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Filter Tips: Distortion and Demonization on the Iran Beat


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an unremarkable, indeed redundant, statement on Thursday. Repeating a sentiment that he has expressed many times before, he declared that Iran is a “friend of the Jewish people” and that neither he nor the Iranian government had any desire to destroy the Jews living in Israel or force them to leave the land.

He did reiterate Tehran’s commitment to “regime change” in Israel, and in remarks on the Holocaust, exposed once more a view of modern history that is every

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Ragged Beauty: An Alternative to the Operations of Power

Here’s a fragment of ragged beauty — stripped to the bone, tarnished and stolen — etched on the Roman night almost 21 years ago to this day. A rendition of a song written nearly half a century ago now, and built in part upon one of the earliest surviving lyrics in English, “Westron Wind”:

“Cryst, if my love were in my armes
And I in my bedde again.”


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Pirates of the Horn: U.S. Backs Reign of Crime and Death in Somalia

The civilian death count from the American-backed “regime change” operation in Somalia is approaching 10,000, with more than 800 killed in the Terror War slaughter since June.

The figures, compiled by the Elman Peace and Human Rights Organization in Mogadishu, are almost certainly an undercount, given the rampant chaos that has ravaged the country in the wake of the Ethiopian invasion, and the Muslim practice of quick burial of the dead. But they are horrific enough, especially when added to another statistic released by the United Nations last month: 3.7 million Somalis are

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Creative Destruction: The Solid Core Behind the Financial Crisis

“There is great disorder under heaven, and the situation is excellent.” — Chairman Mao

Fed’s $85 Billion Loan Rescues Insurer (NY Times)

The bailout [of American International Group]… effectively puts taxpayer money at risk while protecting bad investments made by A.I.G. and other institutions it does business with.

Do you get it now? The rich and powerful spend years making foolish deals in a market they rigged with

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A Furnace Seal’d: The Wondrous Death Squads of the American Elite

Terror the Human Form Divine
And Secrecy the Human Dress
— William Blake

Another way station on our plunge into darkness was passed last week with the publication of Bob Woodward’s new book, The War Within. Along with the usual backstairs gossip dished out by self-serving insiders eager to plant their spin on events, Woodward revealed — or, rather, confirmed — the existence of what he called the key element to the “success” of Bush’s escalation of the war crime in Iraq: a “secret killing program” aimed

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Another Day, Another Gate of Hell Swings Open

This week another gate swung open in the multi-chambered hell that is the “War on Terror.” George W. Bush has authorized the invasion of Pakistan by American ground forces, and the armed incursions have already begun. The implications of this move — which largely corresponds with the strategy that Barack Obama has said he would employ in the region — are disturbing in the extreme.

William Pfaff takes up this subject with his usual clarity and good sense in a new article at Truthdig.

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The Falling Land

There is, apparently, to be no end to our falling. No bottom to the pit of moral nullity through which we keep plunging, no act of evil which we will not accept, and countenance, and even cheer.

At one time, it required great lies  — elaborate, monstrous deceits, wrapped in myths of goodness and light — to disguise the brutal machinations of raw power. Otherwise, it was thought, the people might rise up in anger at the crimes being committed

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Atrocity in Azizabad: More Child Sacrifices on the Terror War Altar

Every day, the shame mounts, the lies grow more brazen and more brutal, and the dishonor spreads and deepens — ineradicable, like a white garment soaked with blood.

The atrocity in Azizabad, an Afghan village hit by an American airstrike on the night of August 22, is by no means the worst depredation of the so-called “War on Terror,” which has left more than million innocent people dead in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia over the past seven years. But the mass death visited upon the sleeping, defenseless citizens of

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Cave Dwellers: Biden Backs Down From Any Pursuit of Bush Crime

There was a flurry and flutter of hope among many of the progressive faithful last week after reports of a declaration by Joe Biden that an Obama administration might pursue criminal charges against top Bush officials. The happy cry went up: At last, the Democrats are laying it on the line, standing up to defend the Constitution, the rule of law and common human decency againt a vicious gang of mass murderers and tyrannical thugs! Fightin’ Joe will lead the way!

But by week’s end, Fightin’ Joe was caving and cratering in the time-honored Democratic fashion.

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Surge Protectors: Obama Embraces Bush-McCain Spin on Iraq

Barack Obama has now declared — on Fox News, no less — that George W. Bush’s escalation of the flagrant war crime in Iraq has “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” He also proclaimed his “absolute” belief in the “War on Terror,” and pledged, once again, “never to take a military option off the table” (not even the nuclear option) against the “major threat” of Iran.

In short, he continued his relentless campaign to purge himself of any of that weak-sister “anti-war” taint that

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