KEEPING WATCH: DRONES IN ALL SIZES
WORLD — firstname.lastname@example.org
"Russia is developing a new 20-ton attack drone that may be used to carry out strikes on stationary and moving targets over land and sea, according to news reports."
But the big ones may not be as threating as the bitty ones.
Is there a moral to the story of Man?
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff demanded on Monday that Canada explain a media report that said it spied on the Brazilian mines and energy ministry, and she called on the United States and its allies to stop spying over the Internet.
A Brazilian television report on Sunday said Canada's electronic eavesdropping agency targeted the ministry that manages the South American nation's vast mineral and oil resources. The report was based on documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Brazil "will demand explanations from Canada," said Rousseff, via Twitter. Because many Canadian companies are active in Brazil's mining industry, the spying could be a clear case of industrial espionage, Rousseff said.
Rubs between North and South America can be expected to create opportunities for additional BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) trade enhancements.
10/6/2013 THE POWER OF THE AUTOMOBILE
Vehicle penetration in China stands at only about 85 vehicles per 1,000 people, compared with approximately 800 vehicles per 1,000 people in the US
Below, a summary of global car production by country in 2011:
% of total
China has about 1.3 billion people, the US about .3 billion people and We the People of the Planet love our cars so.... Where is all the oil going to come from to keep us all happy?
So far 51,213,000 cars have been produced this year. http://www.worldometers.info/cars/
So, if Iran has to hold some of its oil for awhile due to sanctions, who is it going to hurt? If You had an underground lake of oil, is now the time You would sell it? And if You wanted to sell some of it, what would be more important, cash or the long term security of your holdings? Both are important but if You had to skimp for awhile.... I think I would if I could.... how about You? Iran is just getting by right now, skirting sanctions with China and seeking to secure her future in the world. To protect her oil she needs somebody she can trust or.... or the bomb. Good luck finding someone You can trust. Still, if You ever have to use the Bomb You would lose everything. So what would You do if You were Iran? Too bad there is no functional United Nations unless You are the bully on the block.
“Last week, for the first time since the 1979 Iranian revolution, the US president spoke with his Iranian counterpart. Their 15 minute telephone call was reported to open the door to further high-level discussions. This is a very important event.
I have been saying for years that we should just talk to the Iranians. After all, we talked to the Soviets when they actually had thousands of nuclear missiles pointed at us! The Iranians have none, according to our own intelligence services. I even suggested a few years ago that we should “offer friendship” to them. Unfortunately, so many so-called experts have a stake in keeping tensions high and pushing us to war. They did not want to hear what I was saying. It seems, though, this is beginning to change now with these recent events.
The phone call was one of the most important moves away from war and conflict in a long time. Taken with the Obama administration’s decision to hold off on bombing Syria, we should be encouraged.
It is also probably a good sign that this phone call has infuriated the neoconservatives at home, the pro-war faction in Israel, and the hard-liners in Iran. Now that a process of negotiation has begun, the chance of war has been significantly reduced. The US is very unlikely to bomb Iran while it is talking with them, and Israel is also unlikely to start a war while the US is at the negotiating table with the Iranian leadership. “
Written by Ron Paul
I DO, I REMEMBER, RON PAUL SAYING
"WE SHOULD JUST TALK TO THE IRANIANS."
But do we know how?
10/6/2013 Yet another news release on Anas al-Libi?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. commando raids in Libya and Somalia suggest the future shape of U.S. counterterrorism efforts — brief, targeted raids against highly sought extremist figures — and highlight the rise of Africa as a terrorist haven.
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, said al-Libi has "vast intelligence value."
McKeon, R-Calif., said President Barack Obama should "fully exploit this potential" before moving on to his prosecution. The White House seemed to agree, saying Saturday's raid in Tripoli was specifically designed to apprehend, not kill, the suspect.
"The president has made clear our preference for capturing terrorist targets when possible, and that's exactly what we've done in order to elicit as much valuable intelligence as we can and bring a dangerous terrorist to justice," said the White House National Security Council's spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden."
This has been coming for months as troops have been stationed secretly throughout Africa. Anyone who does not toe the World Bank line will be deemed a terrorist.
It appears Obama may be backing away from terroristic drone attacks and premeditated murder. As for torture, well no promises there on this one. However, the exercise appears to be more for show than substance. Testing, testing, testing....
The Taliban didn't target Malala Yousafzai because of her advocacy of education for girls but because she "attacked Islam," and the group would try to kill her again if they could, the official spokesman for the Pakistan Taliban told ABC News.
It sounds like the witch hunts in Europe of not so long ago. This too, tragic as it is, shall pass. We must not let it allow it to dehumanize Us or Them.
By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab.
Tripoli, 6 October 2013:
The group who seized Nazih Al-Ruqaii, alias Abu Anas Al-Libi, yesterday were not Americans but Libyans, Hashim Bishar, has told the Libya Herald. “We’re 100-percent sure of it,” the head of Tripoli SSC said this afternoon. The leader of the group, however, was “foreign”, he said, but would not say from where.
The incident had taken place in Tripoli’s Nufleen district, Bishr added, not near the Airport Road, as had earlier been stated.
Meanwhile, the government has asked for an explanation from the US government as to what happened. It says that it was not involved and gave no permission for the abduction.
There are fears is Tripoli this evening that the kidnapping could be a game changer and seriously backfire on the US, for which there has generally been high regard until now."
Read more: http://www.libyaherald.com/2013/10/06/al-ruqaii-kidnappers-were-libyan-says-bishr/#ixzz2gyLDQeWA Emphasis added
And what if the shoe was on the other foot? Like some Iraqis kidnapping Bush and taking him to the Hague to stand trial for war crimes?
"The suspected al-Qaida figure nabbed by U.S. special forces in a dramatic operation in the Libyan capital had been living freely in his homeland after his return there three years ago, his family said. Libya's government asked for an explanation Sunday from the United States after the Americans seized Abu Anas al-Libi from a Tripoli street outside his home and whisked him out of the country."
"The Libyan interim government distanced itself from the operation and called the U.S. capture a kidnapping. Tripoli has requested an explanation from Washington about the raid, the country's state news agency reported Sunday.
The mission was conducted with the knowledge of the Libyan government, said one U.S. official. The Pentagon said the U.S. military was holding al Libi in a "secure location" outside Libya."
It appears Libya has joined Pakistan as a client state of the US.
"A client state is a state that is economically, politically or militarily subordinate to another more powerful state in international affairs."
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Client_state
United States Carries Out Military Attacks in Somalia and Libya
Since the overthrow of Colonel Qaddafi, Tripoli has slid steadily into lawlessness, with no strong central government or police presence. It has become a safe haven for militants seeking to avoid detection elsewhere, and United States government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential information, have acknowledged in recent months that Abu Anas and other wanted terrorists had been seen moving freely around the capital.
Read more: http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/
Make that a failed state.
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failed_state
10/6/2013 END GAME ?
Abdul Bassit Haroun, a former Islamist militia commander who works with the Libyan government on security, said the U.S. raid would show Libya was no refuge for "international terrorists".
"But it is also very bad that no state institutions had the slightest information about this process, nor do they have a force which was able to capture him," he told Reuters.
"This means the Libyan state simply does not exist."
He warned that Islamist militants, like those blamed for the fatal attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi a year ago, would hit back violently: "This won't just pass," Haroun said.
"There will be a strong reaction in order to take revenge because this is one of the most important al Qaeda figures."
So, if Libya "does not exist", does that mean it is time for another war? Time to attack all the Islamist rebels that helped overthrow Gadhafi? Time to attack the Al Qaeda left overs that refused to go to Syria? Time to clean house and get rid of witnesses around Benghazi? Time to finish the job of wiping out stubborn Gadhafi supporters? Time for another humanitarian gesture? Time to make Libya just another.....? Call it like You see it.
The World Bank (US) and NATO call it a gold mine, an ocean of Oil, a Great Man Made River and a source of endless reconstruction and development debt for the people of Libya.
The cry of Western imperialism: There shall be no Independent Africa!
Well, how does it look to You? I just put pieces together and then step back and take a look for patterns. Since they did not murder the guy my guess is he is more of a scape goat than a spokesperson.
10/5/2013 WHO CAN BE TRUSTED
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday he supported moderate President Hassan Rouhani's diplomatic opening at the U.N. General Assembly last week but added, "While we are optimistic about our government's diplomatic staff, we are pessimistic about the Americans. The U.S. government is not trustworthy, is self-important, and breaks its promises."
Yes, We the People know that both domestically and internationally, the United States Government is not to be trusted. Its domestic spying program and the rollback of our civil liberties, spiraling debt and the recent shutdown have robbed Us of the homey feel that We so much enjoyed in the past. For this there will be the People to pay as democracy continues to gives the People the Government We demand in our voices and our votes and therefore deserve.
However, your assessment of the integrity of the US in the midst of sensitive negations is of questionable etiquette, no matter how true.
We all remember that both Gadhafi and Hussein rolled back their nuclear programs and…. well we all know how well that worked out for them. You are on the same "hit list" they were on. So what does Iran need to do? A UN resolution is worthless as the US has recently made it clear that it will unilaterally attack other nations in violation of the UN Charter. (You could ask to join NATO, just joking of course. )
So, to add some clout to an agreement with the US for the unilateral nuclear disarmament of Iran (You see, We do not trust You either in your current claim that You have not yet developed nuclear weapons capacity) Iran might want to consider having either Russia or China or both enter into a public agreement to protect the sovereignty of Iran and Syria as if it was their own. While it sounds like the cold war all over again, the world needs a balance of power or a strong international organization for stability and currently we have neither. But does Iran, or anyone for that matter, dare trust Russia or China?
What is to keep the US and Russia and Israel from reaching some agreement among them on taking over the marketing of Iranian oil to their mutual benefit but to the undoing of Iran? My point is, there is no one Iran can trust. Like China, Russia, the US, Pakistan, India, Israel… the international motto of sovereignty in the nuclear age is… In the Bomb We Trust. The UN dream is still a dream.
So what should Iran do? What would We the People of the US do I We were in their place?
10/4/2013 A LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN DAVE LOEBSACK
RE: WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION STUDY OF THE HEALTH EFFECTS ON PERSONS POTENTIALLY EXPOSED TO DEPLETED URANIUM MUNITIONS IN IRAQ
Congressman Dave Loebsack
What is the status on the WHO report on the rate of birth defects and cancer in Iraq since the war (with special interest on Fallujah)?
What if any environmental studies have been completed to determine the extent of environmental contamination with DU (depleted uranium) in areas where spikes in cancers and birth defects have occurred?
Have studies also been done to track the impact of DU on US Personnel stationed in Iraq in areas where spikes in cancer and birth defects have been detected in the civilian population?
Can I count on You to keep me updated on new information as it becomes available? To facilitate that I have asked to receive your email newsletter.
THE ROVING EYE
CHINA: We don't do shutdowns
"The bumper-to-bumper debt gridlock in Washington leaves no room for US President Barack Obama to pivot to Asia as he is forced to give regional summits in Indonesia and Brunei a miss. That leaves Chinese President Xi Jinping to bask, unrivalled, in center-stage glow. The no-show only reinforces perceptions that US foreign policy is in a mess - and that while the US does shutdowns, China brings cash to the table."
- Pepe Escobar (Oct 4, '13) http://www.atimes.com/
What this means is, hey, it is time to use the yuan instead of the dollar. Trade with China.
SYRIA: A STAGED INCIDENT? WERE GASSED CHILDREN KIDNAP VICTIMS?
"… while so much attention has been placed on the UN chemical weapons report (which was not tasked with determining the guilt over who used the chemical weapons), very little attention has been paid to another report compiled by the International Support Team for Mussalaha (Consilience) in Syria for the International Institute For Peace, Justice, and Human Rights released on September 15, 2013.
The report, entitled “The Chemical Attacks On East Ghouta: To Justify Military Right To Protect Intervention In Syria,” and authored largely by Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross, who is President of ISTEAMS, not only argues that the chemical weapons attacks were the handiwork of the Syrian death squads, but also that the entire ordeal was a carefully crafted and planned propaganda campaign utilizing kidnapped citizens from Lattakiah, Syria as stage props.
Lattakiah was the area which was invaded and overrun by death squads in early August 2013, with 11 Alawite villages being overrun on August 4and over 150 women and children abducted by Jobhat al Nusra. Allegedly, the Nusra Front was attempting to use them as ransom for the release of jailed detainees.
In addition, shortly before the Ghouta chemical attack, dozens of civilians were abducted in Rabiha and marched through the streets as if they were cattle.
While the whereabouts of these individuals were unknown ever since their disappearance, some of them were identified by virtue of photographs and YouTube videos shown to relatives of the chemical weapons attacks in Ghouta.
In other words, a number of the Lattakiah kidnapping victims were later discovered in Ghouta as victims of the chemical weapons attack."
In memory of the USS Liberty, the next question has to be asked, were CIA operatives involved in the planning or the staging of the event?
Early on Ron Paul thinks the gassing of the children in Syria was very likely a false flag.
Following the broadcasting of the images of the massacre in Ghouta, distributed by the Free Syrian Army and relayed by US and French services, Alawite families from Latakia have filed a complaint for murder.
Some of these videos were filmed and posted on Youtube before the events they picture .
They show children suffocating from a chemical intoxication that can’t possibly be sarin gas (the latter provokes yellow drool, not white drool).
The children do not correspond to a sample of the population: they are all almost of the same age and have light hair. They are not accompanied by their grieving families.
They are in fact children who were abducted by jihadists two weeks before in Alawite villages in the surroundings of Latakia, 200km away from Ghouta.
Contrary to the sayings of the Free Syrian Army and the Western services, the only identified victims of the Ghouta massacre are those belonging to families that support the Syrian government. In the videos, the individuals that show outrage against the ’’crimes of Bashar el-Assad’’ are in reality their killers.
The article above is obviously disturbing. If criminal charges for kidnapping and murder play out then we should learn more. The evidence of the Ghouta gassing is obviously not a slam dunk. There are other reports noting that the same children are rearranged in various scenes.
Egypt's government is moving to seize the assets of the Muslim Brotherhood after the group's activities were banned amid a crackdown by authorities.
It says it will also ban or take over the extensive social services the group provides - including hospitals, schools and charities.
The ban came in a recent court ruling but has only now been confirmed following a hiatus for appeals.
"By the law, by the last sentence, they are now banned," an official said.
Hani Mahanna, spokesman for the minister of social solidarity - the ministry responsible for administering the ban - said the cabinet had formed a committee to investigate the Brotherhood's sources of funds and take over its assets.
He said if charities were proven to have links, "direct or indirect, with the Muslim Brotherhood - whether educational or medical - they will be bound by the court's decision, and the government will have to take them over."
JUST IMAGE, INSTEAD OF SHUTTING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT WHEN PARTIES CANNOT AGREE, THE MOST POWERFUL PARTY DISSOLVES THE MINORITY PARTY WITH THE BLESSING OF THE COURTS AND THAT UNDER THE GUISE OF NATIONAL SECURITY.
BEIJING — Nineteen province-level governments in China collected a total of $2.7 billion in fines last year from parents who had violated family planning laws, which usually limit couples to one child, a lawyer who had requested the data said Thursday.
US population growth rate is .7% while China's is .49%. China is thinking about easing up on the one child policy. China is currently the world's largest user of energy. China is expected to surpass the US in oil consumption in the next few years as automobile sales in China already exceed those in the US. China needs more oil.
ATTACK ON RUSSIAN EMBASSY IN LIBYA How Russia sees it.
"The Russian embassy in Tripoli, Libya, has come under fire and there were attempts to get into Russia’s diplomatic compound, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement....
A similar attack on Russia’s Tripoli embassy took place in February 2012 when protesters stormed the compound, condemning Russian and Chinese decisions to block the UN resolution against Syria. No one was injured in that attack.
Nearly two years after Gaddafi was deposed and killed, Tripoli and other Libyan cities have been plagued by violence, lawlessness and factional infighting.
The presence of militiamen remains more visible than actual state security forces in the capital, while vast portions of the oil-producing desert country remain completely out of the central government’s control.
Libya’s prime minister has appealed for international help as the country struggles through political turmoil amid stunted oil exportation which is costing the country $130 million a day.
As Libya continues to be mired in post-Western intervention disarray, Gaddafi's overthrow has not shown to have yielded a conciliatory political climate as many had hoped.
“Ever since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s government we’ve seen in Libya the mob rule of countless militias or death squads,” activist and journalist Sukant Chandan told RT.
One of the most vicious attacks on foreign embassies in Libya took place in September 2012, when the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed as armed militants assaulted Washington's consulate in Benghazi."
GERMANY THINKS THEY'RE SPECIAL. "Germany's Foreign Ministry says it has contacted U.S. authorities over their decision to deny a German author entry to the United States.
Ilija Trojanow says he was refused permission to board a flight from Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, to Miami on Monday without explanation. He told the Spiegel Online website that the denial of entry might be linked to his criticism of the U.S. National Security Agency."
LIBYA INSERT: Ahmed Elumami from Tripoli reported in the Libya Herald on 17 September 2013 that Derna University in eastern Libya has agreed to separate male and female students saying that it is part of Islamic law.
But Hillary said......
WE WAIT FOR THE REAL NSA STORY
The NSA's been rather busy over the past few years, tracking everything from your emails to phone calls, and now the New York Times is reporting that it even conducted a secret project to collect data about the location of American's cellphones in 2010 and 2011. The project was ultimately not implemented and only recently surfaced in a pre-written answer for the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper, should the subject come up in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. According to the Times, details about the project are scarce, and Senator Ron Wyden said that "the real story" behind the project has yet to be declassified.
The Senate Intelligence Committee
By Glenn Greenwald
theguardian.com, Friday 27 September 2013 07.14 EDT
“But there are two members of that Committee who actually do take seriously its oversight mandate: Democrats Ron Wyden and Mark Udall… spent years publicly winking and hinting that the NSA under President Obama was engaged in all sorts of radical and abusive domestic surveillance (although - despite the absolute immunity protection they enjoy as Senators under the Constitution - they took no action, and instead waited for Edward Snowden (who had no such immunity) to bravely step up and reveal to the American people specifically what these two Senators kept hinting at).
Indeed, if I had to pick the single most revealing aspect of this entire NSA scandal - and there are many revealing ones about many different realms - it would be that James Clapper lied to the faces of the Senate Intelligence Committee about core NSA matters, and not only was he not prosecuted for that felony, but he did not even lose his job, and continues to be treated with great reverence by the very Committee which he deliberately deceived. That one fact tells you all you need to know about how official Washington functions.”
READ MORE @ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/27/ron-wyden-nsa-systematically-deceived
Obama pardoned Bush not Manning.
2011 The Great Man Made River Water Supply Project
"Gaddafi was often ridiculed in the West for persevering with such an ambitious project. Pejorative terms such "pipedream", "pet project" and "mad dog" appeared in UK and US media. Despite a certain amount of awe for the enormity of the construction, the Great Man-made River was often dismissed as a "vanity project" and then rarely mentioned in western media. But truth is, it’s a world class water delivery system, and often visited by overseas engineers and planners wanting to learn from Libyan expertise in water transfer hydro-engineering.
On 22 July this year (2011), four months into the air strikes to "protect civilians", NATO forces hit the GMMR water supply pipeline. For good measure the following day, NATO destroyed the factory near Brega that produces the pipes to repair it, along with killing six guards there.
NATO air strikes on the electricity supply, as well as depriving civilians of electricity, mean that water pumping stations are no longer operating in areas even where the pipelines remain intact. Water supply for the 70% of the population who depend on the piped supply has been compromised with this damage to Libya’s vital infrastructure.
Oh, and by the way, attacking essential civilian infrastructure is a war crime."
See more: http://www.uruknet.info/?new=81150
“Zeidan (current President of Libya) wants to buy himself out of his political and security problems by spending all of Libya’s savings”, a GNC (General National Congress) member confided in Libya Herald anonymously. “What even the dictator Qaddafi saved in decades – nearly LD 200 billion – Zeidan is going to waste on wages and subsidies in a two or three years”, one irate GNC member told Libya Herald.
The Danish companies will be looking for business opportunities in energy and water supply and oil and gas; infrastructure, construction, security and defence; medical and health and agriculture, food and non-food.
Read more: http://www.libyaherald.com/2012/04/02/danish-trade-delegation-due-april-29/#ixzz2gWcxgpRB
Could it be that the idea is to bankrupt the debt free country, then have the World Bank make excessive loans for oil and infrastructure development to fix what NATO broke and end up taking control of the oil while opening the door for international firms and western banks to enter Libya and gain control of the economy?
And what did Chris Stevens think about the NATO/US "humanitarian" bombing of infrastructure? What did Chris think about weapons shipments to Syria? And in thinking - whose wrath did he incur? Who murdered Chris and who failed to protect him? How is it that Gaddafi was able to keep the nation out of debt? All good questions.
Life in Libya under the Dictator
Emphasis added: To be edited later for brevity.
By law, all employees are entitled to sickness, invalid, disability, death, and maternity benefits and unemployment payments, and all residents are entitled to pensions. These cost of these programs is shared by employers, employees and the government. Survivor benefits are paid to widows, siblings, or sons. Rehabilitation programs are provided for sick and disabled employees to provide them with new employment opportunities. Lump sum grants are provided for maternity, births, and funerals. Profit sharing, free medical care and education, and subsidized food are other social welfare benefits.
Despite a constitutional proclamation providing equality for women, customary Muslim restrictions still apply. Women are granted full legal rights, but few women work outside of the home, and those that do remain in low-paid positions. There is evidence to suggest that younger, urban women are gradually becoming more emancipated. Younger women in urban areas have largely discarded the veil, although in rural areas it is still widely used. Women still must obtain their husband's permission in order to leave the country. Violence against women remains a serious problem and is not discussed publicly.
There have been many reports of continuing human rights violations, including torture. Under Libyan law, persons may be detained incommunicado for unlimited periods, and the government has defended its practice of imprisoning political dissenters. Citizens do not have the right to legal counsel or to fair public trials.
Increasing urbanization has created slum conditions in the major cities. There have been slum clearance and building projects since 1954, but the housing deficit has not yet been met. Around 125,000 new homes were built between 1969 and 1977. Low-income families were allowed to buy ready-made houses from the state at 10% of cost or to build their own homes with interest-free loans. Real estate was the main area of private investment until 1978, when most tenants were made owners of their residences. The state paid full compensation to landlords for confiscated property and resold it to tenants at subsidized prices. As of the late 1980s, the last period for which housing information was available, total housing units numbered 700,000 with 5.6 people per dwelling
Read more: http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Africa/Libya-HOUSING.html#ixzz2gWmVG4Jz
When Libya attained independence, about 90% of its population was illiterate, and there were few university graduates. Since then, the government has invested heavily in education, which is free at all levels.
The Literacy rate; youth total (% of people ages 15-24) in Libya was 99.85 in 2009, according to a World Bank report, published in 2010. Youth literacy rate is the percentage of people ages 15-24 who can, with understanding, read and write a short, simple statement on their everyday life.This page includes a historical data chart, news and forecasts for Literacy rate; youth total (% of people ages 15-24) in Libya.
The fiscal year follows the calendar year. There are two budgets, one for ordinary expenses, the other (and larger one) for development. By law, 15% of total oil revenue is put aside yearly into the country's reserves, while 70% of the remainder goes to development expenditures. All non-oil revenues are assigned to cover ordinary expenditures, and any shortfall is made up by transferring some of the petroleum revenues from the development budget.
If funds from petroleum revenues are not sufficient to cover development expenses, some planned projects are postponed. Although Libya has used part of its oil revenue to finance internal development (new schools, hospitals, roads) much has been wasted. Limited privatization continued in 1993, involving the sale of some parastatal assets. In 1999, Libya announced the need for $150 billion of investment in the economy in order to retain a growth rate of 5%; 60–70% of the funds were to be financed by public monies.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2001 Libya's central government took in revenues of approximately $9.3 billion and had expenditures of $9.2 billion. Overall, the government registered a surplus of approximately $100 million. External debt totaled $4.7 billion
Agriculture is the only economic sector in which private ownership is still important. Cereals are grown in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica; agriculture in the Fezzan is concentrated in the oases. Virtually all crops are grown for domestic consumption. Nevertheless, most agricultural products must be imported; the cost, in 2001, was $790 million. Estimated agricultural output in 1999, in tons, included potatoes, 209,000; onions, 180,000; tomatoes, 240,000; wheat, 168,000; and barley, 75,000. The 1999 production of fruits, in tons, included watermelons, 212,000; oranges, 42,000; dates, 132,000; and olives, 190,000.
Libya is investing a significant share of national revenues in agriculture in the hope of someday becoming agriculturally self-sufficient; cultivation has been changing from subsistence farming to highly mechanized operations. Development plans aim to increase irrigation and introduce and extend the use of advanced techniques; seeds and fertilizers have been subsidized. Areas singled out for development include the Al-Jifara Plain in Tripolitania; the Jabal Akhdar, east of Banghazi; part of the Fezzan; and the oases of Kufrah and Sarir. In the Kufrah oasis, large, untapped water reserves are being utilized to help provide fodder for sheep. In 1984, Libya embarked on a massive project to pipe water to the coast from underwater aquifers. The project was designed to transport two million cu m of water per day via 2,000 km (1,240 mi) of pipeline from 270 artesian wells in the east to connect Sirte and Benghazi. The first phase was inaugurated in 1991 at a cost of $5 billion; the total project is estimated to cost $25 billion. In all, the scheme would provide 50 years of irrigation to the coastal areas, where 80% of Libya's agriculture is located.
A government agency markets farm produce and has authority to operate cooperatives and farms. The Agricultural Bank has been provided with sufficient capital to make short- and long-term loans easily available.
Notice no debt to the World Bank.
"KILL ANYTHING THAT MOVES"
There is a book out called, "Kill Anything that Moves". Go and read the reviews on Amazon written by Viet Nam Vets first and then decide if You want to read the book. Many of the reviews are good enough You may not need to read the book. For now I am putting it on hold.
See the chaos left behind in Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq? Might that have been the "mission"? Visit an Indian reservation. Was that the mission?
The Pan Arab, Pan African dreams of Hussein and Gadhafi are smushed... mission accomplished?
I am confused. I am seeking a personal vision for America. I need a new way of looking at US.
I need a new vision of what the mission of America might be. I need a dream, an American Dream that makes it possible for me to once again feel wonderful about America. Not a lifeless death mask to cover up the truth but a living dream courageous enough to seek out and celebrate our every mistake as an essential lesson learned in building our future. I do not want to defend the past or to desecrate the graves of my ancestors. I want to see clearly our mistakes and to learn from them. I for one, need a new national anthem. I for one need something other than bombs bursting in air to assure me our flag is still there.
I need a vision that looks fearlessly into the past and into the future.
A CONSPIRACY THEORY
I have a conspiracy theory. We are skillfully given just enough information to create conspiracy theories which allows those who keep the secrets and tell the lies to humiliate The People in our foolishly feeble attempts to put together the truth. From the spinners perspective this sure beats defending themselves for keeping us in the dark in the first place and from what must be the damning truth they are seeing to cover up.
This exercise reveals they are scoundrels but only they know the full scope of it. And while there may be some justice in that, it seems to me that we have gained a significant piece of actionable intelligence. We should stop being content with writing and ripping up conspiracy theories and simply throw the bums out!
AHHH... THERE IT IS AND NOW IT DAWNS ON ME....
9/30/2013 Just another conspiracy theory?
A true blue conspiracy of the CIA, Kissinger, Nixon, the US military and corporate America to overthrow a democratically elected government in Chili without the consent of the American People - what about that? If We the People are not the government, who is?
The American People were kept in the dark. There was no public debate. There were people in corporate America who knew what was going on and they were helping to fund it, but what did You and I, that is, what did We the People know? It is in this context that the invasion of Libya and the attack on Benghazi need to be understood as well. The CIA fanned the fires of rebellion in Libya from Benghazi and then after the death of Gadhafi turned the attention of the Benghazi operation toward Syria.
It appears that weapons and mercenaries were leaving Libya with the assistance of the State Department and the CIA while the people of the US still thought We were not supplying arms to Syria. Does it matter? Perhaps not. WWIII may well be over once it starts before We even know that it has begun. Therefore, any opportunity to avoid it must start now.
And why would the US be vehemently opposed to a democratic socialist or communistic government? I always thought the problem with communism, as compared to European Socialism, was the lack of democracy. I was taught that Communism was just a cover for a brutal dictatorship. But no, communism came to Chili like Christmas came in the "Grinch Stole Christmas". It came without a violent revolution. It came without a dictatorship. It came at the request of the people.
And Kissinger, playing the Grinch came back with...
"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."
Kissinger's Battle Cry of the Capitalists would be the shape of things to come from then on. The methods had to be polished of course and Big Oil and Big Banks would take the place of ITT (International Telephone and Telegraph).
Currently what We the People think of as our government is pretty much a movie screen stretched out over the corporate banking and business interests that rule the world and upon which the well scripted stories We watch, rolled out by the loyal standard press are projected. It works pretty well until something like Benghazi or Snowden happens and the truth starts to leak out faster than the scripts can be written to cover it up. Suddenly it is apparent that Clapper and company are lying full time as they fail to be quick enough on their feet to cover their bare behinds.
But take heart, 40 or 50 years later the truth will come out to all the yawns and ho hums you would expect.
They say your civil liberties have to be taken away, not to protect the "government" in their lying to you but to protect You in your innocence from the terrorists. Tell me, what civil liberty in the Bill of Rights cannot be taken away from the people under the guise of protecting You from small groups of terrorists or loony individuals? And how hard is it for the elite to produce the likes of them as required to keep You cowering in the dark? Is Al Qaeda just such a double dealing group?
Today in my Global Issues class, one student pointed out that there always has been and always will be a certain amount of "terrorist" activity.
What is different today is that such criminal activity is being used to empower an elite class and strip away the freedoms of the middle class. Today We are no longer the "home of the brave" and therefore taking our heady freedoms and burdensome responsibilities away is a piece of cake.
And when our protections are gone, who then is going to protect Us from the organized tyranny brought to us on the shoulders of the likes of Henry the Kissinger?
It all sounds like one big conspiracy theory, doesn't it? Well, let's hope it is. But keep it in the back of your mind as you are KEEPING WATCH and pay attention to what You think You are electing and what You are getting.
9/30/2013 I LOST IT!
I lost it. My head? No… well, yes. But no, the book. The book about the military coupe of the democratically elected government of Allende in Chile by … You know. Anyway, I cannot find the book and, no… I did not throw it out the back door…, honest, I didn’t. But, it’s gone. Did Joy hide it? She says no but she says she is not sure. But she said if she finds it she might give it back to Tawny. Tawny majored in political science before becoming a nurse. So when she decided on nursing she dumped her political science books on me. Is there some justice in this? Perhaps. Any way, the book and reviews are available on Amazon. The book is pricey but the reviews are free. http://www.amazon.com/The-Pinochet-Affair-Terrorism-Justice/dp/1842774344
If I never find it, would I buy another copy? Why would I pay for something so painful?
Yeah, Mom threw some books away but she also had a habit of reciting poetry in the morning as she rushed around getting ready to go teach 5th and 6th grade English at Lincoln School (right here in river city.) My favorite was “IF” by Kipling.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!
That is a tall order but there is something about it that sure feels good.
9/30/2013 JOY SAYS - On the carpet
I am reading the story of Allende and Pinochet, the story of the CIA, Kissinger, Nixon and corporate America overthrowing and torturing and murdering members of a Democratically elected government in Chile on 9/11, 1973. Kissinger continues to strut around like any arrogant "boy wonder" criminal who got off does, like Pinochet did for awhile, like Bush and Cheney and yes even like Obama does now. The dissonance between what I thought America was, what I though Obama was and what I now see, exploded in me this morning. I was angry that I was duped!
Joy said, "Steve, stop yelling, You have to stop reading that stuff. Go back to living your life as You have been. This is doing something really terrible to you. Look, the dog is peeing on the carpet."
I think Joy is telling me to throw the book away. That is what my mom did. She read Upton Sinclair's, "The Jungle" the story of the meat packing plants in Chicago and it upset her so much that she threw the book away, out the back door and went on eating roast beef. We remember it in the family as classical denial.
But hey, there is just so much any of us can do. It is time for the serenity prayer, time to accept what I cannot change.
But too, it is time to change what I can and to pray for the wisdom to know the difference.
That said, once again I must confess Joy is right. She is my guardian angel you know. She loves me and she does not cut me any slack. She says, I never should have retired. That's what Carol McCulley said too, You know. She said "Steve, get a job and leave the supervisors alone!"
As for what I can change.... I can go walk off my frustration, disillusionment and dissatisfaction with the dog instead of scaring the pee out of her.
THE NEED FOR QUALITY JOURNALISM
9/29/2013 Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the 'pathetic' American media.
"The republic's in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple."
Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Seymour Hersh goes on to implore journalists to do something about it.
I do not trust this Seymour guy but I listen to him and I appreciate his efforts and I will be Keeping Watch to see how well what he says matches up with what I see happening around me. He is certainly right about the lies but what I need, come time to vote, is "actionable intelligence". There is no question that we need much better journalism and far greater transparency in government at all levels. Right now I know I do not know and that is a blessing.
9/27/2013 FALLUJAH MASSACRE OR GENOCIDE?
The words of Ross Caputi
"There have been plenty of documentaries that deal with the horrors of combat, or the struggles that veterans have with PTSD, or their difficulties with reintegrating into society. But few have dealt with the moral injury that veterans incur from having participated in something that violates their sense of right and wrong. Moral injury from war is only starting to get the attention it deserves."
"My command told me we were fighting against evil, my country told me we were heros, my conscience told me something else." (In this We come to understand the suicides)
"The contradiction lies in believing that we were heroes, when the definition of "hero" bares no relation to our actions in Fallujah.
What we did to Fallujah cannot be undone, and I see no point in attacking the people in my former unit. What I want to attack are the lies and false beliefs. I want to destroy the prejudices that prevented us from putting ourselves in the other's shoes and asking ourselves what we would have done if a foreign army invaded our country and laid siege to our city."
For the betrayal of Ross Caputi and the nation and international law - George Bush was pardoned by Obama. In accepting that pardon, the nation betrays the sacrifice of those who would fight to death to defend the nation.
We should have known better. We should have been there for the Ross Caputi's. We must learn how to empower and celebrate the man who sees clearly through the fog to the lies of war.
Ross Caputi reminds me of St. Francis.
"Words, Benardo, there was I time when I believed in words."
St. Francis in the movie "Brother Sun Sister Moon"
As St. Francis and his friends went off to war, the Bishop assured them, God is with You. But when he came back, Francis said to the congregation, NO! So too did Ross Caputi.
Does Iran already have the bomb?
Some in Israel think so. If so, might the Iranians keep it a secret until….?
"For example, Israel has long maintained a policy of ambiguity regarding its nuclear weapons, believed to consist of 100-200 warheads. Iran could follow suit, allowing just enough information to leak out to give it some deterrent power but not face the public embarrassment, international condemnation and possible military response for having created the weapons it denied wanting."
"Days after North Korea's nuclear test, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reiterated that his country did not want to build atomic weapons, but that if it "intended to possess nuclear weapons, no power could stop us."
(emphasis added, after all everybody wants to live in a nuclear free world after they are the last in line to surrender the world's last bomb)
This strange construction — saying the Islamic Republic does not desire nuclear weapons but there was no way to prevent it from having them — might have been the first in a series of diplomatic signals intending to inform the United States that, with North Korea's help, the game is already over and Iran has won."
( If in fact any nation wins by having the bomb.)
Looking at what happened to Hussein and Gadhafi after giving up their nuclear weapons programs We could hardly blame Iran if they have developed a nuclear weapon and the capacity to strategically deliver it. Might the sudden shift in their attitude be the result of the confidence having an a-bomb in a silo somewhere brings to nations in today's world? If We were in their shoes You know darn well We would have at least one and be seeking one hundred more. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has already made mention of being interested in working the issues of mutual disarmament now.
"Written by Thomas McAdams Deford 7/5/2012
"Citing the relative stability of the Cold War era when the two major antagonists were filled to the brim with nuclear weapons, as well as the military restraint by India and Pakistan since they both developed nuclear arsenals, Kenneth Waltz, a well-regarded academic, argues that a nuclear-armed Iran would actually enhance stability in the Middle East: "Israel's regional nuclear monopoly, which has proved remarkably durable for the past four decades, has long fueled instability in the Middle East. In no other region of the world does a lone, unchecked nuclear state exist. It is Israel's nuclear arsenal, not Iran's desire for one, that has contributed most to the current crisis. Power, after all, begs to be balanced. What is surprising about the Israeli case is that it has taken so long for a potential balancer to emerge."
Published by The Free Press September 27, 2013 , see more at:
"a nuclear-armed Iran would actually enhance stability in the Middle East"
9/27/2013 More on Fallujah The Independent - Saturday 28 September 2013
"The study, entitled "Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009", is by Dr Busby, Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi, and concludes that anecdotal evidence of a sharp rise in cancer and congenital birth defects is correct. Infant mortality was found to be 80 per 1,000 births compared to 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 9.7 in Kuwait. The report says that the types of cancer are "similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionising radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout".
Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukaemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults. At Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase in leukaemia, but in Fallujah Dr Busby says what is striking is not only the greater prevalence of cancer but the speed with which it was affecting people."
Why the Lies
Why politicians feed people lies instead of the truth is answered by the question, why do the people prefer lies to the truth?
In this hand I offer You a feel good lie, and in the other, a hard truth. Take your pick. Not only will the people pick the feel good lie they will go to war to defend it. Therefore governments focus on rousing incidents, where available, or create them as needed, to win votes and to wage wars. The People are not inclined to elect an honest man as is demonstrated clearly in the long history of the fate of the Prophets of the people Israel.
There have been times when the Joy of my life for over 40 years has been in a position where it was necessary for her in her love for me to bring me to understand a hard truth. There have been other times when a hard truth came crashing down upon me like a revelation out of the blue. I describe the experience of these difficult epiphanies as being akin to being knocked to the ground and repeated kicked in the stomach until my defensive hold on my favored illusion has been exhausted. The stomach pain, the fearful clinging and the humility are all very real.
If You think this means I have not been easy to live with, You are quite right. I hold tight to my favorite illusions, not as one holds to dreams when seeking to see ever more clearly the way of the work necessary to achieve their actualization but as one holds defensively to illusions seeking to avoid seeing the need for the work.
What does it take for the US to co-create functional friendships with the developing world? Trust me, We the people do not want to know... but our ignorance and our arrogance will fail to protect us from the forth coming epiphanies.
The US surrendered its leadership role in the world when We stopped believing in our best values and in that faithlessness still sought to impose them on Others instead of living them out in friendly service to our nation and to our neighbors.
9/27/2013 Paul Lewis in Washington
“The unauthorised abuse of the NSA's surveillance tools only came to light after one of the women, who happened to be a US government employee, told a colleague that she suspected the man – with whom she was having a sexual relationship – was listening to her calls.
The case is among 12 documented in a letter from the NSA's inspector general to a leading member of Congress, who asked for a breakdown of cases in which the agency's powerful surveillance apparatus was deliberately abused by staff. One relates to a member of the US military who, on the first day he gained access to the surveillance system, used it to spy on six email addresses belonging to former girlfriends.
He added: "Today, NSA has a privacy compliance program any leader of a large, complex organization would be proud of."
However, the small number cases depicted in the inspector general's letter, which was published by Republican senator Chuck Grassley, could betray a far larger number that NSA managers never uncovered.
One of the cases emerged in 2011 ,when an NSA employee based abroad admitted during a lie-detector case that he had obtained details about his girlfriend's telephone calls "out of curiosity". He retired last year.”
Obama wants Snowden in jail for revealing what is being done to the American people. As for those who have misused the surveillance system to spy on the private lives of their fellow Americans....
Your privacy is not important to the President but the secrecy of the government - above, beyond and invisible to the People, certainly is.
9/27/2013 There ought to be a law.
Since it now appears that the control of the government of the US is in the hands of a group of powerful elites who are not elected but who control Presidents, I think it is time to abolish the power of Presidents to Pardon Presidents.
Only the People, through a referendum held during national elections, should have the power to pardon Presidents for violations of law in the exercise of the powers and responsibilities of the Presidency and that only after the violators have been tried and found guilty.
Thankfully there are budding efforts to empower the International Criminal Court for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity but US Presidents and their administrations are successfully thumbing their noses at them. That is possible because in our arrogance and in our fear of global justice, We the People of the US consider "our" executive branch to be above the law, much as dictatorships around the world do. In effect the We the People of one nation have attempted to create a global dictatorship while We make our Presidents kings for their term in office and immune to prosecution there after.
Obama decided, get that, he decided, (who in the heck does he think he is?) to listen to the voice of the people channeled through their representatives in congress on the question of a military strike on Syria all the while thumbing his nose at the Constitution of the United States of America by saying he could and yet might wage war without the consent of Congress. At the end of his term will he decide to make himself king? And if he does will the People stand up and just say NO? And considering that there are those elites who will control the next President elected by the People, what difference does it make? It is We the People who need to take an oath and take it seriously to either defend the Constitution as written or to amend it.
And the truth is....
Sharmine Narwani, Radwan Mortada-AlAkhbar / The 4th Media News | Thursday, September 26, 2013, 22:00 Beijing
“A senior United Nations official who deals directly with Syrian affairs has told Al-Akhbar that the Syrian government had no involvement in the alleged Ghouta chemical weapons attack: “Of course not, he (President Bashar al-Assad) would be committing suicide.”
When asked who he believed was responsible for the use of chemical munitions in Ghouta, the UN official, who would not permit disclosure of his identity, said: “Saudi intelligence was behind the attacks and unfortunately nobody will dare say that.” The official claims that this information was provided by rebels in Ghouta.”
As for the truth…. the truth is all nations, including the US, need to get rid of their weapons of mass destruction or all nations will be justified in having them.
9/26/2013 Its We the People Who Fail to Create a Functional Democracy
For the moment the bombing of Syria is on hold because the People said No! to another War. Could this be the shape of things to come?
As I think about that I realize We the People have been the most dysfunctional branch of Government. When Obama said he was going to pardon Bush and company and renew the Patriot Act and invade Libya under false pretenses and crack down on Whistle Blowers and leave Guantanamo open and.... We could have said No Way! and things would have turned out differently and We would being dragging Obama along on his way to being recognized as one of America's all time great Presidents. The only way those things could have happened was through a significant display of public sentiment like what flickered for a moment with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.
We the People have failed him and missed a great opportunity to restore the values of America leaving Obama to cater to those who know what they think and what they want from America.
Great leaders merely position themselves before the great motions of the People. Those who elected Obama thought electing him was enough and therefore it has amounted to very little. The Man who stood up for the best Values of America in the Senate sat down as President. Could it be he is waiting for America to Stand Up?
I am proud that I voted for him the first time and I am proud that I did not vote for him the second time. I wonder if it is too late for me to wish I had? I think the answer to that question has more to do with the image Americans want for this nation than what any "leader" can offer Us. If We decide to restore the values of America I think, at the last moment, Obama may, as he did with Syria, stand up and give our best efforts a face and a voice. Standing up a moment too soon he risks being shot down for nothing. The ball is in our court.
KEEPING WATCH: LOOKING FOR FALSE FLAGS IN SYRIA.
HOW TO WIN FRIENDS....?? SPYING ON BRAZIL AND DRONE STRIKES IN PAKISTAN
GHADDAFI'S CRIMES AGAINST WESTERN DOMINATION?
TRANSLATION : EDITED NOW FOR CLARITY
Ghaddafi wanted to replace the dollar with the golden dinar.
The last world economic crisis caused a number of states to start discussions about international trade being based on a gold based currency. China announced the minting of a golden yuan and the Eastern countries also discussed the possibility of a gold standard. Mummar Ghaddafi became the main initiator of the idea of refusing to use the dollar and the euro, especially in oil transactions. He called on the Arab and African world to start to use one currency - the golden dinar.
Colonel Ghaddafi promoted the idea of creating an United African State with a population of 200 million of Arabian and African people using the dinar base. The idea of creating one gold based currency and uniting African countries into one powerful federative state was actively approved by many Arab countries and almost all African countries last year. The only opponents were Republic of South Africa and the head of League of Arabian states.
Suleiman Kjam, a member of the parliamentarian committee for Energy, told a Bloomsberg reporter that the government is now spending its financial reserves (the gold that was to be used as the foundation for the dinar) after the production of oil dropped from 1.4 million barrels per day earlier this year to less than 160,000 bpd. He warned that if this situation continues, in the next few months, the government will not be able to pay the salaries of its employees.
And after Libya is bankrupt? Loans from the World
Bank to be paid back with oil sales to the West in dollars.
“After all of this, (the revolution) I can say women’s rights activists are seriously living in a state of denial about women rights in Libya, if they think anything so far has really been “gained.”
By: Magdulien Z. Abaida (who) lives in the UK and is a human rights activist and a founding member of the Hakki Organisation.
SO MUCH FOR HILLARY'S HUMANITARIAN GESTURE
"Given that Libyan education, health care, infrastructure maintenance and postwar reconstruction is almost entirely financed by its oil revenues, the impact of collapsed oil production is catastrophic. "
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/editorials/chaotic-libya-disaster-has-become-the-norm-in-post-gadhafi-era-703266/#ixzz2fpbpoQ65
In summary: The West orchestrated the over throw of Colonel Ghaddafi for threatening Western Oil and Western Banks. They kept a record of his wrongs to use against him for just such an occasion. He stopped financing terrorist and developing weapons of mass destruction years ago. He was building one of the most secular liberal Arab states in the region. But when he started talking about nationalizing African Oil and replacing the World Bank and the dollar and uniting Africa into a power able to defend itself financially and militarily against the West, he had to go. The chaos that has followed his departure is tame by comparison to his threats according to western standards. Libya now is going broke, the Gadhafi gold horde is disappearing and Libya will soon be begging the West to take control of its oil in exchange for US dollars and development. Mission accomplished.
As for the humanitarian aid, that was a ruse. The CIA fanned the fires of revolution with financing and the promise of military support to get the rebels to take down the dreams of Gadhafi to the glory of Islam. The rebels were sold a bill of goods. They know how to fight and pray but when it comes to the business of running a state, they run away to fight the next proxy war.
Considering the above, what chance did Chris Stevens have? And then came the arms and rebel shipments to Syria via Turkey. What a mess? Not if dependency on the West is the goal. But then along comes China hungry for oil and Russia and Iran and.... Stay tuned.
DRONE STIKE VICTIMS SEEK TO TESTIFY BEFORE CONGRESS
"The US government is being accused of derailing a congressional hearing that would be the first to hear testimony from survivors of an alleged CIA drone strike by failing to grant the family's lawyer's a visa."
Florida congressman Alan Grayson said: "We have a chronic problem in Congress that when the administration is involved in one side of the issue, we rarely hear about the other side of the issue.”
"This is true with regard to NSA domestic spying. This is true with regard to proposed military intervention in Syria. And it's also true with regard to the drone attacks in Pakistan and in Yemen."
He added: "I think Congress and the American people simply need to hear both sides of the story, and that's why we invited these witnesses to come and testify."
BRAZIL CONDEMNS OBAMA'S SPYING ON HIS FRIENDS
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff “ last week called off a high-profile state visit to the United States scheduled for October over reports that the U.S. National Security Agency had been spying on Brazil and Rousseff's email.
After opening with diplomatic pleasantries and a condemnation of the shopping mall attack in Kenya, Rousseff launched into a blistering attack on U.S. spying, calling espionage among friendly nations "totally unacceptable."
"Meddling in such a manner in the lives and affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and, as such, it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations," Rousseff told the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.
HOME OF THE BRAVE
The US has been the champion of individual liberties around the world. That has allowed the creative juices to flow in America as nowhere else. We have a can do attitude that is up to any challenge....and that is why We must accept the challenges before Us now. Our victories must be of much greater scope than waging and winning any war can offer. We can and We must win the admiration of the world with transparent efforts to re-build the image of America in our domestic policies and in the quality of our international relationships as we successfully build friendships around the world.
We need to stop being defensive of or apologetic for the best values of this nation and the risks that come with them. We must believe the benefits of the risks of freedoms like the freedoms of speech the rule of law and freedom from warrantless searches out weight the risks that will and always have come paired with them. It requires some faith and some considerable courage.
We know the land of the free must of necessity be the home of the brave. We must be brave enough to listen respectfully to the voices of those who disagree with Us and to respect the privacy of our neighbors. If America is ever to be defeated then let it be for the right reasons, for in that, the most dismal circumstance, We shall yet trust with all our hearts in the utility and the resurrection of our best values.
SOME CONTEXT, HOWEVER SLANTED
Some press history on recent US/Venezuela issues on flights and visas.
July 20, 2013
"Kerry reportedly threatened to ground any Venezuelan aircraft in America’s or any NATO country’s airspace if there is the slightest suspicion that Snowden is using the flight to get to Caracas.
Kerry also reportedly promised to intensify the ongoing process of revoking US entry visas to Venezuelan officials and businessmen associated with the deceased President Hugo Chavez."
This with the article below, demonstrates the US is it's own worst enemy.
" Two hydrogen bombs were accidentally dropped over the city of Goldsboro, North Carolina on January 23, 1961 when the B-52 plane carrying them broke up in mid-air, according to the file.One of the bombs began to detonate -- a single switch was all that stopped it from doing so.
."The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy," said Schlosser."We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here's one that very nearly did."Jones jokingly titled the report "Goldsboro Revisited, or: How I Learned To Mistrust the H-Bomb", a reference to Stanley Kubrick's classic 1964 film about nuclear Armageddon, "Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb".
So if the bomb would have detonated who would have been blamed and what actions would have been taken?
By Noah Browning
KHIRBET AL-MAKHUL, West Bank | Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:18pm EDT
(Reuters) -" Israeli soldiers manhandled European diplomats on Friday and seized a truck full of tents and emergency aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week.
A spokesman at the British Consulate General in Jerusalem said London was "seriously concerned" by the Makhul demolitions and by the subsequent refusal to let villagers receive aid.
"We have repeatedly made clear to the Israeli authorities our concerns over such demolitions, which we view as causing unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, as harmful to the peace process, and as contrary to international humanitarian law," he said."
See article and slide show.
This article fails to mention what accommodations, if any, were made available to the Palestinians. It is not the kind of press that Israel needs right now, unless it is presented to intentionally provoke. I will be Keeping Watch.
Update: 9/20/2013 To see 9/19/2013 scroll down. CLEARING THE AIR
The United States said Friday it has granted access to its airspace so Venezuela's president can make a weekend trip to China, countering assertions from Caracas that permission was denied.
"US authorities made an extraordinary effort to work with relevant authorities to grant overflight approval in a matter of hours," Harf said.
It is great this was cleaned up. Tragically even wars can break out over misunderstandings like this.
Growing up I remember my Dad saying, "Perhaps the best prayer in times of trouble is a heart felt sigh."
MacLeish in the play in verse "JB" (that was put on by the Mt. Pleasant High School back in the early 60's) had the wife of a contemporary Job, following an atomic holocaust, put it something like this.
The light has gone out in the churches
The stars have grown dim in the sky
Blow on the coal of the heart
And we will see, by and by.
I navigate through the clutter of my life by the set of the heart trusting the appropriate form will emerge..... by and by. My path may lead through hell, but my destination is heavenly. I see it ever more clearly, day by day, but only the slightest bit more closely. So maybe that is it. An ever more wonderful vision always off in the distance with an ever more wonderful path leading to it.
Let there be rest stops along the Way (sigh).
9/19/2013 PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER
"We (Venezuela) agreed with CNPC to develop a new project in the Junin 10 block ... to produce 220,000 barrels per day with investment of $14 billion," Rafael Ramirez said on Twitter.
The minister, who is in China ahead of an official visit to Beijing by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro this weekend, did not immediately give additional details of the CNPC deal.
The United States said Friday it has granted access to its airspace so Venezuela's president can make a weekend trip to China, countering assertions from Caracas that permission was denied.
"US authorities made an extraordinary effort to work with relevant authorities to grant overflight approval in a matter of hours," Harf said.
Venezuela said on Thursday the United States banned President Nicolas Maduro's jet from flying through U.S. airspace over Puerto Rico en route to a state visit to China in what Caracas called an act of aggression.
More aggressive action by the US where friendship might better serve. Currently Venezuela considers their dependence on US import/export markets to be contrary to their national security interests. They seek to reduce trade with the US across the board. They have succeeded in creating a trade imbalance with the US by focusing on developing countries both in South America and to a lesser degree in Asia for their finished goods. The history of an imperialistic attitude toward South America, the Middle East and Africa is biting us in the butt. The ban on President Maduro's jet, if valid, plays into the strategy of making the US out as the bad guy.
Caracas.- Venezuela and the People's Republic of China are considering the drafting of new trade investment and cooperation agreements, said Venezuelan Trade Minister Déme Betancourt. She referred to the matter at the end of a meeting with Chinese Deputy Trade Minister Chen Jian, and said that these new agreements will be presented in November during the 11th session of the China-Venezuela Joint High Level Commission.
" Betancourt said that in the meeting with Chen they discussed strategies to promote marketing of Venezuelan goods in China in order to balance imports and exports.
"Our presence in this market must be broadened and intensified, and for that purpose we have scheduled meetings with the Foreign Trade Bank (Bancoex), in charge with Venezuelan policies in the field," she said as quoted by the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN).
She said that the delegation led by Chen assessed the progress of projects with Chinese investment in Venezuela, including works for the generation and distribution of electric power, cell phone plants, home appliances and cars, as well as the Planicie de Maracaibo irrigation systems, in Zulia state, and another two in Guarico state."
The country exports a daily average of 460,000 barrels of crude oil to China, accounting for 8.3 percent of the nation's total oil imports. China's oil imports from Venezuela have been growing from 49,000 barrels a day in 2005 to the current level of around half a million, he said.
According to statistics from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in April 2012, Venezuela was the fourth-largest source of China's oil imports after Saudi Arabia, Angola and Russia.
India / Venezuela
MUMBAI: ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of state-owned energy explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, plans to raise its stake in oil and gas acreages in Brazil and Venezuela to counter China's growing influence in the region.
The company is also scouting for experienced equity partners that can help it better exploit hydrocarbon resources in its acreage in Venezuela, a top executive said.
The move comes just two months after OVL bought 20% stake in the gas rich Rovuma basin in Mozambique, one of the most coveted new energy assets in the world, for $5.11 billion.
9/19/2013 PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER
Sept. 11 ... 1973.
On that day, 40 years ago, the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, was violently overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup. Gen. Augusto Pinochet took control and began a 17-year dictatorial reign of terror, during which more than 3,000 Chileans were murdered and disappeared—about the same number killed on that later, fateful 9/11, 2001. Allende, a socialist, was immensely popular with his people. But his policies were anathema to the elites of Chile and the United States, so President Richard Nixon and his secretary of state and national-security adviser, Henry Kissinger, supported efforts to overthrow him. http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/9/12/kerry_kissinger_and_the_other_sept_11
Today "China is Chile's largest trade partner while Chile is China's second largest South American trade partner."
O Globo said Rousseff (Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff) was unsatisfied by U.S. explanations of the espionage revealed in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The United States and Brazil jointly agreed on Tuesday to postpone Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's state visit to Washington next month due to controversy over reports the U.S. government was spying on her communications.
In 2009, growth in Brazil-China trade has catapulted China as Brazil’s largest trade partner, overtaking the United States, as China presently accounts for 14.7% of Brazil’s total trade flows.
China is anticipated to become Viet Nam's top trading partner by 2030 after taking over the position of the US, according to an HSBC Trade Connection Report released yesterday.
All emphasis added.
We have been teaching the world an expensive lesson.... for US.
9/19/2013 "THE SIDE EFFECTS" OF A NUCLEAR WAR
and still looking and still waiting for the results of the WHO study.
To the World Health Organization and the Iraqi Ministry of Health:
"All studies done by the Ministry of Health prove with damning evidence that there has been a rise in birth defects and cancers" in Iraq.
This is quoted directly from a senior official at the Iraqi Ministry of Health. This senior official was speaking on-camera during a BBC documentary, called "Born under a bad sign", which aired on March 22, 2013. During the same interview, two other Ministry of Health researchers confirmed that the situation with cancers and birth defects constitute a "big crisis" for the "next generation" of Iraqi children.
The studies they refer to are the joint project between the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization which began in May/June 2012. The publication of the final report, most recently scheduled for early this year, has been delayed for unknown reasons.
This large-scale study, according to the WHO website, has been conducted in the following governorates of Iraq: Baghdad (Karkh and Rasafa), Diyala, Anbar, Sulaminaiyah, Babel, Basrah, Mosul and Thi-Qar. A total of 10 800 households from 18 districts are included in this study, bringing the sample size to 600 households per district.
This yet-to-be-released study will shed light on the magnitude and trend of congenital birth defects at the selected district level. It will identify possible risk factors of congenital birth defects and it will assess the public burden of these conditions.
We, the undersigned, ask the World Health Organization and the Iraqi Ministry of Health to release this important report. Immediate release of this report will be the first step towards mobilizing global efforts to protect public health from further degradation in Iraq and in the entire region.
To see the signatories visit: http://www.zcommunications.org/a-call-to-release-the-who-report-on-iraqi-birth-defects-by-multiple-authors.html May 18th, 2013
Early reports indicate that sampling of the environment and the people for radiation contamination from the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions by the US are not part of this study. The magnitude of causation likely to be attributed to the DU is something the Department of Defense obviously does not want (Us) to know.
The Bush War in Iraq is the War that just keeps on killing. Considering the half life of DU it could go on for 4.5 billion years.... but.... the nice thing is DU is heavy and therefore the particles should sink into the soil.... but then to...., over time.... into the ground water. Do not expect any ground water sampling results either. The cover-up is on and being tucked in and somebody thinks we are too stupid to figure out why. Rumor has it that the impact of the radiation on the population will be multiples higher than what was recorded following the nuclear attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
CHINA and AFRICA and the US and BRICS:
Chinese businesses are putting their investments into Africa with overseas direct investment going from 500 million dollars in 2002 to nearly 15 billion last year. To see the direction Chinese businesses will be taking in Africa we go to Autumn Szeliga.
We are a country that is in the development (stage) and we value the investment of China to (in)our country."
Rwandan Finance Minister John Rwangombwa praises the flow of Chinese investment into his country.
Between 2005 and 2009, Rwanda-China trade increased five-fold.
Chinese companies signed contracts worth over twelve billion US dollars in Rwanda in 2010.
Rwanda is an example of the rapid growth of China-Africa trade, which is expected to rise to 220 billion dollars this year.
The decision-making process in China is far more efficient than it is in the United States. Decisions and recommendations for investment are often directed by the government, or at the very least, and they are able to meet requests from African governments far more quickly than we can in this country. There are far more checks and balances that most business deals must meet in our own system. We also operate our economic models on business-to-business contracts, while many African countries, especially those with weak private sectors, operate on Government-to-business model, more similar to the Chinese model than to the American model. The competitive advantage clearly goes to China under these circumstances.
It is not necessarily China's capacity, or even its ability to execute/complete contracts quickly that defines its competitive advantage in Africa. The West still holds key advantages in both technological and scientific capacity, as well as in management skills and probably quality of workmanship. Rather it is the Chinese ability to forge consensus and mobilize resources quickly that gives them a distinct advantage in the African marketplace.
It is not China alone, however, that is increasing its investment in Africa. While it can be debated whether the increased interest of China in Africa has spurred on other nations to become more engaged economically in Africa, the combined investment of the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) has surpassed all US investment in Africa. As a result, the economies of these countries have also shown greater strength and stability in these times than most developed nations. There are growing investment flows into Africa from the Middle East, ranging from Turkey to the nations of Arabian Peninsula and to Iran. We also see growing interest in Africa from Japan, particularly since its recent nuclear disaster, but also because of the growing influence of China. China's interest and growing involvement in Africa is perhaps one of the most important political and economic phenomena in the world right now, and in my view, the United States has been very slow to either understand its meaning and ramifications for our own country and its own economic and political future.
There are several opportunities for the U.S. and China to cooperate economically in support of both mutual and continental benefit. For example, economic cooperation in South Sudan is to the advantage of both the U.S. and China. A peaceful and developed South Sudan clearly benefits the interests of China, which has made enormous investments into the oil sector, and would build up a pocket of political stability in an otherwise very tough neighborhood for the U.S. The U.S. and China both have interests in promoting stability in the Horn of Africa. Consistent supply lines and agriculture development is important to both nations, and the Horn of Africa could be one of several future global breadbaskets providing Africa with increased economic power and a better quality-of-life.
If the U.S. and China choose to cooperate in their efforts in Africa, and always include African leaders and the African peoples in the process, they will set the tone for every other nation and point Africa toward a brighter future.
What we need now is for the leaders in the U.S. and China to find the courage necessary to seek common ground and elevate international development among its highest priorities.
Will the creation of infrastructure facilitate moving manufacturing to Africa?
So now what?
We can live in denial but the rest of the world will not. How do You want the rest of the world to see America?
In a video presented to the Global Issues class today at Wesleyan a successful Chinese business man was asked what he thought was a problem with America today. He said too much democracy. Too much gridlock, not enough action. He said We need a mission to direct our energy and to keep us going.
He fails to see the future of the Midas touch that is coming to China.
In many ways China is twenty years behind us. The businesses in the East of China are moving manufacturing into the rural areas of the west to take advantage of lower wages there just like Motorola did when they came to Mt. Pleasant. We know all too well the next step will be moving manufacturing to the lower income nations to the south of China, the Mexicos for China, where ever they may be, Viet Nam perhaps.
The US has the problem of being on the leading edge. I agree with the Chinese businessman, We need a Vision a Mission, a Rev 2 of the American Dream. Currently We are bogged down when We should be seeing the opportunities We have in acting upon the preview of the future of China - which is our past. What did We need to do differently when Motorola first came to town? That is what small rural communities in China need to do now. Think about it and then turn those thoughts into action. Helping to change their fate may open before Us an opportunity to change our own. What does China need from us now? What did We need when Motorola first came to town?
9/18/2013 HOW THEY SEE US
The Kerry-Kissinger meeting (on 9/11) and the public outcry against the proposed attack on Syria to which both men are publicly committed, should be viewed through the lens of another Sept. 11 ... 1973.
On that day, 40 years ago, the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, was violently overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup. Gen. Augusto Pinochet took control and began a 17-year dictatorial reign of terror, during which more than 3,000 Chileans were murdered and disappeared—about the same number killed on that later, fateful 9/11, 2001. Allende, a socialist, was immensely popular with his people. But his policies were anathema to the elites of Chile and the United States, so President Richard Nixon and his secretary of state and national-security adviser, Henry Kissinger, supported efforts to overthrow him. http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/9/12/kerry_kissinger_and_the_other_sept_11
The violent overthrow and forced exile of Haiti's (democratically elected) President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has ripped aside the democratic pretensions of Washington and the other major powers to expose the brutal and predatory character of resurgent imperialism. The actions taken by the US government in Haiti demonstrate the farcical character of its claims that the aim of the US invasion of Iraq was to inaugurate an era of democratization and freedom in the Middle East and around the world.
Aristide's overthrow is the outcome of a bloody coup orchestrated by the Bush administration and aided by the Chirac government in Paris. It was executed by a band of killers drawn from the disbanded and discredited Haitian army and the CIA-backed death squads that terrorized the population under the former military dictatorship that ruled the country in the early 1990s.
President Barack Obama acknowledged the United States' involvement in the coup during a 2009 speech in Cairo.
"In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government," the president said.
President Barack Obama said he was "deeply concerned" about the coup in Egypt. But the U.S. should also do some soul-searching; America's long relationship with Egypt's military has included funding, training and propagandizing, and many in Egypt can't help but feel that (US aid)helped enable the coup.
The 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état was a covert operation organized by the CIA to overthrow Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, the democratically-elected President of Guatemala. Arbenz's government put forth a number of new policies, such as seizing and expropriating unused, unfarmed land that private corporations set aside long ago and giving the land to peasants.
Patrice Émery Lumumba, an African anti-colonial leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after he helped to win its independence from Belgium in June 1960, was deposed in a US CIA-sponsored coup during the Congo Crisis.
9/16/2013 BRAZIL TO LOG OUT OF US DOMINATED INTERNET?
"Brazil plans to divorce itself from the U.S.-centric Internet over Washington's widespread online spying, a move that many experts fear will be a potentially dangerous first step toward fracturing a global network built with minimal interference by governments.
Brazil is now pushing more aggressively than any other nation to end U.S. commercial hegemony on the Internet. More than 80 percent of online search, for example, is controlled by U.S.-based companies.
Most of Brazil's global Internet traffic passes through the United States, so Rousseff's government plans to lay underwater fiber optic cable directly to Europe and also link to all South American nations to create what it hopes will be a network free of U.S. eavesdropping.
If that happens, and other nations follow suit, Silicon Valley's bottom line could be hit by lost business and higher operating costs: Brazilians rank No. 3 on Facebook and No. 2 on Twitter and YouTube. An August study by a respected U.S. technology policy nonprofit estimated the fallout from the NSA spying scandal could cost the U.S. cloud computing industry, which stores data remotely to give users easy access from any device, as much as $35 billion by 2016 in lost business." (Emphasis added)
A PARAGRAPH FROM SENATOR'S GRASSLEY'S REPLY ON REQUEST TO DENY CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORIZATION FOR A MILITARY STRIKE ON SYRIA
FOR FUTURE REFERENCE
"I had an opportunity to attend a secure briefing with Vice President Biden at the White House, and I heard directly from President Obama when he came to Capitol Hill to talk with senators. I also listened to his speech to the nation. I appreciate the complicated issues the President faces. Still, I don't think the case for military action has been made. Iowans strongly oppose military action by the United States. They have concerns and questions about what the President has proposed. If the goal is to deter and degrade Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons, how would a limited strike achieve this goal? What are the risks of military action? What is the U.S. national interest in striking Syria? I’m still leaning against the authorization for the use of force that’s been presented."
9/15/2013 I HOPE I AM CONFUSED
The fact that We the People are not given a rationale of substance for the dramatic shift of Obama's positions on sensitive topics like whistle blowers and constitutional law fails to convey to us that the man has a healthy sense of social obligation to the People he was elected to serve and the Constitution he was elected to uphold.
I witness daily reminders in the press in the form of the President's threats directed at Syria that President Obama continues to believe, no.... rather he knows, that he can at any time and for any reason command the military to take any action. There exists no effective checks. There is no authorization required.
Of course like any dictator, he may seek counsel where it pleases him, and he has, but he does not accept any necessity for the authorization of Congress, the People or any international organization as a prerequisite for a military strike on Syria or any other nation for that matter. That lack of respect communicates contempt for the Congress, the Constitution and the democracy of the People - and in the atomic age, the survival of humanity. Hopefully, We shall in the near future be indebted to him for revealing to Us at low cost the necessity for the implementation of functional checks on the power of the President.
9/15/2013 Russian News- Pravda - How they see Us
“U.S. power is determined by two components: the dollar as the world reserve currency and the army. When the U.S. dollar becomes weaker, the army starts acting, arranging demonstrations and beneficial in the long run aggressions "oil in exchange for democracy."
In St. Petersburg (G20), Russia signed a series of agreements that undermine this ($) monopoly. On the first day of the summit, Gazprom and the Chinese state oil company signed an agreement on the basic conditions of supply of gas and oil and gas development in Russia. It is imperative that the currency of the agreement is the yuan (Chin) or ruble (Russia), and the price of the supplied hydrocarbons will be determined on a bilateral basis without a reference to the Anglo-Saxon index Henry Hub determined on the London Stock Exchange. This guarantees that speculative impact on the Russian economy due, for example, to shale gas supplies, will be minimized.
Another unprecedented step towards getting rid of the monopoly of the dollar is the creation of a stabilization fund of the BRICS countries and the Development Bank. Its goal, as stated by the President of the Russian Federation, is to contribute to the improvement of the financial markets after the U.S. ends the policy of quantitative stimulation. This was a diplomatic statement, but its meaning translated into vernacular formula would sound something like "get lost with your dollar."
The initiative would create a full-fledged monetary union. The BRICS sovereign fund along with the Bank may lend money to the countries participating in the fund without the consent of the Federal Reserve. The residents of these countries represent 44 percent of the world's population. The Bank will have the opportunity to buy securities of the Fund as well as debt securities of the participating countries. This means a sovereign issue according to the rules of today's financial market, bypassing the Federal Reserve System. In times of an acute economic crisis launched by the U.S., the fund may take over the function of the new financial center of the world, reducing the role of the compromised dollar to zero.”
The language of this article is a bit extreme but….. the motion is real enough. The US is in for an attitude and an economic adjustment. We need friends right now which means we need to be developing mutualistic international relationships. Our military actions are failing to do that and our spying on Brazil is being used to shift Brazil’s interests toward BRICS. BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
9/15/2013 Why I voted for Obama the first time.... and not the second.
On Dec. 20, 2007 in an interview with the Boston Globe reporter, Charlie Savage, Obama was asked under what circumstances the president would have the constitutional authority to bomb Iran without first seeking authorization from Congress.
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama responded.
- See more at:
President Obama ran his initial campaign on a pledge for transparency and a promise to enhance whistleblower protection, both of which have been scrapped. Instead, the administration now forwards the narrative that whistleblowers by their very nature are a threat to national security, and that all government actions that aren't explicitly publicized by the White House are secrets as a matter of course.
Joe Biden, during a television interview in
2007: "The president has no constitutional authority ... to take this
nation to war ... unless we're attacked or unless there is proof we are
about to be attacked. And if he does, if he does, I would move to
“The president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach,” said Biden, whose words were followed by a raucous applause from the local audience.
Biden said he is in the process of meeting with constitutional law experts to prepare a legal memorandum saying as much and intends to send it to the president.
9/14/2013 Enough already, enough! This war must be wound down preserving what remains of the institutions and the infrastructure FOR THE PEOPLE OF SYRIA while setting a time table for internationally monitored elections open to all parties for the creation of a constitutional convention where the safety of minorities and the human rights of all persons are established and protected with... and....
This war must not be about banking, or currency, or pipe lines or religion and all foreign fighters must leave immediately and all weapons shipments stop and the people of Syria must be free to chart their own destiny and to pick their own friends and to maximize their opportunity to profit from their location and their resources and so on and so forth.
And the UN must help protect Syria from the world and yes that means from US too.
9/11/2013 - ENGULFED BY THE LIES OF WAR, KNOWING WE DO NOT KNOW, MAY BE AS GOOD AS IT GETS
"Truth be told, I have no idea what is really motivating the Saudis and the Qataris. In the murky world of the Middle East, it is an act of extreme confidence to predict what these countries are really up to. There are circles within circles, personal feuds, dynastic and family dynamics, and on and on."
9/13/2013 SYRIA IS ALL ABOUT THE SAUDIS
With the tacit approval from the House of Saud, and financial support from wealthy Saudi elites, the young men take up arms in what Saudi clerics have called a “jihad,” or “holy war” against the Assad regime.
The Saudis hope to weaken their regional competitor Iran, a Shia theocracy that is backing Assad. Saudi officials also hope to divert simmering political unrest at home by encouraging young protesters to In one documented case, a Saudi judge encouraged young anti-government protesters to fight in Syria rather than face punishment at home. Twenty-two year old Mohammed al-Talq was arrested and found guilty of participating in a demonstration in the north-central Saudi city of Buraidah.
After giving 19 young men suspended sentences, the judge called the defendants into his private chambers and gave them a long lecture about the need to fight Shia Muslims in Syria, according to Mohammed’s father, Abdurrahman al-Talq.
“You should save all your energy and fight against the real enemy, the Shia, and not fight inside Saudi Arabia,” said the father, quoting the judge. “The judge gave them a reason to go to Syria.”instead fight in Syria, according to Saudi government critics.
“Most people going there don’t think they will come back,” Alghufili said. “They will fight to die or win freedom.” ( Ah yes, Saudis fighting for freedom ;-)
9/13/2013 "SYRIA IS ABOUT CHINA"
"Ultimately, in context of Eastern Mediterranean natural gas supplies, Syria is about China, just like the present “Second Scramble for Africa” that has targeted Sudan, Libya, and Mali. In this regard NATO’s war on Libya and the siege against Syria are two fronts in the same war, which is aimed at neutralizing the Chinese. The same goes for the internal crises in Pakistan.
“The bifurcation of military and financial power globally as well as the economic rise of East Asia both continue” as part of what scholars like Giovanni Arrigghi (2010:381) believe is a “hegemonic transition.” Washington’s shift towards the Asia-Pacific is aimed at dealing with the Chinese and preventing Beijing from outmatching the United States on the world stage. Washington has worked to destabilize the planned Eurasian energy corridor(s) to China. In Pakistan it has done this by contributing to Pakistan’s internal tensions and ethnic divisions:
If the Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline and Iran-Pakistan Pipeline are connected and end up supplying China, it will amount to a major blow against the primacy of the United States. The US aims to upset the completion of either project. Washington’s tensions with Tehran over the Iranian nuclear energy project should therefore also be viewed from a paradigm that also has this in mind."
Read more and see maps @
9/13/2013 SYRIA IS ALL ABOUT GLOBAL CORRUPTION
“The Saudis and the Qataris are reported to be deploying huge amounts of money for bribery, bribery to the families and political and business interests of these members of congress,” Tarpley said in an interview with Press TV on Friday.
Read more: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/09/06/322464/congressmen-getting-bribed-for-syria-war/
Clinton received gold jewelry worth half a million dollars from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/hillary-clinton-tops-obama-in-gifts-from-world-leaders-1.1433972#ixzz2eoNbfE3X
Russia’s stakes in Syria is highlighted in a July 30th meeting between Vladimir Putin and Prince Bandar. A proposal to, “offer the Russian leadership political, economic, military and security enticements in return for concessions on several regional issues, in particular Syria and Iran.”
Saudi Arabia to Russian
...“you have to stop giving [the Syrian regime] political support, especially at the UN Security Council, as well as military and economic support. And we guarantee you that Russia’s interests in Syria and on the Mediterranean coast will not be affected one bit. In the future, Syria will be ruled by a moderate and democratic regime that will be directly sponsored by us and that will have an interest in understanding Russia’s interests and role in the region.”
Putin responded, “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters.”
SYRIA IS ALL ABOUT TERRORISTS
The question remains what turned (Syrian rebel al-Hammad) into Abu Sakkar, the man who proudly appears in a video mutilating a corpse, shouting “I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog ….” and then sink his teeth into a body part in his hand? What made someone who had once cautioned against blaming the Alawites - the minority community from which the ruling elite are drawn - for the regime's actions into their virulent hater? His address to camera ends “We will eat your heart and livers! Oh my heroes of Baba Amr, you slaughter the Alawites and take their hearts out to eat them!”
Saudi money perhaps?
Exhibit A: Saudis have put ”on the table” their offer to pay for the entire US assault on Syria. Exhibit B: in case of an attack on Syria, the price of oil is slated to go from $109 to $125 per barrel (base case scenario), with an upside scenario of $150 per barrel. Saudi Arabia will produce 9.8 million barrels of oil a day. Which means if the spike is only the base case scenario, Saudi will gross a super-profit of $156.8 million per day. If it is the upside scenario, then the Saudi super-profits will be $401.8 million per day.
SYRIA IS ALL ABOUT US HEGEMONY
THE DECISION TO INVADE SYRIA
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: About 10 days after 9/11, (12 YEARS AGO) I went through the Pentagon, and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the joint staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, "Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second." I said, "Well, you’re too busy." He said, "No, no." He says, "We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq." This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, "We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?" He said, "I don’t know." He said, "I guess they don’t know what else to do." So I said, "Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?" He said, "No, no." He says, "There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq." He said, "I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments." And he said, "I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail."
So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, "Are we still going to war with Iraq?" And he said, "Oh, it’s worse than that." He said—he reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper, and he said, "I just got this down from upstairs," meaning the secretary of defense’s office, "today." And he said, "This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran." I said, "Is it classified?" He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "Well, don’t show it to me." And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, "You remember that?" He said, "Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!"
The question now is, how is the geography and the control of Syria going to be split up presuming Russia and Iran are not serious about defending Syria and manufactured incidents are sufficient to pull in NATO.
On another note. How about the Chemical Weapons of the US and Israel?
I remember taking an Old Testament religion class at Iowa Wesleyan taught by Dr. George E. LaMore Jr.. Dr. LaMore emphasized that the key to understanding authentic prophecy was bound up in one word - UNLESS.
The classical format of prophecy, as best I remember it, was, "Hey, guys You have been messing up and UNLESS You turn away from your current course of action, my wrath shall be upon You. This format goes along with a quote I like that says, "I do not believe in a fate that defines a man, no matter what he does, but I do believe in such a fate for the man who does nothing."
Too sweeping perhaps, as a quick glance at death demonstrates, but on target for the topic of prophecy.
Confronted by God the man looks side to side and to the "left" he sees the wrath of God and to the "right" his Destiny. You might think the choice would be a no brainer, but it rarely is. Jesus in the garden being a good example. He stands before God with apparent escape to left (let this cup pass from me) and the cross (thy will be done) to the right. The way of the escape is oblivion, the way of the cross is eternal life. Choices! Hard choices! To live with Others is to suffer but... it beats the hell out of eternal solitary confinement, doesn't it? I would offer that the question mark at the end of that last sentence is also a mark of authentic prophecy.
As I made the rounds visiting the pastors of several churches to invite them to the peace vigil I heard on occasion that the warring fate of Middle East is Biblical and defined by prophecy. The implication being, there will be no solution. Well, if there will be no solution, why do anything? Maybe that is why none of the pastors that I invited to the vigil attended. I do not know nor do I need to.
But again, I am back to this, all bona fide prophecy hangs on one word - Unless.
Of course the planet is going to be sucked up by the sun in a few billion years no matter. So again, there is a fate that comes with being born. But there too is our Destiny, an Opportunity, that comes with being born again. Such treasure as We may pass on to the coming generations will be refined from the Destiny We grasp, not from the fate that befalls Us.
So far the Holy Land is holy hell destined to a nuclear holocaust by the exclusivism of the Big 3 monotheistic faiths. But as the darkness approaches, the rescuing force grows too and it is growing in Us.
Arabs are warring tribes by nature. It is a simple matter to destroy Arab states simply by turning factions against each other. Leaving one state after the other in chaos it is possible to retain the control of the oil currency and the flow of oil out of the Middle East.
When individual Arab leaders show any capacity to rally a nation or a region the West simply takes them out. It does not matter in the least to the West if those leaders are tyrants or if they are democratically elected. Next up Syria and then Iran?
Now if You were an Iranian, tell me, how would You feel about seeing your country on the hit list? Would You be inclined to develop nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver them, or what?
In 2011, two senators, Senators Wyden and Udall, started raising red flags, warnings to America about a secret interpretation that the government was relying on to collect an extraordinary amount of information about innocent Americans. On the heels of these disclosures, the ACLU and other organizations filed requests with the government for the secret interpretations of the law.
The Obama administration, which had come into power on a promise of a new era of transparency, fought bitterly to keep these documents secret for years. And they were…
In the midst of the disclosures (of the senators) Obama very vigorously defended in court the extreme secrecy of the very same documents that were released two days ago…
The fact that they’re now public is a good first step toward greater transparency, but this is information that did not come easily out of the Obama administration. (edited, see link for rough original)
Jeremy Bowen said that a heavy gunfight with rebels was continuing in Maaloula, with smoke rising into the sky.
Since then, most of the town's 3,300 residents have fled to safer parts of the country including Damascus, where some told the BBC that three people had been killed and six kidnapped.
Many (Christians)fear that if the secular government is overthrown, they will be targeted by Sunni (Saudi supported) jihadist rebels calling for the establishment of an Islamic state and that Christian communities will be destroyed, as many were in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003.
I've spoken to some local members of the National Defence Forces, a pro-government militia. They say they are fighting for their town and the fact it was a place where Christians and Muslims once lived side by side. They say they are fighting against the people they regard as terrorists.
Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor, Maaloula
This is crazy. The US is supporting the over throw of a secular government and the displacement of Christians by Islamist/al Qaeda rebels and Saudi and Libyan mercenaries?
Why? To shore up the US/NATO/Saudi dominance of the flow of oil in dollar based transactions? There is BIG money to be made in simply supplying the currency for the world's oil transactions.
Why is the use of dollars in oil transactions so important to the US?
The use of dollars in those transactions keeps the debt riddled dollar afloat by maintaining demand for it.
So it is the fiscal irresponsibility of the Congress of the US that is driving this war? So it appears. (But care needs to be taken in the delineation of what is in fact irresponsible.)
It is not that we have a direct overwhelming national interest in the oil access per se. But barring fiscal responsibility, we have an interest in maintaining the dollar as the dominate oil currency of choice. And the Saudis have gathered up a mountain of dollar based assets, sufficient to allow them to spend billions of dollars in supporting the al-Qaida rebels to help keep the value of the dollar up.
However, the rising demand for oil by China and the rising production of oil by Russia have already determined that in the near future the majority of oil transactions are likely to be in Chinese currency. Fortunately China holds 20% of US debt and therefore they are likely to move cautiously.
Such stuff as this provides the motive for war? Well, keep in mind the fact that war is BIG business too.
But We the People are not inclined to fight wars over the blunders of the bankers or to fill the coffers of big business and therefore gut wrenching emotional events like the Gulf of Tonkin, the USS Liberty, 911 and the recent gas attacks in Syria are mfg. incidents used to provoke the People, that is, to give Us an excuse to go to war with some feel good illusion of being the good guys. When I say 911 was a manufactured incident I am making no claim to know who all the players might have been going into the event itself but rather I am looking directly at what was made out of the attack after the fact. The weak rationale linking 911 to Iraq can only be expected to become weaker as the facts surface somewhere down the road. After all, no evidence that could have been used to justify the invasion of Iraq would have been classified, or if it was, it would have been leaked early on.
9/11/2013 - AND THE BEAT GOES ON
The CIA has begun (?) delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.
Am I to believe that it takes this long for weapons to get there from Benghazi?
"On September 14, 2012, three days after Stevens was killed, Sheera Frenkel, a correspondent for the Times of London, reported from Antakya, Turkey:
“A Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria since the uprising began has docked in Turkey and most of its cargo is making its way to rebels on the front lines, The Times has learnt.
“Among more than 400 tonnes of cargo the vessel was carrying were SAM-7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), which Syrian sources said could be a game-changer for the rebels.
“Frenkel’s report identified the ship’s captain as ‘Omar Mousaeeb, a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organisation called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support, which is supporting the Syrian uprising.’”
Might the significance of the above simply be the escalation of violence by well armed and well paid criminal mercenaries from Saudi Arabia who care nothing for the people of Syria; the Arab equivalent of Black Water.
9/11/2013 - OUT OF THE DARKNESS OF THE PAST THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME?
As President Barack Obama’s attack on Syria appears to have been delayed for the moment, it is remarkable that Secretary of State John Kerry was meeting, on Sept. 11, with one of his predecessors, Henry Kissinger, reportedly to discuss strategy on forthcoming negotiations on Syria with Russian officials. The Kerry-Kissinger meeting, and the public outcry against the proposed attack on Syria to which both men are publicly committed, should be viewed through the lens of another Sept. 11 ... 1973.
Kissinger’s role in plotting and supporting the 1973 coup (of a Democratically elected leader) in Chile becomes clearer as the years pass and the documents emerge, documents that Kissinger has personally fought hard to keep secret. Peter Kornbluh of the nonprofit National Security Archive has been uncovering the evidence for years, and has recently updated his book, “The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability.” Kornbluh told me that Kissinger was “the singular most important figure in engineering a policy to overthrow Allende and then, even more, to embrace Pinochet and the human-rights violations that followed.” He said that Kissinger “pushed Nixon forward to as aggressive but covert a policy as possible to make Allende fail, to destabilize Allende’s ability to govern, to create what Kissinger called a coup climate.”
Rather than meeting with Kissinger for advice, John Kerry would better serve the cause of peace by consulting with those like Garces who have spent their lives pursuing peace. The only reason Henry Kissinger should be pursued is to be held accountable, like Pinochet, in a court of law.
Amy Goodman and Dennis Moynihan
"After Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) forced the government to release White House visitor logs, the administration tried to pass off (their) accomplishment during “Sunshine Week” as part of its commitment to unprecedented openness and transparency."
Who are the rebels?
"Saudi officials apparently gave them (1200 prisoners) a choice: decapitation or jihad? In total, inmates from Yemen, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Jordan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, and Kuwait chose to go and fight in Syria." From Business Insider
US Chemical Weapons Stockpile
"If the Obama administration wants an example of the difficulties involved in destroying chemical weapons, it might reflect upon its own struggles to get rid of cold-war era chemical arsenals stockpiled in tightly controlled storage facilities in Kentucky and Colorado.
The United States promised, but failed, to destroy these stocks by 2012 at the very latest. The most recent forecast from the US is that the process of "neutralising" the chemicals in its Colorado weapons dump will be finished by 2018; the date for Kentucky is 2023. That will be 11 years after the US promised to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles, and eight years after Russia – the other major possessor of declared chemical weapons – says it will have finished destroying its arsenal."
Noam Chomsky: The United States is a rogue state. It doesn’t pay any attention to international law. http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/11/chomsky_instead_of_illegal_threat_to
With NSA help - Israel is watching You
"The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.
Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis.
Nor would they (the Obama administration) disclose how many other countries the NSA shared raw data with, or whether the Fisa court, which is meant to oversee NSA surveillance programs and the procedures to handle US information, had signed off the agreement with Israel."
It sounds like We need to be careful how We speak about Israel.
Remember the USS Liberty.
Yahoo and Facebook silenced
Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook struck back on Wednesday at critics who have charged tech companies with doing too little to fight off NSA surveillance. Mayer said executives faced jail if they revealed government secrets.
Yahoo and Facebook, along with other tech firms, are pushing for the right to be allowed to publish the number of requests they receive from the spy agency. Companies are forbidden by law to disclose how much data they provide.
In its motion, Yahoo said: "Yahoo has been unable to engage fully in the debate about whether the government has properly used its powers, because the government has placed a prior restraint on Yahoo's speech."
BOOTS ON THE GROUND: 9/11/2013
"Old men declare wars, or in the case of Syria, they will provide authority to “intervene” (which means, take military action) in a civil war. If older males are declaring war, then old men should be fighting them."
“Depend on it, sir,” Samuel Johnson said. “When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”
"My gut is telling me that if our leaders (and their older constituents) were faced with the prospect of carrying out their policies — to do the killing, and possibly even dying, themselves — they might dispense with all of their political rhetoric, knuckle down for a change and focus on other options."
— Tom Porter, West Des Moines
Read the rest of Tom's editorial on the Des Moines Register Editorial Page.
Well said Tom. If I am going to support a war I am going to volunteer to fight it.
Thank You - Abdulelah Haider Shaye
Shame on You - President Obama
Pay attention to how Obama reacted to this incident and understand the man who has a passion for chasing down Snowden.
"The White House is "concerned and disappointed" over the news that Yemeni Journalist ,Abdulelah Haider Shaye who was kept in a Yemeni jail for three years per the request of the Obama administration after he exposed a deadly U.S. drone strike, was released Tuesday.
Following news of Shaye's release, journalist Jeremy Scahill, who has written extensively about Shaye's story, contacted the White House for a comment.
The White House's response was brief and alarming:
"We are concerned and disappointed by the early release of Abd-Ilah al-Shai, who was sentenced by a Yemeni court to five years in prison for his involvement with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."
I am amazed at the courage of this journalist.
More on Shave from Democracy Now
Prominent Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye has been released from prison after being held for three years on terrorism-related charges at the request of President Obama. Shaye helped expose the U.S. cruise missile attack on the Yemeni village of al-Majalah that killed 41 people, including 14 women and 21 children in December 2009. Then-Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced his intention to pardon Shaye in 2011, but apparently changed his mind after a phone call from Obama. In a statement, the White House now says it is "concerned and disappointed" by Shaye’s release. "We should let that statement set in: The White House is saying that they are disappointed and concerned that a Yemeni journalist has been released from a Yemeni prison," says Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for The Nation, who covers Shaye’s case in "Dirty Wars," his new book and film by the same name. "This is a man who was put in prison because he had the audacity to expose a U.S. cruise missile attack that killed three dozen women and children."
BACK TO THE FUTURE - 9/12/2012 SYRIA, IRAN, RUSSIA AND CHINA AND OIL
Since China is not a natural oil producing nation, the question most people will ask is how will the Asian economic power get enough oil to affect dollar hegemony? That question was also answered by Lindsey Williams when he pointed out a new trade agreement that was signed on Sept. 7 between China and Russia, in which the Russian Federation agreed to sell oil to China in any and all amounts they desired.
Lindsey Williams: "This has never happened in the history of crude oil. Since crude oil became the motivating force behind our (U.S.) entire economy, and everything in our lives revolves around crude oil. And since crude oil became the motivating factor behind our economy... never, ever has crude oil been sold, bought, traded, in any country in the world, without using the American dollar."
"Crude oil is the standard currency of the world. Not the Yen, not the Pound, not the Dollar. More money is transferred around the world in crude oil than in any other product."
"On Friday, Sept. 7, Russia announced, that as of today, we will supply China with all of the crude oil that they need, no matter how much they want... there is no limit. And Russia will not sell or trade this crude oil to China using the American dollar." -Interview with Natty Bumpo on the Just Measures Radio network, Sept. 11
These duo actions by the two most powerful adversaries of the U.S. economy and empire, have now joined in to make a move to attack the primary economic stronghold that keeps America as the most powerful economic superpower. Once the majority of the world begins to bypass the dollar, (using pipelines through Syria?) and purchases oil in other currencies, then the full weight of our (US) debt and diminished manufacturing structure will come crashing down on the American people.
Weapons of mass destruction in Syria have never been the issue- only the excuse.
Syria has been a target of the West and the jewel of Russia and China due to its geographical/economic position. Pipelines running through Syria and carrying gas and oil on to China and Russia might not use the dollar. If China, the largest oil consuming country in the world, and the largest holder of US debt buys and sells oil using its own currency "then the full weight of our debt and diminished manufacturing structure will come crashing down on the American people."
This is as close to the heart of the violence as I have been able to come.
Also note that the unforgiveable crime of Gaddafi was not attempting to put down a revolution among a people (obviously not) ready for democracy, but for agreeing to the concept of North Africa trading nationalized oil in a currency other than the dollar.
Additionally “the Libyans had given up their WMD program with the son of Gaddafi coming to London, Saif Gaddafi, and discussing some kind of a deal basically to save his father, to prevent a strike against him, which is what they feared. “
And now the world sees how well that worked out for Libya.
If the chemical weapons of Syria are put under international control, making it safer for the US to put mercenaries on the ground in Syria, it will likely happen only if Russia, China, and Iran have signed binding pacts to protect Syria from Western economic dominance - that is from energy trading based on the dollar and military strikes.
So we will be Keeping Watch expecting false flag and manufactured incidents to continue. The US and the Saudis and Europe are all waiting, working and hoping for "something to happen". The heavy investment of the Saudis in the war in Syria make a retaliatory attack on Saudi oil and or the Saudi government thinkable if it appears that Syria is failing.
We the People seeking trustworthy representation elect the members of our government to serve our interests and to keep us well informed. The problem is, trustworthy dedicated people are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to successfully running for office. Feel good lies work better than hard truths when it comes to getting elected. We think We know the people We elect, and then... We know better. We must share the blame for this.
On the anniversary of 9/11, like on the anniversary of the 1967 attack on the USS Liberty on June 8th, the important thing to remember is that our government is still withholding information from Us to protect some one from the truth. I have no theory on 9/11, what really happened and why. With Sargent Friday, I will just stick to the facts. The truth is We do not know and that because our government is withholding information from the People even as it probes ever more deeply into our private lives. "They" know more and more about "Us" even as "We" know less and less about "Them". And when We the People can speak credibly about the divide between "Us" and "Them" the circulation of the life blood of democracy is occluded and the government of, for and by the People is diseased.
Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer in 2009.
China surpassed the US as the world's largest consumer of energy last year.
"The operation of the China-Russia crude oil pipeline is the start of a new phase in China-Russia energy co-operation," said Yao Wei, general manager of Pipeline Branch of Petro China, as he pushed a button near the Russia-China border to start the flow of oil.
9/11/2013 Navy putting whales and dolphins at risk
"Navy training and testing could inadvertently kill and injure thousands of dolphins and whales over the next five years, mostly as a result of detonating explosives underwater, according to two environmental impact statements the military recently released."
9/10/2013 PEACE VIGIL LAST NIGHT
The important thing to keep in mind is that the use of chemical weapons was just an excuse for the US to enter into this war. There are strategic oil flow control (pipeline) and currency related issues centered on Syria and nothing about that has changed.
9/10/2013 KEEPING WATCH: PEACE VIGIL LAST NIGHT
Syria says it has accepted Russia's proposal to place its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent dismantling.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Tuesday after meeting with Russian parliament speaker that his government quickly agreed to the Russian initiative to "derail the U.S. aggression."
Awesome! Careful follow up is indicated. And what now about the chemical weapons in the hands of the rebels? Must not all aid from the Saudis, NATO and the US to the rebels be contingent upon them adding their stockpile of chemical weapons to that of Syria? "A cease fire" on the use of chemical weapons is a start but We must keep in mind that over 100K have been killed with conventional weapons. Can we find peace by outlawing one class of weapons at a time? The agreement on chemical weapons, if indeed there is follow through, is brought to You in significant part by the people in the US who bought time by standing up and saying no to a military strike. Thanks to all who have written their congressmen.
"I think all of us should be defined not by the public pronouncements of politicians, but by what we do in response to the actions they’re doing in our name. And that’s the spirit I wrote this book in."
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill author of Dirty Wars.
And that was the spirit of the peace vigil where folks who know why it matters came from miles around to participate in the creation of a living moment of activated hope while many others, close at hand, could not be bothered. I appreciate peace vigils are not the venue of Henry County residents. I hope the coffee shops are working.
9/9/2013 The Peace Vigil
The tally on the sign in sheet, 11 NO and 1 Undecided.
The Peace Vigil - not what I expected - much better actually. They came from Fairfield and Washington and Mt. Pleasant and New London with roots in the US, Nazi Germany and China. They took turns sharing why they were here in Mt. Pleasant at a Peace Vigil. It was awesome. I was overwhelmed. I hope the reporters from the News and the Hawkeye were able to catch the high points.
Before the event, looking at the names etched in stone in the Veteran's Memorial, I pondered their sacrifice. Gratitude comes easy but there was something else that didn't. Was it survivor guilt or.... was it what David felt, or at least should have, after he sent Uriah off to be murdered on the front and for what?
What is absent is an apology. Where is the tomb of the Uriahs? The tomb of the good soldier lead with lies off to war to perish. The bishop in the movie "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" sends the youth of Assisi off to war declaring "God is with You."
In every war and in every culture with most every "bishop" - it all plays out much the same. Only rarely and temporarily does a St. Francis or a Gandhi come along and just say NO!
And look at the father of St. Francis . Does he ever think to apologize to Francis for sending him off to war to multiply his wealth? When have you heard the community/national fathers apologize for sending young men and boys off to war? What is this, is it the left overs from a day when powerful old men gathered up large harems as the spoils of war, like David did?
It matters not how vile the lie that is used to justify the war, when do the soldiers receive a heart felt apology? And where there is none, who then carries the burden of the agony of a war fought in the betrayal of the sacrifice of the soldier.
He who instinctively stands upon or before the wall to protect his family is duped by those who seek profit in his death and that on all sides of most every war. And certainly on all sides of the current ones.
Like I said, for me the experience was overwhelming. As for the composition of the apology, I search for where to begin.
On behalf of the collective failure of humanity to sufficiently value the lives of our young men and women..... I apologize.
But when it comes to a Gandhi - or a St. Francis over coming PTSD, I think they move beyond gaining any value from our apologies. From where they stand, they have gained compassion and forgiveness, even a sad pity for Us. Our apology at that point would be merely self serving.
To the Uriahs of the world, Godspeed!
9/9/2013 Peace Vigil - Mt. Pleasant - 7:00 pm this evening - Meet in Parking Lot West Across Main Street from the Courthouse. Walk about and talk about the options. - Pro and Con Petition. Visit the Veteran's Memorial.
THE TIME TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IS NOW
The headline news from Yahoo assures Us a military strike against Syria by the US is still on the table.
"Despite public backing from leaders of both parties to strike, almost half of the 433 current members in the House and a third of the 100-member Senate remain undecided, the AP survey found. They will be the subject of intense lobbying from the administration — as well as outside groups that have formed coalitions that defy the traditional left-right divide."
"Plenty of Republicans, including key congressional leaders, support Obama’s push for military action against the Syrian regime for allegedly using chemical weapons. But among constituents, rank-and-file members of Congress and many influential voices in the party’s echo chamber, the trend is decidedly anti-war." (emphasis added)
Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, in 2007 pushed for a deeper military commitment in Iraq. “Let’s do it right,” he wrote. Now, he says, “the state of our military today cannot afford another war.”
A PEACE VIGIL IN MT. PLEASANT
Monday evening, 9/9/2013 at 7:00 pm, there will be peace vigil in Mt. Pleasant. The public is invited to stop by to share ideas and to sign a petition for or against the proposed US attack on Syria.
If You are too busy, or its just too hot to stop by Monday evening to chat and sign up please be sure that You have contacted your Congressmen to let them know how You feel about the proposed US attack on Syria.
If you are out and about in the air conditioned comfort of your car and see visitors pausing at the Veterans Memorial on the courthouse lawn or gathered in the parking lot, please toot your horn to pay your respects and offer encouragement as You drive by.
This is not an organized event. Will anybody show? Yes, at least two or three and that is not counting You and yours. It is a shared personal opportunity for those seeking it to do something simple to publically demonstrate that You are serious about trying to better understand and to moderate the violence that has engulfed Syria. We will share what we learn from You as well as your questions with our Congressmen, and through this blog, with the community.
Stop by for a visit and a walk over to the Veteran's Memorial or just let us know that You give a toot when You drive by.
9/9/2013 THERE'RE AIN'T NO GOOD GUYS
“According to leaked diplomatic correspondence, Iran has been warning Washington since July 2012 that Sunni rebel fighters have acquired chemical weapons, and called on the US to send “an immediate and serious warning” to rebel groups not to use them.”
This brings to mind the crass comment, nuke them all and then let God sort them out. This comment must be translated into saying - there are no good guys, there are no bad guys - therefore We must stop our killing and start co- creating and demonstrating the structures, values and mindset necessary to facilitate peaceful co-existence. We must stop taking sides in the domestic squabbles of Arab nations. Failure to do so may very well lead to them finding common ground primarily in hating Us - as is classic in such “domestic” dispute as in they obviously have more in common with each Other than they have with Us.
The best way to contain and minister to the injuries being inflicted on the people of Syria is to avoid participating in the proxy war and to actively supply only honest to God humanitarian aid in the form of food, medical supplies, refugee camps and shelter so that We can start the process of making friends of the People of Syria instead of making more enemies.
More violence, more enemies, more war.
There have been conflicting reports coming out of Syria on the current status of the Christian village of Maaloula. The latest appears to be...
"A coalition of Syrian rebel groups that includes members of al Qaida took control of one of the oldest Christian villages in the world (again?) on Sunday, raising concern about the potential destruction of ancient shrines and churches.
Rebel commanders vowed to protect the inhabitants of Maaloula and the village’s holy sites, but there were worries that the town’s many churches, monasteries and shrines from Christianity’s earliest years could be damaged as the Syrian government counterattacks to regain control.
Announcements of the town’s capture after five days of fighting that saw it change hands repeatedly were issued by the Nusra Front, a rebel group that has sworn allegiance to al Qaida, another conservative Islamist rebel group, Ahrar al Sham, and the more mainstream Farouk Brigade.
So why does Al Qaida want to occupy a Christian village - to protect it or to bait Assad to attack it? Strategically, Al Qaida appears to be in control of the war and the allied response. Will Al Qaida claim they are trying to protect the Christians even as reports of atrocities come out of Maaloula in an effort to bait government forces to attack and then blaming those forces for the suffering and damages sure to follow. My heart goes out to the people of Maaloula, all the actors gathered around them can very likely only bring, each in their own way, more destruction upon them.
“…, attacks on Christians and their marginalization in locations where anti-Assad "freedom fighters" have wrested control are on the rise. Logically, such persecution of Christians ought to have roused a measure of protest from the US and its European partners. However, all that the Christians of Syria witness in their travail is silence. Clearly, a decision has been taken that they are acceptable as collateral damage.... See: http://www.sunday-guardian.com/analysis/christians-big-losers-in-the-syrian-uprising
A statement from the Syrian Military Council, the group through which the West funnels aid to more moderate rebel groups, vowed to protect both the sites and “religious minorities” residing in the village.
“We emphasize that we are working very hard to protect all minorities and have sent army units to protect the people of Maaloula and importantly, all of the monasteries and shrines,” the statement said.
But the military council doesn’t command either the Nusra Front or Ahrar al Sham, and both groups have fought pitched battles with military council-affiliated groups before. Nusra and Ahrar al Sham generally are considered the anti-Assad movement’s most effective and aggressive rebel fighters, making it unclear that the military council would be able to enforce its pledge to protect the area." (emphasis added)
"I invite you to keep on praying so that the violence and devastation in Syria stops and so that people work with renewed commitment for a just solution to this fratricidal conflict," the pope said today." Fratricidal = Brother killing Brother. The Crusades fostered the spiritual rebirth of the Pope's name sake, St. Francis.
9/7/2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBJSBNj0Mnk Great trailer of the St. Francis movie, "Brother Sun, Sister Moon"
In an urgent appeal to the world’s most powerful leaders, Pope Francis has asked the heads of the G20 nations to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution” to the conflict in Syria and to “do everything possible to ensure humanitarian assistance to those suffering because of the conflict, both within and beyond the country's borders."
“Confronted with similar acts one cannot remain silent, and the Holy See hopes that the competent institutions make clear what happened and that those responsible face justice,” the Vatican’s Foreign Minister, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, told the 71 ambassadors regarding the chemical weapons attack that took place outside Damascus on August 21. The US and its allies believe the attack was launched by the Syrian government.
Mamberti said the main priority was to stop the violence which he said is risking the involvement of other countries and creating “unforeseeable consequences in various parts of the world.”
Updated: Friday, September 6 2013, 10:08 AM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Senator Chuck Grassley sat down with CBS 2 News to discuss the crisis in Syria. The Republican Senator says he plans to vote against authorizing military action, but says he wants to hear what the President and a classified intelligence briefing have to say next week. (emphasis added)
There is hope. If You have not already, email Senator Grassley and let him know how You feel.
If You are too busy to stop by and have already contacted your Congressmen then do a drive by the Court House Monday evening and honk and wave between 7 and 8 pm.
The historic vote is not over until it is over. At this point the most important thing is to have a sober sense of accountability and pride in what ever actions You have taken to make your voice heard.
SEN. TOM UDALL:
“I’m voting no because this policy moves the United States towards greater involvement in the Syrian civil war and an increasing regional conflict.”
So how is the house vote shaping up?
REP. ALAN GRAYSON:
“As I indicated earlier, the vote (in the house) at this point is overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly against this, almost 10 to one against this, according to the members who have already committed.”
President Obama: “What are our responsibilities?”
AMY GOODMAN: “Congress member Alan Grayson, can you respond to President Obama’s question?”
REP. ALAN GRAYSON: “Well, let’s talk about what our responsibilities are not. Our responsibilities are not to ignore the United Nations. Our responsibilities are not to ignore NATO or the Arab League. Our responsibility is not to ignore the international court of The Hague. Our responsibility is not to make vague remarks about red lines …”
"I’m very disturbed by this general idea, this notion, that every time we see something bad in the world, we should bomb it. And, in fact, the president himself has criticized that mindset, and now he’s adopted it. It’s simply not our responsibility to act alone and punish this. I’ll give you an example. There is substantial evidence right now, which the Russians have chosen to actually present to the United Nations, unlike the United States at this point, of the rebels using poison gas. Are we going to bomb both sides?”
"War begets war, violence begets violence.” Pope Francis