Donnerstag, 10. September 2009

Afghanistan/Pakistan a New Vietnam?

Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III, Truthout: "During the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Obama promised to immediately withdraw troops from Iraq in order to bolster the forces in Afghanistan in order to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda. 'It's time to refocus our attention on the war we have to win in Afghanistan.' This approach was taken in order to placate the anti-Iraq war contingent of the American electorate on the left while not leaving candidate Obama vulnerable to the 'soft on defense' hawkish argument from the right. As a campaign tactic, this proved to be successful. As American foreign policy, this is proving to be one of the greatest miscalculations President Obama has made."


Afghanistan: Obama's Vietnam?

The Murtha Method

The Center for Public Integrity: "For months, a cloud has swirled around Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, and the relationship that Murtha and other subcommittee members had with the PMA Group, a lobbying firm filled with former subcommittee aides. Murtha and fellow panel members Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) steered a host of earmarks to PMA clients, and those clients and PMA staffers gave campaign contributions to the lawmakers. Aspects of those relationships are the subject of a Justice Department probe, which is thought to be looking at whether there were explicit quid pro quo exchanges of favors for cash, which would make crimes out of relationships that are otherwise legal."

Cell tower debate comes in loud and clear

By Stephanie Bertholdo

The debate over whether radio frequency emissions from cell towers are safe enough for school sites continues to rage.

Varous scientific studies about radio frequency emissions were discussed at the Las Virgenes school board’s Aug. 18 meeting amid concerns that the placement of cell towers on campus poses a health risk to children.

The school district has contracted with OmniPoint Communications, the parent company of TMobile Wireless, to build an unmanned wireless telecommunications facility on the campus of Lindero Canyon Middle School in Agoura Hills.

Agoura High School already has four cell antenna installations, and Calabasas High has two. Another is planned for A.E. Wright Middle School in Calabasas.


The day before 9/11: $2.3 trillion missing

How Cheney’s radical acts in the White House still threaten our democracy

by David Swanson


Nixon never kept as much of our government secret as Bush-Cheney did, and when push came to shove, he gave up some of his secrets and left town. Nixon’s former legal counsel John Dean agrees that the Cheney-Bush gang far surpassed Nixonian levels of secrecy and abuse of power. Not to mention lawyerly deviousness. Cheney claimed privileges supposedly belonging to the executive branch when it suited him. For example, he refused to comply with subpoenas because ‘the president and the vice president are constitutional officers and don’t appear before the Congress.’ At other times, Cheney claimed to be part of Congress in order to avoid complying with rules governing the executive branch. Hence the conclusion that if Cheney belonged to any branch it had to be the hitherto unheard of Dick Cheney Branch, which perhaps existed in Cheney’s well-known ‘undisclosed location...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The United States of plutocracy

Truth Dig

by William Pfaff


The United States has for practical purposes been a plutocracy for some years now. American national elections usually function more or less correctly, except that they have become all but completely dominated by money. The contributors of money to Senate and House campaigns are dominated by the source of that money, and the source of the money is the United States government, which directs it to them as a result of the contracts awarded to them by the House and Senate members whose election they support. The process is circular. It would be cheaper for all concerned if business were directly to pay senators and representatives and eliminate the middlemen, the parasites who live on the surplus money in this system, paid for their ability to persuade both sellers and buyers (so to speak) that they are providing a service by facilitating the bargain. Elections now cannot take place without them...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

The Reality of Economic Recovery

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR): Role of Disabilities Ignored for Tens of Millions Experiencing Income Poverty

Obama at the Crossroads

Bill Moyers Journal: "With a landmark speech on health reform behind him and tensions rising in war-torn Afghanistan, Bill Moyers Journal looks at President Obama's next big fights. Global health specialist and incoming president of Dartmouth College Dr. Jim Yong Kim shares his expertise in public health. And, the Journal takes a hard look at the state of affairs in ever-divided Afghanistan with McClatchy DC Pentagon correspondent Nancy Youssef."

Camp Runamuck: A Providence Homeless Community

John Mottern, Truthout: "The diversity of Camp Runamuck illustrates the impact current economic times are having on those living to close to the edge in America. Young and old, blue collar workers and professionals - all are appearing in greater numbers in these tent cities after losing jobs and homes. 'Homeless' no longer refers to mostly alcoholics, drug addicts and the mentally ill. It now includes many whose options have just plain run out."

America: Arms dealer to the stars

Who's the number one weapons broker in the world, again? Take a guess


Fate of Democracy Now in Supreme Court's Hands

If the court rules to free corporations to make unlimited campaign expenditures from their treasuries, the election playing field will be tilted massively against candidates advancing the public interest.


Senate must raise debt ceiling above $12 Trillion

Obama is asking Congress to raise the debt ceiling, something lawmakers are almost certain to do despite misgivings about the federal debt. The ceiling already has been hiked three times in the past two years, and the House took action earlier this year to raise the ceiling to $13 trillion.


Top 1 Percent of Americans Reaped Two-Thirds of Income Gains

Two-thirds of the nation's total income gains from 2002 to 2007 flowed to the top 1 percent of U.S. households, and that top 1 percent held a larger share of income in 2007 than at any time since 1928,


Treasury Sees Millions More Foreclosures

Only 12 percent of U.S. homeowners eligible for loan modifications under the Obama administration's housing rescue plan have had their mortgages reworked, and millions more foreclosures are coming, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.


Another Wave of Foreclosures Looms

The housing market faces the prospect of a new round of foreclosures as hundreds of thousands of risky home loans known as option adjustable-rate mortgages reset to significantly higher payments that could force borrowers to fall behind, according to a report released Tuesday by Fitch Ratings.


Job openings down 50% from the peak in 2007

6 unemployed people for every available position


Another financial crisis inevitable: Greenspan

Another global financial crisis is inevitable because human nature always reverts to "speculative excesses" during a period of sustained prosperity, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said.


Greenspan and Buffett issue recovery warning - papers

Two of America's most noted financial commentators have argued the recovery of the US economy is not a given, despite the recent uptick in sentiment.

From Information Clearing House

US actually increasing personnel in Iraq

More contractors, fewer troops: The Pentagon's "quarterly report on contracting showed a 19 percent increase from the three previous months in the number of security guards in Iraq hired by the Defense Department.


Big U.S. Bases Are Part of Iraq, but a World Apart

The first people you encounter when driving up to an American base are not actually American. They are usually Ugandans, employed by a private security company, Triple Canopy, and those at Balad had enough authority to delay for five hours an American Air Force captain escorting an American reporter onto the base.

From Information Clearing House

Top diplomat: Stop blaming Pakistan for UK terrorism

Senior Pakistani sources have accused Britain of failing to do enough to tackle home-grown terrorists and maintain they are falsely being blamed for harbouring extremists plotting to attack the UK.

From Information Clearing House

Europe's Complicity in Evil

A 9/11 Reality Check

By Robert Scheer

In blind and wrathful retaliation for 9/11 we wreaked havoc on Iraq, a nation that our then-president knew had not attacked us, and we continue to slaughter peasants in Afghanistan who aren't able to find Manhattan on a map.


Europe's Complicity in Evil

By Paul Craig Roberts

Europe must look beyond the empty American political rhetoric about "freedom and democracy" and recognize the emerging Brownshirt American State. Democracy is slipping away from America. Its place is being taken by an oligarchy of powerful interest groups, such as the financial sector, the military/security complex about which President Eisenhower warned, and AIPAC.


Report: Blackwater Guard Saw Iraqi Killings as 9/11 Revenge

By Stephen C. Webster

Guards "routinely acted in disregard of the use of force policies," and one, known as "Raven 23," allegedly bragged that disregard for Iraqi lives stemmed from a desire for revenge after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Afghanistan: Krieg erreicht die Heimatfront

Nach dem tödlichen Bombenangriff in Nordafghanistan beschäftigt der Feldzug Parlament und Justiz in Deutschland.

Obama’s turning point


by Philip Giraldi


If Obama gives McChrystal his soldiers he will be heading down the road to disaster. When reliably conservative columnist George Will calls for leaving Afghanistan, the writing is surely on the wall. Even Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen has conceded that the United States has effectively wasted more than seven years in Afghanistan and now has to start over, an assessment that is actually optimistic in that it presumes that there is a way to achieve success, whatever that means. Obama can read the tea leaves as well as anyone. Will he do an LBJ and, in the cowardly fashion of a politician placing party above country, support a war that he knows is lost or will he make the courageous and correct choice to speak candidly to the American people and admit that Afghanistan has been a failed US policy and that it is time to walk away? Or will he adopt a third way that is neither fish nor fowl, going with the status quo and supporting current troop levels and funding, even though he knows to do so is futile, in the hope that he will not be labeled as the president who ‘lost’ Afghanistan?


From Information Clearing House


To escalate the escalation?

Independent Institute

by Ivan Eland


The debate rages among experts on whether to escalate the escalation of Barack Obama’s ‘war of necessity’ in Afghanistan — seemingly oblivious to American public opinion at home that has turned against waging the conflict at all. During even the best of times, Washington can be isolated from the rest of the country and world. Now the imperial city — and most of the politicians, both Democrat and Republican, who run it — seems to be reenacting an episode of the incomprehensible television series Lost...

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Foreclosure Crisis Built on Racial Injustice

Seth Wessler, In These Times: "Last week, CNN reported that Obama's foreclosure prevention plan - the one that was supposed to keep millions of Americans in their homes by giving banks incentives to refinance mortgages - has not worked. In fact, just six percent of eligible households have received assistance. The impact of this failure is catastrophic, as millions of homeowners continue to slide into foreclosure. People of color have been hit hardest by the crisis, facing disproportionate rates of foreclosure as well as higher levels of unemployment. The recession has deepened the racial divide."


Don't Get Rolled by Corporate Greed

'The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today'


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