Saturday, September 29, 2007

Days Without End

Often it seems as if Bush and his never ending presidency have impinged itself on us since the moment of creation the so-called Big Bang when time itself began. This bloody war against something no one seems quite sure of seems akin to the Steady State theory of the universe which claims the universe has always existed and always shall.

We are deluged with terms that seem to have no meaning like insurgents, terrorists and other such indefinable words. The news media throws these terms around like a hash slinger in some backwater dive. The wise ones utter them endlessly sagely nodding their heads as if they are bestowing some ancient wisdom dredged up from some half remembered and fantastic past. But the events of these endless years of blood and sand are real. The people whose lives we have forever changed or ended are real. Yet many Americans go about their business as if nothing is new, nothing is out of the ordinary. Their usual pattern of existence plows through a sea of sameness going to work, eating, sleeping thinking about nothing further than the nose on their face. Throughout the land that we inhabit small towns dot the landscape and as every holiday comes the flags are unfurled and the patriotic beer bellied minions of a country that has thrown every moral and sense of decency to the four winds swill their ape brains into oblivion. No thought is given as to why we burnish old glory. No thought is given to what it has come to represent in a world poised on the brink of violent destruction. Burp, belch, wake up with a hangover and back to work.

Returning from work as evening casts its deepening shades over the quiet suburbs we might wonder what is on television tonight. Perhaps another documentary on the cosmos, another dumbed down version of astronomy replete with state of the art representations of stars and planets all done in pretty colors for simple minds as a narrator occasionally interrupts the panoramic views with the same stale and endlessly repeated mantras of accepted facts-- red shift, black holes, gravity, star formation and the like, ho-hum another day. This is how we spin our world by endlessly repeating the same meaningless phrases over and over until we have created a false and comfortable reality that fills our days and nights. On the flaccid news we hear “American forces have killed fifteen insurgents” or “Hillary Clinton is now ahead” in her reckless race for the presidency yet little thought is given as to what this might mean. “Insurgents”, what an antiseptic word that clinically removes the gruesome and grizzly reality of the ruptured bodies of small children, men and women -- people we never knew yet people all the same.

We have become a nation of blathering nincompoops clamoring for the next wiz-bang gadget of questionable value. We hear of the next gadget already in the works and after becoming bored with the present gadget we wait in anticipation of the next with its false promise of endowing our useless lives with some kind of meaning. People are born, live out their lives, then die their souls sent screaming off into the eternal night of no return.

Americans long to be loved, revered for their pioneer spirit, their mechanical know-how, a land of John Waynes endowed with a native practicality that we imagine to be the envy of the world. How many times have we seen a Hollywood movie that if it contains at least one European at some point in the movie we hear the obligatory “Ah, you clever Americans.” Even as I write this I make myself sick as I realize that when it comes to the immense suffering we have inflicted on other peoples I have nothing to complain about, not really. I have food to eat, electricity, a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in while half a world away people are doing without these basics, dying, fleeing, and suffering in unimaginable ways yet how I long for something better, to be free of these raving and slavering lunatics that populate my little world in the bosom of America. I can see their gargoyle faces now -- red with hate, mouths twisted in anger, eyes sprouting from their faces shot with blood and violence -- God, what a world.

A poem by Juan Ramon Jimenez.

Hora Inmensa
Only a bell and a bird break the stillness…

It seems that the two talk with the setting sun.

Golden colored silence, the afternoon is made of


A roving purity sways the cool trees,

and beyond all that,

a transparent river dreams that trampling over


it breaks loose

and flows into infinity.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Psychological warfare, according to Paul Linebarger of the School of Advanced International Studies, is a continuous process not controlled by laws, usages, and customs of war — covert, often disguised as the voice of institutions and media — a non-violent persuasion waged before, during, and after war.

Most countries, notes Linebarger, suffer from ideological confusion—an instability of basic beliefs. “In states anxious to promote a fixed mentality, the entire population lives under conditions approximating the psychological side of war. Allegiance in war is a matter of ideology, not of opinion.” Coordinated propaganda machines, he observes, include psywar, public relations, general news, and public education. “Psywar,” he warns, “has in private media facilities, in an open society, a constantly refreshed source of new material that, when selectively censored, can prevent non-governmental materials from circulating.”

As Kalle Lasn, publisher of Adbusters Magazine said when interviewed in the July 2001 issue of The Sun, “It’s impossible to live a free authentic life in America today …Our emotions, personalities, and core values have become programmed.” Lasn, a former advertising executive for thirty years, understands the power of propaganda as advertising. He also understands the keys to undermining this corrupting influence—persistent ridicule, and appeals to conscience.
from "Principles of Psywar," Jay Taber

I've wanted to discuss Ahmedinejad's recent reception at Texas A&M Columbia University, but Rob, John Caruso, and Dennis Perrin("Booga Booga") already do so pretty well.

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Monday, September 24, 2007


I've been ill, and not so keen to post as a consequence. Last week I mentioned to HZ guest host Rob Payne that I meant to write about Peter Galbraith's recent piece in Tomdispatch, which has since appeared in Salon and the NY Review of Books as well. I will in a day or 2, tops. Incidentally Rob has been very productive this past week, and has a bucket of interesting posts up, including his discussion of the afore mentioned Galbraith essay.

In the meantime, here's the sublime Mélissa Theuriau, the French news anchor called la bombe cathodique (”the television bombshell”) by Paris Match.

I don't know how the news can be that bad when she's the one reading it. The only bad thing about looking at her is how it makes me feel like I'm Moe the bartender from The Simpsons. C'est la vie.

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Monday, September 17, 2007, pt 2

one of my correspondents informs me that even the AP is getting into the video hosting thing now, albeit via (The picture quality is better at the link above, but it's too large to fit on this template without compressing the image.)

also, here are some Youtube links to videos of the demonstration. I almost went but had an unexpected obligation I couldn't wriggle out of.

(8.32; this one shows a lot of back-and-forth between "gathering of eagles" and some of the antiwar protesters.)

(1:44; essentially a shorter version of the 8:32 clip, with the emphasis on the more obnoxious persons and none of the humor of the previous clip.)

(7:01; a vid by the war supporters .)

(back to the lefties:9:54;pt 1)

(3:31; pt 2 from the same guy, above.)

(5:22; Cindy Sheehan--unfortunately this is a very poor quality video.)

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Vigilante Nation

Having lived in a rural area for almost two years I can see a sad pattern. Most of the kids that grow up here don’t have much in the way of opportunities in their future unless they move into more urban areas of the country. Unfortunately it is getting more difficult to do so as our economy shrivels and dribbles away.

For young adults who face a future with little promise of jobs with decent pay many turn to drugs. In my area the drug of choice for kids is meth and crack cocaine and once addicted they need money to pay for their habits. Of course being on drugs makes it even more difficult to find a job in the limited job market of rural areas and these kids turn to burglary.

Last week a woman came to my house and told me that she was trying to organize a neighborhood watch and invited me to come to a meeting with other people in the neighborhood and a representative from the sheriff department. So I went to the meeting to see what it was all about and to meet people in the neighborhood. A lot of people at the meeting were fairly upset, some had been burglarized twice in the span of a few months so rather than discussing how we could help each other the first half of the meeting turned into a bitch session. One middle aged man stood up and introduced himself and apologized that his wife “his childhood sweetheart” could not make it which I thought was a strange opening but it got even stranger. “If anyone comes on my property they are in mortal danger” he said. Another man piped up and wanted to know if he could shoot the burglar which brought some sporadic laughter. Another person said “don’t shoot the burglar in the back and if you shoot him outside drag the body into the house.” Oh great, I thought, I hope this doesn’t turn into a lynch mob and I was not interested in some kind of vigilante group. Fortunately most of the people there were more level headed and the conversation soon turned to a more reasonable tone after the nut-balls had spouted their fear and let us all know how manly they were.

Good grief, young Wild West is getting real old as far as I am concerned. As we continue in the direction we are going, shipping jobs overseas, murdering brown people because they have the bad luck of having oil on their land so that a few wealthy Americans and Brits can get even more of what they don’t need and already have too much of, I don’t see a bright future for this country. Unfortunately the young Wild West syndrome seems to be all too engrained in American culture which allows Americans to be manipulated by our government and the corporations that own our government. Sometimes I wish people would just grow the hell up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Path to Madness

Dennis Perrin has a thoughtful post well worth reading and gives us much to think about.

Carousing around the internet today only reinforces Dennis’ concerns about our war culture and the damage it has been and is doing to the world around us. It really has nothing to do with human intelligence but everything to do with perception. I don’t want to get into “well so and so said this and boy is that dumb” because I still read essays and posts by obviously smart people who continue to hang onto the Democrat Party, indeed continuing to make excuses for them in the face of overwhelming and documented evidence that the Democrats fully support the Iraq War but rather would end the occupation of Iraq if only they could. Some of the more prevalent excuses are the Dems don’t have enough votes to challenge Bush and that they are playing a clever political game in order to attain the Whitehouse where upon reaching this goal they will suddenly turn about and end the century long practice of American imperialism. There is also an assumption that the Democrats are practically assured that they will win the Whitehouse despite that many Americans feel that we now need a third party though it seems to me that a third party might start out as an opponent to our war culture but would soon end up being quite similar to the parties that exist as they are today. The reason I say that is because our political parties are an end product of American perceptions and culture not to mention the influence of corporate America that would soon be brought to bear upon any new party.

If you live in an urban setting you might well believe that we may be progressing toward a time in our history where Americans question the value of robotic patriotism but you only have to spend a little time in rural America where flags wave from half of the houses you see and people live in a fantasy past of a false history which they constantly reinforce in there own minds. I realize this is a gross generalization yet I believe it has a certain amount of validity. I also realize that I am not immune to fantasies, false perceptions and the influence of the culture I live in yet how can we ignore the horrendous results of imperialism embodied by needless death in Iraq and the erosion of our basic rights as described in our constitution?

Personally I hope I am completely wrong about all of this. I would be thrilled to find that the Democratic faithful are correct and that the Dems shall save us from destruction and once again return us to some semblance of a democracy but I doubt it.

We continue to grasp at false hopes, at the beginning of our adventures in Iraq liberals grabbed on to Collin Powel, “the steady hand behind the wheel” who turned out to be a self promoting whore willing to do anything to advance his career. There have been a parade of other saviors that liberals clutched at like a drowning victim clutches at anything that might save them from a watery death yet they have all proved to be false hopes. And so it goes, the path to madness is a twisting one full of false hopes, false perceptions, fantasy, and wishful thinking that will return us in a great loop to where we are now and only a change in our culture can remove us from this fatal loop.

Depressing? Yes it is.

Who Wrote It?

As it turns the long awaited report on “progress” in Iraq wasn’t even written by Petraeus. It was written by the Whitehouse staff in Washington D.C. many Roman leagues from the heathen nation on the outer marches of imperial America it is reporting on.

Tom Engelhardt has the story.

Tomgram: Launching Brand Petraeus

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Robert Greenwald, the documentary filmmaker who made Outfoxed and Iraq For Sale, among other works, has a new documentary out about Rudy Giuliani. Some snippets are available on Youtube, like the one above. (Via Mark Kleiman, who notes that Giuliani has a nervous laugh that seems to correspond with his getting ready to lie about something. )

also, this youtube-like site has Osama Bin Laden's recent video, in its entirety(well, as far as I know!), here. He praises Noam Chomsky(!?), which to me only reinforces the sense so many people have that the neocons and the extremist fundamentalist terrorists are perversely dependent on one another.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Face of Propaganda

War and propaganda go together like peanut butter and jelly, freedom fries and ketchup, and it would seem you cannot have one without the other. One of the odd things about wars is that the average work-a-day citizen normally would have no interest in such things being more concerned with the tasks of everyday life. It hardly seems reasonable to believe that anyone in their right mind would give up the comforts of home to travel to distant lands, endure hardships, risk life and limb because during the viewing of their favorite ballgame said citizen would have the sudden desire to bring democracy and enlightenment to a nation they probably never heard of. Yeah, sure. What is needed is a little propaganda especially when there is no draft. What is needed is a bit of that old time propaganda and a stooge to write it. Unfortunately there is no shortage of morally bankrupt people willing to lure young men and women to their deaths. Such a deal, the writer of propaganda gets some of that nice green stuff and the unsuspecting kid gets a bullet through the brain.

Here is a bit of propaganda from the second Boer or South African War:

The first British defeats in South Africa were a shock to a British public brought up on the success of imperial arms. ‘England, in these dark days, comported itself with a dignity that extorted admiration even from its foes,’ wrote the authors of Cassell’s Illustrated History of England, a patriotic volume published annually:

There were no hysterics, no panic. Success might have unhinged the nation – later on did momentarily unhinge it – but reverse made it rigid. The bulldog British nature came out in its best expression – grim, silent, obstinate, determined. And John Bull put his hands into his pockets, deep, deep, deep – a sure sign that his soul was stirred. One of the best features of the war was the spontaneous burst of charity it gave rise to. Throughout the United Kingdom relief funds were opened, and subscriptions flowed in a strong, generous stream for widow, and orphan, and fighting man broke in the wars.

--A History of the twentieth Century by Martin Gilbert

One technique that serves as a fountainhead for propaganda is the imbedding of reporters with the troops. From the Boxer Rebellion we have a record of this practice so we know that the practice of imbedding goes back over one hundred years.

Dr. George Morrison, the correspondent of The Times, accompanied the soldiers on this expedition. In his diary, he recorded his impressions. ‘We made a raid,’ he noted, on a temple thirty yards from the Austrian outpost; the Austrians coming up afterwards. Forty-five Boxers killed – Butchered. Christian captives with hands tied being immolated while actually massacring, five already dead. Rescued three. One accidentally killed. All Boxers killed; only one dared to face us. I killed myself at least six. Back tired having paraded the city and witnessed devastation in many places.’

--A History of the twentieth Century by Martin Gilbert

Well I suppose we are making some social progress as unlike the intrepid Morrison who killed himself six which gave him a tired back, poor boy, our modern reporters don’t actually partake of the killing at least as far as I know. Other than that there is little difference. Mathew Taibbi from his embedded sojourn in Iraq wrote this piece of propaganda in an article for Rolling Stone which has a striking resemblance to the John Bull piece that appeared in The Illustrated History of England:

Via Dennis Perrin

"Whether or not this is a fair fight is another question. But you can see why the Army is still convinced we can win this thing. The Army thinks it can do anything. The Army looks at Iraq like a drooling six-foot-six-inch bully would, staring in at home plate with an arm full of ninety-nine-mph heaters. To that kid, the game is never over. They almost all think like that over here. God forbid they should ever stop thinking like that."

So it is keep a stiff upper lip, rigid (Freudian slip?), grim, silent, manly, and the game is never over. Well certainly that is true that the game is never over. The propagandists do their best to ensure that. Sadly there is more than one reason young people decide to join the military though propaganda is always there to lend a kindly hand.

Speaking with an acquaintance about the Iraq War I heard the sad tale of his young 18 year old nephew. His nephew’s mother had died of cancer leaving him in mental torment and vulnerable. All screwed up emotionally and not knowing what to do he listened to the amazingly bad advice of his father and joined the Marines. He probably is over there now, slated to be a gunner in of those armored Hummers, you know the ones that always seem to fall victim to mines so it is not very likely he will be returning alive.

It is hard to imagine why a father would advise a son to seek oblivion. We live in a truly weird world.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sept15 button

As you may already know, the ANSWER Coalition is planning a rally in Washington for Saturday, September 15th. I am contemplating going, if I can get away and if I can swing it monetarily. I've never attended a mass political rally, and I am an agnostic on the question of whether or not they actually work, especially in an age where the news is filtered by corporate interests and half a million people could show up and all you'd hear about on Monday might be the NFL scores.

So, if I go I mean to approach it with an open mind, and try to shoot a mini-documentary of the goings-on. I am especially curious if the persons who have given money to Iraqdoc 2007 think I should go, as a trial, getting ready for a very different locale for when I go to the middle east in late December.

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Call to Action

Arthur Silber weighs in on stopping the impending attack on Iran. Go read it and then get on the phone. It might not work but there is nothing to lose but a few pennies for a phone call and a few minutes of your time. Besides being a thorn in the side of our mighty leaders pleases me to no end, if only it were so.

Read it here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


What has changed since the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs?

Not Much.

Consider that the only societies to develop different classes are those that developed a monetary system. For example among North American Native Americans only one tribe developed a monetary system and it was the only tribe that had different classes. A few years ago I read Michael Chrichton’s book “Prey” where in his usual preachy style of writing he said that it is natural for humans to have a leader, and I am paraphrasing here and no this not an endorsement of the Libertarian Party. While this may be partly true, if only because that is what we are accustomed to it is not completely so, many Native American Tribes had no official “leader” and in fact everyone in the tribe was on an equal footing with their peers, women, men, children, all equal, what a concept. Americans like to believe that this equality is a facet of American life yet with only a moment’s reflection it does not hold water. We have a monetary system, therefore we have different classes, and therefore we are not all equal in our society.

Each class has its uniform which we devoutly wear except perhaps for special social occasions. For the wealthy it might be polo shirts, expensive Italian shoes and a cardigan sweater flung over the back with the arms tied around the neck rather like a Superman cape. For the working class the standard issue is blue jeans, tee shirts and knobby boots. For kids it is what ever is “in” at the time mostly determined by the fashion industry and a thorough brain washing by television commercials.

As Iraq disintegrates while the bell is tolling for Iran soon to feel the gentle ministrations of American generosity and love we could hypothetically trace the horrific slaughter back to the invention of the monetary system which brought with it the class system that we so much enjoy today. The great enabler of our economic system is oil. Oil almost literally makes the world go round. Oil delivers our food to the markets, runs the machinery that the giant farm conglomerates use to tend their farms, heats our homes, and creates the electricity we use. Without oil our society would collapse into a stinking ruinous heap and chaos would soon ensue.

Anyone who does not believe that oil is the only real reason that we are in the Middle-East spreading the love is not paying attention. We are not there to spread democracy, we are not there because of bogey man terrorists, we are not there because we are a shining light in the darkness. We are there because in order to maintain our lifestyle in a manner that we are accustomed to we need more oil, can’t get enough oil, more oil.

The leading democrats know this is true and is why we hear Hillary Clinton, Obama, Edwards etc. all cheerleading their manly war-hoops as they center Iran in their gun-sights. Ready, aim, fire, Boom, another million people dead. In an alternate universe perhaps instead of waging an Imperial war against planet Earth America with its vast resources, technological advancements and money is working on alternative energy sources rather than acting like some kind of super mugger of smaller nations but not in this reality.

Today some liberals are hanging onto the Democrat Party, they seem to believe Obama who tells us that all the evils in the world stem from Iran, Iran the enemy, Iran the evil, Iran the nation of crazies. As Obama and Hillary Clinton face the bitter East, noble brows to the wind, their eyes on a vision of the future where America dominates in a new unipolar world don’t believe a word they say.

Update: I removed the last sentence from this post in view of reading a post by Jonathan Schwarz which made me realize that my last sentence was not an accurate one. My apologies.

Read Jonathan’s post here. It is an exceptional post.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

a dim light

Monday, September 03, 2007

Night of th' Hunter

Night of the Hunter, 1955. I think it was remade into a TV movie in the 90s with Richard Chamberlain. I have nothing against Chamberlain, but ugh.

I understand commercial considerations are what they are, but I've always thought that movies with clever ideas that are poorly-executed are what should be getting remade, preferably better of course, the second time around. But who listens to me?

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Demaholics Anonymous

For most of my voting life I have been an avid supporter of the Democrat Party. I went on my merry way voting for the Dems feeling I had done my duty that I had voted for the least worst of what was out there. I never believed the Dems were saints but to me the Republicans were so bloody awful I felt it was an easy call to vote Dem.

So if I was so supportive of the Democrats in the past why do I come down on them so hard in my posts? I first heard about “blogs” when I was reading a Molly Ivins column and she mentioned Josh Marshall at TPM. At the time I was impressed with Marshall’s writings an obviously intelligent individual. At that time I was still very much in the Democrat camp so that was all quite nice and fit in with my world view very neatly. Also I used to have long talks with my father on the topic of politics during the last years of his life. My father grew up in the Great Depression the son of a poor farmer who had emigrated from Italy and changed his name from Pagna to Payne for various reasons.

My father had an extremely forceful personality, which is putting it mildly, and also was a brilliant man and having experienced the Great Depression was a firm believer in the Democrat Party and this of course influenced me since I for the most part had a great deal of respect for my father’s opinions also as I experienced the sixties watching Martin Luther King and his fight for equality for all peoples and hearing his inspiring speeches as well as those of Bobby Kennedy it left an indelible mark on my world view. Then came George W. Bush with his criminal invasion of a small country that had done no harm to us which only calcified my beliefs that Republicans were bad and Democrats were good. Little did I suspect that my world view was about to be shattered. Of course I was angry with Democrats for giving Bush the green light for invasion but I kept making excuses for the Democrats. Well, you know, they are in the minority, they have to please the conservatives blah, blah, blah and I am sure you have heard all the rest.

One day I was reading another Molly Ivins column and she mentioned This Modern World with Tom Tomorrow the wonderful political cartoonist. As I was reading This Modern World on a regular basis I eventually saw a post by Jonathan Schwarz which led me to his very original website. There I began reading things that did not jibe with my world view but Jonathan made a lot of sense, and still does, to me and I began looking askance at the Democrats. Through Jonathan I discovered Dennis Perrin of Red State Son and others. I loved the writings of Dennis Perrin though I was a bit disturbed with his criticisms of my patron saints the Democrats. I wrote Dennis some emails and he was kind enough to reply. And of course though I was angry with the Democrats I for a while defended them rigorously but Dennis really made me think about my views with his thoughtful and patient replies. At any rate to cut this babble a bit shorter I started paying more attention to what the Democrats were doing and the facts were undeniable. I realized the Democrats were not only merely paying lip service to being against the Iraq War but worst still they actually support the idea of American Imperialism or neo-colonialism. Aghh! The proof is in the pudding as they say and if you read this earlier post of mine you will see what I mean.


The war in Iraq is immoral by any standards of decency. The Democrats have given Bush everything his little Grinch heart desired including financing the Iraq War well into 2009. There are now an estimated over one million deaths in Iraq as a result of the invasion. The Democrats have fully supported this war and continue to do so. In my opinion this makes voting for the Democrats an act that is immensely immoral for to vote for the Democrats is to vote in favor of the Iraq War. I simply cannot do this and will not do this in the next election. I think the clearest and best way to let our errant Democrats know that they screwed the pooch so to speak is to not vote for them. I can’t think of any other way to give them notice that we do not believe in American Imperialism no matter how they package it. Please, don’t be a Demaholic like I was.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

things to read-- Sukhoi 33 edition

photo courtesy

Brian Beutler has Petraus's doctoral dissertation online in PDF, here. (It's pretty long.)

meanwhile, Castro criticizes the 2008 candidates. I find it hard to believe that Castro, wily old survivor that he is, might be unaware that when he criticizes Obama or HRC he only gives them credibility in many quarters over here.

from Rahul Mahajan's Empire notes, "The Real Iraq-Vietnam Analogy":

With Vietnam, we struggled hard and mostly successfully as a nation to make sure we didn’t learn the true lessons of the war. And with Iraq, we are on track to the same achievement, although this time it seems the path will be much easier.

This is a similarity that George Bush, a man who seemingly has never learned anything from anything or anyone in his entire life, is well positioned to appreciate.
Perhaps we could have learned instead that the cold war and the war on terror were not just mis-executed but misconceived?

We have apparently learned, from both of these wars, that America’s legendary good intentions are apparently not enough to ensure a good outcome. Perhaps we could have learned instead that it’s very easy to assume you have good intentions, but that, on close examination, it often turns out that you really don’t?

from the Jerusalem Post(via Xymphora, here)
"Analysis: Russia uses Syrian port to demonstrate its power in the Med"

In January 1996, the Russian Navy aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov came very close to Israeli territorial waters. On January 27, it launched several advanced Su-33 fighters, the naval version of the Su-27. The jets ventured into Israeli air space near Haifa. IAF planes were scrambled to intercept, but a skirmish was avoided.

The incident was kept secret for six years and was only revealed in 2002 in an article in the Israel Air Force magazine.

According to the report, Russian planes entered Israel's airspace at least twice and several F-16 scrambled for an intercept mission after an intrusion alert was received.

One assumes, nevertheless, that the Clinton administration became apprised of this at the time.

and Wikipedia's Russian Air Force entry notes that:

Russia resumed the Soviet-era practice of sending its bomber aircraft on long-range flights at a permanent basis in July and August 2007, after a 15-year unilateral suspension due to fuel costs and other economic difficulties after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Patrols towards the North Pole, the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean were reinstated, bringing the planes often close to NATO territory.

Does GWB miss the cold war,when other people fought in his place and he got to fly for the Texas Air National Guard by day and party every night with booze and cocaine? Is he hoping to start another one?

see also BBC News: "Russia restarts Cold War patrols"

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