Monday, January 30, 2012


Inside America's Israel Lobby

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. It has been described as one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington, DC. Its critics have stated it acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a "stranglehold" on the United States Congress.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Notes Sun 29 Jan 12

Notes and links of interest from today's postings in the Further Left Chat Room, Facebook, and Twitter are duplicated on the others and here. Updates are added at the top of this post as information develops.

PressTV - Shadow of colonialism still over Africa'

YouTube - AIPAC: Inside America's Israel lobby

RT - Occupy Oakland video: Police use flashbangs & tear-gas against protesters

YouTube - "CIA are drug smugglers." - Federal Judge Bonner, head of DEA- You don't get better proof than this

PressTV - Iran finalizes bill to ban EU oil exports

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Drug War Lies

Active Duty Cop:

‘The war on drugs is a war on people’

I did not get in law enforcement to destroy a person’s future because that person had marijuana or a pill in their pocket. Why would you want to destroy that person’s future and cause them great harm because of that? It’s not worth it.”

An active duty police officer who asked not to be named threw down the gauntlet over the part of his job he hates most: the drug war.

“I did not get in law enforcement to destroy a person’s future because that person had marijuana or a pill in their pocket,” the officer explained. “Why would you want to destroy that person’s future and cause them great harm because of that? It’s not worth it.”

Like many Americans, the reality of the drug war was was nothing like what he’d been taught to believe in his youth. But statistics like a citizen being arrested for drugs every 19 seconds in 2010, and 1.6 million people incarcerated over drugs in 2009, were nothing compared to what he actually experienced in the front lines of the drug war on America’s users.

But for those officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect the public from dangerous, violent criminals, the drug war isn’t always just another part of the job. For this officer in particular, it’s much more than that: “The war on drugs is a war on people,” he claimed.

“I just didn’t see problems from illegal drug users that I’d been led to believe,” the officer explained. “Most of the calls that we get on drug use, as police, are alcohol related. Alcohol is a serious drug that can be abused, but I just didn’t see the calls on other drugs like I had been led to believe. I didn’t see these drug-crazed people out there doing crazy things… Even growing up before entering law enforcement, I was always led to believe that the drug war was meant to stop all these people from doing crazy things. But on the street, that’s not what you see. That’s a lie.”

In his view, the officer said that the American public would be much better off if the government would “regulate drugs and keep the control out of the hands of the black market criminals.”

“The cartels have been running a serious drug operation in America for decades, and I don’t think most Americans are really aware of it,” he said. “The money comes from the prohibition of drugs. These criminals are making their money because of the prohibition. If you legalize and regulate it, their profits go to zero.”

For more than two decades in law enforcement, he said that he’s carried an immense guilt: his first drug arrest.

“I was in training, on ‘the other side of the tracks,’ for lack of better words, and we pulled a vehicle over,” he explained. “The guy, I think he had a defective taillight or something. He was sober, polite, respectful, no problems, and my training officer said, ‘Oh yeah, he’s gonna have drugs.’ So, I asked if we could search his vehicle and he gave me permission. Within no time, I found a small amount of (hard) drugs, so he was facing a serious charge. The whole time I was thinking, ‘This is not right. This guy’s keeping to himself, not hurting nobody, he’s a peaceful person.’ I instinctively knew this was wrong. I changed my perspective immediately. This was not the war on drugs that I thought it would be.”

Carrying this guilt for his participation in such a system, he got away from making narcotics arrests and received a transfer to another division. There he worked for years, until one day in 2006. Acting on a whim, he ran a Google search for the peculiar terms, “cops against the drug war,” and rather abruptly found a new calling: an activist group called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, LEAP ((click for website). He’s followed their work ever since, and in 2012, the officer finally decided that he too must raise his voice against the drug war.

Today, he’s acquired a unique extra-curricular activity: an anonymous blog served up by LEAP, examining the innards of the drug war from a perspective rarely put on public display. If his superiors knew, he explained, “I would probably be terminated.”

And, he claims, it’s not just him that’s come to some stark, personal conclusions on the drug war: fellow officers are coming around as well — especially those who’ve been doing it for a while.

“I remember a case just here recently when an officer was trying to find marijuana on one guy, and another officer started looking around in this area where there’s actual crime, and he was kind of making fun of him for wasting time,” he said. “There’s plenty of officers that do want to get away from the petty, small drug arrests that distract them from fighting real crime, which is what a lot of them get into law enforcement for individually.”

Posted by pooja

Friday, January 27, 2012

Amerikan Gulags

Six Million People Are Under Correctional Supervision

in the U.S.—More Than Were in Stalin’s Gulags

Establishing The Police State

January 26, 2012

(NEW YORKER) For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones.

More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850.

In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then.

Over all, there are now more people under “correctional supervision” in America—more than six million—than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.

That city of the confined and the controlled, Lockuptown, is now the second largest in the United States.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The US Military:

A Global Force, But Not For Good

By Bruce A. Dixon

Fallujah, Iraq, January 25, 2012

In official folklore, the US armed forces are the virtuous repositories of honor, probity and moral virtue. But the real history and culture of the US military, from invading Spanish Florida to prevent its being a refuge for escaped slaves, to Wounded Knee, to massacres in Haiti and Central America, to Fallujah and marines pissing on Afghan corpses, are something else altogether.

"On November 19, 2005 a squad of US Marines murdered 24 unarmed Iraqi
civilians including 9 children..."

No State of the Union address is complete without multiple standing-ovation references to the steadfast courage, self-sacrifice and honor of the men and women serving in the uniform of these United States. But while some or all of these characteristics can doubtless be found among active duty members of the US military, they are notably absent among its military and civilian leaders, and consistently contradicted by the military's own longstanding traditions.

On November 19, 2005 a squad of US Marines murdered 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians including 9 children, in cold blood, not with shrapnel or random crossfire, but mostly with well-aimed rifle shots to the head and chest indoors and at close range. Three officers received written reprimands for actions after the incident, and charges were filed, then dropped against seven of eight marines. On January 24 staff sergeant Frank Wuteridge, the only remaining marine charged in the case accepted a plea deal that lets him off with a reduction in rank to private.

At the same time that killers are released with perfunctory wrist slaps, US army private Bradley Manning, a genuine hero, endures persecution and solitary confinement for releasing documentary evidence of of numerous diplomatic and military atrocities, including actual film of a US helicopter gunship mowing down unarmed Iraqi civilians including two Reuters cameramen and the children of a man who stopped his family car to help the people he saw bleeding in the street.

"That's what he gets," oinks a self-righteous American military voice on the tape, "for bringing his kids..." to a firefight.

"The navy currently runs an ad campaign branding itself
"a global force for good." Few claims could be more deceitful"

Lying, justifying and covering up, not honor and self-sacrifice, seem to be guiding principles of US military and political leadership, the sure and certain paths to a successful career. When up-and-coming army major Colin Powell was detailed to look into reports of atrocities committed by the Americal Division, he knew what was expected of him. Powell minimized and dismissed the reports, overlooking among other things the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians at a place called My Lai. Twenty years later, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the US invasion of Panama, Powell ordered the bombing from the air of an undefended, largely black civilian neighborhood of Panama City in which hundreds were killed, in order to prevent them from coming into the streets to support Panamanian president Noriega.

Since Wounded Knee, since the slave and Indian-hunting expeditions of Andrew Jackson, these have been the real traditions of the US military. The navy currently runs an ad campaign branding itself "a global force for good." Few claims could be more deceitful. The military has plenty of doctors, engineers and even chaplains. But its main jobs aren't building things, healing people or telling the truth. The core job descriptions of the US military and their civilian leaders are breaking things, killing people, and lying about it. They are indeed a global force. But not an honorable one. And not for good.

Northern Lights

Recognizing Palestine

Dr Salim Nazzal Addresses

Europe to Reconize Palestine

Hala Husni Fariz

Palestinian Ambassador To Sweden

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Castro Speaks

World Peace

Is Hanging By A Thread

By Fidel Castro Ruz

Global Research, January 22, 2012
Cuba Debate - 2012-02-14

Yesterday I had the satisfaction of having a pleasant conversation with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I had not seen him since 2006, more than five years ago, when he visited our country to participate in the 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement of Countries in Havana. During the summit, Cuba was elected for the second time as president of the organization for a three-year term.

I had become gravely ill on July 26, 2006, a month and a half prior to the summit, and could barely sit up in bed. Many of the most distinguished leaders who participated in the event were kind enough to visit me. Chavez and Evo visited me several times. One afternoon four visitors came by whom I will always remember: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; an old friend, Abdelaziz Buteflika, the president of Algeria; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran; and the vice minister of Foreign Affairs and current Foreign Minister of China, Yang Jiechi, on behalf of the leader of the Communist Party and the president of China, Hu Jintao. It was really an important time for me; I was in the midst of intense physiotherapy on my right hand that I had seriously injured when I fell in Santa Clara.

With all four I spoke about some of the difficulties facing the world at the time; problems that have become progressively more complex.

During our meeting yesterday, I noted that the Iranian president was absolutely calm and tranquil, completely unconcerned about the Yankee threats and, fully confident in the capacity of his people to confront any aggression and in the effectiveness of their arms —which, in large part, they produce themselves— to inflict an unpayable price on its aggressors.

In reality, we hardly spoke about the topic of war. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was focused on the ideas he had presented at the Main Hall of the University of Havana during his conference on the struggle of humankind: “Moving towards reaching and achieving peace, security, respect and human dignity as a fundamental desire of all human beings throughout history.”

I am convinced that Iran will not commit any rash actions that might contribute to setting off a war. If a war were to be unleashed, it would inevitably be completely as a result of the recklessness and congenital irresponsibility of the Yankee Empire.

I believe that the political situation surrounding Iran and the associated risks of a nuclear war that involves us all —regardless of whether one possess nuclear weapons— are extremely delicate because they threaten the very existence of our species. The Middle East has become the most troubled region on the planet, the same region that produces the energy resources vital for the world’s economy.

The destructive power and the mass sufferings caused by some of the weapons used in World War Two led to a strong movement to ban weapons such as asphyxiating gas and others. Nevertheless, conflicting interests and the huge profits made by arms manufacturers led to the production of crueler and more destructive weapons; modern technology has now added the means and material to build weapons that if used in a world war would lead to extinction.

I support the opinion, undoubtedly shared by all those with a basic sense of responsibility, that no country big or small has the right to possess nuclear weapons.

They never should have been used to attack two defenseless cities such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing and irradiating with horrible and long-lasting effects hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, in a country that had already been militarily defeated.

If fascism indeed forced the allied nations against Nazism to compete with this enemy of humanity in the production of such weapons, once the war ended and the United Nations was created, the first duty of this organization should have been to prohibit nuclear weapons without exception.

However, the United States, the strongest and richest power, forced the rest of the world to follow its lead. Today, they have hundreds of satellites that spy and monitor the entire world from outer space. Their naval, air and land forces are equipped with thousands of nuclear weapons; and they control the world’s finances and investments at their whim via the International Monetary Fund.

Analyzing the history of each Latin American nation, from Mexico to Patagonia, by way of Santo Domingo and Haiti, one can observe that each and every country, without exception, have suffered for 200 years, from the beginning of the 19th century up until today. And, in one way or another, they are increasingly suffering the worst crimes that power and force can commit against the rights of a people. Brilliant Latin American writers are emerging in an increasing number. One of them, Eduardo Galeano, author of the book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent that describes the aforementioned, has just been invited to open the prestigious Casa de Las Americas Awards as a recognition to his outstanding body of work.

Events happen incredibly fast; but technologies report them to the public even faster. On any given day, like today, important news comes out a dizzying pace. A cable report dated from January 11 states: “The Danish presidency of the European Union confirmed on Wednesday that a new series of more severe European sanctions against Iran, because of its nuclear program, will be discussed on January 23. The new sanctions will not only target the oil industry but also the Central Bank.”

During a meeting with international journalists, Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal said that “We will increase sanctions against the oil industry in addition to sanctions against financial structures.” This clearly demonstrates that, in order to impede nuclear proliferation, Israel can go on accumulating hundreds of nuclear warheads while Iran is not allowed to produce 20% enriched uranium.

Another article, from a respected British news agency, states that “China gave no hint on Wednesday of giving ground to U.S. demands to curb Iran’s oil revenues, rejecting Washington’s sanctions on Tehran as overstepping …”

The sheer tranquility with which the United States and civilized Europe carry out this campaign with incredible and systematic acts of terrorism is enough to shock anybody. Just look at these lines reported by another important European news agency: “The murder on Wednesday of Iranian nuclear specialist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan [a scientist at the Natanz nuclear plant] was the fourth attack to kill a leading scientist in the country in almost exactly two years.”

On January 12, 2010: “Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at Tehran University is killed when a booby-trapped motorcycle explodes outside his home in the capital. “

On November 29, 2010: “Two attacks target leading Iranian nuclear scientists on the same day. Majid Shahriari, a key member of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, is killed in Tehran by a limpet bomb attached to his car. His colleague Fereydoon Abbasi Davani is also targeted by a bomb attached to his car, but escapes.” The car was parked in front of the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran where both men worked as professors.

On July 23, 2011: “Gunmen shoot dead Dariush Rezaei-Nejad, a senior scientist who is reportedly associated with the defense ministry, and wound his wife as they waited for their child outside a Tehran kindergarten.”

On January 11, 2012 —the same day that Ahmadinejad travelled from Nicaragua to Cuba to give a conference at the University of Havana—, scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, “a deputy director at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, is killed in a car bomb blast outside the [Allameh Tabatabai] University in east Tehran.” As in previous years “Iran once again accused the United States and Israel.”

The killings represent a systematic and selective slaughter of brilliant Iranian scientists. I have read articles by known Israeli sympathizers who write about crimes carried out by Israeli intelligence services in cooperation with the United States and NATO as if they were the most normal occurrence.

At the same time, Moscow news agencies report that “Russia warned that in Syria a similar scenario is developing as to that in Libya, and added that this time the attack will be launched from neighboring Turkey.

“The secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said the West wants to ‘punish Damascus not as much for repressing the opposition, but because it is unwilling to sever ties with Tehran.’”

“…NATO members and some Persian Gulf states, operating according to the Libya scenario, intend to move from indirect intervention in Syrian affairs to direct military intervention…This time the main strikes forces will not be provided by France, the U.K. or Italy, but possibly by neighboring Turkey.”

“Washington and Ankara are now assumed to be negotiating a “no-fly” zone over Syria, where Syrian armed insurgents can be trained and concentrated, added Patrushev.”

News is not only coming out of Iran and the Middle East, but also from other parts of Central Asia near the Middle East. These reports show the great complexity of the problems that can arise from this dangerous region.

The United States has been led by its contradictory and absurd imperial policy to get involved in serious problems in countries such as Pakistan, whose borders with Afghanistan were drawn up by the colonialists without taking into account culture or ethnicities.

In Afghanistan, which defended its independence against English colonialism for centuries, drug production has multiplied in the wake of the Yankee invasion. Meanwhile, European soldiers, supported by drone airplanes and armed with sophisticated US weapons, carry out deplorable massacres that increase the people’s hatred and ward off any possibilities of peace. All this and other dirty actions are also reported by Western news agencies.

“WASHINGTON, January 12, 2012 – US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called the actions of four U.S. marines who urinated on corpses in Afghanistan “utterly deplorable” The video of the act was circulated in the Internet.

“’I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable…’

“’This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold…’”

In reality, Panetta neither confirms nor denies the action, and anyone, including the Secretary of Defense himself, may harbor doubt.

But it is also extremely inhumane that men, women and children, or an Afghani combatant fighting against the foreign occupation, be murdered by bombs dropped by drone planes. Another very serious incident: dozens of Pakistani soldiers and officials who safeguarded the country’s borders have been killed by these bombs.

Afghani President Karzai stated that the outrage committed against the bodies was “simply inhumane.” He asked for the US government “to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime.”

Meanwhile Taliban spokespersons declared that “over the last ten years, hundreds of similar acts have been carried out that were not reported…”

One even feels sorry for those soldiers, thousands of kilometers away from their family, friends and country, sent to fight in countries that they might not have even heard of during their school days, where they are assigned the task of killing or dying to enrich transnational companies, arms manufacturers and unscrupulous politicians who each year squander funds needed to feed and educate the uncountable millions of hungry and illiterate people around the world.

Many of these soldiers, victims of the trauma suffered, end up taking their own lives.

Is it an exaggeration to say that world peace is hanging by a thread?

Fidel Castro Ruz - January 12, 2012 - 9:14 p.m.

Monday, January 23, 2012

An Amerikan View

There Are 1.4 MILLION Gang Members In The United States And More Pour Into The Country Every Single Day

A vast army of heavily armed criminals has embedded itself in every major city in the United States. In fact, nearly every community in America is now affected by these thugs. Drugs, theft and brutal violence are all part of the every day lifestyle of the members of this army. They aggressively recruit our young people and floods of illegal immigrants are joining their ranks. Once civil unrest erupts in America, they will go on a crime spree that will be absolutely unprecedented and they will burn large areas of some U.S. cities to the ground. So who am I talking about? I am talking about the rapidly growing gangs that are terrorizing cities all over the nation. The FBI tells us that there are now 1.4 million gang members involved in the 33,000 different gangs that are active inside the United States. The number of gang members in the U.S. has increased by 40 percent since 2009. Just think about that. That is absolutely astounding. Just since 2009, the number of gang members has increased by 40 percent. The FBI says that 48 percent of all violent crime in this country can be directly traced to gangs and that this is a national crisis that is progressively getting worse. Unfortunately, the federal government refuses to secure our borders and is allowing new waves of illegal immigrants to enter the United States every single day. A substantial number of those illegal immigrants end up involved in these gangs. Yet the federal government just stands by and allows it to keep happening. One day, the foolishness of this policy will be evident to all.

In many areas of America today, families live behind windows that have bars on them and they won't ever go out at night because it is just too dangerous. There are some communities that have pretty much been entirely taken over by the gangs, but instead of addressing the problem the federal government continues to spend a massive amount of resources checking out what might be in our underwear at U.S. airports.

Meanwhile, criminal gangs are thriving. They are becoming incredibly powerful and increasingly sophisticated. The following is from an FBI press release....

Gangs are increasingly engaging in non-traditional gang-related crime such as alien smuggling, human trafficking, and prostitution. Gangs are also engaging in white-collar crime such as counterfeiting, identity theft, and mortgage fraud.
You can find much more background information about gang activity in the United States from the FBI right here.

You have probably heard of some of the largest of these gangs.

For example, the 18th Street Gang is the largest gang in the state of California. It is said that they have 15,000 members in California alone, and that on average they are responsible for at least one major crime in Los Angeles County every single day.

It has been reported that police in Los Angeles are extremely hesitant to ever venture into the areas most heavily controlled by the 18th Street gang. They are absolutely brutal and they do not back down to anyone. The following is what Wikipedia has to say about the 18th Street Gang....

A US Justice Department report from 2009 estimates that the 18th Street gang has a membership of some 30,000 to 50,000 with 80% of them being illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America and is active in 44 cities in 20 states. Its main source of income is street-level distribution of cocaine and marijuana and, to a lesser extent, heroin and methamphetamine. Gang members also commit assault, auto theft, carjacking, drive-by shootings, extortion, homicide, identification fraud, and robbery.
Another very prominent gang that you may have heard of is the Latin Kings. It is reported that they have 18,000 members in the city of Chicago alone. They are believed to be the largest Hispanic gang in the entire nation.

One of the gangs that has law enforcement authorities the most concerned is MS-13. There are chapters of MS-13 in 42 states now, and if you cross a member of MS-13 there is a good chance that you will lose a limb or be hacked to death with a machete.

This tough economic environment has made it even easier for these gangs to recruit new members. Today, there are way too many young people sitting around with nothing to do.

Back in the year 2000, more than 50 percent of all Americans teens had a job. This past summer, only 29.6% of all American teens had a job.

When you have lots of teens and young adults sitting around with nothing but time on their hands, bad things are prone to happen.

As the family unit continues to decline in America, young people are looking for a sense of belonging. For many youths, a gang becomes a new "family" for them.

But unfortunately, these new "families" do not exactly teach "family values". Instead, they teach our young people about how to be brutal and violent.

And we are seeing evidence of this out on the streets every single day. For example, a group of 6 young thugs recently attacked a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran in Philadelphia and beat him up so badly that he almost died....

Kate Schaefer, the victim’s wife, told Eyewitness News, 'They just smashed every bone in his face. I can’t tell you the words. I guess I was just happy that he was alive.'

During 2011, we saw a large increase in "group crime" behavior. Some of the incidents have been absolutely horrific. For example, the following is how one local ABC News affiliate described the "flash mob" attacks that took place at the Wisconsin state fair earlier this year....

Milwaukee police said that around 11:10 p.m., squads were sent to the area for reports of battery, fighting and property damage being caused by an unruly crowd of "hundreds" of people. One officer described it as a "mob beating."

Police said the group of young people attacked fair goers who were leaving the fair grounds. Police said that some victims were attacked while walking. They said others were pulled out of cars and off of motorcycles before being beaten.
Can you imagine taking your kids to the state fair and having them witness that?

But this is just the beginning.

These gangs are becoming very organized and they are becoming very heavily armed.

The FBI says that rifles, machine guns, grenades and even artillery rounds are being found in the possession of gangs more frequently than ever.

Some examples of this were recently posted on These gangs seem to have a particular affection for AK-47s....

In late July, 27 AK-47s were stolen from a Fort Irwin warehouse, officials said. Those close to the case, who would speak only under the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the subject, said investigators believe gang members were involved in the theft.
Sadly, that same article noted that members of the U.S. military have even been arrested for trying to sell weapons to these gangs....

In November 2010, three former Marines were arrested in Los Angeles for selling assault weapons to members of the violent street gang, Florencia 13, according to the NGIC report. That same month, a Navy Seal from San Diego and two others were arrested in Colorado for smuggling about 18 military-issued machine guns from Iraq and Afghanistan to be sold and shipped to buyers in Mexico.

Those that want to steal guns are becoming increasingly bold. For example, 21 machine guns were stolen a while back right out of an LAPD training facility.

Down in Miami, thieves have become so bold that they have actually been breaking into parked police cruisers and stealing guns and ammo out of them.

When people are stealing guns directly from the police, that is a sign that it is very late in the game.

Our politicians spend so much time talking about the violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the truth is that the area right along the U.S./Mexico border is far more dangerous.

Just check out the following information from

According to the Mexican government, from January through September 2011 2,276 deaths were recorded in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas and New Mexico.

A Nov. 2011 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report states that over nearly the same period – January through October 2011 – 2,177 civilians were killed in Afghanistan, where a U.S.-led war against the Taliban is underway. It did not provide a breakdown of responsibility for that period, but said that in 2010, 75 percent of civilian deaths were attributed to the Taliban and other “anti-government elements.”

Per capita, a person was at least nine times more likely to be murdered in Chihuahua last year than in Afghanistan.
Many of the areas along our border with Mexico are open war zones.

But do we hear about this much in the mainstream media?

Of course not.

Just across the U.S. border lies the city of Juarez, Mexico. Juarez is considered to be one of the most dangerous cities on the entire planet because of the brutal drug war being waged there. In fact, Juarez is the murder capital of the western hemisphere.

But most Americans have never even heard of Juarez.

Complete and total chaos reigns in vast areas of northern Mexico, and yet most Americans don't even realize that there is a problem.

Overall, more than 35,000 people have been killed since the Mexican government declared war on the drug cartels back in 2006.

You would think that would warrant some significant news coverage.

But no, the mainstream media can't talk much about that because then the people might actually start demanding that we secure our borders.

Amazingly, instead of securing our borders the Obama administration has been busy sending guns down to the drug cartels in Mexico.

That is what this whole "Fast and Furious" scandal is all about. As I have written about previously, ATF agents purposely allowed thousands of guns to be sold to individuals that they believed would get them into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

But so far, nobody in the Obama administration has been held accountable for this.

During 2009 and 2010, 70 percent of the 30,000 guns that were recovered by authorities in Mexico were determined to have come from inside the United States.

That is a major problem.

These Mexican drug cartels and the gangs that work with them have become very heavily armed and they have become very bold.

It has been reported that Mexican drug cartels are now openly conducting military operations inside the United States. Scouts for the cartels maintain strategic lookout bases in the hills of southern Arizona, and the federal government has even put up signs that warn tourists to say out of certain areas. The cartels very much try to avoid any confrontations with our border patrol or with our local police, but once they are approached they are not afraid to open fire.

One very frustrated border patrol agent told Fox News the following about what is going on in his area....

"To say that this area is out of control is an understatement."
So how in the world can the federal government allow this to go on?

Well, a big part of it is that Barack Obama does not want to do anything that could scare away his Hispanic voters.

In fact, he is doing just about everything that he can to portray himself as "Hispanic-friendly".

A few months ago, I wrote about how the Obama administration has announced that there will now be a case-by-case review of all deportation cases involving illegal immigrants. Those involving "criminals" will be prioritized and almost all the rest will be thrown out.

Yes, you read that correctly.

If you are an illegal immigrant and you have not been convicted of a crime that means that you almost certainly get to stay in this country.

So that is basically a big green light for even larger waves of illegal immigrants to enter this country.

That means that the ranks of the gangs will swell even more.

The chaotic drug war that is going on in northern Mexico has spread into many areas of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. With each passing day, the gangs that are embedded in all of our major cities are getting stronger. They are a ticking time bomb that eventually will go off.

One day, when mass civil unrest erupts in the United States, the gangs will have a field day. Given the opportunity, most gangs will gleefully indulge in brutal violence, looting, arson, rape and mindless property destruction.

Sadly, this all could have been avoided.

Instead of strip-searching old women at airports, this is what we should have been dedicating our law enforcement resources to.

Instead of spending billions of dollars spying on the American people, the federal government should have spent billions of dollars on securing our borders.

Unfortunately, we made the wrong choices as a nation and so now we are going to pay the price.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dead In The Water.

The Sinking Of The USS Liberty

During the Six-Day War, Israel attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty belonging to its closest ally, the USA. Thirty-four American servicemen were killed in the two-hour assault by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats. Israel claimed that the whole affair had been a tragic accident based on mistaken identification of the ship. The American government accepted the explanation. For more than 30 years many people have disbelieved the official explanation but have been unable to rebut it convincingly. Now, Dead in the Water uses startling new evidence to reveal the truth behind the seemingly inexplicable attack. The film combines dramatic reconstruction of the events, with new access to former officers in the US and Israeli armed forces and intelligence services who have decided to give their own version of events. Interviews include President Lyndon Johnson's Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara, former head of the Israeli navy Admiral Shlomo Errell and members of the USS Liberty crew.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Follow The Gold

Venezuela, Iran, China and the “Axis of Piracy”:

On Western Miscalculations

Posted: 21 Jan 2012 01:08 AM PST

Rothschild’s Path

“Follow the gold’s path and discover the true allegiances” is often a sound and reliable counsel. Yet, during transition times, one may witness confusing facts. Let’s take a look at Venezuela in early 2012. With roughly 373 metric tons, it has the 15th largest gold reserves in the world.

In August 2011, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez nationalized the gold industry, thus Venezuela’s gold reserves are expected to increase. “The area is run by the mafia,” Chavez said on state TV days before the event, “We’re going to nationalize gold. We can’t keep allowing them to take it away.”

Until 2011, only 154 of the 373 tons were in the country. Between 1986 and 1992, Venezuela took several large loans from the IMF. These were secured by depositing much of its gold in foreign banks as guarantees. Not only this gold doesn’t earn interest, but Venezuela is paying for storage services (bankers’ chutzpah!).

Venezuelan gold is stored in the UK, France, Canada and the USA (source: Dossier, a main program of teleSUR, a Venezuelan news network backed by that state). This situation began changing in November 2011, when Chavez brought back the first batch of gold from London. He announced more would be brought back to Venezuela.

The storage locations are odd because Chavez government’s rhetoric is clearly anti-American. This gets even stranger when considering one of the largest Venezuelan corporations is CITGO, a US-incorporated, Venezuela-owned refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products.

Moreover, the United States is Venezuela’s leading trade partner. During 2002, the United States exported $4.4 billion in goods to Venezuela, making it the 25th-largest market for the US. Including petroleum products, Venezuela exported $15.1 billion in goods to the U.S., making it its 14th-largest source of goods.

Despite that, on September 10, 2009, Chavez gave a speech at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia in Moscow declaring that the United States is “the greatest terrorist in world history,” adding that the “Yankee empire will fall. It’s already falling, and will disappear from the face of the Earth, and it’s going to happen this century.”

Yet, Chavez’ gold and corporations seem to favor the USA. Why is he financing what he defines as “terror?” Does that mean Chavez is nothing but an American patsy, preaching something but doing something else for the sake of a private Golden Calf?

Behind the Smog

Can one make sense out of this contradictory data? Why Chavez began bringing back the gold only in 2011, 12 years after he took power? In November 2011, he brought more than 160 tons of gold (reports on the amount vary) from the Bank of England, while making a huge media show of it.

History is never an exact repetition of itself. It seems that in 2011 Venezuela surrendered once again to the burdens of external debt. This time it was the debt to the Chinese. In exchange for the increasing Venezuelan debt to China, the latter requested Venezuela to increase its gold reserves. Thus, Chavez brought its own gold back; after all, no one can really trust a pirate’s coffer, even if it is deep below the City.

This last claim is true also in an alternative explanation claiming this is an attempt to reduce Venezuela’s assets abroad. These risk seizure in the event that sanctions would be imposed as a result of several pending international arbitration cases, with a number of major oil companies pushing for compensation after their Venezuelan operations were expropriated. However, the Chinese issue is more pressing.

Sino-Venezuelan trade was less than $500m per year before 1999. After Chavez took over, they reached $7.5bn in 2009, making China Venezuela’s second-largest trade partner. Venezuela became China’s biggest investment destination in Latin America.

However, as all Latin American economies, Venezuela’s economy is centered on raw materials; the industrial era is still to arrive to this part of the world. This means it is very hard for this economy to balance itself, despite how rich it is in petroleum.

Thus, the Chinese government wants golden securities to its debt. Venezuela’s $32bn debt with China exceeds the value of its sovereign debt. In other words, China owns Venezuela.

Emerging Axis

In 2006, Venezuela joined Cuba and Syria as the only nations to vote against a UN Atomic Energy Agency resolution. The latter reported Iran to the Security Council over its failures to abide UN sanctions to curtail its nuclear program. A year later, Venezuela and Iran declared an “axis of unity” against the US and Ecuador during a visit of Chavez to Tehran. In June 2009, Venezuela supported Ahmadinejad re-election, rejecting the Western claims of the elections having been rigged.

Iranian investments in Venezuela are continuously rising. Iran and Venezuela have signed various Memoranda of Understanding on technology development, cooperation on banking and finance and, oil and gas exploration and refining. In April 2008, the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging full military support and cooperation.

United Press International reported in that August, that Iranian military advisers have been embedded with Venezuelan troops. The Iranians have also opened International Development Bank in Caracas under the Spanish name Banco Internacional de Desarrollo C.A., an independent subsidiary of Export Development Bank of Iran.

‘“Follow the gold’s path and discover the true allegiances” is often a sound and reliable counsel,’ I began this article. Now I am returning to it from a better angle. In the past, Iranian entities have employed complex systems for moving money all over the world without detection. This is due to ongoing difficulties imposed by the US and its allies. Venezuela’s established financial system has been used to circumvent these economic sanctions.

In April 2009, a company called Limmt and its Chinese national manager, Li Fang Wei, was accused by the US government of having an active role in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to Iran. Subsequently, the company was banned from engaging in transactions with or through the U.S. financial system. Limmt used aliases and shell companies to deceive banks into processing payments related to the shipment of banned missile, nuclear and dual-use materials to subsidiary organizations of the Iranian Defense Industries Organization. This is the link to the last side in this intriguing triangle, the Sino-Iranian relations.

The main pillar in the relations between China and Iran is the import of Iranian oil and gas by China. Trade was less than 2 billion in the 1980s. It was catapulted to $30 billion in 2010, and is expected to increase to $50 billion by 2015. This means major financial interests, which invariably lead to cooperation on security issues.

China is believed to have helped Iran militarily in the training of high-level officials on advanced systems, technical support, in the supplying of specialty steel for missile construction, in supplying control technology for missile development, and other related issues related also to nuclear technology.

Apparently, China is responsible for aiding in the development of advanced conventional weapons including surface-to-air missiles, combat aircrafts, radar systems, and fast-attack missile vessels. In a collateral corroboration event, an article I published (Iran Hits American Satellite, December 17, 2011) was translated into Chinese and became the main headline of The 4th Media that day.

This was due to my mentioning China was the source of the Iranian new technology. There is little doubt that we are seeing the formation of a significant alliance between the three countries.

“Miscalculating Our Resolve”

On January 18, 2011, US General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with CNN that preparations are being made for a possible strike in Iran, while warning the Tehran regime against “miscalculating” the American intentions and playing a dangerous game that could lead to a disaster.

Next day, US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, said that Washington has prepared a set of alternative options to deal with Iran’s nuclear program, should the financial sanctions prove futile. That was a diplomatic definition of “war.”

“Miscalculating Our Resolve” were General Dempsey exact words. They may turn out as being highly ironic, as the “bankers’ chutzpah” abovementioned. Does America think it can attack a major Chinese ally without facing at least financial sanctions from China? Is General Dempsey miscalculating the cost for America of renouncing to Venezuelan oil? Can America pay overnight its debt to the Chinese? Does the “Axis of Piracy” think it still owns the world?

Tov Roy

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Culture of Terror


By Dr Salim Nazzal

15 January, 2012

The title of the article might remind the reader of George Orwell book 1984. Orwell wrote about the totalitarian state and how the (big brother) controls every individual life. And since the soviet state was the assumed totalitarian state in Orwell mind it was a paradox that the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1990 which is 6 years after the title date. But if the culture of the comprehensive terror ended in the Soviet Union the state of Israel has become the legal heir of the compressive culture of terror towards the whole region. Meanwhile as the Germans were destroying the Berlin wall it was announced that the Second World War is over in Europe. By mere coincidence, I read Orwell book (1984) in the year 1984. It was a birthday present from Kristin, a French artist who spent one year at an Israeli kipputz. At the period when Kristin was at the Israeli kipputz it was popular among European left wing men and woman to take part in the (unique socialist Zionist experiment!).Not many of them asked the fate of the Palestinians that were living on the land on which the kipputz were going to be situated on. Israel wanted them to disappear from the geography and from history and its politicians declared that Palestinians never exist!

Luckily Kristin got to know about the Palestinian rights through the lies and the falsifications of the Israeli guide about the establishment of the Zionist state. (I knew that he was telling lies), Kristin told me. I was very happy to hear that. Nothing pleases a Palestinian more than seeing brainwashed persons freed from the Zionist hasbara. However I am talking about a period when the Zionist falsification was stronger than the voice of the Palestinian victims. But today in the age of the alternative media Zionists are unable to market their lies any more or at least not as successful as before. We have seen their failure in the war on Gaza which we commemorate these days. They denied the international media the access to enter Gaza but, thanks to modern means of communication the horrible pictures of the Zionist crimes came out to the world.

However, if Europeans saw the destruction of the Berlin wall as ending the Second World War, Palestinians are still living the result of the world war two. Its result was devastating on Palestine and Palestinians until today. If the world lives now in the year 2012 Palestinians are still living in 1948. The year 1948 is not only the year when Polish and Russian terrorist Jews occupied and wiped out Palestine.1948 represents the spirit of Zionist ideology based on land grab and continuous organized terror. The 1948 policy of destroying Palestine and Palestine has been always and still the corner stone of the Zionist policy .And thusly the Zionist terror in Palestine today and tomorrow and after tomorrow is a renewed 1948.

What would be the picture of Palestine and the region without 1948, or without the transplantation of Zionist state?

The immediate answer does not take much to think of. There will be no wars, and the hundreds of thousands killed by Zionist would be living now. There would be no nuclear race in the region because Zionists who introduced this terrific arm in the region, and said no body is allowed to own it and the one who think to have it will be attacked. There would be no tension between the Islamic east and the western world, and there would be no fundamentalism in the region, and all the resources went to war would have been devoted to construction.

Only this week and within the spirit of 1948 the Israeli foreign minister Lieberman threatens to uproot one and half million Palestinians from their home. This threat is not in the year 1948 but in the year 2012 which carries the ethnic cleansing spirit of 1948. However it is obvious that Zionists are unable to see the changes that took place in the region and the world. The decisive change is that Palestinians have learnt much from the 1948 tragedy and the Zionist terror machines won’t be able to uproot Palestinians from their home no matter what Zionist Jews will be doing. In 1948 Palestinian did not know their enemies who recently arrived from Poland and Russia. Arabs had no negative attitude towards Arab Jews who were part of the region. Arabs did not know that period the difference between those Jews and the racist Jews arriving from east Europe with the culture of murder and destruction.

But today it is not a secret to say that the Zionist Jews are the most hated in the Palestinian and Arab culture. However if the 1948 spirit of Zionism continues its terror machine the 1948 spirit of resistance continues to be the dominant factor in the Palestinian culture. It is a long way to go.

Dr. Salim Nazzal a Palestinian-Norwegian historian on the Middle East, He has written extensively on social and political issues in the region.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Return Of Talk

Chronicles of a Refugee 6: The Return of Talk from Adam Shapiro on Vimeo.

Notes Mon 16 Jan 12

Notes and links of interest from today's postings in the Further Left Chat Room, Facebook, and Twitter are duplicated on the others and here. Updates are added at the top of this post as information develops.

RT - Molotov cocktails vs tear gas: New wave of Romania violence

‘Willful ignorance’ about the world is popular in US RT -

PressTV - Iran confirms receiving US Hormuz letter

RT - Boycott Expansion: 'First steps to fascism are quiet'

Love Letter

To The Overcommitted

By Cheyenna Weber, 16 December 2011, Beyond the Choir

It usually starts with a lack of sleep. Then I notice I'm only eating carbohydrates, and mostly things which require less than 10 minutes to prepare. I find myself waking in the middle of the night to check my Blackberry, or worse, getting up to read and respond to emails at 3AM. Somehow my email will have strangely tripled in volume, seemingly without my noticing. I'll become nervous, kinda mean in meetings, prone to daydreaming, and tingly when I think about the object of my affection and obsession. Usually about 5 weeks in I wake up, joyful but tired, and realize I've done it all over again: in love with a campaign, I'm inevitably sliding into burnout.

Burnout is a risk in any field but it's especially prevalent in the social justice movement. There are lots of theories for this. Some think it's because we give more than we're ever given back. Others argue it's the working conditions--long hours, a lack of institutional support for self-care, or the tendency for nonprofits to take on more than they can accomplish. I think it's deeper than all that. As activists and organizers our role is to study where our society has failed and then generate creative solutions to fix it. We are students of violence, oppression, and harm. What most people spend their time tuning out we actively work to tune in. This can get depressing, especially when our gains might feel too minimal, or our efforts too small. Often we don't have a space to process our feelings about this, or we feel guilty for having them. Soon physical ailments appear and the stress gets the best of us. We no longer feel inspired and our work becomes stale, unoriginal, and brittle. It's a common story.

Sometimes it becomes a little too common. In my work at Occupy Wall Street I've noticed many people experiencing burnout, and felt myself compromise my own well-being in ways which are unsustainable and unjust. Like many I experience what E.B. White described so well: "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." Balancing these two needs is the chief tension in my existence.

It has been said we should be actively modeling the behaviors and structures of the world we want to achieve. Do we want to live in chaos? We have that now. Do we want people to overwork themselves? No. People died for the 8 hour workday for a reason. While campaigns are often our medium for change, they are actually somewhat corporate in their implementation: product development, branding, marketing. Yes, they are useful for recruitment and achieving some goals, but ultimately they trap us in a certain way of thinking: we have to do it all right now (!) because the campaign requires it. The campaign must have its pound of flesh!

Alright, well, let's just take a minute here. The revolution isn't going to be next Monday. That campaign you're feverishly working on is a great idea. It can help make some important changes. But burning yourself out on a single campaign isn't going to help anyone. We are in this for life. We will see change in our lifetimes but we won't see every aspect of that vision of a safe world we hold in our hearts. We have to commit to the long haul, folks, a lifetime of working on these concerns in one form or another.

What does that mean for you? It means you need to find a way to make it sustainable. It means the boundaries you've broken down to allow yourself to truly feel, and thus react, to atrocity must be reexamined. It means you have to find balance. Vacations are good, and necessary, but this is a daily practice. It is not enough to throw yourself into the abyss with the idea "well i have this spring break coming..." You have to find ways to play, to relax, and to engage with the world every day. If you don't you're not going to make it in this movement, and dear overcommitted, we need you too much for that.

So, what to do? There are some important practices you can implement within your organizations and for yourself that can help prevent burnout:

1. Self-assessment is crucial. There are many tools for this, but one of my favorites comes from the ACLU.

2. Play. Stuart Brown, who has devoted his life to the science of play, has found that “the process of play allows us to deal with the craziness and allows generation of solutions to problems…in the absence of play we meet life’s paradoxes with bitterness and rigidity that prevents us from really engaging.” Basically, play helps us to maintain empowered strategic thinking. Without it we lose our edge.

3. Create space for reflection. Emotional and physical check-ins at the beginning or end of each meeting, periodic burnout assessments, and planned reviews of goals and progress will help your group become more effective and healthier. Reviews of goals and progress should also include time to amend strategies and adjust practices to meet the needs of group members and campaigns.

4. Create a clear decision-making structure and write it down! Use it to clarify decisions and share it with new recruits so they don’t feel left out. Stick to this process even when everyone seems to agree to something informally. This will create a culture of transparency and participation that will benefit everyone.

5. Avoid informal power structures by developing clear roles with specific tasks. Make it a point to train new people in those roles on an ongoing basis, that way you have folks who can support each other and a way to bring new people into your work.

5. Recognize each other’s work. Offer feedback when people do things, including acknowledging those who do the grunt work. Thank people. Take time to also ask people if they feel supported and give them a chance to make asks of the group. This will help prevent any one person from getting overwhelmed or getting stuck doing backend tasks (like filling out forms) that are essential but often unnoticed.

6. Reconnect with your vision as an individual and as a group. Most people are activists for highly personal reasons and when you connect the group’s work to individual passions it helps foster awareness, empathy, and creativity. You can ask people to talk about their motivations or set aside time for people to get to know each other’s activist histories. This is especially useful as a way to engage new members.

7. Learn to facilitate conflict. You can help the group reach a decision and ease stress simply through developing strong facilitation skills. There are many books on this but the best way to learn is to practice. Give group members turns practicing. Afterall, you’re going to be meeting anyway so it might as well be a learning opportunity.

8. Be intentional and deliberate about your work by setting SMART goals. (SMART=Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Timebound) SMART goals give the group a shared standard by which to measure progress and review strengths and weaknesses. This is especially useful and necessary when group members need to talk about workload.

9. Utilize solidarity economy practices to reduce stress, meet needs, and create community. Often we're stressed due to our economic insecurity. By working cooperatively and democratically with others we can save money, live our values, and be healthier activists. Join a CSA and learn to cook with others. Join a housing co-op for cheaper rent and shared housework. Shareable has a ton of blog posts on ways you can live a more self-actualized existence through collaboration, and there are many examples of successful long-term activist communities who built themselves through these practices.

These steps can be difficult to take, which is why it may be helpful to work alongside others. In my collective, SolidarityNYC, we've recently begun meeting twice a month for brunch to discuss the challenges we're experiencing in practicing our values. By meeting to discuss this struggle we hope to make our efforts both sustainable and create accountablity for ourselves when the work is more difficult. Creating an affinity group is one way we can learn together and reinforce each other's well-being.

In addition to this I've learned that leadership development and delegation are important group practices that support our individual well-being. I've also learned what works for me to get what I call head space: long walks, hula hooping (sometimes even on conference calls while on mute so no one knows), singing, dancing, biking, a moratorium on unnecessary media, writing, and nurturing relationships. This has been a long and slow process, so don't beat yourself up if it takes awhile, but know that growing sensitive to your own needs and to those of other leaders is an essential skill to your work. Setting boundaries that allow you to meet those needs is similarly vital. The integration of caring for self and those around you is what will ultimately allow us to sustain our leadership for the greatest possible impact. That's the goal, right?

I love all of you, you know, and I just want you to be happy, healthy, kicking corporate ass, and taking back and building power for as long as you are given the opportunity. We live in a beautiful world with exceptional opportunities for wonder. Make sure you're giving yourself time to access that too. Not a day goes by that I am not overwhelmed with gladness to know you and have the chance to work with you. But I'd be a liar if I said I'm not a little worried about this trend.

So take a break. Recognize someone's work. Cultivate wellness. And know in your heart that we will win eventually.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Notes Sun 15 Jan 12

Notes and links of interest from today's postings in the Further Left Chat Room, Facebook, and Twitter are duplicated on the others and here. Updates are added at the top of this post as information develops.

MaánNews - Committee agrees to separate PLO, PA parliaments

PressTV - Iran target of 'false flag' strategy?

CNTV - Syrian president grants general amnesty for crimes committed during unrest

RT - [VIDEO] Romania clashes: Protests turn violent in Bucharest

RT - Afghan Stalemate: 'US pullout to be delayed for years'

Doomsday Clock

Pushed Forward Amidst Fears Of Nuclear Conflict

By: Cory Collins, 11 January 2012, Peoples' World

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a Chicago-based magazine founded by nuclear scientists shortly after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has moved forward the time on its symbolic "Doomsday" clock. Created in 1947 to represent the relative closeness of the threat of nuclear disaster, the clock's face has been adjusted twenty times since then and now also reflects developments in other technologies and the sciences that could "inflict irrevocable harm" on the human species.

In statements made yesterday, the publication's Science and Security Board members and its director provided information about the clock's adjustment. Previously, the clock had been positioned at a setting of six minutes to midnight in Jan. 2010, when "it appeared that world leaders might address the truly global threats we face," said board member Allison MacFarlene, an environmental science and policy professor at George Mason University in Virginia.

Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Arizona State University and prominent science writer, cited "[i]naction on climate change and rising international tensions" as the reason for the clock's movement, and said that world leaders are "failing to change business as usual." The decision was made Jan. 9 at a symposium in a law firm building in Washington, D.C., wherein Science and Security Board members reviewed recent events with sponsors and scientific experts.

Originally set at 11:53, the clock moved as far as 11:58 in 1953, when the United States and the Soviet Union both tested thermonuclear devices. Following the avoidance of direct American-Soviet confrontation during the Suez Crisis, along with the organization of International Geophysical Year and the Pugwash Conferences, the BAS downgraded the threat in 1960. Both activities allowed American and Soviet scientists increased interaction, while the group also observed an increase in public understanding of nuclear threats.

Between 1960 and 1991, the clock moved backward and forward a number of times, moving furthest from midnight upon American and Soviet signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, and Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Thereafter, with the exception of the downgrade in 2010, the position of the clock has advanced closer to midnight since 1991, when the threat was rated lowest, at 11:43 upon the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Notably, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the point at which nuclear conflict reached its greatest potential during the Cold War, emerged and closed without a corresponding adjustment of the clock.

Commenting in the Bulletin's press release from Tuesday, Jayatha Dhanapala, a former Sri Lankan ambassador and past UN secretary-general for disarmament affairs, spoke favorably of a "new spirit of international cooperation" and an overall reduction in tensions between Russia and the United States. However, Dhanapala warned that "failure to act on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by leaders in the United States, China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel and North Korea on a treaty to cut off production of nuclear weapons material continues to leave the world at risk[.]"

Dhanapala ended his statement by noting that "the world still has over 19,000 nuclear weapons, enough power to destroy the world's inhabitants several times over."

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Notes Sat 14 Jan 12

Notes and links of interest from today's postings in the Further Left Chat Room, Facebook, and Twitter are duplicated on the others and here. Updates are added at the top of this post as information develops.

PressTV - US deploys 15,000 troops in Kuwait

PakalertPress - Are You Street Smart? Urban Survival Tips for the Street Savvy

MaánNews - Iran says it has evidence US behind scientist's killing

News24 - Major websites face prosecution in India

PressTV - Venezuela to close consulate in US

AfriSynergyNews - Analysis of Zionist Led US Sanctions Against Iran

RT - S&P adds to eurozone woes, downgrading France and 8 others >

RT - Pakistan on brink of military coup?

CNTV - U.S. uses secret channel to warn Iran's supreme leader against closure of strait

RT - Rick Sanchez: "there is a huge problem with journalism in the United States" [VIDEO]

Friday, January 13, 2012

Amerika Strikes Again

Russian Security Council:

Real Danger of US Military Strike on Iran and Syria

Posted: 12 Jan 2012 08:26 PM PST

“Nobody has proved the existence of a military component of Iran’s nuclear programme.”

”There is information that NATO members and some Arab states of the Persian Gulf, acting in line with the scenario seen in Libya, intend to turn the current interference with Syrian affairs into a direct military intervention.”

MOSCOW: Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev warned that military escalation is likely in Iran, with “real danger” of a US strike, in an interview published Thursday.

He added that Syria, which has refused to break its ties with Tehran, could also be a target for Western intervention.

“There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, and Israel is pushing the Americans towards it,” Patrushev said in an interview published on the website of the daily Kommersant.

“There is a real danger of a US military strike on Iran,” the senior Russian security official said.

“At present, the US sees Iran as its main problem. They are trying to turn Tehran from an enemy into a supportive partner, and to achieve this, to change the current regime by whatever means,” he added.

“They use both economic embargo and massive help to the opposition forces.”

Patrushev said that “for years we have been hearing practically next week that the Iranians are going to create an atomic bomb, (but) still nobody has proved the existence of a military component of Iran’s nuclear programme.”

Iran said Wednesday it had firm evidence that “foreign quarters” were behind the killings of Iranian nuclear experts and demanded UN Security Council condemnation of the deaths.

Patrushev said the current tension over Syria was linked to the Iran issue.

“They want to punish Damascus not so much for the repression of the opposition, but rather for its refusal to break off relations with Tehran,” he insisted.

“There is information that NATO members and some Arab states of the Persian Gulf, acting in line with the scenario seen in Libya, intend to turn the current interference with Syrian affairs into a direct military intervention.”

In this instance, the Russian official said, “the main strike forces will be supplied not by France, Britain and Italy, but possibly by neighbouring Turkey.”

Washington and Ankara may already be working on plans for a no-fly zone to enable armed Syrian rebel units to build up, he said.

The United States said Wednesday it would reduce the number of staff at its embassy in Damascus…

Notes Fri 13 Jan 12

Notes and links of interest from today's postings in the Further Left Chat Room, Facebook, and Twitter are duplicated on the others and here. Updates are added at the top of this post as information develops.

Israeli agents posed as CIA to recruit terrorists

US soldier speaks the truth - war crimes exposed

Complicity in Torture

PressTV - 'US, Israel launch proxy war against Iran'

Palestinian youth ‘fed up with illegitimate representation’ to protest negotiations

PressTV - Iran to probe N-assassination via IAEA

MaánNews - Haniyeh: Gaza 'will not break' under Israeli attack

Natural News - Leaked documents reveal US diplomats actually work for Monsanto

News24 - Fight to reclaim the ANC, Malema urges

RT - Secret intel report leaked: US in Afghan dead end

PressTV - Turkey defies US over Iran sanctions

CNTV - Cuba, Iran vow to boost collaboration and friendship

World Socialist - US prepares for war against China

RT - Deadly Spark: What can trigger US-Iran war?

Car Bomb Attack

Kills Fifth Iranian Nuclear Scientist

By John Glaser, 11 January 2012, AntiWar.Com

This is only the latest in a string of targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists suspected to be the work of the US and Israel

An Iranian nuclear scientist who supervised a department at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility has been killed by a bomb placed on his car by two assailants in northern Tehran.

The attack strongly resembles earlier killings of scientists working on the country’s nuclear program, which have been linked to U.S. and Israeli covert actions.

The car bomb killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz facility. ”The deputy governor of Tehran is blaming the attack on Israel, saying it wants to destabilize the country ahead of presidential elections in March,” Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari said.

Previously, a similar attack on January 2010, killed Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a senior physics professor at Tehran University, when a bomb-rigged motorcycle exploded near his car as he was about to leave for work.

In November 2010, a pair of back-to-back bomb attacks in different parts of the capital killed a nuclear scientist, Majid Shahriari, a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran and involved with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

Another incident in July 2011 involved two unidentified gunmen on motorcycles who assassinated Darioush Rezaeinejad. Some reports said Rezaeinejad was an electronics student, while others said he was a scientist working on the nuclear program.

In November, the Guardian reported unequivocally that U.S.-Israeli “black operations” have “targeted Iran’s scientists.” And in August, the German paper Der Spiegel leaked an admission from an Israeli intelligence official that Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, had been involved in the assassinations.

Speaking to the latest of such killings at the time, Der Spiegel wrote “There is little doubt in the shadowy world of intelligence agencies that Israel is behind the assassination of Darioush Rezaei.” The Israeli intelligence official told the reporter, “That was the first serious action taken by the new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo.”

In a closed-door parliamentary meeting on Tuesday, Israel’s military chief of staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz said Iran should expect “continuing and growing pressure from the international community and things which take place in an unnatural manner.” This was widely interpreted as referring to covert acts of sabotage and violence in Iran.

There is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, and the opinion of the U.S. intelligence community, the Obama administration, and the latest IAEA report is that Iran’s enrichment is so far civilian in nature. Given this, if these attacks have been carried out by the U.S. and Israel, they are simply unprovoked acts of terrorism.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Notes Thu 12 Jan 12

Notes and links of interest from today's postings in the Further Left Chat Room, Facebook, and Twitter are duplicated on the others and here. Updates are added at the top of this post as information develops.

News24 - Zuma takes aim at UN over Libya airstrikes

Fox Shut Out of Canada Because of a Law Against Lying During Newscasts

News24 - Marine unit urinating on murdered victims identified

EurasiaReview - After Iran, Venezuela

Salon - More murder of Iranian scientists still terrorism

ForeignPolicy - Israel's emerging 'Jewish Hezbollah'

World Socialist - South Africa's ANC at 100: A balance sheet of bourgeois nationalism

RT - Judge rules in favor of Occupy Wall Street protesters retaking Zuccotti Park [VIDEO]

RT - US Marines urinate upon dead Afghans on camera [VIDEO]

PressTV - The Russian government has announced it will not join proposed US and European sanctions against Iran's oil.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Money Masters

The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching plan, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole...Their secret is that they have annexed from governments, monarchies, and republics the power to create the world's money..." T

HE MONEY MASTERS is a 3 1/2 hour non-fiction, historical documentary that traces the origins of the political power structure that rules our nation and the world today. The modern political power structure has its roots in the hidden manipulation and accumulation of gold and other forms of money. The development of fractional reserve banking practices in the 17th century brought to a cunning sophistication the secret techniques initially used by goldsmiths fraudulently to accumulate wealth.

With the formation of the privately-owned Bank of England in 1694, the yoke of economic slavery to a privately-owned "central" bank was first forced upon the backs of an entire nation, not removed but only made heavier with the passing of the three centuries to our day. Nation after nation, including America, has fallen prey to this cabal of international central bankers.

Segments: The Problem; The Money Changers; Roman Empire; The Goldsmiths of Medieval England; Tally Sticks; The Bank of England; The Rise of the Rothschilds; The American Revolution; The Bank of North America; The Constitutional Convention; First Bank of the U.S.; Napoleon's Rise to Power; Death of the First Bank of the U.S. / War of 1812; Waterloo; Second Bank of the U.S.; Andrew Jackson; Fort Knox; World Central Bank

Notes Wed 11 Jan 12

Notes and links of interest from today's postings in the Further Left Chat Room, Facebook, and Twitter are duplicated on the others and here. Updates are added at the top of this post as information develops.

RT - GOP Primaries a dog and pony show? [VIDEO]

You ever seen 100 people in full Gitmo garb walk single file through DC?

SFGate - US refuses to deny its role in car bomb that killed 4th Iranian nuclear scientist

CCTV - Tehran bombing victim was on staff of Natanz nuclear enrichment site:

RT - Mossad it again? 4th Iranian nuclear scientist bombed

Ma'an News - Iran official blames Israel as bomb kills nuclear 4th nuclear scientist

Jordanian Convoy Readies To Send Aid To Gaza

Israel has fired 75 shells during a military exercise into the occupied Lebanese territory of Sheba'a Farms,...

SFGate - Iranian Nuclear Scientist Killed in New Attack Against Program

CCTV - Separate attacks kill 10 in northern Mexico

News24 - Nigeria chaos grows, 16 killed in attacks

Washington Post - WikiLeaks: US secretly backed Syrian opposition groups

YouTube - Minister Farrakhan Responds to President Obama's NDAA Bill

RT - The New York Times employees are in revolt

RT - 'US builds hospitals in Georgia, readies for war with Iran’

RT - US laundered millions for drug cartels

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Stolen War

By Uri Avnery, 7 January 2012, AntiWar.Com

Is there no limit to the villainy of Hamas? Seems there isn’t.

This week, they did something quite unforgivable.

They stole a war.

For some weeks now, our almost new Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, has been announcing at every possible opportunity that a new war against the Gaza Strip is inevitable. Several commanders of the troops around the Strip have been repeating this dire forecast, as have their camp-followers, a.k.a. military commentators.

One of these comforted us. True, Hamas can now hit Tel Aviv with their rockets, but that will not be so terrible, because it will be a short war. Just three or four days. As one of the generals said, it will be much more “hard and painful” (for the Arabs) than Cast Lead I, so it will not last for three weeks, as that did. We shall all stay in our shelters – those of us who have shelters, anyway – for just a few days.

Why is the war inevitable? Because of the terrorism, stupid. Hamas is a terrorist organization, isn’t it?

But along comes the supreme Hamas leader, Khaled Mash’al, and declares that Hamas has given up all violent action. From now on it will concentrate on nonviolent mass demonstrations, in the spirit of the Arab Spring.

When Hamas forswears terrorism, there is no pretext for an attack on Gaza.

But is a pretext needed? Our army will not let itself be thwarted by the likes of Mash’al. When the army wants a war, it will have a war. This was proved in 1982, when Ariel Sharon attacked Lebanon, despite the fact that the Lebanese border had been absolutely quiet for 11 months. (After the war, the myth was born that it was preceded by daily shooting. Today, almost every Israeli can “remember” the shooting – an astonishing example of the power of suggestion.

Why does the Chief of Staff want to attack?

A cynic might say that every new Chief of Staff needs a war to call his own. But we are not cynics, are we?

Every few days, a solitary rocket is launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel. It rarely hits anything but an empty field. For months, now, no one has been hurt.

The usual sequence is like this: our air force carries out a “targeted liquidation” of Palestinian militants in the strip. The army claims invariably that these specific “terrorists” had intended to attack Israelis. How did the army know of their intentions? Well, our army is a master thought reader.

After the persons have been killed, their organization considers it its duty to avenge their blood by launching a rocket or a mortar shell, or even two or three. This “cannot be tolerated” by the army, and so it goes on.

After every such episode, the talk about a war starts again. As American politicians put it in their speeches at AIPAC conferences: “No country can tolerate its citizens being exposed to rockets!”

But of course, the reasons for Cast Lead II are more serious. Hamas is being accepted by the international community. Their Prime Minister, Isma’il Haniyeh, is now traveling around the Arab and Muslim world, after being shut in Gaza – a kind of Strip-arrest – for four years. Now he can cross into Egypt because the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ parent organization, has become a major player there.

Even worse, Hamas is about to join the PLO and take part in the Palestinian government. High time to do something about it. Attack Gaza, for example. Compel Hamas to become extremist again.

Not content with stealing our war, Mash’al is carrying out a series of more sinister actions.

By joining the PLO, he is committing Hamas to the Oslo agreements and all the other official deals between Israel and the PLO. He has announced that Hamas accepts a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. He has let it be known that Hamas would not contest the Palestinian presidency this year, so that the Fatah candidate – whoever that may be – would be elected practically unopposed and be able to negotiate with Israel.

All this would put the present Israeli government in a difficult position. Mash’al has some experience in causing trouble for Israel. In 1977, the (first) Netanyahu government decided to get rid of him in Amman. A team of Mossad agents was sent to assassinate him in the street by spraying his ear with an untraceable poison. But instead of doing the decent thing and dying quietly from a mysterious cause, like Yasser Arafat, he let his bodyguard chase the attackers and catch them.

King Hussein, Israel’s longstanding friend and ally, was hopping mad. He presented Netanyahu with a choice: either the agents would be tried in Jordan and possibly hanged, or the Mossad would immediately send the secret antidote to save Mash’al. Netanyahu capitulated, and here we have Mash’al, very much alive and kicking.

Another curious outcome of this misadventure: the king demanded that the Hamas founder and leader, the paralyzed Sheik Ahmad Yassin, be released from Israeli prison. Netanyahu obliged, Yassin was released and assassinated by Israel seven years later. When his successor, Abd al-Aziz Rantissi, was assassinated soon after, the path was cleared for Mash’al to become the Hamas chief.

And instead of showing his gratitude, he now confronts us with a dire challenge: nonviolent action, indirect peace overtures, the two-state solution.

A question: why does our Chief of Staff long for a little war in Gaza, when he could have all the war he desires in Iran? Not just a little operation, but a big war, a very very big war.

Well, he knows that he cannot have it.

Some time ago I did something no experienced commentator ever does. I promised that there would be no Israeli military attack on Iran. (Nor, for that matter, an American one.)

An experienced journalist or politician never makes such a prediction without leaving a loophole for himself. He puts in an inconspicuous “unless”. If his forecast goes awry, he points to that loophole.

I do have some experience – some 60 or so years of it – but I did not leave any loophole. I said No War, and now General Gantz says the same in so many words. No Tehran, just poor little Gaza.

Why? Because of that one word: Hormuz.

Not the ancient Persian god Hormuzd, but the narrow strait that is the entrance and exit of the Persian Gulf, through which 20% of the world’s oil (and 35% of the sea-borne oil) flows. My contention was that no sane (or even mildly insane) leader would risk the closing of the strait, because the economic consequences would be catastrophic, even apocalyptic.

It seems that the leaders of Iran were not sure that all the world’s leaders read this column, so, just in case, they spelled it out themselves. This week they conducted conspicuous military maneuvers around the Strait of Hormuz, accompanied by the unequivocal threat to close it.

The US responded with vainglorious counter-threats. The invincible US Navy was ready to open the strait by force, if needed.

How, pray? The mightiest multi-billion-dollar aircraft carrier can be easily sunk by a battery of cheap land-to-sea missiles, as well as by small missile-boats. Let’s assume Iran starts to act out its threats. The whole might of the US air force and navy is brought to bear. Iranian ships will be sunk, missile and army installations bombed. Still the Iranian missiles will come in, making passage through the strait impossible.

What next? There will be no alternative to “boots on the ground”. The US army will have to land on the shore and occupy all the territory from which missiles can be effectively launched. That would be a major operation. Fierce Iranian resistance must be expected, judging from the experience of the eight-year Iraqi-Iranian war. The oil wells in neighboring Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states will also be hit.

Such a war would go far beyond the dimensions of the American invasions of Iraq or Afghanistan, perhaps even of Vietnam.

Is the bankrupt US up to it? Economically, politically and in terms of morale? The closing of the strait is the ultimate weapon. I don’t believe that the Iranians will use it against the imposition of sanctions, severe as they may be, as they have threatened. Only a military attack would warrant such a response.

If Israel attacks alone – “the most stupid idea I ever heard of,” as our former Mossad chief put it – that will make no difference. Iran will consider it an American action, and close the strait. That’s why the Obama administration put its foot down, and hand-delivered to Netanyahu and Ehud Barak an unequivocal order to abstain from any military action.

That’s where we are now. No war in Iran. Just the prospect of a war in Gaza. And along comes this evil Mash’al and tries to spoil the chances of that, too.

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