October 1st, 2007

Chris Keeley

Shifting Targets

by Seymour M. Hersh 

In a series of public statements in recent months, President Bush and members of his Administration have redefined the war in Iraq, to an increasing degree, as a strategic battle between the United States and Iran. “Shia extremists, backed by Iran, are training Iraqis to carry out attacks on our forces and the Iraqi people,” Bush told the national convention of the American Legion in August. “The attacks on our bases and our troops by Iranian-supplied munitions have increased. . . . The Iranian regime must halt these actions. And, until it does, I will take actions necessary to protect our troops.” He then concluded, to applause, “I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran’s murderous activities.”

The President’s position, and its corollary—that, if many of America’s problems in Iraq are the responsibility of Tehran, then the solution to them is to confront the Iranians—have taken firm hold in the Administration. This summer, the White House, pushed by the office of Vice-President Dick Cheney, requested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff redraw long-standing plans for a possible attack on Iran, according to former officials and government consultants. The focus of the plans had been a broad bombing attack, with targets including Iran’s known and suspected nuclear facilities and other military and infrastructure sites. Now the emphasis is on “surgical” strikes on Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities in Tehran and elsewhere, which, the Administration claims, have been the source of attacks on Americans in Iraq. What had been presented primarily as a counter-proliferation mission has been reconceived as counterterrorism.

The shift in targeting reflects three developments. First, the President and his senior advisers have concluded that their campaign to convince the American public that Iran poses an imminent nuclear threat has failed (unlike a similar campaign before the Iraq war), and that as a result there is not enough popular support for a major bombing campaign. The second development is that the White House has come to terms, in private, with the general consensus of the American intelligence community that Iran is at least five years away from obtaining a bomb. And, finally, there has been a growing recognition in Washington and throughout the Middle East that Iran is emerging as the geopolitical winner of the war in Iraq.

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Chris Keeley

The Coen-scripted dark comedy centers on "Larry Gopnik, a Jewish college professor in the Midwest du

The Coen-scripted dark comedy centers on "Larry Gopnik, a Jewish college professor in the Midwest during the 1960s," according to the website FilmJerk. Bedeviled by children who lift his wallet, a wife who wants a divorce, a too-intense grad student and a hot neighbor who sunbathes in the nude, "he starts to question the value of life."

Perhaps not coincidentally,

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Chris Keeley

Blackwater Receives New $92 Million Pentagon Contract

Blackwater Receives New $92 Million Pentagon Contract
Blackwater has received a new $92 million contract from the Pentagon to fly passengers and cargo between locations around central Asia. The contract was announced at a time when Blackwater is the target of several investigations over its role in Iraq following a deadly shooting in Baghdad two weeks ago that left at least 11 Iraqis dead. Newsweek has obtained an extensive evidence file assembled by the Iraqi National Police after the Sept. 16 shooting. Iraqi officials concluded Blackwater forces opened fire unprovoked from the ground and the sky.

Blackwater Involved in 56 Shootings in Iraq This Year
Over the weekend the State Department revealed Blackwater employees have been involved in 56 shootings while guarding US diplomats this year. Meanwhile Blackwater has put off plans to buy 1,800 acres of farmland near Fort Bragg in North Carolina where it was planning to set up a training ground for soldiers and corporate executives. Blackwater's founder Eric Prince has been called to testify before Congress on Tuesday. 

White House Orders New Plans For Attack On Iran
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh is reporting there has been a significant increase in the tempo of planning for war with Iran inside the Bush administration. Writing in the New Yorker, Hersh reports the White House recently requested the Joint Chiefs of Staff redraw long-standing plans for a possible attack. Hersh also reports the Bush administration's rationale for bombing Iran has shifted from Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program to Iran's role in Iraq. Hersh writes "What had been presented primarily as a counterproliferation mission has been reconceived as counterterrorism." The focus is no longer a broad bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities but strikes on Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities in Tehran and elsewhere. On Sunday John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, called for the U.S. to attack Iran and for the overthrow of Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. During a meeting in England, Bolton said negotiations with Iran had failed and that he saw no alternative to military action.

Chris Keeley

GARRY WINOGRAND

GARRY WINOGRAND

There are no revelations, and few unfamiliar images, among the more than forty Winogrand photographs here, but the work still has an irresistible effortlessness; every picture feels accidental and just right. Included are photos from several famous series—on zoos, public gatherings, and women seen in passing, the last characterized by a boyish sense of delight at the presence of feminine beauty. Marilyn Monroe, Norman Mailer, Hugh Hefner, and Diane Arbus crop up elsewhere, but they have serious competition from these women and from the “Naked Hippie,” a young man with wild eyes and raised arms who parts a crowd like a demented savior. Through Oct. 20. (Bell, 511 W. 25th St. 212-691-3883.)

Chris Keeley

In Mearsheimer and Walt’s cartography, the Israel lobby is not limited to AIPAC, the American Israel

In Mearsheimer and Walt’s cartography, the Israel lobby is not limited to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. It is a loose yet well-oiled coalition of Jewish-American organizations, “watchdog” groups, think tanks, Christian evangelicals, sympathetic journalists, and neocon academics. This is not a cabal but a world in which Abraham Foxman gives the signal, Pat Robertson describes his apocalyptic rapture, Charles Krauthammer pumps out a column, Bernard Lewis delivers a lecture—and the President of the United States invades another country. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Exxon-Mobil barely
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Chris Keeley

Proclivities

M privately that he was thinking about becoming a Democrat. His father sat him down to dissuade him, taking him through the differences between Republicans and Democrats.
The Times.

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Chris Keeley

Radiohead lets fans pick price for new album

Radiohead lets fans pick price for new album


Sweet fancy Moses this is awesome!* BB reader Daniel says,

Radiohead has just announced the details for their new album, In Rainbows.

They're only selling it through their website (at least for now), and for the digital download version, they're letting listeners pick their own price for the album - it's literally a donation-based product.

Obviously this is sparking confusion among many, but the only help the website provides are the words "It's up to you."

Link, album's out October 10. To recap: the box set (Glorious thick 12" vinyl! and "enhanced CD") is $80, but the downloads are name-your-own-price. Some readers are reporting that you get the downloads for free anyway if you buy the box set.


No details on the download file format. Does anyone out there know? DRM-free? MP3s? What bitrate, what quality?

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Chris Keeley

Gerda Taro at the International Center of Photography in New York. "...Gerda Taro (1910-1937) was a

Gerda Taro at the International Center of Photography in New York. "...Gerda Taro (1910-1937) was a pioneering photojournalist whose brief career consisted almost exclusively of dramatic photographs from the front lines of the Spanish Civil War. Her photographs were widely reproduced in the French leftist press, and incorporated the dynamic camera angles of New Vision photography as well as a physical and emotional closeness to her subject. Taro worked alongside Robert Capa, who was her photographic as well as romantic partner, and the two collaborated closely.





http://www.icp.org/site/c.dnJGKJNsFqG/b.2876631/k.9873/Gerda_Taro_Images.htm