Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The massacre of the Afghan 17 and the Obama cover-up

by Tom Janssen

The March 11 Massacre of the 17 Afghan citizens, including at least nine children and four women, raises many fundamental issues about the nature of a colonial war, the practices of a colonial army engaged in a prolonged (eleven-year) occupation and the character of an imperial state as it commits war crimes and increasingly relies on arbitrary dictatorial measures to secure public compliance and suppress dissent.After the cold-blooded murder of the 17 Afghan villagers in Kandahar Province the US military and the ever-complicit Obama regime constructed an elaborate cover-up, exposing the Administration up to charges of conspiracy to suppress the essential facts, falsify data and obstruct justice: All are grounds for criminal prosecution and impeachment.This massacre is just one of several hundred committed by US armed forces according to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. It could ruin the Obama presidency, by putting him on trial for conspiracy to obstruct justice and arguably send him to jail for war crimes.Obama’s deliberate lies about the events surrounding the massacre and the fundamental responsibility of the high military command for the crimes committed by its troops underscores the breakdown of the occupation of Afghanistan, the very centerpiece of Obama’s war policy. The President of the United States has personally played a major role in the cover-up. From a political vantage point, the executive conspiracy charge has wider and deeper implications than the massacre itself, as horrible as it is.The Massacre, the ‘Official’ Story (1st version) and the Cover-UpAccording to the US military command in Afghanistan and the Obama regime, at 3am on March 11, 2012 a deranged soldier walked off a Special Forces Base in rural Kandahar Province and without command authority entered two villages (two miles apart), shot and killed 17 unarmed civilians, mostly women and children and wounded an unspecified number of villagers; then he doused their bodies with gasoline, set them on fire and hiked back to base to surrender himself to his commanders. This ‘surrender’, the Pentagon claims, was recorded on video and no less than the President of the United States, Barack Obama, vouched for its authenticity as conclusive proof for the story of a lone, unbalanced mass murderer. The military command quickly whisked the initially unnamed murderer out of the Afghanistan to the maximum security federal prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and only then identified the madman as a 38-year old, multi-decorated, 11-year army veteran, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales. The US has rejected all attempts by the Afghan President, the Afghan Army Chief and members of the Afghan Parliament to interview Sgt Bales, gather testimony and bring the suspect to trial in Afghanistan.According to an independent Afghan parliamentary investigation led by Sayed Ishaq Gillami, and initial investigations by General Sher Mohammed Karimi of the Afghan Army, who interviewed residents of the two villages, there are significant contradictions in the US military’s and President Obama’s “official story”. Eye witnesses have testified that up to 20 soldiers were involved, aided by a helicopter. What they described was typical of a US Special Forces’ night time raid, which involved the systematic breaking down of doors, rousing the sleeping families and shooting Afghan victims.Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today, finds the villagers’ version of events quite plausible for the following reasons: The villages, where the murders occurred, were two miles apart, making it highly unlikely that a lone, fully armed solder could haul a multi-gallon jerry can of gasoline from his base to the first sleeping village, break down the doors of one or more homes, commit the murders, douse and burn his victims and then proceed on foot two miles further on to the second village, shoot, kill and burn the next set of unarmed villagers and then walk back to his base and surrender.It makes far more sense that a heavily armed group of Special Forces troops, engaged in village ‘pacification’ operations, left their base in military vehicles, passed through the gate in the wee hours of the morning, on a routine official operation, authorized by the bases military command and something went wrong. What was supposed to have been a typical midnight assault on a “pacified” village in search of Taliban supporters, turned into the mass murder of children and their mothers in bed with virtually no adult males (husbands, fathers, uncles or brothers) present to protect them. Typically, all Afghan farmers keep weapons in their homes, but these villages had been disarmed by the Special Forces and the adult men had either been detained in earlier sweeps or were in hiding from just such brutal operations in the expectation that their wives and children would not be attacked.Whatever triggered the mass murder of mothers and children in their nightclothes in those villages in Kandahar, one thing is clear: the President of the United States conspired with the US military command to obstruct justice in the cover-up of a heinous war crime, a felony punishable with impeachment.When the implausibility first ‘official’ story became embarrassingly evident to the most superficial observer, the Obama ‘cover-up’ crew released a new version on March 26: According to the revised version of events, the lone, deranged Sgt. Bales committed the first massacre in the early morning hours of March 11, walked back to base for breakfast and lunch and then walked out again to a second village for another round of mass murder – before returning and turning himself in to his commander posing for the video.Why the Obama Cover-Up: Military Demoralization and the Iran War.Why would President Obama engage in such a clumsy cover-up further eroding US relations with the Afghan President Karzai, the Afghan military and especially the Afghan people? Why would he risk charges of conspiracy to protect war criminals by insisting on an easily refutable cover-up?The story of the alleged assassin, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, provides some leads about the larger crisis facing the imperial military. Bales is a ‘decorated’ soldier rewarded for his three tours of combat duty in Iraq and his more recent Afghan assignment where he would have participated in similar types of Special Pacification Operations among civilians in the countryside in Afghanistan. In the days after news of the massacre leaked out, a furious Afghan President Karzai claimed that “hundreds” of similar massacres had been perpetrated by US and NATO forces and had gone unreported in the Western media and unpunished. Karzai has repeatedly called for an end to US Special Forces’ night raids on sleeping villages. But, until now, there had been no need for a US Presidential cover-up up. With the approaching US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the growing expressions of militant Afghan nationalism, the Obama regime must hide the true nature of the occupation. Washington’s Afghan clients can no longer ignore US war crimes against innocent children and women and other non-combatants. This is especially true in the so-called ‘pacified’ villages where the adult Afghani men have already been arrested in sweeps or driven into hiding and with the few remaining, disarmed and ‘under the control’ of the US Special Forces.
Considering even the US official story, why would the Special Forces commanders in charge of the Sgt. Bales base ignore the loud bursts of gunfire and screams of women and children in a village within 100 meters of its perimeter at 3 am? According to their official version, the base command only became aware of the massacres when Sgt. Bales walked back to base, raised his hands high for a video-op and confessed to killing and desecrating the bodies of 17, mostly children and women.
Obama has tried to sell the ‘confession’ video as proof of the ‘official version’ of events to a skeptical Afghan President Karzai who contemptuously demanded the ‘alleged’ video be turned over for a detailed examination for authenticity. Obama’s refusal to release the video tends to confirm his role in the cover-up.
Obama’s contention that a ‘lone unbalanced gunman’ committed the crime is completely self-serving and exposes serious and deep structural problems with the war in Afghanistan. US combat troops in Afghanistan are demoralized and angry because their military commanders have marched them into a cul de sac – a dead end. They are engaged in a long, losing war where every dead US soldier is accompanied by scores who are maimed, blinded and mentally traumatized. In Obama’s war, the wounded are patched up and recycled back into the same meat grinder in an increasingly hostile environment, where rape, torture, maiming and murder become their only ‘recreation’. Sgt. Bales was coerced into multiple tours of duty in Iraq and then shipped off to Afghanistan, contrary to his expectations of a promotion and an end to overseas combat assignments.
There is a huge gap between the world of the political warlords in Washington and their accomplices among the warmongering ‘lobbies’ and that of the soldiers who risk their lives in imperial wars of occupation. These dispensable soldiers are repeatedly deployed to brutal colonial wars thousands of miles from their homes to confront an ‘enemy’ they cannot possibly understand. They end up brutalizing the families, friends, neighbors and compatriots of the elusive Afghan anti-colonial fighters – who are everywhere. Back in the Washington none of the political war-mongers ever experience the pain and suffering of a prolonged war, which for any soldier on the battlefield, is ever present, everywhere. Soldiers, like Sgt. Bales, operate in a very hostile environment where, a roadside bomb or a grenade thrown from a motorcycle, or even a ‘trusted’ Afghan ally, who might turn his gun on his US ‘mentors,’ are omnipresent threats to their ever returning home in one piece.
Obama has to conspire with the Pentagon in covering up this mass murder, defending the officers in charge of these ‘pacified’ villages, because there are no alternatives, no back-ups, no new recruits eager to engage in the 12th year of war in Afghanistan. There are only the re-cycled killers, willing to pursue their career in ‘Special Forces’ involving ‘kill and destroy’ operations. Furthermore, Obama cannot rely on the international allies who are rushing to withdraw their own troops from this quagmire. And Obama has a problem with his allied Afghan warlords and kleptocrats, who managed to run off with over $4.5 billion dollars in 2011 (half of the entire state budget) (Financial Times, 3/19/12, p. 1). President Obama cannot allow an entire garrison, including their commanding officer to be put on trial for the war crimes in this massacre. Holding anyone, besides the hapless Sgt. Bales, accountable for the massacre would incite a general rebellion within the armed forces, or, at a minimum, further demoralize the elite Special Forces who are expected to man these long-term engagements after the regulars withdraw, which in the case of Afghanistan could last until 2024.
This issue has implications far beyond Afghanistan: Obama has developed his entire new counter-insurgency strategy centered on the easy entry and bloody exits of US Special Forces targeting over seventy-five countries. The Special Forces figure prominently in Obama’s military preparations for Syria and Iran, which have been developed at the behest of his Zionist overlords.
In the final analysis, the entire imperial military apparatus of the Obama regime, while formidable on paper, depends on the ‘Special Operations’ formations. As such, they are the centerpiece of the new imperial warfare, developed as a response to the demands for reduced ground forces, budgetary constraints and growing domestic discontent. Their ‘actions’ are designed to leave no witnesses and no embarrassments. They may be the butchers of children, women and unarmed civilians but they are the White House’s butchers.
Despite all their crimes and cover-ups, the Obama regime’s priority is to defend the empire with whatever personnel is available at his disposal. So while Sgt. Bales is in Leavenworth, the Afghan elite cry injustice, the families in Kandahar mourn their dead and the Taliban plan their revenge.
On the domestic front, Obama faces strong popular opposition to the costly unending wars, which have destroyed the US economy, and growing anger and demoralization in the armed forces. As a result of the massive popular discontent among the American people with politicians of both parties who have recklessly sent troops into anachronistic colonial wars, which serve the interest of foreign powers, the President has issued an executive decree, allowing him to assume dictatorial powers in order to militarize the entire economy, its resources and its work force. On March 16, 2012 Barak Obama issued an Executive Order-National Defense Resource Preparedness in order to sustain the global empire.
Clearly prolonged colonial wars cannot be sustained through the consent of the citizens and such wars cannot be prosecuted according to military manuals and the Geneva Conventions. At this point, only Presidential ‘rule by decree’ can secure compliance of the citizens at home and only massacres and cover-ups can sustain the colonial occupations abroad. But these are desperate and temporary: When the extreme measures have run their course there will be nothing to fall back on and nothing can save the president of a collapsing empire from the revolt of its citizens and soldiers.

Monday, March 19, 2012


The International Crisis Group released a report titled “Dallying with Reform in a Divided Jordan,” which is the ninth and latest report in the Crisis Group series “Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East.” The report highlights the cracks that have formed in the long-standing pillar that had been supportive of Jordan’s regime, the East Bankers. “In the past, it was relatively easy for the monarchy to play on the fault line separating East Bankers from Palestinian Jordanians,” said Sirine Rached, Crisis Group Middle East and North Africa Fellow. “However, it has become much trickier for the regime to contain the protests by dividing the protesters. Cross-communal coalitions have emerged around specific demands for political reform, challenging the hegemony of identity politics.” The report concludes that the Jordanian monarchy can no longer postpone action to subside its own protests. It has to formulate long-term solutions to appease the brewing anger before Jordan “portend[s] a new chapter in the Arab uprisings’ unfolding drama.”
Middle East expert Dr. Assaf David, a research fellow at the Truman Institute at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, recently conducted an interview in which he said he believes“Jordan might also be rocked by the Arab Spring turmoil in the Middle East.” David focused on KingAbdullah‘s economic policy as the source of discontent in the nation. “The calls against King Abdullah’s regime have become more frequent,” he said. “If at first many opposed the current reforms, now they are directly attacking the government.”
Today, the NTC announced that 2500 former rebels will received police training in Jordan and Turkey.


On Monday, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion on U.S. policy options in Syria. Panelists included Senior Fellow Daniel Byman, director of research for the Saban Center For Middle East Policy; Senior Fellow Michael Doran; Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack; and Fellow Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center who appeared live from Doha Via video feed. Senior Fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes moderated the discussion.

Tamara Wittes began the discussion expressing the necessity of the event due to the intolerable humanitarian situation continuing to worsen in Syria. The discussion, said Wittes considered risks (both known and unknown) that could result from any policy options. Daniel Byman introduced the memo produced by the Saban Center that weighs the efficacy of six different policy options, with the ultimate goal being regime change in Syria. The six different approaches include all out diplomacy, regime change through coercion, arming the Syrian opposition, the use of air power in addition to aiding the opposition, regime change by U.S. invasion, and a NATO sponsored international military intervention. Byman said that while the paper did not advocate for any specific option, it considers the advantages and disadvantages associated with each policy decision.
Salman Shaikh answered a question from Wittes concerning the efficacy of diplomacy after a year of intense violence. Shaikh began examining the new U.N. and Arab League envoy under former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan. Shaikh said that Annan is, “acutely aware that he faces a ticking clock, and a rising body count,” that sets a timetable on his diplomatic effort. While Annan has not made the conclusion that diplomatic efforts or over, Shaikh stated that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed Russia’s support of Annan’s mission. Shaikh remained unsure if the mission would result in a Yemeni-style transition or a similar political process. Shaikh said that this style solution “would be the best outcome” and the space for diplomatic solution “grows dimmer by the day.”
Mike Doran presented the six policy options as a trade off between cost and effectiveness. “The more effective, the higher the cost, the less effective, the more tolerable the cost,” said Doran. Doran believed that the policy that is chosen (if any) would be a function of “how bad is the risk of failure” and the price the American people are willing to pay. Doran stated that there was no chance of a diplomatic solution because of the nature of the regime—as the regime to leave asks the family to leave, which inevitably leads to regime change. Doran suggested that supporting the Assad mission “throws a lifeline to Assad” and “prevents us from making hard decisions” while buying Assad time to retake opposition strongholds. He asserted that Iran should be at the epicenter of every policy decision the U.S. makes regarding Syria. Assad remaining in power will be a victory for Iran. Iran announces it has a nuclear weapon after Assad stays in power would be another blow. Doran thus defined the risk as twofold: humanitarian and strategic.
Kenneth Pollack cautioned the audience against thinking analogically with respect to Syria, referring to the tendency of the people to look for a compassion for Syria in the Libyan, Iraqi, Bosnian conflicts. “Syria does not look like any of those places,” said Pollack. He also noted that the paper did not consider a few options, including a naval blockade or a true no-fly zone due to the fact that in isolation they could not force Assad out but rather act in conjunction with other, more complete policies. Pollack discussed the obvious differences between Libyan and what would be Syrian intervention. When it comes to a U.S. invasion of Syria, Pollack said that the U.S. has learned how to operate and has become very good at post-conflict reconstruction due to lessons learned from historical mistakes in Iraq. Any intervention, especially an all out military operation would require the U.S. to reconstruct—a process that would take hundreds of thousands of troops, billions of dollars, and a definite timetable. Pollack suggested that the U.S. would not be able to “sit out” of this conflict. The other regional players, like Turkey, have voiced that they are uninterested in intervention by work or action, and then if the U.S. does not provide the key elements, intervention does not happen.
Tamara Wittes noted that the options are not stand-alone options, but policy could combine the different approaches. Daniel Byman said that the options are escalatory steps—they progress from hands-off to hands on intervention. Byman called for a progression of the ‘Friends of Syria’ group to another contract group, such as the coalition of the willing, in order to be on the same page and “ensure that groups are not working across purposes.” He also stated that “not choosing” an option is still choosing—choosing to do nothing.
The Q&A session took questions both from Doha and Washington. A question from Doha raised the issue of a “covert operation” in SyriaDan Byman responded saying that mounting pressures in Syria and taking into consideration the regime’s counterintelligence ability, a covert operation may not be the best option. Kenneth Pollack compared a covert operation to the “overt covert” operations to the arming of contras in Nicaragua. “Covert is not a ‘quick fix’,” said Pollack. Mike Doran said that covert operations were not an option because of “slippery slide scenarios” saying that there are concerns that any sort of military operation may escalate into full on military operations. “We are trying to strengthen the insurgency, and our political statements demoralizing the opposition and strengthening the propaganda of the regime.”
Another question arose concerning Syria’s arsenal of WMD’s. Kenneth Pollack was unsure if Assad would use chemical weapons against his own people considered the mixed populations of Alawi and Sunni enclaves. Byman was more concerned about the “scattering of arsenals” and the sale of arms to the highest bidder as was seen in Libya. Salman Shaikh fielded a question concerning the rhetoric used by regional players in framing the conflict. Shaikh stated that Syria is the “fault-line of a regional conflict” and that it is the time for the U.S. to lead in effect. “The Syrian people have the right to defend themselves. They have the right to communicate with each other,” stated Shaikh. Shaikh asserted that a failure of diplomacy at this current juncture will call into question the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine and the entire international system. With regards to the regional conflict, Shaikh stated that Saudi Arabia has already begun to fund the opposition, but he is unsure if they are doing it in an organized way. If not done in an organized fashion, there is a risk of the conflict deteriorating further.
The panel was in agreement that building up an insurgency would be a long term option, and also that “dithering” by the international community forces Syrians to choose between dying for their cause or living another day—choosing to live is what the Assad regime is waiting for. Mike Dorancalled for increased pressures and incentives for academic elite in Aleppo to defect. Salman Shaikh noted that tribal leaders have welcomed U.S. involvement and assistance to the Syrian people. He quoted one tribal leader saying that aiding of the opposition would be “opening a new chapter” in the relationship between America and the Arab and Muslim world.


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesperson Humanitarian Relief for Syrians The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief into Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure safe access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. To that end, the United States is providing over $12 million in humanitarian assistance through the UN and other humanitarian organizations to support the people of Syria. 

[ed notes: a clear back channel for arming opposition thru ngo's and U.N.

Carlo’s Corner: Only the West gets to kill who they want

One of life’s truisms is the powerful get to kill who they want.
Israel proved this again with days of murderous air strikes on Gaza that began on March 9. By March 13, at least 25 Palestinians were dead and more of Gaza’s devastated infrastructure ruined.
This latest carnage was justified by the fact the first strikes killed members of the Popular Resistance Committee.

Sri Lankan war crimes in spotlight

Sri Lankan is under pressure over repeated allegations of war crimes committed during its war against the pro-independence Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
The war, which lasted nearly three decades, ended with the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. An estimated 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the first five months of 2009 alone.
A panel of experts appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon concluded that the bulk of these deaths were due to the bombardment of Tamil civilians by government forces. The panel recommended the setting up of an international investigative body.
To avoid this possibility and placate international concerns over the atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan Army, the Sri Lankan government set up its own enquiry, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
The United States has drafted a resolution on Sri Lanka to be put before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which is in session until March 23.
The resolution calls for the implementation of the LLRC's recommendations. Predictably, the LLRC exonerated the government of war crimes allegations.
It did, however, make some recommendations to ameliorate the plight of the Tamils, whose traditional homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka is under military occupation.
Fr example, the LLRC recommended the involvement of the military in civilian activity be phased out; pro-government paramilitary groups disbanded; and some degree of devolution of power from the central government to "the periphery" be implemented.
It also recommended that all government offices and police stations should have some Tamil-speaking personnel. At present, many have only personnel that speak Sinhala — the language of Sri Lanka's dominant Sinhalese ethnic group.
These recommendations are meant to reduce the alienation of Tamils from the Sri Lankan state. But while they might ease the suffering of Tamils a bit, the proposals fall a long way short of the goal of self-determination that Tamils have fought for — first by peaceful means, then by armed stuggle — over many decades.
The proposed devolution of powers would be very limited, with the central government continuing to hold the most important powers.
However, the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been reluctant to implement even the limited concessions to the Tamils recommended by the LLRC.
Rajapaksa was elected by appealing to anti-Tamil racism among Sri Lanka's Sinhala majority. He prefers to keep Tamil areas under military occupation to facilitate Sinhalese settlement.
However, the US government believes some limited concessions should be made to the Tamils. The US resolution at the UNHRC aims to pressure the Rajapaksa government to carry out the LLRC's recommendations.
This has prompted some Sri Lankan government ministers to indulge in anti-imperialist rhetoric when addressing protest rallies against this pressure.
Vickramabahu Karunaratne, the secretary-general of the New Socialist Party (NSSP), described this as "bogus anti-imperialism".
He told a recent anti-governemnt rally: "The government leaders claim that the imperialists in Geneva are taking actions against a patriotic government.
“But this government has accepted the dictates of the IMF based in Washington. These are the orders of global capitalism.
"The government heeded these orders and devalued the rupee, raised interest [rates], reduced social welfare and cut the subsidies. Workers, fishers and peasants are super exploited while local capitalists are plundered.
“This is exactly what Lenin explained to be imperialism. Mahinda has acted as a faithful agent.
"On the other hand when the UN human rights committee raised questions about disappearances, white vans that carry out abductions, the suppression of Tamils, the killing of workers and fishers and [the government's use of] paramilitary organisations, Mahinda [Rajapaksa] screams of imperialism."
Unfortunately, some progressive governments have been misled by this "bogus anti-imperialism", and have supported the Sri Lankan government in previous sessions of the UNNHRC.
The real relationship of the Sri Lankan government to imperialism was shown during the war. The US and its closest allies such as Britain, Israel and India provided military equipment and training to the Sri Lankan armed forces.
Israel supplied war planes and patrol boats. The US supplied satellite intelligence which played a key role in the government's military victory.

New Mexico Tourism: No Indians or dark skinned Hispanics wanted
- The New Mexico Tourism Department is being criticized for its casting call for "Caucasians and light-skinned Hispanics" for a tourism ad.
When questiond, the New Mexico Tourism Department said it wants white and light skinned people in its ad, because that's what it wants to attract to New Mexico.
KOB TVasked New Mexico Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson what she was thinking when a casting agent called for “Caucasians and light skinned Hispanics” to play a part in a New Mexico tourism commercial.
Jacobson said, “The particular casting call getting all the attention is in regards to our tourist role and we wanted a tourist who could represent people coming from a wide range of states like Maine, Texas, Florida, or Washington."
Jacobson explained the department’s intentions were to cast someone to play the role of a tourist who could easily be identified as someone living in one those states, KOB reported.
Meanwhile, Jacobson said the casting call ad was contracted to an out-of-state company by the tourism's advertising department.
The irony is, at the same time, New Mexico is billing itself as a new mecca for the film industry. Yet it can't even find a local to shoot a good advertisement.
There's no mention of the Navajo, Apaches and Pueblos that comprise the beauty of New Mexico.
Watch KOB's interview:

April Mondragon: Obama's Executive Order Nightmare
Because this order gives directives to implement the The Defense Production Act of 1950, as Amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2061 et seq.) for Homeland Security purposes, in our opinion this will null and void any prior veto by Pres. Obama of the XL Pipeline. Also it will be used to further 
Uranium Mining, Nuclear Energy, LANL, Coal Mining, Fracking and Gas Drilling for Homeland Security purposes because: "Sec. 306. Strategic and Critical Materials." states "The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of the Interior in consultation with the Secretary of Defense as the National Defense Stockpile Manager, are each delegated the authority of the President under section 
303(a)(1)(B) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(a)(1)(B), to encourage the exploration, development, and mining of strategic and critical materials and other materials."

What this says to me is that the President has staged another robbery of resources  in an Executive Order for "national security" reasons, while striping the states, tax payers, or voters of any say in the matter. Even if the Pueblos have some form of "title" via the Spanish/Pope...  the continuation of the current energy and "resource" policies, that this Executive Order now puts directly within the authority of an already over bloated Military Industrial Complex is a direct and extreme threat to our water, land, agriculture and Way of Life.
Canadian Banks and Economic Control in the Caribbean
Canadian banks operating in the Caribbean are nothing new; the Royal Bank of Canada proudly claims that it had branches in the Caribbean before it had opened any in Western Canada. This pattern of foreign economic domination in the Caribbean has resulted in dangerously high levels of dependency, undermining local attempts to bring forth greater self-sufficiency and control over major industries. Canada’s role in the Caribbean is much longer and deeper than most think. The Royal Bank of Canada’s involvement with the Caribbean began in 1864, when a group from Halifax engaged in trade, bringing flour, cod and timber south, returning north with a cargo of sugar, rum and spices. The Bank of Nova Scotia would quickly follow and go on to build a branch in Jamaica in 1889. Such events were a precursor to larger scale Canadian visions of Caribbean control. At the end of World War I, Ottawa had asked the Imperial War Cabinet if it could take possession of the British West Indies as compensation for Canada’s defence of the British Empire. While the request did not materialize, it simply meant that Canada had to find another way to exercise its interests in the Caribbean.When Canadian banks entered the Caribbean under colonial rule, the local populations had virtually no say over who controlled their banks. In The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Yves Engler remarks thus, “Canadian banks have been traditionally conservative in releasing capital to local manufacturers, retailers and farmers. This has stunted the region’s development and heightened these countries dependency on foreign imports. Further stunting Caribbean development, the banks’ profits are repatriated home.” This should not comes as a surprise, as Engler remarks, “West Indian banking laws, when they were written, were written with our help and advice for our [Canadian] benefit.”Such foreign control increases the overall dependency of the Caribbean, as the Caribbean people are marginalized in the development of their own countries, while foreign multinationals can easily access credit to develop enclave industries. As a result, it should not be surprising that due to such corporate control the region is now dangerously dependent on food imports, with enclave industries like tourism and extractive industries such as mining being dominated by foreign interests which repatriate their profits. This contradictory model of “development” which currently exists in the Caribbean is due to the ongoing legacy of colonial historical structures, which created massive agricultural export economies across the region, while at the same time remaining net importers of foodstuffs.

Fast-forward to 2008, when Trinidad's RBTT overwhelmingly accepted a takeover by the Royal Bank of Canada, signaling an increasing interest in the region. This move led to the Canadian control over the English-speaking Caribbean's three largest banks, with $42 billion in assets, four times those of its roughly 40 remaining locally owned banks. Canadian control over Caribbean banks is also very deceptive in their branding, as the First Caribbean International Bank is totally controlled by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

The presence of such banks does not just result in significant foreign economic control over the Caribbean, it also provides attractive havens where Canadian banks can avoid paying taxes at home. Four out of the ten top destinations for Canadian direct investment abroad are Caribbean tax havens. A June 2008 study by the University of Quebec at Montreal concluded that the five major Canadian banks avoided $16 billion in federal and provincial taxes through offshore affiliates in Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas between 1991 and 2003, and $2.4 billion in 2007 alone.

During protests aimed at Canadian banks in Trinidad during the 1970's, a Canadian foreign affairs expert told Maclean's magazine that "we’re not colonialists by intent, but by circumstances." Regardless of intent, the results are still the same. Foreign financial domination in combination with continued attacks on the region’s export agriculture and highly vulnerable tourism industries have placed massive obstacles in front of the Caribbean governments’ efforts to develop their economies towards greater self sufficiency. With the 50 year anniversary of Jamaican and Trinidadian independence occurring later this year, it is a bittersweet time to reflect on how much real, substantive freedom and independence has been gained. The shifts towards alternative regional alliances like the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States hold some promise, but only if they can work to redirect the economies away from the contradictory models of development inherited from colonialism towards increasing the general welfare of the people, instead of foreign corporations.

Honduras: When Engagement Becomes Complicity
In a March 1 press briefing, U.S. National Security Advisor Tony Blinken cited “the tremendous leadership President Lobo has displayed in advancing national reconciliation and democratic and constitutional order.” You’d think they were talking about a different country from the one we visited just weeks before on a fact-finding mission on violence against women.

What follows is a response to the piece published in The Nation’s website by Jeffrey Sachs entitled Why I'm the Right Candidate for World Bank President.
“Who else but me among the widely rumored candidates has a record of standing for the poorest of the poor?" – Jeffrey Sachs
Jeffrey Sachs casts himself as the ‘progressive’ candidate to head the World Bank, and from his work it’s clear that he is a better economist than historian. Nothing reveals this more plainly than a review some of the ‘facts’ on Bolivia in hisEconomic Reforms in Bolivia, Poland in the 80s and 90s, A Look at the Data.
Sachs is correct that Bolivian immunization rates increased following the 1985 neoliberal structural adjustment program (SAP) that he calls ‘stabilization’, but he confuses correlation with causation. Immunizations were not paid for by the state and social investments by the state actually fell during this period. Sachs also praises the democratically-elected government for sending opponents into internal exile, rather than murdering them as in Chile.  First off, Chile was in the hands of a brutal, US-sponsored dictatorship after 1973, which more violently repressed dissidents than Bolivia’s civilian government. But even more disingenuous, structural adjustment didn’t occur in Chile until the mid-1980s, ten years after the most violent repression to eliminate Allende supporters had ended.
A clear link, however, does exist between the SAP in Bolivia and the 1980s coca and cocaine boom. Thousands of miners, peasants, and factory workers who lost their livelihoods because of ‘stabilization’ policies fled to the agricultural frontier to sow coca, the one crop that had a guaranteed market. The government implicitly allowed the laundering of drug money through offering certificates of deposit in US dollars at the central bank, no questions asked. The drug trade, perhaps the best expression of what capitalism can do in an unregulated market, was responsible for a substantial part of the economic growth for which Sachs wishes to claim credit.
Linda Farthing and I show in Impasse in Bolivia that the neoliberal ‘stabilization’ plan that Sachs is so proud of set the stage for 15 years of slow economic growth and increasing opposition to neoliberalism. Bolivia, promoted by the World Bank and IMFas a neoliberal success story in the 1980s and 1990s, morphed into the poster child of the anti-globalization movement when the people of Cochabamba rose up in the ‘Water War’ of 2000. This set in motion a period of unrest that led to the resignation of two presidents before a leader committed to the interests of the poor majority was elected in 2005.
Just the Facts
The world according to Jeffrey
And the rest of us
Bolivia’s stabilization ushered in the longest period of democracy in the country’s history.
The return to democracy came in 1982, before the period of hyperinflation. Some attribute the subsequent hyperinflation to the response of international financial institutions to the UDP government.
Bolivia’s stabilization created economic growth.
23,000 miners were fired, 120 factories were closed, the informal economy mushroomed, coca cultivation boomed, and income distribution worsened. Private investment did not materialize.
Stabilization led to improvements in health.
Health indicator improvements stemmed from increased spending by international health organizations, not ‘stabilization’. Arguably the greatest decrease for under-5 mortality rates derived from programs that introduced oral re-hydration therapy, largely paid for by international aid.
Bolivia’s great success was recognized by Poland’s Solidarity Movement
A Solidarity leader told Lawrence Wechsler in a 1991 NACLA article, “Yes, I would like to see Bolivia, just not here in Poland.”

Sunday, March 18, 2012

“The Partner of Sanctions is The Credible Threat of Military Force..."“-partner-sanctions-credible-threat-military-force 
Funders Behind NYPD's Mysterious Private - THENAKEDFACTS
HONDURAS - State Dept. lies about Schakowsky letter 
In today's daily press briefing, Spokesperson Victoria Nuland outright lies about what the Schakowsky letter is calling for (suspension of military aid), which the reporter noted correctly. Nuland claims the letter calls for a suspension of all aid. Additionally, she furthers the falsehood that the State Department has been an advocate for human rights in Honduras, when it has consistently done everything in its power to provide impunity to perpetrators, including the Lobo administration, and blame victims of human rights abuses—a prime example of the latter being the statements of Jeremy Spector. This is consistent with State's strategy all along. It's less effective each time.
QUESTION: There are calls by some in Congress for the Administration to suspend military and security assistance to the Government of Honduras because of the killing - the suspicious killing of another journalist there. Can you speak to - is that an issue that you've raised with the Government of Honduras, and your - any guarantees about the respect for human rights there?
MS. NULAND: Yeah. Well, I think you know, Scott, that we have consistently and strongly spoken to the Government of Honduras about not only press human rights, but human rights standards in general. We have consistently called for prompt and credible investigations of these cases. We also have sent some of our prosecutorial and investigative advisors to Honduras to try to help them with some of these issues, so - and we will continue to speak out on these issues.
QUESTION: Is there any - at present, are you considering that congressional request to suspend aid? Or is that something that you've discussed with the Government of Honduras?
MS. NULAND: Well, I think the concerns that we have with this particular proposal is that it calls for a cutting of all aid to Honduras. And I think you know that Honduras is the murder capital of the world right now based on per capita incidents, particularly in Tegucigalpa. So the money that we give in assistance to Honduras is primarily focused on rule of law, crime, strengthening the police, counternarcotics programs, human rights programs, democracy programs. So I think we have a concern that this recommendation to cut it all off is a relatively blunt instrument, especially given the other concerns that we have in Honduras. So our preferred course of action is to continue to speak out strongly and to send advisors and other assistance to help them improve the system.

SYRIA- Another Day. Another Car Bomb. Another Security target

From a previous post- Turkish motives suggestive of an impending strike
Turkey had mentioned that they were going to close their embassy in Damascus but possibly leave another smaller one open in Aleppo- This consulate may have more to do with the Kurdish population, I must look into that and we will get to that into the Kurdish angle in another post.
It also may be a vital place of operation once the invasion has taken place. Buffer of no fly zone.

Here is what had been reported previously-

The Turkish foreign ministry statement said consular services at its embassy in Damascus would end at the end of office hours next Thursday, but the consulate in the second city of Aleppo would remain open.
Onto the latest-Explosion near security building in Aleppo
(that is the exact headline as it appears right now, expect that to change)

Aleppo is north of Damascus heading towards the Turkish border
Not far from Turkish provinces I had specifically mentioned in the other days post.
"Gaziantep, Sanliurfa and Kilis."
Provinces that were readying "refugee camps" Which you should read as camps for fighters.

Mohammed Saeed, an Aleppo resident, said a car bomb exploded near thePolitical Security Directorate in the city's central neighborhood of Suleimaniyeh. He said the neighborhood has a large Christian population.
From previous reading we know Aleppo has been an Assad loyalist area.

The British based Syrian Observatory for NATO group is in the know right away, relying on information from their terrorists

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on an activist network in Syria, also said it was a car bomb. It said dead and injured were reported but gave no numbers.
The activists knew it was a car bomb and people were dead and injured

Yet, if one reads the article. After the explosion Syrian Security kept people away from the area.
From the resident of Aleppo-

Saeed said the explosion in Aleppo occurred around 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) and security forces started shooting in the air and cordoned off the area to prevent people from approachingHe said during that hour of the day, the area is usually crowded with people, especially on a Sunday, the first day of Syria's workweek.
"It was a strong explosion. It shook parts of the city," Saeed said, citing nearby residents. "White smoke was billowing from the area."

Saeed knew it was a strong explosion and that it shook parts of the city,but, he doesn't mention that it was a car bomb
Therefore one has to ask this question- How did the Syrian Observatory in Britain know it was a car bomb?
Sunday's explosion followed multiple car bombings in Damascus, which the western media is insisting on calling them "suicide bombings" I don't believe that to be the case. Which means I do not believe anyone died in the car that exploded. This is not required to detonate a car bomb, that can easily be done with remote control devices.
Suicide bombings are by and large western dramas. To promote the concept that individuals in the middle east are irrational and unstable.

Image from the BBC and a brief moment of truth

The BBC's Lina Sinjab in Damascus says it is hard to know who is behind the attacks, but they look like an attempt to weaken a regime which has seemed to reassert its control over the country in recent weeks.

If these attacks appear to be an attempt to weaken the Syrian government how is it hard to know who is behind the attacks? Given that Syria has been under attack for a year now?
Almost as if the reporter just can't say it.
Softening of targets
Barack Obama: the World Establishment’s Uncle Tom Card in the Re-Colonization of Africa

The Right Man to Pacify ‘Crying Race’ while Terrorizing & Colonizing Africa

ObamaOnly three years under the Obama presidency and we have had several covert and overt wars in Africa with the sole purpose of the re-colonization of Africa and its rich oil-mineral resources, while posing under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention.’ The overt war in Libya, a not so secret war in Somalia, establishing a base in Uganda, sending troops to chase the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group in the Congo, quietly setting up a number of new bases in Ethiopia and the Seychelles … and the list goes on. Not to mention the number of bodies piling up on top of each other as the West sinks its teeth into the long-sought-after continent and its resources.
AfricaFeverMany have been writing about and analyzing Obama’s Africa Fever. You must admit the man has been acting very feverish. In fact, I’d say he’s been the most feverish president we’ve had when it comes to slicing, dicing, and re-colonizing Africa. Granted, he is not the only one with the fever. The French, Brits, and a couple of other Old Europe players have been feverish as well; they’ve been salivating at the idea of reviving their old glory days of empire and colonies. Yet, the most feverish, I’m talking mouth-foaming delirious fever, appears to be our president-Barack Obama. And oddly enough, there doesn’t seem to be much “crying race” and colonialism from the black communities here in the U.S. I say here in the US because the majority of blacks in Africa seem to recognize, resent and speak out on this Black Super Power President’s colonization crusade in their land:
You can still see Obama’s likeness around town these days, especially in the tourist areas. But for many Ghanaians, the honeymoon with Obama is over. And it started to go sour when the first warplanes strafed Benghazi and Tripoli, in a NATO effort to protect civilians from strongman Muammar Qaddafi.That was the Libya-intervention’s official purpose, anyway. But Ghanaians aren’t buying it. To many observers here, it looks like a grab for Libya’s oil riches; to others, it’s a nefarious Western plot to re-colonize Africa.
They know one when they see one. They recognize colonizers when they see colonizers and their actions. Then why don’t we hear a major outcry from the black communities in the United States? I can assure you that we’d have heard the outcry if a white president had supported, armed and directed militias and rebels who did the following Read more ?