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Iraq

Plus a Change . . . A Template for the U.S. War in Iraq

Editor’s Note:
Yet another exhibit for a class action suit against American history teachers for leaving us ignorant and defenseless against the same murderous hoaxes generation after generation. Unlike the public, the ruling neocons know their history — and how to repeat it to boost their profits and power. Just as 9/11 reprised the Reichstag fire, Pearl Harbor and many other victim-facilitated attacks, Mr. Higgs shows us here the Iraq follow-through was also prefigured and prescripted nearly a century back.

by Robert Higgs
Independent Institute
March 12, 2005

The composition of a coherent historical narrative is no easy task. Fortunately, the aspiring historian of the current U.S. war in Iraq can draw upon earlier narratives to ease the burden, merely substituting a word here and there in order to make the text accord with the specific names and places that are now pertinent. As the following illustrative statements show, however, basic patterns tend to persist, so one need not suffer through a protracted new search for how a particular war has come to be fought. My textual changes to apply the model to the present war appear in brackets.

To gain popular support for so useless a policy [as attacking and occupying Iraq] Republicans were unrelenting in their efforts to arouse jingo sentiment in the country.

The Democrats, too, were eager for a foreign adventure.

. . . the American people could indeed be diverted from their domestic concerns if the right sort of foreign crusade was offered. Continue reading

Secret US plans for Iraq’s oil

By Greg Palast

Reporting for Newsnight
BBC News

The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq’s oil before the 9/11 attacks, sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC’s Newsnight has revealed.

Two years ago today – when President George Bush announced US, British and Allied forces would begin to bomb Baghdad – protesters claimed the US had a secret plan for Iraq’s oil once Saddam had been conquered.

In fact there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of “Big Oil” executives and US State Department “pragmatists”.

“Big Oil” appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.

 

Show Editor’s Note »

This report reveals that the Iraq invasion, masked as a coup d’état, was being planned while Bush was still celebrating his inauguration in January 2001. However, the invasion would require a massive US military mobilization and abrupt belligerent public support, none of which would have been politically possible without 9/11 and the ensuing Afghan war. The key unaddressed issue here is who would bother to plan a politically impossible adventure if the vital enabling events were not anticipated too.

Insiders told Newsnight that planning began “within weeks” of Bush’s first taking office in 2001, long before the September 11th attack on the US.

We saw an increase in the bombing… Continue reading

We’re all paranoid

By Steven T. Jones
SF Bay Guardian

Sure, the people with the 9/11 conspiracy theories are a little odd. But not everything they’re saying is entirely crazy.

THE GRAND LAKE Theater in Oakland was filled almost to capacity March 10, just as the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park was the night before and the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco would be the next night, all for a documentary with bad production values and even worse leaps of logic.

This was the local premiere of The Great Conspiracy: The 9/11 News Special You Never Saw, a benefit screening for the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance, whose activists have been laboring for more than three years to dispel popular belief in the government’s version of the events on that fateful day.

And to fill that void, they offer a wide variety of alternative theories, carefully laid out in the dozens of books and DVDs that local truth-movement leader Carol Brouillet sold from a table in the theater lobby, or in the hundreds of Web sites devoted to debunking the official story.

Brouillet is what most people think of when they use the term “conspiracy theorist.” Ever since she saw the Oliver Stone film JFK — which she describes as her moment of awakening — she has been trafficking in the dark world of a shadow government executing secret plots. She’s been gathering every relevant document she can find, meticulously connecting every dot into an elaborate proof.

It is a worldview in which… Continue reading

Revelations from an Insider

Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on the Bush Administration, Civil Disobedience and the Eternal Fires of Hell

by Mira Ptacin

CommonDreams.org

March 29, 2005

The sound of Daniel Ellsberg’s voice could falsely identify him as a softy. It’s delicate and cottony, but the Pentagon insider-turned-peace activist has wit cut sharp as a razor and insight that hasn’t faded with age.

At 73 he is out of the limelight but still trying to shake up our nation. Ellsberg recently finished a U.S. ‘Truth-Telling’ tour, spoke in Israel and will soon be traveling to Hiroshima. And after publishing his first memoir ‘Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers’, he’s polishing off his second book about America’s fatal attraction to nuclear threats.

Ellsberg publicized the Pentagon Papers 30 years ago, helping tip public opinion against our last major attempt at imperial democracy. And on this day in 1973, the last American combat troops left Vietnam, ending the direct involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War. Now Ellsberg is talking again. Shouldn’t we be listening?

Where do you see the US relationship with Iran heading in the next 6 months?

Well, every sign is that they’re still on course on the program that some of these people laid out on The Project for the New American Century, going back to when they all worked under Dick Cheney back in ’91-92. Enforcing regime change in Iraq was at the head of the list. In general it was a remaking of the Middle East.… Continue reading

All We Want Is the TRUTH

By Ward Reilly

“If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

– Samuel Adams

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

– Patrick Henry

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”

– Thomas Paine

My friend Dennis Kyne wrote a song that we recorded together while he was staying at my home in January. He was in Baton Rouge in order to attend, and to speak at, the “Jazz Funeral For Democracy” in New Orleans, a counter-inaugural demonstration that activists from south Louisiana had organized.

The song is called “All We Want Is the Truth.”

Dennis is a Gulf War vet, and was a medic with the front-line 24th Infantry in 1991. I am an older volunteer infantry vet, one who spent 32 months overseas, from 1971 to 1974, serving this country as an occupation soldier. We are patriots.

The truth. It’s not too much for a soldier or vet to ask for, particularly when the subject is whether or not our nation goes to war.

As many of us – those who actually tried to stop the occupation of Iraq before it got started – watched this tragedy unfold, what we saw… Continue reading

Darkness Visible: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism is Now in Operation

by Chris Floyd

April 15, 2005

Follow-up to “Into the Dark.”

More than two years ago, we wrote here of a secret Pentagon plan to foment terrorism: sending covert agents to infiltrate terrorist groups and goad them into action — i.e., committing acts of murder and destruction. The purpose was two-fold: first, to bring the terrorist groups into the open, where they could be counterattacked; and second, to justify U.S. military attacks on the countries where the terrorists were operating — attacks which, in the Pentagon’s words, would put those nations’ “sovereignty at risk.” It was a plan that countenanced — indeed, encouraged — the deliberate murder of innocent people and the imposition of U.S. military rule anywhere in the world that American leaders desired.

This plan is now being activated.

In fact, it’s being expanded, as the New Yorker’s Seymour Hersh revealed last week. Not only will U.S.-directed agents infiltrate existing terrorist groups and provoke them into action; the Pentagon itself will create its own terrorist groups and “death squads.” After establishing their terrorist “credentials” through various atrocities and crimes, these American-run groups will then be able to ally with — and ultimately undermine — existing terrorist groups.

Top-level officials in the Pentagon, the U.S. intelligence services and the Bush administration confirmed to Hersh that the plan is going forward, under the direction of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — just as we noted here in November 2002. Through a series of secret executive orders, George W. Bush has given Rumsfeld the authority to turn the entire world into “a global free-fire zone,” a top Pentagon adviser says.…

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Speaker Says Bush Knew Of Sept. 11 Plans

- Theologian and Author Believes the President Endorsed the Attacks to Build Up Support for his Military Plans.

by Doug Erickson

Wisconsin State Journal

Page B1, April 19, 2005

A noted Christian theologian suggested Monday in Madison that the Bush administration not only had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but probably helped orchestrate them.

David Ray Griffin, 65, a retired professor at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., said the government’s version of the attacks is so implausible it can’t possibly be true.

 

Editor’s Note:
The Griffin 9/11 Truth Effect continues to reverberate. Consider just these lines: [Griffin said the evidence is] “sufficient to suggest that there is no escape from the frightful conclusion that 9/11 was engineered by the Bush administration and its Pentagon.” He closed by saying religious people must seek the truth about 9/11, create new means to spread the information, and work to thwart Bush’s attempts at global domination. The crowd gave Griffin a standing ovation.”

Unlike Madison’s progressive Capitol Times which carried the other Griffin story below, the Wisconsin State Journal is known as a crusty Republican rag with circulation all across the state. If this does not justfy perseverance, it’s hard to say what would.

 
The numerous inconsistencies and far-fetched explanations from Bush officials “show that the attacks must have been planned and executed by our own political and military leaders,” Griffin said.

He thinks Bush endorsed the attacks to gain support for a military… Continue reading

A Gradual Awakening

It takes a long-term view to see our way out of this gloom.

By Ken Jenkins

It was early 2005. It was a time of malaise, of vague apprehension, of depression, of disbelief, of foreboding and dread. It was the time after Bush&Co stole yet another election and we faced 4 more years of an ongoing, ever-darkening nightmare. It was long enough after the election to have moved beyond the shock and denial, but not far enough to have fully accepted and grokked our predicament, or to have the foggiest idea what the heck to do next.

We wonder, wouldn’t that other Iraq war supporter Kerry have been better than this?

No. In the long run, things might have been worse.

Is there any light in this seemingly perpetual tunnel of gloom?

Yes. But a long-term view is required to see far enough down the abyss to see that glimmer of hope.

 

Editor’s Note:
In this highly synchronistic counterpoint to the TVnewslies piece below, a great 9/11 videographer shares some patient wisdom that we all should hear and re-hear.

 

Let me explain. We would all like a quick turnaround to this ominous and menacing nightmare. But Kerry would have lulled too many folks back to sleep. And that is not a good thing. The spiral of social-political evolution would have slowed to a creep. As apathy increased, we would have been back in the doldrums, directionless, going nowhere at a crawl. Crisis is not a good time to go back to sleep.…

Continue reading

Regulated Resistance

Is it possible to change the system when you are the system?
By Charles Shaw
Newtopia Magazine
April 26, 2005

In February of this year, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), a coalition of more than 800 peace and justice groups throughout the United States, held their second annual Assembly to hear and vote on proposals for a 2005 “action plan.” With the war in Iraq fast approaching its second anniversary, and the larger “War on Terror” crossing its third and half year, close to 500 delegates from 275 member groups traveled to St. Louis in the hopes that the “anti-war movement” — which emerged with unprecedented speed and size just prior to the US invasion of Iraq in spring of 2003 — could be resuscitated. Despite impressive beginnings, the movement as a whole has yet to make any significant impact on US policy, or achieve any lasting public resonance. More disturbing is the fact that since Bush’s victory in November, it has gone completely MIA.

One week after the election, the US launched a massive, sustained offensive on the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which absolutely leveled the metropolis of 350,000. Virtually everyone in the “movement” knew this offensive was a forgone conclusion should Bush be reelected (though few understood that the offensive would likely have gone ahead regardless of who won). Yet, despite this foreknowledge, the streets of America remained empty. In San Francisco, the usual hotbed for anti-war activism, barely 500 people showed up to a demonstration organized by the local chapter of International ANSWER, and endorsed by Global Exchange & Code Pink, the two most prominent activist groups in the Bay Area.…

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Is There Any Truth in ‘The 9/11 Truth Movement?’

By Steve Hammons

Research analyst

IntelDesk.com

April 28, 2005

Some Americans and people around the world are wondering more about the 9/11 attacks. Questions are being asked and frightening allegations are being made.

“The 9/11 Truth Movement” is a phrase being used to describe a wide range of people and organizations who are asking these questions and digging up information that appears on the surface to be quite serious if true.

One of the major questions being asked is if anyone in the U.S. Government had foreknowledge that a terrorist attack was being planned using airliners as weapons. And if so, did they deliberately allow the attacks to occur so this new Pearl Harbor-like event would create a desired climate in America.

The idea that officials within our government would allow innocent Americans to be killed to advance other goals and agendas is difficult for many to believe. Surely this is impossible. Yet, 9/11 investigators keep coming up with allegations that make us wonder.

Researchers within The 9/11 Truth Movement put forth interesting allegations and hypothesize about possible motivations for powerful people to want an event like the 9/11 attacks to occur. The investigative reports, facts, theories, allegations and hypotheses are spelled out in several books, films and Web sites.

Below are a few of the many allegations being made about the 9/11 attacks:

– Financial investments of various kinds immediately before the 9/11 indicate that there was quite specific pre-knowledge of the attacks and how they would be carried out.…

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Proof Bush Fixed The Facts

“Intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy.”

Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would see those words in black and white—and beneath a SECRET stamp, no less.  For three years now, we in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been saying that the CIA and its British counterpart, MI-6, were ordered by their countries’ leaders to “fix facts” to “justify” an unprovoked war on Iraq.? More often than not, we have been greeted with stares of incredulity.

It has been a hard learning–that folks tend to believe what they want to believe.? As long as our evidence, however abundant and persuasive, remained circumstantial, it could not compel belief.? It simply is much easier on the psyche to assent to the White House spin machine blaming the Iraq fiasco on bad intelligence than to entertain the notion that we were sold a bill of goods.

Well, you can forget circumstantial.?Thanks to an unauthorized disclosure by a courageous whistleblower, the evidence now leaps from official documents–this time authentic, not forged.? Whether prompted by the open appeal of the international?Truth-Telling Coalition or not, some brave soul has made the most explosive “patriotic leak” of the war by giving London’s Sunday Times the official minutes of a briefing by Richard Dearlove, then head of Britain’s CIA equivalent, MI-6.?Fresh back in London from consultations in Washington, Dearlove briefed Prime Minister Blair and his top national security officials on July 23, 2002, on the Bush administration’s plans to make war on Iraq.…

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Star Wars III: Crisis in America

Hollywood Strikes Back

Rolls Out Big-Budget 9/11 Truth Movie.

by John J. Albanese

May 22, 2005

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Star Wars III — Revenge of the Sith is a 9/11
truth movie.

(For those who do not want to know the plot of this film, read no
further.)

It came as a complete surprise. My wife and I went to see this film
somewhat reluctantly, and with some misplaced sense of obligatory
nostalgia for a franchise that harkened back to our youth. How could we
NOT? But, we fully expected to be moderately entertained at best, with
perhaps some of the familiar lingering disappointment we felt over the
last two installments in the series.

What we found instead was a big-budget major blockbuster of a film that
had me literally squirming in my seat with the desire to jump up and
scream at the audience, “Are you people getting this!!!?”

Yes, this movie goes where no major commercial film has gone before. This
film dares to suggest that 9/11 was an inside job.

We have all heard the rumors that this film draws some interesting
parallels between the Bush administration and the dark side of government
depicted in this film. Seeking to strengthen security during wartime,
Chancellor Palpatine persuades the Senate to give up civil liberties.

“So this is how liberty dies — to thunderous applause,” Senator Amidala
laments.

There are the obvious lines.

Darth Vader: “If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy.”

Samuel L. Jackson emotionally… Continue reading

Bases, Bases Everywhere

by Tom Engelhardt
Tom Dispatch
June 2, 2005

Remember the Cheney/Rumsfeld/PNAC call for this militant metastasis in 2000? Or their realistic complaint that this “transformation” would take forever “absent a cataclysmic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor”? Or that Darth Cheney still holds 433,333 stock options in Halliburton, which is making more money off this imperial oil grab than any firm on earth? Map the bases, chart the profits, connect the dots. – Ed.

The last few weeks have been base-heavy ones in the news. The Pentagon’s provisional Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list, the first in a decade, was published to domestic screams of pain. It represents, according to the Washington Post, “a sweeping plan to close or reduce forces at 62 major bases and nearly 800 minor facilities” in the United States. The military is to be reorganized at home around huge, multi-force “hub bases” from which the Pentagon, in the fashion of a corporate conglomerate, hopes to “reap economies of scale.” This was front-page news for days as politicians and communities from Connecticut (the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton) and New Jersey (Fort Monmouth) to South Dakota (Ellsworth Air Force Base) cried bloody murder over the potential loss of jobs and threatened to fight to the death to prevent their specific base or set of bases (but not anyone else’s) from closing – after all, those workers had been the most productive and patriotic around. These closings – and their potentially devastating effects on communities – were a reminder (though seldom dealt with that way in the media) of just how deeply the Pentagon has dug itself into the infrastructure of our nation.…

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Forget 9/11 — Just For a Minute

What Should We Really Be Afraid Of?

By W. David Jenkins III
Project for the Old American Century
June 1, 2005

Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Although tyranny…may successfully rule over foreign peoples,
it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people.
~Hannah Areddt

That’s right, I said it. Forget about 9/11. Just put all those horrible images away. I mean no disrespect but I think it’s time to put things in perspective.

9/11 has become an excuse for those who would exploit it and the world is a sadder and more dangerous place because of those who have used the tragedy for their own gains. This isn’t exactly a news flash but it isreality. An unfortunate reality that you and I had no part in making. That responsibility lays with the people who are still scared and those who would continue to exploit their fear. And that fear is the very foundation, the very source of strength of the present administration. Fear is now the guiding principle of almost every aspect of almost every person in America today. We have all become afraid just for different reasons.

Lately I’ve been doing a bit of research on fear and the odds we all face when it comes to our eventual deaths. Let’s face it; we’re all going to go sometime.

With acknowledgements to The National Safety Council (NSC), the FBI, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and some great work by writer, John Schettler (Scare Tactics), I’ve come to the conclusion that many Americans are afraid of the wrong things.…

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Karl Rove’s “Understanding of 9/11″

by Kristen Breitweiser

The Huffington Post
 

Editor’s Note:
For morbid fascination, you can hardly top the neocons’ relentless cynical exploitation of their 9/11 myth. Not content with their initial trifecta win — bankrupting government services, shredding the Bill of Rights and launching endless imperial wars, they are now obviously out to milk it to perpetuate one-party rule. Rove certainly does “understand 9/11″ or at least the profit in its abuse.

 
Mr. Rove, the first thing that I would like to address is Afghanistan – the place that anyone with a true “understanding of 9/11″ knows is a nation that actually has a connection to the 9/11 attacks. One month after 9/11, we invaded Afghanistan, took down the Taliban, and left without capturing Usama Bin Laden – the alleged perpetrator of the September 11th attacks. In the meantime, Afghanistan has carried out democratic elections, but continues to suffer from extreme violence and unrest. Poppy production (yes, Karl, the drug trade) is at an all time high, thus flooding the world market with heroin. And of course, the oil pipeline (a.k.a. the Caspian Sea pipeline) is better protected by U.S. troops who now have a “legitimate” excuse to be in that part of Afghanistan. Interesting isn’t it Karl that the drug “rat line” parallels the oil pipeline. (Yet, with all those troops guarding that same sliver of land, can you please explain how those drugs keep getting through?)

Now Karl, a question for you, since you seem to be the… Continue reading

Neocons can Celebrate July 23rd, too: Halliburton Profits Soar

Halliburton Shares Soar10% After It Posts Second Quarter Profit

By Pam Easton, Associated Press

Friday July 22, 2005

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services firm Halliburton Co.’s shares soared 10 percent Friday after it reported that an influx of new government contracts at its KBR and energy services units drove it to a second-quarter profit.

“It was a fundamentally solid quarter,” Halliburton chief executive David Lesar said during a Friday morning conference call with analysts. “There are good reasons for all of us to feel proud and good about what we have accomplished.”

In a report after the markets closed Thursday, Halliburton said it earned $392 million, or 78 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30 compared with a loss of $667 million, or $1.52 per share, last year. The year-ago result included a $200 million loss from an offshore engineering, procurement, installation, and commissioning project in Brazil.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $5.2 billion from $5 billion.

“Absolutely stellar financial results here,” research analyst Dan Pickering with Pickering Energy Partners Inc. said Friday. “It is clear that their business is strong and the current levels of profitability are sustainable.”

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 56 cents per share on revenue of $4.87 billion.

Halliburton shares rose $4.59, or 9.4 percent, to close at $53.29 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, surpassing the previous 52-week closing high of $50.

Halliburton’s shares last exceeded $53 on Sept. 12, 2000, closing at $54.37.

Three years ago, on July 23, 2002, Halliburton shares closed at $9.10.…

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The Plunder Never Ends

So this is how the US government does business!

Cash from the New York Federal Reserve is loaded on to C-130s and shipped to Bagdad — to the tune of $12 billion since the start of the US occupation of Iraq in March 2003.

The money originally came from Iraqi oil sales under Saddam and was held in trust under the rules of the UN oil sales program. Now it is handed out to Iraqi and US government contractors in the form of cash. Or “candy,” as Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) puts it.

In the end, $8.8 billion can no longer be accounted for. And the Pentagon acknowledges Halliburton “requested that information in the audits be withheld” from the Congressional subpoena, “including allegations that the firm had spent too much money in purchasing fuel.”

“By law, contractors can request that the government withhold any proprietary information from release.”

Interesting law, when corporations can decide information about their public contracts is proprietary.

But anyway, it’s all just “pocket change,” says an e-mail circulating at the Fed.
(See article: “Worries Raised on Handling of Funds in Iraq,” Los Angeles Times, June 22, 2005.)

And who can argue with that?

* * *

Recall Donald Rumsfeld chose the date of September 10, 2001 to announce that a Pentagon audit, ordered by Undersecretary Dov Zakheim and conducted by a Halliburton subsidiary, had discovered that the Defense Department can no longer account for $2.3 trillion in past transactions. (Note: You are not hallucinating: two… Continue reading

Impeach Bush Now

By Paul Craig Roberts

The raison d’être of the Bush administration is war in the Middle East in order to protect America from terrorism and to insure America’s oil supply. On both counts the Bush administration has failed catastrophically.

Bush’s single-minded focus on the “war against terrorism” has compounded a natural disaster and turned it into the greatest calamity in American history. The US has lost its largest and most strategic port, thousands of lives, and 80% of one of America’s most historic cities is under water.

If terrorists had achieved this result, it would rank as the greatest terrorist success in history.

Prior to 911, the Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that New Orleans was a disaster waiting to happen. Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project (SELA) in order to protect the strategic port, the refineries, and the large population.

However, after 2003 the flow of funds to SELA were diverted to the war in Iraq. During 2004 and 2005 the New Orleans Times-Picayune published nine articles citing New Orleans’ loss of hurricane protection to the war in Iraq.

Every expert and newspapers as distant as Texas saw the New Orleans catastrophe coming. But President Bush and his insane government preferred war in Iraq to protecting Americans at home.

Bush’s war left the Corps of Engineers only 20% of the funding to protect New Orleans from flooding from Lake Pontchartrain. On June 18, 2004, the Corps’ project manager, Al Naomi, told the Times-Picayune: “the levees are sinking.… Continue reading