Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chemical Weapons

Today, April 29th, has been recognised by the United Nations as the first annual day of remembrance for the victims of chemical warfare. Iran, as the target of the largest campaign of chemical warfare ever waged, has hosted a conference to commemorate this occasion.

In 1980, the newly declared Islamic Republic of Iran was invaded by Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Most observers accept that the United States, which was then an important ally of Iraq, urged the attack in an attempt to topple the new and still uncertain Iranian government. Certainly the US government supplied Saddam Hussein with some of the chemical weapons which were used against Iran; the remainder of the chemical weapons were purchased from France and Germany, which also supplied the Iraqi military with tanks, aircraft, and other conventional weapon systems

Iraq declared that during the last 5 years of the war it used against the Iranians roughly 1800 tons of Mustard gas and 750 tons of nerve gas. Note that this is the only documented use of nerve gas which has ever been committed. Let it also be clearly understood that these chemical weapons were not simply used against military units, but primarily against civilian population centers in five Iranian border  provinces. During the course of the eight year war with Iraq, over one million Iranians were attacked with chemical weapons. To this day, 100,000 Iranians are suffering the after-effects of these chemical attacks.

So, dear reader, the next time you're being subjected to another increment in the ongoing barrage of warmongering anti-Iranian propaganda which is inflicted upon us by the Zionist media machine, stop and consider the past for a moment. Think about those untold thousands of dead Iranians, killed with chemical weapons supplied to Iraq by the USA, France, and Germany. And then ask yourself, do you think the Iranians perhaps have some reason for their mistrust?

(Open Salon readers can watch the video here)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Agonies of Shame

A response to this article in Desertpeace.

"He said, 'tell them your tax money is killing us.' That’s the bottom line. You have a responsibility here in the US."

In terms of abstract moral responsibility, yes, absolutely - no argument, no excuses.

But in purely pragmatic terms, you should understand that the US government has become totally unresponsive to the will of the people. The USA is not a democracy. The USA is an oligarchy, a plutocracy, a kleptocracy, choose whatever term pleases you best, but "We, The People" no longer have any control over "our" government. None, zero, zip, nada.

Peaceful protest isn't going to change that. Peaceful reform is impossible, because the powers-that-be have systematically corrupted the very organs of government upon which peaceful reform depends. They control everything except our minds, and with some of my fellow citizens, I wonder about even that.

So tell me I'm responsible, and I agree. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. But what, by the 999 names of God, do you expect me to do about it? Yes, I boycott Israeli products. Yes, I encourage others to do the same. And that counts for what, maybe 1% of the moral responsibility?

Do not misunderstand me. I am not rejecting responsibility, I am not evading it. In truth I am writhing in agonies of shame. I am just pointing out that in purely practical terms, there is sweet Fanny Adams I can do about it.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Interview with Ramsey Clark

Although it was posted in early March, I just encountered this video today. This is a roughly 12 minute interview with Ramsey Clark, who was U.S. Attorney General in 1967-1969. Clark is getting quite elderly by now, as you can imagine, and he speaks as most old men do, with frequent pauses for thought, but his mind is still razor-sharp, that's obvious.

This is one of those rare interviews in which someone prominent, or formerly-prominent, tells some very blunt truths. I don't agree with what he says about the Occupy movement at the very end, but other than that, he's pretty much right on the money with all his answers, though a bit more restrained than I would be.

(Open Salon readers can watch the video here)

RT, in their usual fashion, has hung a questionable title on the video, but trust me, this is the Ramsey Clark interview. Do recall, dear reader, that this is a government-owned news organization, and keep your salt shaker handy. All that said, the interview is well worth watching.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rhodesia 32 years later

It can seem like yesterday to those of us who have reached the dubious joys of middle age, but it was 32 years ago today that the nation of Rhodesia ceased to exist, and the new nation of Zimbabwe was born in its place.

Three decades of rule by the ZANU-PF party under dictator Robert Mugabe have not been kind to the peoples of Zimbabwe. Political repression, (such a cute euphemism for breaking heads and shooting people), by the ZANU-PF, Blood Diamonds at Marenge dug from the ground by slave labor, multiple epidemics caused by contamination of municipal water supplies, soaring inflation so bad that the Zim dollar was finally retired (the US dollar is now used in Zimbabwe), and "accidental" deaths of opposition politicians and their families, all these things and more have been brought to you by Smilin' Bob Mugabe, the people's friend.

Ahh, Africa. Your tragedy never ends.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Nazi Easter

Desertpeace has another killer article today, this time on the poem published 4 days ago by German author Gunter Grass.

Author Grass, now 85 years old, must be highly gratified by the reaction, given that in the space of four days he has been publicly vilified by both Netanyahu and the unspeakably evil Avigdor Lieberman, not mention being declared persona non grata by Eli Yishai, the Interior Minister of Israel. Not a bad day's work, for a man in his mid-80's.

Gunter Grass is uniquely vulnerable to criticism because, as he admitted in 2006, he has a past. In early 1945, in the fading days of the Second World War, Grass was drafted into the Waffen-SS, where he served for approximately 4 months before being captured as the war ended. At the time, Grass was 17 years old.

While his time in the SS cannot be condoned, no, neither do any of us have any right to blame him for it. We were not there, we did not have to walk in his shoes, we have no right to engage in armchair morality, after the fact, with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight.

Anyone who doesn’t understand what those days were like, (and that includes the vast majority of those alive in the world today), needs to read two books

Black Edelweiss, by Johann Voss
The Forgotten Soldier, by Guy Sajer

Both can be had used at Amazon for 5 USD or less.

As for Grass’ actions today, I say, three cheers for Gunter Grass! He is a man of conscience today, no matter what he did 65+ years ago. His conscience has not always led him in directions I would wholly agree with, but it is not my place to say that he was wrong.

If nothing else, the reaction from Israel serves as indisputable evidence that Grass has done the right thing, and said the right thing, at least this time. The usual over-the-top, rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth responses from the usual Zio-thug spokes-weenies would bring a smile of satisfaction to my face, if they were directed at me.

(N.B. If you follow the link above, you will see that a somewhat different form of this scribble appeared as a comment at Desertpeace. Having written my thoughts there, I then decided to share them, in a somewhat longer form, here at Ye Olde Possumhole.)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Latest Developments in Syrian Farce

French Journalist Thierry Meyssan has another excellent article on what's really happening with Syria.

Reading this will give you a sense of deja vu, I can virtually guarantee. The contrast between the story as spun by mainstream media, (including, sadly, Al Jazeera), and Meyssan's account of what's really going on is almost surrealistic.

It's the same old, same old Zionist propaganda machine at work again, as abetted and enabled by their lackeys at the US State Department, but Meyssan shares with us a few little tidbits that the MSM are not covering, such as the following quote -

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General James Mattis, commander of United States Central Command, finally admitted that the U.S. Air Force was not in a position to bomb Syria, if ordered to, considering that the country is now equipped with Russia’s most effective anti-aircraft system in the world.

Oh my.