Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Not Always What They Seem

Things are not always what they seem to be.  Previously, I showed how one can alter the tracks they leave on the Internet.  Now I see a different example (click to enlarge)

This visitor chose to obscure the referring URL.  I used to do that, with a statements such as "mind your own business" or "why are you reading this?"  

When I realized that I enjoyed seeing the pages that referred to my own site, I stopped doing that.  I mean, if I want to be able to see where visitors are coming from, I should let others see how I arrived at their site.  That's just the fair way to do things.  

The point is, things are not always what they seem.  The other point is, if you want someone to extend a courtesy to you, you should not deny them the same privilege.  

Today, I got two emails concerning the DSM.  One was a daily update from Shakespeare's Sister; the other, a response from Sen. Carl Levin.  I appreciate the response from Levin, even if it was a form letter.  The one from Sister was more interesting, though.

One of the links from Sister pointed to an article by Scott Ritter.  Mr. Ritter makes two allegations.  One, he alleges that covert and overt military action started in Iraq, months before a formal declaration of war.  The second allegation is that the same pattern is emerging in Iran.  He even goes so far as to allege that some of our actions in Iran constitute acts of war.

If true, then our government is being incredibly hypocritical:  We make a big deal about Syria's influence in Lebanon, yet we endeavor to exert even greater influence in Iraq and Iran.  It also is incredibly stupid.  Will the rest of the world tolerate our taking control of so much of the Middle East?  Probably not.  Although it would be difficult for anyone to overpower our influence with conventional military means, events have shown that we are not able to prevent sabotage that would prevent us, and everyone else, from exploiting oil resources there.  Likewise, there is no doubt that some people are sufficiently motivated to do so, even if it works against their own economic self-interest.  

I should hope that such behavior would not be a surprise to the Administration, since it was necessary for people to act against their own economic interest in order for the current Administration to be elected.

But, things are not always what they seem.  Scott Ritter is coming out with a book soon, so it is conceivable that he is putting on a little preliminary hype.  It also is possible that he knows what he is talking about, and is frightened by what he sees.  Certainly, he knows more about the situation than I do, although there is one point -- a rather alarming one -- that he does not mention.  

He points out what he calls a "bitter irony":
[...] The most visible of these is the CIA-backed actions recently undertaken by the Mujahadeen el-Khalq, or MEK, an Iranian opposition group, once run by Saddam Hussein's dreaded intelligence services, but now working exclusively for the CIA's Directorate of Operations.

It is bitter irony that the CIA is using a group still labeled as a terrorist organization, a group trained in the art of explosive assassination by the same intelligence units of the former regime of Saddam Hussein, who are slaughtering American soldiers in Iraq today, to carry out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq. [...]
At first, I did not think there was anything particularly unusual about this.  It's business as usual.  After all, continued to do business in Iran, even after Bush labeled Iran a part of the "Axis of Evil."  But then I remembered that Halliburton has announced that they are pulling out of Iran.  

Why are they pulling out?  Do they know something that we do not?  

Or is it that they are pulling out their oil guys, but putting in their mercenaries?  After all, the mercenary business pays better than the oil business.  Talk about bitter irony.

Things are not always what they seem to be.  If an amateur geek can rather easily hide where he or she is coming from, it probably would not be difficult for one of the most powerful companies in the world to do the same.  Perhaps it is not the most courteous thing to do, but who ever accused Halliburton of being courteous?

Category: politics, rants
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