Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Obama's 1984-2010 Oceania; Lies Are Truth, Truth Are Lies, War Is Peace, Peace Is War ?

Welcome to Orwell’s World 2010
Inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth"

Proper interrogation methods...

Seem to lead to swift actions to arrest the bad guys ...

--(CNN) -- A man described as "one of al Qaeda's most dangerous members" was arrested in Yemen, the Yemeni military, an embassy official and state-run news agency Saba said.

Mohammed Abdu Saleh al-Haudali, 35, is "one of the most dangerous terrorists wanted by the security forces," according to a Yemeni military Web site, citing a security source.--

--In addition, Albasha told CNN, Mohammed Ali Al-Henk, "a wanted al Qaeda operative," was captured in the Arhab district north of Sanaa.--

So, we have bad guys attacked over the course of a few days in Yemen, leading to the arrest of the top bad guy in Yemen and his affiliates ... How did the Yemenites find their men so quickly on wonders???

--The arrests come after a Nigerian man allegedly attempted to detonate an explosive device on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, December 25. Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack.--

Hhhmmm ... you don't say ... So bad guys attacked, leaders rounded up half a world away, all after the failed bombing attempt by some Nigerian guy over Detroit? How did the US handle this suspect to get this kind of pinpoint information?? I didn't see him sent over to Gitmo for some waterboarding fun that the Neoclowns so desperately wanted to partake in...

Seems to me that good old fashioned (legal) investigation of the suspect, along with help of the suspects father & Intel from back in October (when Intel officials began hearing the 'chatter') seems to have worked rather well in cutting the head off of the proverbial snake in Yemen for the time being ...

All while we still the get the Neoclown noise machines talking themselves into a frenzy about 'terror' once again ... Any hope for a MSM journalist to link this story together, along with the law enforcement aspect, and with the Intel operatives is all just a pipe dream; in stead we get how HRC beat out the Wunderkid from Wasilla for the 'most admired woman of 2009' B.S.

Where ohh where are you Mr. Cronkite ???

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Restructuring The World; Finances And Climate?

Rebuilding the world after the twin crises

Fifteen months after the panic started by the failure of Lehman Brothers, we should begin the debate how to re-build the world after the crisis. Several disturbing questions remain. Are we still in the crisis? Should we reform at all? What should we rebuild? After all, the rescue efforts by the leading central banks have brought financial markets back to almost pre-2007 levels, commercial banks have been rescued through massive guarantees and liquidity and interest rates have been brought down to near zero. There are some who think that 2010 will be a good year with revived growth. Others believe equally fervently that the real crisis has yet to come. Who is right?

Several things are now clearer. We were dealing in 2007-2009 with two simultaneous crises - one financial, the other about climate change. One brought about a shift in economic power balance, with the G20 calling the shots instead of the G7. The other is being resolved through the Copenhagen Round of negotiations.

Three fundamental differences define the two crises. The first is that the financial crisis was primarily dealt with at the national level, whereas the climate crisis was dealt with at the global level. The second is that financial crisis had short-term effects that required immediate action, whereas the climate crisis had uncertain long-term effects, where people do not feel the immediate pain and had no cause to support reform. The third is that the Copenhagen negotiations confirmed the shift in power to the population giants of China, India, Brazil and South Africa, who brokered the deal with the United States.

The age of juggernauts

There was certainly a lot of hot air and emotions coming out of Copenhagen, with the African chairman of the developing economy caucus claiming that the amount of money offered by the advanced economies for climate change is just enough to buy coffins. Those who are dead do not have to worry about climate change, so all the emotion is about what to do with the living.

However messy and unsatisfactory an agreement, Copenhagen is still a major achievement. Globalization will never be the same again, because there is at last some universal recognition, however fuzzy, that we must solve the threat to climate change. But there is a major divide between the West and the Rest.

The trouble with climate change is that all of us are dealing with unknown unknowns. Although the majority of the scientists are convinced that climate change has already passed tipping point of irreversible damage to the environment, some think that that predictions of doom are a conspiracy to tax the wealthy countries.

The climate crisis and the financial crisis are inter-related, because both stem from excess consumption of natural resources. The financial side collapsed first, because the West's excess leverage was not sustainable. The climate change crisis has a much longer time horizon, because it may take 20-30 years before the weather change and resource scarcity becomes visibly so bad that those affected will then support the need for change. By then, it may be too late.

Mankind is like a frog in a pot of water. When the temperature in the pot is raised very quickly, the frog feels pain and will jump out very quickly to escape. This was what happened in this financial crisis when the G20 acted decisively in the face of an immediate threat of financial meltdown. However, since climate change is incremental, the frog will not react as temperature rises slowly, until the moment comes when it is boiled.

Read More

Saudi Arabia Covers Up For Al Quaida ?

EXCLUSIVE-PART1: Al Qaeda Excluded from the Suspects List*
By Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON, Jun 22 (IPS) - On Jun. 25, 1996, a massive truck bomb exploded at a building in the Khobar Towers complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, which housed U.S. Air Force personnel, killing 19 U.S. airmen and wounding 372.

Immediately after the blast, more than 125 agents from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were ordered to the site to sift for clues and begin the investigation of who was responsible. But when two U.S. embassy officers arrived at the scene of the devastation early the next morning, they found a bulldozer beginning to dig up the entire crime scene.

The Saudi bulldozing stopped only after Scott Erskine, the supervisory FBI special agent for international terrorism investigations, threatened that Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who happened to be in Saudi Arabia when the bomb exploded, would intervene personally on the matter.

U.S. intelligence then intercepted communications from the highest levels of the Saudi government, including interior minister Prince Nayef, to the governor and other officials of Eastern Province instructing them to go through the motions of cooperating with U.S. officials on their investigation but to obstruct it at every turn.

That was the beginning of what interviews with more than a dozen sources familiar with the investigation and other information now available reveal was a systematic effort by the Saudis to obstruct any U.S. investigation of the bombing and to deceive the United States about who was responsible for the bombing.

The Saudi regime steered the FBI investigation toward Iran and its Saudi Shi’a allies with the apparent intention of keeping U.S. officials away from a trail of evidence that would have led to Osama bin Laden and a complex set of ties between the regime and the Saudi terrorist organiser.

The key to the success of the Saudi deception was FBI director Louis Freeh, who took personal charge of the FBI investigation, letting it be known within the Bureau that he was the "case officer" for the probe, according to former FBI officials.

Freeh allowed Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan to convince him that Iran was involved in the bombing, and that President Bill Clinton, for whom he had formed a visceral dislike, "had no interest in confronting the fact that Iran had blown up the towers," as Freeh wrote in his memoirs.

The Khobar Towers investigation soon became Freeh’s vendetta against Clinton. "Freeh was pursuing this for his own personal agenda," says former FBI agent Jack Cloonan.

A former high-ranking FBI official recalls that Freeh "was always meeting with Bandar". And many of the meetings were not in Freeh’s office but at Bandar’s 38-room home in McLean, Virginia.

Meanwhile, the Saudis were refusing the most basic FBI requests for cooperation. When Ray Mislock, who headed the National Security Division of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, requested permission to go door to door to interview witnesses in the neighbourhood, the Saudis refused.

"It’s our responsibility," Mislock recalls being told. "We’ll do the interviews."

But the Saudis never conducted such interviews. The same thing happened when Mislock requested access to phone records for the immediate area surrounding Khobar Towers.

Soon after the bombing, officials of the Saudi secret police, the Mabahith, began telling their FBI and CIA contacts that they had begun arresting members of a little known Shi’a group called "Saudi Hezbollah", which Saudi and U.S. intelligence had long believed was close to Iran. They claimed that they had extensive intelligence information linking the group to the Khobar Towers bombing.

But a now declassified July 1996 report by CIA analysts on the bombing reveals that the Mabahith claims were considered suspect. The report said the Mabahith "have not shown U.S. officials their evidence... nor provided many details on their investigation."

Nevertheless, Freeh quickly made Iranian and Saudi Shi’a responsibility for the bombing the official premise of the investigation, excluding from the inquiry the hypothesis that Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda organisation had carried out the Khobar Towers bombing.

"There was never, ever a doubt in my mind about who did this," says a former FBI official involved in the investigation who refused to be identified.

FBI and CIA experts on Osama bin Laden tried unsuccessfully to play a role in the Khobar Towers investigation. Jack Cloonan, a member of the FBI’s I-49 unit, which was building a legal case against bin Laden over previous terrorist actions, recalls asking the Washington Field Office (WFO), which had direct responsibility for the investigation, to allow such I-49 participation, only to be rebuffed.

"The WFO was hypersensitive and told us to f*ck off," says Cloonan.

The CIA’s bin Laden unit, which had only been established in early 1996, was also excluded by CIA leadership from that Agency’s work on the bombing.

Two or three days after the Khobar bombing, recalls Dan Coleman, an FBI agent assigned to the unit, the agency "locked down" its own investigation, creating an encrypted "passline" that limited access to information related to Khobar investigation to the handful of people at the CIA who were given that code.

The head of the bin Laden unit at the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Centre, Michael Scheuer, was not included among that small group.

Nevertheless, Scheuer instructed his staff to put together all the information the station had collected from all sources - human assets, electronic intercepts and open sources – indicating that there would be an al Qaeda operation in Saudi Arabia after the bombing in Riyadh the previous November.

The result was a four-page memo which ticked off the evidence that bin Laden’s al Qaeda organisation had been planning a military operation involving explosives in Saudi in 1996.

"One of the places mentioned in the memo was Khobar," says Scheuer. "They were moving explosives from Port Said through Suez Canal to the Red Sea and to Yemen, then infiltrating them across the border with Saudi Arabia."

A few days after receiving the bin Laden unit’s four-page memo, the head of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Centre, Winston Wiley, one of the few CIA officials who was privy to information on the investigation, came to Scheuer’s office and closed the door. Wiley opened up a folder which had only one document in it - a translated intercept of an internal Iranian communication in which there was a reference to Khobar Towers. "Are you satisfied?" Wiley asked.

Scheuer replied that it was only one piece of information in a much bigger universe of information that pointed in another direction. "If that’s all there is," he told Wiley, "I would say it was very interesting and ought to be followed up, but it isn’t definitive."

But the signal from the CIA leadership was clear: Iran had already been identified as responsible for the Khobar bombing plot, and there was no interest in pursuing the bin Laden angle.

In September 1996, bin Laden’s former business agent Jamal Al-Fadl, who had left al Qaeda over personal grievances, walked into the U.S. embassy in Eritrea and immediately began providing the best intelligence the United States had ever gotten on bin Laden and al Qaeda.

But the CIA and FBI made no effort take advantage of his knowledge to get information on possible al Qaeda involvement in the Khobar Towers bombing, according to Dan Coleman, one of al-Fadl’s FBI handlers.

"We were never given any questions to ask him about Khobar Towers," says Coleman.

(This is the first of a five-part series, "Khobar Towers Investigated: How a Saudi Deception Protected Osama bin Laden". The work on this series was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.)

*Not for publication in Italy. (END/2009)

Prince Bandar has a lot of questons to be answered. Not only about the Khobar Towers, but also 9/11.
Bandar was treated by the Bush family as one of their own. He briefed W on the middle east, Iraq, and Sadam.
What exactly was it that the Saudi's were covering up?
Was their sole intent just to blame Iran, and the Shia? Or was it more sinister?
How deep does Saudi Arabia, and the royal family go with A/Q, and Bin Laden?

Baluchistan Is The Gateway For The West ?

An Interview with Ahmar Mustikhan

Baluchistan and the Af/Pak War


US news reports about the widening war in the “Af-Pak” region have made increasing reference to the presence of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Baluchistan, a Texas-sized swath of territory located in southern Pakistan. Yet Americans remain surprisingly unaware that Baluchistan is home to an insurgent movement that is not aligned with either Al-Qaeda or the Taliban and that has fought for national independence from Pakistan for more than 60 years. In this exclusive interview conducted on December 27, noted Pakistani Baluch journalist, Ahmar Mustikhan, founder and director of the American Friends of Baluchistan, spoke with me about the current regional conflict and about Baluchistan’s appeal to the West for military and diplomatic support for its struggle.

SL: The Obama administration has been pressuring Pakistan to allow the US to launch drone and Special Forces attacks on the Taliban insurgent leadership that is reportedly based in Quetta, Baluchistan, near the Afghan border. Why is Baluchistan becoming so important?

AM: Because the road to peace in Afghanistan actually leads from Baluchistan. The problem for foreigners who come to the region is that they are oblivious to the political and social history of the region. We were not a part of Pakistan when the British left India in August 1947. We were incorporated in Pakistan against our will on March 27, 1948, and we have lived under some form of military occupation ever since.

Historically, our people have had more in common with Afghanistan than with Pakistan. In the 19th century, whenever Afghanistan came under threat, it reached out to the Baluch people. There a number of inter-marriages between Pashtuns, the dominant nationality in Afghanistan, and the Baluch. In my own family there have been a number of such nuptial knots with Pashtuns, including those tied with Pashtuns from Afghanistan.

In reward for Baluch help to Afghan rulers, the Afghan king gave huge tracts of Pashtun territory to the Baluch ruler. This is today called the Pashtun “belt” of Baluchistan, for instance, the Pashtun pockets of Quetta and areas such as Chaman, Zhob, Pishin, Loralai. Unfortunately, these are some of the areas where the Taliban leaders have found refuge.

There are 15 million Baluch people worldwide, and about 8 million live within the territorial boundaries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. The future of all three countries is bound up with our future. Baluchistan is also located on the northern lip of the Straits of Hormuz through which much of the world's oil supply passes. We ourselves have an estimated 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and six trillion barrels of oil reserves both on-shore and off-shore. Therefore, many nations, including China and Russia, as well as the West, see Baluchistan as a strategically important, indeed critical - zone of influence.

Right now, the issue of the Taliban is foremost in Western minds but real stability in the “Af-Pak” region depends on the recognition of Baluch independence claims. With outside support, an independent Baluchistan could be a major force for stability and development, certainly far more stable than either Pakistan or Afghanistan is today. However, if America continues to massively arm the Pakistan military, for strictly short-term political gain, the entire region will remain unstable.

SL: How does the Baluchistan movement view the current Taliban insurgency?

AM: We are a secular people, and therefore, natural allies of the West. Of course, we are extremely anguished by the Taliban. However, we look upon the Taliban as merely the "B team" of the Pakistan military. We know that Pakistani intelligence agencies are hiding many Taliban leaders in Baluch areas. This doesn't help us but contributes to instability, and religious extremism. We don't expect the Pakistan army to object, since they are aligned with the Taliban. However, if the United States really wants to get rid of the Taliban it needs to work with us not with the Pakistan army.

Some Baluch might favor US drone attacks in the sense that they would give the Pakistan military many sleepless nights trying to explain how a proud Islamic nation could let the Americans violate its sovereignty. However, one of our most respected national leaders, Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, has rightly warned that drone attacks could turn Baluchistan from a “wound” into a “cancer” – that is, they could inflame anti-Americanism and religious extremism among our own people, which is not what we want.

The Taliban and Al Qaeda do not exist in the air but on the ground. Our Baluch forces must be given a chance to take them on the ground. It is for this reason the U.S. must support the Baluch struggle and actually talk to, and recognize, our leaders.

SL: Are you proposing to fight with US forces against the Taliban?

When I met with US State Department officials recently, I asked them to take the Baluch leadership on board to help solve the “Af-Pak” crisis. Condemning human rights violations against our people by the Pakistani army – which the US did last April – is only a starting point. The US should expand the area of operations of the International Security Assistance Force to include Baluchistan. Help us get rid of, if you will, the 'Taliban in uniform', the Pakistani soldiers from our homeland. This is the golden key to peace in Afghanistan. In return we are going to open our doors for you.

Right now you are playing with the lives of young American boys and girls from the countryside by not talking to us. You are proposing drone attacks but the Voice of America doesn’t even have a Baluchi language service! A simple language service would cost you less than what it costs to maintain a single US soldier in Afghanistan.

SL: Pakistan has accused the Baluch of receiving military aid from India, which it says is one of the reasons it has backed insurgents in the Kashmir. Is this true?

AM: I really wish this were true. If it were, we wouldn’t be suffering so badly at the hands of Pakistan. We would like India - just like we want the United States - to openly support the Baluch struggle, and with more than mere words. Why won’t secular nations like India and the US support our secular struggle instead of backing Islamic Pakistan, which is secretly working hand in glove with the Taliban? If you want to counter the Taliban you need to support Baluch nationalism. If our forces received even one-tenth of the support Pakistan gets annually, many American lives lost fighting the Taliban would be saved.

SL: Aren't you afraid that the Americans might use you tactically, against the Taliban, and then, like the Kurds, abandon you once you have outlived your purpose?

The U.S. has the image of an international “Dracula” when it comes to freedom movements. It's a shame. Just look at the role the U.S. played during the genocide in Bangladesh in 1971. Washington completely supported the Pakistan military. The late senator, Edward Kennedy, was among the few in the U.S. who condemned the Nixon administration’s policies. The U.S. consul general in Dhaka at the time also protested and was sacked.

There are risks in a venture of this kind, but there are greater risks of standing still. We would hope that good Americans would stand by us so that US support to Baluchistan, once begun, is sustained.

SL: Some people, even some of your allies, argue that it might be difficult for Baluchistan to become economically and politically self-sufficient.

AM: That’s nonsense. The pre-1948 Baluch Congress unanimously rejected the idea of a “merger” or limited “autonomy” agreement with Pakistan or with any other state. Frankly, it’s the decadent thinking of white, Western nations that nations in the East can’t run their own affairs. You don’t have to look too far. Bangladesh separated from India and Pakistan in 1971, and despite its many problems, is better off today than Pakistan, both financially and politically.

If we really thought Baluchistan would be poorer without Pakistan and Iran, we wouldn’t be crazy enough to demand full independence. With our natural resources and our strategic 1000-kilometer coastline, we are in a strong position. We would like to become a respected member of the Gulf Cooperation Council that includes countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Our only demand is that NATO/US forces must extend their operational base to include Baluchistan. The stereotypical thinking in the Pentagon is that without the Pakistan army in control, nuclear weapons would fall into Taliban hands. But the very hands that are feeding the Taliban also have their hands on the nuclear button.

SL: Now that Pakistan has returned to civilian rule, at least nominally, can we expect any change in the way Baluchistan is treated?

Nothing has changed since the advent of civilian rule under President Asif Ali Zardari, who obtained the presidency simply by virtue of his marriage with slain premier Benazir Bhutto. Killings, abductions and torture are routine in Baluchistan. There have been five Baluch national uprisings against the Pakistan military since the March 1948 occupation. We call these uprisings wars of liberation and one of them is continuing as we speak. According to conservative estimates 20,000 Baluch people have been killed to date. Pakistan has used U.S. fighter jets and helicopter gunships against our people, without regard for the Geneva Conventions.

Those targeted by Pakistan have included our most respected and revered leaders like Nawab Bugti, Nawab Nauroz Khan Zarakzai, Mir Asadaullah Mengal, and Mir Balaach Marri. Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, former governor and chief minister of Baluchistan, was killed in an air raid by the Pakistan army on August 26, 2006 on the personal orders of Gen. Pervez Musharraf, a close US ally. Every Baluch loved and respected these martyrs because though they were powerful tribal personalities they gave their lives not for their tribes but for Baluchistan.

It’s time for America to think outside the box. There's always been a huge support base for Baluch independence among the smaller Pakistani nationalities, including the Sindhis, Seraikis and some of the Pashtun tribes with their own national claims. Revising Pakistan's existing boundaries – which are illegal as applied to Baluchistan – won’t be the end of the world. The heavens won’t fall. The world will be a safer place once Baluchistan is recognized and supported. But none of us has the luxury of time on our side. The world must act before the entire region is set ablaze, with truly unforeseeable consequences.

I have been screaming about Baluchistan for a long time. It is articles, and interviews like this, that will soon beat the war drums. Further Balkanization of the region will start once Baluchistan lets loose. All the fuses are in place. It is the most strategic part of Pakisatan. Even a false flag could set off this tinder box. More controlled chaos to come, at the expense of the people.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

South Korea, China, Japan, [ASEAN] Sign Currency Swap?

Asian Currency Union

Multilateral Cooperation Aims to Fend Off Regional Crisis

It is encouraging news that 13 Asian countries have signed a $120-billion currency swap deal to better cope with short-term liquidity volatility arising from external shocks. On Monday, finance ministers and central bank governors of 10 states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus South Korea, China and Japan announced the signing of the regional cooperation pact.

The agreement calls for a multilateral financial support program that is scheduled to make its debut on March 24. It is based on the Chiang Mai Initiative in which Korea, China, Japan and five ASEAN countries agreed in 2000 to support each other with dollar liquidity on a bilateral basis in times of crisis. The eight countries agreed on the $78-billion currency swap deal after the outbreak of the 1997-98 Asian financial turmoil.

The initiative was a direct reflection of the Asian turbulence that forced several countries including Korea, Thailand and Indonesia to go cap in hand for rescue packages arranged by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Since then, countries in Asia felt the urgent need for regional cooperation to cushion external financial shocks. So, they launched the initiative, but it somehow felt incomplete due to participation by only a limited number of countries.

The new multilateral agreement is designed to step up collaboration by including the five other ASEAN states. If the pact is implemented as scheduled, its signatories will be able to strengthen their capacity to safeguard against increased risks and challenges from the globalized and integrated financial and economic system. Each country is entitled to swap its local currency with the U.S. dollar for an amount up to its contribution multiplied by its respective purchasing multiplier.

It is noteworthy that China and Japan have taken the lead by contributing $38.4 billion each to the deal with their respective share equally amounting to 32 percent. This equal share means that the two Asian economic powers should refrain from racing for regional hegemony in the cooperative grouping. South Korea has committed to provide $19.2 billion, representing 16 percent of the total. The remaining 20 percent will be shouldered by the 10 ASEAN members.

Through this, it can be inferred that Korea can play an important role in the smooth operation of the currency swap alliance. The nation needs to act as a mediator between China and Japan as well as between the regional powers and the ASEAN states. Korea accounts for 8 percent of the combined total gross domestic product (GDP) of the 13 Asian countries. Its foreign exchange reserves represent 6.4 percent of the signatories' total. By making up 16 percent of the contributions, Korea can exert considerable influence in the multilateral venue.

The currency swap agreement amounts to being sort of a loose currency union. The participating nations still have a long way to go to realize their dream of an Asian Monetary Fund resembling the IMF. For now, they should do their best to help fend off currency speculation, liquidity crunches and financial turmoil in the region. Then they need to take a step-by-step approach toward a full-fledged monetary union.

Korean Times

Step- by- step. There are some major changes coming.

What is the future of the Greenback?

Is this another move on the dollar?

Yemen Enters The Revolving Door of Terror ?

Glenn Greenwald

Cause and effect in the "Terror War"

In this 2001 image made available on Monday Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab poses with a group of fellow pupils from Lome's International School, Togo, while on a school trip to London.

"In all their alleged allegedness, this Administration has an allergy to the concept of war, and thus to the tools of war, including strategy and war aims" -- Supreme Tough Guy Warrior Mark Steyn, National Review, yesterday.

"The White House has authorized an expansion of the C.I.A.'s drone program in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas, officials said this week, to parallel the president’s decision, announced Tuesday, to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan" -- New York Times, December 4, 2009.

"In the midst of two unfinished major wars, the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen" -- New York Times, yesterday.


Actually, if you count our occupation of Iraq, our twice-escalated war in Afghanistan, our rapidly escalating bombing campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen, and various forms of covert war involvement in Somalia, one could reasonably say that we're fighting five different wars in Muslim countries -- or, to use the NYT's jargon, "five fronts" in the "Terror War" (Obama yesterday specifically mentioned Somalia and Yemen as places where, euphemistically, "we will continue to use every element of our national power"). Add to those five fronts the "crippling" sanctions on Iran many Democratic Party luminaries are now advocating, combined with the chest-besting threats from our Middle East client state that the next wars they fight against Muslims will be even "harsher" than the prior ones, and it's almost easier to count the Muslim countries we're not attacking or threatening than to count the ones we are. Yet this still isn't enough for America's right-wing super-warriors, who accuse the five-front-war-President of "an allergy to the concept of war."

Read More

Where, and when does it end?

More motives for terrorist recruits.

More justifications for preemptive strikes, and invasions.

Tora, Tora, Tora, was the war cry for Japan.

Attack, Attack, Attack, is now the war cry of the world.

Are we leaving our children, and grand children a world of endless wars?

Egypt Welcomes Mr. Netanyahu

Egypt's bigger problem

Binyamin Netanyahu, left, is in Egypt to discuss US-backed efforts to relaunch peace talks [AFP]

The ongoing tragicomedy on the Gaza Egypt borders will not have a happy ending.

A year after Israel's war left Gaza in ruins, Egypt is hampering international aid convoys from entering this impoverished refuge camp of 1.5 million and is erecting an 'iron wall' under the guise of preserving its national security and sovereignty.

But it could be doing the opposite.

As Egypt distances itself from the problems of Gaza as if it were a strategic liability, instead of championing the humanitarian and political cause of occupied Gaza, it is arguably missing an opportunity to regain its long lost regional leverage.

Over the last several years, Egypt has seen its role greatly diminished. The regime's preoccupation with its own stability and succession and the rise of regional powers, like Iran and Turkey, against the backdrop of unprecedented foreign military intervention in the region, have all shoved Egypt to the sidelines.

Changing direction

Once a regional powerhouse, Egypt's regional decline began at the end of the 1970s when Cairo gave up its pan Arab leadership in return for a separate peace agreement with Israel, alliance with the US and $2bn annual assistance.

However, Israel's aggressive behaviour throughout the 1980s left Egypt humiliated and alienated from its friends and foes alike.

Israel's annexation of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, 1981 bombardment of Iraqi nuclear facilities, 1982 invasion of Lebanon, crackdown on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and assassination of their leaders, culminating in the 1987 popular Intifada (Uprising), have all embarrassed Egypt that proved incapable of restraining let alone confronting Israel.

With peace partners like that, Egyptians wondered, who needs enemies!

A triple handshake seals the signing of the peace treaty in 1979 [FILE: GALLO/GETTY]
Then came the collapse of the Soviet Union and US victory in the Cold War to give Cairo new hope for regional ascendency under Washington's patronage.

Unprecedented US military intervention in the Gulf following the Iraq invasion of Kuwait strengthened Egyptian relations with 'the world's only superpower' and paved the way towards the Middle East 'peace process'. Cairo even recovered the headquarters of the Arab League from Tunisia where it moved following the Camp David Accords with Israel.

However, Egypt's reinvigorated role at the helm of so called "moderate" Arab regimes was short lived. Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries rejected a direct Egyptian role in their region, Iran and Syria established an alternative block to Egypt, and the 'peace process' faltered after the assassination of Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin.

Meanwhile, America's failed military intervention in Somalia and the West's preoccupation with Eastern Europe in the mid 1990s left Egypt in limbo.

From then on, Cairo's influence began to dwindle in Africa, the Maghreb, Libya, and Sudan as Egypt lost its role as mediator or America's intermediary to these countries.

After 9/11

The 9/11 attacks only made things worse for Egypt and its fellow conservative Arab regimes.


Watch Marwan Bishara's monthly show, Empire
The Bush doctrine attempts to transform the 'Greater Middle East' took aim at these undemocratic regimes and led the way to two devastating wars in the Islamic world (Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2003), leaving Egypt with little or no leverage in Washington nor in the region.

Likewise, President Mubarak's attempts with France's President Sarkozy in 2008 to build a new Mediterranean partnership failed utterly after Europe turned its back on it.

Egypt was left with Gaza as the last place where it could exercise influence after Israel withdrew its settlers and army. However Hamas' 2006 electoral victory and Israel's disastrous wars on Lebanon and Gaza, in 2006 and 2007 respectively, left Egypt with a new humanitarian and political quagmire on its northern borders.

Cairo's failed attempts to reconcile between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority or between Fatah and Hamas magnified Egypt's lack of leverage.

President Obama's incapacity or unwillingness to force Israel into a complete settlement freeze to pave the way for negotiations as he implied in his Cairo speech, added insult to injury.

Most Egyptians seem to recognise their country's humiliation by Israel, widening disparities with other regional powers and its deepening domestic inequalities and tensions. But Egypt's greatest problem is a leadership that seems oblivious to it all.

Paradoxically, Cairo's last desperate act to erect an 'iron wall' on its borders with the Gaza Strip to isolate Hamas controlled Gaza, and distance itself from Israel's own responsibility for Gaza, could instead close the last window of opportunity for the Egyptian regime to play an effective role in the region beyond the theatrics and slogan of reviving a deadlocked 'peace process'.

Welcome Mr Netanyahu.

Source: Al Jazeera

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gulag Gaza ?

'Israel resembles a failed state'

More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed in Operation Cast Lead, but author says the war damaged Israel's standing in international public opinion [EPA]

One year has passed since the savage Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, but for the people there time might as well have stood still.

Since Palestinians in Gaza buried their loved ones - more than 1,400 people, almost 400 of them children - there has been little healing and virtually no reconstruction.

According to international aid agencies, only 41 trucks of building supplies have been allowed into Gaza during the year.

Promises of billions made at a donors' conference in Egypt last March attended by luminaries of the so-called "international community" and the Middle East peace process industry are unfulfilled, and the Israeli siege, supported by the US, the European Union, Arab states, and tacitly by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah, continues.

Policy of destruction

Amid the endless, horrifying statistics a few stand out: Of Gaza's 640 schools, 18 were completely destroyed and 280 damaged in Israeli attacks. Two-hundred-and-fifty students and 15 teachers were killed.

Of 122 health facilities assessed by the World Health Organization, 48 per cent were damaged or destroyed.

in depth

Ninety per cent of households in Gaza still experience power cuts for 4 to 8 hours per day due to Israeli attacks on the power grid and degradation caused by the blockade.

Forty-six per cent of Gaza's once productive agricultural land is out of use due to Israeli damage to farms and Israeli-declared free fire zones. Gaza's exports of more than 130,000 tonnes per year of tomatoes, flowers, strawberries and other fruit have fallen to zero.

That "much of Gaza still lies in ruins," a coalition of international aid agencies stated recently, "is not an accident; it is a matter of policy".

This policy has been clear all along and it has nothing to do with Israeli "security".

Read More

When will the State of Israel be held accountable for their crimes?

The U.S.A. must also be held accountable. We keep giving Israel the green lights. This makes us complicit.

Why is there no true debate about the plight of the Paletinians?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

South Korea Will Build Nuclear Plants In United Arab Emirates?

S Korea to build UAE nuclear plants

South Korea has won a contract to set up four nuclear reactors for the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The deal signed on Sunday will authorise a consortium led by the state-owned Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) to design, build and run the reactors that will produce 5,600 megawatts of electricity.

While the contract to build the reactors is worth about $20bn, the consortium expects to earn another $20bn by jointly operating the plants for 60 years.

The reactors - the first nuclear plants in the Gulf Arab region - are scheduled to start supplying electric power to the UAE grid in 2017.

"This deal is the largest mega-project in Korean history," a statement from the office of Lee Myung-bak, the South Korean president, said.

"It is more than six times bigger than the previous single contract."

Meeting electricity demand

Work on the first nuclear plant is expected to begin in 2012, and all four reactors are due to be completed by 2020.

The UAE, the world's third-largest oil exporter, needs the nuclear power to help meet an expected rise in electricity demand to 40,000 MW in 2020 from around 15,000 MW last year.

South Korea's Lee was present along with Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, his UAE counterpart, to watch the deal being signed.

The South Korean group beat a French consortium and another group led by US giant General Electric.

The Korean bid was $16bn lower than the bid submitted by the French group, an industry source said.

"We were impressed by the Korean consortium's world-class safety and its demonstrated ability to meet the UAE programme goals," Mohamed al-Hammadi, the CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), said in a statement.

Surprise choice

The choice of South Korea surprised some analysts, who had expected the deal to go to one of the other consortiums for strategic reasons.

The UAE's choice must have been based on strictly commercial terms because in terms of political clout in the region it's nil," Al Troner, the president of Houston-based Asia Pacific Energy Consulting, said.

"Korea has a good track record in terms of safety and price and it is a surprise to see the US and France are not part of the bid because they are the ones with the more political strength in the Middle East."

Nascent nuclear programmes in the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have fuelled concerns of a regional arms race.

But the UAE has already pledged to import the fuel it needs for reactors - rather than attempting to enrich uranium, the fuel for nuclear power plants - to allay fears about uranium enrichment facilities being used to make weapons-grade material.

The United States earlier this year signed an agreement with the UAE for the country to import, rather than produce, fuel for its nuclear reactors.

Seems the French, and General Electric lost out on this deal. The times are a changing.

The UAE is surrounded by oil, yet they are worried about future energy needs. Other nations in the middle east are preparing for Global peak oil. While we are becoming even more dependent on fossil fuels. Energy deals are being made on a daily basis. Yet, we sit in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a target to be named later. We are bogged down in a mind set of Empire building. The new era is passing us by, while we play Globocop. This will bankrupt us further, as we sacrifice the blood, sweat, and tears of our soldiers. The question needs to be asked-----Why are we not making energy deals for our future ????????

Africom/Africon; Militarizing The Dark Continent?

Africon/Africon; The New Front?

Africom/Africon; Diplomats or Warriors?

AfriCom/Africon; Internal-External Chaos ?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Central Asia Energizes China ?

Page 1 of 3
China resets terms of engagement in Central Asia
By M K Bhadrakumar

Nursultan Nazarbayev has a way of drawing lines in the sand. The president of Kazakhstan recently told global oil and metal majors that new laws would allow only those foreign investors that cooperate with his industrialization program to tap his nation's mineral resources.

"We will work only with those who propose projects helping diversification of the economy," he said at a December 4 investment conference in Astana, the Kazakh capital, which was attended by ArcelorMittal, Chevron, Total, ENRC and other investors. To any unwilling to collaborate, he said: "We will look for new partners, offer them favorable conditions and resources to fulfill projects."

For good measure, he added that Beijing has asked Kazakhstan - a country the size of Europe but with just 16 million people - to allow Chinese farmers to use one million hectares of Kazakh land to cultivate crops such as soya and rape seed.

A pipeline to the heart of Asia ...
Nazarbayev's message was direct: Western investors could keep their money if interested only in exploiting Kazakhstan's mineral wealth. The president was speaking as a momentous event in the history and politics of Central Asia was resetting the terms of engagement for foreigners in the region: the development of an ambitious 7,000 kilometer pipeline to link the region's gas fields to cities on China's eastern seaboard.

Ten days after Nazarbayev spoke, Hu arrived on a Central Asian tour for the formal commissioning of the 1,833-kilometer pipeline connecting gas fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan (and possibly Russia) to China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

Uzbekistan signed an agreement with China in November last year to export up to 10 bcm gas a year. (A 2006 estimate put Uzbekistan's gas reserves at 1.8 trillion cubic meters.) A branch line of the Turkmen-China trunk pipeline passes through the town of Gazli, in the Bukhara region, where the Uzbek gas can be fed into it. China has invested in the Uzbek gas fields in the region. The Uzbek reserves are primarily concentrated in the Qashqadaryo province and near Bukhara alongside which the Chinese pipeline passes.

Kazakhstan is set to export another 10 bcm gas through another branch pipeline connection. China, which is preparing for a massive increase in consumption, wants natural gas to account for 10% of its energy mix by 2020, from 3% in 2005. China consumed 77.8 bcm of natural gas last year, a little more than its domestic output of 77.5 bcm. However, the nation faces a natural gas shortage of 70-110 bcm by 2020, according to the 2009 Energy Development Report published by the Chinese Academy of Social Science, an official think-tank. All China's gas imports are currently in the form of LNG and it is separately raising its LNG import capacity to 15 million to 18 million tons by the end of next year.

.. sends shock waves to Washington
The American experts have drawn a doomsday scenario for the Chinese pipeline. Writing in the Central Asia & Caucasus Institute Analyst of Johns Hopkins University in October last year, Stephen Blank of the US War College branded Xinjiang as a "pressure cooker" which Beijing is nowhere near controlling.

Growing nervousness in Washington about the Chinese pipeline was quite palpable. The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a rare hearing in July regarding China's geopolitical thrust into the Central Asian region. Testifying at the hearing, Richard Morningstar, the US special envoy for energy, underlined that the US needed to develop strategies to compete with China for energy in Central Asia.

This was perhaps the first time that a senior US official has openly flagged China as the US's rival in the energy politics of Central Asia. US experts usually have focused attention on Russian dominance of the region's energy scene and worked for diminishing the Russian presence in the post-Soviet space by canvassing support for Trans-Caspian projects that bypassed Russian territory. In fact, some American experts on the region even argued that China was a potential US ally for isolating Russia.

Certainly, 2009 was a turning point in American discourses on Chinese policies in Central Asia. As China's Turkmen gas pipeline got closer to completion, US disquiet began to surface.

"China is having increasing and heavy influence in Central Asia,'' Morningstar said. ``It is hard for us [the US] to compete with China in some of these countries. It's easy for Turkmenistan to make a deal with China when China comes in and says, 'Hey, we're going to write a check for X amount of money, we're going to build a pipeline'. That's not a hard deal to accept, and we [US] can't compete in that way."

Morningstar put forward two suggestions. One, "to develop a strategy to deal with that [Chinese policy] and encourage the US companies to negotiate creatively with Turkmenistan". Two, Washington should also think about whether it makes sense for US companies to cooperate with China in such countries.

Scope for US-China cooperation over Central Asian energy resources is very limited. In geopolitical terms, there is a conflict of interest between the two countries. One principal objective of China is to lock in energy sources that are not dependent on supply routes passing through the Malacca Straits, which the US controls and could prove a choke point in the event of a US-China confrontation.

Read more

China keeps positioning themselves for energy routes. Even to the point of moving their own people into foreign lands. A soft power type of colonialism.
Independent energy sources, and plenty of them is the goal of China and the West.
From the silk roads, to the energy routes. Central Asia, and South Asia will be the focal point for many, many years.
Do no think that there will be peace.
Do not think that we will be leaving the region.
Do not think we will not have enemies. [real or fabricated].
Do not think that proxy wars will end.
We now live in an endless war mind set, without borders.

Friday, December 25, 2009

America's Global Crusade Doctrine

America's New Crusade: Imperial U.S. vs Political Islam

"I am as intolerant of imperialistic designs on the part of other nations as I was of such designs on the part of Germany. The choice is between two ideals; on the one hand, the ideal of democracy, which represents the rights of free peoples everywhere to govern themselves, and, the ideal of imperialism which seeks to dominate by force and unjust power, an ideal which is by no means dead and which is earnestly [sought] in many quarters still." U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, July 1919

"Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war." The Qur'an (9:5), Islam's holy book

"We are fighting them (the terrorists) over there so that we won't have to fight them here at home." Former U.S. President George W. Bush's political slogan

“I, like any head of state, reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation.” U.S. President Barack Obama, December 10, 2009

“When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest...and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war.” Plato, ancient Greek philosopher (428/427-348/347 B.C.)

In the political movie “Charlie Wilson's War” about the Soviet-Afghanistan war, the hero states “America does not fight religious wars.” Is this possibly wrong, dead wrong?

In fact, is it not possible that since September 11, 2001, a new type of “holy war” may have begun? This time, the new crusade with strong religious overtones pits fundamentalist Christian America and its allies, against political Islam and the Islamist al Qaeda terrorist organization. On September 16, 2001, then President George W. Bush set the tone when he said: “This crusade, this war on terrorism, is gonna take awhile.”

On December 1, 2009 Nobel “Peace” laureate Barack Obama, president of the United States since January 20, 2009, decided to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, President George W. Bush. He announced a policy of stepping up the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan-Pashtunistan. He announced an escalation in the military occupation of Afghanistan by sending extra American troops in that Muslim country, putting the number of American soldiers in Afghanistan at more than 100,000. Not satisfied in using the same vocabulary as George W. Bush, Barack Obama pushed the symbolism by adopting Bush's practice of announcing policies surrounded by more than 4,000 students dressed as soldiers at the West Point Academy. This was all too reminiscent of President Lyndon B. Johnson's fatal decision in 1965 to acquiesce to the request from U.S. commanders to enlarge the Vietnam war by sending scores of additional U.S. soldiers to that Asiatic country.

America seems to be in a constant need of a foreign enemy. First, it was the British. Then it was the Indians. Then it was the Mexicans. Then it was the Spanish. Then it was the Filipinos. Then it was the Japanese. Then it was the Germans. Then it was the Italians. Then it was the Koreans. Then it was the Cubans. Then it was the Vietnamese. Then it was the Soviets. Then it was the Iraqis. Then it was the Islamists. Then it was the Talibans. And, once the current conflict in Pashtunistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan is over, it will possibly be the Iranians, the Chinese, the Russians...etc.!

The reason for such a permanent-war mentality is most likely related to the U.S. military-industrial complex, an enormous beast that must be fed regularly hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions of dollars, to sustain itself.

In the months following the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the high echelons at the Pentagon were busy designing a new post-cold-war strategy designed to keep the U.S. war machine humming. Paul Wolfowitz, then Undersecretary of Defense for Policy under Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney in the George H. Bush administration, wrote a memorandum titled “The Defense Policy Guidance 1992-1994”, which was dated February 18, 1992. The new so-called Wolfowitz Doctrine was a blueprint to "set the nation’s [military] direction for the next century." This new neocon military doctrine called for the replacement of the policy of "containment" with one of military "preemption" and international "unilateralism", in effect, discarding the United Nations Charter that forbids such international behavior.

The Pentagon's overall goal was to establish, through military force, a “one-Superpower World”. The more immediate objectives of the new U.S. neocon doctrine was to "...preserve U.S. and Western access to the [Middle East and Southwest Asia] region's oil", and, as stated in an April 16, 1992 addendum, to contribute “to the security of Israel and to maintaining the qualitative edge that is critical to Israel's security”.

Because of some opposition within the U.S. Government, the new policy did not become immediately effective. But the objective remained.

For instance, in September 2000, under the auspices of “The Project for the New American Century”, a new strategic document was issued and was entitled "
Rebuilding America's Defenses, Strategy: Forces and Resources For a New Century". The same goals expressed in the 1992 document were reiterated.

The belief was expressed that the kind of military transformation the (neocon) planners were considering required "some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor”, to make it possible to sell the plan to the American public.

They were either very prescient or very lucky, because exactly one year later, they were served with the "New Pearl Harbor" they had been openly hoping for. Indeed, the Islamist terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, turned out to have been a bonanza for the American military-industrial complex. The military planners' wish for a "New Pearl Harbor", was fulfilled at the right time. It is important to remember that from 2001 to 2005, Paul Wolfowitz served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration, reporting to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In this capacity, he was well positioned to implement his own Wolfowitz doctrine that later morphed into the George W. Bush Doctrine. For the time being, this is the “doctrine” that newly-elected President Barack Obama continues to implement in the Pashtunistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan corridor. As a politician, Barack Obama may be new at the job, but the policy he is being asked to implement was crafted long before he even set foot in Washington D.C.

Another possible reason why the United States is so often involved in foreign wars, besides its obvious aim of imposing a New American Empire on the world, may be due to the strong influence of religion in the United States. Just as for some aggressive Islamic countries, the U.S. is also the most religious of all first world countries. Researchers have found strong positive correlations between a nation's religious belief and high levels of domestic stress and anxiety, and other indicators of social dysfunction such as homicides, the proportion of people incarcerated, infant mortality, drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, teenage births and abortions, corruption, large income inequalities, economic and social insecurity...etc.

It is possible that wars serve as an emotional outlet that allows some Americans to forget about their nation's domestic problems. I suppose more research would be necessary on this issue. Indeed, is it possible that foreign wars, including wars of aggression, are a way for the American elites to deflect attention from domestic social problems and, as such, are a convenient pretext to direct tax money to defense expenditures rather than to social programs? The issue deserves at least to be raised. This could explain why U.S. foreign policy is so devoid of fundamental morality.

U. S. politicians who become president understand this American proclivity for war. They know that the best way to popularity is to be seen as a “war president”. A president who does not start a war abroad or who does not enlarge one already in progress is open to criticism and is likely to suffer politically. He must be seen less as a president than as “commander-in-chief”, in effect, as an emperor. How could this be, when the framers of the U.S. Constitution attempted precisely to avoid that?

Indeed, Article One (the War Powers Clause) of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress, and not the President, the authority to declare war.

Since World War II, however, this central article of the U.S. Constitution has been circumvented by having Congress give the President a blanket authorization to deploy troops abroad for euphemistically called "police actions", without an explicit or formal congressional declaration of war. The term was first used by President Harry S. Truman to describe the Korean War.

This artifice has done a lot to trivialize the act of war. It also contributed much in the transfer of the powers of war and peace from the legislative branch to the executive branch. In doing so, it has reinforced the role of the U.S. president as a commander-in-chief or as a de facto emperor. Only a formal constitutional amendment could restore, in practice, the framers' initial intent.

All said, it is easy to understand why when political faces change in Washington D.C., policies do not necessarily change. This push toward empire on the part of the United States can also explain why there is resentment and an anti-Americanism movement abroad.

The President, just as Presidents before him are nothing more than puppets for the puppet masters. Endless wars with no borders is their calling. War brings about profits, and controlled chaos for the Corps. and International Banksters. The MIC must be fed. For this we need real or fabricated enemies. Peace and harmony is not part of their vocabulary.