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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Archaeology News Network: Inequality dates back to Stone Age

The Archaeology News Network: Inequality dates back to Stone Age:

The grave of a male buried with an adze [Credit: BDA – Neugebauer]
Hereditary inequality began over 7,000 years ago in the early Neolithic era, with new evidence showing that farmers buried with tools had access to better land than those buried without.

The research, carried out by archaeologists from the Universities of Bristol, Cardiff and Oxford, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), May 28. 
By studying more than 300 human skeletons from sites across central Europe, Professor Alex Bentley and an international team of colleagues funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council uncovered evidence of differential land access among the first Neolithic farmers -- the earliest such evidence yet found. 

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Peeking at peak oil: Will consumers face oil rationing within a decade?

Peeking at peak oil: Will consumers face oil rationing within a decade?:

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Bilderberg 2012: Secretive summit kicks-off in Virginia

Mighty Derringer U.S. Nuclear Terrorism Exercise Leaves Indianapolis in "Ruins" Fictional Scenario Results in Nuclear Destruction of Large Part of City

1980s Secret Exercise Judged Positively But Underscores Range of Potential Problems - Bomb Detection, Interagency Coordination, Containment of Contamination, General "Confusion"
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 380
Posted - May 29, 2012
For more information contact:
Jeffrey T. Richelson
William Burr - 
            202/994-7000       or

Washington, D.C., May 29, 2012 - A secret exercise in 1986 by a U.S. government counter-terrorist unit uncovered a host of potential problems associated with disrupting a nuclear terrorist plot in the United States. Declassified documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and posted today by the National Security Archive offer the first detailed public look at the inner workings of the agencies, military units and other U.S. entities responsible for protecting the country from a terrorist nuclear attack.
Today's posting consists of over 60 documents related to MIGHTY DERRINGER, an exercise that focused on Indianapolis in December 1986. The materials provide background on the creation, in 1974-1975, of the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST), a group assigned to respond to plausible threats of nuclear terrorism or extortion. Today, NEST (now the Nuclear Emergency Support Team) conducts exercises to assess its capability to respond to the possible presence of a terrorist device and test the ability of NEST and critical cooperating organizations (including military units)to work together.
While the MIGHTY DERRINGER exercise and resulting documents are over two decades old, the institutions participating in the exercise retain their roles today, and the issues confronting them in 1986 are similar to the ones that they would face in responding to a nuclear threat in 2012 (and beyond).
This posting is notable for being the first publication of documents that provide in-depth exposure into all aspects of such an exercise - including the state-of-play at key points and the array of issues involved in disabling terrorist devices. Of particular interest are references to the participation of the Joint Special Operations Command and Delta Force - mirroring the role they would have in a real-world incident. In addition, after-action reports reveal the assorted problems that can arise in coordinating the response to a nuclear terrorist threat among a large number of organizations.
* * * *

Rockefellers and Rothschilds unite

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Old money: British financier Lord Jacob Rothschild has bought a 37 per cent stake the Rockefellers' investment trust. Above, New York City's famous Rockefeller Centre. Picture: Frank Franklin

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THE Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, two of the world's greatest family dynasties, are pooling their vast resources.
The Financial Times (FT) reported yesterday that Lord Jacob Rothschild's listed investment trust, RIT Capital Partners, agreed to take a 37 per cent stake in Rockefeller Financial Services for an undisclosed amount.
The financial marriage of convenience is designed to give Rothschild a valuable foothold in the US, according to the newspaper.
The deal, which brings together David Rockefeller, 96, with Lord Rothschild, 76, marks the culmination of a near five decade relationship between the two scions, the FT said.

Read more:

Barney Frank: Obama Rejected Bush Administration Concession to Write Down Mortgages « naked capitalism

Barney Frank: Obama Rejected Bush Administration Concession to Write Down Mortgages « naked capitalism:

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Drones: How Obama Learned to Kill

The Take-out Team: Cartwright, Obama, and Brennen (From left: Mark Wilson / Getty Images; Brendan Smialowski / AFP-Getty Images; Mandel Ngan / AFP-Getty Images-Newscom)

The Obama campaign touts a commander in chief who never flinches, but the truth is more complex. In an excerpt from his new book, Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency, Daniel Klaidman reveals:
  • The president's troubled reaction to a botched strike during his first month in office
  • His uneasy acceptance of "signature strikes" in Pakistan, or the targeting of groups of men who bear characteristics associated with terrorism, but whose identities aren’t known. Obama didn't like the idea of "kill 'em and sort it out later," says one source
  • The formation of a “special troika on targeted killings” that includes Obama, vice chairman of the Joint Chief James “Hoss” Cartwright, and counterterrorism aide John Brennan
  • Top State Dept. lawyer Harold Koh wondering, “How did I go from being a law professor to someone involved in killing?"
  • The president’s having “no qualms” about the fatal strike on American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki
  • Obama’s resistance—and ultimate relenting—to the use “signature strikes” on Yemen’s al Qaeda branch this spring READ MORE

The Coming Mega-Drought: Tightening the Screws of Want and Thirst in the American Southwest

The Coming Mega-Drought: Tightening the Screws of Want and Thirst in the American Southwest:

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Los Deportados: Stories from the other side

Will Americans Speak Out Against Obama's Drone Warfare?

On May 29, The New York Times published an extraordinarily in-depth look at the intimate role President Obama has played in authorizing US drone attacks overseas, particularly in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It is chilling to read the cold, macabre ease with which the President and his staff decide who will live or die. The fate of people living thousands of miles away is decided by a group of Americans, elected and unelected, who don’t speak their language, don’t know their culture, don’t understand their motives or values. While purporting to represent the world’s greatest democracy, US leaders are putting people on a hit list who are as young as 17, people who are given no chance to surrender, and certainly no chance to be tried in a court of law READ MORE

Glenn Greenwald: Obama's Secret Kill List "The Most Radical Power a Gove...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

euronews Life - Thailand: sun, sea and a booming business economy

Parable of the Pearl of Great Price

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is
like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
who, on finding one Pearl of Great Price,
went and sold all that he had 
and bought it.

~ Teaching Parable of Christ, Gospel of Matthew 13:45-46 ~

I would love to kiss you.
The price of kissing is your life.

Now my loving is running toward my life shouting,
What a bargain, let's buy it: the Pearl of Great Price!
 ~ Rumi ~

Technology of the Heart: The Symbolism of the Sesame

Technology of the Heart: The Symbolism of the Sesame:

The oil, which is the essence of the sesame, although known even by the ignorant to be in the seed, cannot be extracted unless it is learnt how to do so. Likewise, the innate gnosis (sahaja-jnana), though always present in the hearts of beings, is not realized unless a wise one (Guru) explains the way. By pounding the sesame, removing the husks, it is possible to extract the essential oil.

Likewise, when one attends to the Guru’s Instruction, the truth of Absolute (tathata) is revealed. This is the symbolism of the sesame. Indivisible and one is the Innate Essence (sahaja) of all that exists!

- Tilopa, credit
Tilopa (988 - 1069) was a famous mysticsaint from Bengal. An tantric practitioner and mahasiddha (one who has attained the highest), he developed the mahamudra method, a set of spiritual practices that greatly accelerates the process of attaining bodhi (enlightenment).

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Technology of the Heart: The Silence of the Eternal Night

Technology of the Heart: The Silence of the Eternal Night:

In the silence of this eternal night,
My heart stirs, my lips arch a sigh,
This silence has a timeless quality,
As if it knows, what remains unknown.

The harp plays, the crickets sing,
The Ocean roars, the lightening thunders,
Yet, I am parched,
As I gaze across the inky Ocean.

O Moon! Where are thou..
Lend my heart a sliver of your light.
My loneliness is my companion,
Accompanied by the melody of my pain.

Love... you have pierced my heart,
You came as I lay asleep,
You took away the solace of ignorance,
You killed me, yet called that awakening?

My eyes look across the sky,
In the wait for the beloved,
A tear trickles away into oblivion,
In the silence of this eternal night.

~ Sanjeev Bhalla ~

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Barack Obama honours Bob Dylan at the White House

I have lost all respect for Dylan, knowing that he accepted this award from a "Master of War". Dylan  must be going senile. 

5/29/2012 -- Italy earthquakes = FRACKING! Two DOZEN people dead in two ...

Conserving the Wild West: Arizona’s green dream

Think of the United States and environmentalism probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. Thanks to its climate change deniers, reliance on fossil fuels and failure to sign up to Kyoto – or indeed, any sort of green treaty – it’s no surprise that the world’s most powerful country is seen as a bit of a slouch in the eco stakes. But to write the country off as a flat earther’s paradise wouldn’t just be wrong – it would be unfair to boot. With California and New York leading the charge, the USA has plenty for environmentalists the world over to admire. And nowhere is the eco trend more apparent than in Arizona.
One of the most ecologically diverse places on Earth, the cowboy state boasts no fewer than seven different types of habitat, ranging from sun-scorched desert in the south to snowy mountains in the north. Of its 113,998 square miles, only 15 per cent is privately owned, with the rest made up of a combination of national park, publicly owned forest and parkland, and Native American reservations. It’s got extinct volcanoes, huge ponderosa pine forests and most spectacularly of all, the Grand Canyon. With so much natural bounty to protect, it’s small wonder that green tourism is playing an increasingly important part in the state’s economy. And unlike Arizona’s other major source of cash – copper mining – it benefits the planet in more ways than one.
Seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time is something you’ll never forget. It doesn’t matter how many pictures you’ve seen or books you’ve read; its sheer size – if nothing else – will blow you away. Formed almost a billion years ago, its red-gold rocks and mighty ravines are home to some of the rarest species of flora in the world – and some of its cheekiest fauna in the shape of the tubby ground squirrels that haunt the trails and picnic sites along the top. It’s a place of almost unearthly beauty but until recently, could only be reached by car or plane. That there’s an alternative is largely thanks to the efforts of one man: Max Biegert. The Grand Canyon has had its own railway line since 1901 but by the 1980s, the route had fallen into disuse. When the Biegerts arrived in 1989, the Grand Canyon Railway’sold-fashioned steam trains were rusting in the depot, while Williams – once the gateway to the Grand Canyon – had been sidelined. Thanks to the Biegerts, and more recently, eco-tourism operator, Xanterra, the train is back and this time comes with a green twist: it’s powered by used cooking oil. READ MORE

Japan and China to trade yen-yuan directly

Christopher Cross Ride Like The Wind Live 1998

Technology of the Heart: there is treasure in your heart, it is heavy with child

Technology of the Heart: there is treasure in your heart, it is heavy with child:

Every midwife knows
that not until a mother’s womb
softens from the pain of labour
will a way unfold
and the infant find that opening to be born.

Oh friend!
There is treasure in your heart,
it is heavy with child.

All the awakened ones,
like trusted midwives are saying,
'welcome this pain.'

It opens the dark passage of Grace.

~ Rumi
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Iranian team to collaborate with US company on nuclear fusion project | Environment |

Iranian team to collaborate with US company on nuclear fusion project | Environment |
Vacuum Vessel Used for Nuclear Fusion
Plasma used in fusion reactions is created at places like the ASDEX upgrade fusion reactor in Germany. Photograph: Peter Ginter/Science Faction/Corbis

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Asia Times Online :: Unification hint flagged at Ma's speech

Asia Times Online :: Unification hint flagged at Ma's speech:

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Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo look to an uncertain future By Yong Kwon

By Yong Kwon
On May 13, China, Japan, and South Korea took the formative steps towards establishing a trilateral free-trade agreement. The joint declaration issued by Premier Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, and President Lee Myung-bak emphasized how closer cooperation between the three economies could not only enhance the prosperity of the region but also "[facilitate] economic recovery and growth in the world". [1]
The lofty rhetoric is not far from reality. Economic integration of northeast Asia would certainly boost the region's combined share of global gross domestic product (GDP) and trade, which stood at 19.6% and 17.5% in 2010. With the crisis in the eurozone and markets everywhere in desperate need of dynamism, increased commercial interaction between the three countries could have a positive effect on the global economy.
On paper, all three countries have much to gain. According to the
Japanese Ministry of Trade, a trilateral free-trade agreement would increase Japan's GDP by 0.3%, China's by 0.4% and South Korea's by 2.8%. Some private sector calculations have been even more optimistic. Tokyo-based financial services group Nomura Securities estimated Japan's potential GDP growth at 0.74%, exceeding even the 0.54% increase expected with Japan's entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade grouping that includes many Pacific-rim countries but not China. [2]
Although the vast differences in the indices of development have been widely cited, the economic robustness of the region, having survived the global recession relatively unscathed, is not under severe scrutiny. The bigger issue is how far these states are willing to go to make this mutually beneficial integration work. Underlying political factors and overlapping interests both facilitate and hinder this process as each government advances its own foreign policy objectives alongside the free-trade negotiations. READ MORE

Dronetopia; Blasty the Drone is here! Kill the bastoids, kill!

The Globalisation of U.S. Special Operations Forces By David Isenberg

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2012 (IPS) - It was recently reported that U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) commander Adm. Bill McRaven and Deputy Director of Operations Brig. Gen. Sean Mulholland want to establish a worldwide network linking special operations forces (SOF) of allied and partner nations to combat terrorism.
If created, the network would comprise regional security coordination centres, organised and structured similarly to NATO SOF headquarters in Mons, Belgium.
According to Mulholland, these centres would not be command-and- control nodes but rather centres for education, networking and coordination to gain regional solutions for regional problems.
Mulholland estimated it would cost less than 30 million dollars a year to operate and maintain each regional node, although that is a figure that some observers consider laughably small.
SOCOM plans to stand up the first one in Miami-based U.S. Southern Command later in 2013, with Mulholland tapped to command integrated SOF in Central and South America.
This plan may seem ultra-ambitious but given the demand on and pace of U.S. SOF activities in recent years it hardly comes as a surprise. The forces will be conducting missions in 120 countries by year's end, up from about 75 currently. And while they account for only three percent of the military as a whole, they make up more than seven percent of the forces assigned to Iraq and Afghanistan.
This activity is increasing as the U.S. Special Operations Command's budget is set to remain flat. The command's fiscal 2013 budget request is 10.4 billion dollars - essentially the same as its current budget. But the budget for the Special Operations Command has more than quadrupled since 2001, as has the number of deployments. READ MORE 

Obama OKs Proliferation of US "Hunter-Killer" Drone Technology | Common Dreams

Obama OKs Proliferation of US "Hunter-Killer" Drone Technology | Common Dreams:
A US Reaper drone shoots missile. (US Air Force photo

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Obama Personally Oversees 'Secret Kill List': NYT Official quoted says that Obama called his decision to assassinate American cleric 'An easy one'

President Obama, who ran for the nation's highest office on a promise to close Guantanamo and end the war in Iraq, has now become a president who personally oversees a covert assassination program that allows a small group of top US officials to monitor, select, and mark for death those it alone deems a threat to national security.

A new report in the New York Times, based on interviews with three dozen of his current and former advisers, says that when Obama - often chided as a 'liberal constitutional professor' -- "applies his lawyering skills to counterterrorism, it is usually to enable, not constrain, his ferocious campaign against Al Qaeda — even when it comes to killing an American cleric in Yemen, a decision that Mr. Obama told colleagues was 'an easy one.'"
Obama's enthusiasm for the program, however, has already shown consequences. As the Times notes: "Drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants; in his 2010 guilty plea, Faisal Shahzad, who had tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, justified targeting civilians by telling the judge, 'When the drones hit, they don’t see children.'"
One official quoted in the article also called into question the administration's method for tabulating civilian casualties in drone attacks, saying that the CIA's recent claim that the number of civilians killed in drone strikes in Pakistan was in the "single digits" was unrealistic.
“It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants,” the official said. “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.”
And, when the fact that targeted killings are on the rise as the capture of alleged Al-Qaeda militants is now rarely seen, one creeping suspicion lurks for many. Has the Obama administration "avoided the complications of detention by deciding, in effect, to take no prisoners alive?"
“Their policy is to take out high-value targets, versus capturing high-value targets,” said Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the top Republican on the intelligence committee. “They are not going to advertise that, but that’s what they are doing.” READ MORE

Richard Heinberg on China's CCTV: The End of Cheap Energy

Unleashed Globalizing the Global War on Terror By Andrew J. Bacevich

As he campaigns for reelection, President Obama periodically reminds audiences of his success in terminating the deeply unpopular Iraq War.  With fingers crossed for luck, he vows to do the same with the equally unpopular war in Afghanistan.  If not exactly a peacemaker, our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president can (with some justification) at least claim credit for being a war-ender.
Yet when it comes to military policy, the Obama administration’s success in shutting down wars conducted in plain sight tells only half the story, and the lesser half at that.  More significant has been this president’s enthusiasm for instigating or expanding secret wars, those conducted out of sight and by commandos.
President Franklin Roosevelt may not have invented the airplane, but during World War II he transformed strategic bombing into one of the principal emblems of the reigning American way of war.  General Dwight D. Eisenhower had nothing to do with the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb.  Yet, as president, Ike’s strategy of Massive Retaliation made nukes the centerpiece of U.S. national security policy.
So, too, with Barack Obama and special operations forces.  The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with its constituent operating forces -- Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, and the like -- predated his presidency by decades.  Yet it is only on Obama’s watch that these secret warriors have reached the pinnacle of the U.S. military’s prestige hierarchy.
John F. Kennedy famously gave the Green Berets their distinctive headgear.  Obama has endowed the whole special operations “community” with something less decorative but far more important: privileged status that provides special operators with maximum autonomy while insulating them from the vagaries of politics, budgetary or otherwise.  Congress may yet require the Pentagon to undertake some (very modest) belt-tightening, but one thing’s for sure: no one is going to tell USSOCOM to go on a diet.  What the special ops types want, they will get, with few questions asked -- and virtually none of those few posed in public. READ MORE

Fareed Zakaria's Neo-Liberal Defense of Germany Pt1

Monday, May 28, 2012

I am not from anything, A poem by Rumi, Molana Jalaiddin

Is there a continuous self? Buddhism and its Indian opponents

Meet 'Flame', The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers | Threat Level |

Meet 'Flame', The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers | Threat Level |

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Asia Times Online :: How Osama re-elects Obama

Asia Times Online :: How Osama re-elects Obama:

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Asia Times Online :: Iran and Europe, 'till death do us part By Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online :: Iran and Europe, 'till death do us part:

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Asia Times Online :: All eyes now on Moscow talks

Asia Times Online :: All eyes now on Moscow talks:

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Asia Times Online :: South Korea makes waves with China pacts

Asia Times Online :: South Korea makes waves with China pacts:

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Goodnight Saigon

Medical Marijuana: The Potential of Cannabis

Medical Marijuana: The Potential of Cannabis:
Wild Marijuana

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Mammon is Hungry: Husband's Suicide One Day, Wells Fargo to Evict Wife The Next | Finance

Mammon is Hungry: Husband's Suicide One Day, Wells Fargo to Evict Wife The Next | Finance:

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Take A Virtual Tour Of Mysterious Easter Island

easter island chile

Urban Revolution: An Interview with David Harvey (Part 1)

New Left Project | Articles | Urban Revolution: An Interview with David Harvey (Part 1):

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Iraq War protester interrupts Tony Blair at Leveson Inquiry

Is that you Tony ???? :-)

Report: Israel tested Iran-bound Stuxnet worm in Dimona nuclear plant

Dimona nuclear reactor - Archive

In what is described as a joint Israeli-U.S. effort to undermine Iran's nuclear ambitions, the New York Times says tests of the destructive Stuxnet worm occurred at the Israeli nuclear complex in Dimona. READ MORE

An aerial view of Israel's nuclear reactor in Dimona. 

Media Blackout As Obama Appoints Assassination Czar

Corporate news blackout as Obama designates John Brennan as the sole person in charge of designating people to be assassinated.

John Brennan, Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor was a name that you did not see on the Mainstream media today as the continue to run stories that serve to distract the masses from stories that matter.
Most recently he publicly spoke about the drone program calling it moral and ethical and just.

Killings, Cancer, Corruption and Azerbaijan: Eurovision in the Islamic Republic of BP | NationofChange

Killings, Cancer, Corruption and Azerbaijan: Eurovision in the Islamic Republic of BP | NationofChange:

Article image
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Chapter 2. Lady Baba-Land: The Islamic Republic of BP

Japan's Toxic Tsunami Debris Heads Towards North America | Common Dreams

Japan's Toxic Tsunami Debris Heads Towards North America | Common Dreams:

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Turkey Indicts Israel's IDF Officials for Gaza Flotilla Killings

Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on May 22, 2010 (Photo: AP)

Israeli officials charged with 'inciting to kill monstrously, and by torturing'

- Common Dreams staff
A Turkish court today officially pressed charges against senior Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) officials over the Gaza Flotilla attack that resulted in the killing of nine activists aboard a Turkish ship headed for Gaza in 2010. The Istanbul court unanimously approved an indictment that had been finalized Wednesday by Turkish prosecutors.

Turkish judges approved a demand for a combined 18,000 year sentence for former IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, along with the former heads of its navy, air force intelligence, and military intelligence, Eliezer Marom, Amos Yadlin, and Avishai Levi. The accused face nine consecutive life terms in prison for "inciting to kill monstrously, and by torturing".
The attack came upon a Turkish activist 'Flotilla' heading from Turkey to bring aid into Gaza, in a bid to break an Israeli blockade. Israeli commandos boarded the largest ship in the flotilla, Mavi Marmara, and subsequently attacked those on board, leaving nine pro-Palestinian activists dead.
The date for the trial has not been announced, but it would be held in the absence of the defendants, as Israel refuses to accept the charges. The IDF officials will not likely face the charges unless they set foot in Turkey.
* * *
Israel's Haaretz reports:
Turkish Court Charges Senior IDF Officials over Gaza Flotilla Deaths READ MORE

Facing the Writing On the Wall in Kabul by Eric Margolis

One of my favorite artists was the superb Victorian painter Elizabeth Butler who captured in oil the triumphs and tragedies of the British Empire.
Her haunting painting, “The Retreat from Kabul, ” shows the sole survivor of a British army of 16,500, Dr. William Brydon, struggling out of Afghanistan in January, 1842. All the rest were killed by Afghan tribesmen after a futile attempt to garrison Kabul.
This gripping painting should have hung over the NATO summit meeting last week in Chicago to remind the US and its allies that Afghanistan remains “the graveyard of empires.”
The latest empire to try to conquer Afghanistan has failed, and is now sounding the retreat.
All the hot air in Chicago about “transition,” Afghan self-reliance, and growing security could not conceal the truth that the mighty US and its dragooned western allies have been beaten in Afghanistan by a bunch of mountain warriors from the 12th Century.
The objective of war is to achieve political goals, not kill people. The US goal was to turn Afghanistan into a protectorate providing bases close to Caspian Basin oil, and to block China. After an eleven-year war costing $1 trillion, this effort failed – meaning a military and political defeat.
The US dragged NATO into a war in which it had no business and lacked any popular support. The result: a serious weakening of the NATO alliance, raising questions about whose interests it really serves. The defeat in Afghanistan will undermine US domination of Western Europe.
Claims made in Chicago that the US-installed Afghan regime will stand on its own with $4 billion of aid from the west were pie in the sky. Once US support ends, the Karzai regime is unlikely to survive much longer than did Najibullah’s Afghan Communist regime in Kabul after its Soviet sponsor withdrew in 1989. Or the US-run South Vietnamese regime that fell in 1975. READ MORE

Anthony Swofford on the Epidemic of Military Suicides

Cheryl Softich sits by her son's casket and body at his funeral in Eveleth, Minnesota in late July, 2007 (Courtesy of Cheryl Softich via Ashley Gilbertson / VII)

About 18 veterans kill themselves each day. Thousands from the current wars have already done so. In fact, the number of U.S. soldiers who have died by their own hand is now estimated to be greater than the number (6,460) who have died in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Eleven years of war in two operating theaters have taken a severe toll on America’s military. An estimated 2.3 million Americans have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and 800,000 of those service members have been deployed multiple times.
Pull up your local newspaper online and search “veteran suicide,” and you’re likely to come up with at least one link to a story. Based on data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, Mark Kaplan of Portland State University asserts that male veterans have a twofold increase in death by suicide over their civilian counterparts and that female veterans are three times as likely to kill themselves as their civilian counterparts. Veterans are 60 percent more likely to use a firearm in an attempted suicide than civilians, and firearms are the most effective way of taking one’s own life.
So why are these young veterans killing themselves at such high rates READ MORE

Loving the Warrior, Hating the Wars: Our Memorial Daze, by Charles P. Pierce - Esquire

Loving the Warrior, Hating the Wars: Our Memorial Daze, by Charles P. Pierce - Esquire:
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Army Green Beret Captain William Lyles III, a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, on September 11 last year

Read more:

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Creedence Clearwater Revival "Run Through The Jungle" with graphic Vietn...

Unknown Soldier by The Doors - Vietnam War Music Video

Crosby, Stills & Nash - "Wooden Ships" (1969)

Richie Havens, Freedom, (Woodstock)

Austerity Bites, but Fascism Won’t Snarl in Europe

Europe Austerity
Illustration by Golden Cosmos

Europe’s citizens are turning the tables on their ruling elites as austerity bites. In election after election, they send their governments packing and turn instead to fringe parties, some of which evoke the ghosts of Europe’s authoritarian and racist past.
Yet there are good reasons to believe this is not the 1930s, redux. Something else is going on in Europe that is quite profound: The shape of European democracy is changing. It is fragmenting and opening new channels for protest and political action that make it less likely some new Hitler or Mussolini will suddenly ride a wave of support to power.
It’s becoming clear that the political transformation accelerated by the financial crisis will need to be at least as deep as the economic one, and this means the end of mainstream politics. There will no longer be a once-per-generation societal consensus, as was the case throughout the post-World War II period. Instead, Europe will see a continual process in which governments, voters and civil movements renegotiate their social and economic contracts.
The result, by definition, will be less predictable and more disorienting. There will also be much more uncertainty about the level of entitlements and the extent of provision of public services. The rise of boutique parties, including extreme ones, reflects this trend of fragmentation and will be crucial to its unfolding.

Neo-Fascists to Pirates

There is hardly a European country that has been spared the phenomenon. It’s not only inGreece where we see new entities emerging, such as the hard-left Syriza coalition or the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. Also in Germany, a country with strong mass- membership parties, the Pirate Party, sometimes dismissively called the cafe-latte and laptop-generation party, has now made it into three German state parliaments, polling around 8 percent of the vote each time. In the U.K., the fringe Respect party won a parliamentary by-election on a platform of opposing the country’s policies on the Middle East. The U.K. Independence Party scored unexpectedly well in local elections. It advocates the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union READ MORE