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War Profiteers

10 Questions Re the West’s Nuclear-Winterization of the Arab Spring

Clearly the Syrians are going through unimaginable hells with the merciless oppression of their leadership. According to Nadin Abbott:

The Syrian unrest started in March 2011, on the heels of the successful Arab Spring In Tunis and Egypt. As Syrians took to the streets to demand that President Bashar Al Assad step down, the regime quickly clamped down. The Syrian government used armed personnel and snipers against peaceful demonstrators. Many people were kidnapped and taken by the security forces, after which they were tortured and in many cases killed.


On July 31, the Free Syrian Army was formed. Its reported objective was to protect fleeing soldiers, and chiefly civilians, from the regime. This force is made up of former soldiers of the regime, as well as civilian volunteers. This followed the pattern that we saw in Libya, although the FSA has not officially asked for foreign help.


The Buried Lede on Iran: All Nuclear Sites Routinely Inspected, No Violations

The Buried Lede on Iran: All Nuclear Sites Routinely Inspected, No Violations

    There are some “scary” reports out in the last few days about Iran beginning uranium enrichment at an underground bunker at the Fordow site near Iran’s holy city of Qom and “diplomats” are saying it is “particularly worrying because the site is being used to make material that can be upgraded more quickly for use in a nuclear weapon than the nation’s main enriched stockpile.”


    You have to read on – like, you know, beyond the headline and the first paragraph – to understand that it was back in February 2011, almost a year ago, that Iran sent a letter to IAEA explaining that they would begin enrichment for medical radioisotopes to treat cancer patients “by this summer” (which makes them 5 months late). Iran agreed in August that Forodow fell under IAEA safeguards and would not be making highly enriched uranium needed to build a bomb. In fact, the underground enrichment site at Fordow has been inspected at least ten times since October 2009. In fact, all of Iran’s 15 declared nuclear sites are routinely inspected by the IAEA, making cheating nearly impossible (these links are all from the twitter account of Micah Zenko, Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, who has been great on this issue in the last few days). And, to reiterate, the last IAEA report again confirmed the non-diversion of nuclear materials from any of these declared sites, meaning that all of it is accounted for and none is confirmed as being highly enriched anywhere close to the point needed for weapons-grade material.

US's Global Chess Game w/ China: Next Monstrous Move, Iran

Obama is playing a long (but not necessarily slow) game of global proxy profiteering-chess-for-oligarchs with China. The next opposing pawn to fall will be Iran.

This is what Peter Symonds has to say in wsws:

US preparations for a war against Iran are not directed at stopping the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program, but at furthering Washington’s hegemony over the strategic, energy-rich regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. The US has not abandoned the aim that drove the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq: to exercise control over the oil and gas supplies of its European and Asian rivals.

One of the Obama administration’s main objectives in joining the NATO bombing of Libya was to undermine China’s growing influence in the Middle East and Africa. The war on Libya put billions of dollars of Chinese projects in jeopardy. An oil embargo or military conflict with Iran would have far greater economic consequences for China. Iran is the source of 11 percent of China’s oil imports and the destination of large Chinese investments in the construction and energy sectors.

Just last November the US and Australia announced a new agreement to station US troops in the north of that country and otherwise expand American military and intelligence operations in a move patently directed against China.

Tch Tch! Neo-Libs, -Cons, Corporate Cronies Still Can’t Conquer ‘Power/Profit Puppet Haven’ Iraq

The "War on Terror"?

Does anyone across the globe, even Americans, not know in their heart of hearts (granted as molecular as that place seems to be for most Americans) what a MURDEROUS (GENOCIDAL) SCAM FOR PROFITEERING the US-declared ‘War on Terror’ was and continues to be?

The US administration and those bipartisan marriage-made-in-hell partners of neoliberals and neocons (h/t to Obama for that bipartisanship he can believe in) are now lamely declaring victory about Iraq.

The ever-obliging, bottom-feeding media, glue to the American government’s amoral status-quo bullshitting and fascistic matrix, is sentimentalizing it. A faux-Hallmark moment defying the ever-blaring American sirens of cognitive dissonance.

So, according to Pepe Escobar, $3 trillion plus of US tax dollars have been spent for the Iraqi dimension of the War on Terror. (Why is the American economy so screwed up? Granted the “millionaire’s club” of Congress is not personally involved in said plight of economic devastation in America, but the rest of us, the 99%, should by this time be awake to the economically INSANE, let alone ethically grotesque, politically sacrosanct military budget. I said “should”, mind you.)

‘War-Crimes-R-US’ (Sadism, Barbarism, Summary Executions Are NOT Democratic)

Muammar Gaddafi’s barbaric murder on October 20, 2011 was a war crime. It violated the Third Geneva Convention of 1929 and it violated the UN Security Council Resolution #1973 of 2011.

Will it be seriously investigated and prosecuted? Probably and tragically not. Or maybe a “short-lived” (pun intended) kabuki investigation. But I am guessing not even that.

So when did American presidents and secretaries of state stop caring entirely about international law?

So when did most of America, in fact, stop caring entirely about international law?

Raw power is what it is about. Unrestrained ruthlessness rewards the ‘winners’, and ‘winners’ have license to do anything. No accountability. (Look at Goldman Sachs. What a bang they got for their million dollar bucks to Obama’s 2008 campaign. They have managed to help destroy not just our economy but that of Greece’s, apparently. Those dandy little credit default swaps are still going strong, and, no, are not even going be taxed a fraction of a cent. IN YOUR FACE, CITIZENS OF AMERICA! IN YOUR FACE, CITIZENS OF THE WORLD!! THE BASTARDS PREVAIL!)

Re Gaddafi Death: Naughty Boys (& 1 Girl) Hanging Stray Cat In A Basement

Russia’s NATO envoy, Dmitry Rogozin, spoke the original reference I just paraphrased (and then some) above:

"The faces of the leaders of 'world democracies' are so happy, as if they remembered how they hanged stray cats in basements in their childhoods."

I am with the bitter Dmitry and his calling out the profound sadism on this one, NATO’s and US leaders' jubilation (and probably direct enabling) of the brutal killing of Gaddafi.

I thought we all learned in kindergarten or before that “two wrongs don’t make a right”? Apparently, the golden rule is dead and long live “might makes right”!!!

So the brutal death of Gaddafi foreshadows doomed futures for Libya and the rest of vulnerable countries of the world (those unlucky enough not to have nukes) from the barbarism-enabling Western powers!

Mr. Rogozin accuses NATO of being directly involved in the summary execution of Gaddafi as well as his son. He calls out a NATO spitting upon international law yet again.

Orwellwasright labels the media’s treatment of Gaddafi’s demise “DEATHGASM" as well as calls out the old “demonization playbook,” so useful to illegitimate shock and awe war-mongering:

Everything U Need 2 Know Re Afghan War, But R 2 Depressed 2 Ask

A long time ago I floated an idea in a blog that if the United States taught its soldiers basic American sign language for the deaf then when these soldiers entered the homelands of others to ALLEGEDLY help them, they could easily teach the distressed residents this useful, easy and elegant language and it would enhance communication and thereby reduce some of the massive stress evoked among all involved.

An additional BIG advantage would be that that one language would be flexible in all countries, as opposed to having the soldiers have to learn or not learn and endure the clumsy and often fatal consequences of not knowing enough of one challenging language and dialect after another with each deployment to another country.

Silly, naive, obtuse me. What was I thinking? How counter this idea is to what our military is actually doing around the globe, including Afghanistan, conquering and claiming land and resources for the profit-making of oligarchs. Communication with the residents of these lands would simply slow down or obstruct the oligarchical predatory amoral agenda. A high level of empathy among the cannon fodder troops and the victimized and doomed foreign citizenry would reduce the capacity of the troops to easily demonize them, kill them, terrorize them, incarcerate them, torture them, exploit them, whatever.

The Corporate Kill: US/NATO Phony Human Rights War Against Libya

So while Obama is celebrating his assassination of an American citizen without due process, his phony war on Libya promises massive profits for the international corporate elites.

Obama, as ever, pragmatically counting on a myopic low information and/or blood-lusting amoral and/or passively indifferent and/or distracted by personal economic crises citizenry to continue to stay enthralled and/or passive to a poser personality a/k/a international war criminal president uber a remotely moral leader.

Bill Van Auken writes:

Now, with NATO warplanes and heavily armed “rebels” continuing a brutal siege of the coastal city of Sirte, where bombs, shells and lack of food and water has already killed hundreds if not thousands of civilians, capitalist interests from all the major powers are engaged in an unseemly stampede to exploit the wealth created by Libya’s oil reserves, the largest on the African continent.

Similar meetings of hundreds of businessmen have been convened in London—addressed by the envoy of the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council on Tuesday—and in Paris, as the governments who sent warplanes and special forces operatives to wreck the country are now mobilizing a new invasion of capital to extract profits from it.

The Libyan War ... Kinda Like 'The Truman Show' ... Only Bloodier & More Sordid

Jim Lehrer approves of the War in Libya apparently. I no longer approve of Jim Lehrer. He is one of the many co-producers of “Libya’s kinda Truman Show” a movie within the ever flashing movie of "America’s Willing Suspension of Disbelief." Obama, of course, sits in the director’s chair (or corporate puppet’s chair ... what have you).

I’m thinking maybe US corporate media is not the appropriate place to get reality-based info about the true nature of The Libyan War.

After 5 months of “humanitarian intervention,” of what James Cogan describes as “raining death and destruction on the people of Libya,” and doing their damndest to assassinate Gaddafi, France, UK and the US were getting a tad embarrassed. I mean, after all. They have the most savage weaponry of all time at their disposal. Countless lives of soldiers at their disposal. Stenographic media at their disposal. What is the holdup with that rag tag group of rebel puppets of theirs? (Corporate Media Message to US Citizenry: Please don’t look at the three massively armed amoral and opportunistic imperialist countries behind the curtain!) This is (right Mr. Lehrer?) really the will of the Libyan people to achieve democracy and quality of life, not about regime change or control of oil or money by mega corporations and banks from the US, France and UK!!!!

James Cogan:

As Obama Administration Negotiates Away Democratic Party Principles - Time for a 2012 Primary Challenge?

Karen Bernal photoOriginally published in the California Progress Report
By Karen Bernal
Progressive Caucus of the CA Democratic Party

We've had enough. The country has had enough.

As elated as we were when President Obama was elected in 2008, after a disastrous eight years under the repressive and war-mongering Bush Administration, the Obama Administration has been a major disappointment to the working class and Progressives of this country.

So much so that on July 30, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party adopted a resolution criticizing President Obama for negotiating away Democratic Party principles to extremist Republicans, and suggesting that we may explore steps to "effect necessary change, including a possible primary challenge to President Obama." The resolution, overwhelmingly adopted at a meeting of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party July 30, did not say President Obama would not be that candidate.

The officers and members of the caucus are willing to meet with the President if he wishes to discuss our concerns. In fact, we would welcome the opportunity. Our Caucus leadership wishes HOPE BEYOND HOPE that President Obama will rework his priorities to respond to the needs of working class Americans in order to get progressive support in 2012.

King George III Won: Happy Fourth of July!

King George III Won: Happy Fourth of July!
By David Swanson

The Declaration of Independence is best remembered as a declaration of war, a war declared on the grounds that we wanted our own flag. The sheer stupidity and anachronism of the idea serves to discourage any thoughts about why Canada didn't need a bloody war, whether the U.S. war benefitted people outside the new aristocracy to whom power was transferred, what bothered Frederick Douglas so much about a day celebrating "independence," or what the Declaration of Independence actually said.

When you read the Declaration of Independence, it turns out to be an indictment of King George III for various abuses of power. And those abuses of power look fairly similar to abuses of power we happily permit U.S. presidents to engage in today, either as regards the people of this nation or the people of territories and nations that our military occupies today in a manner uncomfortably resembling Britain's rule over the 13 colonies.

Or perhaps I should say, a large portion of us take turns being happy or outraged depending on the political party with which the current president is identified.

On NATO, Libya and Holbrooke


Apparently Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, dressed down NATO members for not pulling their full share for the sake of US-led imperialism.

This provocative statement from Marti Hiken:

While Gates says, “Part of this predicament stems from a lack of will, much of it from a lack of resources in an era of austerity,” he doesn’t acknowledge that these countries still have to answer to the concerns of their people who have not been willing to have their youth sacrificed and die at the rate that Americans are willing. It appears that the people of Europe don’t want to turn their economies into an expensive military support system for the rich. “National Security” and military hardware don’t hold as much sway overseas as they do here. Unlike American policy makers, many Europeans demand (and receive) universal medical care, a safety net, and workers’ rights and jobs.

Let me just repeat my favorite sentence from that paragraph: It appears that the people of Europe don’t want to turn their economies into an expensive military support system for the rich.

Why Over 1 Million Iraqis Were Killed & 4 Million Displaced by the U.S.

FIRST LOOK: WALL STREET IN IRAQ? – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Deputy Secretary Tom Nides (formerly chief administrative officer at Morgan Stanley) will host a group of corporate executives at State this morning as part of the Iraq Business Roundtable. Corporate executives from approximately 30 major U.S. companies – including financial firms Citigroup, JPMorganChase and Goldman Sachs – will join U.S. and Iraqi officials to discuss economic opportunities in the new Iraq. Full list of corporate participants:*

*Participating Companies in Business Roundtable

1. 360 Architects; 2. Albright Stonebridge; 3. Bell Helicopter Textron; 4. Boeing; 5. Cargill; 6. Caterpillar; 7. Chamber of Commerce; 8. Chevron; 9. Citigroup; 10. Exxon Mobil Corp; 11. Federal Express; 12. Fluor; 13. General Electric; 14. Goldman Sachs; 15. Halliburton; 16. ITT; 17. JPMorgan Chase; 18. KBR; 19. Khudairi Group; 20. L-3 Communications; 21. Lindsay Corporation; 22. Lockheed Martin; 23. Microsoft; 24. Monsanto; 25. National Assoc. of Home Builders; 26. NTELX; 27. Occidental Petroleum; 28. Schlumberger; 29. Tupperware; 30. Ventech

Pentagon Using Our Tax Dollars For Human Trafficking

(519 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

There is a shocking article this week in The New Yorker entitled “The Invisible Army” by Sarah Stillman.

Ms. Stillman begins by writing of two women in Fiji, Vinnie Tuiaga and Lydia Qeraniu, who are looking for work in 2007. They get recruited by a local firm called Meridian Services Agency which promises them both jobs in Dubai. You know Dubai. You have seen pictures of that opulent, exciting city I am sure.

But once they get to Dubai, according to Ms. Stillman, they are informed they are actually bound for jobs on U.S. military bases in Iraq. They unwittingly have been dragooned into what Stillman calls the Pentagon’s “invisible army.”

According to Ms. Stillman there are over 70,000 of such workers, called “third-country nationals” or TCN’s, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They are workers primarily from South Asia and Africa who end up living in barbed-wire compounds on U.S. bases, employed by “fly-by-night” contractors and subcontractors.

Most of them are forced to endure harsh living and working conditions, sometimes robbed of rightful compensation, sexually abused, inadequately housed and fed. Stillman claims there have been food riots involving thousands in some of the Pentagon “subcontractor camps”.

U.S. Corporate Media Hearts Henry Kissinger, Biggest & Oldest Living War Criminal

(523 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)

I spent two hours last night protesting Henry Kissinger’s appearance at the 92nd St. Y in NYC. Kissinger is hawking his new 600-page book on American Chinese relations and in which he assuredly buffs, revises and rationalizes his lengthy and deadly role in global history. “Hawking” is the right verb for the aged but dangerous Mr. Kissinger.

There were about 60 of us. We caused a bit of a stir on a refreshingly mild and busy Tuesday evening as the pedestrian and vehicular traffic streamed along Lexington Avenue.

I held a sign that read “ARREST KISSINGER” and wore the small square orange pin “IMPEACH THE WAR CRIMINALS” that the back flap of my knapsack usually sports.

Some of our protesting chants decried Kissinger as a war criminal. Some chants decried the 92nd St. Y for enabling him with their celebrity speaker’s forum.