Saturday, September 26, 2009

the G20 in Pittsburgh, etc

The video is via Alternet, here.

The last G20 meeting was in April, when CBS breathlessly reported that Obama persuaded the G20 leaders to "set their personal differences aside and listen to reason," whatever that means.

In comments at Rob's post below I suggested that the noise we're hearing about the US threatening Iran is partly a tactic related to this week's G20 summit, where various countries are likely to pressure Obama to enact all sorts of austerity measures(e.g. substantial tax hikes) in order to shore up the dollar, and US noisemaking about Iran is a response, essentially saying to the Europeans, "don't press us on the dollar or we'll do more crazy shit."

I also look at recent arrests of young Middle-easterners here, in Dallas and Denver, as being intended to say that, yes, there really is a war on terror, and the US needs to keep spending massively, the various G20 countries need to keep us afloat, and "none of you blankedy-blank Europeans better say a peep about your lack of confidence in the dollar if you know what's good for you."

The arrest here in Dallas looks particularly suspect to me. The 19 year old kid, Hosam Maher Husein Smadi was tricked, according to the Ft Worth Star-Telegram,

into thinking he was detonating a bomb placed in an SUV parked under the skyscraper before they arrested him, according to court documents.

But the entire case appears to exist due to an entrapment scheme hatched by the FBI, and it seems questionable that this kid would have done anything unlawful without government agents goading him into it.

Federal agents said that they discovered Smadi within a group of online terrorists and that he stood out because of his willingness to conduct terrorist attacks.

"This is not related to any other investigation," said Mark White, an FBI spokesman. "This is a stand-alone terrorist."
One person's 'group of online terrorists' is another's chatroom of hotheaded morons blowing off steam. Meanwhile there is an online poll on Facebook now asking if Obama should be killed. Why doesn't the government take an interest in things like that?

Additionally, if Smadi was a 'stand-alone terrorist' and the government's entire case is based on how FBI agents decided to prod and coax him into co-operating with their frame, one has to assume that some serious funding and manpower hours were requisitioned into making this sting happen, and you don't advance careers, whether in law-enforcement or any other realm, by putting together a plan that won't fly.(The article also says they tried to talk him out of it, to persuade him that there were non-violent alternate paths to jihad. In other words, the FBI agents alternately tried to talk him into it and talk him out of it...) If this kind of thing is what the FBI is devoting resources for nowadays, then we are in pretty big trouble, and not because of terrorists.

(CNN's subsequent item indicating that their in-house expert was certain that the Dallas and Denver arrests were simply coincidental only re-enforces my mistrust. Taken all together, it all sounds like the 'terrorism theater' that Naomi Klein talks about in the Shock Doctrine.)

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At September 27, 2009 10:25 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

The timing certainly seems to have to do with the G20 which is sort of a farce in that it has no teeth. It’s a forum where things are discussed and not much else.

I don’t know if the U.S. will attack Iran but I wouldn’t rule it out. I’m sure you notice the pattern of war implemented by the U.S. which begins with threats in the guise of “diplomacy” after which the U.S. claims diplomacy didn’t work and then it’s on to step two which is sanctions. Sanctions should not be taken lightly and have been responsible for many, many deaths and suffering for the general populations while doing little more than making whoever is in power at the time more popular. The third step of course is actual war after sanctions have predictably failed.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the government is nothing but the biggest gang on the block and operates much like the gangsters of yore. If the mafia is selling protection to its victims and one refuses to pay, the mafia will make an example of that person so others don’t get similar ideas. No defiance can be allowed. This is exactly what is happening with Iran. Iran is seen as defying the mighty U.S. mafia/government and unless Iran backs down there could very well be war with Iran in the near future.

I admit Obama infuriates me with his smug arrogant and condescending attitude prattling on about international law while he is the by far the biggest offender of said international law. Watching a video of his speech I just about went through the roof because his lies are so transparent that it is obvious he must believe we are all idiots. I don’t think there has been a time when I have so utterly despised the Democratic Party leadership (gag) as I do now. I think what Obama needs is a good case of hemorrhoids.

At September 27, 2009 11:59 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I think that the timing of Obama’s announcement also has to do with the upcoming meeting in Geneva with Iran, U.S., Russia, China, Britain, Germany, and France where Iran’s nuclear program will be discussed.

At September 27, 2009 7:05 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Rob, I imagine you are correct, but it also occurs to me as a practical matter, Gates and company must know how stretched past all capacity the military is, and how difficult it would be to mount yet another war.

Also, another thing has always bugged me: to the best of my knowledge, in Ahmedinejad's conversations with Anglophone reporters, he has never discussed Israel's nuclear arsenal.

Either he does bring it up and they edit this out, or he thinks that as long as he says nothing about it then the rules of an implicit game are not breached, and he is 'safe,' playing the desired role of the anti-Semite foil with a cartoonish critique of Israel, rather than a more meaningful one that might actually register with some Americans. Of course Saddam also thought he was safe in 1990, so I don't know.

At September 27, 2009 8:14 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


I really don’t care much for the Iranian government and I agree with your sketch of Ahmedinejad who I don’t believe is helping the situation. True the situation is caused by the U.S. but that doesn’t mean Ahmedinejad should make things worse. This is what I was talking about. Ahmedinejad is doing his best to stand up to the U.S., defying the U.S. in fact, which is what the U.S. cannot tolerate.

That’s a good point about the practicality of a war with Iran yet what is practical about the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia? When has practicality stopped any of this kind of thing?

That’s a fascinating point regarding Ahmedinejad not mentioning Israel’s nuclear arsenal. And I think you are right that discussing Israel’s “secret” nuclear arsenal might register more with Americans. Perhaps the reason Ahmedinejad doesn’t discuss it is because Iran is developing their own which wouldn’t surprise me terribly. But again, so what if they are as it hardly constitutes a threat to the world. That they would use it on Israel like the Israeli claim is pure fantasy. Personally I don’t think they are building any and it’s hard to believe that all 19 intelligence agencies that contributed to the NIE got it wrong.

It’s not a matter of my being right, I’m just saying that there is a possibility of war because it’s following a similar pattern to Iraq which is worrisome.

At September 28, 2009 8:38 AM, Anonymous Jenny said...

I think Ahmedinjad is perhaps trying to use the nukes issue and his anti-semetic rhetoric to distract from some of the issues in his own country, just ask this lady:

Doesn't mean Obama should start a war with Iran however.

At September 28, 2009 9:13 AM, Anonymous Jenny said...

P.S. Iran tests nuclear missiles;


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