Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ahmadinejad and Smoking Guns are Bad for Children and Other Living Things

Muqtada al-Sadr and his Madhi Army are now being openly supplied with weapons made in Iran. Other hostile groups are also receiving weaponry from Ahmedinejad's Iran, as well as training. Rumors had been floating around for some time that Iranian Revolutionary Guards were in Iraq fighting alongside and training militias, but now US officials say they have proof and apparently Iran is no longer sneaking arms through the weapons black market. Iran is openly making arms shipments and providing advanced weapons training to Iraqi militia fighters. No one wants to say it, but we are at war with Iran and have been for 27 years.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2006 — U.S. officials say they have found smoking-gun evidence of Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq: brand-new weapons fresh from Iranian factories. According to a senior defense official, coalition forces have recently seized Iranian-made weapons and munitions that bear manufacturing dates in 2006.

This suggests, say the sources, that the material is going directly from Iranian factories to Shia militias, rather than taking a roundabout path through the black market. "There is no way this could be done without (Iranian) government approval," says a senior official.

Iranian-made munitions found in Iraq include advanced IEDs designed to pierce armor and anti-tank weapons. U.S. intelligence believes the weapons have been supplied to Iraq's growing Shia militias from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is also believed to be training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran.

Evidence is mounting, too, that the most powerful militia in Iraq, Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi army, is receiving training support from the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah.

Two senior U.S. defense officials confirmed to
ABC News earlier reports that fighters from the Mahdi army have traveled to Lebanon to receive training from Hezbollah.

While the New York Times reported that as many as 2,000 Iraqi militia fighters had received training in Lebanon, one of the senior officials said he believed the number was "closer to 1,000." Officials say a much smaller number of Hezbollah fighters have also traveled through Syria and into Iraq to provide training.

U.S. intelligence officials believe the number of Al-Sadr's Mahdi army now includes 40,000 fighters, making it an especially formidable force.

Iran is now involved in efforts to bring peace to Iraq while supplying weapons to the militias which are tearing the fractured nation to pieces. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has promised he can stop the violence.

Well, of course, he can; he's the one continuing the violence. He's running a protection racket in Iraq. Ahmadinejad is saying he will protect Iraq by not beating Iraq to a bloody pulp. All Iraq has to do is kick out the Coalition forces, and turn full control over to Iran's proxy, Muqtada al-Sadr. How thoughtful and very Caponesque, too.



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

President Bush Sent Me a Christmas Card





The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

President Ahmadinejad Sent Me a Letter

Iranian mental midget, Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran has written a letter to the "noble American" people. By variously praising and insulting the "noble Americans", he hopes to win our hearts and minds. Good luck with that.

Dear Fools,

Message of H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran


To the American People

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
O, Almighty God, bestow upon humanity the perfect human being promised to all by You, and make us among his followers.


Noble Americans,

Were we not faced with the activities of the US administration in this part of the world and the negative ramifications of those activities on the daily lives of our peoples, coupled with the many wars and calamities caused by the US administration as well as the tragic consequences of US interference in other countries; were the American people not God-fearing, truth-loving, and justice-seeking, while the US administration actively conceals the truth and impedes any objective portrayal of current realities; and if we did not share a common responsibility to promote and protect freedom and human dignity and integrity; then, there would have been little urgency to have a dialogue with you.

While Divine providence has placed Iran and the United States geographically far apart, we should be cognizant that human values and our common human spirit, which proclaim the dignity and exalted worth of all human beings, have brought our two great nations of Iran and the United States closer together. Both our nations are God-fearing, truth-loving and justice-seeking, and both seek dignity, respect and perfection. Both greatly value and readily embrace the promotion of human ideals such as compassion, empathy, respect for the rights of human beings, securing justice and equity, and defending the innocent and the weak against oppressors and bullies. We are all inclined towards the good, and towards extending a helping hand to one another, particularly to those in need.

We all deplore injustice, the trampling of peoples’ rights and the intimidation and humiliation of human beings. We all detest darkness, deceit, lies and distortion, and seek and admire salvation, enlightenment, sincerity and honesty. The pure human essence of the two great nations of Iran and the United States testify to the veracity of these statements.

Noble Americans,

Our nation has always extended its hand of friendship to all other nations of the world. Hundreds of thousands of my Iranian compatriots are living amongst you in friendship and peace, and are contributing positively to your society. Our people have been in contact with you over the past many years and have maintained these contacts despite the unnecessary restrictions of US authorities.

As mentioned, we have common concerns, face similar challenges, and are pained by the sufferings and afflictions in the world. We, like you, are aggrieved by the ever-worsening pain and misery of the Palestinian people. Persistent aggressions by the Zionists are making life more and more difficult for the rightful owners of the land of Palestine. In broad day-light, in front of cameras and before the eyes of the world, they are bombarding innocent defenseless civilians, bulldozing houses, firing machine guns at students in the streets and alleys, and subjecting their families to endless grief.

No day goes by without a new crime. Palestinian mothers, just like Iranian and American mothers, love their children, and are painfully bereaved by the imprisonment, wounding and murder of their children. What mother wouldn’t?

For 60 years, the Zionist regime has driven millions of the inhabitants of Palestine out of their homes. Many of these refugees have died in the Diaspora and in refugee camps. Their children have spent their youth in these camps and are aging while still in the hope of returning to homeland.

You know well that the US administration has persistently provided blind and blanket support to the Zionist regime, has emboldened it to continue its crimes, and has prevented the UN Security Council from condemning it. Who can deny such broken promises and grave injustices towards humanity by the US administration?

Governments are there to serve their own people. No people wants to side with or support any oppressors. But regrettably, the US administration disregards even its own public opinion and remains in the forefront of supporting the trampling of the rights of the Palestinian people.

Let’s take a look at Iraq. Since the commencement of the US military presence in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, maimed or displaced. Terrorism in Iraq has grown exponentially. With the presence of the US military in Iraq, nothing has been done to rebuild the ruins, to restore the infrastructure or to alleviate poverty. The US Government used the pretext of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but later it became clear that that was just a lie and a deception. Although Saddam was overthrown and people are happy about his departure, the pain and suffering of the Iraqi people has persisted and has even been aggravated.

In Iraq, about one hundred and fifty thousand American soldiers, separated from their families and loved ones, are operating under the command of the current US administration. A substantial number of them have been killed or wounded and their presence in Iraq has tarnished the image of the American people and government. heir mothers and relatives have, on numerous occasions, displayed their discontent with the presence of their sons and daughters in a land thousands of miles away from US shores. American soldiers often wonder why they have been sent to Iraq. I consider it extremely unlikely that you, the American people, consent to the billions of dollars of annual expenditure from your treasury for this military misadventure.

Noble Americans,

You have heard that the US administration is kidnapping its presumed opponents from across the globe and arbitrarily holding them without trial or any international supervision in horrendous prisons that it has established in various parts of the world. God knows who these detainees actually are, and what terrible fate awaits them.

You have certainly heard the sad stories of the Guantanamo and Abu-Ghraib prisons. The US administration attempts to justify them through its proclaimed “war on terror.” But every one knows that such behavior, in fact, offends global public opinion, exacerbates resentment and thereby spreads terrorism, and tarnishes the US image and its credibility among nations.

The US administration’s illegal and immoral behavior is not even confined to outside its borders. You are witnessing daily that under the pretext of “the war on terror,” civil liberties in the United States are being increasingly curtailed. Even the privacy of individuals is fast losing its meaning. Judicial due process and fundamental rights are trampled upon. Private phones are tapped, suspects are arbitrarily arrested, sometimes beaten in the streets, or even shot to death.
[Did I miss something? When did this stuff happen in the US?] I have no doubt that the American people do not approve of this behavior and indeed deplore it.

The US administration does not accept accountability before any organization, institution or council. The US administration has undermined the credibility of international organizations, particularly the United Nations and its Security Council. But, I do not intend to address all the challenges and calamities in this message.

The legitimacy, power and influence of a government do not emanate from its arsenals of tanks, fighter aircrafts, missiles or nuclear weapons. Legitimacy and influence reside in sound logic, quest for justice and compassion and empathy for all humanity. The global position of the United States is in all probability weakened because the administration has continued to resort to force, to conceal the truth, and to mislead the American people about its policies and practices.

Undoubtedly, the American people are not satisfied with this behavior and they showed their discontent in the recent elections. I hope that in the wake of the mid-term elections, the administration of President Bush will have heard and will heed the message of the American people.

My questions are the following:

Is there not a better approach to governance? Is it not possible to put wealth and power in the service of peace, stability, prosperity and the happiness of all peoples through a commitment to justice and respect for the rights of all nations, instead of aggression and war?

We all condemn terrorism, because its victims are the innocent. But, can terrorism be contained and eradicated through war, destruction and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocents? If that were possible, then why has the problem not been resolved? The sad experience of invading Iraq is before us all. What has blind support for the Zionists by the US administration brought for the American people? It is regrettable that for the US administration, the interests of these occupiers supersedes the interests of the American people and of the other nations of the world.

What have the Zionists done for the American people that the US administration considers itself obliged to blindly support these infamous aggressors? Is it not because they have imposed themselves on a substantial portion of the banking, financial, cultural and media sectors?

I recommend that in a demonstration of respect for the American people and for humanity, the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland should be recognized so that millions of Palestinian refugees can return to their homes and the future of all of Palestine and its form of government be determined in a referendum. This will benefit everyone.

Now that Iraq has a Constitution and an independent Assembly and Government, would it not be more beneficial to bring the US officers and soldiers home, and to spend the astronomical US military expenditures in Iraq for the welfare and prosperity of the American people? As you know very well, many victims of Katrina continue to suffer, and countless Americans continue to live in poverty and homelessness.

I’d also like to say a word to the winners of the recent elections in the US:
The United States has had many administrations; some who have left a positive legacy, and others that are neither remembered fondly by the American people nor by other nations. Now that you control an important branch of the US Government, you will also be held to account by the people and by history.

If the US Government meets the current domestic and external challenges with an approach based on truth and Justice, it can remedy some of the past afflictions and alleviate some of the global resentment and hatred of America. But if the approach remains the same, it would not be unexpected that the American people would similarly reject the new electoral winners, although the recent elections, rather than reflecting a victory, in reality point to the failure of the current administration’s policies. These issues had been extensively dealt with in my letter to President Bush earlier this year.

To sum up:
It is possible to govern based on an approach that is distinctly different from one of coercion, force and injustice. It is possible to sincerely serve and promote common human values, and honesty and compassion. It is possible to provide welfare and prosperity without tension, threats, imposition or war. It is possible to lead the world towards the aspired perfection by adhering to unity, monotheism, morality and spirituality and drawing upon the teachings of the Divine Prophets. Then, the American people, who are God-fearing and followers of Divine religions, will overcome every difficulty.

What I stated represents some of my anxieties and concerns. I am confident that you, the American people, will play an instrumental role in the establishment of justice and spirituality throughout the world. The promises of the Almighty and His prophets will certainly be realized, Justice and Truth will prevail and all nations will live a true life in a climate replete with love, compassion and fraternity.

The US governing establishment, the authorities and the powerful should not choose irreversible paths. As all prophets have taught us, injustice and transgression will eventually bring about decline and demise. Today, the path of return to faith and spirituality is open and unimpeded.

We should all heed the Divine Word of the Holy Qur’an: “But those who repent, have faith and do good may receive Salvation. Your Lord, alone, creates and chooses as He will, and others have no part in His choice; Glorified is God and Exalted above any partners they ascribe to Him.” (28:67-68)

I pray to the Almighty to bless the Iranian and American nations and indeed all nations of the world with dignity and success.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
29 November 2006

We will bury you!


Sincerely and with love,

Mahmoud



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tet and Somalia Were Victories, says NYT

Within my living memory, about three weeks ago, the MSM were fulminating against the War in Iraq. The claim was Iraq is VietNam and October's Ramadan was the equivalent to the Tet offensive and the Somalia debacle. Few news sources were saying anything other than the sky is falling, the end is near, all is lost, time to come home, give up, cut and run, we are doomed. But, that was when the Republican party administered the House, Senate, and the White House.

Recently, a new spirit of positivism has infected the previously defeatist media. More and more articles and news stories are leaning toward support for the war effort and less toward Tet or Mogudishu comparisons. Even the dublicitous New York Times is getting in on the act by informing their readers the Tet offensive and Mogadishu were not failures after all. They were, in fact, successes perceived as defeats.

So don't give up hope in Iraq. It only looks hopeless right now, but fear no more. The Democrats will snatch victory from the gaping maw of defeat and make the world safe for democracy once again. Of course, exorbitant taxes will need to be raised and perhaps a draft reinstituted, but that's the price Democrats are willing to pay.



November 28, 2006
Op-Ed Contributors
The Wars of Perception
By DOMINIC JOHNSON and DOMINIC TIERNEY


IN January 1968, Americans turned on their televisions to find scenes of chaos and carnage as Vietnamese communists unleashed their surprise Tet offensive. It would go down in history as the greatest American battlefield defeat of the cold war.

Twenty-five years later, in December 1992, the United States began a humanitarian intervention in Somalia that would be viewed as the most striking failure of the post-cold-war era. Then, in March 2003, American tanks charged across the dunes into Iraq, beginning, in the eyes of many Americans, the worst foreign policy debacle of the post-9/11 world. Tet, Somalia and Iraq: the three great post-World War II American defeats.

Except that, remarkably, Tet and Somalia were not defeats. They were successes perceived as failures. Such stark divergence between perception and reality is common in wartime, when people’s beliefs about which side wins and which loses are often driven by psychological factors that have nothing to do with events on the battlefield. Tet and Somalia may, therefore, hold important lessons for Iraq.

The Tet offensive was an unmitigated disaster for the communists. Despite the advantages of surprise, the South Vietnamese insurgents, the Vietcong, failed to hold on to a single target in South Vietnam and suffered staggering losses. Of the 80,000 attackers, as many as half were killed in the first month alone, and the Vietcong never recovered. The United States had clearly won this round of the war.

Yet most Americans saw the Tet offensive as a failure for the United States. Approval of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s handling of the war slipped to a low of 26 percent. Before Tet, 58 percent of Americans described themselves as “hawks” who wanted to step up American military involvement in the war, while 26 percent described themselves as “doves” seeking to reduce it. Two months after Tet, doves narrowly outnumbered hawks.

How did perceptions become so detached from reality? A key factor was overblown expectations. In the months before Tet, Johnson had begun a “progress campaign” to convince Americans that victory in Vietnam was just around the corner. Reams of statistics showed that infiltration rates were down and enemy casualties were up. And it worked. Public confidence ticked upwards. But after Johnson’s bullish rhetoric, Tet looked like a disaster. The scale and surprise of the offensive sent a shock wave through the American psyche. As Johnson’s former aide, Robert Koner, later recalled, “Boom, 40 towns get attacked, and they didn’t believe us anymore.”

The illusion of defeat was heightened by two powerful symbolic events. First, the communists attacked the American Embassy in Saigon. It was one of the smallest-scale actions of the Tet offensive, but it captured America’s attention. The attackers had breached the pre-eminent symbol of the United States presence in South Vietnam: if the embassy wasn’t safe, nowhere was. News outlets reported that the embassy had been captured when in reality all of the attackers were soon lying dead in the courtyard.

Gen. William Westmoreland, the commander of the American forces in Vietnam, held a press conference at the embassy to announce that Tet was an American victory. But behind the general, dead Vietcong were still being dragged away from the blood-spattered lawn. Reporters could scarcely believe what they were hearing. Said one: “Westmoreland was standing in the ruins and saying everything was great.”

Second, Eddie Adams’s photograph of South Vietnam’s police chief executing a Vietcong captive in the street caused a sensation. After he fired the shot, the police chief told nearby reporters: “They killed many Americans and many of my men. Buddha will understand. Do you?” Back home in the United States, the image spoke powerfully of a brutal and unjust war. For some Americans, this image was the Tet offensive.

Finally, the American news media painted a picture of disaster in Vietnam. Even though communist forces incurred enormous losses, reporters often lauded their performance. As the Times war correspondent Peter Braestrup put it, “To have portrayed such a setback for one side as a defeat for the other — in a major crisis abroad — cannot be counted as a triumph for American journalism.”

A similar story later unfolded in Somalia. From 1992 to 1994, the American humanitarian intervention in Somalia saved the lives of more than 100,000 Somalis and cut the number of refugees in half, for the loss of 43 Americans. Back in the United States, however, this noble mission was widely viewed as the greatest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam. By October 1993, approval for President Bill Clinton’s handling of Somalia fell to 30 percent. Only 25 percent of Americans viewed the intervention as a success, and 66 percent saw it as a failure.
Like Tet, the mission in Somalia suffered from overblown expectations. Intervening in an anarchical, war-ridden country was bound to be difficult. But early efforts to provide food and security in Somalia went so well that the project looked deceptively easy. The American public and news media lost interest — until early October 1993, when American soldiers were killed in the infamous “Black Hawk Down” battle in Mogadishu.

With echoes of Saigon in 1968, powerful images of the Mogadishu battle pushed Americans towards a perception of defeat. Press coverage was dominated by pictures of the captured pilot, Michael Durant, and mutilated American corpses, often with the tagline of America’s “humiliation.” Journalists tended to ignore the bigger picture, in this case large pro-American demonstrations in Somalia and successful efforts to save lives and restore order outside of the capital.

Memories of Vietnam, and fears of getting bogged down in another messy quagmire, also promoted perceptions of failure. In October 1993, 62 percent of Americans thought that the intervention in Somalia “could turn into another Vietnam,” even after Mr. Clinton announced that America was pulling soldiers out of Somalia, and at a time when American casualties were a thousand times lower than in Vietnam.

What does this mean for Iraq? At the least, Tet and Somalia suggest we should be very careful before concluding that Iraq is a defeat. There is real evidence of failure, especially the escalating sectarian violence. But our perceptions are nevertheless easily manipulated. Iraq looks like a defeat in part because the Bush administration fell into the same trap as President Johnson: raising expectations of imminent victory by declaring “mission accomplished” before the real work had even begun. And as with Somalia, fighting shadowy insurgents in Iraq while propping up a weak government engenders negative memories of Vietnam.

Perceptions of success and failure can change the course of history. Reeling from the supposed disaster at Tet, the United States began to withdraw. Memories of “failure” in Somalia were a major reason — perhaps the major reason — that the United States did nothing to stop the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. If Iraq is perceived as a failure, it is only a matter of time before America pulls out, leaving who-knows-what behind. With the stakes so high, Americans must be certain that their perception of failure in Iraq is not a mirage.


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Is This Any Way to Fight a War?

During the recent Hizb'allah-Israeli War, Israel made phone calls to enemy commanders and targets informing them Israeli warplanes would destroy their homes within a set period of time and the bad guy had best get his family out of the way. It seemed the only civilized thing to do, albeit really stupid.

Not killing the enemy leadership worked so well in Lebanon that Israel is now using the tactic in Gaza. However, Hamas has learned what Hizb'allah didn't - don't run away from the target, run to the target. Grab the old ladies, pack-up the babies and every one goes to Brother Ahmed's show. Surround the house with human shields and Israel will call off the attack.

Columnist Peter Worthington wrote the following piece in Sunday's Toronto Sun.

November 26, 2006

War cannot be waged 'peacefully'
By PETER WORTHINGTON

Want to know why we (meaning the West) won't win the war on terror?

Look at Israel, arguably the toughest, least compromising of the democracies when it comes to combating terrorism. It has been fighting terrorism from the day it became a sovereign state, thanks to the UN.

Yet Israel, after failing to win the brief war with Hezbollah, is back to having to defend itself against rockets from Gaza, where Hamas rules when it isn't feuding with the Palestinian Authority.

The other day, after a rocket attack, Israel announced it was attacking the home of a suspected terrorist leader where explosives were stored. It gave the occupants 30 minutes warning to evacuate before war planes obliterated the house.

So what did the residents do? Well, not only did they not evacuate, but neighbours formed a human shield at the targeted house and, guess what?

The Israel war planes were called off. So now, every time the Israelis give the 30-minute warning which, apparently, is policy, the "human shields" of women and children head for the targeted house, secure in the knowledge that the Israelis won't attack.

This is madness -- no way to fight a war, or terrorists. And this is Israel -- the toughest democracy on the block. And yet Israel hasn't even gotten its kidnapped soldiers back from Hamas and Hezbollah, which provoked Israeli retaliation.

American, British, Canadian and NATO soldiers are even more restrained.

When the Americans had (or thought they had) insurgents in Iraq, mostly confined in Fallujah, a hotbed of enemy activity, rather than obliterate it (as they would have done in WWII) they gave a week's warning for civilians to depart before they attacked.

BAD GUYS DISPERSED

When the assault eventually went in, the bad guys were mostly gone -- dispersed to other areas to continue their slaughter of the innocent.

War cannot easily be waged peacefully. Restraints often mean prolonging the war and increasing its casualties.

Today, humane considerations are paramount. The symbol of peaceful protest is Mahatma Gandhi, the creator of passive resistance that anti-military activists like to cite as a way to thwart authority. Often overlooked, is that Gandhi's formula worked against the British. If he and his followers had lain down in front of Cossacks, the Wehrmacht or the Golden Horde of Genghis Khan, Gandhi would have become an asterisk of history rather than an icon.

A report out of Britain recalls that when American forces first went into Afghanistan, the first Taliban they caught were terrified --apparently convinced by their indoctrination that the American monsters would rip their livers out. Consequently, captives babbled like brooks and told all they knew.

Then they discovered that American soldiers feed you and generally abide by certain rules and ethics unknown to Taliban and al-Qaida.

Thereafter they shut up with no repercussions.

Remember the U.S. bombing of Baghdad prior to the 2003 invasion? Peace activists from the West pompously announced they'd be human shields around prospective targets.

Once the bombing started, these people fled -- outraged that the Americans could be so inhumane, even though none were targeted.

EX-HUMAN SHIELDS

As for Israel, if its government is nuts enough to give warnings of attacks, then it deserves what happens. The next warning should be that if human shields remain, they will quickly become ex-human shields.

One attack should be sufficient to persuade Palestinian human shields to take cover.

It's idiotic to give warning of an attack. Hezbollah and Hamas don't warn intended targets of rocket attacks and suicide bombings.

America lost the Vietnam War because it refused to do what was necessary to win -- a political decision that cost unnecessary lives on both sides, and achieved nothing.

Is that the future of Iraq? It seems so.

I would like to think this is all a very long and elaborate ruse to lull the enemy into a sense of false security and superiority ultimately ending in the springing of the trap which will annihilate Islam once and for all. I would dearly love to believe that. But, I am not easily fooled, especially by me. At best, we are doing as Churchill said, muddling through. At worst, we have absolutely no idea what the hell is going on nor how to meet the danger.

Good lord, where is Grant? Where is any general that will fight? War is hell, said Sherman. Where are the Shermans of the 21st century? I'd even settle for an El Cid.


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Shadow Puppets in the Bomb Shelter

A Chinese maleficent blessing says, "May you live in interesting times." It is malicious because interesting times are times of change, upheaval, and danger. We live in interesting times. And because we do, it is important to remember or learn the simpler things in life that bring delight to our hearts.

I present Hand Shadows to Be Thrown upon the Wall by Henry Bursill, originally published by Griffith and Farran in 1859, made available by the Gutenberg Project.





















The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.