Rumseld Ignored Pentagon Advice on Iraq :.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld repeatedly rejected advice from Pentagon planners that substantially more troops and armor would be needed to fight a war in Iraq, New Yorker Magazine reported.

Rumsfeld insisted at least six times in the run-up to the conflict that the proposed number of ground troops be sharply reduced and got his way.

"He thought he knew better. He was the decision-maker at every turn," the article quoted an unidentified senior Pentagon planner as saying. "This is the mess Rummy put himself in because he didn't want a heavy footprint on the ground."

Is Basra a Prelude to Baghdad? :.

As crusty retired generals on cable news channels talk about deep penetration, total domination, and dealing with minor problems in our rear, one thing is becoming absolutely clear: Precision guided munitions are useless for taking over cities. Turn on the TV and you will hear a great deal of hype and bluster about the fact that the invaders control large swaths of empty desert and a small port city.

But if things are so great and going according to plan, why have the live broadcasts from embedded media practically stopped? Indeed, the Pentagon simply imposed a blackout on most of the embedded media when the going got rough. With Iraq switching to unconventional warfare methods, less and less of the conflict will be suitable for broadcast:

Ten days after U.S. Marines and British troops stormed into southern Iraq, Basra is still under siege. Iraqi army regulars and members of the Saddam's Fedayeen militia have interspersed themselves among civilians, leaving British commandos wondering aloud whether they will have to enter the city and face house-to-house combat with hard-core fighters.

As the stalemate drags on, many soldiers and even some nearby Iraqi villagers are asking: If Basra has proven so difficult, how much more problematic will it prove for U.S. troops to conquer Baghdad, President Saddam Hussein's capital and the seat of his Baath Party power?

"What's going to happen in Baghdad?" said Sgt. Stu Wickham, 34, of Watford, England. "I think it's going to be a problem in Baghdad."

"They said within 48 hours they would enter Baghdad," said an Iraqi employee of a local oil refinery outside Basra. "Now after seven or eight days, they can't even enter Basra."

State of the Union Remix MP3 :.

It may not be real, but it's exactly how things are.

Iraq Moves to Kamikaze Strategy :.

A bomber posing as a taxi driver summoned American troops for help, then blew up his vehicle Saturday, killing himself and four soldiers and opening a new chapter of carnage in the war for Iraq.

An Iraqi official said such attacks would be "routine military policy" in Iraq � and, he suggested chillingly, in America.

"We will use any means to kill our enemy in our land and we will follow the enemy into its land," Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said at a Baghdad news conference. "This is just the beginning. You'll hear more pleasant news later."


Michael Moore Film to Examine 9/11, Bush, Bin Laden Connections :.

According to Variety online, Moore is putting together a deal with actor Mel Gibson's production company to finance "Fahrenheit 911," a documentary that will trace the roots of terrorism against the United States.

But perhaps most shockingly, Moore will also spell out alleged dealings between two generations of the Bush and bin Laden clans, according to Variety.

"The primary thrust of the new film is what has happened to the country since Sept. 11, and how the Bush administration used this tragic event to push its agenda," Moore said in the Variety report.

Research Credit: MR

Rumsfeld Issues Warning to Syria and Iran :.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned both Syria and Iran not to interfere with the ongoing war Friday, saying Syria would be held "accountable" for night-vision goggles and other military equipment sent to Iraqi forces, and Iranian-funded troops inside Iraq would be dealt with as enemy combatants.

Iraq Body Count :.

A website keeping a running tally of civilian deaths in the Iraq war is attracting a lot of traffic, and appears to be emerging as an authoritative source of information on the gruesome subject.

The Iraq Body Count website claims to attract 100,000 visitors a day, and is increasingly being cited as a source in news outlets such as The Boston Globe, the San Jose Mercury News and the Associated Press.

"We're the responsible recorders of what the bombs are doing," said John Sloboda, one of the site's co-founders. "We're making sure (civilian deaths) are not forgotten, each single one."


U.S. Officials Think Iraq War Could Last Months :.

What does the newspeak lingo actually mean?

Coalition of the willing: Coalition of the killing, shilling and fiscally desperate for U.S. blood money.

Pockets of resistance: Most cities in Iraq, with the biggest "pocket" being Basra, a city with a population of over one million people. Note: They haven't reached Baghdad yet. And what about the uprising we've been hearing about in Basra? Consider the primary source of this information: British military intelligence. I don't know about you, but British military intelligence does not constitute a reliable source, in my opinion. Coalition propagandists are trying to explain the heavy civilian casualties in Basra by saying the Hussein loyal forces are responsible. In the next breath, they admit British artillery is raining down on the city. Hmmm.

Things are going exactly according to plan coupled with rolling start: Woops, the Iraqis are really trying to fight back, so send reinforcements fast. Our supply lines are long, thin and taking constant fire.

U.S. forces are taking a breather: Forward units haven't slept in six days and have been engaged in running gunbattles the entire time. Ammo, fuel and water are running low. Dig in and await resupply.

Coalition forces opening the northern front: Coalition forces are attempting to prevent Iran and/or Turkey from trying to take parts of northern Iraq. Also, Kurds must be kept away from Turkish forces. Shhhhh! Don't confuse the public with these details.

And my personal favorite Shock and awe: War could last for months. And what, really, does "war" mean? The U.S. will have to shift to counter-insurgency mode just as soon as a "victory" is declared. In U.S. military parlance, counter insurgency is called Operations Other Than War. People, however, will continue to die despite the semantics.

From the article:

Some U.S. military officials are convinced the war in Iraq is likely to last for months and will require considerably more combat power than currently on hand in the country and in Kuwait, the Washington Post said Wednesday.


Marines Line up on Iranian Border :.

Well, this probably won't come as much of a surprise to Cryptogon readers. TR called me just a few hours ago and asked me if I knew where the next largest deposits of oil were located, after Saudi Arabia and Iraq. You'll never guess. Oh, it just happens to be Iran, another Axis of Evil country. Don't worry. This won't happen. It can't happen. Right? Naaahhh:

Royal Marines were deployed to Iraq's border with Iran yesterday in a move that will unnerve Teheran's regime, which fears encirclement by American-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence said the Royal Marines were merely "securing their area of operations" after seizing at the Faw peninsula.

But with Iranian troops manning positions on the other side of the Shatt al-Arab waterway, British forces face a highly sensitive task.

Tensions were illustrated by a succession of border incidents. A rocket struck an Iranian oil refinery depot in Abadan, just across from Basra, on Friday injuring two people while there were reports on Monday that Iranian forces had fired on British troops on the Faw peninsula.

Boycott of American Goods Over Iraq War Gains :.

This is how you fight a war!

No more Coca-Cola or Budweiser, no Marlboro, no American whiskey or even American Express cards -- a growing number of restaurants in Germany are taking everything American off their menus to protest the war in Iraq.

The boycotts appear to be part of a nascent worldwide movement. One Web site,, calls for boycotts of 27 top American firms from Microsoft to Kodak while another,, urges the "millions of people against the war" to "Boycott Brand America."

Reporter Contacts Me About Chris Albritton :.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 1:54 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Chris Allbritton

Hi, I�m writing an article on Chris Allbritton and his upcoming trip to Iraq. I saw your name in his list of contributors, and I'm writing to ask you a couple of questions:

There are hundreds of journalists in the Middle East right now, covering the war. Why did you make a donation to help Chris go to Iraq?

Do you expect his coverage will be different than the coverage by mainstream media? If so, how?

What do you expect to learn from his reporting?

I would appreciate your comments, to include them in my article. Should you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. Many thanks.

Reporter's name deleted

I wrote back:


Mainstream media should be thought of as consensus based media. And the operant consensus is that U.S. government and corporate behavior, while regrettable at times, is ultimately beneficial to all peoples, everywhere on the planet. That, of course, is ridiculous.

You indicated that there are hundreds of journalists covering the war. The number of mainstream reporters in the field isn't the point. The question is, what will the editors print and broadcast? Editors are the problem. They are the chokepoints that prevent a more accurate understanding of events from emerging.

Why, for example, have none of these pictures been broadcast on any of the cable news or national television networks?

That was a rhetorical question, by the way. And I could ask a thousand more similar rhetorical questions about this war.

Mainstream journalists, generally, will not challenge the consensus. Try it, and you'll see what happens. But with your degrees, I'm betting that you know better than to rock the boat. (I have a degree in International Relations too, but I couldn't stand the stench, so I didn't go to grad school.) You know that you would be fired/blacklisted if you begin to touch on anything substantive; anything that begins to expose the underlying reasons of why things continue to get worse, who is responsible and what can be done to ameliorate the situation. Corporate media has absolutely no reason to ask the hard questions. To do so would be suicidal---and never mind the political dislocations... Nope, roll tape of 9/11, Support Our Troops and Supersize the Freedom Fries! Panem et circenses �ber alles!

>>>Why did you make a donation to help Chris go to Iraq?

Quite simply, the U.S. government and the corporations it serves are hopelessly corrupt. Let it suffice to say that I support voices that take a more holistic view of events, consider the wider historical framework and find out who stands to gain. Chris is one of those voices.

>>>Do you expect his coverage will be different than the coverage by mainstream media? If so, how?

His reporting will be much different. How will it be different? Here are a few things to consider:

1) Chris doesn't have to worry about his access being pulled by the Pentagon. So when he sees things that might paint a less than positive picture of .gov and .mil, he can report them, freely, without having to risk explaining to his boss how he became un-embedded.

2) Chris isn't trying to sell the American Empire like mainstream media is.

3) Chris is openly biased, and I like his biases. He seems to be biased against liars, murders and frauds. Corporate media claims to be objective, unbiased, fair, etc. and that is ridiculous nonsense.

>>>What do you expect to learn from his reporting?

I don't expect anything. I'll assess what he reports and pass it through my own filter. His work will serve as another input on the mosaic of inputs that form my perceptions.

Please feel free to write if you have any other questions or comments. NOTE: I have posted this to my web site to insure that nothing I've said can be quoted out of context.


The Cryptogon

Newly Launched Al-Jazeera English Site Under Attack :.

In case you haven't noticed, the U.S. government doesn't like Al-Jazeera. Interestingly enough, Al-Jazeera launched an English version of their site last night. The denial of service (DOS) attacks began almost immediately. Remember that the PSYOPS component of the war is EXTREMELY important:

Hackers attacked the Web site of Arab satellite television network Al-Jazeera on Tuesday, rendering it intermittently unavailable, the site's host said.

The newly launched English-language page, which went live Monday, was hardest hit in a bombardment of data packets known as a denial-of-service attack.

Ayman Arrashid, Internet system administrator at the Horizons Media and Information Services, the site's Web host, said the attack began Tuesday morning local time.

The Web host is based in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The servers that host the Al-Jazeera site are in France and the United States. Only the U.S. servers were under attack, said Arrashid, so the attackers were likely in the United States.

Rumsfeld: The "Care" and "Humanity" Involved with U.S. Atrocities :.

"The targeting capabilities and the care that goes into targeting to see that the precise targets are struck and that other targets are not struck, is as impressive as anything anyone could see. The care that goes into it, the humanity that goes into it, to see that military targets are destroyed, to be sure, but that it's done in a way, and in a manner, and in a direction and with a weapon that is appropriate to that very particularized target."

-Donald Rumsfeld, 3/21/03


Halliburton Makes a Killing on Iraq War :.

As the first bombs rain down on Baghdad, thousands of employees of Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, are working alongside US troops in Kuwait and Turkey under a package deal worth close to a billion dollars. According to US Army sources, they are building tent cities and providing logistical support for the war in Iraq in addition to other hot spots in the "war on terrorism."

While recent news coverage has speculated on the post-war reconstruction gravy train that corporations like Halliburton stand to gain from, this latest information indicates that Halliburton is already profiting from war time contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

U.S. Television Networks Show Sports

Polls indicate that 70% of the U.S. population supports the war. That's actually understandable, when one considers the information that those polled are likely to have used to form their opinions. Indeed, on Sunday, March 23, 2003, as anti U.S. sentiment is exploding all over the world, and coalition forces begin to bog down in Iraq, America's four main television networks all ran sports. This is to be expected. It is part of the integrated PSYOPS campaign designed to insure that domestic public opinion does not devolve to the point where Americans begin to question the unnecessary and illegal nature of the conflict.

Americans are egregiously ignorant and they have, quite literally, no idea of what is required to maintain their unconscious and profligate lifestyle. Perhaps if they see what happens to their own sons and daughters who are tasked with stealing other countries' resources, in order to maintain the status quo at home, they might become more reflective:

Al-Jazeera Video of Dead and Captured U.S. Soldiers

Americans have no concept of the consequences of war. They should view this video!

Windows Media Player or RealMedia


:. Reading

Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture by Andrew Kimbrell Readers will come to see that industrial food production is indeed a "fatal harvest" - fatal to consumers, as pesticide residues and new disease vectors such as E. coli and "mad cow disease" find their way into our food supply; fatal to our landscapes, as chemical runoff from factory farms poison our rivers and groundwater; fatal to genetic diversity, as farmers rely increasingly on high-yield monocultures and genetically engineered crops; and fatal to our farm communities, which are wiped out by huge corporate farms.

Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America by Bertram Myron Gross This is a relatively short but extremely cogent and well-argued treatise on the rise of a form of fascistic thought and social politics in late 20th century America. Author Bertram Gross' thesis is quite straightforward; the power elite that comprises the corporate, governmental and military superstructure of the country is increasingly inclined to employ every element in their formidable arsenal of 'friendly persuasion' to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans through what Gross refers to as friendly fascism.

The Good Life
by Scott and Helen Nearing
Helen and Scott Nearing are the great-grandparents of the back-to-the-land movement, having abandoned the city in 1932 for a rural life based on self-reliance, good health, and a minimum of cash...Fascinating, timely, and wholly useful, a mix of the Nearings' challenging philosophy and expert counsel on practical skills.

Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth by David Bollierd In Silent Theft, David Bollier argues that a great untold story of our time is the staggering privatization and abuse of our common wealth. Corporations are engaged in a relentless plunder of dozens of resources that we collectively own—publicly funded medical breakthroughs, software innovation, the airwaves, the public domain of creative works, and even the DNA of plants, animals and humans. Too often, however, our government turns a blind eye—or sometimes helps give away our assets. Amazingly, the silent theft of our shared wealth has gone largely unnoticed because we have lost our ability to see the commons.

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It: The Complete Back-To-Basics Guide by John Seymour The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the only book that teaches all the skills needed to live independently in harmony with the land harnessing natural forms of energy, raising crops and keeping livestock, preserving foodstuffs, making beer and wine, basketry, carpentry, weaving, and much more.

When Corporations Rule the World by David C. Korten When Corporations Rule the World explains how economic globalization has concentrated the power to govern in global corporations and financial markets and detached them from accountability to the human interest. It documents the devastating human and environmental consequences of the successful efforts of these corporations to reconstruct values and institutions everywhere on the planet to serve their own narrow ends.

The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener This expansion of a now-classic guide originally published in 1989 is intended for the serious gardener or small-scale market farmer. It describes practical and sustainable ways of growing superb organic vegetables, with detailed coverage of scale and capital, marketing, livestock, the winter garden, soil fertility, weeds, and many other topics.