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Monday, December 31, 2012

We'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne. And surely you’ll buy your pint cup ! and surely I’ll buy mine !


Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?
CHORUS:

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
CHORUS

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
CHORUS

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
CHORUS

Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are close to a deal to cancel historic tax hikes for most Americans. But they are still hung up on spending, with Democrats resisting a GOP proposal to delay automatic spending cuts for just three months. President Obama to deliver remarks about the “fiscal cliff” at 1:30 p.m.

Hollywood and the elite celebrities are upset about gun violence and concerned about the affect on American Society



All spoken with the same sincerity as our rulers and masters anguishing over how to balance the federal budget.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Obama administration has had a massive purge under way to remove all training manuals, lectures and instructors who link Islamic doctrine and its governing Shariah law in a factual way to Islamic terrorism. These manuals are being removed from all government agencies, including the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies. All our training manuals have been purged of the true nature of the threat from Islam and Shariah.


LYONS: Draft of new U.S. Army handbook must be scrapped
Adm. James A. Lyons

Military supposed to defend First Amendment rights

After the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the erosion of our military’s moral principles, regretfully, continues.
A recent Wall Street Journal article described the U.S. Army’s final-draft handbook, which indoctrinates our military personnel heading to Afghanistan in how to be sensitive to and accept Muslim and Afghan 7th-century customs and values — or possibly be killed by our Afghan partners.
Unbelievable. This is being done to prevent the so-called “green-on-blue” attacks, which have cost 63 American lives this year.
According to the Army’s Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., it is our military’s ignorance and lack of empathy for Muslim and Afghan cultural norms that is the basic cause for our Afghan military partners to react violently and kill our troops.
For example, if our military personnel hear or witness an Afghan soldier sodomizing a young boy, the handbook tells U.S. service members to voice no objection, accept it or ignore it, or they could be killed. If an Afghan beats, rapes or kills a woman in the presence of a U.S. serviceman, they are not to interfere or stand up for women’s rights or else they might be killed.
What the Army is saying, in effect, is that if Afghan partners conduct violence against U.S. service personnel, it is the serviceman’s fault. This is mind-boggling. We know, according to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, that nine out of 10 Afghan military personnel are illiterate and cannot be counted on in combat. Endemic corruption is embedded in Afghan culture and certainly extends to their military. They cannot be trusted.
Other cultural norms our professional U.S. military must accept without reservation by our Afghan partners is desertion, drug use, thievery, dog torture and collusion with the enemy, the Taliban. Also, U.S. military members must not discuss Islam in any form.
All of this guidance is un-American. It is totally against our core principles and everything we stand for as Americans. It threatens to further diminish our military principles, stature and fighting spirit. As columnist Diana West stated in a recent article, if this handbook directive is implemented, we will be forcing our military to submit to Islam and its governing Shariah law or die — exactly the choice offered to infidels who have been vanquished by jihad. Our military’s silence and acquiescence would be the humiliating price for their existence.
This should be seen as another attempt to undercut our professional military and our warrior reputation that has guaranteed our freedom and way of life for the past 236 years.
None of this humiliating guidance should come as a surprise. The Obama administration has had a massive purge under way to remove all training manuals, lectures and instructors who link Islamic doctrine and its governing Shariah law in a factual way to Islamic terrorism. These manuals are being removed from all government agencies, including the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies. All our training manuals have been purged of the true nature of the threat from Islam and Shariah.
The degrading of our military’s fundamental principles should be viewed in a much broader perspective. We cannot overlook the fact that with or without sequestration, we are unilaterally disarming our military force. This is happening in spite of an uncertain world situation with the Mideast still in a state of turmoil and evolving threats posed by China, Russia and Iran.
Separately, we see our First Amendment rights being trashed by our secretary of state through her participation in the Istanbul Process championed by the 57-member-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The OIC is sponsoring a United Nations mandate that would make it a crime to express anything they consider blasphemous against Islam or the Prophet Muhammad. This same theme was expressed by President Obama in his September speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
If these attacks on America’s exceptionalism and core principles are collectively analyzed, it appears that there is an insidious agenda at work to fundamentally change America. All of these negative factors must be challenged and defeated. As a first step, the Army’s draft handbook should be trashed.
Second, Congress must take positive action to protect our First Amendment rights and force the Obama administration to withdraw from any further participation in the Istanbul Process. Third, the unilateral disarmament of our military must be reversed. It’s time for members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to take a position that supports the oath they took to protect and defend our Constitution.
Retired Adm. James A. Lyons was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hagel is no saint or unerring savant, in our saintless and savantless Federal City, but Hagel should decline to serve Obama, a president who asserts the right to kill even American citizens without judicial oversight and to send manned and unmanned planes anywhere he chooses.


Why Chuck Hagel Should Tell Obama to Go to Hell

The prospective defense secretary will be more influential by speaking out against war and empire.

Terry Michael | December 28, 2012 REASON

Leadership is reflected in the will to disappoint at least a few friends with clear decisions in pursuit of principle. It's not about safely laying back and gathering acolytes by splitting every difference.
Barack Obama is a congenitally split personality. His interest in naming Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to his cabinet demonstrates once again that he has no appetite for leadership on the life-and-death decisions presidents make since Congress ceded its war-making powers to the Executive branch after World War II.
As he did in a smarmy, stage-crafted 2009 speech to teenage cadets at West Point, Obama is once again punting on foreign policy. Instead of saying and doing what he believes, our president wants to assemble another sort-of team of rivals. Abusing that popular Doris Kearns Goodwin construct about Lincoln's cabinet, Obama indulges himself in the luxury of leading from behind. It enables him to avoid a decision to withdraw immediately from Afghanistan the young men and women who are sacrificing life and limb for American empire-building that serves no clear moral or national-security purpose.
Our always-conflicted leader has chosen to nominate John Kerry, the ultimate Washington foreign policy consensus expert, to be Secretary of State. That's the same John Kerry who was both for and against the war in Vietnam, and for and against the war in Iraq. The very same presidential candidate who told us in August of 2004 he would have voted for the resolution authorizing Bush-Cheney's elective war in Iraq - even if he had known there were no weapons of mass destruction. The same John Kerry who told Congress in 1971, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" And who said in March, 2004, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion [supplemental appropriation for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan] before I voted against it." The same John Kerry...well, you can look up additional dithering by the senator from Massachusetts.
President Obama wants to nominate another wounded and decorated Vietnam vet, Chuck Hagel, for Secretary of Defense. Unlike Kerry - and to his credit - Hagel used his Senate seat to speak against his own party's elective wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hagel has conflicts of his own and Washington's conservatives have made it clear that they don't want Hagel anywhere near the Pentagon. He voted for the Iraq War resolution, but on reflection spoke out against that neo-con nightmare. Like many, he supported taking out the Taliban in Afghanistan, but then questioned why we were still there a decade later under Obama's presidency. Hagel is no saint or unerring savant, in our saintless and savantless Federal City.

But there are important differences between Hagel's revisions of his thoughts and those of President Obama and John Kerry. The Nebraskan risked offending his own militaristic Republican base. As a senator - not just a young, ambitious, camera-friendly, anti-Nixon, anti-Vietnam war veteran - Hagel wasn't content to let a last man die for mistakes of a weekend warrior, a dilettante Constitutional law professor, or a born-to-the-manor foreign policy expert.
Recall that Barack Obama was nominated and elected in 2008 as the candidate who was opposed to "dumb wars." But he was an anti-war poseur. Within 10 months of inauguration, Obama reversed course to please the bipartisan industry that demands a permanent state of military conflict and rising defense outlays as a jobs program for AFL-CIO congressional Democrats and as corporate welfare for K Street Capitol Hill Republicans.
And John Kerry? Could there be a purer human distillation of the Washington Rules described by our most eloquent anti-war voice, Andrew Bacevich, in his book of that title? Since he arrived in the Senate in 1985, Kerry has been a primary player leading us down "America's Path to Permanent War," as Bacevich's subtitle puts it. 
Assuming his nomination isn't proactively yanked by the president, here's the question that Hagel first needs to answer: Should he allow himself to be used as a pawn in Barack Obama’s continuing deflection of presidential responsibility?
Tempting as it may be to get inside the tent, Hagel should decline. Given Obama's uninspiring track record, he won't have a major impact on policy. Far more likely, he'll serve as a prop for a president who asserts the right to kill even American citizens without judicial oversight and to send manned and unmanned planes anywhere he chooses.
By refusing to become part of Obama's war machine, Hagel can trumpet an important statement: Bring the troops home now. Not in 2014. Not in 2013. By noon tomorrow. Hagel can demand that not one more young man or woman be the last to die for a horrific mistake:






Hagel declaring he is a US Senator and not an Israeli Senator. (How very un-American of him)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hey Mexico, spare us your lectures, clean up your own mess.


Mexico urges US court to block part of Arizona law




By JACQUES BILLEAUD
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - The Mexican government has urged a U.S. court to stop Arizona from enforcing a minor section of the state's 2010 immigration law that prohibits the harboring of illegal immigrants.
Lawyers representing Mexico asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a filing Wednesday to uphold a lower-court ruling that blocked police from enforcing the ban. Mexico argued the ban harms diplomatic relations between the United States, undermines the U.S.'s ability to speak to a foreign country with one voice and encourages the marginalization of Mexicans and people who appear to be from Latin America.

"Mexico cannot conduct effective negotiations with the United States when the foreign policy decisions of the federal governments are undermined by the individual policies of individual states," lawyers for the Mexican government said in a friend-of-the-court brief.

The harboring ban was in effect from late July 2010 until U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked its enforcement on Sept. 5. Two weeks before Bolton shelved the ban, she said during a hearing that she knew of no arrests that were made under the provision.

The prohibition has been overshadowed by other parts of the law, including a requirement that went into effect on Sept. 18 that officers, while enforcing other laws, question the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the questioning requirement earlier this year, but also struck down other sections of the law, such as a requirement that immigrants obtain or carry immigration registration papers. The nation's highest court didn't consider the harboring ban.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the measure known as SB1070 into law and serves as the statute's chief defender, has asked the appeals court to reverse Bolton's ruling on the harboring ban.

Brewer spokesman Matt Benson said Arizona's harboring ban mirrored federal law and that Mexico was interfering with a matter in U.S. courts.

"Mexico's own immigration laws are significantly more heavy-handed than anything imposed as a result of SB1070. Does the Mexican government believe the nearly identical U.S. federal law harms diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Mexico?" he said.

This wasn't the first time a foreign government has chimed in during disputes over the immigration law.

In 2010, Mexico urged the courts to declare the law unconstitutional, and 10 other Latin American countries had joined in expressing their opposition to the law.

Brewer had said the foreign governments were meddling in an internal legal dispute between the United States and one of its states.

No other countries have joined in Mexico's latest friend-of-court brief.


Transcript for Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf to Saddam Hussein: 'Get Outta Town' Some additional clues tonight about why the western allies were so successful in the gulf. They come from the general -- strategy won the war general Norman Schwarzkopf he was interviewed for 20/20 by ABC's Barbara Walters and Saudi Arabia. But -- Saddam. Hussein's biggest mistake. Has predictability. His predictability. But it was -- unpredictable whether he says we don't know we don't know what makes him do things. We we studied the Iran Iraq campaign's very very carefully. And and based upon Iran Iraq campaigns we came -- a lot of assumptions of what they would do and we were -- a single. I'm. Cannot take -- to that meeting with the Iraqi general re also the pictures we haven't -- that much about it I understand that the one place they were surprised by is when you gave them and the number the Iraqi POW. They had said we are now ready to give you the numbers and and we said -- and he said we have 41 POWs and -- Give us a breakdown by country many interrupted me he said. Would you mind telling us how many prisoners you have. And I said. Well as of last night we have 60000 but we're still counting.





Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bad terrorists and acceptable terrorists: Who do you believe the Obama Administration or the Russians?




America’s Hype over WMD: Five Invasion Plots, Three Continents, Identical Lies
From Panama to Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria


“I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare…. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes.” (Winston S. Churchill, 1874-1965, from War Office  minute, 12th May 1919.)
As the sabre rattling against Syria gets ever louder, the allegations ever wilder and double standards, stirring, plotting and terrorist financing (sorry: “aiding the legitimate opposition”) neon lit, it is instructive to look at the justifications presented by US Administrations for a few other murderous incursions in recent history.
This month is the twenty third anniversary of the US invasion of Panama on 20th December 1989, as Panamanians prepared their Christmas celebrations. A quick check reminds the late Philip Agee recalling President George H.W. Bush telling the American people that the threat from Panama (pop: 3,571,185 – 2011) was such that: “our way of life is at stake.” Agee referred to this in his aptly named talk “Producing the Proper Crisis.”(i) Apt then as now. Nothing changes.
The aim of the invasion was to capture the country’s leader General Manuel Noriega and, of course, to: “establish a democratic government.” Regime change.
With the approaching transfer of control of the Panama Canal to Panama (originally scheduled for 1st January  1990) after a century of US colonial stewardship, America wanted to ensure it was in the hands of malleable allies.
Noriega a CIA asset, since 1967 (ii) who had also attended the notorious School of the Americas, at Fort Benning, Georgia, came to power with US backing, but seemingly his support for the US was cooling. To encapsulate a long story, the US kidnapped him and sentenced him to forty years in jail.
Plans to invade were called: “Operation Prayer Book.” It was later re-named “Operation Just Cause”, with General Colin Powell commenting that it was a moniker of which he approved as: ”Even our severest critics would have to utter ‘Just Cause’ whilst denouncing us.” (Colin Powell, with Jospeh E. Persico: “My American Journey”, 1995.)
All military marauding should simply be called: “Operation Silly Name 1, then 2,3,4” etc., until the numbers finally run out.
Twenty seven thousand US troops backed by Apache helicopters decimated much of the small country, with a defence force of just three thousand. George Bush Snr., said he was removing an evil dictator who was brutalizing his own people  (sound familiar?) and that the action was needed to:” protect American lives.” It was also to: “defend democracy and human rights in Panama” – and to “protect the Canal.” Surprise, eh?
Manuel Noriega was released from US jail in 2007, extradited to France which had awarded him the country’s highest honour, The Legion d’honneur in 1987. He remained in jail in France until December 2011, when he was returned to Panama, where he is still imprisoned.
In the near forgotten Panama decimation (unless you are Panamanian) the densely populated, poverty stricken neighbourhood of El Chorillo was incinerated by American actions to such an extent that it became named “Little Hiroshima.”
One woman charged that: “The North Americans began burning down El Chorillo at about 6.30 in the morning. They would throw a small device in to a house and it would catch on fire – then they would move to another, they burned from one street to the next, coordinating the burning on walkie-talkies.”
A US soldier was recorded stating: “We ask you to surrender … if you do not, we are prepared to level each and every building.”

“Everything that moved they shot”, said a city resident.
The dead were consigned to mass graves with witnesses stating that US troops used flame throwers on the dead, noting the bodies shriveling as they burned. Others were bulldozed in to piles.(iii)
There was worse. As the current self righteous, if contradictory statements flow from Washington and Whitehall about Syria’s unproven chemical weapons, proven facts relate to America’s.
“From the 1940s to the 1990s the United States used various parts of Panama as a testing ground for chemical weapons, including mustard gas, VX, sarin, hydrogen cyanide and other nerve agents in … mines, rockets and shells; perhaps tens of thousands of chemical munitions.” (William Blum: Rogue State, 2002.)
Further, on departing Panama at the end of 1999 they left: “many sites containing chemical weapons. They had also: “conducted secret tests of Agent Orange in Panama …” In the 1989 invasion, the village of Pacora, near Panama City: “was bombed with (chemicals) by helicopters and aircraft from US Southern Command, with substances that burned skin, caused intense pain and diarrhea.”
Many analysts felt that Panama was the testing ground for Iraq.

Nine months after the poisoning of Panama, on Hiroshima Day 1990, the strangulating US-driven embargo on Iraq was enforced by the UN, after the US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie had given the green light for Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait, after Kuwait’s considerable provocation and financial and geographical destabilization.(iv.)
The hype over chemical and other weapons went in to overdrive, leading Saddam Hussein to comment: “I am afraid, one day, you will say ‘You are going to make gunpowder out of wheat.’ ”
Thirteen months after Panama, America led a thirty one country coalition to “reduce Iraq to a pre-industrial age.” The only chemicals released from Iraq were the poisonous mix from the bombed pharmaceutical and fertilizer factories, the car manufacturing plants and the factories of Iraq’s entire industrial base, including the compounds holding the chemical and biological substances, including medical ones, sold to Iraq by the US, UK Germany and others over the previous decades, sales ironically, still ongoing at the time of the onslaught. (v.)
Highly toxic and radioactive substances were introduced into Iraq however, in the form of up to seven hundred and fifty tonnes of chemically toxic and radioactive depleted uranium munitions (DU) which have a toxic “half life” of 4.5 billion years. Iraq’s litany of deformed, still born, aborted babies, infants born with cancers, the tiny graves, silent testimony to weapons of mass destruction of unique wickedness. Iraq was bombed for forty two days and nights.
The hyped chemical weapons alleged to have been manufactured by Iraq were, of course, never deployed.
On 24th March 1999, NATO began to liberate Kosovo from Serbia. (US Silly Name: Operation Noble Anvil) Kosovo had an estimated ten trillion dollars worth of “inexhaustible” minerals in the Trebca mines.
The “liberation” was seventy eight days of relentless bombardment, including use of depleted uranium weaponry. Twenty thousand tonnes of bombs were dispatched. Destroyed systematically were communications centres, fuel depots, airports, traffic communications, trains, markets, the Chinese Embassy – China was against the attack, NATO, resoundingly unconvincingly, said they had the wrong map. And of course, the media centre. Murdering journalists is now another routine, unaccountable war crime.
Before the attack, the Pentagon stated that the Army of Yugoslavia possessed at least two kinds of poisonous gasses, with the facilities to produce them. The US Department of Defense warned Slobodan Milosevic the General Staff of the Yugoslav Army : “If Belgrade uses poisonous gasses sarin and mustard gas against NATO, the response of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be devastating.”
Oddly, after the air strikes began, NATO mentioned not one word to indicate that it was attacking Serbia’s US-stated capacity to produce chemical weapons. (Zagred Globus, 16th April 1999, pp 18-19.)
The industrial scale destruction, however, left the Trebca mines unscathed.

On 14th August 2000, nine hundred heavily armed British, French, Italian, Pakistani and KFOR troops were landed from helicopters at the mines. Managers and workers tried to fight them off and were beaten, tear gassed with plastic bullets used. The resisting staff were arrested.
UN papers described the action as: “ … induction of democratization in Kosovo.” The attack in fact, paved the way for selling of the mines -containing “the inexhaustible” estimated 77,302,000 tons of coal, copper, zinc, lead, nickel, gold, silver, marble, manganese, iron ore, asbestos and limestone “to name a few” – to private foreign groups. (News reports, websites.)
The  “Kosovo Liberation Army” had been: “ … trained for years and supported with millions of US dollars and German Marks … through the CIA and BND” (German Intelligence) “for this war, misleadingly called a civil war”(vi) by NATO governments and spokespersons.
DU’s chemical and radiological properties were rained down throughout former Yugoslavia too. By 2001, doctors in the Serb run hospital in Kosovo Mitrovica stated that the number of patients suffering from malignant diseases had increased by two hundred percent since a 1998 survey.
A 2003 study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) found drinking water and air samples contaminated in Bosnia Herzegovina. There was, of course: “no cause for alarm.” Pekka Haavisto, former Environment Minister of Finland, Heading UNEP, called for a wide and thorough scientific investigation to establish the full extent and hazards of the contamination. The US – cited as the only country to use DU weaponry in that conflict – blocked the request. (vii.)
However alarm was raised in Europe when Italian, Portuguese, Belgian and French peacekeepers in the region developed cancers, within a matter of months, a high proportion of those diagnosed died. Norwegian peacekeepers refused to be deployed.(viii.)
“Less than a month after the war in Yugoslavia ended in 1999, the British National Radiological Protection Board warned British citizens about the dangers from staying in Kosovo because of the contamination of its territories by D.U. weapons.”
The peacekeepers, of course were there for just weeks or months, the people of the region live there, the plight of their health and that of future generations ignored and forgotten by their “liberators.” They had other “tyrants” to topple, other populations to relieve of their lives and limbs and livelihoods.
Iraq, had again been bombed by the US and UK during the Christmas season of 1998, four months before the assault on Yugoslavia and had been back on the invasion radar ever since. The lies were familiar – and relentless, a currently topical example, one of of countless:
“2nd September 2002: Experts: Iraq has tons of chemical weapons.
“As some in the Bush administration press the case for a pre-emptive strike against Iraq, weapons experts say there is mounting evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has amassed large stocks of chemical and biological weapons he is hiding from a possible U.S. military attack.
“Washington’s concern is that Iraq could supply those weapons to terrorist groups …  ‘If we wait for the danger to become clear, it could be too late’ said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Delaware, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.”
With Biden now Vice President, it is impossible not to wonder whether he has any input in to the Syria spin, with its uncannily similar words.
“Jon Wolfsthal, an analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Iraq’s inventory is significant: ‘Iraq continues to possess several tons of chemical weapons agents, enough to kill thousands and thousands of civilians or soldiers’, Wolfsthal said.” (ix)
Further: “U.N. weapons experts have said Iraq may have stockpiled more than 600 metric tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, VX and sarin. Some 25,000 rockets and 15,000 artillery shells with chemical agents are also unaccounted for, the experts said.
“The concern is they either have on hand — or could quickly re-create the capability to produce — vast amounts of anthrax, tons of material”, was Wolfsthal’s additional spin.

“Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld” asserted :“… Iraq has mobile biological weapons laboratories, which would be nearly impossible for U.S. forces to target.” The lives of thousands of people were at stake, he said. Indeed, since the invasion, Iraqi deaths at American and British hands or that of their militias, and imposed puppet government, are nothing short of holocaustal.
According to Jonathan Schwartz, who revisited General Colin Powell’s pack of lies on Iraq to the UN on 5th February 2003 : “ My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence …”  Powell is now regretful.
Schwartz is unsympathetic. On the  fifth anniversary of Powell’s misleading nonsense, 5th February 2008, he commented: “As much criticism as Powell has received for this – he calls it ‘painful’ and something that will ‘always be a part of my record’ – it hasn’t been close to what’s justified. Powell was far more than just horribly mistaken, the evidence is conclusive that he fabricated evidence and ignored repeated warnings that what he was saying was false.”
The entirely illegal invasion of Iraq, based on a trans-Atlantic pack of lies had commenced just forty five days later. Operation Very Silly Name? “Operation Iraqi Liberation”: OIL.
The lies over Libya – which under Colonel Quadaffi came top of the Human Development Index for Africa – are of recent memory. Nevertheless a few reminders:
CIA paid Quislings abound in the above invasions and others over many decades. Meet General Abdul Fatah Younis, Colonel Gaddafi’s Interior Minister, who “defected to the opposition” – wonder what his price was – and became chief of staff of the insurgents: “ … he pleaded for NATO allies to arm the rebels with heavy weapons, including helicopters and anti-tank missiles, to defend the besieged city of Misurata.. He predicted the dictator  … would be ready to use chemical weapons in a last stand against rebels or the civilian population.” (Amazing, words straight out of the current Syria “opposition” check list.)
“Gaddafi is desperate now. Unfortunately he still has about 25 per cent of his chemical weapons, which he might use as he’s in a desperate situation. …”
“Col. Gaddafi is known to have around ten tons of mustard gas remaining from stocks that he had been destroying under the supervision of a United Nations body, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”(x.)
In context, back in 2002, Neil Mackay, multi-award winning investigations Editor of the Sunday Herald explained that: “Driven by greed and a profound lack of morality, the British government violated the Chemical weapons Convention by selling chemicals “that could be converted to weapons of war.”
Countries benefiting from UK sales, Mackay stated, included Libya, Yemen, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, India, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey and Uganda, a charge the Department of Trade and Industry “clearly admitted.”
After Tony Blair’s embrace of Colonel Gaddafi in March 2004, the British government announced plans to send their experts to Libya to destroy the chemical weapons they had sold, stating that Colonel Gaddafi had mislead Blair over their existence. That they had the remittance documents seems to have escaped them. Identical to UK duplicities over Iraq.
Between the start of Libya’s destruction on 19th March 2011 and NATO taking over on 31st March 2011, the US and UK dropped one hundred and ten Cruise missiles on a country with a population of under six and a half million. When NATO assumed command of the “humanitarian intervention” they assaulted this minimal population with 26,500 bomb- releasing sorties. There were, of course no Presidential tears for Libya’s lost children, whose demise would have been preceded by unimaginable terror, in an onslaught which had two Silly Names, one for the US: “Operation Odyssey Dawn” and one for NATO: “Operation Unified Protector”, the latter, comment defying.
Quadaffi himself lost three small grandchildren and three sons. In 1986 in another US bombing, he lost a just toddling adopted daughter.

Moments after she learned of his terrible death at the hands of a rabid NATO “protected” mob, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on television laughing as she said: “We came, we saw, he died.”
What an age since she said: “I really believe that it takes a village to raise a child.” Now her beliefs are apparently to wipe out the village, its children, parents and lynch the village elder for a tele-opportunity of raucous mirth.
On 4th December 2012, Clinton warned that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad may be moving, guess what – a “chemical weapons stockpile.”
“We have made our views very clear.This is a red line for the United States. I’m not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against his own people, but suffice to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur,” she said at a press conference in Prague.
Weapons of course:  “could be used to contain sarin gas”, according to another U.S. official. Another added:  “ … we are concerned about any move that might signal that they are somehow ready to use those chemical weapons on their own people.” (xii.)
“Déjà vu all over again”, as the saying goes.
Syria responded on 6th December: “Syria stresses again, for the tenth, the hundredth time, that if we had such weapons, they would not be used against its people. We would not commit suicide,” Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Al Maqdad told Lebanon’s Al Manar television …”
“We fear there is a conspiracy to provide a pretext for any subsequent interventions in Syria by these countries that are increasing pressure on Syria.” Indeed. It would hardly be a first.
In late October US troops arrived in Jordan for a major joint exercise near the Syrian border. Operation Silly and Childish Name: “Operation Eager Lion.” Al Assad in arabic translates as: the lion.
Ironically the first allegation of Syria having chemical weapons would seem to have come from John R.Bolton, alleged by Congressman Henry Waxman to have persuaded George W. Bush to include the fairy story of Iraq purchasing yellow cake uranium from Niger in his 2003 State of the Union address.The allegation is unproven, however, since the documents are still classified.
Bolton is involved with a plethora of less than liberal organizations, including the Project for the New American Century, The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the currently in the news, The National Rifle Association.
Relating to Syria, it should also be remembered that the country has been under increasingly strangulating sanctions since 2004.
Former Chief Weapons Inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter has written that: “chemical weapons have a shelf life of five years. Biological weapons have a shelf life of three.” They also give off an “ether”, say experts, which can be picked up by satellite surveillance, which Syria, as Iraq before it is certain to be comprehensively subject of.
Heaven forbid Washington, Whitehall, Tel Aviv and the coalition of the coerced are crying “Wolf!” again. Heaven help anyone who believes them.
Notes


"Early humans went from having trees available to having only grasses available in just 10 to 100 generations, and their diets would have had to change in response," Magill said in a statement. "Changes in food availability, food type, or the way you get food can trigger evolutionary mechanisms to deal with those changes. The result can be increased brain size and cognition, changes in locomotion and even social changes — how you interact with others in a group."


Erratic Environment May Be Key to Human Evolution


Live Science



At Olduvai Gorge, where excavations helped to confirm Africa was the cradle of humanity, scientists now find the landscape once fluctuated rapidly, likely guiding early human evolution.These findings suggest that key mental developments within the human lineage may have been linked with a highly variable environment, researchers added.
Olduvai Gorge is a ravine cut into the eastern margin of the Serengeti Plain in northern Tanzania that holds fossils of hominins — members of the human lineage. Excavations at Olduvai Gorge by Louis and Mary Leakey in the mid-1950s helped to establish the African origin of humanity.
The Great Drying?
To learn more about the roots of humanity, scientists analyzed samples of leaf waxes preserved in lake sediments at Olduvai Gorge, identifying which plants dominated the local environment around 2 million years ago. This was about when Homo erectus, a direct ancestor of modern humans who used relatively advanced stone tools, appeared.
"We looked at leaf waxes, because they're tough, they survive well in the sediment," researcher Katherine Freeman, a biogeochemist at Pennsylvania State University said in a statement.
After four years of work, the researchers focused on carbon isotopes — atoms of the same element with different numbers of neutrons — in the samples, which can reveal what plants reigned over an area. The grasses that dominate savannas engage in a kind of photosynthesis that involves both normal carbon-12 and heavier carbon-13, while trees and shrubs rely on a kind of photosynthesis that prefers carbon-12. (Atoms of carbon-12 each possess six neutrons, while atoms of carbon-13 have seven.)
Scientists had long thought Africa went through a period of gradually increasing dryness — called the Great Drying — over 3 million years, or perhaps one big change in climate that favored the expansion of grasslands across the continent, influencing human evolution. However, the new research instead revealed "strong evidence for dramatic ecosystem changes across the African savanna, in which open grassland landscapes transitioned to closed forests over just hundreds to several thousands of years," researcher Clayton Magill, a biogeochemist at Pennsylvania State University, told LiveScience. [Know Your Roots? Take Our Human Evolution Quiz]
The researchers discovered that Olduvai Gorge abruptly and routinely fluctuated between dry grasslands and damp forests about five or six times during a period of 200,000 years.
"I was surprised by the magnitude of changes and the rapid pace of the changes we found," Freeman told LiveScience. "There was a complete restructuring of the ecosystem from grassland to forest and back again, at least based on how we interpret the data. I've worked on carbon isotopes my whole career, and I've never seen anything like this before."
Losing water
The investigators also constructed a highly detailed record of water history in Olduvai Gorge by analyzing hydrogen isotope ratios in plant waxes and other compounds in nearby lake sediments. These findings support the carbon isotope data, suggesting the region experienced fluctuations in aridity, with dry periods dominated by grasslands and wet periods characterized by expanses of woody cover.
"The research points to the importance of water in an arid landscape like Africa," Magill said in a statement. "The plants are so intimately tied to the water that if you have water shortages, they usually lead to food insecurity."
The research team's statistical and mathematical models link the changes they see with other events at the time, such as alterations in the planet's movement. [50 Amazing Facts About Earth]
"The orbit of the Earth around the sun slowly changes with time," Freeman said in statement. "These changes were tied to the local climate at Olduvai Gorge through changes in the monsoon system in Africa."
Earth's orbit around the sun can vary over time in a number of ways — for instance, Earth's orbit around the sun can grow more or less circular over time, and Earth's axis of spin relative to the sun's equatorial plane can also tilt back and forth. This alters the amount of sunlight Earth receives, energy that drives Earth's atmosphere. "Slight changes in the amount of sunshine changed the intensity of atmospheric circulation and the supply of water. The rain patterns that drive the plant patterns follow this monsoon circulation. We found a correlation between changes in the environment and planetary movement."
The team also found links between changes at Olduvai Gorge and sea-surface temperatures in the tropics.
"We find complementary forcing mechanisms — one is the way Earth orbits, and the other is variation in ocean temperatures surrounding Africa," Freeman said.
These findings now shed light on the environmental shifts the ancestors of modern humans might have had to adapt to in order to survive and thrive.
"Early humans went from having trees available to having only grasses available in just 10 to 100 generations, and their diets would have had to change in response," Magill said in a statement. "Changes in food availability, food type, or the way you get food can trigger evolutionary mechanisms to deal with those changes. The result can be increased brain size and cognition, changes in locomotion and even social changes — how you interact with others in a group."
This variability in the environment coincided with a key period in human evolution, "when the genus Homo was first established and when there was first evidence of tool use," Magill said.
The researchers now hope to examine changes at Olduvai Gorge not just across time but space, which could help shed light on aspects of early human evolution such as foraging patterns.
Magill, Freeman and their colleague Gail Ashley detailed their findings online Dec. 24 in two papers in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are perfectly aware that setting the US on a sustainable fiscal course would mean massive pain for the common citizen, and an immediate termination of all existing political careers



Charting US Debt And Deficit Since Inception

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/17/2012 23:00 -0500
Some observations:
  • Beginning with the Anglo-American war of 1812, and continuing through the US civil war, World War I and World War II, the major military shocks to the US fiscal system are clearly obvious.
  • Just as obvious is the impact of not only The Great Moderation which started in the early 1980s just before the 1987 arrival of Alan Greenspan at the helm of the Fed, which allowed the US to exchange fiscal prudence for ever cheaper debt which could and would be used to fund an ever greater budget deficit, and lead to a surge in the Federal debt.
  • The increasingly more unstable system, which saw the additional layering of another $23 trillion in shadow banking debt at its peak in 2008, as well as countless trillions in household, corporate and financial debt, as well as hundreds of trillions in underfunded welfare liabilities, led first to the Internet bubble, then the Housing and Credit bubble, and finally, to the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 which climaxed with the failure of Lehman brothers, and resulted in the central bank bailout of every developed bank, and shortly thereafter, the backstop of every peripheral country in Europe.
  • The gravity and impact of the Great Financial Crisis on the US economy is stark, very visible, and can only be compared to previous instances of destructive military conflict in terms of lost output and impact on the US economy.
  • Total US Debt/GDP is currently just over 103%. This number is expected to rise to 125% by the end of 2016, which will eclipse the peak debt/GDP seen in World War II, and be the highest in US history.
  • Whereas in the past episodes of fiscal catastrophe were accompanied not only by a surge in debt (black line), but by a parallel explosion in fiscal deficits (red bars), this time the deficit spike has been more modest (peaking at about 10% of GDP), but more protracted, with even the CBO expecting deficits of around $1 trillion to last for the next several years.
  • One possible interpretation is that due to the Fed's relentless interest rates intervention, the polarized US government feels no burning desire to promptly balance its budget, and even overshoot, and through a combination of aggressive spending cuts and/or revenue increases, result in a much needed surplus which would be used to reduce the sovereign debt. This is graphically seen in the ongoing Fiscal Cliff debate, when any proposal for substantial spending cuts - the true problem at the core of America's deficit habituation and welfare statism - is greeted with shrieks of Mutual Assured Destruction.
  • This is not a political issue: politicians on both sides of the aisle are perfectly aware that setting the US on a sustainable fiscal course would mean massive pain for the common citizen, and an immediate termination of all existing political careers: after all the myth of the welfare state is at stake. It is in everyone's interest - both GOP and Democrat - to perpetuate the unsustainable deficit status quo indefinitely. Any theatrics out of the GOP demanding fiscal conservatism are therefore just that - theatrics.
  • There is no question that it is unsustainable: US GDP is currently growing at a pace of 1.5%-2.5% at best. Total 2012 US debt will have risen at a rate of 8%, and will continue rising in the 6%-8% range.  
  • More disturbing is the influence of the Fed, whose policy of ZIRP and outright debt monetization (recall even JPM has now admitted the Fed will monetize all US debt issuance in 2013) is the only permissive factor that has allowed the US to delay the inevitable moment of reckoning as long it has.
  • Indicatively, a modest rise in the average US interest rate, which is currently at all time blended lows, to just 5%, would mean that in 3 years the US would spend, pro forma, $1 trillion in cash interest each year. At that point the US will approach Japan status, where the government needs to borrow just to fund interest outlays. Actually, instead of Japan, Weimar would be a better analogy.
  • Finally, on all previous historical occasions, there was at least one backstop of last reserve, a central bank, standing ready to step in and provide the necessary liquidity, and monetize the needed debt to keep the show running. Since 2009, all the central banks have also gone all in on the Keynesian endgame: at this point the next shock to the status quo system will be the last, as there is no more backstops. 
  • At that point the only two options will be outright monetary devaluation, though not relative in the closed monetary loop of modern monetarism, but absolute, where every currency is concurrently devalued against a hard asset (potentially with the forceful concurrent confiscation of said hard asset by the host government, think Executive Order 6102), in order to generate a terminal currency and debt debasement, or outright global debt moratoria, and the end of the modern financial system as we know it (but not before the financial "leaders" of our time have converted enough of their paper wealth into hard asset format and transferred it to more peaceful, more "gun-controlled", non-extradition territories).
And there you have it.
Oh, and whoever said the advent of the Federal Reserve, or the end of "hard money" standard courtesy of Richard Nixon, made catastrophic or systematically shocking events less frequent, probably should have their head examined.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Arab Spring and 550 US generals - How is it going?


Christianity 'close to extinction' in Middle East
Christianity faces being wiped out of the “biblical heartlands” in the Middle East because of mounting persecution of worshippers, according to a new report.


7:20AM GMT 23 Dec 2012

The study warns that Christians suffer greater hostility across the world than any other religious group.

And it claims politicians have been “blind” to the extent of violence faced by Christians in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The most common threat to Christians abroad is militant Islam, it says, claiming that oppression in Muslim countries is often ignored because of a fear that criticism will be seen as “racism”.

It warns that converts from Islam face being killed in Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Iran and risk severe legal penalties in other countries across the Middle East.

The report, by the think tank Civitas, says: “It is generally accepted that many faith-based groups face discrimination or persecution to some degree.

"A far less widely grasped fact is that Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers.”

It cites estimates that 200 million Christians, or 10 per cent of Christians worldwide, are “socially disadvantaged, harassed or actively oppressed for their beliefs.”

“Exposing and combating the problem ought in my view to be political priorities across large areas of the world. That this is not the case tells us much about a questionable hierarchy of victimhood,” says the author, Rupert Shortt, a journalist and visiting fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford.

He adds: “The blind spot displayed by governments and other influential players is causing them to squander a broader opportunity. Religious freedom is the canary in the mine for human rights generally.”

The report, entitled Christianophobia, highlights a fear among oppressive regimes that Christianity is a “Western creed” which can be used to undermine them.

State hostility towards Christianity is particularly rife in China, where more Christians are imprisoned than in any other country in the world, according to the report.

It quotes Ma Hucheng, an advisor to the Chinese government, who claimed in an article last year that the US has backed the growth of the Protestant Church in China as a vehicle for political dissidence.

“Western powers, with America at their head, deliberately export Christianity to China and carry out all kinds of illegal evangelistic activities,” he wrote in the China Social Sciences Press.

“Their basic aim is to use Christianity to change the character of the regime...in China and overturn it,” he added.

The “lion’s share” of persecution faced by Christians arises in countries where Islam is the dominant faith, the report says, quoting estimates that between a half and two-thirds of Christians in the Middle East have left the region or been killed in the past century.

“There is now a serious risk that Christianity will disappear from its biblical heartlands,” it claims.

The report shows that “Muslim-majority” states make up 12 of the 20 countries judged to be “unfree” on the grounds of religious tolerance by Freedom House, the human rights think tank.

It catalogues hundreds of attacks on Christians by religious fanatics over recent years, focusing on seven countries: Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, India, Burma and China.

It claims George Bush’s use of the word “crusade” after the September 11 attacks on New York created the impression for Muslims in the Middle East of a “Christian assault on the Muslim world”.

“But however the motivation for violence is measured, the early twenty-first century has seen a steady rise in the strife endured by Christians,” the report says.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq left Iraqi Christians “more vulnerable than ever”, highlighted by the 2006 beheading of a kidnapped Orthodox priest, Fr Boulos Iskander, and the kidnapping of 17 further priests and two bishops between 2006 and 2010.

“In most cases, those responsible declared that they wanted all Christians to be expelled from the country,” the report says.

In Pakistan, the murder last year of Shahbaz Bhatti, the country’s Catholic minister for minorities, “vividly reflected” religious intolerance in Pakistan.
Shortly after his death it emerged that Mr Bhatti had recorded a video in which he declared: “I am living for my community and for suffering people and I will die to defend their rights.

"I prefer to die for my principles and for the justice of my community rather than to compromise. I want to share that I believe in Jesus Christ, who has given his own life for us.”

The report also warns that Christians in India have faced years of violence from Hindu extremists. In 2010 scores of attacks on Christians and church property were carried out in Karnataka, a state in south west India.

And while many people are aware of the oppression faced in Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi and other pro-democracy activists, targeted abuse of Christians in the country has been given little exposure, the report says.

In some areas of Burma the government has clamped down on Christian protesters by restricting the building of new churches.

“Openly professing Christians employed in government service find it virtually impossible to get promotion,” it adds.

AND IF IRAN IS AN EXAMPLE HERE IS THE FUTURE: