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Iraq's Military Brass Coming to Las Vegas So YOU Can Sell Them WMDs - Then in 20 Years We'll KNOW They've Got Them and: War Time!
Be a part of this fabulous plan that's NEVER EVER been tried before. Here's how:
Sixth Iraq Aviation and Defense Summit
February 16-17, 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada
Not 1 More Acre!
PO Box 773
Trinidad, Colorado 81082
Visit our website: www.not1moreacre.net
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Under cover of another sham environmental analysis and public disclosure document, the Pentagon made clear today its decision to waste nearly $5 billion taxpayer dollars to establish drone warfare training across southeastern Colorado.
$5 billion taxpayer dollars are being spent to build a new
Combat Aviation Brigade complete with Grey Eagles and other drones.
Their decision flies in the face of reality:
The Combat Aviation Brigade is an unprecedented escalation of military expansion prohibited across southeastern Colorado.
Call Senator Mark Udall, the politician pushing the new Combat Aviation Brigade and $5 billion for it.
Tell him to stop.
Democracy doesn't work without us.
Please call now.
By Peter Hart, FAIR
The new issue of Time magazine promises on its cover "Essential Info for the Year Ahead." One apparently essential report: U.S. drones are awesome.
The report--written by Mark Thompson, available to subscribers only explains that a "hot military trend" this way:
Today's generals and admirals want weapons that are smaller, remote-controlled and bristling with intelligence. In short, more drones that can tightly target terrorists, deliver larger payloads and are some of the best spies the U.S. has ever produced, even if they occasionally get captured in Iran or crash on landing at secret bases.
There's no time to dwell on that, because there are too many good things to say about our remote-control war. "Drones had a big year in 2011," Thompson writes, and 2012 will be even bigger. As Time readers learn, "Unlike humans, these weapons don't need sleep."
And best of all, apparently, the military aren't the only ones doing the killing:
America's arsenal has become so small and lethal, you don't need the U.S. Army--or any military service at all, in fact--to field and wield them. The CIA, which used to be limited to derringers and exploding cigars, is now not very secretly flying drones. With little public acknowledgment and minimal congressional oversight, these clandestine warriors have killed some 2,000 people identified as terrorists lurking in shadows around the globe since 9/11.
The British Bureau of Investigative Journalism's investigation of the CIA drone program in Pakistan (8/10/11) stressed less of the gee-whiz and more the real-life consequences of the attacks. Estimates of civilian deaths range from 390 to 780-- including almost 200 children. U.S. officials, for the record, were once making absurd claims that no innocents were killed.
As for the apparent enthusiasm for waging a war where "you don't need the U.S. Army" at all--that is precisely one of the criticisms of the drone program; some legal experts argue that non-military personnel are not legal combatants, and therefore killing every one of those 2,000 "people identified as terrorists" was a war crime. Others point out that employing drones outside an active combat zone could also violate international law. But none of that is "Essential Info" for 2012.
At the first meeting of the new Charlottesville, Va., City Council Tuesday evening, four of the five city council members publicly expressed their intention to support a resolution asking Congress to reduce military spending, a resolution likely to be discussed and voted on at the council's next meeting on the evening of January 16th, Martin Luther King Day. The fifth member expressed no view, so the possibility exists for unanimous support. One of the four members who expressed support for the draft resolution that we had proposed added that he would like to see it amended to also oppose the launching of a war against Iran. Another member also expressed an interest in revising the draft in some unspecified way prior to the next meeting.
The City of Charlottesville posts videos of its meetings online, but the video that can be downloaded and edited includes no audio, so I'm unable to show you just the relevant bits of the meeting. However, you can find them with the handy-dandy guide below this video:
First come 3-minute public comments from some of us in support of the resolution. Scroll ahead to . . . 17:07 for Brandon Collins, immediately followed at 20:43 by David Swanson. Jump ahead to 34:36 for Kirk Bowers, and to 38:30 for Nancy Carpenter. Then at 47:20 Stratton speaks on another issue but connects it very well to this one.
Following public comments, each of the five city council members replied briefly. First new member Kathy Galvin spoke on other topics and did not mention the resolution at all. Next, at 53:28 new member Dede Smith spoke in support of the resolution, and at 54:22 Kristin Szakos did so as well but suggested that it should be voted on at the next meeting on MLK Day, while at 55:10 Dave Norris spoke in support of the resolution and of adding to it opposition to attacking Iran. Norris's term as mayor ended at this meeting, but as mayor in 2011 he had been an early supporter of the resolution passed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors asking Congress to reduce military spending. Brand new mayor Satyendra Huja spoke last and did not touch the topic at that point.
Now, enjoy lots of unrelated discussion or jump way ahead to 2:35:30 for Pat Lloyd, another member of the public who speaks up for the resolution. Then skip ahead to 2:49:48 at which point Mayor Huja says that he too supports the resolution, and Charlottesville City Manager Maurice Jones asks the five members to submit any proposed edits to the resolution to him (or to "staff") by the end of this week.
The book that I present to the Mayor in the video can be found at http://MIC50.org
Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice is supporting this resolution.
UPDATE: Meeting will be on 17th, not 16th.
Sanity invades the NYTimes website. You can cut the US military budget here. Hint: just scroll down past all the benefits for troops and veterans that the Times leads with, check everything else, and you'll cut well over $1 trillion / 10 years.
There is broad agreement on the left, right and center that $450 billion in cuts over a decade — the amount that the White House and Pentagon agreed to last summer — is acceptable. That is about 8 percent of the Pentagon’s base budget. But there is intense debate about an additional $500 billion in cuts that may have to be made if Congress follows through with deeper reductions.
Mr. Panetta and defense hawks say a reduction of $1 trillion, about 17 percent of the Pentagon’s base budget, would be ruinous to national security. Democrats and a few Republicans say that it would be painful but manageable; they add that there were steeper military cuts after the Cold War and the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
“Even at a trillion dollars, this is a shallower build-down than any of the last three we’ve done,” said Gordon Adams, who oversaw military budgets in the Clinton White House and is now a fellow at the Stimson Center, a nonprofit research group in Washington. “It would still be the world’s most dominant military. We would be in an arms race with ourselves.”
... If, say, the Pentagon saves $7 billion over a decade by reducing the number of aircraft carriers to 10 from 11, would there be sufficient forces in the Pacific to counter an increasingly bold China? If the Pentagon saves nearly $150 billion in the next 10 years by shrinking the Army to, say, 483,000 troops from 570,000, would America be prepared for a grinding, lengthy ground war in Asia?
... Even after the winding down of the wars and the potential $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade, the Pentagon’s annual budget, now $530 billion, would shrink to $472 billion in 2013, or about the size of the budget in 2007.
In reality, of course, no other nation spends anything remotely like this, and we will not stand for a grinding, lengthy ground war in Asia. Get some facts.
By John Grant
Ever since George W. Bush lost the popular vote by 500,000 souls and was selected President by a right-leaning Supreme Court, the United States has seemed to me devoted to a twisted fate of slow-motion Armageddon.
What seems to guarantee this is one of our most characteristic American traits: We don’t learn from the past; instead, we choose to officially forget embarrassing history so we can move on from our debacles without losing an ounce of glory. We all know how it goes: Sure, mistakes were made, but we need to keep our eye on the ball and move forward. The costs are paid in slow motion and out of sight.
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- Huntsville, long known as "Rocket City," lately also is saluted as a "Pentagon of the South."
The title sneaks into conversations and even into print every once in a while as a shorthand way of referring to the growth of commands, programs and influence at Redstone Arsenal and, by extension, area defense contractors and businesses.
"That phrase is a bit over the top," said Dr. Jess Brown, a political science professor at Athens State University and longtime observer of the region.
He points out that, after all, we are mostly Army here - HOOAH! - while the Pentagon is headquarters for soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and all the services. The famous five-sided facility is also where the U.S. military's ultimate geopolitical strategy is formed in consultation with civilian leadership in the nation's capital.
"I actually don't have a problem with 'Pentagon of the South,' " said former Col. John Olshefski, now Huntsville's District 3 City Councilman. He spent 27 years in the Army - including "a year of penance in the Pentagon" - and served as Redstone Arsenal Garrison Commander before retiring in 2008.
He said that, other than the Pentagon itself and really big installations such as Fort Bragg - also often called the Pentagon of the South - there aren't many places with more generals on post than Redstone Arsenal.
And Olshefski doesn't think anywhere else except the real Pentagon has as many members of the Senior Executive Service, which are Department of the Army civilian counterparts to generals.
And not many places can, like Huntsville, boast of having more than 100 retired generals living and working in their cities.
"We send our general officers to the Pentagon to get trained and then let them retire here and produce more and more for this community," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, only half joking.
Calling this area a mini-Pentagon is meant as a compliment, Battle said. But it doesn't reflect the fact that we actually do things.
"We are more of a technological hub than the Pentagon is," Battle said. "The Pentagon is a management agency."
Plenty of program management goes on here, too. And perhaps the hundreds of billions of dollars that is handled by arsenal-based commands and agencies is itself enough to justify comparison with the Pentagon.
But there is also aviation, missile defense, software, energy and other research, development and engineering work that goes on in our laboratories, hangars and offices, he said.
"We have to stand on the quality of the programs that we produce on a day-to-day basis. I think we can do that," Battle said. "Some days I think you can say we're better than a 'Pentagon of the South.' "
By David S. Cloud | McClatchy-Tribune News Service
WASHINGTON — After a U.S. airstrike mistakenly killed at least 15 Afghans in 2010, the Army officer investigating the accident was surprised to discover that an American civilian had played a central role: analyzing video feeds from a Predator drone keeping watch from above. The contractor had overseen other analysts at Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field in Florida as the drone tracked suspected insurgents near a small unit of U.S. soldiers in rugged hills in central Afghanistan. Based partly on her analysis, an Army captain ordered an airstrike on a convoy that turned out to be carrying innocent men, women and children. "What company do you work for?" Maj. Gen. Timothy McHale demanded of the contractor after he learned that she was not in the military, according to a transcript obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. "SAIC," she answered. Her employer, SAIC Inc., is a publicly traded Virginia-based corporation with a multiyear $49 million contract to help the Air Force analyze drone video and other intelligence from Afghanistan.
Selective Sympathy: War’s Mayhem and Murder is Somehow Less Hard to Bear than the Humane Termination of an Injured Animal
By Dave Lindorff
The officer rested his arm holding the stock of the assault rifle on the top of a log pile, and aimed directly between the target’s eyes. She was looking directly at him, unblinking, from 30 feet away, and exhibited no fear. “I hate doing this,” he muttered, before finally pulling the trigger.
A sharp “bang!” rang out, her head jerked up and then her whole body sagged to the ground, followed by some muscle jerks, and it was over.
The officer went over and checked the body, decided no second shot was needed to finish the job, and then walked back to his squad car, took out his phone, and called in the serial number of his rifle, reporting his firing of one round, as required by regulations.
By Dave Lindorff
It’s fascinating to watch the long knives coming out for Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, now that according to some mainstream polls he has become the front-running candidate in the Jan. 3 GOP caucus race in Iowa, and perhaps also in the first primary campaign in New Hampshire.
National security advisers to the Republican presidential candidates have ties to defense, homeland security and energy companies that have received at least $40 billion in federal contracts since 2008.
Five of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s 41 national security and foreign policy advisers have links to companies that last year alone received at least $7.9 billion in federal contracts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Government analyst Christopher Flavelle. Of that, $7.3 billion came from the Department of Defense.
Romney and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, who are leading in the polls, have advisers who sit on the board of directors of BAE Systems Inc., which has received at least $37 billion in U.S. government contracts since 2008, the most of any of the companies with ties to Republican national security advisers.
William Schneider, an adviser to Gingrich, and Michael Chertoff, who counsels Romney, serve on the board of the U.S. subsidiary of BAE Systems Plc, Europe’s largest defense contractor. The American company makes the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle and provides information technology systems to American intelligence agencies and repair services to the U.S. Navy.
By Dan DeWalt
Predator Odrona is about to sign a military authorization bill [Carl Levin's S-1867] that puts every one of us at risk of being detained by our own military. If the government decides that you are a terrorist threat, the military will be able to kidnap you and deny you the right to a trial or even the right to know why you're being held.
This time of year is ideal for reflecting on the miracle of Christmas 1914, that famous temporary truce and friendship between opposing sides in the midst of a war. Here was a new type of slaughter confronted with a new type of humanism, the leading edges of two opposing trends.
An op-ed in the New York Times last week by Steven Pinker and Joshua Goldstein argues that peace, rather than war, was the dominant development, and that over the millennia, centuries, decades, and right up to this moment, "War Really Is Going Out of Style."
By Yasmeen Ali
Lahore -- Ever since 9/11 and the subsequent 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by the US, Pakistan’s world has been in turmoil.
19 December 2011 - Almost two-thirds of countries asked by human rights groups about their involvement in extraordinary rendition flights have failed to comply with freedom of information requests – with European nations in particular accused of withholding evidence of the controversial CIA programme.
Was the Attack on Pakistani Outposts Deliberate?: How Far Will the US Go to Target Pakistan's Military?
By Shaukat Qadir
This past June I posted an article by Anatol Lieven on Facebook. For those who are not familiar with his name, Anatol is from the UK and numbers among the few journalists whom I always enjoy reading. I have met Anatol a few times and he is the kind of person who likes to get acquainted with the psycho-social environment of the people he writes about. Written in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s execution, Anatol’s article was critical of the US approach to the region, particularly Pakistan.
By John Grant
Ft. Meade -- Saturday, December 17th was Bradley Manning’s 24th birthday, and at least 300 supporters gathered outside Fort Meade, Maryland, where the military was in its second day of a preliminary hearing process that’s expected to take about a week. Manning worked in military intelligence and is alleged to have released military secrets to WikiLeaks, which released the material publicly.
December 14, 2011 - One by one, the Marines sat down, swore to tell the truth and began to give secret interviews discussing one of the most horrific episodes of America’s time in Iraq: the 2005 massacre by Marines of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.
“I mean, whether it’s a result of our action or other action, you know, discovering 20 bodies, throats slit, 20 bodies, you know, beheaded, 20 bodies here, 20 bodies there,” Col. Thomas Cariker, a commander in Anbar Province at the time, told investigators as he described the chaos of Iraq.
Ann Wright: Defense demanded hearing officer recuse himself as he allowed only two witnesses other than prosecution witnesses. 30 defense witnesses denied Hearing to begin again at 11:30
By Dave Lindorff
Congratulations to all those who helped to achieve this victory.
WHEREAS, our nation faces its most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression; and,
WHEREAS, approximately 58 cents of every federal discretionary tax dollar in fiscal year 2011 is spent to pay for past, present, and future military expenditures [1, 2]; and,
WHEREAS, not including U.S. military forces presently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, our country maintains more than 255,000 troops stationed in 146 countries and a network of more than 865 bases in 63 countries, which together cost more than $372 billion annually ; and,
WHEREAS, the Pentagon budget was $297 billion when President Clinton left office but for the 2011 fiscal year is over $700 billion, more than double, and military spending by other agencies such as the Veterans Administration, Department of Energy, the State Department, and interest on the war debt raises the total to almost $1 trillion annually ; and,
WHEREAS, the total cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to Americans is estimated at $4 trillion , and taxpayers in deficit-plagued California have paid almost $145.8 billion in federal taxes for war, and San Francisco taxpayers have paid approximately $3.8 billion for these wars since 2001 ; and
WHEREAS, over 4,470 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq (474 from California), over 1,770 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan , and over 45,100 U.S. troops have been wounded in both conflicts according to the Department of Defense; and
WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians have been killed in these wars and the ongoing wars pose great and unnecessary harm to the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan; and
WHEREAS, San Francisco faces falling federal and state support, causing cuts to the city’s Adult Day Care Centers [8, 9], Food Bank , City College, Public Schools, and Libraries, which threatens San Francisco’s public workers, youth, students, elderly, and other vulnerable citizens; and,
WHEREAS, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2009 survey of U.S. infrastructure (bridges, roads, sewage treatment, etc.) assigned poor grades to all categories: from C-plus to D-minus .
WHEREAS, the June 2011 U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling on the President and Congress to end the wars and reallocate the funds to meet vital domestic needs (attached); and,
WHEREAS, the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee in July 2011 unanimously passed a resolution urging Congress to pass HR780 to provide funds for operations of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan only for purposes of providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan (attached); and,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors finds that the Federal Government’s current military budget diverts critical funding away from domestic needs and, in particular, is detrimental to the well-being of the citizens, residents, and taxpayers of San Francisco, and calls upon California’s Congressional delegation to promote Federal legislative action to reduce the military budget significantly; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors calls upon California’s Congressional delegation to promote Federal legislative action limiting any subsequent Iraq and Afghanistan war appropriations to funding the rapid, safe, withdrawal of all U.S. troops, bases, and contractors from those countries, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors supports Federal and California state legislative or executive action that would ensure adequate funding for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, particularly those who have returned home physically or mentally wounded, to ensure they receive health care, housing, jobs, education and other support services; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors calls upon President Barack Obama and California’s Congressional delegation to promote Federal executive or legislative action redirecting savings from reducing military expenditures towards domestic needs, creating jobs, and supporting non-military efforts by international organizations to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan; and,
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to President Barack Obama, the California Congressional delegation, the Governor of California, and the California State Legislature.
Sources1. “Rep. Dennis Kucinich says defense spending consumes more than half of the discretionary budget”, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Politifact Ohio, Jan 24, 2011, http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2011/feb/18/dennis-kucinich/rep-dennis-kucinich-says-defense-spending-consumes
2. “Deficits Add Pressure to Cut Defense Spending”, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/7/11, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2011/02/07/MNQE1HHQ8E.DTL
3. Dufour, J., “The Worldwide Network of U.S. Military Bases”, July 1, 2007, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5564
4. Stiglitz & Bilmes, The Three Trillion Dollar War; http://threetrilliondollarwar.org
5. Seligson, S., “Staggering Price Tag for Iraq, Afghanistan Wars”, BU Today, July 8, 2011, Boston University, http://www.bu.edu/today/2011/staggering-price-tag-for-iraq-afghanistan-wars
6. National Priorities Project, Cost of War: http://CostOfWar.com
7. iCasualties.org, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan http://iCasualties.org
8. “Adult day care cuts leave seniors in the lurch”, ABC channel 7, July 27, 2011, http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/politics&id=8275292
9. “Jerry Brown vetoes bill to help elderly, disabled”, San Francisco Chronicle, July 26, 2011, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/26/BAF01KE1VF.DTL
10. “S.F. Food Banks Struggle with Major Funding Cuts”, San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 20, 2011, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/20/MNTO1KO7PR.DTL
11. “Report Card”, American Society of Civil Engineers, 2009, http://www.asce.org/Product.aspx?id=2147485985
By James A. Lucas, member, Veterans for Peace *The U.S. possesses about 7,500 nuclear warheads in various parts of the world. *The U.S. is the only nation to ever use atomic/nuclear weapons, having dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and a second one on Nagasaki in 1945, killing about 200,000 people. President Truman lied to the American people by stating that those cities were military targets. *The U.S. maintains about 1,000 military bases abroad. *From 1945 to 2005 the U.S. tried to overthrow over 50 foreign governments. *Since the end of the Second World War the U.S. has been involved in the assassinations of (or the planning of) 48 political leaders in 28 nations. *As of 2005, American armed forces were deployed in over 100 countries. *President Johnson escalated the Vietnam War by falsely claiming that our ships had been attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin by South Vietnam ships. About 3 million Vietnamese and 50,000 Americans died in that war. *Two million Iraqis and many Americans have died in two wars initiated by the U.S. against Iraq within 15 years. The second war started because of the false claim by the U.S. government that Iraq had nuclear weapons. RECENT U.S. ACTIONS TO EXTEND ITS REACH AROUND THE WORLD: *Bombed Libya. *Launched CIA drone attacks into Pakistan that have killed over 2,000 people. The U.S. has over 50 drone launching sites around the world. *Announced the stationing of a contingent of about 200 military personnel in Australia as part of a plan to encircle China. That number will be increased. *Established an Africa command (AFRICOM) to coordinate efforts to gain access to the natural resources on that continent and establish military bases there. Its headquarters is located in Germany, since no African nation will host it. * In 2008 the U.S. 4th fleet was given the mission of patrolling the waters near South and Central America. Leaders in Cuba and Venezuela have objected.