Unspeakable grief and horror
Know them by their fruit
words attributed to Jesus speaking in Aramaic
Oil and more oil — American Politics using Iraq blood for oilWar on terror — Radio and TV — Nuclear Weapons — Somalia
 Member Council of Foreign Relations (Global elite club)
Patraeus
and Bush

CounterPunch
September 15-16, 2007        By ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The General Came to Washington
Blend a war and a presidential campaign and you have a recipe for 200 proof mendacity, as the Petraeus hearings at the start of the week triumphantly proved.
Take the war first.
Into the witness chair in the Senate chamber marched General Petraeus, the blaze of ribbons on his chest suggesting actual combat experience somewhat longer than the modest four years his record discloses.
He was once shot in he chest, it’s true, but that was in a military exercise in the U.S. when a soldier’s gun went off by accident.
Many senior army and navy officers loathe the toadying Petraeus.
According to an amusing column by Gareth Porter of IPS, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), “derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting.
Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be ‘an ass-kissing little chickenshit’ and added, ‘I hate people like that’, the sources say.”
Mechanically, the general read through testimony freshly vetted and re-written by Vice President Cheney, a man well aware that despite the utter absence of any supportive evidence and owing much to his own untiring falsehoods on the matter, 33 percent of all Americans, including 40 percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats, believe Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks.
Media not telling there could be reasons other than terrorism behind the Sept. 11 attacks
Hence Petraeus’ testimony had a reference in almost every paragraph to al-Qaeda terror groups in Iraq, even though prudent estimates put total al-Qaeda membership in Iraq at 1,500 at most, thus furnishing some 5 per cent of the Sunni resistance.
Nor of course did the General omit frequent references to the mailgn role of iran.
The General spoke glowingly of his Surge.
He marched the senators through graphs and flow charts, whose soaring curves and bars spelled out Order and Progress, just like the Brazilian national flag.
In fact it’s hard to demonstrate there’s ever really been a surge, (as the Pentagon military analyst cloaked under the pseudonym Herman Mindshaftgap concisely demonstrates on this website today).
Right now the US is at a highpoint, with 162,000 troops in Iraq.
But that’s not far above the 160,000 deployment level at the end of 2005.
Moreover, there’s a steady decline in the Coalition of the Willing, which now stands at 11,500, falling at an average of 575 a month.
Total Coalition troops in Iraq total 173,500, well below the peak of 183,000 at the end of 2005.
Naomi Klein
Alfonso Quaron
General Petraeus loosed off his volleys of bogus numbers and the senatorial candidates for presidential nomination returned fire in carefully prepared but equally meretricious salvoes.
There were five such candidates on display – Clinton, Obama, Biden, Dodd,(all Democrats) and the Republican McCain.
This doesn’t count General Petraeus himself who, according to Patrick Cockburn’s story on Thursday’s CounterPunch site, disclosed his own presidential ambitions to an Iraqi official two years ago, though he apparently confided to the Iraqi that a 2008 run would be premature.
He probably hopes he’ll be running against President Clinton in 2012.
Candidate Clinton whacked presumptive candidate Petraeus with Coleridge’s definition of “dramatic truth”.
To believe his report, she said, would require “the willing suspension of disbelief”, a line which duly made its way onto the front pages and news headlines, as did Candidate Obama’s theatrical question, “At what point do we say, Enough.”
Mrs Clinton’s problem is that she very willingly suspended disbelief in 2002
Mrs Clinton’s problem is that she very willingly suspended disbelief in 2002.
When it came time to deliver her Senate speech in support of the war, she reiterated some of the most outlandish claims made by Dick Cheney.
In this speech she said Saddam Hussein had rebuilt his chemical and biological weapons program; that he had improved his long-range missile capability; that he was reconstituting his nuclear weapons program; and that he was giving aid and comfort to Al Qaeda.
The only other Democratic senator to make all four of these claims in his floor speech was Joe Lieberman.
But even he didn’t go as far as Senator Clinton.
In Lieberman’s speech, there was conditionality about some of the claims.
In Senator Clinton’s, there was none, though even the grotesque war hawk, Ken Pollack, advising Senator Clinton prior to her vote, had told her that the allegation about the Al Qaeda connection was “bullshit.”
Later, as the winds of opinion changed
Later, as the winds of opinion changed, Senator Clinton claimed — and continues to do so to this day — that hers was a vote not for war but for negotiation.
In fact, the record shows that only hours after the war authorization vote Senator Clinton voted against the Democratic resolution that would have required Bush to seek a diplomatic solution before launching the war.
Retired US Army Col. Ann Wright
Retired Army Col. Ann Wright is removed by Capitol Hill Police on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007, as Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker testified on the future course of the war in Iraq before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Candidate Clinton whacked presumptive candidate Petraeus with Coleridge’s definition of “dramatic truth”.

To believe his report, she said, would require “the willing suspension of disbelief”, a line which duly made its way onto the front pages and news headlines, as did Candidate Obama’s theatrical question, “At what point do we say, Enough.”

Mrs Clinton’s problem is that she very willingly suspended disbelief in 2002.

When it came time to deliver her Senate speech in support of the war, she reiterated some of the most outlandish claims made by Dick Cheney.

In this speech she said Saddam Hussein had rebuilt his chemical and biological weapons program; that he had improved his long-range missile capability; that he was reconstituting his nuclear weapons program; and that he was giving aid and comfort to Al Qaeda.

The only other Democratic senator to make all four of these claims in his floor speech was Joe Lieberman.

But even he didn’t go as far as Senator Clinton.

In Lieberman’s speech, there was conditionality about some of the claims.

In Senator Clinton’s, there was none, though even the grotesque war hawk, Ken Pollack, advising Senator Clinton prior to her vote, had told her that the allegation about the Al Qaeda connection was “bullshit.” 

Picture: AP/Gerald Herbert     

Retired Army Col. Ann Wright is removed by Capitol Hill Police on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007, as Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker testified on the future course of the war in Iraq before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Candidate Clinton whacked presumptive candidate Petraeus with Coleridge’s definition of “dramatic truth”.
To believe his report, she said, would require “the willing suspension of disbelief”, a line which duly made its way onto the front pages and news headlines, as did Candidate Obama’s theatrical question, “At what point do we say, Enough.”
Mrs Clinton’s problem is that she very willingly suspended disbelief in 2002.
When it came time to deliver her Senate speech in support of the war, she reiterated some of the most outlandish claims made by Dick Cheney.
In this speech she said Saddam Hussein had rebuilt his chemical and biological weapons program; that he had improved his long-range missile capability; that he was reconstituting his nuclear weapons program; and that he was giving aid and comfort to Al Qaeda.
The only other Democratic senator to make all four of these claims in his floor speech was Joe Lieberman.
But even he didn’t go as far as Senator Clinton.
In Lieberman’s speech, there was conditionality about some of the claims.
In Senator Clinton’s, there was none, though even the grotesque war hawk, Ken Pollack, advising Senator Clinton prior to her vote, had told her that the allegation about the Al Qaeda connection was “bullshit.”
Photo: AP/Gerald Herbert
 Malabar Exercise
Involving aircraft carriers, submarines
and fighter jets
Chennai
A protest by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) during a protest rally in the southern Indian city of Chennai September 5, 2007.

About two dozen ships from five nations, led by the United States, began their most ambitious exercises in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday, as Indian communists opposed to strategic ties with Washington launched protests.

The naval drill, called the Malabar Exercise, is the seventh involving aircraft carriers, submarines and fighter jets of India and the U.S., whose friendship has blossomed this decade after they were on opposite sides of the Cold War.

Candidate Clinton whacked presumptive candidate Petraeus with Coleridge’s definition of “dramatic truth”.

To believe his report, she said, would require “the willing suspension of disbelief”, a line which duly made its way onto the front pages and news headlines, as did Candidate Obama’s theatrical question, “At what point do we say, Enough.”

Mrs Clinton’s problem is that she very willingly suspended disbelief in 2002.

When it came time to deliver her Senate speech in support of the war, she reiterated some of the most outlandish claims made by Dick Cheney.

In this speech she said Saddam Hussein had rebuilt his chemical and biological weapons program; that he had improved his long-range missile capability; that he was reconstituting his nuclear weapons program; and that he was giving aid and comfort to Al Qaeda.

The only other Democratic senator to make all four of these claims in his floor speech was Joe Lieberman.

But even he didn’t go as far as Senator Clinton.

In Lieberman’s speech, there was conditionality about some of the claims.

In Senator Clinton’s, there was none, though even the grotesque war hawk, Ken Pollack, advising Senator Clinton prior to her vote, had told her that the allegation about the Al Qaeda connection was “bullshit.” 

Picture: REUTERS/Babu     

A protest by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) during a protest rally in the southern Indian city of Chennai September 5, 2007.
Candidate Clinton for the US presidency whacked presumptive candidate General Petraeus with Coleridge’s definition of “dramatic truth” during a Senate hearing in which Petraeus testified to the US 'surge' in Iraq, as 'working'.
To believe his report, she said, would require “the willing suspension of disbelief”, a line which duly made its way onto the front pages and news headlines, as did Candidate Obama’s theatrical question, “At what point do we say, Enough.”
Mrs Clinton’s problem is that she very willingly suspended disbelief in 2002.
When it came time to deliver her Senate speech in support of the war, she reiterated some of the most outlandish claims made by Dick Cheney.
In this speech she said Saddam Hussein had rebuilt his chemical and biological weapons program; that he had improved his long-range missile capability; that he was reconstituting his nuclear weapons program; and that he was giving aid and comfort to Al Qaeda.
The only other Democratic senator to make all four of these claims in his floor speech was Joe Lieberman.
But even he didn’t go as far as Senator Clinton.
In Lieberman’s speech, there was conditionality about some of the claims.
In Senator Clinton’s, there was none, though even the grotesque war hawk, Ken Pollack, advising Senator Clinton prior to her vote, had told her that the allegation about the Al Qaeda connection was “bullshit.”
Photo: REUTERS/Babu
 Malabar Exercise
Involving aircraft carriers, submarines
and fighter jets
Many protesters were arrested by new US Police State laws
Iraq war protestors Christina Cauterucci, of Bedford, N.H., right foreground, and Christopher Dicks of Worcester, Mass., left foreground, join a 'die in' protest on Capitol Hill, Saturday, Sep. 15, 2007, in Washington.

Many protesters were arrested Saturday by new police state laws as thousands demanded an end to the Iraq war. 

Candidate Clinton whacked presumptive candidate Petraeus with Coleridge’s definition of “dramatic truth”.

To believe his report, she said, would require “the willing suspension of disbelief”, a line which duly made its way onto the front pages and news headlines, as did Candidate Obama’s theatrical question, “At what point do we say, Enough.”

Mrs Clinton’s problem is that she very willingly suspended disbelief in 2002.

When it came time to deliver her Senate speech in support of the war, she reiterated some of the most outlandish claims made by Dick Cheney.

In this speech she said Saddam Hussein had rebuilt his chemical and biological weapons program; that he had improved his long-range missile capability; that he was reconstituting his nuclear weapons program; and that he was giving aid and comfort to Al Qaeda.

The only other Democratic senator to make all four of these claims in his floor speech was Joe Lieberman.

But even he didn’t go as far as Senator Clinton.

In Lieberman’s speech, there was conditionality about some of the claims.

In Senator Clinton’s, there was none, though even the grotesque war hawk, Ken Pollack, advising Senator Clinton prior to her vote, had told her that the allegation about the Al Qaeda connection was “bullshit.” 

Picture: REUTERS/Babu     

Iraq war protestors Christina Cauterucci, of Bedford, N.H., right foreground, and Christopher Dicks of Worcester, Mass., left foreground, join a 'die in' protest on Capitol Hill, Saturday, Sep. 15, 2007, in Washington.
Many protesters were arrested Saturday by new police state laws as thousands demanded an end to the Iraq war.
Candidate Clinton for the US presidency whacked presumptive candidate General Petraeus with Coleridge’s definition of “dramatic truth” during a Senate hearing in which Petraeus testified to the US 'surge' in Iraq, as 'working'.
To believe his report, she said, would require “the willing suspension of disbelief”, a line which duly made its way onto the front pages and news headlines, as did Candidate Obama’s theatrical question, “At what point do we say, Enough.”
Mrs Clinton’s problem is that she very willingly suspended disbelief in 2002.
When it came time to deliver her Senate speech in support of the war, she reiterated some of the most outlandish claims made by Dick Cheney.
In this speech she said Saddam Hussein had rebuilt his chemical and biological weapons program; that he had improved his long-range missile capability; that he was reconstituting his nuclear weapons program; and that he was giving aid and comfort to Al Qaeda.
The only other Democratic senator to make all four of these claims in his floor speech was Joe Lieberman.
But even he didn’t go as far as Senator Clinton.
In Lieberman’s speech, there was conditionality about some of the claims.
In Senator Clinton’s, there was none, though even the grotesque war hawk, Ken Pollack, advising Senator Clinton prior to her vote, had told her that the allegation about the Al Qaeda connection was “bullshit.”
Photo: REUTERS/Babu
 
 
Published on Friday, September 14, 2007 by the Los Angeles Times
Poll: Civilian Death Toll in Iraq May Top 1 Million
A British survey offers the highest estimate to date.
by Tina Susman
Angelina Jolie speaking with an elderly refugee woman
The figure from ORB, a British polling agency that has conducted several surveys in Iraq, followed statements this week from the U.S. military defending itself against accusations it was trying to play down Iraqi deaths to make its strategy appear successful.
The [US occupation] military has said civilian deaths from sectarian violence have fallen more than 55% since [US] President Bush sent an additional 28,500 troops to Iraq this year, but it does not provide specific numbers.
According to the ORB poll, a survey of 1,461 adults suggested that the total number slain during more than four years of war was more than 1.2 million.
ORB said it drew its conclusion from responses to the question about those living under one roof: “How many members of your household, if any, have died as a result of the conflict in Iraq since 2003?”
Based on Iraq’s estimated number of households — 4,050,597 — it said the 1.2 million figure was reasonable.
There was no way to verify the number, because the [US installed] government does not provide a full count of civilian deaths.
Neither does the U.S. military.
Iraq refugee children created by US terror state
Continued violence driven by US government money
All funded by U.S. taxpayer
More than 4 million Iraq people displaced
Both, however, say that independent organizations greatly exaggerate estimates of civilian casualties.
ORB said its poll had a margin of error of 2.4%.
According to its findings, nearly one in two households in Baghdad had lost at least one member to war-related violence, and 22% of households nationwide had suffered at least one death.
It said 48% of the victims were shot to death and 20% died as a result of car bombs, with other explosions and military bombardments blamed for most of the other fatalities.
The survey was conducted last month.
It was the highest estimate given so far of civilian deaths in Iraq. Last year, a study in the medical journal Lancet put the number at 654,965, which Iraq’s government has dismissed as “ridiculous.”
In its latest salvo at Iran, the U.S. military accused the Islamic Republic of providing the 240-millimeter rocket that earlier this week slammed into Camp Victory, the sprawling base that houses the U.S. Army headquarters.
The attack on the base near Baghdad’s airport injured 11 soldiers and killed one “third-country national.”
At a news conference, a military spokesman, Army Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner, displayed a chunk of metal that he said had come from the rocket.
Asked how he could be sure it was of Iranian origin, Bergner said its color and markings were unique to rockets from Iran.
The United States accuses Iran’s Shiite leaders of providing weapons, training and other assistance to Shiite militias fighting U.S. forces in Iraq. Iran denies the accusation.
Deletions from article by Kewe.info regarding four Sadr City deaths, due to causation of deaths not known but assumed by L.A. Times, therefore regarded as furthering US military propaganda.
[ ] inserted by Kewe.info
Images inserted by Kewe.info
On the Edge and Unwanted...
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Painting: Iraqi female artist, Sawsan Al Sarraf. 'Immigration'
Raouf finally made it to Syria.   For those of you who do not know Raouf's story, please read a Postcard from Iraq.
At first, he tried Damascus.   An old small "hotel" in the Sayyida Zeinab neighborhood, run by an Iraqi Shia, who turned the lobby into a Husseinya once a week.   (Husseinya means a religious gathering for rememberance of the Imams Al- Hassan and Al- Hussein).
The hotel owner kept preaching to Raouf about the problem with the "nawasib" i.e Sunnis.   Every morning he was reminding him that if only the Sunnis praised Ahl Al Bayt (which they do), everything will be ok.   And if only the Sunnis accepted that Imam Ali was the real inheritor of the Khilafat then all will be ok.   And if only Aisha (the wife of the prophet) was not such a traitor, then all of this would have not happened.   And if only Abu Bakr, Othman and Omar were not such hypocrites, then all of this would not be taking place...
Raouf is patient by nature and he really does not give two hoots about these divisions.
But his last ordeal in Baghdad left him fragile and vulnerable.   He could no longer take this daily sermon that bordered on threats... He was becoming restless and anxious all the time and could no longer tolerate the hotel owner and his preaching.
After all he had received his share of religious brainwashing from his torturers who would take breaks and go and pray and sing devotional songs in between then resume their torture sessions on Raouf...
He decided to move to another city where rents were less expensive and away from sectarians.   Who can blame him, the poor man is traumatized for life.
Besides, Iraqis are really not wanted in Syria, in particular in Damascus.
The Syrians constantly complain about their presence.   It is because of the Iraqis that crime rates have doubled.   It is because of the Iraqis that corruption exists.   It is because of the Iraqis that prices have increased.   It is because of the Iraqis that services are slow and inefficient... It is because of the Iraqis that Damascus is overcrowded and polluted...
A few Syrians not knowing that I, too, belong to the untouchable, unwanted ones, told me that everything has gone down the drains because of the Iraqis...
"It is not their fault if the Syrians are anting up the prices.   After all they are making profits no?   Why blame the Iraqis for Syrian greed?" I said.
The Syrian replied: "I guess you are right.   After all the government is getting money from the UN agency.   And many Syrians have made heaps of money because of the Iraqis.   But still, the Iraqis are a cumbersome lot."
I witnessed Syrian greed.   If a taxi ride usually costs 50 liras, for an Iraqi it is 150 liras.   A bag of rice costs 35 liras, for an Iraqi it is charged 50 liras.   A shirt costs 300 liras for an Iraqi it is 600 Liras.   Everything is doubled, tripled.   As for rents, they are quadrupled for Iraqis.
Back to Raouf...
He moved to another city.   Finally found a so called "furnished" apartment on the top of a building with no elevator.   It consists of one bed room, one living room and a bathroom.   The rent is exorbitant for Raouf but Raouf has no choice.
This apartment is the most insalubrious, squalid, filthy place he has ever seen.
The sofa is eaten up by moths.   The curtains in shreds.   The mattress and the sheets have not been changed since the Ummayad period.   The bathroom is covered with slime and grime.   And the so called crockery — plates, pots, pans are not even fit for feeding animals.   The teapot is an antiquarian piece — so rusty that the water turns yellow — a great piece for the antiquities museum.
But the worst, are all those unwanted visitors — cockroaches.   The place is full of them.
Raouf with his swollen bruised ankles, unable to wear shoes.   Raouf with his broken ribs unable to carry anything.   Raouf with his dislocated shoulder unable to move his arm.   Raouf with a partial paralysis in his hand unable to hold anything for a long time... would walk daily for one hour to the souk (taxis are too expensive for him) and buy sheets, crockery, curtains, detergents, paints, and of course plants...
Then he would carry daily three bags full up 6 floors to his "furnished apartment."
This went on for about 10 days.   He cleaned, painted, brushed, polished, fixed... the place to make it liveable.   And everytime he was overwhelmed with pain, he would comfort himself by saying "At least am alive and away from Iraq."
When Raouf's wife learned that Syrian visas were to be issued to Iraqis on the 10th of September, she caught a bus on the 8th of September at 6.30 am and finally arrived to Syria on the 9th of September at 11.30 pm.   Endless rows of buses and endless queues at the border before the 10th.   Her trip from Baghdad to Damascus took over 24 hours.   But she too is grateful she made it away from hell.
When Raouf learned that his residency will not be renewed after the initial three months period, he was gripped with a terrible anxiety.
Throughout his ordeal, Raouf never cried, never screamed... Even his torturers were surprised and asked him what kind of human being he was.   They told him: "Another man would have died but you did not even utter a sound — you are not normal."
Raouf replied that he had totally surrendered and whatever they wish to do to him, is fine with him.   "I am in God's hands" he would say.
"You in God's hands?   Because you know God?   We saw you wearing shorts inside your house and we saw a can of beer outside."
And they would beat and flog him some more,until his skin fell off, keeping him blindfolded and chained in a bathroom for 5 days with no water and no food... And threatening to murder him, burn him or behead him daily.   At one point they were three of them with three sharp knives on his jugular about to go into his throat... Raouf did not utter a sound.
But when Raouf learned that he might be forced to return to Iraq in two months time, he screamed like a wild animal.   He cried like he has never cried before and his anxiety attacks would take hold of him for days on end.
After his torture ordeal Raouf had partial memory blackouts... But after hearing that he might have to return to Iraq, all the images came back flooding his memory.
Today Raouf cannot be left alone for one hour.   He simply goes mad with the flashbacks.
He said: "I would rather commit suicide than go back to Iraq.   Iraq is over for me.   Iraq is no longer my home.   I do not miss it.   I just miss my family and my neighbors and my garden.   I would rather die than go back.   "And Raouf means it.
UNHCR is filled with case upon case similar to Raouf's.   They are all going crazy at the idea of returning to hell.
But it seems that the Syrian authorities want the Iraqis out.
I made it a point to peruse daily their newspapers, they are very kind and "soft" towards Al-Maliki.   I also noticed a lot of Farsee being spoken in Damascus.   A detail.
Goodness, am at loss.   Raouf is one story.   But there are so many others.   I do not even know where to begin the list.
There is Ahmad.   A Phd in Microbiology, worked as a masseur for a while and is now unemployed.   There is Noora and Hanan not older than 17, despite the heavy make up, working as call girls in hotels.   There is Wassim, a Phd in Electrical Engineering working in the black as a technician repairing Air Conditioners.   There is Sana a high school student, standing in the streets selling combs and bubble gums...
They are crammed up to 10 in one room.   There are the sick ones, the amputated ones, those in wheel chairs... The tragedy is endless.   The despair is endless...
But they are all unanimous.   They would rather die than go back to Iraq.   And they all agree that Iraq is no more.   For them, and from what they have seen, witnessed, and experienced, Iraq is finished.   And I agree with them.
If the Syrian authorities force them to leave where will they go?   What will happen to them?
In Syria they hardly have any future.   In Iraq, they will be something of the past.
And the International "Community" is still watching, with amused detachment, those unwanted ones about to be pushed off the edge and into the abyss of no return.
Painting   ©    Iraqi Iraqi female artist, Sawsan Al Sarraf. "Immigration"
Layla Anwar's blog — click here
Duty, Honor, Country 2007
An Open Letter to the New Generation of Military Officers Serving and Protecting Our Nation
By Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., National Commander, The Patriots
Dear Comrades in Arms,
You are facing challenges in 2007 that we of previous generations never dreamed of.   I'm just an old fighter pilot (101 combat missions in Vietnam, F-4 Phantom, Phu Cat, 1969-1970) who's now a disabled veteran with terminal cancer from Agent Orange.   Our mailing list (over 22,000) includes veterans from all branches of the service, all political parties, and all parts of the political spectrum.   We are Republicans and Democrats, Greens and Libertarians, Constitutionists and Reformers, and a good many Independents.   What unites us is our desire for a government that (1) follows the Constitution, (2) honors the truth, and (3) serves the people.
We see our government going down the wrong path, all too often ignoring military advice, and heading us toward great danger.   And we look to you who still serve as the best hope for protecting our nation from disaster.
We see the current Iraq War as having been unnecessary, entered into under false pretenses, and horribly mismanaged by the civilian authorities.   Thousands of our brave troops have been needlessly sacrificed in a futile attempt at occupation of a hostile land.   Many more thousands have suffered wounds which will change their lives forever.   Tens of thousands have severe psychological problems because of what they have seen and what they have done.   Potentially hundreds of thousands could be poisoned by depleted uranium, with symptoms appearing years later, just as happened to us exposed to Agent Orange.   The military services are depleted and demoralized.   The VA system is under-funded and overwhelmed.   The National Guard and Reserves have been subjected to tour after tour, disrupting lives for even the lucky ones who return intact.   Jobs have been lost, marriages have been destroyed, homes have been foreclosed, and children have been estranged.   And for what?   We have lost allies, made new enemies, and created thousands of new terrorists, further endangering the American people.
But you know all this.   I'm sure you also see the enormous danger in a possible attack on Iran, possibly with nuclear weapons.   Such an event, seriously contemplated by the Cheney faction of the Bush administration, would make enemies of Russia and China and turn us into the number one rogue nation on earth.   The effect on our long-term national security would be devastating.
Some of us had hoped that the new Democratic Congress would end the occupation of Iraq and take firm steps to prevent an attack on Iran, perhaps by impeaching Bush and Cheney.   These hopes have been dashed.   The lily-livered Democrats have caved in, turning their backs on those few (like Congressman Jack Murtha) who understand the situation.   Many of us have personally walked the halls of Congress, to no avail.
This is where you come in.
We know that many of you share our concern and our determination to protect our republic from an arrogant, out-of-control, imperial presidency and a compliant, namby-pamby Congress (both of which are unduly influenced by the oil companies and other big-money interests).   We know that you (like us) wouldn't have pursued a military career unless you were idealistic and devoted to our nation and its people.   (None of us do it for the pay and working conditions!)   But we also recognize that you may not see how you can influence these events.   We in the military have always had a historic subservience to civilian authority.
Perhaps I can help with whatever wisdom I've gathered from age (I retired in 1978, so I am ancient indeed).
Our oath of office is to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”   Might I suggest that this includes a rogue president and vice-president?   Certainly we are bound to carry out the legal orders of our superiors.   But the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) which binds all of us enshrines the Nuremberg Principles which this country established after World War II (which you are too young to remember).   One of those Nuremberg Principles says that we in the military have not only the right, but also the DUTY to refuse an illegal order.   It was on this basis that we executed Nazi officers who were “ only carrying out their orders.”
The Constitution which we are sworn to uphold says that treaties entered into by the United States are the
“ highest law of the land,” equivalent to the Constitution itself.   Accordingly, we in the military are sworn to uphold treaty law, including the United Nations charter and the Geneva Convention.
Based on the above, I contend that should some civilian order you to initiate a nuclear attack on Iran (for example), you are duty-bound to refuse that order.   I might also suggest that you should consider whether the circumstances demand that you arrest whoever gave the order as a war criminal.
I know for a fact that in recent history (once under Nixon and once under Reagan), the military nuclear chain of command in the White House discussed these things and were prepared to refuse an order to “nuke Russia .”   In effect they took the (non-existent) “button” out of the hands of the President.   We were thus never quite as close to World War III as many feared, no matter how irrational any president might have become.   They determined that the proper response to any such order was, “Why, sir?”   Unless there was (in their words) a “damn good answer,” nothing was going to happen.
I suggest that if you in this generation have not had such a discussion, perhaps it is time you do.   In hindsight, it's too bad such a discussion did not take place prior to the preemptive “shock and awe” attack on Baghdad.   Many of us at the time spoke out vehemently that such an attack would be an impeachable offense, a war crime against the people of Iraq , and treason against the United States of America.   But our voices were drowned out and never reached the ears of the generals in 2003.   I now regret that I never sent a letter such as this at that time, but depended on the corporate media to carry my message.   I must not make that mistake again.
Also in hindsight, President Bush could be court-martialed for abuse of power as Commander-in-Chief.   Vice President Cheney could probably be court-martialed for his performance as Acting Commander-in-Chief in the White House bunker the morning of September 11, 2001.
We in the U.S. military would never consider a military coup, removing an elected president and installing one of our own.   But following our oath of office, obeying the Nuremberg Principles, and preventing a rogue president from committing a war crime is not a military coup.   If it requires the detention of executive branch officials, we will not impose a military dictatorship.   We will let the Constitutional succession take place.   This is what we are sworn to.   This is protecting the Constitution, our highest obligation.   In 2007, this is what is meant by
“ Duty, Honor, Country.”
Thank you all for your service to this nation.   May God bless America, and sustain us in this difficult time.   And thanks for listening to the musings of an old junior officer.
Respectfully,
Robert M. Bowman, PhD, Lt. Col., USAF, ret.
1494 Patriot Dr , Melbourne , FL 32940
home phone (321) 752-5955; cell (321) 258-0582
US Public Debt Reaches
9 Trillion US
paper / electronic
dollars
US Public debt is total of all previous accumulated deficits of present and previous years
When foreigners acquire ownership of US assets, they also acquire ownership of future income streams that the assets produce
Foreigners own $2.5 trillion more of American assets than Americans own of foreign assets
Meanwhile, Gorillas, Orangutans, and Corals are among the many plants and animals sliding closer to extinction.
Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.

Photo: M Watson and A. Shah 2007 IUCN Red List/BBC
The 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows there has been little success in stemming the slide of Earth's biodiversity.
Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among many plants and animals sliding closer to extinction.

American Economy:
R.I.P.
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
September 12, 2007
The US economy continues its slow death before our eyes, but economists, policymakers, and most of the public are blind to the tottering fabled land of opportunity.
In August jobs in goods-producing industries declined by 64,000.
The US economy lost 4,000 jobs overall.
The private sector created a mere 24,000 jobs, all of which could be attributed to the 24,100 new jobs for waitresses and bartenders.
The government sector lost 28,000 jobs.
Ceased to create jobs in export industries and industries that compete with imports
In the 21st century the US economy has ceased to create jobs in export industries and in industries that compete with imports.
US job growth has been confined to domestic services, principally to food services and drinking places (waitresses and bartenders), private education and health services (ambulatory health care and hospital orderlies), and construction (which now has tanked).
The lack of job growth in higher productivity, higher paid occupations associated with the American middle and upper middle classes will eventually kill the US consumer market.
The unemployment rate held steady, but that is because 340,000 Americans unable to find jobs dropped out of the labor force in August.
The US measures unemployment only among the active work force, which includes those seeking jobs.
Those who are discouraged and have given up are not counted as unemployed.
Engineering professions in decline!
Opportunities for independent family businesses?
With goods producing industries in long term decline as more and more production of US firms is moved offshore, the engineering professions are in decline.
Managerial jobs are primarily confined to retail trade and financial services.
Franchises and chains have curtailed opportunities for independent family businesses, and the US government’s open borders policy denies unskilled jobs to the displaced members of the middle class.
When US companies offshore their production for US markets, the consequences for the US economy are highly detrimental.
Foreign labor substituted for US labor
One consequence is that foreign labor is substituted for US labor, resulting in a shriveling of career opportunities and income growth in the US.
Another is that US Gross Domestic Product is turned into imports.
By turning US brand names into imports, offshoring has a double whammy on the US trade deficit.
Simultaneously, imports rise by the amount of offshored production, and the supply of exportable manufactured goods declines by the same amount.
Trade deficit with every part of the world
The US now has a trade deficit with every part of the world.
In 2006 (the latest annual data), the US had a trade deficit totaling $838,271,000,000.
The US trade deficit with Europe was $142,538,000,000.
With Canada the deficit was $75,085,000,000.
With Latin America it was $112,579,000,000 (of which $67,303,000,000 was with Mexico).
The deficit with Asia and Pacific was $409,765,000,000 (of which $233,087,000,000 was with China and $90,966,000,000 was with Japan).
With the Middle East the deficit was $36,112,000,000, and with Africa the US trade deficit was $62,192,000,000.
Oil
Public worry for three decades about the US oil deficit has created a false impression among Americans that a self-sufficient America is impaired only by dependence on Middle East oil.
The fact of the matter is that the total US deficit with OPEC, an organization that includes as many countries outside the Middle East as within it, is $106,260,000,000, or about one-eighth of the annual US trade deficit.
Moreover, the US gets most of its oil from outside the Middle East, and the US trade deficit reflects this fact.
The US deficit with Nigeria, Mexico, and Venezuela is 3.3 times larger than the US trade deficit with the Middle East despite the fact that the US sells more to Venezuela and 18 times more to Mexico than it does to Saudi Arabia.
Dependency on imports across the board
What is striking about US dependency on imports is that it is practically across the board.
Americans are dependent on imports of foreign foods, feeds, and beverages in the amount of $8,975,000,000.
Americans are dependent on imports of foreign Industrial supplies and materials in the amount of $326,459,000,000 - -more than three times US dependency on OPEC.
Americans can no longer provide their own transportation.
They are dependent on imports of automotive vehicles, parts, and engines in the amount of $149,499,000,000, or 1.5 times greater than the US dependency on OPEC.
In addition to the automobile dependency, Americans are 3.4 times more dependent on imports of manufactured consumer durable and nondurable goods than they are on OPEC.
Americans no longer can produce their own clothes, shoes, or household appliances and have a trade deficit in consumer manufactured goods in the amount of $336,118,000,000.
Deficit in capital goods: machinery, electric generating machinery, machine tools, computers, telecommunications equipment
The US “superpower” even has a deficit in capital goods, including machinery, electric generating machinery, machine tools, computers, and telecommunications equipment.
What does it mean that the US has a $800 billion trade deficit?
It means that Americans are consuming $800 billion more than they are producing.
How do Americans pay for it?
Pay by giving up ownership
They pay for it by giving up ownership of existing assets — stocks, bonds, companies, real estate, commodities.
America used to be a creditor nation.
Now America is a debtor nation.
When foreigners acquire ownership of US assets, they acquire ownership of future income streams that the assets produce
Foreigners own $2.5 trillion more of American assets than Americans own of foreign assets.
When foreigners acquire ownership of US assets, they also acquire ownership of the future income streams that the assets produce.
More income shifts away from Americans.
How long can Americans consume more than they can produce?
American over-consumption can continue for as long as Americans can find ways to go deeper in personal debt in order to finance their consumption and for as long as the US dollar can remain the world reserve currency.
Reserve currency
The 21st century has brought Americans (with the exception of CEOs, hedge fund managers and investment bankers) no growth in real median household income.
Americans have increased their consumption by dropping their saving rate to the depression level of 1933 when there was massive unemployment and by spending their home equity and running up credit card bills.
The ability of a population, severely impacted by the loss of good jobs to foreigners as a result of offshoring and H-1B work visas and by the bursting of the housing bubble, to continue to accumulate more personal debt is limited to say the least.
Foreigners accept US dollars in exchange for their real goods and services
Foreigners accept US dollars in exchange for their real goods and services, because dollars can be used to settle every country’s international accounts.
By running a trade deficit, the US insures the financing of its government budget deficit as the surplus dollars in foreign hands are invested in US Treasuries and other dollar-denominated assets.
The ability of the US dollar to retain its reserve currency status is eroding due to the continuous increases in US budget and trade deficits.
Today the world is literally flooded with dollars.
In attempts to reduce the rate at which they are accumulating dollars, foreign governments and investors are diversifying into other traded currencies.
As a result, the dollar prices of the Euro, UK pound, Canadian dollar, Thai baht, and other currencies have been bid up.
In the 21st century, the US dollar has declined about 33 percent against other currencies.
Due to habit
The US dollar remains the reserve currency primarily due to habit and the lack of a clear alternative.
The data used in this article is freely available.
It can be found at two official US government sites:
http://www.bea.gov/international/bp_web/simple.cfm?anon=71&table_id=20&area_id=3
And:
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t14.htm
Jobs data and absence of growth in real income inconsistent with US GDP and productivity growth reports
The jobs data and the absence of growth in real income for most of the population are inconsistent with reports of US GDP and productivity growth.
Economists take for granted that the work force is paid in keeping with its productivity.
A rise in productivity thus translates into a rise in real incomes of workers.
Yet, we have had years of reported strong productivity growth but stagnant or declining household incomes.
And somehow the GDP is rising, but not the incomes of the work force.
US economics statistics impaired by offshoring
Something is wrong here.
Either the data indicating productivity and GDP growth are wrong or Karl Marx was right that capitalism works to concentrate income in the hands of the few capitalists.
A case can be made for both explanations.
Recently an economist, Susan Houseman, discovered that the reliability of some US economics statistics has been impaired by offshoring.
Houseman found that cost reductions achieved by US firms shifting production offshore are being miscounted as GDP growth in the US and that productivity gains achieved by US firms when they move design, research, and development offshore are showing up as increases in US productivity.
Obviously, production and productivity that occur abroad are not part of the US domestic economy.
Houseman’s discovery rated a Business Week cover story last June 18, but her important discovery seems already to have gone down the memory hole.
Economics profession over-committed to “benefits” of offshoring, globalism, and non-existent “New Economy
The economics profession has over-committed itself to the “benefits” of offshoring, globalism, and the non-existent “New Economy.”
Houseman’s discovery is too much of a threat to economists’ human capital, corporate research grants, and free market ideology.
The media have likewise let the story go, because in the 1990s the Clinton administration and Congress permitted a few mega-corporations to concentrate in their hands the ownership of the US media, which reports in keeping with corporate and government interests.
Concentrating income growth in hands of owners and managers of capital
The case for Marx is that offshoring has boosted corporate earnings by lowering labor costs, thereby concentrating income growth in the hands of the owners and managers of capital.
According to Forbes magazine, the top 20 earners among private equity and hedge fund managers are earning average yearly compensation of $657,500,000, with four actually earning more than $1 billion annually.
The otherwise excessive $36,400,000 average annual pay of the 20 top earners among CEOs of publicly-held companies looks paltry by comparison.
Careers and financial prospects of Americans destroyed to achieve these earnings
The careers and financial prospects of many Americans were destroyed to achieve these lofty earnings for the few.
Hubris prevents realization that Americans are losing their economic future along with their civil liberties and are on the verge of enserfment.
Sumatran orangutan.

Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.
The orangutan — an icon in peril... like so many other species
BBC — Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Gorillas head race to extinction
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website
Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.
The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.
The IUCN says there is a lack of political will to tackle the global erosion of nature.
Governments have pledged to stem the loss of species by 2010; but it does not appear to be happening.
"This year's Red List shows that the invaluable efforts made so far to protect species are not enough," said the organisation's director-general, Julia Marton-Lefevre.
"The rate of biodiversity loss is increasing, and we need to act now to significantly reduce it and stave off this global extinction crisis."
The rate of biodiversity loss is increasing

Julia Marton-Lefevre
One in three amphibians, one in four mammals, one in eight birds and 70% of plants so far assessed are believed to be at risk of extinction, with human alteration of their habitat the single biggest cause.
Critical list
The tone of this year's Red List is depressingly familiar. Of 41,415 species assessed, 16,306 are threatened with extinction to a greater or lesser degree.
The main changes from previous assessments include some of the natural world's iconic animals, such as the western lowland gorilla, which moves from the Endangered to the Critically Endangered category.
Numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20-25 years.
RED LIST DEFINITIONS
Extinct - Surveys suggest last known individual has died
Critically Endangered - Extreme high risk of extinction - this some Critically Endangered species are also tagged Possibly Extinct
Endangered - Species at very high risk of extinction
Vulnerable - Species at high risk of extinction
Near Threatened - May soon move into above categories
Least Concern - Species is widespread and abundant
Data Deficient - not enough data to assess
Forest clearance has allowed hunters access to previously inaccessible areas; and the Ebola virus has followed, wiping out one-third of the total gorilla population in protected areas, and up to 95% in some regions.
Ebola has moved through the western lowland gorilla's rangelands in western central Africa from the southwest to the northeast. If it continues its march, it will reach all the remaining populations within a decade.
The Sumatran orangutan was already Critically Endangered before this assessment, with numbers having fallen by 80% in the last 75 years.
But IUCN has identified new threats to the 7,300 individuals that remain.
Forests are being cleared for palm oil plantations, and habitat is being split up by the building of new roads.
Governments know they are going to fail to reach that target

Jean-Christophe Vie
In Borneo, home to the second orangutan species, palm oil plantations have expanded 10-fold in a decade, and now take up 27,000 sq km of the island.
Illegal logging reduces habitat still further, while another threat comes from hunting for food and the illegal international pet trade.
So fragmented have some parts of the Bornean forest become that some isolated orangutan populations now number less than 50 individuals, which IUCN notes are "apparently not viable in the long term".
Straight to zero
The great apes are perhaps the most charismatic creatures on this year's Red List, but the fact they are in trouble has been known for some years.
Perhaps more surprising are some of the new additions.
Galapagos coral

The first formal assessment of corals shows many are at risk.

Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.

Image: Cleveland P Hickman Jr.
The first formal assessment of corals shows many are at risk
"This is the first time we've assessed corals, and it's a bit worrying because some of them moved straight from being not assessed to being possibly extinct," said Jean-Christophe Vie, deputy head of IUCN's species programme.
"We know that some species were there in years gone by, but now when we do the assessment they are not there.   And corals are like the trees in the forest; they build the ecosystem for fish and other animals."
IUCN is now embarking on a complete assessment of coral species, and expects to find that about 30% to 40% are threatened.
The most glaring example of a waterborne creature failed by conservation efforts is probably the baiji, the Yangtze river dolphin, which is categorised as Critically Endangered, Possibly Extinct.
This freshwater species appears to have failed in its bid for survival against the destructive tides of fishing, shipping, pollution, and habitat change in its one native river.
Chinese media reported a possible sighting earlier this year, but the IUCN is not convinced; with no confirmed evidence of a living baiji since 2002, they believe its time on Earth may well be over.
Baiji river dolphin.

Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.

Image: Stephen Leatherwood
Last rites for river dolphin
If so, it will have become a largely accidental victim of the various forces of human development.
Not so the spectacular Banggai cardinalfish; a single decade of hunting for the aquarium trade has brought numbers down by an astonishing 90%.
Many African vultures are new entrants on this year's list.
But birds provide the only notable success, with the colourful Mauritius echo parakeet making it back from Critically Endangered to Endangered.
Intensive conservation work has brought numbers up from about 50 to above 300.
But the gharial, a crocodilian found in the major rivers of India and Nepal, provides a cautionary tale of what can happen when conservation money and effort dry up.
A decade ago, a programme of re-introduction to the wild brought the adult population up from about 180 to nearer 430.
Deemed a success, the programme was stopped; numbers are again hovering around 180, and the gharial finds itself once more on the Critically Endangered list.
Female and infant mountain gorilla.

Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one. 

(Image: WildlifeDirect)
Conservation is not enough
Climate of distraction
IUCN says that it is not too late for many of these species; that they can be brought back from the brink.
It is something that the world's governments have committed to, vowing in the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity "to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level".
"Governments know they are going to fail to reach that target," said Jean-Christophe Vie, "and not just in terms of a few species — the failure is really massive.
"We know that it is possible to reverse the trend, but the causes are so huge and massive and global, and there is still a lack of attention to the crisis that biodiversity faces."
Many in the environmental movement argue that too much money and attention has gone on climate change, with other issues such as biodiversity, clean water and desertification ignored at the political level.
IUCN's assessment is that climate change is important for many Red List species; but it is not the only threat, and not the most important threat.
There are conflicts between addressing the various issues, with biofuels perhaps being the obvious example.
Useful they may turn out to be in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; but many conservationists are seriously concerned that the vast swathes of monoculture they will bring spell dire consequences for creatures such as the orangutan.
 
Wellington's solitary coral under threat of extinction
Galapagos coral under threat of extinction
BBC — Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Rare river dolphin 'now extinct'
Baiji river dolphin.

An extensive survey of its habitat failed to find any sign of the baiji

Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.

Image: Stephen Leatherwood
An extensive survey of its habitat failed to find any sign of the baiji
A freshwater dolphin found only in China is now "likely to be extinct", a team of scientists has concluded.
The researchers failed to spot any Yangtze river dolphins, also known as baijis, during an extensive six-week survey of the mammals' habitat.
The team, writing in Biology Letters journal, blamed unregulated fishing as the main reason behind their demise.
If confirmed, it would be the first extinction of a large vertebrate for over 50 years.
The World Conservation Union's Red List of Threaten Species currently classifies the creature as "critically endangered".
Sam Turvey of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), one of the paper's co-authors, described the findings as a "shocking tragedy".
"The Yangtze river dolphin was a remarkable mammal that separated from all other species over 20 million years ago," Dr Turvey explained.
"This extinction represents the disappearance of a complete branch of the evolutionary tree of life and emphasises that we have yet to take full responsibility in our role as guardians of the planet."
'Incidental impact'
The species (Lipotes vexillifer) was the only remaining member of the Lipotidae, an ancient mammal family that is understood to have separated from other marine mammals, including whales, dolphins and porpoises, about 40-20 million years ago.
We have yet to take full responsibility in our role as guardians of the planet
Dr Sam Turvey,
Zoological Society of London
The white, freshwater dolphin had a long, narrow beak and low dorsal fin; lived in groups of three or four and fed on fish.
The team carried out six-week visual and acoustic survey, using two research vessels, in November and December 2006.
"While it is conceivable that a couple of surviving individuals were missed by the survey teams," the team wrote, "our inability to detect any baiji despite this intensive search effort indicates that the prospect of finding and translocating them to a [reserve] has all but vanished."
The scientists added that there were a number of human activities that caused baiji numbers to decline, including construction of dams and boat collisions.
"However, the primary factor was probably unsustainable by-catch in local fisheries, which used rolling hooks, nets and electrofishing," they suggested.
"Unlike most historical-era extinctions of large bodied animals, the baiji was the victim not of active persecution but incidental mortality resulting from massive-scale human environmental impacts - primarily uncontrolled and unselective fishing," the researchers concluded.
 
Gharial crocodile under threat of extinction
BBC — Monday, 10 September 2007
Conservation alone 'is not enough'
Richard Leakey
VIEWPOINT
Richard Leakey
Ahead of Wednesday's publication of the 2007 Red List of Threatened Species, Dr Richard Leakey argues that conservation alone cannot save threatened species such as the mountain gorilla.
In this week's Green Room, he calls for action on humans' needs as well.
Rangers standing next to the four dead gorillas

Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.

(Image: Altor IGCP Goma)
These deaths were repulsive for the fact that the gorilla corpses served no use to the killers
 Millions of people were horrified by the recent slaughter of mountain gorillas that dominated headlines for the inhumanity that seems to cling to this corner of the world.
In the space of a month, nine gorillas — more than 1% of the known population of these charismatic relatives of ours — were wiped out.
All were from the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) Virunga National Park.
Predictably, the slaughter drew an outraged response.
Wildlife conservation organisations leapt into action and began raising funds to deal with it, and a crisis team went in on the ground.
In the following four weeks, peoples' compulsion to do something to save the species produced donations amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.
Living at the epicentre of the bloodiest conflict since the Second World War, the mountain gorillas share their habitat with heavily armed militia.
In other lawless regions, where wild meat comes into contact with hungry gunmen, species are slaughtered for food, or for trophies to be traded for cash and weapons.
But these deaths were repulsive for the fact that the gorilla corpses served no use to the killers.
On the contrary, it is the very presence of mountain gorillas in the Virunga National Park that threatens them, for the animals draw attention to an area that unscrupulous people would rather have us forget.
Fuelling conflicts
At the heart of the crisis is charcoal — the main form of household energy in Africa.
And making charcoal means felling forests, destroying wildlife habitats, damaging ecosystem services such as water catchments and soil fertility.
Gorilla protection rangers.

Wildlife protection rangers earn just $5 a month for risking their lives.

Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.

Image: (Image: WildlifeDirect)
Wildlife protection rangers earn just $5 a month for risking their lives
Charcoal production has been going on for millennia, but recent events in eastern DRC have led to a sharp escalation in demand.
In neighbouring Rwanda, an enormous human population has stripped almost all its indigenous forests bare; while in the Congolese border town of Goma, refugees fleeing the region's crises have swelled the population to more than half a million.
Together, they've created an insatiable demand for charcoal worth an estimated $30m (£15m) a year.
To save Rwanda's few remaining forests and the gorillas that have become a major source of tourist revenue, President Paul Kagame has installed a surprisingly efficient and effective ban on charcoal production.
Ironically, however, that has driven the black industry across the border into DRC, threatening the habitats of the very same gorillas in the park which straddles both countries.
Given the lack of any form of effective government in eastern Congo, and the ludicrously small government salaries - a ranger earns about $5 (£2.50) per month - it is not surprising that the parks' forests have become a commons and virtually everybody is involved in the scramble for resources, from peasants to high ranking government officials and rebel militia.
If gorillas focus unwelcome global attention on the park, it is hardly surprising that those getting rich on charcoal will want to remove that attention by getting rid of one of our closest biological relatives.
As shocking as the gorilla executions were, this is fundamentally a human tragedy, with very human solutions.
There must be alternative sources of energy to meet the demand in both Rwanda and eastern Congo. There must be a return to the rule of law in DRC, where the forests are saved for the long term good of all, rather than looted for the short term riches of a few.
In it together
Although it seems to be a very local problem, we all have an interest in protecting the forests.
Rainforest

Gorillas, orangutans, and corals are among the plants and animals which are sliding closer to extinction.

The Red List of Threatened Species for 2007 names habitat loss, hunting and climate change among the causes.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has identified more than 16,000 species threatened with extinction, while prospects have brightened for only one.

BBC
It will take a focused global initiative to end the conflict, introduce alternative sources of household fuel, and create alternative livelihoods
Not only do we risk losing one of the most charismatic and important species on Earth, but we are in danger of doing more damage to the world's warming climate.
In that respect, the forests' destruction is a double whammy.
Burning charcoal is one of the greatest sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide, but it also strips away the trees that otherwise soak up so much of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
While the alarm has been raised by conservation organisations concerned about gorillas, and the global public has responded, it is clear that the problem is much greater than one of conservation alone.
This is a human development crisis and it will take a focused global initiative to end the conflict, introduce alternative sources of household fuel, and create alternative livelihoods for the population living in eastern Kivu.
If the underlying demand for charcoal is ignored and we focus too much on the gorillas alone, we will not only see the extermination of the mountain gorillas, but the forests, woodlands and all the unique species that inhabit this biologically diverse landscape.
We will also lose the climate mitigation services that the intact forests provide.
In the end, we could see a human crisis that will dwarf the tragedy of nine gorillas.
Dr Richard Leakey is the founding chairman of WildlifeDirect, a former head of the Kenyan Wildlife Service and a leading palaeontologist
 
Banggai cardinalfish under threat from overfishing
Humphead parrotfish victim of overfishing

An Economy Driven By Debt
Don't Confuse the Jobs Hype with the Facts
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration
The November payrolls job report was announced Friday with the usual misleading hype.
Spinmeisters made the most out of the 215,000 jobs.
Looking beyond the glitter at the real facts, this is what we see.
21,000 of those jobs were government jobs supported by taxpayers.
There were only 194,000 new jobs in the private sector.
Of those new jobs, 37,000 are in construction and only 11,000 are in manufacturing.
Bulk in domestic service
The bulk of the new jobs — 144,000 — are in domestic services.
Wholesale and retail trade account for 20,000.
Food services and drinking places (waitresses and bar tenders) account for 38,000.
Health care and social assistance account for 27,000.
Professional and business services account for 29,000.
Financial activities gained 13,000 jobs.
Transportation and warehousing gained 8,000 jobs.
Balance of trade!
Very few of these jobs result in tradable services that can be exported or help to close the growing gap in the US balance of trade.
The 11,000 new factory jobs and the 15,000 of the previous month are a relief from the usual loss.
However, these gains are more than offset by the job cuts recently announced by General Motors and Ford.
Despite the gain in jobs, total hours worked declined as the average workweek fell to 33.7 hours.
The decline in the labor force participation rate, a consequence of the shrinkage in well-paying jobs, masks a higher rate of unemployment than the reported 5 percent.
The ratio of employment to population fell again in November.
Parthenon
Greek Empire
Hourly earnings not keeping up
Average hourly earnings (up 3.2 percent over the last year) are not keeping up with the consumer price index (up 4.3 percent).
Consequently, real incomes are falling.
This is not the picture of a healthy economy in which growth in high productivity, high value-added jobs fuel the growth in consumer demand and provide savings to finance Washington's red ink.
What we are looking at is an economy that is coming unglued from the loss of jobs that provide ladders of upward mobility and from massive trade and budget deficits that are resulting in unsustainable growth in indebtedness to foreigners.
Inflation 4.3 percent?
The consumer price index measures inflation at 4.3 percent over the past year.
Many people, experiencing household budgets severely impacted by fuel prices and grocery bills, find this figure unrealistically low.
PNC Financial Services has a Christmas price index consisting of the gifts in the song, "The 12 Days of Christmas." The index reports that the cost of the collection of gifts has risen 6 percent since last Christmas. Some of the gifts have risen substantially in price.
Gold rings are up 27.5 percent, and pear trees are up 15.4 percent. The cost of labor (drummers drumming, maids-a-milking) has remained the same.
Populations are hard pressed when the prices of goods rise relative to the price of labor, because this makes it impossible for the population to maintain its standard of living.
The US economy has been kept alive by low interest rates, which fueled a real estate boom.
Consumers have kept growth alive by refinancing their home mortgages and spending the equity in their houses. Their indebtedness has risen.
Debt-fueled growth is qualitatively different from economic growth that results from an increase in high value-added jobs.
Economists who look at the 3+ percent economic growth rate and conclude that things are fine are fooling themselves and the public.
When the real estate boom ends, what will be the source of new spending power?
Lebanon
A young girl — Teir Hafra, July 15, 2006
 
War crimes in Lebanon paid for by US taxpayers.

The Israel military — including secret deadly weapon production, tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.

More than Fifteen million US dollars given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.

Funding by the US Taxpayer for the enslavement of the Palestinian people continues to increase, estimated now considerably more than the previous 4 billion US dollars per year.
Photo: http://uruknet.info/

A young girl — Teir Hafra, July 15, 2006
War crimes in Lebanon paid for by US taxpayers.
The Israel military — including secret deadly weapon production, tanks, missiles, warplanes, artillery, shells, are all funded by the US taxpayer.
More than Fifteen million US dollars given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use.
Funding by the US Taxpayer for the enslavement of the Palestinian people continues to increase, estimated now considerably more than the previous 4 billion US dollars per year.
Photo: http://uruknet.info/
Can you see the lights glitter along the Nile?
Iraq War Winners: Al-Qaeda, Iran and Military Contractors
America is Running Out of Time
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
September 26, 2005
G eorge W. Bush will go down in history as the president who fiddled while America lost its superpower status.
Bush used deceit and hysteria to lead America into a war that is bleeding the US economically, militarily, and diplomatically.
The war is being fought with hundreds of billions of dollars borrowed from foreigners. The war is bleeding the military of troops and commitments.
The war has ended the US claim to moral leadership and exposed the US as a reckless and aggressive power.
Focused on a concocted "war on terrorism," the Bush administration diverted money from the New Orleans levees to Iraq, with the consequence that the US now has a $100 billion rebuild bill on top of the war bill.
The US is so short of troops that neoconservatives are advocating the use of foreign mercenaries paid with US citizenship.
US efforts to isolate Iran have been blocked by Russia and China, nuclear powers that Bush cannot bully.
The Iraqi war has three beneficiaries: (1) al Qaeda, (2) Iran and (3) US war industries and Bush-Cheney cronies who receive no-bid contracts.
Everyone else is a loser.
The war has bestowed on al Qaeda recruits, prestige, and a training ground.
The war has allied Iran with Iraq's Shi'ite majority.
The war has brought soaring profits to the military industries and the firms with reconstruction contracts at the expense of 20,000 US military casualties and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties.
The Republican Party is a loser, because its hidebound support for the war is isolating the party from public opinion.
The Democratic Party is a loser, because its cowardly acquiescence in a war that is opposed by the majority of its members is making the party irrelevant.
            Rings of Saturn
The latest polls show that a majority of Americans believe the US cannot win against the Iraq insurgency.
The majority support withdrawal and the redirection of war spending to rebuilding New Orleans. Despite the clarity of the public's wishes, the Republican Party continues to support the unpopular war.
With the exceptions of Reps. Cynthia McKinney and John Conyers, Democrats fled the scene of the Sept. 24 antiwar rally in Washington DC. The cynical Democrats are apparently owned by the same interest groups that own the Republicans and are refusing the mantle of majority party that the electorate is offering to the party that will end the war.
The Bush administration is churning out red ink in excess of $1 trillion annually. The federal budget deficit is approaching $500 billion. The US trade deficit is approaching $700 billion.
The budget deficit is being financed by foreigners, primarily Asians who now hold enough US government debt to exercise power over US interest rates and the value of the dollar whenever they decide to use the power that Bush has placed in their hands.
The trade deficit is being financed by turning over the ownership of US assets and future income streams to foreigners, making Americans forever poorer from the loss of accumulated wealth.

Iraq War Winners: Al-Qaeda, Iran and Military Contractors
America is Running Out of Time
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
September 26, 2005
For the time being, China is willing to accumulate US assets as a way of taking over our consumer markets, attracting US manufacturing industry with cheap labor subsidized by artificial currency values, and gaining our technology.
China's strategy is to over-value the US dollar in order to encourage the transfer of US economic capabilities to China.
China's strategy gives artificial value to the dollar and keeps US interest rates at an artificial low.
The values of US stocks, bonds, and real estate depend on the support that Asians' economic strategies provide the dollar and US interest rates.
As Asia achieves its goal of preeminence in manufacturing, innovation, and product development, the strategy will change.
Once China completes its acquisition of US capabilities, it will no longer have a reason to support the dollar.
When the dollar goes, it will affect costs, profits, interest rates and living standards in dramatic ways.
Costs and interest rates will soar, and profits, living standards, equity values, bond prices and real estate will plummet.
These unpleasant events await only Asia's decision to curtail its support for US red ink. That will happen when this support no longer serves Asia's interest.
When Asia pulls the plug on the dollar, the US government will find that monetary and fiscal policy are powerless to offset the consequences.
Compared to US budget and trade deficits, terrorists are a minor concern.
The greatest danger that the US faces is the dollar's loss of reserve currency role.
This would be an impoverishing event, one from which the US would not recover.
An intelligent government sincerely concerned with homeland security would find a way to halt the global labor arbitrage that is stripping the American economy of high value-added jobs and manufacturing capability, thereby causing the US trade deficit to explode.
The loss of tax base that results when US companies outsource jobs and relocate production abroad makes it ever more difficult to balance a budget strained by war, natural disasters, and demographic impact on Social Security and Medicare.
Global labor arbitrage is rapidly dismantling the ladders of upward mobility and thereby endangering American political stability.
This threat is far greater than any Osama bin Laden can mount.
Time is running out for Republicans and Democrats to escape from the distraction of a pointless war and to focus on the real threats that endanger the United States of America.
One boy of four million people now displaced by America
1.5 million Iraq refugees in Syria due to America
A new Palestine has been created by America in the last three years
Syrian Red Crescent aid for uniforms and schooling provided by the Syrian government
NOT BY AMERICA
THE COUNTRY THAT CAUSED THIS
September 8 / 9, 2007
From Gonzo to Pottygate
The Irrational Drama of a Declining Empire
By SAUL LANDAU
Brother's family killed in US rooftop attack
A s media dissection of Senator Larry Craig's toilet stall indiscretion abates, George Bush prepares to resume center stage for his starring role in the "The Decline of the Imperial Presidency."
In the last episode of this drama, Bush planned to nominate the recently resigned "brain," Karl Rove — after the Senate rejected Michael Chertoff and Rush Limbaugh — to replace Alberto Gonzalez as Attorney General.
Gonzalez etched his name in U.S. history by adding torture to democracy's great arsenal, while stripping away cumbersome baggage like habeas corpus.
Gonzalez accomplished these Atlas-like feats while serving as White House Counsel and then Attorney General.
After drafting a series of memos at Bush's request to strengthen Presidential power to combat enemies of democracy, Gonzalez visited then Attorney General John Ashcroft, barely conscious in a post operative state, to demand a signature on some of the documents.
What loyalty!
Brother's family killed in US rooftop attack
A sandal of one of the people killed by the US is shown
In subsequent gripping scenes, Gonzalez told skeptical Senators he didn't remember some of his actions.
Some Senators said he lied.
Others shook their sardonic heads.
Inside the Justice Department morale sank and Bush complained about how Gonzalez' "good name was dragged through the mud."
What good name, asked a deus ex machina?
U.S. democracy, I learned in school, along with all American children, means freedom from government intrusion, free elections and fair trials, symbols of our liberty that we now export.
Since neither my grade school teachers nor the mass media challenged the adjectives — free and fair, nor questioned intrusion — a President, like George Bush, can still use them in his own play to paint a thin veneer to cover blatant imperial aggression abroad and violations of civil liberties at home. He has counted on the media not to ask questions.
Elections stand as the prime symbol of democracy and since by 2004 searchers had found no evidence existed for Bush's alleged reasons for making war on Iraq — WMD and links to al-Qaida — White House playwrights changed the agenda: "Iraq as the first step in the war to make democracy in the Middle East."
The White House stage managers decided Iraqis should hold elections.
The play continued.
After screening the candidates, Washington provided "security" for the big day.
In late January 2005, with military patrols guarding polling stations and nearby streets — the sound of drum rolls? — Iraqis voted.
The media responded as the scribes predicted.
Images filled TV screens of Iraqis holding up their ink-stained fingers showing they had voted or were the media and the White House the objects of the proverbial finger — as in screw you?
Searching people's homes
When elections conform to wishes of imperial power they represent democracy
"The Iraqi people gave America the biggest 'thank you' in the best way we could have hoped for," wrote Betsy Hart, a Scripps Howard News Service columnist, words Karl Rove could have scripted.
Main stream analysts naturally avoided discussing the meaning of the vote.
Only Naomi Klein stood as Cassandra, declaring that the finger might have meant "dissing" the United States.
Klein said that the platforms of the winning parties showed "Iraqis voted overwhelmingly to throw out the (U.S.-installed) government of Iyad Allawi, who refused to ask the United States to leave.
A decisive majority voted for the United Iraqi Alliance; the second plank in the UIA platform calls for 'a timetable for the withdrawal of the multinational forces from Iraq'." (The Nation, Feb 28, 2005)
Most responses met White House expectations.
"The fact that the voting was going great despite the violence was something few people expected..The voice of the Iraqi people had risen above the clamor of insurgent violence." (Michael Yon, OnLine Magazine, Oct 10, 2005)
When elections conform to the wishes of the imperial power, they represent democracy.
When elections go wrong — Hamas or Hezbollah winning in Gaza and Lebanon — the empire script writers dismiss the results.
In 1970, Chileans elected Dr. Salvador Allende to the presidency in Chile on a socialist ticket.
National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, an Iago-like character, described Chileans as "irresponsible" and advised President Nixon to alter their destiny. What drama when Nixon ordered the CIA to destabilize Allende and helped Chile's military stage its bloody coup in 1973!
Searching people's homes
Saddam's execution diverged from script when executioners baited the condemned man
U.S. spinners staged repeated election facades in Vietnam in the 1960s and 70s, but couldn't get the actors — "elected governments" — to heed the U.S. directors and stop corruption and cronyism.
Does this remind you of the Iraq drama?
"Those darn puppet governments don't seem to understand they have to obey the puppet masters — or else," said one young White House staffer.
"Or else what?" answered a cynical spinmeister.
"Get a new puppet?
In Vietnam, the governments we installed didn't get their troops to fight.
The South Vietnamese generals showed little interest in war except for the profit making part."
Having staged elections, White House scribes sketched the other twin pillar of democracy drama: trials.
In December 2003, following the capture of Saddam Hussein, the world watched a fabulous farce: Saddam Hussein's orchestrated execution — 3 years later, via a U.S. orchestrated trial at least as free as a Salem witch trial.
The (U.S.-created) court was stripped of jurisdiction to hear testimony related to U.S. roles in Saddam's crimes, like allegedly gassing his own people in Halabja in 1988 and slaughtering them en masse in southern Iraq in 1991.
Thus, key supporting actors like Rumsfeld and Cheney were exempt.
Both had backed Saddam in the 1980s and George the First's policy in 1991 of not helping rebels who rose up against Saddam at his urging.
Saddam's execution diverged from script when executioners baited the condemned man while slipping the noose over his head and he spat back insults at them.
Oh well!
 
Loved ones killed by US
The language conjured up images of these Iraqis dropping nuclear bombs on Japanese
Bush had learned from Daddy about the importance of show trials.
In 1990, Panama George dispatched almost 25,000 troops to arrest the "military strongman," as the media labeled puny General Manuel Noriega.
In 1989, Noriega had disobeyed Bush's command to help in the Contra war and thus became a serious narcotrafficker.
Noriega then received a fair trial in Florida where 52 convicted felons testified against him and received time off from their sentences.
(So what that the CIA and DEA used Noriega to get crucial intelligence and make major drug busts. What's truth got to do with democracy?)
Bush the Second therefore understood that trial theater not only distracts the public from the horrors of occupation, but perpetrates the image of the demonized enemy.
In the latest scenes, Saddam Hussein's cousin, Chemical Ali, and 14 other former Saddamites stood in the dock last week, accused of perpetrating "among the ugliest crimes ever committed against humanity in modern history."
The language conjured up images of these Iraqis dropping nuclear bombs on Japanese — oops, Iraqi — cities!
Ali and company allegedly killed tens of thousands of rebellious Shiites in 1991, people George the First encouraged to rise up against Saddam.
W's Daddy followed the adage Kissinger introduced in 1972, supporting a Kurdish uprising and then abandoning the Kurds to the Shah of Iran's slaughter machine.
"Promise them anything, give them what they get and fuck them if they can't take a joke."
The Ali trial continues Kissinger's joke.
The Ali trial continues Kissinger's joke.
By mid 2007, as many as 1 million Iraqis have died, four million driven from their homes and hundreds of thousands incarcerated — for no legal reason.
In this context, White House playwrights demand that Ali go to trial for killing Iraqis — in the past.
The media, of course, fails to note the irony.
As in Saddam's trial, U.S. script writers stripped the court of jurisdiction from hearing testimony of U.S. complicity in mass murders: providing Saddam with the ingredients for his deadly weapons and the logistics of where to drop them.
The Bush Administration managers of Ali's trial want to show the United States as a virtuous law enforcement officer who caught another mass murderer and brought him to trial as civilized nations do.
Pictures will come with the guilty verdict!
William Randolph Hearst kibbitzed from his grave: "Without pictures, you can't keep them at war."
As Bush's empire sink lower in world opinion polls, the drama moves from surrealism to cruel teenage comedy.
Welcome to "Jackass III — the degeneration of the empire and its chief."
 Member Council of Foreign Relations (Global elite club)
Patraeus
and Bush
But the principal, underlying cause was that, as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, human equality had become technically possible.
It was still true that men were not equal in their native talents and that functions had to be specialized in ways that favoured some individuals against others; but there was no longer any real need for class distinctions or for large differences of wealth.
In earlier ages, class distinctions had been not only inevitable but desirable.
Inequality was the price of civilization.
With the development of machine production, however, the case was altered.
Even if it was still necessary for human beings to do different kinds of work, it was no longer necessary for them to live at different social or economic levels.
Therefore, from the point of view of the new groups who were on the point of seizing power, human equality was no longer an ideal to be striven after, but a danger to be averted.
In more primitive ages, when a just and peaceful society was in fact not possible, it had been fairly easy to believe it.
The idea of an earthly paradise in which men should live together in a state of brotherhood, without laws and without brute labour, had haunted the human imagination for thousands of years.
And this vision had had a certain hold even on the groups who actually profited by each historical change.
US Hunter Drones now killing people
US military hailing the killing operation as the first of its kind
The heirs of the French, English, and American revolutions had partly believed in their own phrases about the rights of man, freedom of speech, equality before the law, and the like, and have even allowed their conduct to be influenced by them to some extent.
But by the fourth decade of the twentieth century all the main currents of political thought were authoritarian.
The earthly paradise had been discredited at exactly the moment when it became realizable.
Every new political theory, by whatever name it called itself, led back to hierarchy and regimentation.
And in the general hardening of outlook that set in round about 1930, practices which had been long abandoned, in some cases for hundreds of years — imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages, and the deportation of whole populations — not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.
      George Orwell 1984      
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
Oceania
Ingsoc or New World Order Socialism
Eurasia
Neo-Bolshevism
Eastasia
Obliteration of the Self — also known as Death Worship
BBC — Friday, 7 September 2007
Venturing into unreported China
Policeman standing in front of the Chinese flag

China wants to keep reports of rural unrest under wraps.
China wants to keep reports of rural unrest under wraps
China has pledged more freedoms for reporters ahead of next year's Olympics, but when the BBC's Dan Griffiths travelled to the countryside to investigate reports of unrest he was detained and questioned.
The village of Shengyou is a three hour drive south of Beijing, deep in the countryside surrounded by fields of maize.
A traditional landscape found across this vast nation — but everything is not as it seems.
My taxi driver tells me that the police have set up checkpoints round the village.   He refuses to go any further — so I go the rest of the way on foot.
I walk down a narrow lane with broad poplar trees on either side.   A small tractor chugs by, the driver stares at me — foreigners are rarely seen around here.
Round a bend in the road, I see two white vans.   Several policemen are standing beside them.   They look as out of place in rural China as I do.
The questions come thick and fast.   What am I doing?   Where have I come from? Who is my contact in the village?
Over the course of the next few hours they will ask me this last question again and again.   From nowhere a black car pulls up and I am ushered inside.
Battle of Shengyou
Two years ago there was a riot in Shengyou.   In the early hours of a November morning a gang of more than 100 men entered the village.
Footage of the clashes in the Chinese village.

China wants to keep reports of rural unrest under wraps.
China wants to keep reports of rural unrest under wraps
They were wearing camouflage gear and construction helmets, some armed with hunting rifles, clubs and shovels.
What happened next was filmed by a local resident and smuggled out to the international media.
The video showed a series of bloody clashes between the villagers and the attackers.   Gunshots could be heard above the shouting and screaming.
When the fighting finally stopped, six people lay dead, more than 50 were injured.
With the dramatic footage circulating, the authorities moved quickly.
State media said the Shengyou residents had been resisting the takeover of their property by an electricity company which wanted to build a power plant.
It emerged that there had been a similar clash earlier in the year, which had gone unreported.   Several local officials were sacked and the villagers won their claim to stay on the land.
But now the police are back in Shengyou.
'Welcome to Dingzhou'
I am in the backseat of the black car on the way to the nearby town of Dingzhou.
Next to me is one of the men from the checkpoint.   He is not wearing a police uniform and refuses to give me his name or show me any ID.
Map of Hebei, Shengycu, China. 

China wants to keep reports of rural unrest under wraps.
China wants to keep reports of rural unrest under wraps
The questions keep on coming — how do I know about Shengyou?   Why was I on foot?
I tell him that my taxi driver was too scared to go near the village.   He laughs.   At one point he reaches over and tries to grab my mobile phone.
I ask some questions of my own — why are they detaining me?   What is going on in Shengyou?   He says nothing.
At the town's government headquarters, an official shakes my hand.   "You are welcome to Dingzhou," he says, pretending that I am an honoured guest.
We sit around a large oval table.   I am on one side, officials are on the other.   Several refuse to give me their names.   They want to see my journalist's identity card.   And again the questions.
New regulations issued this year were supposed to give foreign journalists much greater freedom to travel around the country.
They were also supposed to mean less harassment from local officials — a common problem in the past and one that has not gone away.
I tell them I heard reports about problems in the village and had come down to look around.
People living near Shengyou say that armed police were sent into the village two weeks ago.
It is not until the next day that my driver discovers that while we were eating someone tampered with our car

That was after residents dug up the bodies of those who had died in the violence in November 2005.
They wanted to protest at the lack of official compensation for the families of those who were killed or injured then.
What is happening in Shengyou is not unique.   It is another reminder of growing social tensions in rural China.
The government has admitted that there were tens of thousands of rural protests last year.
Many are about land grabs like the one attempted in Shengyou, others about corruption or the growing gap between rich and poor.
The authorities in Beijing say they want to do something about these problems — but often officials at the local level ignore these edicts.
Heading home
The interview is over.   Officials say they will escort me back to the highway.
I meet up with my driver, who has been waiting for me.   Three officials also get in the car.   They sit either side of me on the back seat.   Another in the front.
A woman walks past high-rise buildings in Beijing.

China wants to keep reports of rural unrest under wraps.
This is the China the government wants to portray
As we drive out of town a black car comes alongside.   The driver says we must pull over.
This game of cat and mouse continues up the highway to Beijing.   Finally I tell my driver to ignore them and head home.
"Have you been to Beijing before?" I ask the officials.   They laugh nervously.
Then I see blue and red flashing lights.
The police will not say why they have stopped us, nor will they say when we can go.   We wait at the side of the road.
Up ahead there is a big neon sign lit up in green — "One World, One Dream".   It is the official slogan of the Beijing Olympics.
"Is this how you will treat journalists when China hosts the Olympics?" I ask one of them.   "Oh, everything will be different then," he says.
Then another car pulls up, with representatives from the local office of China's foreign ministry.
I know my colleagues in Beijing have been pressing the foreign ministry to take action.
"There has been a terrible mistake, we are so sorry."
They insist that we must go out for dinner with the officials from Dingzhou, then we can go back to Beijing.
It is a strange experience sitting round the same table with the men who detained me.
It is not until the next day that my driver discovers that while we were eating, someone tampered with our car by removing several of the bolts that attach the wheels to the chassis.
It is nearly midnight by the time we arrive back in Beijing.   We drive down the wide, brightly-lit boulevards, past the new office blocks.
This is the China that Beijing wants the world to see.   But in Shengyou there is another China — a world that goes unreported by the country's state-run media.
China's president, Hu Jintao, has promised to build what he calls a "harmonious society", but three hours south of Beijing no-one in power seems to be listening.
And don't think this is just in the UK.
Why do the elite get away with it?
Because you pay for it
BBC — Saturday, 8 September 2007
Map shows UK 'class segregation'
A family in silhouette

Map shows UK class segregation

A UK social atlas suggests that British society is becoming more segregated by class.

Britain is becoming increasingly segregated across all ages by class, education, occupation, home ownership, health status, disability and family type.

The study said social segregation affects life chances

An average child in the wealthiest 10% of neighbourhoods can expect to inherit at least 40 times as much wealth as a typical child in the poorest 10%

In some areas, 16-to-24-year-olds are 50 times more likely to attend an elite university than in others

In the most impoverished parts of the country young adults in this age group are almost 20 times more likely not to be in education, employment or training than those in the wealthiest neighbourhoods

There are no large neighbourhoods where under-five-year-olds from the highest social class, spend time with any other class of children other the one just beneath them
The study said social segregation affects life chances
A UK social atlas suggests that British society is becoming more segregated by class, researchers have said.
A team from Sheffield University compared more than 1,000 neighbourhoods across Britain using data on subjects like health, education and housing.
Changing social status is represented on the map, published on Monday.
Report author Dr Bethan Thomas said it showed that "where you live can limit or assist your life chances from the cradle to the grave".
Dr Thomas added: "Our conclusion is that Britain is becoming increasingly segregated across all ages by class, education, occupation, home ownership, health status, disability and family type."
Most people think they are average when asked.
In most things most are not

Professor Daniel Dorling
Her team's findings are published in Identity in Britain: A cradle-to-grave atlas.
It found that:
  • An average child in the wealthiest 10% of neighbourhoods can expect to inherit at least 40 times as much wealth as a typical child in the poorest 10%
  • In some areas, 16-to-24-year-olds are 50 times more likely to attend an elite university than in others
  • In the most impoverished parts of the country young adults in this age group are almost 20 times more likely not to be in education, employment or training than those in the wealthiest neighbourhoods
  • There are no large neighbourhoods where under-five-year-olds from the highest social class, spend time with any other class of children other the one 'just beneath them'
  • Professor Daniel Dorling, co-author of the report, said: "Our atlas shows that what is normal changes rapidly as you travel across the social topography of human identity in Britain.
    "Most people think they are average when asked.   In most things most are not."
    As Alex Jones remarks many times on his show when talking to Jerome R. Corsi the reporter of this story —
    "You cannot make this stuff up, folks"
    Between the age of 10 and 17 when committed these poor ones
    When they most need help
    When they most need love — real love — the most basic of needs — non-sexual love
    — molesters can continue to molest them until their 21st birthdays
    "Would have to demonstrate boys subjected to sexual abuse
    — felt physical pain"
    Turned away by the U.S. Department of Justice
    Turned away by the state, by everyone...
    The response from you:
    "None of the victims claim to have felt physical pain during the course of the sexual assults"
    Boys —from the age of ten.
    This is real abuse — real abuse of your nations most needy children
    and it's not just in Texas
    It's systemic throughout your country
    How sick and insane do you have to demonstrate you are?
    Does anyone in America care?
    Embattled AG now accused in teen
    sex scandal 'cover-up'
    Attorney General Gonzales among officials who allegedly ignored abuse of minor boys
    March 25, 2007
    By Jerome R. Corsi
    Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, both already under siege for other matters, are now being accused of failing to prosecute officers of the Texas Youth Commission after a Texas Ranger investigation documented that guards and administrators were sexually abusing the institution's teenage boy inmates.
    Among the charges in the Texas Ranger report were that administrators would rouse boys from their sleep for the purpose of conducting all-night sex parties.
    Retained job despite pornography on state computers
    Ray Brookins, one of the officials named in the report, was a Texas prison guard before being hired at the youth commission school.
    As a prison guard, Brookins had a history of disciplinary and petty criminal records dating back 21 years.
    He retained his job despite charges of using pornography on the job, including viewing nude photos of men and women on state computers.
    Systematically abusing youth inmates
    The Texas Youth Comission controversy traces back to a criminal investigation conducted in 2005 by Texas Ranger Brian Burzynski.
    The investigation revealed key employees at the West Texas State School in Pyote, Texas, were systematically abusing youth inmates in their custody.
    Burzynski presented his findings to the attorney general in Texas, to the U.S. Attorney Sutton, and to the Department of Justice civil rights division.
    Received no interest in prosecuting — Karl Rove orchestrating role
    From all three, Burzynski received no interest in prosecuting the alleged sexual offenses.
    "This case demonstrates that a partisan political agenda, with Karl Rove in an orchestrating role, has penetrated the Justice Department and subverted fair-minded administration of the law," Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project, told WND.
    It's just the latest controversy for Sutton, Gonzales and the Bush administration's direction of the Justice Department.
    Earlier, Sutton's decisions to prosecute two Border Patrol agents and Deputy Sheriff Gil Hernandez were criticized as having been influenced by the intervention of the Mexican government.
    Gonzales is under heavy congressional pressure in the controversy over the recent forced resignations of eight U.S. attorneys.
    At issue is whether the Bush administration is directing the Justice Department to pursue politically motivated prosecutions at the expense of fair or even-handed law enforcement.
    Would have to demonstrate boys subjected to sexual abuse
    — felt physical pain
    In the Texas Youth Commission scandal, Texas Ranger official Burzynski received a July 28, 2005, letter from Bill Baumann, assistant U.S. attorney in Sutton's office, declining prosecution on the argument that under 18 U.S.C. Section 242, the government would have to demonstrate that the boys subjected to sexual abuse sustained "bodily injury."
    Baumann wrote that, "As you know, our interviews of the victims revealed that none sustained 'bodily injury.'"
    Baumann's letter continued, adding a definition of the phrase "bodily injury," as follows: "Federal courts have interpreted this phrase to include physical pain.
    None of the victims have claimed to have felt physical pain during the course of the sexual assaults which they described."
    Must demonstrate perpetrator
    — knowingly caused victim to engage in sexual act
    Baumann's letter further suggested that insufficient evidence existed to prove the offenders in the Texas Youth Commission case had used force in their alleged acts of pedophilia:
    "A felony charge under 18 U.S.C. Section 242 can also be predicated on the commission of 'aggravated sexual abuse' or the attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse.
    The offense of aggravated sexual abuse is proven with evidence that the perpetrator knowingly caused his victim to engage in a sexual act (which can include contact between the mouth and penis) by using force against the victim or by threatening or placing the victim in fear that the victim (or any other person) will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping.
    I do not believe that sufficient evidence exists to support a charge that either Brookins or Hernandez used force to cause victims to engage in a sexual act."
    No action because young imprisoned boys
    — even enjoyed the acts
    Baumann's letter went so far as to suggest that the victims may have willingly participated in, or even enjoyed, the acts of pedophilia involved:
    "As you know, consent is frequently an issue in sexual assault cases.
    Although none of the victims admit that they consented to the sexual contact, none resisted or voiced any objection to the conduct.
    Several of the victims suggested that they were simply 'getting off' on the school administrator."
    Rejected charges administrators at the Texas Youth Commission
    — lengthened sentences of boys 'reluctant to participate'
    Baumann's letter also rejected Burzynski's charges that the administrators at the Texas Youth Commission facility in West Texas had used their position of authority to force the inmates to participate in the sexual acts or that the administrators had lengthened the sentences of the boys to retain willing participants or punish those reluctant to participate.
    Essential to show the victim
    — was in fact victimized
    Baumann wrote:
    "In order for the government to be successful in a criminal prosecution, it would be essential for us to show that the victim was in fact victimized.
    Most of the victims were aware of the power that the school principal and assistant superintendent held over them, but none were able to describe retaliative acts committed by either the principal or assistant superintendent.
    Although it is apparent that many students were retained at West Texas State School long after their initial release date, it would be difficult to prove that either Mr. Brookins or Mr. Hernandez prevented their release."
    On Sept. 27, 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division declined prosecution in a letter written to Lemuel Harrison, the Texas Youth Commission superintendent at the West Texas State School.
    In that letter, Justice Department section chief Albert Moskowitz wrote that "evidence does not establish a prosecutable violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes."
    When the word came from Washington
    — that's when Baumann wrote letter declining prosecution
    Angle maintains the decision not to prosecute was purely political.
    "The U.S. attorney's office in Texas actually prepared indictments in this case," Angle told WND.
    "But when the word came from Washington, that's when Baumann wrote his letter declining prosecution.
    Sutton's office dropped the matter on the desk of the local district attorney, but nobody from Sutton's office said 'if you can’t go on this case, we'll help you out.'"
    WND asked Angle to explain how politics drove the decisions not to prosecute.
    Describe systematic and widespread abuse of juveniles
    — yet they determine that the evidence is not sufficient to warrant federal prosecution
    "If you read the letters from Sutton's office or from DOJ, it's really amazing what abuse they describe and then downplay as not being serious," Angle explained.
    "They describe systematic and widespread abuse of juveniles who were held in these facilities by the people who were administering these facilities, and they acknowledge this fully, yet they determine that the evidence is not sufficient to warrant federal prosecution."
    Angle explained to WND that he found both letters shocking.
    "The letters justify not pursuing these cases because, number one, there is no evidence that any of these juveniles felt physical pain while they were being assaulted, and the letters use the word 'assaulted,'" he said.
    "And then also, they rejected prosecution because none of these juveniles stated in the investigations that they resisted and objected, which of course the facts of the report show to be the case.
    This case developed right in the middle of Governor Perry's 2006 re-election campaign.
    While Texas is a Republican state, and the Republicans expected to win, still at that time, Governor Perry was facing an election challenge from Carole Strayhorn, a third party candidate who was also a former Republican comptroller in Texas."
    He continued:
    "I would speculate that the political powers in Texas and Washington in the Republican Party were not interested in this sex scandal coming to light. Sutton and Gonzales let their political responsibilities outstrip their legal responsibilities, and as a result you had children who were in danger of sexual abuse and were left in that danger."
    Angle says that while the U.S. Justice Department and Texas attorney general's office were not prosecuting in this case, they were actively pursuing minor voter fraud issues with only a handful of allegations to go on.
    On March 2, 2007, Governor Rick Perry appointed Jay Kimbrough, his former staff chief and homeland security director, to serve as "special master" to lead an investigation into the Texas Youth Commission sex abuse scandal.
    Shortly thereafter, the commission stopped a hiring practice that had allowed convicted felons to work as administrators in the system.
    The practice had involved a requirement that prior criminal records be destroyed for employees hired by the commission.
    On March 17, 2007, the entire Texas Youth Commission governing board resigned.
    The Texas Youth Commission is the state's juvenile corrections agency, charged "with the care, custody, rehabilitation, and reestablishment in society of Texas' most chronically delinquent or serious juvenile offenders."
    Between the age of 10 and 17 when committed
    — molesters can continue until 21st birthdays
    Inmates are felony-level offenders between the age of 10 and 17 when they are committed.
    The commission can maintain jurisdiction over offenders until their 21st birthdays.
    The Lone Star Project is organized as a political research and policy analysis project of the Lone Star Fund, a federal political action committee organized in Texas.


    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com, Inc.
            Youth Institutions, Camp and Paramilitary Abuse      
           USA Youth Institutions abuse      
    Part of the great puzzle
    Kewe
    The Omaha corporations that bankrolled Larry King and Franklin are also the major sponsors of youth organizations in Nebraska, such as Boys Club, Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Boys Town, Uta Halee Home for Girls, and others.
    These corporations donate millions of dollars per year to these organizations, as the annual reports of the recipients show.
    Many executives of these firms sit on the boards of the youth care facilities.
    The donation of so much money and time would seem to indicate a great concern for Nebraska's youth.
    Key members of the Omaha business community, however, did nothing to help and plenty to wreck the Franklin committee's investigation into the sexual abuse, ritual torture, and murder of children.
    Is it possible that some of these corporate leaders sit on the youth boards, for the same reason that Larry King founded the North Omaha Girls Club?
    Why, for instance, did the notorious pedophile Alan Baer join the board of the Boys Club?
    And after the extraordinary publicity over his pedophilia in 1989 and 1990, and his indictment for pandering, how is it conceivable that in 1991 Baer was still on the board of Boys Club?
    Assume most corporate board members are not involved in child abuse.
    But judging by the behavior of the Omaha business community during the Franklin investigation, the ones who are guilty of such behavior enjoy toleration, or even protection, by the others.
    Homosexual prostitution ring ensnares VIP's with Reagan, Bush.

Washington Times.

Child sex ring that reached Bush / Reagan US Whitehouse

Photo: http://www.thelawparty.org/FranklinCoverup/franklin.htm
    Click image for readable version and child sex ring that reached Bush/Reagan Whitehouse:
    http://www.thelawparty.org/FranklinCoverup/franklin.htm
    A "carefully crafted hoax?"
    Judge Clears 3 More in Bonacci Suit Claims of Sexual Abuse Called Unsubstantiated and Bizarre
    YouTube VIDEO — Child Abuse, Pedophiles and Child Protection Service Crimes
    Conspiracy of Silence
          Click here
    The FRANKLIN SCANDAL is the story of a nationwide pedophile ring that pandered children to a cabal of the rich and powerful. 

The ring’s pimps were a pair of Republican powerbrokers who used Boys Town as a pedophiliac reservoir, had access to the highest levels of our government, and connections to the CIA.

 Nebraska legislators nearly exposed the ring in 1990, but its unveiling had the potential to produce seismic political aftershocks: a rash of deaths and a full court press by federal and local law enforcement effected an immaculate cover-up.

Photo and words: http://franklinscandal.com/
    Any real official inquiry halted in 1990 with an exploding plane that killed investigator Gary Caradori and his 9-year-old son, A.J.
    Since then several people of means have arisen and taken up the cause of justice, only to have — every time — their finances come under attack, causing them to withdraw.
    The FRANKLIN SCANDAL — Story of a US nationwide pedophile ring
    Almost seven years ago, when assigned to do something “dark” for a major New York magazine, journalist Nick Bryant stumbled across the Franklin Scandal, wrote an article and, well … nobody would print it, and we mean nobody.
    All had a chance, but no one would: Harpers, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, and others.
    Nick, a successful and respected free-lance writer, represented by William Morris Agency, could not find any publishing house that would support this probe.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — http://www.solariactionnetwork.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=269
    A day or so later, Al and I ended up in Kemp's office, with Kemp insisting that I send the project based certificates to New York HDC.
    I explained to him how dangerous this was for him.   He said he did not care, to do it.
    The only way I can describe his demeanor was that of terror, something I had never seen Jack in the throws of before.
    It was almost like his fear had replaced all ambition, judgement, discernment.   It was scary.
    ... It was not until I did the chronology and looked at the timing of the Washington Times stories on the homosexual prostitution rings that I started to realize the possible connection.
    The Franklin Cover Up by John De Camp gives a sense that this Washington Times story may have been the tip of the iceberg.
    That prostitution and pedophila networks were being used for covert ops to win favor from and/or blackmail DC politicians.
    Looking at the chronology and some of Kemps more irratic behavior, it is a distinct possibility that Kemp was nervous about exposure of his own activities.
    ... He [One of my deputies] pulled me aside and said that folks who worked on Kemp's campaign staff who he absolutely trusted had confided in him that Kemp's sexual activities were far worse than merely bi-sexual and to be very careful.
    Looking back on it now, I realize he was probably trying to give me a heads up on the pedophilia problem.
    At the time, I was simply too dense to believe this and Iran Contra and CIA drug dealing were really going on.
    It was just too far a leap for me.
    Oh, well.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — http://www.solariactionnetwork.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=269
    YouTube VIDEO — Child Abuse, Pedophiles and Child Protection Service Crimes
    Conspiracy of Silence
          Click here
     
    For the longest time, I never could come up with a rational explanation for how Andrew Cuomo could induce such terror in Jack Kemp in 1989.
    Now, I have a plausible one, although that does not make it true.
    If Cuomo and his dad were an intimate part of the shadow government financial fraud network we are discussing, he and the network would have easy access to the necessary pictures, vidoes and various blackmail material needed to ensure they got what they wanted out of HUD.
    No doubt if the Clintons were helping to run Mena for Bush's Enterprise during Iran-Contra, surely the Cuomo's in New York would have had some major action.
    Various Mena allegations allege that the Gotti family were helping to distribute in NY.
    ... Anyway, that is my personal experience...
    ... and why Kemp was on board for so much corruption and fraud in Bush I — and so effective at covering up Iran Contra fraud.
    ... Since that time, I have read and been told that extensive "control file" systems are in existence.
    Corporate and government leaders do not go above a certain level of responsibility unless they have a "control file."
    It is a bit like J.Edgar Hoover's dirty pictures.
    I am told that if the powers that be can not get a control file on a person, that ultimately they are targeted and discredited like me or "suicided" like the many people who ended up on the website "death lists."
    This was said to include Bill Colby who was instrumental in helping John DeCamp write and publish The Franklin Cover Up and win his lawsuit for one of the mind controlled children involved in the pedophilia ring.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — http://www.solariactionnetwork.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=269
    YouTube VIDEO — Child Abuse, Pedophiles and Child Protection Service Crimes
    Conspiracy of Silence
          Click here
    So you know what the rest of the World's elite are doing
    Why do they do it?
    Because you pay for it
    BBC — Friday, 7 September 2007
    Anger as Kenya MPs get huge bonus
    The protesters say Kenya MPs do not deserve such a huge pay-off

Kenyan MPs have voted to award themselves a $22,000 bonus each at the end of their five-year term in December despite a wave of public condemnation.

The move has been condemned by lawyers and human rights activists who say it is
    The protesters say MPs do not deserve such a huge pay-off
    Kenyan MPs have voted to award themselves a $22,000 bonus each at the end of their five-year term in December despite a wave of public condemnation.
    The move has been condemned by lawyers and human rights activists who say it is "highly immoral".     They held a protest against the proposal in July.
    The bill also legalises huge perks that ministers have been receiving.
    MPs had originally wanted a bonus of $98,000 each but the finance minister said the country could not afford this.
    Kenya's 222 MPs already earn more than $10,000 a month in salaries and expenses, much of which is tax-free, in a country where most people live on less than $1 a day.
    Many Kenyans see MPs as lazy and self-interested, who often skip parliamentary sessions unless it concerns a pay rise for themselves.
    Why are the West's elites trying to start a nuclear war?
    Because you pay for it
    BBC — Thursday, 6 September 2007
    UK jets 'chase Russian bombers'
    UK MoD image of Tupolev-95 Bear bomber

An MoD photo shows RAF Typhoon shadowing a Russian Bear-H
    Norway says Russia has increased military flights in the Arctic
    The UK's Royal Air Force has launched fighter jets to intercept eight Russian military planes flying in airspace patrolled by Nato, UK officials say.
    Four RAF F3 Tornado aircraft were scrambled in response to the Russian action, the UK's defence ministry said.
    The Russian planes - said to be long-range bombers - had earlier been followed by Norwegian F16 jets.
    Russia recently revived a Cold War-era practice of flying bombers on long-range patrols.
    A Norwegian officer, Lt Col John Inge Oegland, told the BBC the Russian Tupolev Tu-95 Bear bombers flew in international airspace from the Barents Sea to the Atlantic, before turning back.
    Two Norwegian F-16s shadowed them on Thursday morning and another two went up later, he said.
    There have been several similar incidents in recent months, Lt-Col Oegland added.
    "Norway is following the increased Russian activity in the far north with interest," he told the BBC News website.
    He said the Russian flights were not causing alarm in Norway.   "Our systems are adequate," he said, when asked whether Norway was bolstering its security in the area.
    It's kind of a fun game
    You see the aim of those inner forces who guide the Elite —
    For them the real agenda is to kill you
    your children
    your grandchildren
    It is to have fun watching your stupidity as you destroy your planet
    But most haven't figured it out yet!
    If you stop them with the nuclear weapons — then it's the 400+ MPH, KPH wind, the UVB, UVC, UVA rays due to loss of stratospheric ozone.
    It's the climate!
    Your Elite — tools and servants of Lucifer
    The fall of Lucifer, Gustave Doré's illustration for Paradise Lost by John Milton.

Photo: wikipedia.org/
    The fall of Lucifer
    Gustave Doré's illustration for Paradise Lost by John Milton
    The supremacy of the central banking-warfare investment model that has ruled our planet for the last 500 years depends on being able to combine the high margin profits of organized crime with the low cost of capital and liquidity that comes with governmental authority and popular faith in the rule of law.
    US air strike in Baghdad kills 14
    At least 14 people killed, nine wounded, in US air strike attack
    Our economy depends on insiders having their cake and eating it too and subsidizing a free lunch by stealing from someone else.
    This works well when the general population shares in some of the subsidy, grows complacent and does not see the “real deal” on how the system works.
    However, liquidity and governmental authority will erode if the general population becomes aware of how things really work.
    As this happens, they begin to understand the power of innovative technology and re-engineering of government resources to create greater abundance both for themselves and other people.
    As this happens, they lose faith in the myth that the current system is fundamentally legitimate.
    This jeopardizes the financial markets that depend on fraudulent collateral and practices to continue to work.
    It also jeopardizes the wealth and power of the people who are winning with financial fraud.
    ... As a consequence, extraordinary attention and sums of money are invested in affirming the myth and appearance of legitimacy.
    This includes creating popular explanations of why the rich and powerful are lawful and ethical and the venal poor, hostile foreigners, crafty mobsters and incompetent and irresponsible middle class bureaucrats are to blame for the success of narcotics trafficking, financial fraud and other forms of organized crime.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
     
    Our efforts at The Hamilton Securities Group to help HUD achieve maximum return on the sale of its defaulted mortgage assets coincided with a widespread process of “privatization” in which assets were, in fact, being transferred out of governments worldwide at significantly below market value in a manner providing extraordinary windfall profits, capital gains and financial equity to private corporations and investors.
    US air strike in Baghdad kills 14
    At least 14 people killed, nine wounded, in US air strike attack
    In addition, government functions were being outsourced at prices way above what should have been market price or government costs — again stripping governmental and community resources in a manner that subsidized private interests.
    The financial equity gained by private interests was often the result of financial, human, environmental and living equity stripped and stolen from communities — often without communities being able to understand what had happened or to clearly identify their loss.
    This is why I now refer to privatization as “piratization.”
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
     
    Over time I was increasingly shocked by the speed and ease with which many intelligent and seemingly competent members of the CFR [ Council on Foreign Relations ] appeared to eagerly justify policies and actions that supported growing corruption.
    The regularity with which many CFR members would protect insiders from accountability regarding another appalling fraud surprised even me.
    Many of them seemed delighted with the advantages of being an insider while being entirely indifferent to the extraordinary cost to all citizens of having our lives, health and resources drained to increase insider wealth in a manner that violated the most basic principles of fiduciary obligation and respect for the law.
    In short, the CFR was operating in a win-lose economic paradigm that centralized economic and political power.
    I was trying to find a way for us to shift to a win-win economic paradigm that was — by its nature — decentralizing.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
     
    The reader can appreciate why Wall Street would welcome someone as accommodating as Gorelick at Fannie Mae.
    This was a period when the profits rolled in from engineering the most spectacular growth in mortgage debt in U.S. history.
    As one real estate broker said, “They have turned our homes into ATM machines.”
    Fannie Mae has been a leading player in centralizing control of the mortgage markets into Washington D.C. and Wall Street.
    And that means as people were rounded up and shipped to prison as part of Operation Safe Home, Fannie was right behind to finance the gentrification of neighborhoods.
    And that is before we ask questions about the extent to which the estimated annual financial flows of $500 billion–$1 trillion money laundering through the U.S. financial system or money missing from the US government are reinvested into Fannie Mae securities.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
    James Forrestal
    James Forrestal’s oil portrait always hung prominently in one of the private Dillon Read dining rooms for the eleven years that I worked at the firm. Forrestal, a highly regarded Dillon partner and President of the firm, had gone to Washington, D.C. in 1940 to lead the Navy during WWII and then played a critical role in creating the National Security Act of 1947.

He then became Secretary of War (later termed Secretary of Defense) in September 1947 and served until March 28, 1949.

Given the central banking-warfare investment model that rules our planet, it was appropriate that Dillon 
partners at various times lead both the Treasury Department and the Defense Department.

Shortly after resigning from government, Forrestal died falling out of a window of the Bethesda Naval Hospital outside of Washington, D.C. on May 22, 1949.

There is some controversy around the official explanation of his death — ruled a suicide.

Some insist he had a nervous breakdown. Some say that he was opposed to the creation of the state of Israel.

Others say that he argued for transparency and accountability in government, and against the provisions instituted at this time to create a secrete “black budget.”

He lost and was pretty upset about it — and the loss was a violent one.

Since the professional killers who operate inside the Washington beltway have numerous techniques to get perfectly sane people to kill themselves, I am not sure it makes a big difference.

Approximately a month later, the CIA Act of 1949 was passed.

The Act created the CIA and endowed it with the statutory authority that became one of the chief components of financing the “black” budget — the power to claw monies from other agencies for the benefit of secretly funding the intelligence communities and their corporate contractors.

This was to turn out to be a devastating development for the forces of transparency, without which there can be no rule of law, free markets or democracy.

Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits

Photo: Wikipedia     

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Forrestal as an administrative assistant on June 22, 1940, then nominated him as Undersecretary of the Navy six weeks later. In the latter post, Forrestal would prove to be very effective at mobilizing industrial production for the war effort.
    He became Secretary of the Navy on May 19, 1944, following the death of his immediate supervisor Frank Knox from a heart attack. Forrestal then led the Navy through the closing year of the war and the demobilization that followed.   What might have been his greatest legacy as Navy Secretary was an attempt that came to nought.   He, along with Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Under Secretary of State Joseph Grew, in the early months of 1945, strongly advocated a softer policy toward Japan that would permit a negotiated face-saving surrender.   His primary concern was "the menace of Russian Communism and its attraction for decimated, destabilized societies in Europe and Asia", and, therefore, keeping the Soviet Union out of the war with Japan.   Had his advice been followed, Japan might well have surrendered before August 1945, precluding the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   So strongly did he feel about this matter that he cultivated negotiation attempts that bordered closely on insubordination toward the President.
    Forrestal opposed the unification of the services, but even so helped develop the National Security Act of 1947 that created the National Military Establishment (the Department of Defense was not created as such until August 1949), and with the former Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson retiring to private life, Forrestal was the next choice.
    His 18 months at Defense came at an exceptionally difficult time for the U.S. military establishment:   Communist governments came to power in Czechoslovakia and China; West Berlin was blockaded, necessitating the Berlin Airlift to keep it going; the war between the Arab states and Israel after the establishment of Israel in Palestine; and negotiations were going on for the formation of NATO.   His reign was also hampered by intense interservice rivalries.
    In addition, President Harry Truman constrained military budgets billions of dollars below what the services were requesting, putting Forrestal in the middle of the tug-of-war.   Forrestal was also becoming more and more worried about the Soviet threat.   Internationally, the takeover by the Communists of Eastern Europe, their threats to the governments of Greece, Italy, and France, their impending takeover of China, and the invasion of South Korea by North Korea would demonstrate the legitimacy of his concerns on the international front as well.
    Photo and description: Wikipedia
    James Forrestal’s oil portrait always hung prominently in one of the private Dillon Read dining rooms for the eleven years that I worked at the firm. Forrestal, a highly regarded Dillon partner and President of the firm, had gone to Washington, D.C. in 1940 to lead the Navy during WWII and then played a critical role in creating the National Security Act of 1947.
    He then became Secretary of War (later termed Secretary of Defense) in September 1947 and served until March 28, 1949.
    Given the central banking-warfare investment model that rules our planet, it was appropriate that Dillon partners at various times lead both the Treasury Department and the Defense Department.
    Shortly after resigning from government, Forrestal died falling out of a window of the Bethesda Naval Hospital outside of Washington, D.C. on May 22, 1949.
    There is some controversy around the official explanation of his death — ruled a suicide.
    Some insist he had a nervous breakdown. Some say that he was opposed to the creation of the state of Israel.
    Others say that he argued for transparency and accountability in government, and against the provisions instituted at this time to create a secrete “black budget.”
    He lost and was pretty upset about it — and the loss was a violent one.
    Since the professional killers who operate inside the Washington beltway have numerous techniques to get perfectly sane people to kill themselves, I am not sure it makes a big difference.
    Approximately a month later, the CIA Act of 1949 was passed.
    The Act created the CIA and endowed it with the statutory authority that became one of the chief components of financing the “black” budget — the power to claw monies from other agencies for the benefit of secretly funding the intelligence communities and their corporate contractors.
    This was to turn out to be a devastating development for the forces of transparency, without which there can be no rule of law, free markets or democracy.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
    What Briody does not mention is allegations regarding Brown & Root's involvement in narcotics trafficking. Former LAPD narcotics investigator Mike Ruppert once described his break up with fiance Teddy — an agent dealing narcotics and weapons for the CIA while working with Brown & Root, as follows:
    “Arriving in New Orleans in early July, 1977 I found her living in an apartment across the river in Gretna. Equipped with scrambler phones, night vision devices and working from sealed communiqués delivered by naval and air force personnel from nearby Belle Chasse Naval Air Station, Teddy was involved in something truly ugly.
    She was arranging for large quantities of weapons to be loaded onto ships leaving for Iran.
    At the same time she was working with Mafia associates of New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello to coordinate the movement of service boats that were bringing large quantities of heroin into the city.
    The boats arrived at Marcello controlled docks, unmolested by even the New Orleans police she introduced me to, along with divers, military men, former Green Berets and CIA personnel.
    “The service boats were retrieving the heroin from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, oil rigs in international waters, oil rigs built and serviced by Brown and Root.
    The guns that Teddy monitored, apparently Vietnam era surplus AK 47s and M16s, were being loaded onto ships also owned or leased by Brown and Root.
    And more than once during the eight days I spent in New Orleans I met and ate at restaurants with Brown and Root employees who were boarding those ships and leaving for Iran within days.
    Once, while leaving a bar and apparently having asked the wrong question, I was shot at in an attempt to scare me off.”
    Source: "Halliburton’s Brown and Root is One of the Major Components of the Bush-Cheney Drug Empire" by Michael Ruppert, From the Wilderness
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
    The Clinton Administration took the groundwork laid by Nixon, Reagan and Bush and embraced and blossomed the expansion and promotion of federal support for police, enforcement and the War on Drugs with a passion that was hard to understand unless and until you realized that the American financial system was deeply dependent on attracting an estimated $500 billion-$1 trillion of annual money laundering.
    Globalizing corporations and deepening deficits and housing bubbles required attracting vast amounts of capital.
    Attracting capital also required making the world safe for the reinvestment of the profits of organized crime and the war machine.
    Without growing organized crime and military activities through government budgets and contracts, the economy would stop centralizing.
    The Clinton Administration was to govern a doubling of the federal prison population.
    Catherine Austin Fitts — Dillon Reid and Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Stock Profits
    If you never see another movie, better watch this: the old original version still allowed on Google video
    For Google video version — click here — it will state this version is old!
    This version is not censored — it is infinitely better then the newer censored version
    To download this version and keep
    http://keepvid.com
    copy and paste
    http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=5547481422995115331
    P.S. The new Zeitgeist movie is loaded with political rhetoric
    It cannot be more opposite of the sense of Zeitgeist — a German word meaning 'Of the time'
    AND don't forget this:
    Pandora's Black Box Chapter Two — click here
    Monday, August 27, 2007
    I Am Alden Pyle
    President Bush's Vietnam Fantasy
    Actually, the president had advanced this line of reasoning last November during the APEC summit in Vietnam.
    My
    comment at the time is still, I think, on the mark:
    President Bush recently attracted considerable attention and criticism by stating before the Veterans of Foreign Wars that the takeaway from Vietnam was that we cut and ran too soon, and we should not duplicate that mistake in Iraq.
    Asked if the experience in Vietnam offered lessons for Iraq, Bush said Friday, "We tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take awhile."
    He said "it's just going to take a long period of time" for "an ideology of freedom to overcome an ideology of hate.    Yet, the world that we live in today is one where they want things to happen immediately."
    We'll succeed unless we quit," the president said.
    It seems to me that the lesson of the Vietnam War is we screwed up, we got beat, tens of thousands of Americans and millions of Vietnamese died but, hey, the sun still rises in the East, things got better, and thirty years later our President is shaking hands with the political heir of the guys who kicked our ass.
    In other words, the emergence of a prosperous, peaceful Vietnam is a pretty strong argument for acknowledging the mistake we made in Iraq and, bluntly, succeeding by quitting.
    The new element in President Bush’s Vietnam reverie, one that attracted considerable headscratching and eyerolling from the cognoscenti, was his invocation of Alden Pyle, the blindly confident and profoundly destructive do-gooder in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American:
    “In 1955, long before the United States had entered the war, Graham Greene wrote a novel called ‘The Quiet American.’     It was set in Saigon and the main character was a young government agent named Alden Pyle.
    He was a symbol of American purpose and patriotism and dangerous naivete.
    Another character describes Alden this way: ‘I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused.’
    “After America entered the Vietnam War, Graham Greene — the Graham Greene argument gathered some steam.
    Matter of fact, many argued that if we pulled out, there would be no consequences for the Vietnamese people.
    In 1972, one anti-war senator put it this way: ‘What earthly difference does it make to nomadic tribes or uneducated subsistence farmers in Vietnam or Cambodia or Laos whether they have a military dictator, a royal prince or a socialist commissar in some distant capital that they've never seen and may never heard of?'"
    Occuption and US paid quisling soldiers
    Hmmm.
    Contrary to the president’s assertion, the central lesson of Greene’s book is not that Pyle’s (read Bush’s) courage, energy, and idealism were betrayed by the lazy, ignoble disdain of lesser men (read Democrats) for a multi-decade crusade on behalf of Vietnamese (read Iraqi) freedom.
    Greene’s powerfully-argued theme is that Pyle sacrificed the moral high ground, doomed his venture at its inception, and sowed the seeds of his own destruction by orchestrating a terrorist bombing in a profoundly misguided and indecent attempt to advance a foolish, unrealistic, and catastrophic political agenda.
    Greene got it right in Vietnam and, I would say, in Iraq.
    President Bush gets it wrong.
    The thought that President Bush is perhaps relying on this fictional portrayal of a deluded naif to stoke personal fantasies of omniscience, moral clarity, and perhaps even (political) martyrdom in the face of widespread repudiation of his policies is, to say the least, disturbing.
    Who was Alden Pyle supposed to be?
    Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, the brilliant, driven general who was High Commissioner to Indo-China and the last, best hope of France’s desperate counterinsurgency effort against Ho Chi Minh, had this to say about Robert Blum, head of the US Economic Aid Mission to Indochina (Blum is sometimes cited as Greene’s model for Pyle):
    You are the most dangerous man in Indochina.
    And was the United States — represented in Greene’s fiction by Alden Pyle — dangerous enough to connive with a Vietnamese warlord in a terrorist attack in Saigon in 1951?
    That was the explosive allegation at the heart of The Quiet American.
    The Quiet American culminates with a bloody bombing in a square off the rue Catinat in central Saigon, precipitated by the naïve, bookish Pyle’s disastrous attempt to end-around the French and package a thuggish warlord, General The, as the leader of a nationalistic and democratic “Third Force”.
    In real life, as in the book, the blast was set off by a “General” The, a renegade officer who had left the private army of the Caodai sect to set up business for himself near Saigon.    He had apparently attracted the interest of American, keen for a nationalist third force that would supplant both Communism and the French-backed Bao Dai regime.
    To make a splashy arrival on the political scene, The executed two bloody bombings in Saigon.    Not only that, he took credit for them in a radio broadcast, despite initial attempts by the US to blame the Vietminh for the atrocities.
    The later on became a fixture in the US-backed Diem government.
    The Quiet American infuriated Americans when it came out.    New Yorker writer A.J. Leibling, fresh from liberating the wine cellars of Paris and flush with the self-regard born of the good war, excoriated Greene in a famous review.
    Not surprisingly, the current Vietnamese government loves the book for its depiction of a US intervention morally and strategically doomed from its inception.
    The Quiet American is apparently available all over Vietnam and the government gave full support to the filming of Philip Noyce’s excellent adaptation, which was finally released in 2002 after much 9/11-related anguish.
    But the interesting and unanswered question is, what exactly did The get from the United States in 1950 and 1951?
    Most American histories of the Vietnam mess give relatively short shrift to the period before 1954.    That was the year of Dienbienphu, Geneva, Diem, and all that, and Vietnam officially became America’s exclusive tar baby.
    That’s why Graham Greene’s The Quiet American and volume two of Norman Sherry’s authorized biography of Greene The Life of Graham Greene (Penguin, 2004) are such fascinating and important additions to the history of the period.
    Greene worked as a correspondent in Vietnam in the early 50s, and many of the characters and incidents are direct distillations of his experiences.    He wrote “Perhaps there is more direct rapportage in The Quiet American than in any other novel I have written”.    Sherry's diligence in retracing Greene's steps and providing context for his work and life have become legendary.
    It appears highly likely that in 1950-51 the US aid mission, actually a hive of CIA spooks, was chafing at the limited role and information the French were willing to grant them in the effort against the Vietminh.
    The survival of the French presence in Vietnam and its Bao Dai regime was clearly a matter of no more than a year or two.    The US had no qualms about pursuing Third Force options independently and displayed little sympathy for French objections or the destabilizing and demoralizing effects that their actions had on the desperate French effort to stabilize Vietnam.
    Greene, himself a MI6 officer in the Second World War and sympathetic to the French view, undoubtedly learned of America’s playing footsie with people like The from indignant sources in the French Surete.
    Did The, as Greene alleges in his book, get explosives, know-how, and direction from the CIA?    And did the US have prior knowledge of the attacks and, instead of stopping them, encouraged them and planned around them and exploited them for propaganda purposes?
    Norman Sherry is extremely cautious and circumspect in weighing the evidence for the more sensational allegations.
    Greene was clearly hearing Gallic tittle-tattle as suspicious French intelligence, military, and diplomatic personnel monitored the growing and increasingly assertive U.S. presence in Saigon.
    The most damning was information from the French No. 1 in Vietnam, General Salan, that he had arrested an American consular officer on the Dakow Bridge (where Alden Pyle meets his end in the book) with plastic explosives in the trunk of his car.
    However, Mr. Sherry did not uncover any whistleblowers within the ranks of Americans stationed in Saigon in ‘50/’51 who supported Greene’s story that the Catinat bombing was carried out by The with guilty American foreknowledge, assistance, and approval — or even that the US had any serious contacts with The prior to 1954.
    Case not proven to legal standards is the conclusion I extracted from Chapter 29, which discusses the era and the events of the bombings in great detail.
    However, on artistic grounds the situation in Vietnam provided a suitable basis for Greene to depict the deaths in rue Catinat as the direct consequence of callous and overconfident American adventurism.
    Examining the historical context of The Quiet American provides an illuminating picture of the creeping American intervention and sidelining of the French, which came into the open only in 1955, when the US sided with Ngo Van Diem — and General The — and closed the books on the French experience in Vietnam.
    The French struggle to regain control of Vietnam after World War II was a political, human, and financial catastrophe for the French homeland.
    No question that the French needed American help, which Truman and Eisenhower provided.    By the time the French packed it in after Dien Bien Phu, America had underwritten 80% the cost of the failed French effort.
    Nevertheless, the United States was an unenthusiastic and suspicious partner.    Truman’s anti-communism had replaced Roosevelt’s support for self-determination in the liberated countries of Southeast Asia as America’s guiding ideology, but the US was never able to look upon French aims, methods, or capabilities in Vietnam with any enthusiasm.
    The corrosive distrust and dislike between the French and the Americans is fully documented in Greene’s book.
    The takeaway from Greene’s book is not that he was wrong about the nature of US engagement in the brief period when Vietnam was slipping from French control.    It was that he was profoundly right about the twenty-year nightmare that the US and Vietnam were embarking on together.
    Greene’s life and art were nourished by a stew of self-loathing and self-knowledge.    France’s doomed, disgusted struggle for Vietnam resonated with Greene’s sense of sin and cynical despondency.
    On the other hand, he took the blithe, assertive ignorance of the Americans — symbolized by Alden Pyle — as a personal affront.
    In 1951, to indicate the disastrous consequences of virtue blindly asserted without awareness of personal sin and weakness, Greene makes the naïve Pyle knowingly complicit in a horrific crime: the terror bombing of a square filled with innocent civilians in the center of Saigon.
    Later on, American errors in Vietnam would be characterized more by sins of omission by the intentionally blind and willfully ignorant, and all-too-knowing sins of commission by people who harbored no illusions about the decency of their own methods.
    People like Edward Lansdale.
    Thankfully, Sherry’s book lays to rest the canard, repeated in Stanley Karnow’s Vietnam and countless other works — and promoted by Landsdale himself — that Edward Lansdale was the model for Alden Pyle.
    Lansdale was the antithesis of Pyle: an egomaniacal blowhard, grandstander, and loose cannon whose eccentricity bordered on the pathological.
    He famously put one over on Graham Greene, conspiring with director Joseph Manckiewicz to shoot the first version of The Quiet American, in 1959, in direct contradiction to the book and Greene’s intentions.
    When the movie appeared, Alden Pyle — played by Audie Murphy — was the hero; and Greene’s alter-ego — the jaded English journalist Fowler — is the dangerous naïf who precipitates the carnage in the square.
    In explaining why his version would prevail, Lansdale wrote to Manckiewicz:
    " [no] more than one or two Vietnamese now alive know the real truth of the matter, and they certainly aren't going to tell it to anyone."
    Landsdale did not officially enter the Vietnam arena until 1954, when he appeared as Diem’s minder.    Greene wrote his book in 1952.
    But that doesn’t mean that Lansdale’s shadow isn’t over the events in rue Catinat.
    Before Lansdale gained notoriety as John Kennedy’s go-to guy for spectacular failures, first in Vietnam and then Operation Mongoose — the increasingly harebrained strategies for destabilizing Cuba and assassinating Castro that attracted the attention of the Church Committee — he presided over one of the greatest successes in post-world war II US foreign policy — the crushing of the Philippine insurrection.
    He did it in alliance with an energetic, talented, and compliant military office, Ramon Magsaysay.
    Tactics included enlarging and upgrading the army, limiting abuses against the population by state military forces, aggressive irregular counterinsurgency operations, lots of psyops, and some land reform.    Also highly trained hunter-killer squads and unreliable paramilitaries.
    Amazingly,
    everything worked, at least against the isolated Huk movement, which at its height claimed 15,000 troops and only drew on the population of Luzon — 1.5 million — for support.
    The Philippines is still the acme of American counterinsurgency, and one thinks it would be cited in the same breath with British suppression of the Malay Uprising, which seems to get all the positive ink as the only truly successful counterinsurgency operation in the modern period.
    According to Lansdale, in 1954 he was ordered to Vietnam "to do there what you did in the Philippines."
    An academic at the University of the Philippines, Roland Simbulan, stated:
    So successful was the CIA in pulling the strings thru Lansdale that in 1954, a high-level US committee reported that, "American policy in Southeast Asia was most effectively represented in the Philippines, where any expanded program of Western influence may best be launched."
    ...
    The CIA's success in crushing the peasant-based Huk rebellion in the 1950s made this operation the model for future counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam and Latin America.
    Colonel Lansdale and his Filipino sidekick, Col. Napoleon Valeriano were later to use their counterguerrilla experience in the Philippines for training covert operatives in Vietnam and in the US-administered School of the Americas, which trained counterguerrilla assassins for Latin America.
    Thus, the Philippines had become the CIA's prototype in successful covert operations and psychological warfare.
    After his stint in the Philippines using propaganda, psywar and deception against the Huk movement, Lansdale was then assigned in Vietnam to wage military, political and psychological warfare.
    When the Americans looked at Vietnam, they believed the French had a formula for failure, and America had the recipe for success.
    During World War II, Roosevelt had already touted America’s policy supporting Philippine independence as a template for Vietnam.
    The Pentagon Papers
    record that President Roosevelt offered the De Gaulle Filipino advisors to help them out in Vietnam.
    De Gaulle’s response to the astounding suggestion that the banner of European civilization and French honor could best be shouldered with the help of brown folks from the Philippines was “pensive silence”.
    The Americans — like Alden Pyle — were too impatient of success and confident in their methods to work with the French.
    Once the French were left, the American magic would work in Vietnam as it had in the Philippines.    All it required was U.S. prestige and aid, an innovative and ruthless cadre of advisors, and a seamless coordination between the American patron and the Vietnamese client, all constellated around a charismatic, competent leader.
    But the differences turned out to be more important than the similarities.
    Instead of Magsaysay, a dynamic man on horseback, we put our money on Diem, a (literally) cloistered Catholic and out of touch egoist.
    Instead of the hapless, isolated Huks, we got iron-hard NVA soldiers with an impregnable base in North Vietnam, safe-haven borders, and Russian and Chinese assistance.
    We got a counterinsurgency operation fatally compromised from its outset by excessive American reliance on political and military violence.
    And of course, we got defeat instead of victory.
    That’s the tragedy Graham Greene foresaw in the rue Catinat.
    I think I’ll let Philip Noyce, director of the 2002 film adaptation of The Quiet American, have the last word.    From a
    Salon interview in early 2003, as America teetered on the brink of the Iraq invasion:
    Alden Pyle is alive and well today.    And that's either a mark of Greene's brilliance, or the fact that some things just never change... In theory, you've got a White House full of Alden Pyles.
    [Laughter] And that's scary...
    ...Well, George Bush is the ultimate Alden Pyle!    He's hardly been out of the country, he's steeped in good intentions, believes he has the answer, is very naive, ultimately not that bright, and extremely dangerous.
     
    The Ditch At My Lai
    Of the 504 Vietnamese civilians who were murdered at My Lai in 1968 by the U.S. Government,
175 were shot at point-blank range in this ditch.

Iraq has become another ditch in America's Empire.
Bush and Cheney and Congress will stop at nothing.

Photo and words: Mike Hastie
Vietnam Veteran

    Of the 504 Vietnamese civilians who were murdered at My Lai in 1968 by the U.S. Government,
    175 were shot at point-blank range in this ditch.
    Iraq has become another ditch in America's Empire.
    Bush and Cheney and Congress will stop at nothing.
    Photo and words: Mike Hastie
    Vietnam Veteran
    Bush and Cheney and the US Congress will stop at nothing
     
    Mother mourns for her son killed by U.S. occupation soldiers and an Iraq puppet ( quisling ) soldiers in the city of Baqouba, some 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007.

Photo: AP

    Mother mourns for her son killed by U.S. occupation soldiers and Iraq puppet ( quisling ) soldiers in the city of Baqouba, Iraq.
    Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007.
    Photo: AP
    Bush and Cheney and the US Congress will stop at nothing
    “I confirm [to] you that there are no agents provocateurs in the Sûreté du Québec.”
    Constable Melanie Larouche
    “I confirm [to] you that there are no agents provocateurs in the Sûreté du Québec,” police stated.

Montebello, 20 août 2007, 20th August, 2007 

Police officers, agents, provocateurs, at the demonstration in Montebello: Monday, August 20, afternoon.

A police person employed to commit acts that will make the people they are supposed to be policing liable to punishment.

Police persons employed by taxpayers to commit political acts for a rich elite who run Western countries....

...and who they [obviously] seem to have no problem serving.
    CUPE National Photo Gallery   http://cupe.ca/
    Notice the stone in his hand.
    Police officers acting as agent provocateur at the demonstration in Montebello: Monday, August 20, afternoon.
    Police persons employed by taxpayers to commit acts that will make the people they are supposed to be policing liable to punishment.
    Police persons employed by taxpayers to commit political acts for a rich elite who run Western countries....
    ...and who they [obviously] seem to have no problem serving.
    Quebec police defend rock-wielding undercover officer
    Max Harrold, CanWest News Service
    Published: Friday, August 24, 2007
    MONTREAL — Quebec's police force found itself caught between a rock and some hard questions Friday, as it defended an undercover officer's prop at the Montebello summit earlier this week.
    "Of course we wish it hadn't happened," Securite du Quebec Insp. Marcel Savard said, as he explained why one of three undercover SQ officers was caught on video holding a rock while infiltrating a group of protesters.
    The protesters were gathered to voice their opposition to the meeting of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President George Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon Aug. 20 and Aug. 21 as they met in Montebello, Que.
    At no time did the officer with the rock threaten anyone with it or use it to incite violence by the actual protesters, Savard said.
    "He only had the rock because he was trying to blend in with (a crowd of) extremists he had been with earlier."
    Savard said a video of the incident that was posted on
    the YouTube website was taken out of context.
    But the video,
    one version of which lasts for nine minutes, does not show any 'extremists' or any else dressed like the undercover officers, who wore dark clothing and bandanas to cover their faces.
    "When they were with the extremists, (the undercover officers) were given a rock and were formally asked to throw it," Savard said, acknowledging that it became apparent that the undercover officers were not protesters.
    The SQ did not arrest the three officers, but handcuffed them and removed them to question them.
    "The (SQ) officers on the front line did not know (at first)_that they were undercover officers," Savard said.
    The SQ is reviewing its procedures for policing protests and may alter some of its methods in future, he said.
    In Quebec City, provincial opposition leader Mario Dumont said he wanted the Quebec government to explain the actions of the SQ.
    "I await an explanation from the minister of public security," Action democratique du Quebec opposition leader Mario Dumont said.
    "For the moment, this (measure) has been presented as a necessity. I'm not a specialist in the various operations that can be run by a police officer. At first glance, this one looks pretty special.
    "I asked the minister of public security to provide explanations as soon as possible."
    Genevieve Guilbault, a spokeswoman for Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis, said Dupuis does not comment on police operations.
    Montreal Gazette
    © CanWest News Service 2007
    Extremist!
    See any extremists, Joe?
    See any liars, Joe?
    Police liars?
    See any Inspector of Police liars, Joe?
    “I confirm [to] you that there are no agents provocateurs in the Sûreté du Québec,” police stated.

Montebello, 20 août 2007, 20th August, 2007 

Police officers, agents, provocateurs, at the demonstration in Montebello: Monday, August 20, afternoon.

A police person employed to commit acts that will make the people they are supposed to be policing liable to punishment.

Police persons employed by taxpayers to commit political acts for a rich elite who run Western countries....

...and who they [obviously] seem to have no problem serving.

'Of course we wish it hadn't happened,' Securite du Quebec Insp. Marcel Savard said, as he explained why one of three undercover SQ officers was caught on video holding a rock while infiltrating a group of protesters.

Perhaps you mean we wish we hadn't been photographed, Inspector.

Extremist!

See any extremists, Joe?

See any liars, Joe?

Police liars?

See any Inspector of Police liars, Joe?
    CUPE National Photo Gallery   http://cupe.ca/
    Silly police — as if we don't know!
    The trio inched toward the police line.
    And at least one appeared to speak with officers brandishing shields and batons.
    They eventually made their way through and were whisked away in handcuffs.
    To the vocal derision of nearby demonstrators.
    Silly police in drag told to go.

“I confirm [to] you that there are no agents provocateurs in the Sûreté du Québec,” police stated.

Montebello, 20 août 2007, 20th August, 2007 

Police officers, agents, provocateurs, at the demonstration in Montebello: Monday, August 20, afternoon.

A police person employed to commit acts that will make the people they are supposed to be policing liable to punishment.

Police persons employed by taxpayers to commit political acts for a rich elite who run Western countries....

...and who they [obviously] seem to have no problem serving.

'Of course we wish it hadn't happened,' Securite du Quebec Insp. Marcel Savard said, as he explained why one of three undercover SQ officers was caught on video holding a rock while infiltrating a group of protesters.

Perhaps you mean we wish we hadn't been photographed, Inspector.

Extremist!

See any extremists, Joe?

See any liars, Joe?

Police liars?

See any Inspector of Police liars, Joe?
    CUPE National Photo Gallery   http://cupe.ca/
    “We don't get into strategic details of what we do.”
    Constable Jayson Gauthier of the Surete du Quebec
    Silly police.

“I confirm [to] you that there are no agents provocateurs in the Sûreté du Québec,” police stated.

Montebello, 20 août 2007, 20th August, 2007 

Police officers, agents, provocateurs, at the demonstration in Montebello: Monday, August 20, afternoon.

A police person employed to commit acts that will make the people they are supposed to be policing liable to punishment.

Police persons employed by taxpayers to commit political acts for a rich elite who run Western countries....

...and who they [obviously] seem to have no problem serving.

'Of course we wish it hadn't happened,' Securite du Quebec Insp. Marcel Savard said, as he explained why one of three undercover SQ officers was caught on video holding a rock while infiltrating a group of protesters.

Perhaps you mean we wish we hadn't been photographed, Inspector.

Extremist!

See any extremists, Joe?

See any liars, Joe?

Police liars?

See any Inspector of Police liars, Joe?
    CUPE National Photo Gallery   http://cupe.ca/
    Whoops!
    Let's take another look at this one.
    Notice the beer bottle in the back pocket!
    Something on the side while at work?
    Something to throw!
    Taxpayer paid, agent provocateur work!
    Whoops!

Let's take another look at this one.

Notice the beer bottle in the back pocket!

Something on the side while at work?

Something to throw!

Taxpayer paid, agent provocateur work!

Silly police.

“I confirm [to] you that there are no agents provocateurs in the Sûreté du Québec,” police stated.

Montebello, 20 août 2007, 20th August, 2007 

Police officers, agents, provocateurs, at the demonstration in Montebello: Monday, August 20, afternoon.

A police person employed to commit acts that will make the people they are supposed to be policing liable to punishment.

Police persons employed by taxpayers to commit political acts for a rich elite who run Western countries....

...and who they [obviously] seem to have no problem serving.

'Of course we wish it hadn't happened,' Securite du Quebec Insp. Marcel Savard said, as he explained why one of three undercover SQ officers was caught on video holding a rock while infiltrating a group of protesters.

Perhaps you mean we wish we hadn't been photographed, Inspector.

Extremist!

See any extremists, Joe?

See any liars, Joe?

Police liars?

See any Inspector of Police liars, Joe?
    CUPE National Photo Gallery   http://cupe.ca/
    26th Article of the New World's Constitution
    A crime is not a crime if the police commit a crime
    The police do not commit crimes
    You are to obey, in all instances, the police...
    ...the police have all power
    ...the police exercise all control over you
    Silly police.

“I confirm [to] you that there are no agents provocateurs in the Sûreté du Québec,” police stated.

Montebello, 20 août 2007, 20th August, 2007 

Police officers, agents, provocateurs, at the demonstration in Montebello: Monday, August 20, afternoon.

A police person employed to commit acts that will make the people they are supposed to be policing liable to punishment.

Police persons employed by taxpayers to commit political acts for a rich elite who run Western countries....

...and who they [obviously] seem to have no problem serving.

'Of course we wish it hadn't happened,' Securite du Quebec Insp. Marcel Savard said, as he explained why one of three undercover SQ officers was caught on video holding a rock while infiltrating a group of protesters.

Perhaps you mean we wish we hadn't been photographed, Inspector.

Extremist!

See any extremists, Joe?

See any liars, Joe?

Police liars?

See any Inspector of Police liars, Joe?
    CUPE National Photo Gallery   http://cupe.ca/
    Silly police.

“I confirm [to] you that there are no agents provocateurs in the Sûreté du Québec,” police stated.

Montebello, 20 août 2007, 20th August, 2007 

Police officers, agents, provocateurs, at the demonstration in Montebello: Monday, August 20, afternoon.

A police person employed to commit acts that will make the people they are supposed to be policing liable to punishment.

Police persons employed by taxpayers to commit political acts for a rich elite who run Western countries....

...and who they [obviously] seem to have no problem serving.

'Of course we wish it hadn't happened,' Securite du Quebec Insp. Marcel Savard said, as he explained why one of three undercover SQ officers was caught on video holding a rock while infiltrating a group of protesters.

Perhaps you mean we wish we hadn't been photographed, Inspector.

Extremist!

See any extremists, Joe?

See any liars, Joe?

Police liars?

See any Inspector of Police liars, Joe?
    CUPE National Photo Gallery   http://cupe.ca/
    “Only God knows the pain I am feeling.   He [Metropolitan Police Commissioner Blair] should be arrested.”
    Maria Otone de Menezes — Mother of Jean Charles
    “We were told that CCTV [closed—circuit television] tapes given to the police were not working.
    The police are lying.
    They emptied the tapes.
    We are very upset about that lie.
    Inside Stockwell station, we saw more than nine cameras,”
    Giovanni da Silva — Brother
    Bullet banned in warfare
    under international law
    I thought this interesting
    How the elite controls you — all paid for by US and Western taxpayer funding
    More police
    Engulfing you — to swallow you, to overwhelm you, to overflow and enclose you
    Coming to your town and city
    If not already
    (Notice no meaningful pictures by the BBC — Traffic in Cairo, and a map)
    Kewe — Kewe.info
    BBC — Saturday, 25 August 2007
    Getting the police version in Cairo
    Allegations of widespread abuse dog Egypt's police force despite government denials.
    As the BBC's Jon Donnison reports from Cairo, experiences with the legal system are not always straightforward.
    The Egyptian police station was more of a shed than a station.
    A small, dimly lit and dusty room with a couple of chairs, a moth-eaten sofa and a desk. The only decoration a faded, slightly lopsided picture of President Hosni Mubarak looking down from the wall, surveying proceedings.
    At the desk, Officer Sabry, as I shall call him, a tall, thick-set man with a balding pate, peered over his glasses and looked me up and down.
    "You've been robbed," he said, flashing me a not entirely sympathetic smile.
    I nodded sheepishly and sat down on the rickety chair beside him.
    Traffic in Cairo

Some 18 million people live in Cairo
    Some 18 million people live in Cairo
    The statement
    People here will tell you that Cairo has more police per head of population than any other city in the world.
    Walking down the chock-a-block streets, that is not hard to believe.
    There are thousands of them in their crisp white uniforms, an unfortunate colour in a city where pollution, dust and sweat make a potent cocktail.
    That cocktail had clearly got the better of Officer Sabry's uniform and he dabbed his brow and scratched his crotch before handing me a blank sheet of paper on which I was to write my statement.
    I took the paper and carefully began to write out what had happened.   The description of the two men, their age, height, distinguishing features, how they had jostled me in the street and nimbly slipped my wallet from my pocket before darting into a waiting taxi and speeding away.
    It had been a Friday, a day of rest here, and the only day in Cairo where the traffic subsides enough to make it remotely possible to do any speeding.
    Once finished, Officer Sabry took the paper and, peering through his thick glasses, winced at my messy handwriting.
    He again dabbed his brow with his handkerchief, picked up his pen and started to transcribe the statement into Arabic.
    I watched as his hand slowly shuffled across the page, right to left, leaving behind it a trail of elegant figures and characters.   Once two copies had been written out — no photocopiers here — he sat back in his chair, let out a long sigh and admired his handiwork.
    As I walked out of the hot dusty police station, clasping my Arabic statement, I felt a little better, as if I was at least some way to justice being done.
    A map of Egypt showing Cairo, Suez Canal and the River Nile.
    Lost in translation
    I met up with an Egyptian friend and over a sweet tea I began to recount my minor drama as graphically as possible,
    As his eyes darted over the police statement a wry smile crept across his face.
    "But there's no mention of a robbery here," he laughed.
    "There is no crime, you've been had.   It says simply that you dropped your wallet in the street."
    Five minutes later we were both back at the police station, the fan circling above our heads struggling in vain to keep us cool.
    Officer Sabry looked a little awkward as he realised that his interpretation of the truth had been exposed.
    My friend looked a little uneasy.   He told me this was only the third time in his life he had been in a police station.   And he did not like it.
    Crime?   What crime?
    Egypt's police have a bad reputation.
    Many people here feel that, unlike their uniforms, the force is not whiter than white.
    Almost everyone you meet has a story about the police, be it of petty bribery and backhanders, brutality or, at worst, torture.
    This month three officers are being investigated on murder charges for allegedly beating a man to death.
    In a second incident, a 13-year-old boy died after being detained by the police. His family say he too was beaten and badly burned.
    In both cases officers deny any wrongdoing.
    Human rights groups have long claimed that abuse of power is endemic within the Egyptian police.   The government says such claims are exaggerated.
    However, most people here in Egypt are, if not scared, then certainly wary of the police.   Nobody wants to get on the wrong side of the law.
    It is may be one reason why - locals will tell you — there is actually so little crime in Cairo.
    In the end, my minor incident was properly filed.
    The fact that I had had a media pass in my wallet, giving me access to government events, seemingly whirred Officer Sabry into action.   He even told me he had a fair idea who the culprits might be.
    But as I left the small police station and stepped out onto Cairo's bustling streets, I suddenly felt a little uneasy and could not help but hope that Officer Sabry and his colleagues did not try too hard to catch up with the men who stole my wallet.
    BBC — Friday, 24 August 2007
    Child labour in Kyrgyz coal mines
    By Natalia Antelava
    BBC Central Asia correspondent
    Kylych

Kylych says the $3 a day he earns is vital for his family
    Kylych says the $3 a day he earns is vital for his family
    Sharp pieces of coal fly across a narrow, dark, airless space as a man bangs the wall of the cave with his hammer.
    A slim boy sits crouched in the corner, waiting for the miner to fill his sack.
    Once full, he throws it behind his back, slouches, and starts his journey along a narrow, mucky pathway back into the sunlight.
    The boy, Kylych, is one of dozens, possibly hundreds of children working in the abandoned Soviet-era coal mines in the mountains of southern Kyrgyzstan.
    He knows what he does is extremely dangerous.
    He says he has seen his friends die and has been trapped inside himself.
    But, he says, he has no choice.   The US$3 a day he makes is crucial to his family's survival.
    "I'd rather go to school, of course, but I need to help the family," he says.
    Frequent accidents
    Like many of its neighbours, Kyrgyzstan never recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union, which destroyed, among other things, the country's once-thriving mining industry.
    The coal mines were abandoned, and the infrastructure left lying in ruins.
    Mining widow Zulfia, with her children.

People are taking their children out of schools and sending them to work at mines.

There is simply no other way to make money here.
    People are taking their children out of schools and sending them to work at mines.   There is simply no other way to make money here.
    Mining widow Zulfia, with her children
    After years of watching the government fail to revive the economy, people turned to excavating coal themselves.
    But the mines they dug out were often too narrow for adults, and so fathers began bringing in their sons.
    No one knows the exact number of children working in Kyrgyzstan's coal mines.
    Locals say the government refuses to acknowledge the problem.   Officially these children may not even exist.
    Yet we saw them at every coal mine we visited.
    They work all year round, under the blistering heat of the summer and in the freezing temperatures of the harsh mountain winter.
    "Sometimes in the winter the caves get flooded, and people have to dive in and swim to the end of the cave to bring a pump and get the water out," Nurbek, a local from a nearby town, says.
    Accidents and deaths are common and people here are desperate for government help, but they are also reluctant to ask for it.
    Nurjamal Mambetova, who has set up a local non-profit organisation and has been trying to come up with a solution to the problem, says she fears that drawing the government's attention to the issue could only make things worse.
    "We worry that they will close down the mines, or blow them up, and that won't solve the problem.   People will just start going back to them and digging again because they have no other way to survive," she says.
    "What we need are alternatives, other jobs, or proper conditions at the mines.   Something, just not this," Nurjamal says.
    'Very dangerous'
    Over a cup of green tea, 35-year-old Zulfia weeps as she talks about her ordeal.   She has five children and less than US$2 a day with which to feed them.
    Her husband died in a mine accident, while trying to rescue two boys trapped inside.   He only managed to save one and died with the other.
    Uluk at the opening of a mine shaft

Uluk is small enough to get through the narrow mine entrance
    Uluk is small enough to get through the narrow mine entrance
    After the accident, the owner of the mine, another local resident, offered Zulfia's husband's job to their 10-year-old son.
    "Of course I won't let him do this, because I know what the price is, but other people do.   We are just so desperate here," Zulfia says.
    "People are taking their children out of schools and sending them to work at mines, there is simply no other way to make money here."
    It takes a 40-minute hike, in blistering sun, to get to the mine where Zulfia's husband died.
    When we arrive, two boys are loading heavy sacks onto donkeys; two others are heading inside the mine to bring out more.
    They do not even wear helmets.
    Their hands are callused, and their childishly-chubby faces covered in black dust.
    One of the boys, Uluk, tells us he is 14.   He looks younger, but sounds older as he says he does not approve of his little brother working at a nearby mine.
    "It's very dangerous and it's not a proper place for children," Uluk says.
    "We hear about tragic cases all the time.   There is gas inside the mines and you can get trapped and choke, or sometimes there is fire underneath," he says.
    "And it's very bad for your health. But still people have little choice.   They come to make money, and so we come with them," he adds.
    Uluk, like many children here, may not have much of a childhood, but he does have dreams.
    "When I grow up I want to become a policeman, so that I can catch thieves and protect children," he says.
    It seems there is no one in Kyrgyzstan to protect him.
    MMVII
    Why do they do it?
    Because you pay for it
    BBC — Tuesday, 21 August 2007
    UK Typhoons shadow Russian bomber
    UK MoD picture shows RAF Typhoon shadowing a Russian Bear-H

An MoD photo shows RAF Typhoon shadowing a Russian Bear-H
    A UK MoD photo shows RAF Typhoon shadowing a Russian Bear-H
    Two new RAF Typhoon jets shadowed a Russian bomber heading for Britain, the Ministry of Defence has said.
    The jets were scrambled on Friday 17 August to identify the Russian aircraft, which turned back before it reached UK skies.
    The MoD said: "RAF Typhoons from Numbers 3(F) and XI Squadrons launched to shadow a Russian Bear-H aircraft over the North Atlantic Ocean."
    The BBC's Gordon Corera said the incident was not a security threat.
    Active standby
    He said a similar incident occurred in July, but that this represented a new, more provocative Russian foreign policy.
    Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has recently resumed the Soviet-era practice of sending bomber aircraft on long-range flights.
    Britain's £67m Typhoons were only put on active standby in July.
    Typhoons, the RAF's newest fast jet aircraft - which are based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire — cover the UK Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) commitment together with Tornado F3 aircraft based at RAF Leeming and RAF Leuchars.
    Over the next nine months, the Typhoons will progressively replace Tornado F3s, the aircraft which have performed this duty for many years.
    The Typhoon was designed during the Cold War, when European leaders looked to the Soviet Union as their main threat from the air.
    The RAF has ordered 144 Typhoons, which can accelerate from standing to take-off in under seven seconds.
    They were developed by companies in the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.
    Unspeakable grief and horror
                            ...and the circus of deception continues...
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