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17 September 2009


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SAC Brat

I hope you excuse my frivolity, but every time I look at your picture of Dan Rather I have to look again to make sure it isn't Don Adams of the old television spy spoof "Get Smart" on the shoe phone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_smart

"Would you believe...?"


I haven't thought about the (pretty damning) Goldstone report in this context. Thanks.

David Habakkuk

Clifford Kiracofe,

I have not looked at it closely, but it would surprise me greatly if the British Government had a Machiavellian strategy to inveigle the U.S. into war with Iran. What FB Ali said about Holbrooke applies to very many leading figures in Britain -- they are rather stupid and do not think things through.

Some remarks by the journalist John Kampfner, author of 'Blair's Wars', give I think a good sense of the frivolity of foreign policy-making in London -- and of the way the lessons of the shambles in Iraq have not been absorbed:

'The problem is that, even now, we do not seem to be learning. Our foreign policy is based on strategies (if such a word can be used) which are at once hubristic, jejune and cowardly.

'Downing Street and the Foreign Office have, for more than a decade, been hooked on their own soundbites, on being seen to be 'tough' (we have shrieked over Zimbabwe, Georgia and Burma to no meaningful effect).

'At the same time, British politicians are frightened stiff of developing an approach that does not blindly follow the White House -- although, thankfully, Barack Obama has learnt the lessons of the Blair era and sees the merits of keeping the supine British more at arms length.

'Afghanistan is the latest theatre for our misplaced post- colonial ambitions, where our troops are committed in such a cavalier fashion, with such poor equipment, and amid such overstretch.'

(See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1203599/JOHN-KAMPFNER-A-whitewash-Iraq-let-Blair-scot-free.html.)

Much more serious, I think, are the activities of networks, cutting across both national boundaries and the public/private boundary, which are committed to trying to push both American and British policy in disastrous directions.

The anthropologist Janine Wedel, author among other things of the classic 1998 article 'The Harvard Boys do Russia', has a book coming out about this subject -- and on the section of her website devoted to her forthcoming book 'Shadow Elite' there is a useful little diagram of the network of links connecting Richard Perle to all kinds of different people and places: including of course Hollinger International.

(For Wedel's invaluable work, see http://janinewedel.info/index.html.)

Some time ago on this blog 'harper' pointed to the account given in the biography by William Simpson of Prince Bandar of the 1985 al-Yamamah contract, in which BAE sold the Saudis arms and related services in exchange for oil. As he noted, this provided compelling evidence that this contract was structured from the outset to provide a means of funding covert operations. There is certainly reason to suspect that the wall of money which came out of al-Yamamah may have provided a major source of funding for the growth of a 'shadow elite' linking elements in Saudi Arabia, Britain, and the U.S.

Here, the U.S. connections of Lady Thatcher's former foreign policy adviser, Lord Charles Powell, would merit investigation -- the obvious starting point being the private security company Diligence LLC.

More recently, another wall of money has hit London, as the result of the enthusiasm of British elites for acting as receivers for the monies which were looted by kleptocrats in Russia, to a substantial extent as a result of the activities of the 'Harvard boys' -- which has also impacted the 'shadow elite'.

The transnational nature of these networks facilitates their use for disinformation, including in particular disinformation involving nuclear scaremongering. The record of MI6 is particularly disgraceful in facilitating the efforts of nuclear scaremongerers. The same organisation which recycled disinformation suggesting that Saddam had an active nuclear programme has since recycled disinformation suggesting that Putin is a pioneer of nuclear terrorism.

Whether the replacement of Sir John Scarlett by Sir John Sawers will lead to any clean-up in the organisation remains an open question. But there is already compelling evidence of attempts by element in these 'shadow elites' to kill two birds with one stone, by placing disinformation about covert sales of arms and military technology from Russia to Iran.

N. M. Salamon

Ehmud Barak: Iran is not an existential threat to Israel:


And we have AIPAC and warmongers in USA



Hagee is atm sending out e-mails on the dire Iranian threat, and asks recipients to contact their congressmen to support the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009 - a legislation clearly designed to torpedo talks with Iran.

It's concerted political warfare against Obama's talks with Iran.


One surefire way for East Europeans to have made certain that their US-backed missile defense system never got the axe was to have rubbed gobs of grease into the palms of Washington insiders. And the only way to have done this is to do as Israel did: form a very powerful lobby on K Street and make certain that it's exempt from being listed as an agent of a foreign government.

And it goes without saying the Israelis are all up in arms over Iran getting the Bomb not because they are afraid to death that Iran will wiped them off the map, but because they are afraid that no longer being the lone nuke power in the Middle East will mean they'll no longer be free to bully Arab Muslims into submission.

Plus I'd like to think, naive though it may sound, that East Europeans aren't so unscrupulous as to trick the American people into wasting lots of US blood and treasure on behalf of Eastern Europe, and that they aren't so thuggish as to wage war against innocent and defenseless people that are about as militarily challenging as shooting fish in a barrel!


Clifford Kiracofe

David Habakkuk,

Thanks very much for the insights. I look forward to the book by Wedel about transnational networks.

Well we can sharpen our definitions of what constitutes "stupid" and then what constitutes criminal, illegal, and even treasonous behavior.

Yes, I agree that such networks are indeed a central problem within the international system. They need to be identified and mapped out. They need to be suppressed by the intelligence and law enforcement machinery available to sovereign governments.

I suspect that in some cases the networks of ostensibly "respectable" people of the political and business overworld overlap and intersect with networks in the criminal underworld.

Further, we can see the intersection of certain networks of respectable "businessmen" in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, Egypt and etc. with terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda. And how about that brother of Bin Laden based in Europe...

Respectable businessmen/financiers in London, in Paris, in Frankfurt, on Wall Street supported the Nazi movement and Hitler, and Mussolini before him for example.

These networks constitute what I mentioned in one of the posts as "designing men and women." IMO they are not stupid but rather intelligent, corrupt, and ruthless.

As I also indicated, IMO there are also networks of "stupid" and interested persons looking for easy money and whatever else including the "honours" received by Ms. Marriott. She may also fall into the designing men and women camp but I don't have enough data to place her.

I was very happy to see our Director of National Intelligence in the new National Intelligence Strategy issued this week give emphasis to international organized crime. This was foreshadowed in the earlier NIC 2025 study both of which urls I put in a comment yesterday.

Thus our appropriate institutions should bring increased pressure on these networks and also the international terrorist networks with whom they seem to intersect. We have a major problem with this now in Venezuela-Mexico and linkages to Islamic terrorist operations.

As you indicate, respectable business organizations and businessmen such as the BAE situation Harper has told SST readers about can have interlinking relations with underworld criminal and terrorist organizations.

As long as we are on the AIPAC-Iran War-Neocon track, I would also draw attention to the interlinkages between "pro-Israel" political personages and organizations and organized crime. In the US, our historic national crime syndicate (NCS) so to speak has been composed of Italian networks and Jewish networks. Meyer Lansky would be a case in point for leading the Jewish ethnic side of organized crime. While I have not noted the Italian mafia being particularly "pro-Israel" one does note this among the Jewish organized crime circles, historically since the 1940s.

With respect to the matters of MI6 disinformation you mention, I take it the organization is under orders from superiors to do this? This is what I meant by my earlier comments. If superiors somewhere in the machinery of the British system are ordering such activity then I take it to be British policy but I am not that familiar with the ins and outs of the British system.


The last chapter in my new book concerns Hagee and the "next war", the one with Iran. "Dark Crusade: US Foreign Policy and Christian Zionism (London: IB Tauris, 2009). Perhaps the book will be of interest to you.


I insist on my second amendment rights to bear nuclear arms! I don't see the second amendment limiting us to guns. By extension, Iranians also have that right, the right being fundamental and all that....

Mark Stuart

Could it be a bluff from Tehran to force the international community to rein in Israel's own nuclear capabilities or at least have observers on the ground?

As benign as it might seem to Americans, Israelis would overwhelmingly see harmless international observers as a direct threat to their sovereignty but also to their security. It would be reminiscent of the pre-1948 direct tutelage they had to endure the world over.

I was conjecturing in a previous post by our host that during discussions with the Obama administration, "Iran would want to bring the Israeli nuclear program to the table under the broader regional non-proliferation agenda, before any talk about their own program."

This recent piece of news seems to comfort me in that opinion.
UN urges Israel to allow nuclear inspection Al Arabia News Channel



What's the frequency Kenneth?


I wonder which agency or group of (federal law enforcement/intelligence) agents acting in concert is going to try and torpedo the war with Iran drumbeat like last time.

Godspeed to them.


I have it bookmarked for some time now, but not yet ordered it as I wouldn't have time to read it atm.



C'mon, the USA scraps its eastern european missile shield project right after Netanyahu pays an unexpected visit to Moskow.
Richard Seale has an interesting article on the matter, that involves the mysterious travels of the freighter Arctic Sea: Netanyahu's Mysterious Moscow Visit


Col., sir: Was just readin' some article on the Anabasis by the Greek strategos, Xenophon. & I was wonderin' if the U.S. of A is blessed to have a Xenophon in her ranks. Coz' if the War on Terror™ (don't even know what to call it no more) brings the front to iran, fæcal matter hitting the blades of the proverbial rotor is gonna involve a man of equal talent to bring the troops back. Déjà vu?

F B Ali

This could be the occasion for Obama to fulfil some of the high hopes vested in him.

Those who had so many expectations of him have been sorely disappointed. He blinked before the Wall Street tycoons. His healthcare reform is seriously watered down. By placating Israel, his Middle East peace initiative is going nowhere. Above all, he is substituting his Afghanistan war for Bush’s Iraq war (and, possibly, even the disastrous Vietnam quagmire). Surrounded by powerful special interests and seasoned Washington players, he seems out of his depth, an easy prey to steering and manipulation.

He probably justifies all this by saying that the President’s powers are limited, that he is up against established systems which he cannot afford to shake too much, that he has to take other powerful players along to get things done in Washington. All this may be true, especially for a newcomer to that office, entangled in Axelrod’s political calculus and Emanuel’s practicality logic. But there is one power that the Presidency has which is subject to no limitations – the power to say No, and make anything within the purview of the executive branch stop dead in its tracks.

John Kennedy did that. He had hardly stepped into the office when the military-intelligence establishment, with their political allies, dragged him into the Bay of Pigs fiasco; all he could do was grimace and accept responsibility. When the Cuban missile crisis erupted, these characters were again all for war, especially the generals, jumping up and down and demanding that the missile sites be bombed. But this time Kennedy was surer of himself – he took counsel of his intelligence and his instinct, and he said, No! And that was that.

Obama can do the same. When all these powerful lobbies and interests begin the final push for an attack on Iran, he can just say, No! He will thus serve the United States (and himself) well.


@FB Ali,

I certainly hope you are right.

From where I sit, however, its not only unclear that he will say "NO," but that even if he did, his no would not stop dead in its tracks the machinations underway in the capital city.



F B Ali,


This world does not need more hatred and the suffering it brings. Permitting the infinite regress of blame and revenge to hold sway over our thoughts and deeds imperils not only the living, but even those not yet born. The cycle must be broken.

Clifford Kiracofe

FB Ali,

Yes, and one question to ask is, "What was Gen. Powell's advice to the President this week?"

President Obama turns to Colin Powell for advice on war in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON: - An undecided President Obama asked Colin Powell on Wednesday whether to increase the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Before meeting with the former secretary of state and ex-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Obama insisted, "There is no immediate decision pending" on whether he will send thousands more troops into Afghanistan.

"I’m going to take a very deliberate process in making those decisions," Obama said. "You don’t make determinations about resources, and certainly you don’t make determinations about sending young men and women into battle without having absolute clarity about what the strategy is going to be."

Obama summoned Powell and later Defense Secretary Robert Gates, both of whom served under President George W. Bush, to hear their ideas on the war in Afghanistan.

"The President greatly values the counsel of Gen. Powell on a number of different issues," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Talk about vindication - Powell, whose war doctrine calls for invading an enemy with a massive force, was repeatedly shot down by ex-Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who favored sending a smaller army into Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein.

Powell was proven right when the occupation became a bloody war and the Pentagon was forced to send a "surge" force of more than 20,000 troops into Iraq.

Perhaps he will get better advice from a fellow African-American than from the Zionists and ambitious (and designing) white gentiles surrounding him and lurking behind the scenes inside the Beltway and elsewhere.

Knowing that he might wish to avert US involvement in a war against Iran, those supporting it as I have mentioned could opt for the Suez ploy. Let Israel initiate and them come in behind the propaganda cover of taking out a Hitler type "existential threat" and supporting brave little Israel. I must say Amadinejad is playing his Hitler revival role rather well lately.

Even if war against Iran is avoided, the President at some point must have a clear and coherent national strategy to deal with the multipolar world as it is and may well become.

Right now we are apparently running on George Bush era documents produced by the Pentagon.
Here is a useful tabulation:

The militarization of US national strategy and foreign policy is a problem as one might observe from our current predicament(s).


@FB Ali

I'm reminded somehow of the bad King who asked a dervish how he, the King, might best serve his people.

"Sleep until 3", responded the poor man.

It's hard to sit still when most people are panicking - let's hope Obama has the wisdom do so.

Bill Wade, NH

"Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has urged US President Barack Obama to make it clear that if the IAF tries to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities via Iraqi airspace, the US Air Force will shoot down the Israeli jets."

"We are not exactly impotent little babies,"

Brzezinski told The Daily Beast in an interview published Sunday. "They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? ... We have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren't just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a 'Liberty' in reverse."



Interesting comments follow this article.


"secret annex" sounds suspiciously similar to Dean Wormer's "double-secret probation."

What happened to the screenwriters who were going to be hired (can't remember if HLS or who was going to hire them) at the beginning of the War on Terror to brainstorm terrorist scenarios for the planning of counter-terrorism?


Mr Kiracofe,

Re: "Respectable businessmen/financiers in London, in Paris, in Frankfurt, on Wall Street supported the Nazi movement and Hitler, and Mussolini before him for example."

& I thought no academics would ever take notice. No student of economics or finance, but I wonder whether the present instability in the money world is a direct result of machiavellian schemes again...

Babak Makkinejad


No conspiracy here - there are not so many smart people in the world.


Babak Makkinejad:

My sentiments exactly, kind sir. Especially those living in my part of the region...


Doubt if the smart people actually started the economic meltdown as a predetermined game plan, but they do understand trends and know how to take advantage of regulatory changes and, most importantly, know the dynamics of herd mentality. And having pals in the Treasury and Fed allowed them to win when the meltdown started and turning into economic warfare, since many CEO's, having read Machiavelli and Sun Tszu, think of themselves as Warrior Princes, and will take advantage of an opponent's weakness because that's what they're trained to do.

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