty. Merry Christmas to all.

And it gets worse: Now we're supposed to believe that this horror is justified by the president's claim that God speaks through him. Oh really? What kind of God would tell anyone to do this? What kind of America would allow it?

Words fail me. Or at least, I don't have any more words of my own.

Listen to Pye Dubois, writing for Max Webster:

Oh War

Oh war, it's been done before
that's what they say
I wasn't there, they say there's one today
I don't care, I'm not there today

'cause I'd say "fuck you" instead of "thank you"
your choice under your breath
oh say go to hell
I'll go American express

Oh war, history says you're in it
your sister's boyfriend's in it
so so long, soldier,
wash your socks and guns
and just remember
if you don't see a profit,
sell your stocks and run

'cause I'd say "fuck you" instead of "thank you"
your choice under your breath
oh say no to hell
I'll go American express
It's especially dismal to see how little has changed in those four years, and how much of the so-called anti-war opposition has become pro-Obama and therefore meaningless -- or worse!

But there's nothing left but to keep going.

Best wishes to all my online friends.

Don't Stand Underneath When They Fly By

Christmas this year, for me and my family, is tinged with exceptional sadness, as it is for so many families around the world. But it is also a time of hope and love and therefore, perhaps, even some humor ... and therefore I give you the finest seasonal ditty ever written, in my humble and frosty estimation:

From the pen and piano of a young Tom Lehrer, here's "A Christmas Carol":
Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly.
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don't say when.

Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens.
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again.

On Christmas Day you can't get sore,
Your fellow man you must adore.
There's time to rob him all the more
The other three hundred and sixty-four.

Relations, sparing no expense, 'll
Send some useless old utensil,
Or a matching pen and pencil.
("Just the thing I need, how nice!")

It doesn't matter how sincere it is,
Nor how heart felt the spirit,
Sentiment will not endear it,
What's important is the price.

Hark, the Herald Tribune sings,
Advertising wondrous things.
God rest ye merry merchants,
May ye make the Yuletide pay.
Angels we have heard on high,
Tell us to go out and buy!

So, let the raucous sleigh bells jingle,
Hail our dear old friend Kris Kringle,
Driving his reindeer across the sky.
Don't stand underneath when they fly by.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas And The GWOT [2]: Personal Salvation And National Destruction

In my previous post, "Christmas And The GWOT", I wrote about not wanting to celebrate Christmas in the midst of the Glorious War On Terror, and readers responded with many interesting comments of their own. Most were well-informed and well-meaning, as far as I could tell; yet virtually all of them missed the point I was trying to make. And that tells me I didn't make the point at all.

One comment said I was "conflating Christmas with the crazies' war on the universe". As I understand the meaning of the term "conflate", I wasn't doing that at all. Perhaps I should have been.

Other comments mentioned commercialism and the weather; still others attempted to raise my spirits. And I appreciate the sentiments. But my spirits don't need a boost.

My disenchantment with Christmas doesn't stem primarily from my aversion to the crass commercial consumerism with which the season manifests itself each year. Nor does it have much to do with the weather.

Yes, it's the cold, dark, damp season; but fortunately my family and I usually manage to stay warm and dry. And yes, the plastic crap is everywhere and the advertising is atrocious, just like every year only worse; but I've been avoiding that for my whole life and nothing is different about it now.

I think I'm mostly feeling alienated from Christmas during the GWOT because of what goes on in church.

My stand against the GWOT is based on hard-earned knowledge and understanding, and also on what I thought were firm moral Christian principles. Principles like "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not steal" and "Thou shalt not bear false witness"; little things like that.

These are the sorts of things -- other than my family -- that bring me to church. I want to hear the preacher say "Thou Shalt Not Kill!" and I want to hear it loud, in the widest context possible.

I want to hear him say, as Barack Obama's suddenly jettisoned former pastor Jeremiah Wright put it, "Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. Terrorism begets terrorism."

I want to hear a long-winded explication of Matthew 25:31-46, the passage where Jesus says:
[31] When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: [32] And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats: [33] And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

[34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: [35] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: [36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

[37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink? [38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]? [39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

[40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.

[41] Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: [42] For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: [43] I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

[44] Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

[45] Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me. [46] And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
I want to be reminded that what I do to the least of my fellow humans, I also to do God. I want to be told that every week. I want to remember it every day. And I want everyone else to be reminded of it as well.

But -- even though I attend what may be the most "enlightened" Christian church in the area -- I never hear anything of the sort.

Instead I hear John 3:16. And I hear it over and over and over:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
I hear it in its shorter forms, and I hear it in longer forms as well. No matter what the subject of the week happens to be, the preacher almost always gets around to telling us:
If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died to pay the wages of your sin, then you can ask him into your life, and He will dwell in your heart and become your personal Savior. And all your sins will be cleansed by His blood and you will be assured of a place in Heaven.
Sometimes he tells us that in Christianity -- alone among all the world religions -- salvation comes through faith, not works. He says we cannot earn salvation through good deeds because we are all sinners; but instead we can be granted salvation through God's grace, not because of our deeds but because of our faith.

The main attraction of Heaven, of course, is eternal life, which is held to be much more "real" than our troubled but temporary life here on Earth. And to some -- most? -- believers, life here on the planet seems to be more or less meaningless.

If you'll forgive me for saying so, I've never been much impressed by the promise of eternal life. I figure when the time comes for me to die, I'll have had about as much of life as I can handle. I've had almost enough already. And I'd be quite content to die and decompose, like the worms in the garden. Such is life, as I see it. But apparently I'm unusual.

Perhaps because I'm not bowled over by the product on offer, I go to church with my shields and filters on -- the same as I live the rest of my life. I don't take every word as "gospel truth" -- even if it comes from one of the Gospels (John 3:16, for instance) -- but I do listen carefully. I notice the things that are missing (like Matthew 25); and I notice the things that have changed.

When I was young, we never heard any talk about Jesus as a "personal Savior" -- of course we didn't have personal computers back then, or personal trainers either. The modern emphasis on the personal aspect of Christianity -- the idea that you must have a personal relationship with Jesus so he can become your personal Savior -- makes Jesus out to be something of a personal trainer for the soul. It also helps to separate us as individuals from the groups to which we belong, formally or otherwise.

The undeniable good we do as a congregation is always congratulated, but the equally undeniable harm we do as part of a larger group is never mentioned.

Whenever the subject of the GWOT is touched on, it's always a shame that the war has been going on for so long, and that our soldiers are being killed. The fact that we're not winning is never in the picture; but it's never very far away, either.

On the other hand, the damage we are doing -- cold-blooded murder, relentless torture, bombing weddings and funerals ... none of this is ever part of the discussion; it's not in the picture; it's not near the picture; it's not near the frame; it's not even in the gallery.

Personally, I'm a bit dubious of the value of eternal life, and somewhat skeptical of the promise, as well, so even though I go to church regularly, I tend to see everything a bit differently than those around me do.

Many of them seem to feel -- and some have told me explicitly -- that they will bear any injury in silence, trusting in their final reward, which will compensate for all the pain they have suffered, pain which in "the big picture" is more or less meaningless.

There are a couple of problems here. First, we have a recipe for becoming and remaining oppressed. Those who will bear any injury in silence will continue to suffer further injuries. Of that there is no doubt.

Worse: if you believe the pain you have suffered is meaningless, it doesn't take much of a leap to conclude that the pain you have inflicted is meaningless as well.

Then there's this: if you believe in Jesus, if He has become your personal Savior, if His death has already paid the wages of the sins you committed, and the sins you have yet to commit, then you can do anything you want -- and you needn't feel guilty about anything.

Thus the great promise of Christmas has been transmuted into a justification for national psychopathy.

By reducing the rich and complex message provided by the life of Christ to a single verse, and by ignoring everything else, including all the most powerful words spoken by Jesus himself, we can be assured of our personal salvation, even while destroying one nation after another, including our own.

And that is why I choose not to celebrate.

It's not about commercialism or consumerism.
It's not about the weather.
It's not the cold or the dark.
It's not about any lack of joy in my life.

It's about the insanity.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas And The GWOT

We're rapidly approaching our eighth consecutive wartime Christmas, and I suppose I should be used to the horror of it all by now. But no dice.

I'm not getting used to anything. Instead I'm realizing that I think of Christmas much as I think of the Glorious War On Terror.

I hate it. I wish it were over. And I wish we would never have another one.

Every aspect of Christmas during wartime strikes me as gross and disgusting and totally perverted; or perhaps I should say it strikes me as even more gross, disgusting and perverted than it does in peacetime.

This year in particular:

I do not wish to give or receive any gifts.
I do not wish to chop down any trees and bring them into my house.
I do not wish to hang any lights or ornaments.
I do not wish to buy or consume any seasonal foods or beverages.
I do not wish to host or attend any festive gatherings.
I do not wish to visit or be visited by anyone.
And I'm tired of being sneered at because none of these things appeal to me.

I feel exactly the same way about the Glorious War crimes: the noble war crimes that are still going on in Afghanistan and Iraq, the proxy war crime that is still going on in Somalia, the mostly undeclared war crime being waged against Pakistan, the threats of unprovoked war crimes against Iran and Venezuela, the clandestine war crimes being waged against most of Africa, and most of South America, and big parts of Asia, and so on, and on and on ... and that's not to mention the home front: the war against the Constitution, the war against your job, the war against your savings, and especially the war that's being waged against the truth -- not only by the government and the complicit major media but by much of the so-called "independent" media as well.

I look around and I see all this and I just don't see anything worth celebrating.

It's all gross and perverted ... and the people who revel in it disgust me to no end.

I understand that there's no analytical value in any of this; it won't help anyone to overthrow any tyrants or to throw off any chains. But if you find yourself feeling exceptionally repulsed by all the festivities this Christmas, it might help you to know you're not alone.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Double Cover [5]: Lining Up The Suspects

Previously in this series, I explained how we know that last month's attacks in Mumbai, India, were a well-coordinated false-flag commando raid, and I wrote:
In reality-based situations [...] the analysis of such a horrible crime would begin with the known facts, and it would proceed in a systematic fashion, from the knowns to the unknowns.
We could turn to stone waiting for mainstream analysts to do this, so we may as well do it ourselves.

He's Making A List

Using the modus operandi of the attacks as a guide, we can certainly make a list of suspects. And using what we know about the attacks and their aftermath, we might even be able to eliminate some suspects from our list.

The Deccan Mujahideen: the Indian terrorist group which claimed responsibility for the attacks. No terror "expert" had ever heard of such a group.

al Qaeda: initially blamed for the attacks, later blamed for inspiring them; al Qaeda has a long history of taking the blame for atrocities which they could not possibly have committed. But at the same time, al Qaeda has a long history of atrocities.

Lashkar-e-Toiba: the Pakistani-based terrorist group currently blamed for the attacks (also rendered as "Lashkar-e-Taiba", "Lashkar", "LeT", "L-e-T" or "LET").

ISI: the Pakistani intelligence service, some elements of which allegedly support LeT and other terrorist networks, including JeM and al Qaeda.

CIA: of all the US intelligence agencies, the one with most experience staging clandestine operations in foreign countries, including commando raids and false flag attacks.

Mossad: Israeli intelligence, whose clandestine arm is made up of the world's most sophisticated commandos. Mossad has become famous for the planning and execution of very complex operations, and also for outrageously brazen risk-taking.

The Pentagon's P2OG: the US department of "defense", having publicly announced a policy of fomenting terrorism by infiltrating terror groups and instigating attacks, is now a legitimate suspect in every major terrorist event.

MI6: British foreign intelligence, known to have fomented troubles in Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the remnants of the British Empire.

Indian Muslims: a small minority of the Indian population, oppressed by the Hindu majority; blamed for providing assistance to the terrorists, especially by those who hold LeT responsible.

Hindu Zionists: another small Indian minority, blamed for giving the terrorists inside help, by those who see the hand of Mossad behind the attacks.

Indian Intelligence: in any terrorist attack, one must consider the actions of the counter-terrorists in the country where the attacks took place; in this case we don't have to look very hard for signs of negligence, or even potential complicity.

He's Checking It Twice

Our next questions should be: Have we missed anyone? Based on the evidence that has come to light, can we eliminate anyone? And, again based on that evidence, can we promote any of our suspects to the top of the list?

But before we try to answer these questions, we should be completely clear on one vital point: We're looking at a conspiracy. The planning for these attacks was done in secret. More than one individual was involved. "Conspiracy Theories" are not out of the question in this case; on the contrary: they are all we have. This is an enormous and complicated crime, and it didn't happen all by itself.

Based on the available historical evidence, we must reject the idea that clandestine intelligence organizations are always and everywhere opposed to one another. Based on further historical evidence, we must also reject the idea that western intelligence agencies are always and everywhere opposed to terrorist groups. (This should not be difficult, especially since we find it so easy to believe that eastern intelligence agencies are heavily engaged in supporting terrorists.)

In other words, evidence implicating one of our suspects does not necessarily exonerate any of the others.

Gonna Find Out Who's Naughty And Nice

This is the easy part. They're all naughty.


to be continued...

Double Cover [1]: Nothing Can Ever Be The Same
Double Cover [2]: What Is A Commando Raid?
Double Cover [3]: What Is A False Flag Attack?
Double Cover [4]: Beyond Ridiculous

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More Collateral Women And Children, This Time In San Diego

Grace and Rachel Yoon were killed on Monday when a fighter jet crashed into their San Diego home. Grace was 15 months old; Rachel wasn't yet two months.

Their mother, Young Mi, and her mother, Suk Im Kim, were also killed.

Dong Yun Yoon lost his daughters, his wife, and his mother-in-law, as well as his home.

According to the Los Angeles Times,
"I believe my wife and two babies and mother-in-law are in heaven with God," Yoon said at a news conference afterward. "Nobody expected such a horrible thing to happen, especially right here, our house."
Yoon said he bore no ill will toward the Marine Corps pilot who ejected safely before the jet plunged into the neighborhood two miles west of the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. "I pray for him not to suffer for this action," Yoon said. "I know he's one of our treasures for our country."

One can only imagine how many treasures our country would need if any of our so-called enemies actually had an Air Force.

All these photos were published by the LA Times. You can see them and many more here.

This is us, fighting a fireball with a garden hose.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

From The Mouths Of Terrorists: The Poisonous Truth

Two weeks ago we were talking about the most recent terror propaganda from friends of Mossad and the CIA, an "al Qaeda video" in which al Qaeda's purported number two man, Ayman al-Zawahri, spoke some uncomfortable truths about our transformative new President-elect, Barack Obama.

Zawahri [whose name often appears as Zawahiri in our bizarre western media], referred to Obama as a "house slave". It was a historical reference to pre-Civil War days when white Americans in the land of the free could legally own black Americans; those who worked in the mansions were typically more docile, and more inclined to do the bidding of their owners, than those who worked in the fields.

The video came to us via Rita Katz and the SITE Intelligence Group, which was called the SITE Institute until Katz' only partner left her holding the phony intelligence bag. It was the latest in a long line of questionable videos, some of which Katz has obtained before they appeared on the Islamist websites which SITE allegedly monitors.

Zawahri's comments about Obama were portrayed as racial insults, whereas the criticisms themselves were political in nature. Zawahri wasn't putting Obama down for being black; he was talking about Obama's agenda, his loyalties, his plans for our future -- all of which Obama has spelled out very clearly. Unfortunately, most of Obama's supporters haven't been listening very closely; otherwise Zawahri's comments would have been seen as insightful rather than insulting.

The Zawahri video was apparently intended to mark territory: now anyone who points out the various ways in which Barack Obama is doing the bidding of his owners can be branded a terrorist sympathizer, if not an outright terrorist.

Furthermore, the ties that bind Katz and SITE to the Bush administration, Israeli intelligence and the American media are becoming increasingly clear. But still -- even with all this in full view -- the propaganda is apparently having the desired effect.

Thus, shortly after the video was released, CNN reported: U.S. Muslim leaders denounce al Qaeda's slur toward Obama
Spiritual leaders of New York's African-American Muslim communities lashed out Friday at a purported al Qaeda message attacking President-elect Barack Obama and, using racist language, comparing him unfavorably to the late Malcolm X.

The imams called the recorded comments from al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri "an insult" from people who have "historically been disconnected from the African-American community generally and Muslim African-Americans in particular."

"We find it insulting when anyone speaks for our community instead of giving us the dignity and the honor of speaking for ourselves," they said in a statement read during a news conference at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial, Educational and Cultural Center.

The al Qaeda statement, an 11-minute, 23-second audio message in Arabic with subtitles in English, appeared on the Internet on Wednesday [November 19]. Its authenticity has not been confirmed.
Heh! That's a laugh! None of the purported al Qaeda videos have ever been confirmed -- nor can they be -- because they are all so clearly bogus.

We're routinely told that al Qaeda hides out in caves in the mountains of Pakistan, and their operational leaders apparently cannot even use cell phones without being targeted; but somehow their chief propaganda agent has regular access to high-tech production studios?

None of it makes any sense, except as a black op. And yet ... ABC's Brian Ross, who -- when he's not lying about anthrax -- leaks Katz' videos to the media, told us once that we don't need to be concerned about the authenticity of al Qaeda videos because none of them have ever been shown to be fake.

Ross was speaking about the Osama bin Laden video in which a still image of bin Laden appears for 19 of the 22 minutes.

We could laugh if it weren't so tragic. CNN continues:
The message said Obama represents the "direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X.

The speaker also said Obama, former and current Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and "your likes" fit Malcolm X's description of "house slaves."
The description is a bit lame, though, since Malcolm X never said anything about "house slaves" being war criminals. Obama, Rice and Powell, with their support of the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and various other aspects of the Glorious War on Terror, have done more damage to more people than all the "house slaves" combined could ever have dreamt of. CNN goes on to spin a little on the history of Malcolm X, and why not? Most of CNN's readers never knew anything about him.
Malcolm X, the fiery African-American Muslim activist from the 1950s and 1960s, was an early member and leader of the Nation of Islam. He left that group in 1963 over disillusionment with its then-leader, Elijah Muhammed, but remained a Muslim.

After months of death threats, he was assassinated in 1965 by members of the Nation of Islam, who shot him 16 times at close range. The three men who were convicted of the crime have been paroled.
As well as being a "fiery leader", Malcolm X was also an honorable man, who worked to improve the lot of others. Like many "radical leaders" of his time, Malcolm X was horrified about the role his country had chosen for itself on the world stage. Standing up against state-sponsored mass murder was seen as "radical" in those days. And some things haven't changed a bit. But CNN won't tell you that.

There is also substantial evidence implicating government agents in the murder of Malcolm X. CNN won't tell you about that, either.
On Friday, Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid, recalling Malcolm X's legacy, said that he "stood for human rights and the principle of self defense ... international law. He would have rejected, and we who are Muslim African-Americans leaders reject, acts of political extremism."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations also condemned Zawahiri's comments in a statement issued Thursday.

"As Muslims and as Americans, we will never let terrorist groups or terror leaders falsely claim to represent us or our faith," the statement said. "We once again repudiate al Qaeda's actions, rhetoric and world view and re-state our condemnation of all forms of terrorism and religious extremism."
You can see the American Muslim leaders squirming in their boots. They can't repudiate what Zawarhi actually said without exposing themselves as "house negroes", so they attack on false premises, saying things such as "We find it insulting when anyone speaks for our community instead of giving us the dignity and the honor of speaking for ourselves" and "We will never let terrorist groups or terror leaders falsely claim to represent us or our faith".

Zawarhi wasn't speaking for any community, nor was he claiming to represent anyone. He was just telling the truth about the President-elect. But that truth is obviously poisonous.

The Nature Of The Poison

Zawahri himself (accidentally) threw a bright light on the nature of the poison, in an interview which Juan Cole quoted on September 11, 2008. [I've added emphasis and inserted comments in square brackets]:
[Q:] Do you have any advice or any words to refute the argument of the theoreticians [conspiracy theorists] who claim that 9/11 was an internal action [inside job] carried out by the Israeli Government?

Al-Zawahiri: My answer: It is enough to reply to this suspicion by saying that it is not based on any evidence. [denial]

The first side that released this suspicion was Al-Manar Television, which is affiliated with the Lebanese Hizballah. It claimed that it cited a certain website. [shoot the messenger] The objective behind this lie is clear. The objective is to deny that the Sunnis have heroes who harm America as no one has harmed it throughout its history. [sheer speculation, based on a story we know is false] This lie was then circulated by the Iranian news media and they continued to repeat it until today for the same objective. [shoot the messenger again] Perhaps, they guided Al-Manar Television to begin these lies. [more speculation] Iran's objective is clear. It is to cover its collusion with America in invading the homelands of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. [another red herring]

I gave examples of this collusion in my recent interview with Al-Sahab under the title "reading in the events." This lie was then repeated by some of the psychologically defeated ones in our Islamic world, whose minds, which were distorted by Western exaggeration, refuse to believe that some Muslims can cause this harm to America. [ad hominem] These poor minds have thus far not been able to understand why America is defeated in Afghanistan and Iraq in front of the simple mujahidin [red herring], and, in fact, why America has failed to arrest Mulla Mohammad Omar and Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, may God watch over them, after more than six years of fierce war, during which it used all means of technology, which caused us a headache about its legendary capabilities. [au contraire! The weak-minded theoreticians understand very well that the American terror warriors have no interest in acting against Mullah Omar or Osama bin Laden, who are both, after all, their allies in this massive fraud -- a fraud which would have to stop if they were somehow defeated.] Furthermore, why the power of the mujahidin is growing against it day by day despite this world war that is being launched against them?' [another red herring]
You will note that virtually none of Zawahri's statement has anything to do with the question he was asked.

About this exchange, Juan Cole wrote:
No more eloquent testament to the defeat of the original al-Qaeda could be found than the pitiful inability of Zawahiri to name any genuine accomplishments in recent times save the ability of the top leadership to elude capture!

The Bush administration over-reacted to September 11, misunderstanding it as the action of a traditional state rather than of a small asymmetrical terrorist group. [...]
No kidding? Just an over-reaction? Just a misunderstanding?

Juan Cole is no more willing than Zawahri to discuss the evidence of Israeli complicity in 9/11.

Neither is he willing to call the Bush administration's "over-reaction" what it obviously was: not a reaction at all, but an action -- one that was obviously planned well in advance of the event that "caused it".

It's no wonder Juan Cole has become such a popular and well-respected blogger.

More Poison

If you're looking for more poison, you can get some from At Largely, where on April 16, 2008, Larisa Alexandrovna quoted the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz in a post called "Netanyahu spreading sunshine wherever he goes..."

The Ha'aretz headline reads: "Report: Netanyahu says 9/11 terror attacks good for Israel", and the article says:
"The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.

"We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor."
About this rather blunt admission of Israeli priorities, Larisa wrote:
Very nice. It is bad enough that Antisemites around the world have used the tragedy of 9/11 for their own propaganda purposes to push the lie that Israel was in actuality behind the attacks of September 11. Now Netanyahu has all but underwritten these dangerous talking points with this one, single, and shocking comment. Aside from this, most obvious issue, there are two small problems with Benji's assertions:

1. That 9/11 was good for Israel
2. That US public opinion is with Israel

As I have already noted, antisemitism is on the rise the world over, which is hardly good for Jews in general or Israel in particular. But in addition to that, American Jews are pulling further and further back from Israel thanks in large part to Likud's extremism and its lock-step relationship with Dick Cheney. Joe Lieberman, for example, was a contender for VP before 9/11. Now he is a political outcast by-and-large because of his bed-sharing with Likud and Dick Cheney.
Larisa seems to have missed the larger point, which is that Israel depends on the support of the American government much more than the support of American Jews. Netanyahu can conflate the two; in fact, he must. Americans (and Israelis too) like to pride themselves on the thought that they live in a democracy, so politicians such as Netanyahu must speak of "public opinion" as if it mattered. But it doesn't. Power matters. Military might matters. Israel doesn't care what you think -- as long as you keep electing politicians who swear allegiance to the Israeli flag.

And Israel no longer needs Joe Lieberman -- in the White House, or anywhere else -- since it has benefitted from eight years of "lock-step relationship with Dick Cheney", and can now look forward to a fully pro-Israel Democratic administration, run by the likes of Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Rahm Emanuel.

The missing link from this analysis is the obvious fact that 9/11 was good for the Israeli hard-liners, who until that point had been told quite regularly by their American supporters to restrain their ongoing orgy of violence against the Palestinians. As soon as 9/11 happened, the Israeli gloves came off. And they've been off ever since.

Many of Larisa's readers commented about the evidence of Israeli complicity in 9/11, beginning with Damien, who (among other things) wrote:
There are significant questions about what Israeli Intelligence knew prior to 911 (see 1 | 2 | 3).

There are various accounts of Israeli owned trucks detained on 911 in the Lincoln Tunnel with traces of explosives(1 | 2 | 3 | 4)

There appears to be at least one instance where Israeli Intelligence had previously impersonated al Qaeda operatives:
In February of 2000, Indian intelligence officials detained 11 members of what they thought was an Al Qaeda hijacking conspiracy. It was then discovered that these 11 "Muslim preachers" were all Israeli nationals.
Damien continued:
I have no idea of any Israeli awareness of or participation in 911, but I do know there are significant unanswered questions. If the topic is taboo then the public debate passes immediately into the hands of the rabid Israel haters. I think that would be a tragic outcome for everyone. We need all the answers about 911 and a full, independent inquiry.
I would go quite a bit farther than Damien, and in fact I have done so. See this post for more: Gatekeepers Bury Dancing Israeli Movers And Bogus Art Students On DN!

(See this blog for even more: Plunger Speaks.)

A Double Dose To Start

I now return you to the second week of September, 2001. On September 12, the day after the attacks, the Washington Post ran the following piece by a serial mass murderer, former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger:

Kissinger: Destroy The Network
An attack such as yesterday's requires systematic planning, a good organization, a lot of money and a base. You cannot improvise something like this, and you cannot plan it when you're constantly on the move. Heretofore our response to attacks, and understandably so, has been to carry out some retaliatory act that was supposed to even the scales while hunting down the actual people who did it.

This, however, is an attack on the territorial United States, which is a threat to our social way of life and to our existence as a free society. It therefore has to be dealt with in a different way -- with an attack on the system that produces it.

The immediate response, of course, has to be taking care of casualties and restoring some sort of normal life. We must get back to work almost immediately, to show that our life cannot be disrupted. And we should henceforth show more sympathy for people who are daily exposed to this kind of attack, whom we keep telling to be very measured in their individual responses.

But then the government should be charged with a systematic response that, one hopes, will end the way that the attack on Pearl Harbor ended -- with the destruction of the system that is responsible for it. That system is a network of terrorist organizations sheltered in capitals of certain countries. In many cases we do not penalize those countries for sheltering the organizations; in other cases, we maintain something close to normal relations with them.

It is hard to say at this point what should be done in detail. If a week ago I had been asked whether such a coordinated attack as yesterday's was possible, I, no more than most people, would have thought so, so nothing I say is meant as a criticism. But until now we have been trying to do this as a police matter, and now it has to be done in a different way.

Of course there should be some act of retaliation, and I would certainly support it, but it cannot be the end of the process and should not even be the principal part of it. The principal part has to be to get the terrorist system on the run, and by the terrorist system I mean those parts of it that are organized on a global basis and can operate by synchronized means.

We do not yet know whether Osama bin Laden did this, although it appears to have the earmarks of a bin Laden-type operation. But any government that shelters groups capable of this kind of attack, whether or not they can be shown to have been involved in this attack, must pay an exorbitant price.

The question is not so much what kind of blow we can deliver this week or next. And the response, since our own security was threatened, cannot be made dependent on consensus, though this is an issue on which we and our allies must find a cooperative means of resistance that is not simply the lowest common denominator.

It is something we should do calmly, carefully and inexorably.
If you read this calmly and carefully, especially in light of the events which followed, you can see quite clearly the lies at the heart of our current situation, and who helped to put them there.

When Kissinger says, "any government that shelters groups capable of this kind of attack" must be made to "pay an exorbitant price", he is legitimizing the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive war, especially with his insistence that this price must be paid "whether or not they can be shown to have been involved in this attack".

When he says, "until now we have been trying to do this as a police matter, and now it has to be done in a different way", he is laying the groundwork for the militarization of America, regardless of the facts that 9/11 was a crime, not an act of war, and that it could have been prevented with normal police actions, if the Bush administration hadn't gone to great lengths to prevent any investigation of the impending terrorist attack.

When he talks about "a network of terrorist organizations sheltered in capitals of certain countries", he knows what he's saying. America helped put those organizations in those capitals. But he wouldn't want you to know that.

It turned out that the "threat to our social way of life and to our existence as a free society" has come from our government, not from any "terrorists", and Kissinger's characterization of the attacks as a threat "to our existence as a free society" is as much exaggeration as you are likely to get ... until two sentences later, when Kissinger writes:
And we should henceforth show more sympathy for people who are daily exposed to this kind of attack, whom we keep telling to be very measured in their individual responses.
Aside from the fact that there are no people anywhere who are "daily exposed to this kind of attack", Kissinger's purpose is clear: Hands off Israel!

And it has worked! Israeli leaders came to Washington and said, "There? You see what it's like? We're on the front line of this war. We have to deal with this stuff every day!" And Bush said "We sympathize! You're on the front line of this war. You have to deal with this stuff every day. We sympathize!"

It was a remarkable performance, just what Kissinger had asked for. And rightly so. After all, when you're on a path to global domination, and it's all based on lies, you have to proceed "calmly, carefully and inexorably."

For me, there's only one surprise in the entire piece, and that's the tortured bit of syntax that runs:
If a week ago I had been asked whether such a coordinated attack as yesterday's was possible, I, no more than most people, would have thought so...
His performance on the previous day had been one of the telltale signs that everything was bogus. And then, as we can see, he couldn't even put together a coherent denial.

I always thought Kissinger was a better liar than that. But then again, with all the help he gets, he doesn't really have to be, does he?

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Double Cover [4]: Beyond Ridiculous

Despite the apparent confusion and the obvious media spin, the picture that emerged from the early reporting of the Mumbai attacks was a fairly comprehensible one: a picture of a false flag commando raid.

It was a commando raid, as opposed to a suicide bombing or other forms of terrorist attack; surely that much was clear to everybody. There were multiple commandos and multiple targets, and it was obvious that a great deal of knowledge and skill must have gone into the planning.

But it was also clearly a false flag attack, as the multiple simultaneous attempts to pin the blame (or take the responsibility) made no sense, singly or in combination. Even as the shooting was going on, the Indian government was saying the attackers (whoever they were) had come from outside the country. A "terrorist group" calling itself the "Deccan Mujahideen" had claimed responsibility, but no terror expert had ever heard of such a group.

In reality-based situations (of which this is not one!), the analysis of such a horrible crime would begin with the known facts, and it would proceed in a systematic fashion, from the knowns to the unknowns.

For instance, one might start with the observation that the Mumbai assault was a highly-coordinated commando raid, and then raise the questions: "Who does this sort of thing?" and "Among those who do this sort of thing, who had something to gain by doing this?"

These are questions we never saw asked, let alone answered, in the mainstream media. It seems quite clear to me, and one of the reasons for the title of this series, that they don't ask these questions because they're afraid of the answers. So instead of intelligent, penetrating, appropriate analysis, we got nonsense.

To begin with the official account, let's just say the official account of the attacks makes very little sense. Supposedly there were only ten attackers, and supposedly they attacked in 13 locations more or less simultaneously. Nobody in the mainstream seems prepared to ask how something like this could have happened without inside help. Some analysts pointed out that a high degree of local knowledge must have been required for such an attack, but they went on to conclude that therefore the attackers must have been foreigners. It was difficult to imagine a more counter-intuitive conclusion; but not for long.

Nobody asked: "Who could do this?" or "Who would do this?" Instead they asked: "How did al Qaeda do this?" and "Why did al Qaeda do this?" After a while it became more or less obvious that the Mumbai attacks didn't involve hijacked airplanes crashing into buildings (like al Qaeda in North America) or suicide bombers and car bombs (like al Qaeda in the Middle East). And connecting al Qaeda to these attacks directly became a bit of a problem. So then instead of asking "Who else could have done this?", they began to ask: "How are the perpetrators of this attack connected to al Qaeda?"

Still jubilant over the alleged death of Rashid Rauf, the alleged leader of the so-called Liquid Bombers, who was (or wasn't) killed in Pakistan just four days before the Mumbai attacks began, some terror warriors sought to connect the attacks to the death of the alleged terrorist mastermind and provide a motive at the same time. Thus we were privileged to read that the attacks may have been carried out in revenge for the killing of Rashid Rauf.

Perhaps we could forget -- if only for a moment -- that more than 400 people were killed or wounded in Mumbai, and not one of them had ever harmed Rashid Rauf. Perhaps we could imagine a bizarre terrorist mind in which somehow ordinary Indian citizens were held responsible for American drones dropping Hellfire missiles on alleged terrorists in Pakistan.

But we couldn't bring ourselves to believe that these brazen, coordinated attacks were carried out in revenge for something that had happened only four days earlier. So the terror warriors needed another, slightly plausible, al Qaeda connection.

It didn't take them long to find one. And now British terror warriors are going to India to investigate the possibility that Rashid Rauf may have planned the Mumbai attacks.

As Ben Goldby reported for the Birmingham Mercury News:
Sources have now revealed that [Rashid Rauf] was planning a major attack at the time of his death, and that the Mumbai murders show all the hallmarks of one of Rauf’s “terror spectacular” plots.
Except, of course, for Rashid Rauf's trademark hallmark -- the mission has to be impossible!
The Indian Mujahidin, which carried out a blast in Delhi in September and warned that they would strike next in Mumbai, is understood to have been behind this week’s terror outrage.
Not exactly. But the media are on that theme, and it works well for them, as we will see.
The group is made up of several different militant organisations, the most dangerous of which are the Pakistani-based Kashmiri “freedom” movements Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM).

Rauf was known to have strong links to both organisations.

He married a relative of JEM’s founder and worked with LET to train British jihadis who travelled to Pakistan. London 7/7 bombers Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammed Siddique Khan both studied at an LET madrassa near Lahore in 2004.
Here again, Goldby gets ahead of the facts. There has never been any public proof that the alleged London 7/7 bombers were anything but patsies. There has never been any public proof of any aspect of the London 7/7 story. But the alleged 7/7 bombers aren't even called "alleged" anymore; they're just "the 7/7 bombers". Of course, being dead, they can't do much about it.
Last night, a terror expert told the Sunday Mercury: “It is understood that this attack in Mumbai is the work of the Indian Mujahidin, based on plans and support from Kashmiri groups based in Pakistan.

“The planning seems to have been done by an Islamist militant group called Lashkar-e-Toiba and they have close links to other Kashmiri fighters including Jaish-e-Mohammed.

“In Rashid Rauf we have a man who dreamed up an alleged plot to blow up 10 transatlantic planes. We know he plotted spectacular attacks and we know that we was planning a terror operation when he was killed.

“This attack in Mumbai, with the synchronised terror strikes in multiple locations, is certainly consistent with his approach to militant tactics.”
It's not consistent with anything we know about the so-called Liquid Bomb plot, but our anonymous sources aren't letting facts get in the way of a good story -- except in one important respect.

The source says Rashid Rauf dreamed up "an alleged plot", and the reason for this particular qualifier is clear -- because the alleged plotters have already been tried and the jury refused to convict them. The jury didn't believe that the alleged plotters were plotting to blow up 10 transatlantic planes. The jury didn't believe they were plotting to blow up even one transatlantic plane. In other words, the jury believed the allegations were false. But those allegations are still treated as if they were untested. How utterly unremarkable!

But it would be remarkable if Rashid Rauf had planned the assault on Mumbai. For the terror warriors, it would be remarkably fortunate, because then they could claim to have scored a major victory in the war on terror, and they could more confidently ignore their critics, who say that dropping Hellfire on anybody -- especially somebody who has never been convicted of a crime -- is more like terrorism than justice.

But it would be even more remarkable in another sense. Last week at this time we were reading about how Rashid Rauf was killed along with a couple of the other top-level al Qaeda masterminds, who drew attention to the mud bungalow in which they were meeting, by using a mobile phone.

So now we're supposed to forget that, too, and we're supposed to believe that a tightly coordinated commando raid, an assault on 13 targets in a foreign country, was planned by a mastermind who couldn't even use a cell phone without being monitored -- and murdered.


to be continued ...

Double Cover [1]: Nothing Can Ever Be The Same
Double Cover [2]: What Is A Commando Raid?
Double Cover [3]: What Is A False Flag Attack?

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Monday, December 1, 2008

If It's Not Corporate TV, Then What Is It?

What is it, indeed? It's Not Corporate TV, a sharp new set of interlocking video blogs, with interesting entries in each of the following categories:

Project For The New American Century
Iran, Iraq, the Petrodollar
Bogus Terror Propaganda
John Pilger Documentaries
Mainstream Corporate Media and Propaganda
Electronic Voting

For instance, on the "Bogus Terror Propaganda" page, you can watch a piece called The Origin and Myth of 'Al Qaeda'. It's an excerpt from the BBC series The Power Of Nightmares, and it's well worth the ten minutes it will take you to watch it.

That's just one example, and there's much more, including links to some very fine blogs! It's nothing like the corporate TV you're used to, if you're used to corporate TV. And that's why it's Not Corporate TV -- bright, honest, and very well done!

Ha ha! One for the good guys!!

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Double Cover [3]: What Is A False Flag Attack?

We continue our look at mainstream coverage of the Mumbai attacks:

Michael Evans of the Times:
The group that claimed to be behind last night’s attacks on Bombay -- the Deccan Mujahideen — has not hitherto been heard of in India, let alone in the outside world.
Boston Globe:
An e-mail message to Indian media outlets taking responsibility for the attacks said the militants were from a group called Deccan Mujahedeen. The word "Deccan" refers to a plateau in southern India, and "Mujahedeen" refers to holy warriors. Almost universally, analysts and intelligence officials said that name was unknown.

Deccan is a neighborhood of the Indian city of Hyderabad. The word also describes the middle and south of India, which is dominated by the Deccan Plateau. But the combination of the two words, said Gohel, is a "front name. This group is nonexistent."

"It's even unclear whether it's a real group or not," said Bruce Hoffman, a professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the author of the book "Inside Terrorism."
Somini Sengupta for the New York Times:
A group calling itself the Deccan Mujahedeen said it had carried out the attacks. It was not known who the group is or whether the claim was real.
Al Jazeera:
the Indian media, citing unidentified police investigators, reported on Friday that three alleged attackers had confessed to being members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based group which aims to end Indian rule in Kashmir.

Lashkar-e-Taiba, which means army of God, had earlier denied any role in the attacks.

The Hindu newspaper said interrogation of the suspects revealed that Lashkar operatives had left Karachi in Pakistan in a merchant ship early on Wednesday and went ashore at Mumbai on a small boat before splitting up into teams to attack multiple locations.
The Indian navy, stepping up patrols on the country's western coast after the attack, was questioning the crew of the MV Alpha, a ship they detained with the help of the Indian coast guard, British authorities said. The authorities said they believe the attacks originated from this ship, which they believe is from Karachi, Pakistan.

The British authorities also said three speedboats -- carrying weapons and militants -- traveled along the Indian coast from the ship to Mumbai and launched the attack.

However, Karachi police said have no evidence the attackers departed from their city, Waseem Ahmad, the police chief, said.

All Signs Point To Al Qaeda

Michael Evans of the Times:
The multiple attacks on Westerners in Bombay last night showed all the signs of an al-Qaeda strategy — picking on vulnerable Western “soft targets” but not in a country where there would be maximum security.
Michael Evans of the UK Times:
Bombay has been targeted before when 180 people died during a bomb attack on the railway station in 2006, but that incident was put down to militants, not al-Qaeda, and the Indian government suspected that the attackers had links to Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI.

This attack, however, involving the taking of Western hostages made it more likely that the operation’s masterminds were from the core leadership of al-Qaeda, which is based in the lawless tribal regions close to the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.
[A] British security official told the AP on condition of anonymity that the attack doesn't look to have been directed by al-Qaida's core leadership, which has been weakened by the deaths of several leaders and key operatives in recent months.

Al-Qaida's core leadership is believed to be fewer than 100 people now, said Rohan Gunaratna, author of "Inside Al-Qaida" and a terrorism expert at the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore.
Boston Globe:
Christine Fair, senior political scientist and a South Asia expert at the RAND Corporation, was careful to say that the identity of the terrorists could not yet be known. But she insisted the style of the attacks and the targets in Mumbai suggested the militants were likely to be Indian Muslims and not linked to Al Qaeda or Lashkar-e-Taiba, another violent South Asian terrorist group.

"There's absolutely nothing Al Qaeda-like about it," she said of the attack. "Did you see any suicide bombers? And there are no fingerprints of Lashkar. They don't do hostage-taking and they don't do grenades."

Timing And Motive

Keith Bradsher and Somini Sengupta for the International Herald Tribune:
The suspicions raised by the attack seemed a blow to relations between India and Pakistan, which had been recovering from a low earlier this year after India blamed the Pakistani intelligence agency for abetting the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan.
A CNN report said the attacks came just after Asif Ali Zardari, the new Pakistani president, went farther than any of his predecessors in expressing a desire for better ties with India. Zardari was quoted as saying he would even like to see the two nuclear powers jointly fight terrorism.


"We condemn these attacks and the loss of innocent life," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.


The Israeli defense establishment Thursday avoided stating explicitly if the attack on Chabad House in Mumbai was planned or coincidental. One scenario raised was that the terrorists arrived there randomly while fleeing after an exchange of gunfire with Mumbai police. It is also possible that Chabad was targeted as part of an attack in which hotels were "marked" as points for the abduction and murder of Western tourists, centrally American and British citizens.
Israeli forces were believed to be involved in the rescue attempt at the Jewish centre. "The Israelis are the ones who are running the show," one diplomatic source told AFP.
Israel sent a number of intelligence officers to India Thursday to assist in analyzing the major terrorist attack on Mumbai.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak Thursday offered India security, intelligence and humanitarian aid in dealing with the situation.

It appears the Indian government is not interested in high profile security assistance from Israel. Throughout the day, the Homefront Command prepared to send an aid delegation to India, but efforts were halted when it became clear that Mumbai was not enthusiastic about the prospect.


Daily Express [UK]:
A police source [...] suggested that the attack could have been revenge for the killing of Rashid Rauf, a British Al Qaeda chief blown up by the US last week.
That's a good one. I'd take that bet!

This carefully planned and coordinated assault could have been revenge for an alleged killing that happened (if it did happen) just four days earlier.

Yes! Exactly! Now I understand!!


the series continues here:
Double Cover [4]: Beyond Ridiculous

Double Cover [1]: Nothing Can Ever Be The Same
Double Cover [2]: What Is A Commando Raid?

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Double Cover [2]: What Is A Commando Raid?

Coordinated Terror Attacks

Here are some brief snippets from more-or-less randomly selected mainstream news reports pertaining to the Mumbai attacks. I have added the emphasis.

New York Times:
Coordinated terrorist attacks struck the heart of Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, on Wednesday night, killing dozens in machine-gun and grenade assaults on at least two five-star hotels, the city’s largest train station, a Jewish center, a movie theater and a hospital.
The NYT has a map showing where the attacks took place -- 13 locations in all.

Who Was Caught By Surprise?

Michael Evans of the [UK] Times:
British security and intelligence sources said there had been increasing concern, particularly in the United States, that a “terrorist spectacular” was on the cards. [...] The Americans have been expecting an atrocity partly because of the recent CIA success in eliminating figures in al-Qaeda, using Predator unmanned drones, firing Hellfire missiles at hideouts in the tribal regions of Pakistan. About a dozen al-Qaeda figures have been killed this year.
Spy agencies around the world were caught off guard by the deadly attack, in which gunmen sprayed crowds with bullets, torched landmark hotels and took dozens of hostages.

"We have been actively monitoring plots in Britain and abroad and there was nothing to indicate something like this was about to happen," a British security official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of his work.

Britain is the former colonial power in India and Pakistan and closely monitors terrorist suspects in those countries.
"This type of terrorism is spreading, through Pakistan and now India, but we were all surprised by such a large-scale attack like this," said Wajid Hassan, Pakistan's High Commissioner in London. "This is no coincidence that this type of attack happened so soon after the bombing of the Marriott Hotel. People from all countries are being paid to fight this al-Qaida war. This is a war that goes beyond any nationality."

How Many Attackers Were There?

Al Jazeera:
An estimated 100 armed men launched what India police called "terrorist attacks" on 10 locations in India's financial centre.
The identity of the attackers remained a mystery. CNN-IBN quoted police sources as saying they believed there were some 26 gunmen, most of them young.

What Happened?

Police say the attackers came by boats to the waterfront near the Gateway of India monument.

Nine suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks, and seven are fishermen, police said. Police also found a boat loaded with explosives near the Taj Mahal, also located on the waterfront.

The gunmen hijacked cars -- including a police van -- and split into at least three groups to carry out the attacks, police said.

One group headed toward the Cafe Leopold, a popular hangout for Western tourists, firing indiscriminately at passers-by on the street. They then opened fire and lobbed grenades at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, a Victorian building.

As police rushed to the scene of the attacks, gunmen attacked the Cama Hospital.

Two other groups attacked the Oberoi and Taj Mahal, police said.
The gunmen appear to have come ashore at the Sassoon Docks, not far from the Leopold. They moved on to the train station, the old Victoria Terminus, and then opened fire on Cama and Albless Hospital — where some of their earlier victims encountered a second round of gunfire. At one point, the gunmen hijacked a police vehicle and opened fire on journalists and spectators gathered near a famous theater, the Metro Cinema.

Witnesses and security camera video of the gunmen built a portrait of them as young men dressed in jeans and trendy T-shirts, bearing rucksacks and guns. It remained unclear who they were, what they wanted, or how many survived.

Who Were The Targets?

Boston Globe:
Several witnesses said the gunmen demanded to see passports from cornered guests, separating American and British tourists from the others.
"I guess they were after foreigners, because they were asking for British or American passports," said Rakesh Patel, a British witness who lives in Hong Kong and was staying at the Taj Mahal hotel on business. "They had bombs."
New York Times:
Rakesh Patel, a British businessman who escaped the Taj, told a television station that two young men armed with a rifle and a machine gun took 15 hostages, forcing them to the roof.

The gunmen, dressed in jeans and T-shirts, “were saying they wanted anyone with British or American passports,” Mr. Patel said.
Al Jazeera:
Witnesses at the hotels that were targeted said the attackers had singled out British and American citizens.

"They kept shouting: 'Who has US or UK passports?'" Ashok Patel, a British citizen who fled from the Taj Mahal hotel, said.

Several European legislators, visiting Mumbai ahead of a European Union-India summit, were among those inside the Taj when it was besieged.
Guests who escaped recounted how the gunmen had methodically tried to round up US and British citizens.

"They said they wanted anyone with British and American passports," said one Briton, Rakesh Patel.
New York Times:
Alex Chamberlain, a British citizen who was dining at the Oberoi, told Sky News television that a gunman ushered 30 to 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and, speaking in Hindi or Urdu, ordered everyone to put up their hands.

"They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?' and he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything' — and thank God they didn't," he said.
Alex Chamberlain, a sports website director, escaped from the hotel through a fire exit. The militants ordered everyone upstairs, told them to put their hands up and asked if there were any British or Americans, he said. "My friend said to me: 'Don't be a hero, don't say you are British'."
Alex Chamberlain, a Briton who works for Indian Premier League cricket, was in the Oberoi hotel when the attackers opened fire. Chamberlain said that a group of about 40 people was "marched up like sheep" to the roof by a "young guy with a submachine gun, who was about 22 or 23."

The gunmen then asked if any of the hostages were British or American, Chamberlain told

"My Indian friend told me, 'don't be a hero' and 'tell him you're Italian' and that kind of stuff," Chamberlain said.
"They told everybody to stop and put their hands up and asked if there were any British or Americans," Alex Chamberlain, a British guest at the Oberoi/Trident hotel, said after fleeing his captors via a fire escape.

"My friend said to me, 'don't be a hero, don't say you are British.'"
Al Jazeera:
They just fired randomly at people and then ran away.
-- Nasim Inam, at Chhatrapati Shivaji railway terminus
At least three top Indian police officers — including the chief of the anti-terror squad — were among those killed, said A.N. Roy, a top police official.

What Is A Commando Raid?

Somini Sengupta for the New York Times:
Even by the standards of terrorism in India, which has suffered a rising number of attacks this year, the assaults were particularly brazen in scale and execution. [...] Unlike previous attacks in India this year, which consisted of anonymously planted bombs, the assailants on Wednesday night were spectacularly well-armed and very confrontational. In some cases, said the state’s highest-ranking police official, A. N. Roy, the attackers opened fire and disappeared.
Boston Globe:
Security officials and analysts agreed that the assaults represented a marked departure in scope and ambition from other recent terrorist attacks in India, which targeted local people rather than foreigners and hit single rather than multiple targets.

The Mumbai assault, by contrast, was "uniquely disturbing," said Sajjan Gohel, a security specialist in London, because it seemed directed at foreigners, involved hostage-taking, and was aimed at multiple "soft, symbolic targets." The attacks "aimed to create maximum terror and human carnage and damage the economy," he said by phone.

How Much Planning Was Involved?

Boston Globe:
Although Mumbai has been the scene of several terrorist attacks in recent years, analysts said Wednesday's assaults required a previously unseen degree of reconnaissance and planning. The scale and synchronization of the attacks pointed to the probable involvement of experienced commanders, some observers said, suggesting possible foreign involvement.
State media Press Trust of India, citing Union Cabinet Minister Kapil Sibal, reported the gunmen had worked for months to prepare, even setting up "control rooms" in the two luxury hotels that were targeted.
The Times:
Indian officials said that it was too early to say which [group] carried out last night’s attacks, but the scale, complexity and targets suggested that it was the work of an Islamist group.
It may indeed have been the work of an Islamist group. But to my eye, the scale, the complexity and the targets -- combined with the reporting -- suggested that it was something else entirely.


the series continues here:
Double Cover [3]: What Is A False Flag Attack?

Double Cover [1]: Nothing Can Ever Be The Same

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