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Beware of Americans...Bearing Gifts
By Shaukat Qadir
I am sure everyone knows this but merely to ensure we are on the same grid, a policy has one or more aims to be achieved in a specified period and spells out how the said aims will be achieved. While I have no intention of fleshing out a policy in this article, I will merely seek to emphasise the need for one and suggest what it should be aiming at. Pakistan has been without any policy since Ayub Khan’s decline in 1964!
Let us start by looking at what every ordinary citizen of any country, including Pakistan, wants. First and foremost is security: Not just security of life and limb or security from neighbouring enemies, but also food security, water security, job security, economic security, energy security etc. The list is long, and he/she wants to live in peace, so as to have the right to ‘pursue happiness’.
Obama’s Reset: Arab Spring or Same Old Thing?
How the President and the Pentagon Prop Up Both Middle Eastern Despots and American Arms Dealers
By Nick Turse
If you follow the words, one Middle East comes into view; if you follow the weapons, quite another.
Harry Belafonte says self-censoring on Obama's abuses undermines him and yourself and makes you a traitor
I hit the pavement today, running a reel of the past few months through the windmills of my mind. I’ve spent so much time, lately, in rooms of joy and sorrow, and hotels, and towns where I catch my reflection in some store window and think: Who is she?
I traveled with one son to visit another. Was sitting outside when the younger said, “Mom, you have beautiful feet. You have the feet of a sixteen-year-old.” Before I could tell him I know this, he continued, “It’s a shame I can’t say the same about your face.”
He and I had been discussing the dollar and what he calls my freak-ass economic doomsday tune. The whole foot thingy probably was an attempt to shift the subject.
By Victor Grossman
Berlin -- The debate continues: Was the killing of Osama bin Laden justified? Perhaps a rather useless debate since he is now most certainly dead. But despite their distance in time and space some flashbacks insist on recurring, right next to terrible images of those two planes and the two huge buildings collapsing in New York ten years ago. (No, make that three buildings!)
I for example still think about that Cuban plane which exploded on October 6th 1976 in the Caribbean, killing the 5 crew members and all 73 passengers, including the entire champion fencing team of Cuba, many of whom were still teenagers. All four men directly responsible for this horror had ties to the CIA which, it was later revealed, knew of the bombing in advance.
By John Grant
I know when night has gone
That a new world's born at dawn.
I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.
-- Sons Of The Pioneers
We live in frustrating times for anyone politically opposed to the relentless militarization and financialization of virtually every facet of life in America.
The idealism of the Sixties and Seventies was overwhelmed first by Reaganism, then by the tsunami of post-911 fear and, finally, by the momentum of two, now three, on-going foreign wars. We live in an enforced condition of permanent war and unfettered piracy.
By Linn Washington, Jr.
In the wake of the Obama Administration’s ballyhooed elimination of Osama bin Laden, thousands of government workers across the United States wonder when their president will provide them the ‘comfort of closure’ through his attacking a terrorism they confront daily.
This terrorism ravishing government employees working in entities from mega-federal agencies to small municipalities fits the classic dictionary definition of terrorism: using force or threats to demoralize, intimidate and subjugate.
This terrorism is a tyranny predating the birth of al Qaeda: institutional racism and its related deprivations like vicious retaliation against anyone objecting to unlawful institutional inequities.
Interestingly, a raging battlefield in the institutional racism wars is the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights, where numerous organizations have blasted that office’s director for his failures to enforce civil rights.
New Bin Laden Tapes Appear Fake Like Earlier Ones - by Stephen Lendman
On May 2, AP writer Matt Apuzzo headlined, "US Official: New bin Laden tape, recorded shortly before death, expected to surface soon," saying:
"US intelligence officials believe (he) made a propaganda recording shortly before his death and expect that tape to surface soon....A new recording (would) provide a final word from beyond the grave...."
On May 7, New York Times writer Elisabeth Bumiller headlined, "Videos From Bin Laden's Hide-Out Released," saying:
On May 7, the administration "released five videos recovered from" his alleged hideout, showing him "threatening the United States, condemning capitalism and at some points flubbing his lines and missing a cue."
By James Ridgeway
Back in the 1980s, before the Cold War gave way to the War on Terror, American money and supplies helped Osama Bin Laden create Al Qaeda and build it into one of the world’s most successful terrorist organizations. And without the close alliances between Al Qaeda and our “allies” Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the attack on the World Trade Towers could not have been carried out. What follows are the bare bones of what we know of this world as it existed in the days before September 11, 2001. (Some of the early material in this account first appeared in my book The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11.)
April seemed to drift in, whimpering and, then, banging shut. Caresses and blows.
Easter slid by. Where was I? North Carolina? Kentucky? Maryland?
Easter’s just candy, anyway, shaped like eggs, and a White House lawn with children on the hunt. Though I do remember something about a rock rolled away from a tomb.
Prince William and Kate were royally rocking and rolling, a circumstance of pomposity.
Now, we’re a week into May, Derby time with a parade of hats and thoroughly bred animals. Oh, and horses, too, racing for the first jewel in the Triple Crown, no thorns allowed.
This is celebration season. And many are celebrating death—the assassination of that mythical decider who claimed responsibility for “inspiring” 9-11 and scared us to bookstores to purchase bibles in freedomville where we can shop and choose a wireless plan with a special friends-and-family rate, radiation exposure, dropped calls, and surveillance included.
This will be a very short pop quiz. Post your answers below.
Who is this person?
He's the most powerful person ever.
He has sole command of the most powerful and profitable military and death squads ever.
He's the most corporate national leader ever.
He spent more money to get into office than anyone else ever.
He is the focus of a huge cult of personality, patriotism, partisanship, and obedience.
He oversees the most high-tech illegal spying apparatus ever.
He engages in lawless imprisonment and torture and assassination.
He depends on extreme secrecy, dishonesty, and immunity.
He's taken part in one of the largest transfers of wealth upward ever.
His opponents tend to be delusional and to be opposing a caricature of him.
His supporters tend to be delusional and to be supporting a caricature of him.
Serious critics tend to be lumped by his opponents with his supporters and by his supporters with his opponents.
There is not a single thing that anyone believes he holds so dear he wouldn't compromise it or sacrifice it, other than his own behind.
You can phone a friend or ask the audience.
Staged Bin Laden Killing Hokum - by Stephen Lendman
As reported, it sounded more like bad fiction than eliminating "Enemy Number One," especially with no visuals, corpse, independent proof, and shifting official accounts.
In Hollywood, it's called rewrite. In politics, it's lying, a Washington bipartisan specialty, notably on issues mattering most.
Also at issue is conducting lawless operations for any purpose. More on that below.
Two previous articles discussed the staged May Day hokum, accessed through the following links:
The 2011 Taliban Spring Offensive: Obama’s Obligation to Protect Afghan Civilians Under International Humanitarian Law
By: Kathleen Kirwin, Esq.
May 4, 2011
By Dave Lindorff
In the end they couldn't get away with it.
As I noted back on Monday in my first article on the Sunday Navy SEAL raid into Pakistan that killed Osama Bin Laden, President Obama himself spilled the beans in his initial midnight statement, when he said, “After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”
After that perhaps unintentionally honest account of an execution, the lies began, with White House chief counter-terrorism advisor (great title huh?) John O. Brennan fabulating that Bin Laden had "engaged in a firefight" with the SEALs who "entered the area of the house he was in," and adding, "Whether or not he got off any rounds, I frankly don't know." Then there were the lies that Bin Laden had shamefully used his wife as a "human shield," that he had been armed with an assault rifle, etc.
By Yasmeen Ali
Lahore, Pakistan -- I am incredulous!
I’ll say one thing: this US Special Forces operation deserves a standing ovation for immaculate execution. Except that some details do get confusing.
Maybe I’m just slow, but truly, viewing the still pictures of the compound where Osama was shot to death that are being aired on local TV here, I am left spell-bound by many odd contradictions.
First, the wall that encircled the compound, which was blasted through to allow entry to the US attackers, showed a humble charpoy next to a water geyser and a few odd household items stacked right next to the opening. Not a hair out of place, so to speak. It was all a little too orderly for my lawyerly taste. Wouldn’t something have been damaged or knocked over at least?
"1st Great War of the 21st Century" - by Stephen Lendman
In 1980, pioneer trends strategist Gerald Celente founded The Trends Research Institute. He also authored Trends 2000 and publishes quarterly Trends Journal updates, providing timely, comprehensive, accurate business, economic, political, social, technology, and other forecasts on "over 300 different trend categories."
His "1st Great War of the 21st Century" was just released, a comprehensive analysis discussed below, including facts like "(o)nly 45.4 percent of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a 49.3 percent in 2000. Last year, just 66.8 percent of American men had jobs, the lowest on record."
Because of high unemployment and rising prices, especially affecting food, energy and healthcare, "the natives were more than just restless, they were in revolt." No longer believing rosy scenarios, "they took to the streets and manned the barricades," more abroad than at home.
Lies, Damn Lies, and Bin Laden's Death - by Stephen Lendman
Winston Churchill rightly explained that "(a) lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." He said it perhaps before television. For sure before 24-hour cable TV and modern technology instantly communicating globally.
It applies to Obama's latest lie, announced at 11:35PM EDT on bin Laden, saying:
"Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children."
Highlighting 9/11, he painstakingly discussed everything but the truth. America's media repeated it. Celebratory crowds in front of the White House, in Times Square, and at "ground zero" cheered it past midnight, mindlessly believing a lie. More on that below.
By Dave Lindorff
According to the brief announcement made by President Barack Obama last night, the operation in Pakistan by US Navy SEAL special forces was a well-planned hit job.
“They took care to avoid civilian casualties,” the president said of the top-secret night-time raid by helicopter on a highly secure compound near a military base in Abbottadad, a city only about an hour’s drive drive from, Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city. He added, “After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”
Not for long though. After “double-tapping” bin Laden--that is a military term for the illegal process of executing a wounded person--or insuring that a person is truly dead--that involves firing not one but two bullets into the head--his body was taken out of Pakistan by the departing SEAL raiding party, and reportedly buried (dumped) at sea.
America's Terminal Decline - by Stephen Lendman
What distinguished experts long knew (timetables aside), the IMF just recognized, saying China's economy will surpass America's in 2016. If so, it will signal an end to the "Age of America," and no wonder after decades of heedless profligacy. More on that below.
The IMF's 2011 World Economic Outlook shows China overtaking America in five years based on purchasing power parity (PPP) - a criterion for an appropriate exchange rate between currencies as measured by the cost of a representative basket of goods in one country v. another.
IMF's 2016 PPP GDP estimate:
-- China - $18,975.7 trillion
-- America - $18,807.5 trillion
In current dollar terms, America retains its lead, but it's slipping noticeably.
IMF's 2016 dollar GDP estimate:
-- America - $18,807.5 trillion
-- China - $11,220.2 trillion
TCBH! Exclusive: Statement by President Barack Obama on Release of his Democratic Party Registration Certificate
The intrepid journalists at ThisCantBeHappening! have obtained and exclusive: documentary proof from the White House that President Obama is actually a Democrat and has been since he turned 18. See the president's actual 1979 Democratic Party registration, at www.thiscantbehappening.net Finally we can put this canard to rest...
The “Bradley Manning Exception to the Bill of Rights” Devastates the Credibility of the Military Justice System
By Kevin Zeese
The credibility of the military justice system is being undermined by the prosecution of Bradley Manning. His abusive punishment without trial violates his due process rights; his harsh treatment in solitary confinement-torture conditions violates the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment; and now the commander-in-chief has announced his guilt before trial making a fair trial impossible. A Bradley Manning exception to the Bill of Rights is developing as the Obama administration seeks Manning’s punished no matter what constitutional protections they violate.
By James Ridgeway
When it was suggested the war in Iraq was about oil, Tony Blair,then the British prime minister, had this to say on February 6,2003:
“Let me just deal with the oil thing because… the oil conspiracy theory is honestly one of the most absurd when you analyse it. The fact is that, if the oil that Iraq has were our concern, I mean we could probably cut a deal with Saddam tomorrow in relation to the oil. It’s not the oil that is the issue, it is the weapons…”
Surprise, Surprise! Iraq War Was About Oil
By Ray McGovern
April 22, 2011
Afghanistan may be the graveyard of empires, but Iraq is home to a graveyard sense of humor. Iraqis wonder aloud whether the U.S. and Britain would have invaded Iraq if its main export had been cabbages instead of oil.
However obvious the answer, a remarkable array of American pundits and pseudo-savants have resisted giving the oil factor any pride of place among the motives behind the U.S./U.K. decision to invade Iraq in 2003. To this day, the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) continue to play the accustomed role as government accomplice suppressing unwelcome news.
So, if you don’t tune in to Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now or read the British press, you will have missed the latest documentary evidence showing that Great Britain’s Lords and Ladies lied about how big oil companies, like BP, lusted after Iraqi oil in the months leading up to the attack on Iraq.
By Dave Lindorff
I am 62 and have just reached the age where I could apply for Social Security retirement benefits. Of course, I’d be crazy to do that and collect some $700 a month for the rest of my life, when I could keep working and wait until I’m 70 and get $2000 a month.
But the point is, I’ve arrived. I’m a “senior.” And now I’m paying a lot more attention to what the Right and its paymaster, the corporate lobby, are trying to do, not just to my retirement plan (which is Social Security. period), but also to Medicare, the program upon which my medical care will depend once my wife decides to retire from her university job.
Continued Prosecution of Manning Will Embarrass U.S. Foreign Policy Establishment
By Kevin Zeese
After months of pressure, the Obama administration is finally transferring PFC Bradley Manning to a military prison appropriately designed for pre-trial detention in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. While the transfer of Manning away from the abusive Quantico Marine Corps Brig may be a positive step, the U.S. government remains trapped in a Manning Quagmire. If they proceed their embarrassment will continue to grow as the truth about U.S. foreign policy is reviewed under a microscope.
By John Grant
“The Americans have not been honest about this, even among themselves.”
That’s how Mullah Attullah Lodin, deputy chairman of the High Peace Council of Afghanistan sees our nation and its government as it relates to the question of permanent bases in Afghanistan and to his specific portfolio, the establishment of peace in Afghanistan.
Lodin is a former Hizb-e Islami militia commander (they fought the Russians), and he's now in the Karzai government. Some might suggest he has an agenda, which generally means he's not in synch with US policy. Americans don't have "agendas." The presumption is Afghans are backward and corrupt and somehow not as worthy of trust as a westerner or an American. And he's all for talking peace with the Taliban, which makes him radioactive.
An 'Oh Please!' Moment; Is S&P Running Interference for the Right to Help Crush Social Security and Medicare?
By Dave Lindorff
Today’sbreathless anxiety-inducing headline was that Standard & Poors, the rating agency, has issued a “negative outlook” warning on US sovereign debt, claiming that the US, in comparison with other countries with a top AAA credit rating, has "very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness and the path to addressing these is not clear to us". S&P warned that there was a “a one in three chance that the US could lose its AAA rating in two years because of its mounting debt.”
The ratings firm--one of three global companies that Wall Street relies upon to establish the credit ratings of companies and nations around the world--said its analysts had “little confidence” that the Obama administration and the divided Congress would reach any agreement on a deficit-reduction plan before the next national election in the fall of 2012, and that they doubted that any such plan would be adopted until after 2014, two whole Congressional elections away.
(This article is the first of seven pieces dedicated to the Cuban revolution and its defeat of the US imperialist invasion 50 years ago, April 17-19, 1961, and embraces my half-century struggle.)
I. Sharing Che’s Activism
Che’s penetrating eyes stare at me seriously as I write about him. It is strange that I have never written about him before, other than to quote him. Perhaps it is because Che has been too large a figure for me to tackle? I don’t know. This writing, though, is a commemoration of Che and of my 50 years in our common struggle.
Ernesto Guevara was my greatest personal inspiration and Cuba’s revolution was my greatest collective inspiration—along with the Vietnamese resistance fighters. Nicknamed Che, an Argentine expression, he lived and died as he preached. Che’s internationalist ideals, his consequent actions, his integrity and charm, have influenced my life all these decades.