Uighur Nationalism, Turkey and the CIA

Submitted by David Livingstone on Fri, 07/31/2009 – 16:47

Much was made in the news, earlier this month, of the series of violent clashes that erupted between Uighurs, a Turkic, and predominantly Muslim, minority ethnic group in China, and the Chinese state police, and Han Chinese residents in the the province of Xinjiang, in northwestern China.

But the media’s recent attention to the matter should be seen in light of a larger geo-political strategy, involving Turkey and the CIA, in ongoing furtherance of The Bernard Lewis Plan. Originally implemented under the supervision of Zbigniew Brzezinski during the Carter administration, the plan was based on Lewis’ idea of an “Arc of Crisis”, created around the southern borders of Soviet Union, by empowering Muslim radicals to rebel against the communists, to bring about the fall of the Soviet Empire. The key aspect of this strategy, over the last 30 years, as revealed in the book and movie, Charlie Wilson’s War, began with support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, which became the CIA’s largest covert operation ever.

As outlined in Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard, control over central Asia, which in addition to Afghanistan, comprises the five former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, is a key factor in mastery of all of Eurasia, and thereby, the world.

Because, as is popularly known, Central Asia holds vast stores of energy resources. Less known, however, is it’s role in the drug trade. Since the implementation of Bernard Lewis’ Plan, and the US’ involvement in Afghanistan, the country now accounts for almost 95% of the world’s opium production. And it is profits arising mostly from this illicit trade that go largely to financing the deliberate spread of a fabricated brand of Islamic fundamentalism.

As mentioned by noted whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, “You get to a point where it gets very complex, where you have money laundering activities, drug related activities, and terrorist support activities converging at certain points and becoming one.”1

Despite years of her testimony being suppressed by the State Secrets Privilege, it is her revelations, discovered in the course of her work for the FBI, that now help explain the significance of the immigration case against Turkish religious leader, Fethullah Gülen, living in self-imposed exile in the Pennsylvania, and explodes this entire complex of American foreign policy in the Middle East and Central Asia, and it’s broader implications for the Islamic world.

Fethullah Gülen, while also leading the movement behind Turkey’s current Islamic renaissance, is one of the key operatives who have been fronting for the CIA in the radicalization of Central Asia, involving drug trafficking, money laundering, and the nuclear black market, and false-flag terrorism.

A number of sources reveal that the Gulen organization has been used as a tool for the Special Operations Department of the Turkish police force, which evolved from the Counter-Guerrilla, the Turkish branch of Operation Gladio.2 Operation Gladio was a clandestine initiative backed by the United States, which after WWII employed former SS to create “stay-behind” anti-communist. It was responsible for the infamous “Strategy of Tension” in Italy during the 70’s, which used false-flag terror operations, like that of the Red Brigade, to destabilize the country.3

In Turkey, there is a popular belief that the Counter-Guerrilla are responsible for numerous unsolved acts of violence, and have exerted great influence over the country’s Cold War history, most notably for engendering the military coups of 1971, and 1980.4

Among the documents that the attorneys for the State Department presented, in favor of rejecting Gulen’s application for a permanent visa, there are claims about the Gülen movement’s financial structure, it being emphasized that the it’s economic power reached $25 billion. The lawyers state:

Because of the large amount of money that Gülen’s movement uses to finance his projects, there are claims that he has secret agreements with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkic governments. There are suspicions that the CIA is a co-payer in financing these projects.5

Most incriminating is the list of references that Gulen provided in an apparent effort to bolster his application, namely George Fidas, Graham Fuller, and Morton Abramowitz.

Graham Fuller happens to be listed as one of the American Deep State rogues on Sibel Edmonds’ State Secrets Privilege Gallery. Graham E. Fuller is an American author and political analyst, specializing in “Islamic extremism”. Formerly vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council, he also served as Station Chief in Kabul for the CIA. A “think piece” that Fuller wrote for the CIA was identified as instrumental in leading to the Iran-contra affair.6 The Iran-Contra affair was that network of activity whereby Israel sold weapons to Iran on behalf of the Americans, to fund the Contras, and then where a large-scale drug-smuggling operation, involving cocaine from Nicaragua, was used to fund the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.7

George Fidas worked thirty-one years for the CIA, while Morton Abramowitz was also deeply involved with Afghan Mujahideen and Kosovo rebels. Abramowitz was succeeded by Marc Grossman as ambassador in Turkey, after working under him in Ankara for a number of years. During that period, the US opened an espionage investigation into activities at the embassy involving Major Douglas Dickerson, a weapons procurement specialist for Central Asia. Dickerson and his wife, an FBI translator, later became famous when they tried to recruit Sibel to spy for this criminal network. Grossman is currently receiving $1.2 million per annum from Ihlas Holding, a Gulen-linked Turkish conglomerate.8

With regards to the separatist moves over Xinjiang, according to TurkPulse: “One of the main tools Washington is using in this affair in order to get Turkey involved in the Xinjiang affair is some Turkish Americans, primarily the Fetullah Gulen.”9

Another Turk used in this affair is Enver Yusuf Turani, also featured in Sibel’s Gallery, who is Prime Minister of Xinjiang, with the US being the only country to recognize it as “East Turkistan”. East Turkistan is the home of the “Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement,” a UN-nominated terrorist organization “funded mainly by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network and received training, support and personnel from both the al-Qaeda and the Taliban regime of Afghanistan.”10 The Uighurs constitute as many as 22, of the Guantanamo Bay detainees. Five of those have been set free, and were eventually sent to Albania, amid much controversy.

In fact, Abramowitz and Fuller were key players in the establishment of ‘East Turkistan,’ “proclaiming the government in exile within 4-5 months, starting in May (2004) and completing the proclamation in mid-September. The ceremony was held at Capitol Hill under American flags in Washington.”11

The FSB, the Russian intelligence organization formerly called the KGB, has repeatedly taken action against the Gulen movement for acting as a front organization for the CIA. The FSB has claimed that the ‘Nurcus’ religious brotherhood in Turkey has engaged in espionage on behalf of the CIA, through the companies connected with Fethullah Gulen. Russia has banned all of Gulen’s madrassas, and in April of this year, banned the Nurcu Movement completely.12

The Gulen Movement founded madrassas all over the world in the 1990’s, most of them in the newly independent Turkic republics of Central Asia, including Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. The madrassas, says one writer named Lukery, “appear to be used as a front for enabling CIA and State Department officials to operate undercover in the region, with many of the teachers operating under diplomatic passports.”13

Lukery called Sibel Edmonds to ask her to comment on the latest revelations. She said, in full:

You’ve got to look at the big picture. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the super powers began to fight over control of Central Asia, particularly the oil and gas wealth, as well as the strategic value of the region.

Given the history, and the distrust of the West, the US realized that it couldn’t get direct control, and therefore would need to use a proxy to gain control quickly and effectively. Turkey was the perfect proxy; a NATO ally and a puppet regime. Turkey shares the same heritage/race as the entire population of Central Asia, the same language (Turkic), the same religion (Sunni Islam), and of course, the strategic location and proximity.

This started more than a decade-long illegal, covert operation in Central Asia by a small group in the US intent on furthering the oil industry and the Military Industrial Complex, using Turkish operatives, Saudi partners and Pakistani allies, furthering this objective in the name of Islam.

This is why I have been saying repeatedly that these illegal covert operations by the Turks and certain US persons dates back to 1996, and involves terrorist activities, narcotics, weapons smuggling and money laundering, converging around the same operations and involving the same actors.

And I want to emphasize that this is “illegal” because most, if not all, of the funding for these operations is not congressionally approved funding, but it comes from illegal activities.

And one last thing, take a look at the people in the State Secrets Privilege Gallery on my website and you will see how these individuals can be traced to the following; Turkey, Central Asia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – and the activities involving these countries.

1 Rasti, Gulen, the CIA and the American Deep State

2 Fethullah Gulen, Wikipedia.  Sources cited: a b c Dilipak, Abrurrahman (2008-10-13). “Washington’dan Ankara’ya yol gider!” (in Turkish). Vakit. Retrieved on 2008-10-13; Ozturk, Saygi (2008-05-06). “Emniyette Fethullahçı liste krizi” (in Turkish). Hürriyet. Retrieved on 2008-10-13.; Özcelik, Can (2008-05-18). “Emin Çölaşan: Emniyet’teki Fetullahçı örgütlenme TSK’ya karşı silahlı güç oluşturmak” (in Turkish). Ulusal Kanal. Retrieved on 2008-10-13; (in Turkish) Ergenekon İddianamesi. 2008-12-16. p. 148. Retrieved on 2008-12-16. “Gladyo örgütlenmesi Ordunun içinden çıkarılıyor. Emniyet teşkilatında yayılıyor.”; Çetin, Muhammed (2008-07-17). “Protectionist Ideology in Turkey and Its Cheap, Polarizing Bloggers Abroad”. Today’s Zaman (Fethullah Gülen’s personal Web site). Retrieved on 2008-10-13.

3 Timewatch: Operation Gladio – Behind False Flag Terrorism & 9/11 (parts 1, 2 and 3)

4 Alexandrovna, Larisa; Kane, Muriel (2007-06-27). “New documents link Kissinger to two 1970s coups”. GlobalResearch.ca. Retrieved on 2008-12-29.

5 Rumi, Raza; Ataturk’s Turkish Republic in Danger.

6 Graham Fuller, Wikipedia

7 Livingstone, David; Terrorism and the Illuminati, Guns, Drugs and Jihad

8 Lukerly, Court Documents Shed Light on CIA Illegal Operations in Central Asia Using Islam & Madrassa;

9 Turkish-American Relations With the Second Bush

10 Terror list with links to al-Qaeda unveiled

Plague kills 2nd man; China seals off entire town

Plague kills 2nd man; China seals off entire town

By GILLIAN WONG, Associated Press Writer

BEIJING – A second man has died of pneumonic plague in northwest China, in an outbreak that prompted authorities to lock down a town where about a dozen people were infected with the highly contagious deadly lung disease, a state news agency said.

The World Health Organization office in China said it was in close contact with Chinese health authorities and that measures taken so far to treat and quarantine sickened people were appropriate.

The man who died Sunday was identified only as 37-year-old Danzin from Ziketan, the stricken town in Qinghai province, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Danzin was a neighbor of the first person who died, a 32-year-old herdsman whose name was not given. Another 10 people, mostly relatives of the first deceased man, were infected and undergoing isolated treatment in hospital, Xinhua said in a report late Sunday.

The town of 10,000 people has been sealed off and a team of experts was sent to the area, the local health bureau said Sunday, warning that anyone with a cough or fever who visited the town since mid-July should seek treatment at a hospital.

A food seller surnamed Han at the Crystal Alley Market in Ziketan said authorities have said homes and shops should be disinfected and residents should wear masks when they go out. He said 80 percent of shops in the town were closed and prices of disinfectants and some vegetables have tripled.

“People are so scared. There are few people on the streets,” Han said by telephone. “There are police guarding the quarantine center at the township hospital but not on the streets.”

The situation in Ziketan was stable, said an official surnamed Wang at the local disease control center, who added the measures taken were “scientific, orderly, effective and in accordance with the law.”

A woman who lives in Ziketan, who refused to give her name, said county officials distributed flyers and made TV and radio announcements on how to prevent infection. The woman contacted by phone said police checkpoints were set up in a 17-mile (28-kilometer) radius around Ziketan and residents were not allowed to leave.

Pneumonic plague is spread through the air and can be passed from person to person through coughing, according to the World Health Organization. It is caused by the same bacteria that occurs in bubonic plague — the Black Death that killed an estimated 25 million people in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Bubonic plague is usually transmitted by flea bite and can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed early. Pneumonic plague is one of the deadliest infectious diseases, capable of killing humans within 24 hours of infection, according to the WHO.

People infected with pneumonic plague must be given antibiotics within 24 hours of first showing symptoms, while people who have had direct contact with those infected can protect themselves by taking antibiotics for seven days, according to the Web site of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The WHO’s spokeswoman in China, Vivian Tan, said China reported the first death and 11 other cases to the organization on Saturday.

“In cases like this, we encourage the authorities to identify cases, to investigate any suspicious symptoms among close contacts and to treat confirmed cases as soon as possible. So far, they have done exactly that, so at this point we don’t have any additional advice,” Tan said.

In 2004, eight villagers in Qinghai province died of plague, most of them infected after killing or eating wild marmots. Marmots are related to gophers and prairie dogs. They live in the grasslands of China’s northwest and Mongolia, where villagers often hunt them for meat.

Painting a Picture of America’s Islamist Pipeline Insurgency

[The US deploying its IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) guerrilla force against its next targets.]

Islamist fighters on the Silk Road

M.K. Bhadrakumar

A steadily rising curve of Islamist activities is becoming visible in Central Asia.

In his book Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, noted Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid describes how the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency, Britain’s MI6 and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence drew up a provocative plan in 1986 to launch mujahideen attacks in the Soviet territory, presently within Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The task was given to the ISI’s favourite mujahideen leader, Gulbuddi n Hekmatyar. Of course, the idea itself — the use of militant Islamists as a geopolitical tool to lacerate the “soft underbelly” of the Soviet Union — belonged to the U.S. National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Years later, in 1998, when a Le Nouvel Observateur interviewer asked him whether he regretted using political Islam as a natural ally, Brzezinski was unrepentant. He asked: “What is more important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?”

Indeed, it wasn’t an idea that was born in Brzezinski’s clever mind. When the idea of the U.S.’ utilitarian alliance with the benighted version of Islam first appeared in the mid-1950s as the underpinning of the U.S. strategy to gain control of the oil in the Middle East and ward off Arab nationalism, American strategists called it the “Eisenhower Doctrine.” And its current reputation has been ably theorised by ideologues such as Bernard Lewis.

That is why, the latest stirrings on the political accommodation of the neo-Taliban in Afghanistan by the U.S. cause immense anxiety and concern in the region. The issue is not about an Afghan settlement. Surely, for a settlement to be durable, it needs to be inclusive and broad-based and cannot possibly exclude a sizeable group such as the Taliban, which does have indigenous roots. The issue, rather, is about the nature of Afghan reconciliation. Outside powers should not be prescriptive. On the other hand, the process must evolve through an intra-Afghan dialogue.

The Pakistan military’s spokesman, Athas Abbas, recently admitted in an interview with the CNN that the ISI continues to be in contact with the Taliban’s hardcore leader and that it can bring him and other commanders to the negotiating table. No matter what prompted Major General Abbas to open up, Washington chose to let it pass. The fine line of distinction between the “good” and the “bad” Taliban is slowly and steadily blurring, and the vista is opening up for a dialogue with Mullah Omar, Jalaluddin Haqqani and Hekmatyar.

Mr. Abbas’ “chatter” appeared with hardly a few weeks to go for the Afghan presidential election due on August 20. The western capitals are panicky about the prospect of President Hamid Karzai securing a second term. A nasty media campaign against him is under way. But what happens if Mr. Karzai wins the election? Conceivably, an “Iran-like” situation would develop. It is a real possibility. The British commander in Helmand province, Colonel David Haight, has openly speculated that Mr. Karzai’s re-election could trigger a “violent backlash” from the Afghan public.

The western capitals are backing the candidacy of former Afghan Finance Minister and World Bank official Ashraf Ghani. One of the attractions about Mr. Ghani’s electoral platform is that he has openly called for ending the war and offers the Taliban a three-year ceasefire. On the contrary, Mr. Karzai’s two vice-presidential running mates are former Northern Alliance stalwarts Mohammed Fahim, who used to be the intelligence chief under Ahmed Shah Massoud, and Karim Khalili, the Hazara Shia leader from Bamyan. More irksome for the U.S. seems to be the prospect that while Mr. Fahim has had close dealings with Russian intelligence over the years, Mr. Khalili has been Tehran’s steady ally through a quarter century. Thus Mr. Karzai’s ticket is not only pan-Afghan but also enjoys the trust of Russia and Iran (and India). Again, Afghan Uzbeki leader Rashid Dostum and Hazara commander Mohammed Mohaqiq from the Amu Darya region — two key figures in the anti-Taliban resistance in the 1990s — have announced their backing for Mr. Karzai, and they are as equally opposed to the return of a Taliban regime as Mr. Fahim or Mr. Khalili could be.

A Karzai victory, in short, means that any reconciliation with the Taliban can only be on the basis of an inter-ethnic, national consensus among the Afghan people. Neither the U.S. nor Pakistan seems ready for such transparency in the Afghan political process. All in all, therefore, the U.S. may well opt for a regime change in Kabul.

This is a high-stakes game, as the nature of the power structure in Kabul holds profound implications for the security of the Central Asian region and North Caucasus — and Xinjiang. All evidence points to an intensification of the big power struggle for influence in the energy-rich regions of the Caspian and Central Asia. A defining moment is coming up by the year-end when the 7000-kilometre long gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Xinjiang will become operational. The pipeline will be a game-changer. The U.S. is keenly advancing the agenda of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s expansion into the region and it is meeting with resistance from both Russia and China.

Against this backdrop, a steadily rising curve of Islamist activities is becoming visible in Central Asia. Armed attacks by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a group affiliated to the al-Qaeda, resumed since late May. There are reports that the Islamist commander of the Tajik civil war (1992-97), Mullah Abdullo, recently crossed the Afghan border into Tajikistan with some 300 followers and took shelter in Tavildara, which is situated in the Rasht Valley in the rugged Pamir Mountains, some 20 km from the Afghan border. Tavildara used to be the base of the Islamist fighters in the Tajik civil war.

Abdullo had enjoyed the ISI’s backing. He never recognised the 1997 Peace Accord and instead took shelter in Kandahar where he was arrested in 2001 when the U.S. intervened in Afghanistan, but for some obscure reason he was allowed to disappear. Since then, he has been hiding with the Taliban leadership. In the past few months, Russian intelligence repeatedly warned of the imminence of a military conflict and insurgency in Central Asia. The threat perception finally compelled Russia to establish a second military base in Kyrgyzstan in the southern city of Osh. Situated on the edges of the densely populated Ferghana valley, Osh is an extremely strategic location near Afghanistan and Xinjiang. A big-scale Russia-China joint military drill to fight terrorism commences on Wednesday. Curiously, Moscow lost no time expressing support to Beijing over the recent unrest in Urumqi, following a telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi at the latter’s initiative.

The U.S. commentators have given a spin that the Central Asian militants are returning home due to the Pakistani military stepping up its operations along the Afghan border region. According to the local opinion in Afghanistan, however, U.S. special forces are providing the logistics to Central Asian Islamists to reach the Tajikistan border from Pakistan-Afghan tribal areas. Kunduz, Islam Qala, Imam Zahib, Aliabad and Chardara district in northern Afghanistan have become staging points for militants to cross into Tajikistan. There are reports that U.S. special forces facilitated the movement of “foreign fighters” from the Wazir tribes on the Pakistani-Afghan border into Chardara district. (Chardara is a Pashtun enclave.) These are very alarming signals reminiscent of the run-up to the Andizhan uprising in the Ferghana valley in May 2005, which had covert American involvement. Conceivably, the security situation may worsen along the route of the Turkmenistan-Xinjiang pipeline.

Thus, several tendencies are concurrently appearing on the geopolitical landscape — possible “regime change” in Kabul; prospects of the U.S. reconciliation with the Taliban under the ISI’s mediation; “homecoming” by Central Asian Islamists from their bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan; role of U.S. special forces; militant activity in the Ferghana valley; commissioning of the gas pipeline connecting Turkmenistan and Xinjiang; unrest in Urumqi, etc.

The security situation in Russia’s North Caucasus region — primarily in the eastern part, including Ingushetia, Dagestan, Chechnya and Kabardino-Balkaria — has also taken a turn for the worse. A Carnegie scholar recently wrote that the Russian Caucasus is returning to “some ancient period” and “gunshots, explosions, assassination attempts have become daily routine.” Traditional Caucasian Islam, Sufism, is giving way to Wahhabism and is becoming a political tool while the “secular and religious elites have been fusing.” In an interview with the U.S. government funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty recently, Russia’s most wanted terrorist, Doku Umarov, claimed that he was mobilising for stepped-up insurgency in Chechnya, where Moscow previously announced a successful end to counter-insurgency operations.

To be sure, a second post-Soviet wave of Islamism is appearing in the region. Islamist fighters are arriving on the Silk Road, poking Russia’s — and China’s — “soft underbelly” in a way that will do Brzezenski proud.

(The writer is a former diplomat.)

China warns of ‘threats’ in Turkey

[Turkey has been playing America’s secret games for too long now; it is all about to come back and bite it on the ass.  It is literally suicidal for upstart nations like Turkey to challenge China.   See: Bombshell: Bin Laden worked for US till 9/11 The US has managed to maneuver the entire world to the edge of the precipice.  Whether the spooks at CIA can manage to push the saner nations over the edge remains to be seen.]

China warns of ‘threats’ in Turkey

Turkish leaders and citizens spoke out against the Xinjiang unrest last month [EPA]

China has warned its citizens in Turkey to step up security precautions, citing unspecified threats against Chinese nationals.

In a statement on its website over the weekend, the foreign ministry urged “Chinese nationals and groups in Turkey to strengthen security precautions and pay attention to how safe the situation is”.

“They should avoid crowds and sensitive areas to the greatest extent possible, and take necessary emergency precautions whether they stay at home or go out.”

It added that “recently some people and groups have received threats against their security in Turkey”, without elaborating.

China’s relations with Turkey have been strained by last month’s unrest in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, where clashes involving Uighurs, who are mostly Turkic-speaking Muslims, Han Chinese and government forces left around 200 people dead.

Turkish protest

At the height of the violence, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, called for “these incidents that have reached the level of savagery to be rapidly stopped” and said there should be an investigation.

His trade minister, Nihat Ergun, called on Turkish consumers not to buy goods from China and about 10,000 people attended an Istanbul protest against what they saw as Chinese mistreatment of Uighurs.

China issued a similar security alert to its citizens in Algeria last month following warnings that al-Qaeda could be plotting attacks on Chinese workers in North Africa to avenge the deaths of Muslims killed during the unrest in Xinjiang.

Beijing says it has brought prosperity to Xinjiang, a region that has seen annual growth rates of up to 17 per cent in recent years.

But Uighurs say the government’s encouragement of mass Han Chinese emigration to Xinjiang and its policies of discrimination and repression have stoked ethnic tensions and sown seeds of violence.

Exiled Uighur activists have distanced themselves from threats of violent reprisals, saying they oppose the use of violence from any side.

“I do not believe violence is a solution to any problem,” Rebiya Kadeer, the Washington-based head of the World Uighur Congress, said in response to the reported al-Qaeda threat last month.

“Global terrorists should not take advantage of the Uighur people’s legitimate aspirations and the current tragedy … to commit acts of terrorism targeting Chinese diplomatic missions or civilians.”

How to Dance in the Rain

How to Dance in the Rain
It was a busy morning, about 8:30 , when an elderly gentleman in his 80s arrived at the hospital to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.
While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s
appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry.
The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health.
He told me that
she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.
As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, ‘And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He smiled
as he patted my hand and said,

‘She doesn’t know me,

but I still know who she is.’

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought,
‘Life isn’t about how to survive the storm,
but how to dance in the rain.


Prolonged Aid to Unemployed Is Running Out

[Over the next couple of months several million folks are set to discover what millions of Americans before them have had to experience, trying to survive with no income.  How many of them will turn to illegal means to feed, clothe and provide health care for their families?  Will Obama wreak havoc on welfare and medicare by then?  How many of the ones who apply for aid will abide by agency rules, that require them to first sell many of their possessions, including high-end cars, or second cars?  People are about to find-out first-hand that there will be no economic recovery!]

FireShot Pro capture #40 - 'The New York Times } US } Image } Unemployment Benefits Running Low' - www_nytimes_com_imagepages_2009_08_02_us_02unemploy_graphic_ready_html

Published: August 1, 2009

Over the coming months, as many as 1.5 million jobless Americans will exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits, ending what for some has been a last bulwark against foreclosures and destitution.

Because of emergency extensions already enacted by Congress, laid-off workers in nearly half the states can collect benefits for up to 79 weeks, the longest period since the unemployment insurance program was created in the 1930s. But unemployment in this recession has proved to be especially tenacious, and

a wave of job-seekers is using up even this prolonged aid.

Tens of thousands of workers have already used up their benefits, and the numbers are expected to soar in the months to come, reaching half a million by the end of September and 1.5 million by the end of the year, according to new projections by the National Employment Law Project, a private research group.

Unemployment insurance is now a lifeline for nine million Americans, with payments averaging just over $300 per week, varying by state and work history. While many

recipients find new jobs before exhausting their benefits, large numbers in the current recession have been unable to find work for a year or more.

Calls are rising for Congress to pass yet another extension this fall, possibly adding 13 more weeks of coverage in states with especially high unemployment. As of June, the national unemployment rate was 9.5 percent, reaching 15.2 percent in Michigan. Even if the recession begins to ease, economists say, jobs will remain scarce for some time to come.

“If more help is not on the way, by September a huge wave of workers will start running out of their critical extended benefits, and many will have nothing left to get by on even as work keeps getting harder to find,” said Maurice Emsellem, a policy director of the employment law project.

For many desperate job seekers, any extension will seem a blessing. Pamela C. Lampley of Dillon, S.C., said she sat outside the post office last month and cried because “it was the first Wednesday in quite some time that I’ve gone to the mailbox and left without an unemployment check.” The jobless rate in her state is 12.1 percent.

Ms. Lampley, 40, who is married with three children, lost her job as a human resources officer in January 2008 and had been receiving $351 a week, which covered the groceries and gas. Even so, she and her husband, who still has work as a machinist, were sinking into debt. Now, still poorer, she feels devastated because they cannot buy their son a laptop to take to college and she cannot give her 9-year-old son money for the movies.

In Ohio, where unemployment is 11.1 percent, Cathy Nixon, 39, a mother of four teenagers from Lorain, has been out of work for much of the time since June 2007, and her benefits — $313 a week — run out in September. Ms. Nixon is already fighting foreclosure and said she feared that when the benefits end, “we’ll be homeless.” She was unable to afford summer camp and baseball activities for her children, despite scrimping on basics.

Raymond Crouse of Columbus operated heavy construction machinery but has found no work since 2007. Mr. Crouse is 72 and receives Social Security but said that was not enough to live on. The $190 a month he has received in unemployment benefits enabled him and his wife to hang on to the house they bought 15 years ago, he said. But with the benefits ending next month, he fears that they will not keep up.

In ordinary times, employers pay into a state insurance fund, and workers who lose jobs draw benefits for up to 26 weeks. During recessions, Congress has often paid for extended coverage for an extra 13 or even 20 weeks.

In 2008, as the recession deepened, Congress provided 33 extra weeks of benefits. Earlier this year, President Obama’s stimulus plan offered an additional 20 weeks in states where unemployment surpassed 8 percent, if they adopted new federally recommended rules governing these extra weeks. (South Carolina did not make the changes, and benefits there are running out more quickly.)

Currently, people can draw benefits for up to 79 weeks in 24 states and from 46 weeks to 72 weeks in others.

The stimulus law also, through the end of the year, provided an extra $25 a week to all recipients, exempted a portion of benefits from federal income tax and subsidized Cobra health payments for the unemployed.

Representative Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington and chairman of the House Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, said he would introduce a bill in September to provide yet another 13 weeks of coverage in states with unemployment rates of 9 percent or higher. “Legislators will line up quickly when they start getting calls from desperate constituents,” he said in a telephone interview.

The cost would be $40 billion to $70 billion, but the expense would be temporary, Mr. McDermott said.

Some business groups remain skeptical. Douglas Holmes, president of UWC, a group in Washington that represents businesses on unemployment issues, said that there were early glimmers of economic progress and that it was premature to extend benefits again. The money might be better spent, Mr. Holmes said, creating jobs and training people to move into emerging industries.

Traditionally, many economists have been leery of prolonged unemployment benefits because they can reduce the incentive to seek work. But that should not be a concern now because jobs remain so scarce, said Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard.

For every job that becomes available, about six people are looking, Dr. Katz said. “Unemployment insurance gives income to families who are really suffering and can’t find work even if they are hustling to look,” he said.

With the economy still listing, he added, a temporary extension can provide a quick fiscal stimulus. And, Dr. Katz said, when people exhaust unemployment and health insurance, many end up applying for disability benefits, which become a large, unending drain on the Treasury.

Ms. Lampley, whose benefits have ended, described the tough job market. She used to make nearly $15 an hour and has unsuccessfully sought office and clerical work at $8 an hour. Mr. Crouse said that even if new building projects were planned, construction slows in the winter cold.

And Ms. Nixon said that she had interviewed endlessly for jobs in real estate and office work and that even her teenagers could not find fast-food jobs because laid-off adults were filling them.

“I can’t find a job,” she said, “and you can’t survive if you don’t work.”