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You know Plan B ∫ Israel cosseting the Kurds.

Article lié :

Stassen

  23/06/2004

  Plan B
  By Seymour M. Hersh
  The New Yorker
  Monday 21 June 2004
As June 30th approaches, Israel looks to the Kurds.
  In July, 2003, two months after President Bush declared victory in Iraq, the war, far from winding down, reached a critical point. Israel, which had been among the war’s most enthusiastic supporters, began warning the Administration that the American-led occupation would face a heightened insurgency - a campaign of bombings and assassinations - later that summer. Israeli intelligence assets in Iraq were reporting that the insurgents had the support of Iranian intelligence operatives and other foreign fighters, who were crossing the unprotected border between Iran and Iraq at will. The Israelis urged the United States to seal the nine-hundred-mile-long border, at whatever cost.
  The border stayed open, however. “The Administration wasn’t ignoring the Israeli intelligence about Iran,” Patrick Clawson, who is the deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and has close ties to the White House, explained. “There’s no question that we took no steps last summer to close the border, but our attitude was that it was more useful for Iraqis to have contacts with ordinary Iranians coming across the border, and thousands were coming across every day - for instance, to make pilgrimages.” He added, “The questions we confronted were ‘Is the trade-off worth it? Do we want to isolate the Iraqis?’ Our answer was that as long as the Iranians were not picking up guns and shooting at us, it was worth the price.”
  Clawson said, “The Israelis disagreed quite vigorously with us last summer. Their concern was very straightforward - that the Iranians would create social and charity organizations in Iraq and use them to recruit people who would engage in armed attacks against Americans.”
  The warnings of increased violence proved accurate. By early August, the insurgency against the occupation had exploded, with bombings in Baghdad, at the Jordanian Embassy and the United Nations headquarters, that killed forty-two people. A former Israeli intelligence officer said that Israel’s leadership had concluded by then that the United States was unwilling to confront Iran; in terms of salvaging the situation in Iraq, he said, “it doesn’t add up. It’s over. Not militarily - the United States cannot be defeated militarily in Iraq - but politically.”
  Flynt Leverett, a former C.I.A. analyst who until last year served on the National Security Council and is now a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, told me that late last summer “the Administration had a chance to turn it around after it was clear that ‘Mission Accomplished’” - a reference to Bush’s May speech - “was premature. The Bush people could have gone to their allies and got more boots on the ground. But the neocons were dug in - ‘We’re doing this on our own.’”
  Leverett went on, “The President was only belatedly coming to the understanding that he had to either make a strategic change or, if he was going to insist on unilateral control, get tougher and find the actual insurgency.” The Administration then decided, Leverett said, to “deploy the Guantánamo model in Iraq” - to put aside its rules of interrogation. That decision failed to stop the insurgency and eventually led to the scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison.
  In early November, the President received a grim assessment from the C.I.A.‘s station chief in Baghdad, who filed a special field appraisal, known internally as an Aardwolf, warning that the security situation in Iraq was nearing collapse. The document, as described by Knight-Ridder, said that “none of the postwar Iraqi political institutions and leaders have shown an ability to govern the country” or to hold elections and draft a constitution.
  A few days later, the Administration, rattled by the violence and the new intelligence, finally attempted to change its go-it-alone policy, and set June 30th as the date for the handover of sovereignty to an interim government, which would allow it to bring the United Nations into the process. “November was one year before the Presidential election,” a U.N. consultant who worked on Iraqi issues told me. “They panicked and decided to share the blame with the U.N. and the Iraqis.”
  A former Administration official who had supported the war completed a discouraging tour of Iraq late last fall. He visited Tel Aviv afterward and found that the Israelis he met with were equally discouraged. As they saw it, their warnings and advice had been ignored, and the American war against the insurgency was continuing to founder. “I spent hours talking to the senior members of the Israeli political and intelligence community,” the former official recalled. “Their concern was ‘You’re not going to get it right in Iraq, and shouldn’t we be planning for the worst-case scenario and how to deal with it?’”
  Ehud Barak, the former Israeli Prime Minister, who supported the Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq, took it upon himself at this point to privately warn Vice-President Dick Cheney that America had lost in Iraq; according to an American close to Barak, he said that Israel “had learned that there’s no way to win an occupation.” The only issue, Barak told Cheney, “was choosing the size of your humiliation.” Cheney did not respond to Barak’s assessment. (Cheney’s office declined to comment.)
  In a series of interviews in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, officials told me that by the end of last year Israel had concluded that the Bush Administration would not be able to bring stability or democracy to Iraq, and that Israel needed other options. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government decided, I was told, to minimize the damage that the war was causing to Israel’s strategic position by expanding its long-standing relationship with Iraq’s Kurds and establishing a significant presence on the ground in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Several officials depicted Sharon’s decision, which involves a heavy financial commitment, as a potentially reckless move that could create even more chaos and violence as the insurgency in Iraq continues to grow.
  Israeli intelligence and military operatives are now quietly at work in Kurdistan, providing training for Kurdish commando units and, most important in Israel’s view, running covert operations inside Kurdish areas of Iran and Syria. Israel feels particularly threatened by Iran, whose position in the region has been strengthened by the war. The Israeli operatives include members of the Mossad, Israel’s clandestine foreign-intelligence service, who work undercover in Kurdistan as businessmen and, in some cases, do not carry Israeli passports.
  Asked to comment, Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, said, “The story is simply untrue and the relevant governments know it’s untrue.” Kurdish officials declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the State Department.
  However, a senior C.I.A. official acknowledged in an interview last week that the Israelis were indeed operating in Kurdistan. He told me that the Israelis felt that they had little choice: “They think they have to be there.” Asked whether the Israelis had sought approval from Washington, the official laughed and said, “Do you know anybody who can tell the Israelis what to do? They’re always going to do what is in their best interest.” The C.I.A. official added that the Israeli presence was widely known in the American intelligence community.
  The Israeli decision to seek a bigger foothold in Kurdistan - characterized by the former Israeli intelligence officer as “Plan B” - has also raised tensions between Israel and Turkey. It has provoked bitter statements from Turkish politicians and, in a major regional shift, a new alliance among Iran, Syria, and Turkey, all of which have significant Kurdish minorities. In early June, Intel Brief, a privately circulated intelligence newsletter produced by Vincent Cannistraro, a retired C.I.A. counterterrorism chief, and Philip Giraldi, who served as the C.I.A.‘s deputy chief of base in Istanbul in the late nineteen-eighties, said:
  Turkish sources confidentially report that the Turks are increasingly concerned by the expanding Israeli presence in Kurdistan and alleged encouragement of Kurdish ambitions to create an independent state. . . . The Turks note that the large Israeli intelligence operations in Northern Iraq incorporate anti-Syrian and anti-Iranian activity, including support to Iranian and Syrian Kurds who are in opposition to their respective governments.
  In the years since the first Gulf War, Iraq’s Kurds, aided by an internationally enforced no-fly zone and by a U.N. mandate providing them with a share of the country’s oil revenues, have managed to achieve a large measure of independence in three northern Iraqi provinces. As far as most Kurds are concerned, however, historic “Kurdistan” extends well beyond Iraq’s borders, encompassing parts of Iran, Syria, and Turkey. All three countries fear that Kurdistan, despite public pledges to the contrary, will declare its independence from the interim Iraqi government if conditions don’t improve after June 30th.
  Israeli involvement in Kurdistan is not new. Throughout the nineteen-sixties and seventies, Israel actively supported a Kurdish rebellion against Iraq, as part of its strategic policy of seeking alliances with non-Arabs in the Middle East. In 1975, the Kurds were betrayed by the United States, when Washington went along with a decision by the Shah of Iran to stop supporting Kurdish aspirations for autonomy in Iraq.
  Betrayal and violence became the norm in the next two decades. Inside Iraq, the Kurds were brutally repressed by Saddam Hussein, who used airpower and chemical weapons against them. In 1984, the Kurdistan Workers Party, or P.K.K., initiated a campaign of separatist violence in Turkey that lasted fifteen years; more than thirty thousand people, most of them Kurds, were killed. The Turkish government ruthlessly crushed the separatists, and eventually captured the P.K.K.‘s leader, Abdullah Ocalan. Last month, the P.K.K., now known as the Kongra-Gel, announced that it was ending a five-year unilateral ceasefire and would begin targeting Turkish citizens once again.
  The Iraqi Kurdish leadership was furious when, early this month, the United States acceded to a U.N. resolution on the restoration of Iraqi sovereignty that did not affirm the interim constitution that granted the minority Kurds veto power in any permanent constitution. Kurdish leaders immediately warned President Bush in a letter that they would not participate in a new Shiite-controlled government unless they were assured that their rights under the interim constitution were preserved. “The people of Kurdistan will no longer accept second-class citizenship in Iraq,” the letter said.
  There are fears that the Kurds will move to seize the city of Kirkuk, together with the substantial oil reserves in the surrounding region. Kirkuk is dominated by Arab Iraqis, many of whom were relocated there, beginning in the nineteen-seventies, as part of Saddam Hussein’s campaign to “Arabize” the region, but the Kurds consider Kirkuk and its oil part of their historic homeland. “If Kirkuk is threatened by the Kurds, the Sunni insurgents will move in there, along with the Turkomen, and there will be a bloodbath,” an American military expert who is studying Iraq told me. “And, even if the Kurds do take Kirkuk, they can’t transport the oil out of the country, since all of the pipelines run through the Sunni-Arab heartland.”
  A top German national-security official said in an interview that “an independent Kurdistan with sufficient oil would have enormous consequences for Syria, Iran, and Turkey” and would lead to continuing instability in the Middle East - no matter what the outcome in Iraq is. There is also a widespread belief, another senior German official said, that some elements inside the Bush Administration - he referred specifically to the faction headed by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz - would tolerate an independent Kurdistan. This, the German argued, would be a mistake. “It would be a new Israel - a pariah state in the middle of hostile nations.”
  A declaration of independence would trigger a Turkish response - and possibly a war - and also derail what has been an important alliance for Israel. Turkey and Israel have become strong diplomatic and economic partners in the past decade. Thousands of Israelis travel to Turkey every year as tourists. Turkish opposition to the Iraq war has strained the relationship; still, Turkey remains oriented toward the West and, despite the victory of an Islamic party in national elections in 2002, relatively secular. It is now vying for acceptance in the European Union. In contrast, Turkey and Syria have been at odds for years, at times coming close to open confrontation, and Turkey and Iran have long been regional rivals. One area of tension between them is the conflict between Turkey’s pro-Western stand and Iran’s rigid theocracy. But their mutual wariness of the Kurds has transcended these divisions.
  A European foreign minister, in a conversation last month, said that the “blowing up” of Israel’s alliance with Turkey would be a major setback for the region. He went on, “To avoid chaos, you need the neighbors to work as one common entity.”
  The Israelis, however, view the neighborhood, with the exception of Kurdistan, as hostile. Israel is convinced that Iran is on the verge of developing nuclear weapons, and that, with Syria’s help, it is planning to bolster Palestinian terrorism as Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip.
  Iraqi Shiite militia leaders like Moqtada al-Sadr, the former American intelligence official said, are seen by the Israeli leadership as “stalking horses” for Iran - owing much of their success in defying the American-led coalition to logistical and communications support and training provided by Iran. The former intelligence official said, “We began to see telltale signs of organizational training last summer. But the White House didn’t want to hear it: ‘We can’t take on another problem right now. We can’t afford to push Iran to the point where we’ve got to have a showdown.’”
  Last summer, according to a document I obtained, the Bush Administration directed the Marines to draft a detailed plan, called Operation Stuart, for the arrest and, if necessary, assassination of Sadr. But the operation was cancelled, the former intelligence official told me, after it became clear that Sadr had been “tipped off” about the plan. Seven months later, after Sadr spent the winter building support for his movement, the American-led coalition shut down his newspaper, provoking a crisis that Sadr survived with his status enhanced, thus insuring that he will play a major, and unwelcome, role in the political and military machinations after June 30th.
  “Israel’s immediate goal after June 30th is to build up the Kurdish commando units to balance the Shiite militias - especially those which would be hostile to the kind of order in southern Iraq that Israel would like to see,” the former senior intelligence official said. “Of course, if a fanatic Sunni Baathist militia took control - one as hostile to Israel as Saddam Hussein was - Israel would unleash the Kurds on it, too.” The Kurdish armed forces, known as the peshmerga, number an estimated seventy-five thousand troops, a total that far exceeds the known Sunni and Shiite militias.
  The former Israeli intelligence officer acknowledged that since late last year Israel has been training Kurdish commando units to operate in the same manner and with the same effectiveness as Israel’s most secretive commando units, the Mistaravim. The initial goal of the Israeli assistance to the Kurds, the former officer said, was to allow them to do what American commando units had been unable to do - penetrate, gather intelligence on, and then kill off the leadership of the Shiite and Sunni insurgencies in Iraq. (I was unable to learn whether any such mission had yet taken place.) “The feeling was that this was a more effective way to get at the insurgency,” the former officer said. “But the growing Kurdish-Israeli relationship began upsetting the Turks no end. Their issue is that the very same Kurdish commandos trained for Iraq could infiltrate and attack in Turkey.”
  The Kurdish-Israeli collaboration inevitably expanded, the Israeli said. Some Israeli operatives have crossed the border into Iran, accompanied by Kurdish commandos, to install sensors and other sensitive devices that primarily target suspected Iranian nuclear facilities. The former officer said, “Look, Israel has always supported the Kurds in a Machiavellian way - as balance against Saddam. It’s Realpolitik.” He added, “By aligning with the Kurds, Israel gains eyes and ears in Iran, Iraq, and Syria.” He went on, “What Israel was doing with the Kurds was not so unacceptable in the Bush Administration.”
  Senior German officials told me, with alarm, that their intelligence community also has evidence that Israel is using its new leverage inside Kurdistan, and within the Kurdish communities in Iran and Syria, for intelligence and operational purposes. Syrian and Lebanese officials believe that Israeli intelligence played a role in a series of violent protests in Syria in mid-March in which Syrian Kurdish dissidents and Syrian troops clashed, leaving at least thirty people dead. (There are nearly two million Kurds living in Syria, which has a population of seventeen million.) Much of the fighting took place in cities along Syria’s borders with Turkey and Kurdish-controlled Iraq. Michel Samaha, the Lebanese Minister of Information, told me that while the disturbances amounted to an uprising by the Kurds against the leadership of Bashir Assad, the Syrian President, his government had evidence that Israel was “preparing the Kurds to fight all around Iraq, in Syria, Turkey, and Iran. They’re being programmed to do commando operations.”
  The top German national-security official told me that he believes that the Bush Administration continually misread Iran. “The Iranians wanted to keep America tied down in Iraq, and to keep it busy there, but they didn’t want chaos,” he said. One of the senior German officials told me, “The critical question is ‘What will the behavior of Iran be if there is an independent Kurdistan with close ties to Israel?’ Iran does not want an Israeli land-based aircraft carrier” - that is, a military stronghold - “on its border.”
  Another senior European official said, “The Iranians would do something positive in the south of Iraq if they get something positive in return, but Washington won’t do it. The Bush Administration won’t ask the Iranians for help, and can’t ask the Syrians. Who is going to save the United States?” He added that, at the start of the American invasion of Iraq, several top European officials had told their counterparts in Iran, “You will be the winners in the region.”
  Israel is not alone in believing that Iran, despite its protestations, is secretly hard at work on a nuclear bomb. Early this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is responsible for monitoring nuclear proliferation, issued its fifth quarterly report in a row stating that Iran was continuing to misrepresent its research into materials that could be used for the production of nuclear weapons. Much of the concern centers on an underground enrichment facility at Natanz, two hundred and fifty miles from the Iran-Iraq border, which, during previous I.A.E.A. inspections, was discovered to contain centrifuges showing traces of weapons-grade uranium. The huge complex, which is still under construction, is said to total nearly eight hundred thousand square feet, and it will be sheltered in a few months by a roof whose design allows it to be covered with sand. Once the work is completed, the complex “will be blind to satellites, and the Iranians could add additional floors underground,” an I.A.E.A. official told me. “The question is, will the Israelis hit Iran?”
  Mohamed ElBaradei, the I.A.E.A. director, has repeatedly stated that his agency has not “seen concrete proof of a military program, so it’s premature to make a judgment on that.” David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector who is an expert on nuclear proliferation, buttressed the I.A.E.A. claim. “The United States has no concrete evidence of a nuclear-weapons program,” Albright told me. “It’s just an inference. There’s no smoking gun.” (Last Friday, at a meeting in Vienna, the I.A.E.A. passed a resolution that, while acknowledging some progress, complained that Iran had yet to be as open as it should be, and urgently called upon it to resolve a list of outstanding questions.)
  The I.A.E.A. official told me that the I.A.E.A. leadership has been privately warned by Foreign Ministry officials in Iran that they are “having a hard time getting information” from the hard-line religious and military leaders who run the country. “The Iranian Foreign Ministry tells us, ‘We’re just diplomats, and we don’t know whether we’re getting the whole story from our own people,’” the official said. He noted that the Bush Administration has repeatedly advised the I.A.E.A. that there are secret nuclear facilities in Iran that have not been declared. The Administration will not say more, apparently worried that the information could get back to Iran.
  Patrick Clawson, of the Institute for Near East Policy, provided another explanation for the reluctance of the Bush Administration to hand over specific intelligence. “If we were to identify a site,” he told me, “it’s conceivable that it could be quickly disassembled and the I.A.E.A. inspectors would arrive” - international inspections often take weeks to organize - “and find nothing.” The American intelligence community, already discredited because of its faulty reporting on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, would be criticized anew. “It’s much better,” Clawson said, “to have the I.A.E.A. figure out on its own that there’s a site and then find evidence that there had been enriched material there.”
  Clawson told me that Israel’s overwhelming national-security concern must be Iran. Given that a presence in Kurdistan would give Israel a way to monitor the Iranian nuclear effort, he said, “it would be negligent for the Israelis not to be there.”
  At the moment, the former American senior intelligence official said, the Israelis’ tie to Kurdistan “would be of greater value than their growing alliance with Turkey. ‘We love Turkey but got to keep the pressure on Iran.’” The former Israeli intelligence officer said, “The Kurds were the last surviving group close to the United States with any say in Iraq. The only question was how to square it with Turkey.”
  There may be no way to square it with Turkey. Over breakfast in Ankara, a senior Turkish official explained, “Before the war, Israel was active in Kurdistan, and now it is active again. This is very dangerous for us, and for them, too. We do not want to see Iraq divided, and we will not ignore it.” Then, citing a popular Turkish proverb - “We will burn a blanket to kill a flea” - he said, “We have told the Kurds, ‘We are not afraid of you, but you should be afraid of us.’” (A Turkish diplomat I spoke to later was more direct: “We tell our Israeli and Kurdish friends that Turkey’s good will lies in keeping Iraq together. We will not support alternative solutions.”)
  “If you end up with a divided Iraq, it will bring more blood, tears, and pain to the Middle East, and you will be blamed,” the senior Turkish official said. “From Mexico to Russia, everybody will claim that the United States had a secret agenda in Iraq: you came there to break up Iraq. If Iraq is divided, America cannot explain this to the world.” The official compared the situation to the breakup of Yugoslavia, but added, “In the Balkans, you did not have oil.” He said, “The lesson of Yugoslavia is that when you give one country independence everybody will want it.” If that happens, he said, “Kirkuk will be the Sarajevo of Iraq. If something happens there, it will be impossible to contain the crisis.”
  In Ankara, another senior Turkish official explained that his government had “openly shared its worries” about the Israeli military activities inside Kurdistan with the Israeli Foreign Ministry. “They deny the training and the purchase of property and claim it’s not official but done by private persons. Obviously, our intelligence community is aware that it was not so. This policy is not good for America, Iraq, or Israel and the Jews.”
  Turkey’s increasingly emphatic and public complaints about Israel’s missile attacks on the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip is another factor in the growing tensions between the allies. On May 26th, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul, announced at a news conference in Ankara that the Turkish government was bringing its Ambassador in Israel home for consultations on how to revive the Middle East peace process. He also told the Turkish parliament that the government was planning to strengthen its ties to the Palestinian Authority, and, in conversations with Middle Eastern diplomats in the past month, he expressed grave concern about Israel. In one such talk, one diplomat told me, Gul described Israeli activities, and the possibility of an independent Kurdistan, as “presenting us with a choice that is not a real choice - between survival and alliance.”
  A third Turkish official told me that the Israelis were “talking to us in order to appease our concern. They say, ‘We aren’t doing anything in Kurdistan to undermine your interests. Don’t worry.’” The official added, “If it goes out publicly what they’ve been doing, it will put your government and our government in a difficult position. We can tolerate ‘Kurdistan’ if Iraq is intact, but nobody knows the future - not even the Americans.”
  A former White House official depicted the Administration as eager - almost desperate - late this spring to install an acceptable new interim government in Iraq before President Bush’s declared June 30th deadline for the transfer of sovereignty. The Administration turned to Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations special envoy, to “put together something by June 30th - just something that could stand up” through the Presidential election, the former official said. Brahimi was given the task of selecting, with Washington’s public approval, the thirty-one members of Iraq’s interim government. Nevertheless, according to press reports, the choice of Iyad Allawi as interim Prime Minister was a disappointment to Brahimi.
  The White House has yet to deal with Allawi’s past. His credentials as a neurologist, and his involvement during the past two decades in anti-Saddam activities, as the founder of the British-based Iraqi National Accord, have been widely reported. But his role as a Baath Party operative while Saddam struggled for control in the nineteen-sixties and seventies - Saddam became President in 1979 - is much less well known. “Allawi helped Saddam get to power,” an American intelligence officer told me. “He was a very effective operator and a true believer.” Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former C.I.A. case officer who served in the Middle East, added, “Two facts stand out about Allawi. One, he likes to think of himself as a man of ideas; and, two, his strongest virtue is that he’s a thug.”
  Early this year, one of Allawi’s former medical-school classmates, Dr. Haifa al-Azawi, published an essay in an Arabic newspaper in London raising questions about his character and his medical bona fides. She depicted Allawi as a “big husky man . . . who carried a gun on his belt and frequently brandished it, terrorizing the medical students.” Allawi’s medical degree, she wrote, “was conferred upon him by the Baath party.” Allawi moved to London in 1971, ostensibly to continue his medical education; there he was in charge of the European operations of the Baath Party organization and the local activities of the Mukhabarat, its intelligence agency, until 1975.
  “If you’re asking me if Allawi has blood on his hands from his days in London, the answer is yes, he does,” Vincent Cannistraro, the former C.I.A. officer, said. “He was a paid Mukhabarat agent for the Iraqis, and he was involved in dirty stuff.” A cabinet-level Middle East diplomat, who was rankled by the U.S. indifference to Allawi’s personal history, told me early this month that Allawi was involved with a Mukhabarat “hit team” that sought out and killed Baath Party dissenters throughout Europe. (Allawi’s office did not respond to a request for comment.) At some point, for reasons that are not clear, Allawi fell from favor, and the Baathists organized a series of attempts on his life. The third attempt, by an axe-wielding assassin who broke into his home near London in 1978, resulted in a year-long hospital stay.
  The Saban Center’s Flynt Leverett said of the transfer of sovereignty, “If it doesn’t work, there is no fallback - nothing.” The former senior American intelligence official told me, similarly, that “the neocons still think they can pull the rabbit out of the hat” in Iraq. “What’s the plan? They say, ‘We don’t need it. Democracy is strong enough. We’ll work it out.’”
  Middle East diplomats and former C.I.A. operatives who now consult in Baghdad have told me that many wealthy Iraqi businessmen and their families have deserted Baghdad in recent weeks in anticipation of continued, and perhaps heightened, suicide attacks and terror bombings after June 30th. “We’ll see Christians, Shiites, and Sunnis getting out,” Michel Samaha, the Lebanese Minister of Information, reported. “What the resistance is doing is targeting the poor people who run the bureaucracy - those who can’t afford to pay for private guards. A month ago, friends of mine who are important landowners in Iraq came to Baghdad to do business. The cost of one day’s security was about twelve thousand dollars.”
  Whitley Bruner, a retired intelligence officer who was a senior member of the C.I.A.‘s task force on Iraq a decade ago, said that the new interim government in Iraq is urgently seeking ways to provide affordable security for second-tier officials - the men and women who make the government work. In early June, two such officials - Kamal Jarrah, an Education Ministry official, and Bassam Salih Kubba, who was serving as deputy foreign minister - were assassinated by unidentified gunmen outside their homes. Neither had hired private guards. Bruner, who returned from Baghdad earlier this month, said that he was now working to help organize Iraqi companies that could provide high-quality security that Iraqis could afford. “It’s going to be a hot summer,” Bruner said. “A lot of people have decided to get to Lebanon, Jordan, or the Gulf and wait this one out.”
  Go to Original
  Kurds Advancing to Reclaim Land in Northern Iraq
  By Dexter Filkins
  New York Times
  Sunday 20 June 20 2004
  Makhmur, Iraq - Thousands of ethnic Kurds are pushing into lands formerly held by Iraqi Arabs, forcing tens of thousands of them to flee to ramshackle refugee camps and transforming the demographic and political map of northern Iraq.
  The Kurds are returning to lands from which they were expelled by the armies of Saddam Hussein and his predecessors in the Baath Party, who ordered thousands of Kurdish villages destroyed and sent waves of Iraqi Arabs north to fill the area with supporters.
  The new movement, which began with the fall of Mr. Hussein, appears to have quickened this spring amid confusion about American policy, along with political pressure by Kurdish leaders to resettle the areas formerly held by Arabs. It is happening at a moment when Kurds are threatening to withdraw from the national government if they are not confident of having sufficient autonomy.
  In Baghdad, American officials say they are struggling to keep the displaced Kurds on the north side of the Green Line, the boundary of the Kurdish autonomous region. The Americans agree that the Kurds deserve to return to their ancestral lands, but they want an orderly migration to avoid ethnic strife and political instability.
  But thousands of Kurds appear to be ignoring the American orders. New Kurdish families show up every day at the camps that mark the landscape here, settling into tents and tumble-down homes as they wait to reclaim their former lands.
  The Kurdish migration appears to be causing widespread misery, with Arabs complaining of expulsions and even murders at the hands of Kurdish returnees. Many of the Kurdish refugees themselves are gathered in crowded camps.
  American officials say as many as 100,000 Arabs have fled their homes in north-central Iraq and are now scattered in squalid camps across the center of the country. With the anti-American insurgency raging across much of the same area, the Arab refugees appear to be receiving neither food nor shelter from the Iraqi government, relief organizations or American forces.
  “The Kurds, they laughed at us, they threw tomatoes at us,” said Karim Qadam, a 45-year-old father of three, now living amid the rubble of a blown-up building in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad. “They told us to get out of our homes. They told us they would kill us. They told us, ‘You don’t own anything here anymore.’ ”
  Ten years ago, Mr. Qadam said, Iraqi officials forced him to turn over his home in the southern city of Diwaniya and move north to the formerly Kurdish village of Khanaqaan, where he received a free parcel of farmland. Now, like the thousands of Arabs encamped in the parched plains northeast of Baghdad, Mr. Qadam, his wife and three children have no home to return to.
  The push by the Kurds into the formerly Arab-held lands, while driven by the returnees themselves, appears to be backed by the Kurdish government, which has long advocated a resettlement of the disputed area. Despite an explicit prohibition in the Iraqi interim constitution, Kurdish officials are setting up offices and exercising governmental authority in the newly settled areas.
  The shift in population is raising fears in Iraq that the Kurds are trying to expand their control over Iraqi territory at the same time they are suggesting that they may pull out of the Iraqi government.
  American officials say they are trying to fend off pressure from Kurds to move their people back into the area. “There is a lot of pressure in the Kurdish political context to bring the people who were forced out back into their hometowns,” said a senior American official in Baghdad, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “What we have tried to do so far, through moral suasion, is to get the Kurds to recognize that if they put too much pressure on Kirkuk and other places south of the Green Line, they could spark regional and national instability.”
  But local occupation officials appear in some areas to have accepted the flow of Kurds back to their homes. According to minutes of a recent meeting of occupation officials and relief workers in the northern city of Erbil, an American official said the Americans would no longer oppose Kurds’ crossing the Green Line, as long as the areas they were moving into were uncontested.
  And Kurdish and American officials say the occupation authority has been financing projects here in Makhmur, a formerly Arab area recently resettled by Kurds.
  The biggest potential flash point is Kirkuk, a city contested by Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen. Kurdish leaders want to make the city, with its vast oil deposits, the Kurdish regional capital and resettle it with Kurds who were driven out in the 1980’s.
  To make the point, some 10,000 Kurds have gathered in a sprawling camp outside Kirkuk, where they are pressing the American authorities to let them enter the city. American military officers who control Kirkuk say they are blocking attempts to expel more Arabs from the town, for fear of igniting ethnic unrest.
  “The Kurds are pushing, pushing,” said Pascal Ishu Warda, the minister for displaced persons and migration. “We have to set up a system to deal with these people who have been thrown out of their homes.”
  To treat the burgeoning crisis, American officials last month approved spending $180 million to compensate Arab families thrown out of their homes; earlier they set up a similar program, with similar financing, for the Kurds.
  The Americans have distributed handbills in Arab and Kurdish camps calling on Iraqis to file claims and produce ownership documents.
  But some Iraqi and American officials say those claims could take months or even years to sort out, and will provide little immediate help to the families, Arab and Kurdish, languishing in the camps.
  Some people said American officials waited too long - more than a year - to set up a mechanism to resettle displaced Iraqis. By then, they said, the Kurds, tired of waiting, took matters into their own hands.
  Peter W. Galbraith, a former United States ambassador, who has advised the Kurdish leadership, said he recommended a claim system for Kurds and Arabs to Pentagon officials in late 2002. Nothing was put in place on the ground until last month, he said, long after the Kurds began to move south of the Green Line.
  “The C.P.A. adopted a sensible idea, but it required rapid implementation,” Mr. Galbraith said. “They dropped the ball, and facts were created on the ground. Of course people are going to start moving. If the political parties are encouraging this, that, too, is understandable.”
  Kurdish leaders say they are merely taking back land that was stolen from them over four decades. Publicly, the Kurdish leaders say that they are committed to working within the Iraqi state as long as their federal rights are assured, and that no Arabs have been forced from their homes.
  But in the villages and camps where the Kurds have returned, Kurdish leaders are more boastful. They say they pushed the Arab settlers out as part of a plan to expand Kurdish control over the territory.
  “We made sure there wasn’t a single Arab left here who came as part of the Arabization program,” said Abdul Rehman Belaf, the mayor of Makhmur, a large area in northern Iraq that was emptied of Arabs and is now being resettled by Kurds.
  Mr. Belaf is a member of the Kurdish Democratic Party, one of the two main Kurdish political parties active on the other side of the Green Line; virtually all of Makhmur’s officials belong to the party, too.
  “We haven’t stopped yet,” he said. “We have more land to take back.”
  Before the war began in 2003, Arab settlers worked the fields in the areas surrounding Makhmur. Most of the settlers were brought north by successive waves of Mr. Hussein’s campaign to populate the north with Arabs, killing or expelling tens of thousands of Kurds.
  Exactly what happened when Mr. Hussein’s army collapsed is disputed. Kurdish officials say the Arab settlers fled with the army. No expulsions were necessary, they said.
  But some Arab families, like those who settled around Makhmur long ago, have largely been left alone.
  “Saddam’s people asked me to take Kurdish lands in 1987, and I said no,” said Salim Sadoon al-Sabawi, a 60-year-old Arab farmer in the village where his family has lived for generations. “When the Kurds returned, they left me alone. There was no violence. We are like brothers.”
  Asked what the Kurds did to the Arabs who migrated into the area recently, Mr. Sabawi paused, and his son, Arkan, broke in. “They threatened people with death,” Arkan said. “They told them to get out.”
  “Let’s be honest,” Mr. Sabawi told his son. “The Arabs who left all came here as part of the Arabization program. They kicked out the Kurds. It wasn’t their land to begin with.”
  Mr. Belaf, the Kurdish mayor, said that before the war, the area around Makhmur was 80 percent Arab. A year later, he said, it is 80 percent Kurdish, as it used to be.
  As hard as life is for Arabs in refugee camps, it seems to be hardly better for the Kurds displacing them.
  Adnan Karim, 34, said his home was burned by the Iraqi Army in 1987. He began a life on the run after that, fighting Mr. Hussein as a pesh merga, marrying, having children and moving from one place to another. Last year he returned to an old military camp near Kirkuk, Qara Hanjir, hoping the new government would set aside some land for returnees like him. Nearly a year later, he is still waiting in a camp.
  Mr. Karim said he was trying to provide for his wife and three children with a $40-a-month pesh merga pension and money from odd jobs. But much of his money is spent buying water from a truck.
  Watching his children play in the dirt around him, Mr. Karim, a bedraggled man, gave in to despair.
  “I have spent my whole life this way,” he said, “just as you see me.”
———-

Iraq Police Training A Flop

Article lié :

Stassen

  16/06/2004

Iraq Police Training A Flop
Associated Press
June 10, 2004

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL_police_061004,00.html?ESRC=dod.nl

TAJI, Iraq - Misguided U.S. training of Iraqi police contributed to the country’s instability and has delayed getting enough qualified Iraqis on the streets to ease the burden on American forces, the head of armed forces training said Wednesday.

“It hasn’t gone well. We’ve had almost one year of no progress,” said Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, who departs Iraq next week after spending a year assembling and training the country’s 200,000 army, police and civil defense troops.

“We’ve had the wrong training focus - on individual cops rather than their leaders,” Eaton said in an interview with The Associated Press.

A credible, well-equipped national security force is crucial to America’s plans to pull its 138,000 troops out of Iraq, along with the 24,000 soldiers from Britain and other coalition countries.

As U.S. occupation leaders prepare to hand power to an Iraqi government in less than three weeks, Iraq’s own security forces won’t be ready to take a large role in protecting the country. A U.N. Security Council resolution approved Tuesday acknowledges Iraq’s lack of a developed security force and provides a continued multinational troop presence until 2006.

Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy U.S. defense secretary, wrote in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal that the Iraqi army - including the Taji-based Iraqi National Task Force, which focuses on internal strife - will begin assuming some security duties over the next few months.

Iraqi forces could soon “take local control of the cities,” with U.S. troops moving into a supporting role, Wolfowitz wrote.

In April, Iraqi security forces failed their first big test, when about half the police and military forces deserted during rebel uprisings in Fallujah, Najaf, Karbala and elsewhere.

Eaton, a plainspoken officer who didn’t shirk responsibility for his role in the problems, said soldiers of Iraq’s 2nd Brigade simply ignored U.S. orders to fight their countrymen.

“They basically quit. They told us, ‘We’re an army for external defense and you want us to go to Fallujah?’ That was a personal mistake on my part,” Eaton said.

When the uprising broke out in Fallujah, Eaton said he saw a chance to begin transferring the security mission to Iraqi forces. He agreed to allow the Iraqi army’s just-created 2nd Brigade to take on guerrillas that had seized control of the restive western city.

“We were premature,” said Eaton, 54, of Weatherford, Okla. “I could have stopped it. I had a bad feeling and I should have acted on it.”

The lesson learned was that the soldiers needed an Iraqi command hierarchy. Eaton said the soldiers may have battled Fallujah’s Sunni Muslim rebels if Iraqi leaders were spurring them on.

Wolfowitz also cited the importance of Iraqi commanders and said the April desertions shouldn’t have been a surprise because of the Iraqis’ shortcomings in training, equipment and leadership.

“No one had any expectation that Iraqi security forces would be ready this past April to stand up to the kind of fighting they encountered in Fallujah and in the Najaf-Karbala region,” Wolfowitz wrote.

One U.S. military official said Wolfowitz was partly to blame for those shortcomings.

Some $257 million in spending authority was held up by Wolfowitz’s office for two months, delaying construction of Iraqi army barracks for four brigades awaiting training, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The desertions could have happened in any country, said Iraqi army Brig. Gen. Khaled al-Sattar, the commander of the army brigade training at the Taji camp.

“The soldiers didn’t want to fight their own countrymen. Would you?” al-Sattar said as he and Eaton lunched on stewed beef and beans in the base mess hall. “Once there are division commanders and an Iraqi defense minister, the soldiers will start obeying orders because the orders come from an Iraqi leadership.”

U.S. trainers are currently instructing 550 new soldiers in the training camp in Kirkush to replace troops who deserted in April, Eaton said.

U.S. leaders, too, arrived in Iraq unprepared for the type of insurgency that began to flare last summer, Eaton said.

“We thought we were going to be nice and comfortable in a benign environment and rebuild this country,” he said. “Not everyone wanted to get Iraqi leaders in fast. I’d have been more aggressive early.”

Now, the U.S. military is reconfiguring the training mission. Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, who commanded the 101st Airborne Division when it occupied a large part of northern Iraq, returned to the country to head the Office of Security Transition, which oversees recruiting and training of Iraq’s five security forces.

Brig. Gen. James Schwitters, who has an Army special operations background, will take over the Iraqi army training mission from Eaton, who will become head of training at the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe, Va.

British Brig. Gen. Andrew Mackay will head police training.

By January, the Iraqi army is expected to count 35,000 soldiers, with the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps expected to number 40,000 by fall, according to Wolfowitz. There are now close to 90,000 Iraqi police officers and tens of thousands more Ministry of Interior forces, many have little or no modern police training, he wrote.

——

J'ai pas pu résister ...

Article lié :

JeFF

  15/06/2004

On va pas jusqu’à garantir l’exactitude du truc, mais bon ...
(source : http://games.slashdot.org/games/04/05/10/2036258.shtml?tid=127&tid=133&%20tid=186 )


Videogame Character Threatens National Security?

Posted by simoniker on Mon May 10, ‘04 05:31 PM
from the sonic-the-jailed-hog dept.
Watchful Babbler writes “Apparently, ‘the lead item on the government’s daily threat matrix one day last April’ was clear and definite: a reclusive millionaire had formed a terrorist group with the intent of launching chemical weapons attacks on Western cities. The White House was notified and the Director of the FBI briefed as the government raced to find information. But then, according to USNews.com, a White House staffer decided to Google for information on suspected threat Don Emilio Fulci and found him—in a video game - Sega’s action title Headhunter. No word on exactly which sources and methods came up with this gem, but word in the E Ring is that Fulci had issued the cryptic warning, ‘You have no chance to survive make your time’.”

les affreux de l'amérique

Article lié :

garcia

  15/06/2004

Bonsoir à tous.

Depuis plusieurs jours je me tracasse au sujet de ce que j’ai pu lire et voir sur le site dont le lien est en fin de post.

Ce site décortique au ralenti les différentes images de la journée du 11/09 et d’autres sujets relatifs aux manipulations exercées par l’administration BUSH

Concrètement, on voit le deuxième avion ( celui de la TOUR Sud) lancer un missile peu avant son entrée dans le bâtiment.

Le site insiste sur le fait que cet avion n’est pas un Boeing de tourisme, mais Un B767 de ravitaillement. Autrement un boeing militaire.

Dépourvu de hublots, avec une manoeuvre digne d’un avion de chasse très performant, cet avion semble laisser perpexle pas mal d’observateurs.

D’après le site, les médias seraient au parfum mais participent au merdier orchestré en Haut Lieu.

J’aimerais avoir votre avis, à chacun de vous.

Ces images sont elles réelles?

Cette monstruosité est elle concevable?

A savoir qu’un gouvernement tue sciemment des milliers de personnes afin d’asseoir politiquement un président super mal élu, afin de plonger tout le secteur aérien dans une crise sans précédent ( justement Boeing laisse Airbus se charger des projets dans le civil car il ne peut plus rivaliser aujourd’hui, mais qu est ce que les contrats du Pentagone sont rentables pour Boeing!!)
Afin, bien sûr de trouver un prétexte, bancal, mais prétexte quand même pour aller créer un chaos bien loin de chez eux, au coeur du moyen orient, qui a besoin de tout, sauf des américains.

Je poste ça parce que je suis ahuri du peu de réaction de tous par rapport à tout ça.

De toutes façons, il suffit de voir les retours en bénéficent qui profitent à toute cette bande de criminels, pour douter sérieusement de tout ce pipotage et de la version US, toujours prompte à plonger dans le virtualisme, comme vous le dites si souvent, à juste titre.

le site en question
http://www.letsroll911.org/

et une des nombreuses vidéos disponibles sur ce site.
http://www.thewebfairy.com/911/letsroll911/Web/missileignitionandlaunch.swf

merci à vous tous de bien vouloir dire quelle impression ça vous laisse de consulter un site comme celui ci!

Etat des libertés en France

Article lié :

MikeAnon

  13/06/2004

Je m’inquiète de plus en plus des l’état des libertés en France.
Participant au forum fr.soc.politique, je me suis déjà vu menacé par mon FAI de coupure de ma ligne, non en réponse aux propos certainement non politiquement correct que je tenais, mais sous le prétexte, entièrement non justifié, que j’effectuais du spamming (difficile de dire, dans un pays prétendument libre, que l’on vous prive de votre droit d’expression pour des raisons politiques).
J’ai donc utilisé un proxy pour éviter que l’on ne remonte trop facilement à ma ligne réelle. Depuis une dizaine de jours, l’accès à fr.soc.politique à travers un proxy (certains proxys?) est interdit.
Une chappe de plomb est en train de tomber sur la France. Si vous vous exprimez sous votre nom, on coupe votre ligne (au mieux), si vous masquez votre identité, on vous interdit l’accès au NewsGroups.
A quelle distance se trouve le régime actuel du totalitarisme ?

Mike

Point of view from Larry Diamond - senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and co-editor of the Journal of Democracy

Article lié :

Stassen

  11/06/2004

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-diamond10jun10.story
COMMENTARY
An Eyewitness to the Iraq Botch
By Larry Diamond

June 10, 2004

When I went to Baghdad in early January as a senior advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority, I believed that a democracy of sorts could gradually be constructed in Iraq, despite the formidable obstacles. Although I had opposed the war, I accepted the invitation because I believed that the United States could not allow postwar Iraq to sink into chaos and that the Iraqi people deserved an opportunity to live in freedom. This did not seem to me to be an unrealistic goal.

But I returned three months later sorely disappointed. Because of a long catalog of strategic and tactical blunders, the United States has failed to come anywhere near meeting the postwar expectations of Iraqis. It now seems clear that the occupation will leave a mixed, and on balance negative, record when the Americans hand over power June 30. Though we leave behind a framework for political transition, it is hobbled by two huge deficits: security and legitimacy.

Previous international efforts to build democracy after violent conflict counsel one clear, overriding lesson: “It’s security, stupid.” If a decimated country doesn’t restore enough security to rebuild its infrastructure, revive commercial life, employ workers and enable civic organizations to mobilize, political parties to campaign and voters to register and vote, it can’t craft a decent political order — certainly not a democratic one.

The aftermath of tyranny and war is never going to be perfectly tranquil. But to build a democratic state, a country must first build a state, and the transcendent imperative for that is to establish a monopoly over the means of violence. In Iraq, this meant moving quickly to prevent a resurgence of violence on the part of the defeated Baathists, radical Islamists, external jihadists and others threatened by the new political order. But despite warnings from the Rand Corp. and others, the Pentagon plunged blithely ahead with only half the necessary force (less than 150,000 troops). Our inability to control the savage looting that swept Baghdad in April 2003 signaled the hollowness of the U.S. posture and emboldened the die-hard Baathists to regroup for the insurgency that has devastated postwar reconstruction.

By the time I arrived, the signs of insecurity were pervasive. Iraqi translators and drivers at the palace where the CPA has its headquarters told me of the threats to their lives and the murders of their co-workers, while our soldiers confessed frankly that they could do nothing to protect those Iraqis outside the Green Zone. Repeatedly I had to cancel trips to meet Iraqis outside of the compound because we could not obtain the armored cars or helicopters that would enable me to travel with some measure of safety.

Today, in place of security, Iraq has a welter of heavily armed militias serving not the new Iraq but political parties, incipient regional warlords and religious leaders.

To the security deficit was added a yawning legitimacy deficit. The CPA delayed local elections and imposed one unwieldy transition plan after another while leaning too heavily on Iraqi exiles, especially the widely distrusted Ahmad Chalabi. Crippled by a severe shortage of American officials fluent in Arabic (as well as the steady loss of Iraqi translators to intimidation and assassination), and distanced from Iraqi society by formidable walls of security, the CPA never adequately grasped Iraqi preferences, hopes and frustrations.

While I was there, the CPA repeatedly misjudged and underestimated the most important Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, and finalized in early March an interim constitution that most Iraqis (including Sistani) felt gave too sweeping a veto to minorities and too little participation to the people. When I traveled the country speaking about this new document, I was stunned by the anger and frustration of Iraqis who felt excluded from the process. But by then, the CPA was interested only in “selling” the document (for which we hired an expensive advertising agency). Too often, our engagement with ordinary Iraqis was a one-way conversation from above.

Today, as the U.S. continues to battle the radical Shiite insurgency led by cleric Muqtada Sadr while trying to sell Iraqis on its post-occupation plans, the challenges are as tough as ever. The new interim government includes a number of politically shrewd Iraqis, some with roots in Iraq’s crucially important tribes, who may yet prove capable of mobilizing support for the political transition. But the new government will not be viable and the elections for a transitional parliament will drown in bloodshed and fraud unless the new Iraqi state can defeat the former regime loyalists, the terrorists, the organized criminals and the militias. To do that, a recommitment from the United States — and a smarter American strategy — will be needed.

————————————————————————————————————————
Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and co-editor of the Journal of Democracy.

A chacun son tour

Article lié :

JeFF

  10/06/2004

Fiabilité des sources, recoupement, ... y a du boulot

(en provenance de Secrecy News, http://www.fas.org)

INTEGRITY OF STATE DEPT TERRORISM REPORT QUESTIONED

A new report from the Congressional Research Service cautiously
notes that the State Department’s annual “Patterns of Global
Terrorism” report suffers from a variety of statistical and
methodological flaws, and that for the first time an errata
sheet to the latest edition will be provided.

The CRS report was first described in the Los Angeles Times
today.

See “The Department of State’s Patterns of Global Terrorism
Report: Trends, State Sponsors, and Related Issues” by Raphael
Perl, Congressional Research Service, June 1, 2004:

    http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL32417.pdf

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) was more blunt about the terrorism
report’s defects.

“It appears… that the decline in terrorism reported by the
State Department results from manipulation of the data, not an
actual decline in terrorism incidents,” he wrote to Secretary
of State Colin Powell on May 17.

“This manipulation… calls into serious doubt the integrity of
the report,” Rep. Waxman wrote.  See his letter here:
    http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2004_cr/waxman051704.pdf

Unanimisme bêlant...

Article lié : Il est très possible qu’ils lui aient donné le coup de pouce décisif pour sa réélection...

Stassen

  08/06/2004

Oui, cela en devient éreintant à la fin : subir ce “ping pong” événementiel où l’on ce dit que ce sera la der des der : on ne nous aura plus avec la rouerie de l’administration bushienne. Mais non, les retrouvailles du D-Day, émouvantes il est vrai,  passent pour la façade politiquement correcte des bonnes relations entre ces éminents représentants autours du berceau des valeurs atlantistes: parce que les valeurs communes demeurent entre nous, paraît-il…? Laissez-moi pleurer : Les juristes US estiment que Bush n’est même pas lié par le principe d’interdiction de la torture (articles ci-dessous).
Pourtant, j’y crois à cette renaissance de l’Europe, enfin adulte par sa capacité à tourner la page de ses luttes fatricides. Mais nos élites peuvent-elles assumer le poids de leur responsabilité : représenter les citoyens au travers d’institutions transparentes par un lien direct (no authority without accountability).
L’actuel (non)débat entourant les élections du parlement européen exprime de manière assourdissante le malaise induit par des échafaudages institutionnels (25 scrutins nationaux…) dont les citoyens n’entendent que puic. C’est là pourtant , qu’il faut “porter le fer” si l’on veut éviter les dérives populistes. Mais le traité constitutionnel se fait désirer… Alors, débacle imminente… Nous le saurons bientôt. Mais déjà, on entend gronder les tendances “souverainistes”...

June 8, 2004
Lawyers Decided Bans on Torture Didn’t Bind Bush
By NEIL A. LEWIS and ERIC SCHMITT
ASHINGTON, June 7 - A team of administration lawyers concluded in a March 2003 legal memorandum that President Bush was not bound by either an international treaty prohibiting torture or by a federal antitorture law because he had the authority as commander in chief to approve any technique needed to protect the nation’s security.

The memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, also said that any executive branch officials, including those in the military, could be immune from domestic and international prohibitions against torture for a variety of reasons.

One reason, the lawyers said, would be if military personnel believed that they were acting on orders from superiors “except where the conduct goes so far as to be patently unlawful.”

“In order to respect the president’s inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign,” the lawyers wrote in the 56-page confidential memorandum, the prohibition against torture “must be construed as inapplicable to interrogation undertaken pursuant to his commander-in-chief authority.”

Senior Pentagon officials on Monday sought to minimize the significance of the March memo, one of several obtained by The New York Times, as an interim legal analysis that had no effect on revised interrogation procedures that Mr. Rumsfeld approved in April 2003 for the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

“The April document was about interrogation techniques and procedures,” said Lawrence Di Rita, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman. “It was not a legal analysis.”

Mr. Di Rita said the 24 interrogation procedures permitted at Guantánamo, four of which required Mr. Rumsfeld’s explicit approval, did not constitute torture and were consistent with international treaties.

The March memorandum, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Monday, is the latest internal legal study to be disclosed that shows that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks the administration’s lawyers were set to work to find legal arguments to avoid restrictions imposed by international and American law.

A Jan. 22, 2002, memorandum from the Justice Department that provided arguments to keep American officials from being charged with war crimes for the way prisoners were detained and interrogated was used extensively as a basis for the March memorandum on avoiding proscriptions against torture.

The previously disclosed Justice Department memorandum concluded that administration officials were justified in asserting that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to detainees from the Afghanistan war.

Another memorandum obtained by The Times indicates that most of the administration’s top lawyers, with the exception of those at the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, approved of the Justice Department’s position that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the war in Afghanistan. In addition, that memorandum, dated Feb. 2, 2002, noted that lawyers for the Central Intelligence Agency had asked for an explicit understanding that the administration’s public pledge to abide by the spirit of the conventions did not apply to its operatives.

The March memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, was prepared as part of a review of interrogation techniques by a working group appointed by the Defense Department’s general counsel, William J. Haynes. The group itself was led by the Air Force general counsel, Mary Walker, and included military and civilian lawyers from all branches of the armed services.

The review stemmed from concerns raised by Pentagon lawyers and interrogators at Guantánamo after Mr. Rumsfeld approved a set of harsher interrogation techniques in December 2002 to use on a Saudi detainee, Mohamed al-Kahtani, who was believed to be the planned 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11 terror plot.

Mr. Rumsfeld suspended the harsher techniques, including serving the detainee cold, prepackaged food instead of hot rations and shaving off his facial hair, on Jan. 12, pending the outcome of the working group’s review. Gen. James T. Hill, head of the military’s Southern Command, which oversees Guantánamo, told reporters last Friday that the working group “wanted to do what is humane and what is legal and consistent not only with” the Geneva Conventions, but also “what is right for our soldiers.”

Mr. Di Rita said that the Pentagon officials were focused primarily on the interrogation techniques, and that the legal rationale included in the March memo was mostly prepared by the Justice Department and White House counsel’s office.

The memo showed that not only lawyers from the Defense and Justice departments and the White House approved of the policy but also that David S. Addington, the counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney, also was involved in the deliberations. The State Department lawyer, William H. Taft IV, dissented, warning that such a position would weaken the protections of the Geneva Conventions for American troops.

The March 6 document about torture provides tightly constructed definitions of torture. For example, if an interrogator “knows that severe pain will result from his actions, if causing such harm is not his objective, he lacks the requisite specific intent even though the defendant did not act in good faith,” the report said. “Instead, a defendant is guilty of torture only if he acts with the express purpose of inflicting severe pain or suffering on a person within his control.”

The adjective “severe,” the report said, “makes plain that the infliction of pain or suffering per se, whether it is physical or mental, is insufficient to amount to torture. Instead, the text provides that pain or suffering must be `severe.’ ” The report also advised that if an interrogator “has a good faith belief his actions will not result in prolonged mental harm, he lacks the mental state necessary for his actions to constitute torture.”

The report also said that interrogators could justify breaching laws or treaties by invoking the doctrine of necessity. An interrogator using techniques that cause harm might be immune from liability if he “believed at the moment that his act is necessary and designed to avoid greater harm.”

Scott Horton, the former head of the human rights committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, said Monday that he believed that the March memorandum on avoiding responsibility for torture was what caused a delegation of military lawyers to visit him and complain privately about the administration’s confidential legal arguments. That visit, he said, resulted in the association undertaking a study and issuing of a report criticizing the administration. He added that the lawyers who drafted the torture memo in March could face professional sanctions.

Jamie Fellner, the director of United States programs for Human Rights Watch, said Monday, “We believe that this memo shows that at the highest levels of the Pentagon there was an interest in using torture as well as a desire to evade the criminal consequences of doing so.”

The March memorandum also contains a curious section in which the lawyers argued that any torture committed at Guantánamo would not be a violation of the anti-torture statute because the base was under American legal jurisdiction and the statute concerns only torture committed overseas. That view is in direct conflict with the position the administration has taken in the Supreme Court, where it has argued that prisoners at Guantánamo Bay are not entitled to constitutional protections because the base is outside American jurisdiction.

Kate Zernike contributed reporting for this article.

-
Memo Offered Justification for Use of Torture
Justice Dept. Gave Advice in 2002
By Dana Priest and R. Jeffrey Smith
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, June 8, 2004; Page A01
In August 2002, the Justice Department advised the White House that torturing al Qaeda terrorists in captivity abroad “may be justified,” and that international laws against torture “may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations” conducted in President Bush’s war on terrorism, according to a newly obtained memo.
If a government employee were to torture a suspect in captivity, “he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the Al Qaeda terrorist network,” said the memo, from the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel, written in response to a CIA request for legal guidance. It added that arguments centering on “necessity and self-defense could provide justifications that would eliminate any criminal liability” later.
The memo seems to counter the pre-Sept. 11, 2001, assumption that U.S. government personnel would never be permitted to torture captives. It was offered after the CIA began detaining and interrogating suspected al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the wake of the attacks, according to government officials familiar with the document.
The legal reasoning in the 2002 memo, which covered treatment of al Qaeda detainees in CIA custody, was later used in a March 2003 report by Pentagon lawyers assessing interrogation rules governing the Defense Department’s detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At that time, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had asked the lawyers to examine the logistical, policy and legal issues associated with interrogation techniques.
Bush administration officials say flatly that, despite the discussion of legal issues in the two memos, it has abided by international conventions barring torture, and that detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere have been treated humanely, except in the cases of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq for which seven military police soldiers have been charged.
Still, the 2002 and 2003 memos reflect the Bush administration’s desire to explore the limits on how far it could legally go in aggressively interrogating foreigners suspected of terrorism or of having information that could thwart future attacks.
In the 2002 memo, written for the CIA and addressed to White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, the Justice Department defined torture in a much narrower way, for example, than does the U.S. Army, which has historically carried out most wartime interrogations.
In the Justice Department’s view—contained in a 50-page document signed by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee and obtained by The Washington Post—inflicting moderate or fleeting pain does not necessarily constitute torture. Torture, the memo says, “must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death.”
By contrast, the Army’s Field Manual 34-52, titled “Intelligence Interrogations,” sets more restrictive rules. For example, the Army prohibits pain induced by chemicals or bondage; forcing an individual to stand, sit or kneel in abnormal positions for prolonged periods of time; and food deprivation. Under mental torture, the Army prohibits mock executions, sleep deprivation and chemically induced psychosis.
Human rights groups expressed dismay at the Justice Department’s legal reasoning yesterday.
“It is by leaps and bounds the worst thing I’ve seen since this whole Abu Ghraib scandal broke,” said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch. “It appears that what they were contemplating was the commission of war crimes and looking for ways to avoid legal accountability. The effect is to throw out years of military doctrine and standards on interrogations.”
But a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office said, “The president directed the military to treat al Qaeda and Taliban humanely and consistent with the Geneva Conventions.”
Mark Corallo, the Justice Department’s chief spokesman, said “the department does not comment on specific legal advice it has provided confidentially within the executive branch.” But he added: “It is the policy of the United States to comply with all U.S. laws in the treatment of detainees—including the Constitution, federal statutes and treaties.” The CIA declined to comment.
The Justice Department’s interpretation for the CIA sought to provide guidance on what sorts of aggressive treatments might not fall within the legal definition of torture.
The 2002 memo, for example, included the interpretation that “it is difficult to take a specific act out of context and conclude that the act in isolation would constitute torture.” The memo named seven techniques that courts have considered torture, including severe beatings with truncheons and clubs, threats of imminent death, burning with cigarettes, electric shocks to genitalia, rape or sexual assault, and forcing a prisoner to watch the torture of another person.
“While we cannot say with certainty that acts falling short of these seven would not constitute torture,” the memo advised, “. . . we believe that interrogation techniques would have to be similar to these in their extreme nature and in the type of harm caused to violate law.”
“For purely mental pain or suffering to amount to torture,” the memo said, “it must result in significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g., lasting for months or even years.” Examples include the development of mental disorders, drug-induced dementia, “post traumatic stress disorder which can last months or even years, or even chronic depression.”
Of mental torture, however, an interrogator could show he acted in good faith by “taking such steps as surveying professional literature, consulting with experts or reviewing evidence gained in past experience” to show he or she did not intend to cause severe mental pain and that the conduct, therefore, “would not amount to the acts prohibited by the statute.”
In 2003, the Defense Department conducted its own review of the limits that govern torture, in consultation with experts at the Justice Department and other agencies. The aim of the March 6, 2003, review, conducted by a working group that included representatives of the military services, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the intelligence community, was to provide a legal basis for what the group’s report called “exceptional interrogations.”
Much of the reasoning in the group’s report and in the Justice Department’s 2002 memo overlap. The documents, which address treatment of al Qaeda and Taliban detainees, were not written to apply to detainees held in Iraq.
In a draft of the working group’s report, for example, Pentagon lawyers approvingly cited the Justice Department’s 2002 position that domestic and international laws prohibiting torture could be trumped by the president’s wartime authority and any directives he issued.
At the time, the Justice Department’s legal analysis, however, shocked some of the military lawyers who were involved in crafting the new guidelines, said senior defense officials and military lawyers.
“Every flag JAG lodged complaints,” said one senior Pentagon official involved in the process, referring to the judge advocate generals who are military lawyers of each service.
“It’s really unprecedented. For almost 30 years we’ve taught the Geneva Convention one way,” said a senior military attorney. “Once you start telling people it’s okay to break the law, there’s no telling where they might stop.”
A U.S. law enacted in 1994 bars torture by U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world. But the Pentagon group’s report, prepared under the supervision of General Counsel William J. Haynes II, said that “in order to respect the President’s inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign . . . [the prohibition against torture] must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Commander-in-Chief authority.”
The Pentagon group’s report, divulged yesterday by the Wall Street Journal and obtained by The Post, said further that the 1994 law barring torture “does not apply to the conduct of U.S. personnel” at Guantanamo Bay.
It also said the anti-torture law did apply to U.S. military interrogations that occurred outside U.S. “maritime and territorial jurisdiction,” such as in Iraq or Afghanistan. But it said both Congress and the Justice Department would have difficulty enforcing the law if U.S. military personnel could be shown to be acting as a result of presidential orders.
The report then parsed at length the definition of torture under domestic and international law, with an eye toward guiding military personnel about legal defenses.
The Pentagon report uses language very similar to that in the 2002 Justice Department memo written in response to the CIA’s request: “If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaeda terrorist network,” the draft states. “In that case, DOJ [Department of Justice] believes that he could argue that the executive branch’s constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions.”
The draft goes on to assert that a soldier’s claim that he was following “superior orders” would be available for those engaged in “exceptional interrogations except where the conduct goes so far as to be patently unlawful.” It asserts, as does the Justice view expressed for the CIA, that the mere infliction of pain and suffering is not unlawful; the pain or suffering must be severe.
A Defense Department spokesman said last night that the March 2003 memo represented “a scholarly effort to define the perimeters of the law” but added: “What is legal and what is put into practice is a different story.” Pentagon officials said the group examined at least 35 interrogation techniques, and Rumsfeld later approved using 24 of them in a classified directive on April 16, 2003, that governed all activities at Guantanamo Bay. The Pentagon has refused to make public the 24 interrogation procedures.
Staff writer Josh White contributed to this report.

Du statistique au cas particulier ...

Article lié :

JFL

  05/06/2004

Puisque l’on en est à parler de psychiatrie ...

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_4636.shtml

Bush Leagues
Bush’s Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides
By DOUG THOMPSON
Publisher, Capitol Hill Blue
Jun 4, 2004, 06:15

President George W. Bush’s increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader’s state of mind.

In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as “enemies of the state.”

Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.

“It reminds me of the Nixon days,” says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. “Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That’s the mood over there.”

In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, a picture of an administration under siege has emerged, led by a man who declares his decisions to be “God’s will” and then tells aides to “fuck over” anyone they consider to be an opponent of the administration.

“We’re at war, there’s no doubt about it. What I don’t know anymore is just who the enemy might be,” says one troubled White House aide. “We seem to spend more time trying to destroy John Kerry than al Qaeda and our enemies list just keeps growing and growing.”

Aides say the President gets “hung up on minor details,” micromanaging to the extreme while ignoring the bigger picture. He will spend hours personally reviewing and approving every attack ad against his Democratic opponent and then kiss off a meeting on economic issues.

“This is what is killing us on Iraq,” one aide says. “We lost focus. The President got hung up on the weapons of mass destruction and an unproven link to al Qaeda. We could have found other justifiable reasons for the war but the President insisted the focus stay on those two, tenuous items.”

Aides who raise questions quickly find themselves shut out of access to the President or other top advisors. Among top officials, Bush’s inner circle is shrinking. Secretary of State Colin Powell has fallen out of favor because of his growing doubts about the administration’s war against Iraq.

The President’s abrupt dismissal of CIA Directory George Tenet Wednesday night is, aides say, an example of how he works.

“Tenet wanted to quit last year but the President got his back up and wouldn’t hear of it,” says an aide. “That would have been the opportune time to make a change, not in the middle of an election campaign but when the director challenged the President during the meeting Wednesday, the President cut him off by saying ‘that’s it George. I cannot abide disloyalty. I want your resignation and I want it now.”

Tenet was allowed to resign “voluntarily” and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as “God’s will.”

God may also be the reason Attorney General John Ashcroft, the administration’s lightning rod because of his questionable actions that critics argue threatens freedoms granted by the Constitution, remains part of the power elite. West Wing staffers call Bush and Ashcroft “the Blues Brothers” because “they’re on a mission from God.”

“The Attorney General is tight with the President because of religion,” says one aide. “They both believe any action is justifiable in the name of God.”

But the President who says he rules at the behest of God can also tongue-lash those he perceives as disloyal, calling them “fucking assholes” in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others and labeling anyone who disagrees with him “unpatriotic” or “anti-American.”

“The mood here is that we’re under siege, there’s no doubt about it,” says one troubled aide who admits he is looking for work elsewhere. “In this administration, you don’t have to wear a turban or speak Farsi to be an enemy of the United States. All you have to do is disagree with the President.”

The White House did not respond to requests for comment on the record.

© Copyright 2004 Capitol Hill Blue

Les vraies raisons de TELNET commencent à poindre ...

Article lié :

alienor@coco.com

  04/06/2004

http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=212089

Par Libération.fr
vendredi 04 juin 2004 (Liberation.fr - 13:19)

Un rapport encombrant pour Tenet
Selon le «New York Times», le patron de la CIA a démissionné avant la publication d’un rapport du Sénat très gênant sur les activités de l’agence en Irak.


George Tenet, le patron de la CIA, a trébuché sur l’Irak. Selon le New York Times

de vendredi (en anglais, inscription préalable), un rapport de la commission des renseignements du Sénat démontre la légereté des accusations de l’agence sur l’existence d’armes de destruction massive en Irak. Ce rapport - encore classé, selon le quotidien américain, mais qui circule déjà dans les cercles dirigeants - aurait précipité la démission de Tenet, annoncée jeudi par George Bush. Et pour cause: le document de 400 pages est impitoyable pour la Centrale de renseignement américaine.
«Des responsables qui ont lu le rapport le décrivent comme une charge tous azimuts contre la performance de la CIA en Irak», écrit le New York Times. «Les critiques, selon eux, concernent aussi bien la collecte inadéquate de renseignements par des espions et des satellites avant la guerre qu’une analyse bâclée de la situation, basée sur des sources non recoupées et qui a abouti à la conclusion que l’Irak possédait des armes biologiques et chimiques.» D’autres responsables cités par le journal enfoncent le clou en parlant de conclusions «particulièrement embarrassantes pour la CIA, dont les experts étaient les plus actifs, dans les milieux du renseignement, à défendre l’idée que l’Irak disposait d’armement illicite». Idée qui, rappelle le quotidien new-yorkais proche des Démocrates, a justifié l’invasion du pays par l’US Army.
L’article suggère pour finir que George Tenet a peut-être voulu éviter une autre humiliation: la divulgation, prévue le mois prochain, d’un autre rapport, consacré celui-là aux attaques du 11 septembre 2001. Un document paraît-il «“très critique” pour Mr Tenet et son agence».
Lire l’événement de Libération du 5 juin: Tenet, le patron de la CIA, fusible de Bush

Hystérie paranoïaque et McCarthyisme

Article lié :

JeF

  04/06/2004

Une histoire locale, évidemment tragique pour son protagoniste, qui n’aura comme vertu que d’éclairer la tragédie globale qu’est l’état d’esprit aux USA actuellement.

The FBI’s Art Attack
Offbeat Materials at Professor’s Home Set Off Bioterror Alarm

By Lynne Duke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 2, 2004; Page C01

NEW YORK—“A forensic investigation of FBI trash.” On the telephone, Beatriz da Costa says it wryly. Her humor sounds bitter. She’s talking about the detritus of a terror probe at the Buffalo home of her good friends, the Kurtzes.

She’s talking about the pizza boxes, Gatorade jugs, the gloves, the gas mask filters, the biohazard suits: the stuff left by police, FBI, hazmat and health investigators after they descended on the Kurtz home and quarantined the place.

The garbage tells a story of personal tragedy, a death in the Kurtz household, that sparked suspicions (later proved unfounded) of a biohazard in the neighborhood. And it tells a story of the times in which we live, with almost daily warnings about terror, and with law enforcement primed to pounce.

Steve Kurtz, a Buffalo art professor, discovered on the morning of May 11 that his wife of 20 years, Hope Kurtz, had stopped breathing. He called 911. Police and emergency personnel responded, and what they saw in the Kurtz home has triggered a full-blown probe—into the vials and bacterial cultures and strange contraptions and laboratory equipment.

The FBI is investigating. A federal grand jury has been impaneled. Witnesses have been subpoenaed, including da Costa.

Kurtz and his late wife were founders of the Critical Art Ensemble, an internationally renowned collective of “tactical media” protest and performance artists. Steve Kurtz, 48, has focused on the problems of the emergence of biotechnology, such as genetically modified food. He and the art ensemble, which also includes da Costa, have authored several books including “Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media” and “Electronic Civil Disobedience and Other Unpopular Ideas,” both published by Autonomedia/Semiotext(e).

The day of his wife’s death, Kurtz told the authorities who he is and what he does.

“He explained to them that he uses [the equipment] in connection with his art, and the next thing you know they call the FBI and a full hazmat team is deposited there from Quantico—that’s what they told me,” says Paul Cambria, the lawyer who is representing Kurtz. “And they all showed up in their suits and they’re hosing each other down and closing the street off, and all the news cameras were there and the head of the [Buffalo] FBI is granting interviews. It was a complete circus.”

Cambria, the bicoastal Buffalo and Los Angeles lawyer best known for representing pornographer Larry Flynt, calls the Kurtz episode a “colossal overreaction.”

FBI agents put Kurtz in a hotel, where they continued to question him. Cambria says Kurtz felt like a detainee over the two days he was at the hotel. Paul Moskal, spokesman for the Buffalo office of the FBI, says the bureau put Kurtz in a hotel because his home had been declared off limits. The probe, Moskal says, was a by-the-books affair from the very beginning.

“Post-9/11 protocol is such that first-responders have all been given training about unusual things and unusual situations,” Moskal says.

And obviously, says Lt. Jake Ulewski, spokesman for the Buffalo police, what the cops eyeballed raised some alarms. “He’s making cultures? That’s a little off the wall.”

Erie County health officials declared the Kurtz home a potential health risk and sealed it for two days while a state lab examined the bacterial cultures found inside. Officials won’t divulge what precisely was examined, but it turned out not to be a danger to public health. And the house was reopened for use.

Still, federal authorities think something in that house might have been illegal, Cambria surmises. But Cambria denies there was anything illegal in the house. William Hochul Jr., chief of the anti-terrorism unit for the U.S. attorney’s office in the Western District of New York, would not comment on the investigation.

Kurtz, on Cambria’s advice, isn’t speaking to the press either.

Da Costa, a professor at the University of California at Irvine who has flown to Buffalo to help out, says Kurtz is “depressed” and dealing with the loss of his wife, who died of a heart attack. Today the Buffalo arts community will memorialize her.

Adele Henderson, chair of the art department of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where Kurtz has tenure, is among the people who’ve been questioned by the FBI.

On May 21, she says, the FBI asked her about Kurtz’s art, his writings, his books; why his organization (the art ensemble) is listed as a collective rather than by its individual members; how it is funded.

“They asked me if I’d be surprised if I found out he was found to be involved in bioterrorism,” she says.

Her response? “I am absolutely certain that Steve would not be involved.”

They also asked about “his personal life,” Henderson says, but she would not describe the questions or her responses.

The investigation, she says, will have no bearing on Kurtz’s standing at the university, where he is an associate professor. (Prior to Buffalo, he taught at Carnegie Mellon University.)

“This is a free speech issue, and some people at the university remember a time during the McCarthy period when some university professors were harassed quite badly,” she says.

Nonetheless, considering the kind of art Kurtz practices and the kind of supplies he uses, “I could see how they would think it was really strange.”

For instance: the mobile DNA extracting machine used for testing food products for genetic contamination. Such a machine was in Kurtz’s home. His focus, in recent years, has been on projects that highlight the trouble with genetically modified seeds.

In November 2002, in an installation called “Molecular Invasion,” Kurtz grew genetically modified seeds in small pots beneath growth lamps at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, then engineered them in reverse with herbicide, meaning he killed them.

“We thought it was very important to have Critical Art Ensemble here because we try to have our visiting artist’s program present work that takes our curriculum to the next step,” says Denise Mullen, vice dean of the Corcoran College of Art and Design, whose Hemicycle Gallery hosted Kurtz’s molecular exhibit.

Beyond the cutting edge of art, she says, “we want work that is really bleeding edge.”

In Buffalo, in the aftermath of the bioterror probe that has found no terror, activist artists have scooped up the refuse from the Kurtz front yard and taken it away, perhaps, says da Costa, to create an art installation.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Au recto le virtualisme, au verso, le réalisme

Article lié : Anniversaires, anniversaires, — d’une guerre l’autre

Pascal Bitsch

  02/06/2004

Ce qui se déploie chez les rédacteurs de DeDefensa comme l’analyse et la critique du virtualisme, risque de faire passer sous silence l’analyse et la critique d’un “fictionnement” du réel, c’est-à-dire de sa construction et de sa transformation au sens de l’art politique.
La part d’illusion que comporte ce processus est aisée à démasquer, tant la fiction plaquée est grossière. Néanmoins, cette facilité ne doit pas masquer que le fictionnement en cours transforme la réalité bien au delà des fables virtualistes et cela avec une possibilité de réalisme et de prospective impitoyable.

Si le virtualisme est chaque jour mis en défaut comme représentation erronnée et caricaturale du réel, comme une pure projection du système, de ses préjugés et de ses intérêts, et bien il n’en reste pas moins qu’il est participe directement à la construction d’une nouvelle réalité, de nouvelles perceptions, que par ses “provocations”, ses “maladresses”, sa “stupidité” elles-mêmes il créé une nouvelle situation, de nouvelles perceptions, de nouveaux ennemis. Les analystes commentent généralement ces ces contre-coups, ces retours de réalité comme des échecs du virtualisme, se plaçant au niveau de celui-ci, c’est à dire du commentaire du spectaculaire, alors qu’ils n’en sont que les effets. Voir dans ces effets un échec du virtualisme, c’est en rester soi-même au même premier degré et confondre le virtualisme avec le fictionnement du réel qui s’opère à travers lui et parfois à l’encontre de ses valeurs explicitées.

Or quel est le réel ainsi fictionné, créé par le virtualisme ? Quelle est la réalité du monde de demain qui se dessine par son effet combiné à celui de la force brutale. Bien-sûr pas celui qu’il vise explicitement à établir, bien qu’il ne s’en cache pas. Quel est-il ?

Tout concourre à penser que la révolution réactionnaire virtualiste à la fois révèle, masque et accomplit une vision du monde compatible avec les valeurs, les comportements et les intérêts d’une génération de dirigeants -économiques, militaires et politiques- qui ont été gagnants dans un contexte économique d’équilibre géo-capitalistique verrouillé et renforcé par un contexte de guerre larvée permanente. C’est tout simplement cette réalité-là qu’il s’agit de “recréer autrement”, autant que de conserver, bouleversée qu’elle est par la fin de la guerre froide, la prévisibilité d’une crise sociale sans précédent en Occident par suite de la mondialisation, l’émergence de la Chine comme ressource financière excédentaire à la place du Japon et qu’il s’agit d’ancrer dans la logique d’équilibre et de transferts d’investissements de confiance avec la zone déficitaire Etats-Unis et Europe.
Si telle est la réalité fictionnée sous nos yeux, de façon systématique, ostensible mais brouillée sous le bavardage virtualiste, alors même les “maladresses”, les “bévues”, les “erreurs psychologiques”, les “provocations” trouvent une explication et révèlent l’envers de la médaille du virtualisme qui montre un visage de réalisme cynique. Alors la guerre contre le terrorisme (que l’on a annoncé “globale et permanent” comme l’a été la guerre froide), de la guerre Irakienne en tant que ferment de “guerre des civilisations”, et peut-être même l’absence coupable de réaction aux annonces des événements déclencheurs du 11 septembre 2001 qui sont alors à rapprocher du précédent également annoncé à l’avance de Pearl Harbor ; alors l’appel de fond public sans précédent aux USA pour le budget de la défense, c’est à dire de capitaux asiatiques pour relancer l’économie américaine, alors la torture pornographique mise en scène et diffusée au monde arabe ainsi que ses conséquences “civilisationnelles” cessent d’être les bourdes de virtualistes dépassés par la réalité, mais se déploient sous nos yeux comme une pratique sensée conduite avec réalisme. Il est vrai que les bons sentiments sirupeux du virtualisme holliwoodien impregnent désormais à ce point les analystes politiques, économiques, les médias et le public qu’il devient presque inconcevable de formuler ou de publier tant de cynisme. Il est vrai que l’opinion publique mondiale, virtualisée et construite médiatiquement, reste circonscrite dans des modèles de comportement prévisibles, sauf erreur grossière, mais en elle-même révélatrice de l’étendue du cynisme et de la banalisation du mensonge à grande échelle d’un Aznar.

La révolution virtualiste est donc bien une révolution conservatrice. Le nouvel ordre mondial établi et maintenu par les “virtualistes” américains armés à crédit par la sueur des ouvrières chinoises pour conduire la “guerre sans fin contre le terrorisme” n’est autre que le prolongement de l’ancien ordre mondial avec quelques changements de rôles, la Chine nouvelle remplaçant le Japon rassi comme puissance investisseuse, le monde musulman et le mouvement social global assimilé au terrorisme remplaçant la menace communiste.
Face à cette perspective, outre les incalculables dégâts humains et sociaux déjà vécus et prévisibles, deux dangers guettent : la perte même de l’essence-même de l’humanité et de sa conscience d’elle-même dans la virtualité construite pour à la fois accomplir et masquer la réalité de la domination ; un scénario global sur le modèle de la catastrophe de l’Ile de Pâque sur une planête désormais trop petite pour nous permettre sans risque majeur un nouveau cycle de “croissance” de 30 ans prévisible selon ce modèle.

copyleft avec mention des sources
notv.info
Pascal Bitsch
mai 2004

"Le deculottage du..."-'004-05-31.

Article lié : Le déculottage du NYT, ou la destruction au bulldozer de “leurs valeurs”

sergio torres-abelaira.

  31/05/2004

  Clair-Nette-Precis.
  (avec Proyection Strategique)-Felisitations.
  (Grand Merci)
  a/m.Austral.
  epulev.-

Aux USA...

Article lié : Aux USA où tout est possible, un état d’esprit de plus en plus crépusculaire

sergio torres-abelaira.

  28/05/2004

  Absolument:...extraordinaires
        et tres graves.-
        (Et crisis Psycologique:ergo)-
 
        ‘004-05-28-a/m.
        AmericAustral.

La réclame aryenne de Coca-Cola s'expose à Londres

Article lié :

cococala

  27/05/2004

http://www.courrierinternational.com/article.asp?obj_id=23553&provenance=accueil&bloc=07

Courrier international - 27 mai 2004
ANTIMONDIALISME - La réclame aryenne de Coca-Cola s’expose à Londres  
Le divertissement politique fait recette, et le comédien anglais Mark Thomas l’a bien compris. Dans son émission sur la chaîne de télévision britannique Channel 4, l’équivalent anglais de Michel Moore multiplie les actions coup-de-poing contre la guerre en Irak, la cupidité des multinationales ou la privatisation du système de santé. Et c’est dans les musées qu’il entend mener son nouvel assaut. 

“En collaboration avec l’artiste Tracey Sanders-Wood, Thomas a choisi d’exposer à Londres les publicités nazies de Coca-Cola”, indique le quotidien The Independent. Il ne pouvait rêver sujet plus polémique : d’après The Independent, “la société Coca-Cola a diffusé des publicités dans les journaux nazis, s’est exposée dans les foires industrielles du parti et a même installé une usine d’embouteillage dans la région envahie des Sudètes”.

Fondée par Max Keith, la filiale allemande Coca-Cola GmbH occupait une place de choix lors de ces foires dédiées au “peuple créateur”. Elle participa même à l’effort de guerre nazi et fut dirigée par l’ancien boxeur Max Schmeling, symbole malgré lui de la suprématie aryenne. De nombreux sites antimondialistes se sont d’ailleurs fait un plaisir d’entonner avec ironie des “Coca über alles” ou autres “Coca macht frei”.

Le tour de force de Thomas et de sa comparse est d’avoir réuni quelque 400 pièces d’exposition, affiches, slogans et bouteilles, qui, selon The Independent, “se combinent de façon troublante avec la propagande hitlérienne”. Les deux artistes déclarent “vouloir faire réfléchir les gens à chaque fois qu’ils boivent un Coca”.