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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Jeremy Scahill on can the CIA kill whoever they want

Qaida’s YouTube Preacher Is Killed In Yemen | Danger Room |

Qaida’s YouTube Preacher Is Killed In Yemen | Danger Room |

Who Killed Jaime Garzón?: Document Points to Military/Paramilitary Nexus in Murder of Popular Colombian Comedian

Who Killed Jaime Garzón?
Jaime Garzón (Photo -

Richard Reeves: Class Warfare: Bring It On!

David Nallah (CC-BY)
LOS ANGELES—President Obama came out here last Tuesday to proclaim himself a "warrior for the middle class." Would that it were true.
In a similar situation to what we have today—that is the rich get richer and the poor (and middle class) get poorer—President Franklin Roosevelt said of what used to be called plutocrats: "I welcome their hatred."
I’m not sure that Obama, the rationalist beloved, is capable of talking that way or acting that way. Evidence be damned, he has acted as if we are in a time of rational discourse about class, job creation, incentives, and all the rest of modern populism. He seems to accept Republican and conservative blather about "job creators." Where the hell have the job creators—rich investors and their banks—been these last few years of heartbreaking struggle for the middle and lower classes?
Well, they have been "creating wealth," piled up in banks, profits and their own accounts. The "investing class," as President George H.W. Bush called them, has been creating jobs—in China and other points east maybe, but not here.
In The Guardian in England, economist Richard Wolff has written:
"The charge of class war is particularly obtuse. Consider simply these two facts. First, at the end of the Second World War, for every dollar Washington raised in taxes on individuals, it raised $1.50 in taxes on business profits. Today, that ratio is very different: For every dollar Washington gets in taxes on individuals, it takes 25 cents in taxes on business. In short, the last half-century has seen a massive shift of the burden of federal taxation off business and onto individuals.
"Second, across those 50 years, the actual shift that occurred was the opposite of the much more modest reversal proposed this week by President Obama; over the same period, the federal income tax rate on the richest individuals fell from 91 percent to the current 35 percent. Yet, Republicans and conservatives use the term ‘class war’ for what Obama proposes—and never for what the last five decades have accomplished in shifting the tax burden from the rich and corporations to the working class.
"The tax structure imposed by Washington on the U.S. over the last half-century has seen a massive double shift of the burden of taxation: from corporations to individuals and from the richest individuals to everyone else. If the national debate wants seriously to use a term like ‘class war’ to describe Washington’s tax policies, then the reality is that the class war’s winners have been corporations and the rich. Its losers—the rest of us—now want to reduce our losses modestly by small increases in taxes on the super-rich (but not, or not yet, on corporations.)"
In the interest of fairness and balance, this is part of the counterargument, as articulated by the conservative provocateur Gary Bauer, writing in Human Events, the iconic publication of America’s right wing:
"In three years, Barack Obama has morphed from the Herald of Hope to the Envoy of Envy.
"The president has always been an eager class warrior. But he has now taken things to a new level, making the politics of envy and resentment the signature theme of his re-election campaign. ...
"Obama’s plan wouldn’t hit just the oft-targeted ‘millionaires and billionaires,’ of course. It includes letting the Bush tax cuts expire for people earning as little as $200,000 a year. And it is not the rich but the middle class and poor who will suffer most when Obama’s taxes on high-earners prompt small businesses to stop hiring and cause the wealthy to reduce their charitable giving."
Ah! Noblesse oblige!
Where is all this going? This is something Warren Buffett and Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, along with lefties like Wolff and Michael Moore, have begun to talk about, violent class warfare—in the streets—if the wealth inequity continues to drive the economy. As Wolff wrote: "Then Washington might learn what class war really is."
© 2011 Universal Uclick


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The Best Among Us By Chris Hedges

AP / Louis Lanzano
Protesters march past Federal Hall on Wall Street on Monday. The Occupy Wall Street protest is in its second week in New York City as demonstrators speak out against corporate greed and social inequality.

There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. Either you taste, feel and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. Either you are a rebel or a slave.
To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal. Ask Tim DeChristopher
Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons, their foot soldiers hunting for you on the streets with pepper spray and orange plastic nets. They have their metal barricades set up on every single street leading into the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and gorge themselves while one in four children outside those barricades depend on food stamps to eat. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves. They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs.
The only word these corporations know is more. They are disemboweling every last social service program funded by the taxpayers, from education to Social Security, because they want that money themselves. Let the sick die. Let the poor go hungry. Let families be tossed in the street. Let the unemployed rot. Let children in the inner city or rural wastelands learn nothing and live in misery and fear. Let the students finish school with no jobs and no prospects of jobs. Let the prison system, the largest in the industrial world, expand to swallow up all potential dissenters. Let torture continue. Let teachers, police, firefighters, postal employees and social workers join the ranks of the unemployed. Let the roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grids, rail lines, subways, bus services, schools and libraries crumble or close. Let the rising temperatures of the planet, the freak weather patterns, the hurricanes, the droughts, the flooding, the tornadoes, the melting polar ice caps, the poisoned water systems, the polluted air increase until the species dies. 
Who the hell cares? If the stocks of ExxonMobil or the coal industry or Goldman Sachs are high, life is good. Profit. Profit. Profit. That is what they chant behind those metal barricades. They have their fangs deep into your necks. If you do not shake them off very, very soon they will kill you. And they will kill the ecosystem, dooming your children and your children’s children. They are too stupid and too blind to see that they will perish with the rest of us. So either you rise up and supplant them, either you dismantle the corporate state, for a world of sanity, a world where we no longer kneel before the absurd idea that the demands of financial markets should govern human behavior, or we are frog-marched toward self-annihilation. 
Those on the streets around Wall Street are the physical embodiment of hope. They know that hope has a cost, that it is not easy or comfortable, that it requires self-sacrifice and discomfort and finally faith. They sleep on concrete every night. Their clothes are soiled. They have eaten more bagels and peanut butter than they ever thought possible. They have tasted fear, been beaten, gone to jail, been blinded by pepper spray, cried, hugged each other, laughed, sung, talked too long in general assemblies, seen their chants drift upward to the office towers above them, wondered if it is worth it, if anyone cares, if they will win. But as long as they remain steadfast they point the way out of the corporate labyrinth. This is what it means to be alive. They are the best among us.
Click here to access OCCUPY TOGETHER, a hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St.

Turkey-Israel Relations and the Middle East Geopolitical Chessboard.

Turkey-Israel Relations and the Middle East Geopolitical Chessboard.

Canadian Arctic loses nearly entire ice shelf

Canadian Arctic loses nearly entire ice shelf

The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality - Glenn Greenwald -

The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality - Glenn Greenwald -

The admiral, the terror network and a crisis in US-Pakistan relations - Asia, World - The Independent

The admiral, the terror network and a crisis in US-Pakistan relations - Asia, World - The Independent

Asia Times Online :: Karzai trapped in no-man's land

Asia Times Online :: Karzai trapped in no-man's land

Pentagon aims at target Pakistan By Pepe Escobar

By Pepe Escobar
Syria will have to wait. The next stop in the Pentagon-coined "long war" is bound to be Pakistan. True, a war is already on in what the Barack Obama administration named AfPak. But crunch time in Pak itself looms closer and closer. Call it the "no bomb left behind" campaign.
Al-Qaeda is a thing of the past; after all, al-Qaeda assets such as Abdelhakim Belhaj are now running Tripoli. The new Washington-manufactured mega-bogeyman is now the Haqqani network.
A relentless, Haqqani-targeted manufacture of consensus industry is already on overdrive, via a constellation of the usual neo-conservative suspects, assorted Republican warmongers,
"Pentagon officials" and industrial-military complex shills in corporate media.
The Haqqani network, a force of 15,000 to 20,000 Pashtun fighters led by former anti-Soviet mujahideen figure Jalalludin Haqqani, is a key component of the Afghan insurgency from its bases in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area.
For Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Haqqani network "acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI] agency". It took Mullen no less than 10 years since Washington's bombing of Afghanistan to figure this out. Somebody ought to give him a Nobel Peace Prize.
According to the US government narrative, it was the ISI that gave the go-ahead for the Haqqani network to attack the US Embassy in Kabul on September 13.
Pentagon head Leon Panetta has gone on record saying that in response, Washington might go unilateral. This means that the vast numbers of Pashtun farmers, including women and children, who have already been decimated for months by US drone attacks on the tribal areas should be considered as extras in a humanitarian operation.
The Pentagon's "long war", also known as the "war on terror", may have cost the Pakistani economy up to a staggering $100 billion - and over 30,000 casualties, a large number of them civilians. Under "no bomb left behind", expect "collateral damage" to keep piling up.
When in doubt, read the book
Predictably, Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani - incidentally, a Pentagon darling - denies the ISI is in bed with the Haqqanis. Well, they are. But even more salacious is the current Pakistani official spin - that because the US has failed so miserably in Af, now they are trying to blame Pak for the whole mess.
Looks like Mullen at least has been catching up with the late Syed Saleem Shahzad's essential book on AfPak, Inside al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11. In the book, Saleem, who as Asia Times Online's Pakistan bureau chief, details how the legendary - and vain - Jalalludin Haqqani (who still loves to dye his hair) never ceased to be a leading Taliban warlord; and how the ISI never stopped telling him that their offensives against himself, his son and his network were only a show.
The Haqqanis may be based in North Waziristan, but they run a great deal of the show in Paktia, Paktika and Khost on the other side of the border. Wily Jalalludin has pledged total allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar - who everybody knows is holed up in Quetta, in Pakistan's Balochistan province, but remains mysteriously invisible even to the best US eyes in the sky.
To believe that the ISI would simply get rid of the Haqqanis, or disable their North Waziristan bases so they wouldn't be able to attack US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in Afghanistan anymore, is pure wishful thinking. The Pakistani military has a major dog in the Afghan fight. And the name of the dog is Taliban - which they "invented" in the early 1990s.
Moreover, the Haqqanis can always be counted on as a sort of reserve army to fight the possibility of increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan.
When Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar says the US "cannot afford to alienate Pakistan", she's totally right. If that happens, the historic Taliban would turbo charge their already constant string of lethal attacks inside Afghanistan. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistan Taliban - TTP) would turbo charge cross-border attacks, from Kunar and Nuristan in Afghanistan into Dir and Bajaur in Pakistan. And hardcore military factions in Pakistan would be even more motivated to get rid of the civilian government altogether.
Because Washington to some extent trains and equips Islamabad's military, and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is so very cozy with the ISI, some may think Washington "owns" Islamabad.
It does - but up to a point. Somebody should convene a seminar in Washington to explain that the Pakistani army has a very different agenda from the ISI, while the ISI is crammed with secret rogue cells; it's one of those cells that may have murdered Saleem Shahzad.
The Pakistani military is trying to make sure the "historic" Taliban led by Mullah Omar, as well as the Hizb-e Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, lose much of their influence in Afghanistan. But at the same time, these hardcore ISI cells want to keep supporting the Haqqani network as a means to keep any future Afghan government on its toes.
Time for Beijing to collect
The going will get really tough if - when - the Pentagon/CIA/White House consortium decides that US Special Forces will violate Pakistani sovereignty by helicopter, a la the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and go for the Haqqanis and thus risk a direct clash with the Pakistani army. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has already called an emergency meeting exactly to analyze this distinct possibility.
If that happens, Islamabad will certainly pull out all stops to dismantle Washington's critical logistics supply network from the southern port city of Karachi to the Khyber Pass, severely disrupting the flow of NATO supplies to Afghanistan. It will destroy any possibility of intelligence-sharing and cooperation in counter-terrorism/counter-intelligence. Even al-Qaeda will have a new lease of life all across Pakistan - and not only in the tribal areas.
Not to mention that Pakistan has an army of 610,000 - with about 500,000 reserves. Considering that only 15,000 to 20,000 Taliban have been able to run rings around US/NATO troops in Afghanistan for years, the math spells out only one option for Washington: disaster.
Pakistan is one of China's major geopolitical assets. There's no question Beijing has already run plenty of calculations on how Washington's strategic folly - or irrepressible desire to launch a "kinetic" whatever operation - can only result in total alienation of Pakistan.
Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu - China's top security official - was in Rawalpindi on Monday. Significantly, Interior Minister Rehman Malik stressed, "China is always there for us in the most difficult moments." Meng for his part said they discussed ways to "contribute to national security and regional stability".
Also this week, the Pakistani army engaged in joint exercises in the Punjab with forces from "Pakistan's special friend" Saudi Arabia. With special friends like Beijing and Riyadh to compensate for lost military equipment or revenue, no wonder Pakistan's generals are not exactly mired in desperation.
Yet Washington is desperate, feeling the urge to do something. So what to expect from now on?
Expect a festival of MQ-9 Reapers droning North Waziristan to death. What US President Barack Obama calls a tool of "unique capabilities", for Pashtun farmers is a weapon of terror.
Expect strike after strike conducted out of a control room in Nellis air force base in Nevada.
Expect an array of strategic missile bombings with spectacular collateral damage.
Expect more Joint Special Operations Command-ordered special operations forces "kill/capture" raids.
Expect a new, humongous Joint Prioritized Effects List, just like in Afghanistan; no names, just a list of mobile or satellite phone numbers. If your mobile gets on the list by mistake, you'll be snuffed the Hellfire way.
Expect deadly, eternal Pashtun vengeance against Americans to be as irreversible as death and taxes.
And most of all, expect a low intensity war to turn volcanic anytime.

Is The War On Terror A Hoax? by Paul Craig Roberts

by Paul Craig Roberts

September 30, 2011

In the past decade, Washington has killed, maimed, dislocated, and made widows and orphans millions of Muslims in six countries, all in the name of the “war on terror.”  Washington’s attacks on the countries constitute naked aggression and impact primarily civilian populations and infrastructure and, thereby, constitute war crimes under law. Nazis were executed precisely for what Washington is doing today.
Moreover the wars and military attacks have cost American taxpayers in out-of-pocket and already-incurred future costs at least $4,000 billion dollars—one third of the accumulated public debt—resulting in a US deficit crisis that threatens the social safety net and the value of the US dollar and its reserve currency role while enriching beyond all previous history the military/security complex and its apologists.
Perhaps the highest cost of Washington’s “war on terror” has been paid by the US Constitution and civil liberties.  Any US citizen that Washington accuses is deprived of all legal and constitutional rights. The Bush-Cheney-Obama regimes have overturned humanity’s greatest achievement—the accountability of government to law.
If we look around for the terror that the police state and a decade of war has allegedly protected us from, the terror is hard to find.  Except for 9/11 itself, assuming we accept the government’s improbable conspiracy theory explanation, there have been no terror attacks on the US. Indeed, as RT pointed out on August 23, 2011, an investigative program at the University of California discovered that the domestic “terror plots” hyped in the media were plotted by FBI agents.
FBI undercover agents now number 15,000, ten times their number during the protests against the Vietnam War, when protesters were suspected of communist sympathies. As there apparently are no real terror plots for this huge workforce to uncover, the FBI justifies its budget, terror alerts, and invasive searches of American citizens by thinking up “terror plots” and finding some deranged individuals to ensnare. For example, the Washington DC Metro bombing plot, the New York City subway plot, and the plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago were all FBI brainchilds organized and managed by FBI agents. READ MORE

The Climate Justice Imperative

Mullen Pakistan Critique Shows US AF/PAK Policy Unraveling

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Obama: A disaster for civil liberties He may prove the most disastrous president in our history in terms of civil liberties.

President Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay, continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals and asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens he views as terrorists. Photographed: The president speaks at the Libya Contact Group Meeting Sept. 20. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo)
President Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay, continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals and asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens he views as terrorists. Photographed: The president speaks at the Libya Contact Group Meeting Sept. 20. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo)

With the 2012 presidential election before us, the country is again caught up in debating national security issues, our ongoing wars and the threat of terrorism. There is one related subject, however, that is rarely mentioned: civil liberties.
Protecting individual rights and liberties — apart from the right to be tax-free — seems barely relevant to candidates or voters. One man is primarily responsible for the disappearance of civil liberties from the national debate, and he is Barack Obama. While many are reluctant to admit it, Obama has proved a disaster not just for specific civil liberties but the civil liberties cause in the United States.
Civil libertarians have long had a dysfunctional relationship with the Democratic Party, which treats them as a captive voting bloc with nowhere else to turn in elections. Not even this history, however, prepared civil libertarians for Obama. After the George W. Bush years, they were ready to fight to regain ground lost after Sept. 11. Historically, this country has tended to correct periods of heightened police powers with a pendulum swing back toward greater individual rights. Many were questioning the extreme measures taken by the Bush administration, especially after the disclosure of abuses and illegalities. Candidate Obama capitalized on this swing and portrayed himself as the champion of civil liberties.
However, President Obama not only retained the controversial Bush policies, he expanded on them. The earliest, and most startling, move came quickly. Soon after his election, various military and political figures reported that Obama reportedly promised Bush officials in private that no one would be investigated or prosecuted for torture. In his first year, Obama made good on that promise, announcing that no CIA employee would be prosecuted for torture. Later, his administration refused to prosecute any of the Bush officials responsible for ordering or justifying the program and embraced the "just following orders" defense for other officials, the very defense rejected by the United States at the Nuremberg trials after World War II.
Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay as promised. He continued warrantless surveillance and military tribunals that denied defendants basic rights. He asserted the right to kill U.S. citizens he views as terrorists. His administration has fought to block dozens of public-interest lawsuits challenging privacy violations and presidential abuses.
But perhaps the biggest blow to civil liberties is what he has done to the movement itself. It has quieted to a whisper, muted by the power of Obama's personality and his symbolic importance as the first black president as well as the liberal who replaced Bush. Indeed, only a few days after he took office, the Nobel committee awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize without his having a single accomplishment to his credit beyond being elected. Many Democrats were, and remain, enraptured.
It's almost a classic case of the Stockholm syndrome, in which a hostage bonds with his captor despite the obvious threat to his existence. Even though many Democrats admit in private that they are shocked by Obama's position on civil liberties, they are incapable of opposing him. Some insist that they are simply motivated by realism: A Republican would be worse. However, realism alone cannot explain the utter absence of a push for an alternative Democratic candidate or organized opposition to Obama's policies on civil liberties in Congress during his term. It looks more like a cult of personality. Obama's policies have become secondary to his persona.
Ironically, had Obama been defeated in 2008, it is likely that an alliance for civil liberties might have coalesced and effectively fought the government's burgeoning police powers. A Gallup poll released this week shows 49% of Americans, a record since the poll began asking this question in 2003, believe that "the federal government poses an immediate threat to individuals' rights and freedoms." Yet the Obama administration long ago made a cynical calculation that it already had such voters in the bag and tacked to the right on this issue to show Obama was not "soft" on terror. He assumed that, yet again, civil libertarians might grumble and gripe but, come election day, they would not dare stay home.
This calculation may be wrong. Obama may have flown by the fail-safe line, especially when it comes to waterboarding. For many civil libertarians, it will be virtually impossible to vote for someone who has flagrantly ignored the Convention Against Torture or its underlying Nuremberg Principles. As Obama and Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. have admitted, waterboarding is clearly torture and has been long defined as such by both international and U.S. courts. It is not only a crime but a war crime. By blocking the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for torture, Obama violated international law and reinforced other countries in refusing investigation of their own alleged war crimes. The administration magnified the damage by blocking efforts of other countries like Spain from investigating our alleged war crimes. In this process, his administration shredded principles on the accountability of government officials and lawyers facilitating war crimes and further destroyed the credibility of the U.S. in objecting to civil liberties abuses abroad.
In time, the election of Barack Obama may stand as one of the single most devastating events in our history for civil liberties. Now the president has begun campaigning for a second term. He will again be selling himself more than his policies, but he is likely to find many civil libertarians who simply are not buying.
Jonathan Turley is a professor of law at George Washington University.

Retired generals call for higher UK military spending on Falklands |Retired generals say Argentina, with China, could reclaim the Falkland Islands. GlobalPost

Retired generals call for higher UK military spending on Falklands | GlobalPost

Libya and the Big Lie: Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars

Libya and the Big Lie: Using Human Rights Organizations to Launch Wars

America’s Foreign Policy Fiasco: Barack Obama’s once promising foreign policy has been undermined by short-sighted support for Israel and muddled objectives in Afghanistan.

Barack Obama’s once promising foreign policy has been undermined by short-sighted support for Israel and muddled objectives in Afghanistan.
US President Barack Obama is piling up the foreign policy disasters. In at least three areas crucial for world peace and US interests – Arab-Israel tensions, Afghanistan-Pakistan and Yemen-Somalia – he’s pursuing a course that can only be described as foolhardy. Indeed, the anger and hate towards the United States that he’s generating could take a generation to dispel.
Obama’s abject surrender to Israel on the Palestine question has shocked much of the world and gravely damaged the United States’ standing among Arabs and Muslims. In what is seen by many as an effort to court the Jewish vote at next year’s presidential election, Obama has thrown into reverse the policy of outreach to the Muslim world that he expressed so eloquently in his 2009 Cairo speech. If he’s now driven to use the US veto at the UN Security Council to block theapplication of a Palestinian state for UN membership, he will have been defeated by the very forces of Islamophobia he once hoped to tame.
Obama’s policy in Afghanistan is equally perverse. On the one hand, he seems to want to draw the Taliban into negotiations. But on the other, some of his army chiefs and senior diplomats apparently want to destroy the Taliban first. This is hardly a policy likely to bring the insurgents to the table. In an interview with theWall Street Journal, Ryan Crocker, the new US ambassador to Kabul, actually said that the conflict should continue until more of the Taliban are killed.  Who, one wonders, is in charge of US policy?
In a message on the occasion of the Eid at the end of Ramadan, Mullah Muhammad Omar, leader of the Afghan Taliban, seemed to hint at his readiness for a comprehensive negotiation. ‘Every legitimate option can be considered,’ he said,’ in order to reach the goal of an independent Islamic regime in Afghanistan.’ He urged foreign powers to withdraw their troops ‘immediately’ in order to achieve a lasting solution to the problem. In a gesture to his local opponents, he stressed that the Taliban didn’t wish to monopolize power and that all ethnicities would participate in a ‘real Islamic regime acceptable to all the people of the country.’
Surely the United States and its allies should respond positively to this message? A conference in Bonn next December is due to review NATO’s war in Afghanistan – a war that seems closer to being lost than won. About 25,000 soldiers reportedly deserted the Afghan armed services in the first six months of this year because they had lost faith in the Hamid Karzai government’s ability to protect them and their families. Coalition troops are due to withdraw their troops by the end of 2014. Might there not be an argument for an immediate offer of negotiation together with a pledge of an earlier withdrawal?  It is, after all, far from clear what strategic interests, if any, the West is defending in Afghanistan. 

A Trilateral [China India and Pakistan] Challenge | Flashpoints

A Trilateral Challenge | Flashpoints

The U.S.-Pakistan Crisis: Watershed Or Waterloo? Towards a Broader Af-Pak War?

The U.S.-Pakistan Crisis: Watershed Or Waterloo? Towards a Broader Af-Pak War?

Is Our Universe a Hologram? In 1982 a Litttle Known but Epic Event Occured at the University of Paris (Today's Most Popular)

Is Our Universe a Hologram? In 1982 a Litttle Known but Epic Event Occured at the University of Paris (Today's Most Popular)


Mosaic News - 09/28/11: Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Violate Women's Rights

The Second Inter-Korean Denuclearization Talks [In Focus]

US Afghan Kill/Capture Campaign Targeted Civilians


Anonymous: Expect Us! By Bill Allyn

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lockheed Martin's CEO Is After Your Social Security Check!

Asia Sentinel - Renuclearizing the Korean Peninsula

Asia Sentinel - Renuclearizing the Korean Peninsula


Travel trailer rentals in South Korea

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If you or anyone you know is interested in renting one of these trailers on the beach in S/Korea please let me know.
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The Himalaya • Pakistan - India - Tibet - Nepal - China - Bhutan • Part - 1

Gerald Celente: The system's rigged

"Man-in-the-Middle" Remote Attack on Diebold Touch-screen Voting Machine...

Tony Bennett: Are we the terrorists?

Return of the Islamists: A Questionable Form of Freedom for North Africa - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Return of the Islamists: A Questionable Form of Freedom for North Africa - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Photo Gallery: The Influence of Islam in North Africa
The autocrats are gone, but who will inherit power in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt? Islamist influence is significant across the region and conservative political groups are flexing their muscles. The coming months will determine just how much democracy North Africa can support.

The Wounded Healer

Mosaic News - 09/27/11: Defected Syrian Soldiers Clash with Regime Forces

The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The U.S. Southern Command & the 4th Fleet » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The U.S. Southern Command & the 4th Fleet » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

A global financial tsunami Meltdown examines how an epidemic of fear caused banks to stop lending, triggered protests and led to industrial action.

The de-politicisation of political media By Ted Rall - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

The de-politicisation of political media - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

China's diversified energy strategy China is trying to attract investment from the GCC in its rural region in order to diversify their energy-security.

The Xinjiang region produces about 75,000 tonnes of oil daily and accounts for 14.4 per cent of China's total production [EPA]

US knows pressure on Pakistan won't work By Gareth Porter

By Gareth Porter
WASHINGTON - The United States threat last week that "all options" are on the table if the Pakistani military doesn't cut its ties with the Haqqani network of anti-US insurgents created the appearance of a crisis involving potential US military escalation in Pakistan.
But there is much less substance to the administration's threatening rhetoric than was apparent. In fact, it was primarily an exercise in domestic political damage control, although compounded by an emotional response to recent major attacks by the Haqqani group on US-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) targets, according to two sources familiar with the policymaking process on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
One source close to that process doubted that there was any
planning for military action against Pakistan in the immediate future. "I'm sure we're going to be talking to the Pakistanis a lot about this," the source told Inter Press Service (IPS).
Despite the tough talk about not tolerating any more high-profile attacks on US troops, the sources suggested, there is no expectation that anything the United States can do would change Pakistani policy toward the Haqqani group.
The Haqqani network, a force of 15,000 to 20,000 Pashtun fighters led by former anti-Soviet mujahideen figure Jalalludin Haqqani, has long declared its loyalty to Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
The Taliban on Tuesday maintained that Haqqani took his orders from the Taliban Quetta shura (council) and was not controlled by Pakistan.
"The respected Maulawi Jalaluddin Haqqani [the group's founder] is [one of the] Islamic emirate's honorable and dignified personalities and receives all guidance for operations from the leader of the Islamic emirate," they said. READ MORE
Pakistan will be looking EAST, not West in the very near future.

US twisted Seoul's arm in drone deal By Sunny Lee

By Sunny Lee
BEIJING - An investigation of leaked United States diplomatic cables surrounding the planned sale of US surveillance drones to South Korea reveals that Washington has exerted considerable diplomatic pressure to smooth the deal, even as media were reporting the Pentagon was reluctant over the sale.
South Korean media reported this week that Seoul was mulling the cancelation of a deal to purchase by 2015 four RQ-4 Global Hawks - a high-altitude endurance remotely piloted unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) - after Washington more than doubled the initial asking price from 450 billion (US$385 million) won to 940 billion won.
Using Global Hawks over the Korean Peninsula would provide an unprecedented view of goings-on in reclusive North Korea. READ MORE

Netanyahu's messianism could launch attack on Iran

Lubavitcher Rebbe - AP - September 2011
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, whose followers stood behind Netanyahu’s victorious campaign in the 1996 election.
Photo source: AP

Benjamin Netanyahu promised to tell the truth at the United Nations, and the truth was indeed revealed. The prime minister chose in this speech to quote reverently from his meetings with one person only: the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who viewed himself as the messiah.
Neither the source nor the inflammatory quotation was coincidental. Netanyahu was intimately acquainted with the Rabbi King Messiah, and also with the views he expressed from on high. The rebbe's followers stood behind Netanyahu's victorious campaign in the 1996 election, which following the incitement-filled demonstrations and Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, with the slogan "Netanyahu is good for the Jews." And on Sunday, the prime minister's entourage was sent to genuflect at the rebbe's court.
Lubavitcher Rebbe - AP - September 2011
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, whose followers stood behind Netanyahu’s victorious campaign in the 1996 election.
Photo by: AP
The Lubavitcher Rebbe was famous for his vehement opposition to even the tiniest withdrawal from any territory ever held by the Israel Defense Forces, even in the framework of full peace. He even opposed withdrawing from territory on the other side of the Suez Canal. In his view, not one inch of the Holy Land could be given to the Arabs. He based this opposition on both security concerns - that missiles would be deployed on any vacated territory - and religious-historical arguments. Netanyahu reiterated both claims in his speech to the United Nations.
The most prominent emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe - the great rabbi, as Netanyahu termed him at the United Nations - included Baruch Goldstein, perpetrator of the 1994 Hebron massacre, and Yitzhak Ginsburg, the rabbi of Yitzhar, he of the radical books "Baruch the Man" (which celebrates the massacre ) and "The King's Torah: The Laws of Killing Gentiles." Nor was this by chance. The Lubavitcher Rebbe inculcated his followers with the doctrine of "your people are the land's only nation": In the land of the messiah, there is no room for Arabs. Thus racism entered Netanyahu's speech at the United Nations - not "merely" against Islam, but also against Arabs: They, he said, are not like your neighbors in New York.
Relying on the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his teachings in a speech that was ostensibly in favor of a Palestinian state is like relying on a racist who fervently supports slavery in a speech that is ostensibly in favor of abolition, while also making abolition contingent upon conditions that will never be met. And thus, in a speech that warned about the danger of radical Islam, Netanyahu relied upon the most radically messianic Jewish theologian of our generation.
But Netanyahu, whose speech was steeped in religious extremism, surpasses even his rabbi. For all his hatred of Arabs, the Lubavitcher Rebbe never incited against Jews. Netanyahu - from the demonstrators chanting "with blood and fire we'll expel Rabin" through the whispers that "the left has forgotten what it is to be Jewish" to his links with the radical Im Tirtzu organization - has also engaged in domestic incitement.
The Quartet's plea that Netanyahu, of all people, should bring about a full withdrawal from the occupied territories and Arab East Jerusalem within a year is thus pathetic. It is like wishing that Michele Bachmann would turn America into a welfare state or that Eli Yishai, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, would separate religion and state.
Bill Clinton, someone with vast experience of Netanyahu, had it right: The man is not interested in peace and compromise. Netanyahu opposed peace with Egypt and the first Oslo accord. He led a campaign of incitement against the Oslo-2 agreement and then refused to implement it. Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and then-Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak were stunned by what they interpreted as his willingness to consider arming doomsday weapons in the face of Saddam Hussein's threats, and they worked to dissuade him. Netanyahu opposed the pullouts from Lebanon and Gaza, and not because he thought they should have been done by agreement. Nor did he respond to Mahmoud Abbas' moderation by taking advantage of the opportunity: Instead, he waged a campaign of incitement to preempt any chance of a deal and a withdrawal.
After all, he is the emissary of the Chabad messiah, the man who taught that this is the Jews' land exclusively. He returned from the United States with the feeling that the American government is a rag to wipe his feet on, with no power to stop his most extremist plans.
This is the background to what must become a global understanding of the issue that is now most important of all, which will also be the main topic of U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's visit. Netanyahu is completely serious in his desire, and also in his preparations to circumvent the warnings of the entire defense establishment in order to implement this desire, which many of those in his inner circle have defined as messianic: to attack Iran before winter. Before the clouds come, anyone who can stop him must do so.

Please not that this is from Haaretz a prominent Israeli newspaper.