Saving the Planet for the New World Order to Plunder at Will

[Imagine what could be done if these people cared half as much about saving the world from the New World Order elite as they do about saving the world FOR them If the ruling elitists succeed in their plans for world conquest then I am all for trashing the planet for them.  Live free or die trying.  Down with the pathocracy!]

Copenhagen climate summit: protests threaten to shut down talks

Thousands of activists massed outside the conference centre in Copenhagen in a protest against the lack of progress on a global deal to stop climate change.

By Louise Gray in Copenhagen

more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod

Police in riot gear were forced to push back the protesters.

Activists claim pepper spray and tear gas was used and arrests have already been made.

The protesters could not get past concrete barriers and fences put up by the police.

Meanwhile inside the centre non-governmental groups from around the world and environmental activists shouted and banged drums.

Hundreds of people who gathered outside to join the protest were trapped within the barriers.

The “Reclaim Power” protest was organised by Climate Justice Action, a coalition of groups from around the world.

It is expected the protests will go on all day and cast an ugly shadow over the climate change conference, similar to the G20 protests in London.

Over the weekend more than 1,000 people were arrested by Danish police following a march from the city centre, as anger grows at the failure of world leaders to agree a deal to stop global warming.

NGOs, civil society groups and charities, that represent millions of people in Britain, have been refused passes to get into the Bella Centre and as a consequence will be protesting outside.

It emerged later that no one from Friends of the Earth was allowed in. Executive Director Andy Atkins claimed it was an affront to democracy.

“It is a crisis of democracy when campaigning charities like Friends of the Earth are prevented from speaking up on behalf of communities around the globewithin the talks themselves,” he said.”We were stunned to discover that every Friends of the Earth delegate has been banned from attending these crucial talks – if this is a consequence of our roleas one of the most prominent groups calling for a strong and fair agreement, this is even more disturbing

“This draconian measure is completely unjustified – the Copenhagen conference isfast becoming an international shambles.”

It is estimated about 15,000 delegates, journalists and civil society representatives have been refused access to the talks.

What Is Russia’s New Game?

[Is Russia playing along to give Obama enough rope to hang himself, hoping to be better positioned when it all shakes out, or is this circumstantial evidence that Russia and the US represent two sides of the same coin in the purse of the ruling elite?  SEE:  Dr. Antony Sutton.]

Russia, NATO and Afghanistan: High stakes Great Game

Eric Walberg

What did Medvedev have up his sleeve when he welcomed Obama’s new surge in Afghanistan, wonders Eric Walberg

December 16, 2009

US President Barack Obama’s now expanding war against the Taliban is garnering support from liberals and neocons alike, from leaders around the world, even from Russia. “We are ready to support these efforts, guarantee the transit of troops, take part in economic projects and train police and the military,” Russian President Dmitri Medvedev declared in a recent press conference with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Moscow and Washington reached an agreement in July allowing the US to launch up to 4,500 US flights a year over Russia, opening a major supply route for American operations in Afghanistan. Previously Russia had only allowed the US to ship non-lethal military supplies across its territory by train.

So far, Obama has all European governments behind him, if not their people. Despite a solid majority in all countries, from Canada to Europe East and West, who want the troops out now, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was able to deliver pledges from 25 NATO members to send a total of about 7,000 additional forces to Afghanistan next year “with more to come” with nary a dissenting voice. In a macabre statement, Fogh Rasmussen welcomed Obama’s surge: “The United States’ contribution to the NATO-led mission has always been substantial; it is now even more important.”

Explaining the willingness of Euro leaders to ignore their constituents, former US ambassador to NATO and RAND adviser Robert Hunter told the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR): “In terms of motivation, very few European countries believe that winning in Afghanistan — that is, dismantling, defeating, and destroying Al-Qaeda and Taliban — is necessary for their own security. A few believe that, but most do not. When they add forces, it is to protect the credibility of NATO now that it is there. NATO has never failed at anything it chose to do.” Part and parcel with this, Europeans want to keep the US “as a European power, not just as an insurance policy but also as the principal manager of Russia’s future.” He ghoulishly agreed with the CFR interviewer that Afghanistan is a way for Europe to “pay the rent” to the US for continuing to bully Russia.

The combined US and NATO forces will bring together a staggering 150,000 soldiers from more than 50 nations, not to mention the estimated 80,000 mercenaries already there, bringing the total to 230,000. Every European nation except for Belarus, Cyprus, Malta, Russia and Serbia will have military forces there, as well as nine of the 15 former Soviet republics. Marvels analyst Rick Rozoff, “Troops from five continents, Oceania and the Middle East. Even the putative coalition of the willing stitched together by the US and Britain after the invasion of Iraq only consisted of forces from 31 nations.” By way of comparison, in September this year there were 120,000 US troops in Iraq and only a handful of other nations’ personnel. The Soviet Afghan occupation force in the 1980s peaked at 100,000 shortly before beginning to pull out in 1989; the British in 1839 had only 21,000 and in 1878 — 42,000.

The world’s last three major wars — Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq — have all been testing grounds for the new, global NATO. Hence the flurry of visits by US officials to prospective members to make sure they sign up for the surge. For instance, Celeste Wallander, US deputy assistant secretary of defence for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, just returned from a visit to her new friend Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, to thank him for coughing up 40 “peacekeepers” who will start training in Germany in January 2010 before deployment in Afghanistan. As if to up the ante with its nemesis, Azerbaijan promised to double its 90 troops. It would be interesting if the two warring nations’ troops were to share barracks. They have far more cause to fight each other than Afghans.

It is hard to imagine this heathen Tower of Babel as an effective force against devoted Muslims ready to die to repel the invaders. But Fogh nonetheless chortles, “With the right resources, we can succeed.” Could it be that one of his “resources” is the “big one”?

What explains Russia’s quiescence at Obama’s determination to wrest Central Asia from its traditional sphere of influence? Russian suspicions about US intentions are very strong on many fronts. Sucking more than half of the ex-Soviet republics into returning to Afghanistan — this time on the US side — is surely brazen. Continuing to expand NATO eastward is strongly condemned by all Russians and is not popular in either Ukraine or Georgia, but continues nonetheless. Russian intelligence is undoubtedly following US and others’ machinations in Chechnya, which continues to be a serious threat to Russian security. Hunter’s cynical explanation to the CFR of Euro complicity in the Afghan genocide is not lost on deaf ears.

Yet, Russia dawdles on its assistance to Iran both in nuclear energy and in providing up-to-date defence missiles, clearly at US prompting. And now seems to be happy that Obama is expanding what all sensible analysts insist is a losing and criminal war virtually next door. Is this evidence of Russian weakness, an acceptance of US plans for Eurasian hegemony which could imperil the Russian Federation itself?

Russia is still in transition, caught between a longing to be part of the West and to be a mediator between the Western empire and the rest of the world. Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, represents this conflict between the “Atlantist” and “Eurasian” vision of Russia’s future, terms which have been popularised by Alexandr Dugin. In a TV interview with Russia Today, loose-cannon Rogozin argued: “There is a new civilisation emerging in the Third World that thinks that the white, northern hemisphere has always oppressed it and must therefore fall at its feet now. If the northern civilisation wants to protect itself, it must be united: America, the European Union, and Russia. If they are not together, they will be defeated one by one.”

But Rogozin is not in favour of Russia merely lying down to be walked over by NATO. He would like NATO replaced by a Euro-Russian security treaty. It is no coincidence that just before Obama’s announced surge, Russia unveiled a proposal for just such a new pact, which despite talk of “from Vancouver to Vladivostok” would essentially exclude the US and include Russia. It would prevent member states from taking actions which threaten other members, effectively excluding Ukraine and Georgia from NATO and preventing Poland and the Czech Republic from setting up their beloved US missile bases. Rogozin’s Atlantist vision would see NATO defanged, and North America forced to ally with a new, independent Europe, where Russia is now the dominant power.

NATO, of course, will not go quietly into the night — unless its latest venture in Afghanistan fails. So Russia is biting the bullet on this war — for the time being. Just in case Obama was too busy with Oslo to notice, Rogozin warned last week that Russian cooperation over transit of military supplies to Afghanistan could be jeopardised by a failure to take the Russian security treaty proposal seriously. In Washington’s worst-case scenario, if its Afghan gamble implodes, not only will it have to take Russia seriously, but so will Europe, giving the Russian Atlantists the opportunity to integrate with Europe without the US breathing down their necks. If by some miracle NATO succeeds in cowing the Afghans and continues to threaten Russia with encirclement, the Eurasians will gain the upper hand, and Russia will build up its BRIC and SCO ties, forced to abandon its dream of joining and leading Europe as the countervailing power to the US empire.

As this intrigue plays itself out, any number of things could tip the apple cart. For example, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, two quarrelsome ex-Soviet republics bordering Afghanistan which are vital to Obama’s surge, virtually declared war on each other earlier this month, potentially complicating the shuttling of US materiel to the front. Uzbekistan announced its withdrawal from the Central Asian electricity grid, a move that isolates Tajikistan by making it impossible for the country to import power from other Central Asian states during the cold winter months. The Tajiks threaten to retaliate by restricting water supplies that Uzbekistan desperately need for its cotton sector next summer.Who knows how this will end? At least they haven’t any troops in Afghanistan, where, like the Azeris and Armenians, they would be sorely tempted to turn their guns against each other rather than against the hapless Taliban.

***

Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/ You can reach him at http://ericwalberg.com/

Replaying 1960–UN Troops Once Again Slaughtering Civilians in Congo

[It is a good time to recall the slaughter committed by UN troops against civilians and the massive bombardment of civilian facilities in the Belgian Congo in 1960.  It was an event that would have been kept from the world except for a new radical organization called the "John Birch Society," which published the testimony of civilian doctors who treated the victims, called "46 Angry Men."]

UN-Backed Congo Troops Killed More Civilians Than Rebels, Says Human Rights Watch

MICHELLE FAUL

December 15, 2009

JOHANNESBURG — A U.N.-backed Congolese military operation to oust rebels from eastern Congo has caused more civilian casualties than damage to rebels, with more than 1,400 people deliberately killed over a nine-month period, human rights groups said Monday.

Human Rights Watch said it had documented “vicious and widespread” attacks against civilians by soldiers and rebels between January and September. Soldiers being fed and supplied with ammunition by the United Nations have killed civilians, gang-raped girls and cut the heads off some young men they accuse of being rebels or supporting the enemy, groups said.

“For every rebel combatant disarmed, one civilian has been killed, seven women and girls have been raped, six houses have been burned and destroyed and 900 people have been forced to flee their homes,” British-based organization Oxfam said.

Human Rights Watch said it documented the killings of 732 civilians between January and September by the Congolese army and troops from neighboring Rwanda fighting alongside it. In the same period, it counted 701 civilians killed by the rebels they are fighting.

“Some victims were tied together before their throats were, according to one witness, ‘slit like chickens.’ The majority of the victims were women, children, and the elderly,” the group said.

More than 7,500 cases of sexual violence against women and girls were registered at health centers during that nine-month period, nearly double that of 2008 and likely representing only a fraction of the total.

Human Rights Watch said that the 19,000 peacekeepers in Congo – the biggest U.N. force in the world – must “immediately cease all support to the current military operation” until it can ensure there are no violations of international humanitarian law. The group also called for the U.N. to find “a new approach to protect civilians.”

“The U.N. peacekeepers are being put in an appalling situation where they are supporting an army that is attacking its own population,” it said.



House Passes First Steps of Zionist Plan to Embargo Gasoline to Iran

House votes to sanction those helping Iran’s petroleum industry

By JIM ABRAMS , Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The House voted Tuesday to impose new economic sanctions on Iran as lawmakers cast doubt on Iran’s willingness to respond to diplomatic efforts to curtail its purported nuclear arms program.

The legislation, approved 412-12, would end access to U.S. markets for foreign companies selling refined petroleum products to Iran or helping that country develop its petroleum capacity. While Iran is a major crude oil producer, its lack of ability to produce enough gasoline and other refined petroleum products is a major economic vulnerability.

With no Senate action on the legislation expected this year, the House vote was for the time being mainly a warning that the United States is ready to act on its own if the Tehran government doesn’t respond to current international efforts to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

The bill drew opposition from lawmakers who said it would mainly cause hardship among poor and middle-class Iranians.

Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, in a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, said the Barack Obama administration was “entering a critical period of intense diplomacy to impose significant international pressure on Iran.” Sanctions legislation “might weaken rather than strengthen international unity and support for our efforts,” Steinberg’s letter said.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, D-Calif., said Iran has had ample time to respond to President Obama’s efforts at engagement. “President Obama has offered Iran an outstretched hand, but regrettably, Iran has not unclenched its fist.”

Hitting Iran in one of its weakest areas could be “the last best hope for diplomatically ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” said Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.

AfPak is all about the New Great Game for the control of Eurasia

AfPak is all about the New Great Game for

the control of Eurasia

asia-map-

by HK

“The horror … the horror.” General Stanley McChrystal, the Pentagon supremo in Afghanistan, is being massively sold in the US as a Zen warrior – a 21st-century stalwart incarnation of the “best and the brightest”. But he may be a warrior intellectual more like Colonel Kurz than Captain Willard in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. He led an elite death squad in Iraq and, for all of his Confucius-meets-counter-insurgency social engineering schemes, still appears not to understand what Pashtuns are really all about.
McChrystal remains bemused about why, in Afghanistan, most young Pashtuns decide to become Taliban. Because Kabul is immensely corrupt; because the Americans have bombed their houses or killed their families and friends; because they can improve their social status. They simply won’t sell out for (devalued) American dollars. Their infinite drive is geared towards throwing the occupiers out – and re-establishing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, governed by sharia law. In this sense, McChrystal’s soldiers are the new Soviets, no different from the Red Army that waged war in Afghanistan during the 1980s.
McChrystal – with all his “secure the population” talk – cannot possibly level with the American public about the Taliban. Afghans know that if you don’t mess with the Taliban, the Taliban don’t mess with you. If you’re an opium poppy grower, the Taliban just collect a little bit of tax on it.
Army+Lt+Gen+Stanley+McChrystal+Testifies+Senate+qQdzqqYIQljl
[Eight: Army Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Commander of the ISAF and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America].
Conquering Pashtun hearts and minds Westmoreland, sorry, McChrystal-style is a no-win proposition. There’s nothing McChrystal’s non-Pashto speaking soldiers can say or do to counteract a simple Taliban-to-villager one-liner “we’re in a jihad to throw out the foreigners”.
As for the Taliban/al-Qaeda nexus, the Taliban nowadays simply don’t need al-Qaeda, and vice-versa. Al-Qaeda is closely linked with Pakistani outfits, not Afghan, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba. If McChrystal wants to find al-Qaeda jihadis, he should set up shop in Karachi, not in the Hindu Kush. [??? Ed]
Over the summer of 2009 alone, 20,000 US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops, practicing the iron dogma of “clear, hold and build”, were able to secure only a third of desert Helmand province. The Taliban control at least 11 provinces in Afghanistan. It’s easy to do the math on what it would take to “secure” the other 10 provinces, not to mention the whole country until, well, 2050, as the British high command has been speculating. No wonder Washington is drowning in numbers – rife with speculation that McChrystal wants 500,000 boots on the ground before 2015. If Confucian McChrystal doesn’t get them, goodbye counter-insurgency; it’s back to a devastating hell from above drone missile war.
If you break it, you control it

The Pentagon as well as NATO will never be cheerleaders for a strong, stable and really independent Pakistan. Washington pressure over Islamabad will never be less than relentless. And then there’s the return of the repressed: the chilling Pentagon fear that Islamabad might one day become a full Chinese client state.
Think-tankers in their comfy leather chairs do entertain the dream of the Pakistani state unraveling for good – victim of a clash within the military of Punjabis against Pashtuns. So what’s in it for the US in terms of balkanization of AfPak? Quite some juicy prospects – chief of all neutralizing the also relentless Chinese drive for direct land access, from Xinjiang and across Pakistan, to the Arabian Sea (via the port of Gwadar, in Balochistan province).
Washington’s rationale for occupying Afghanistan – never spelled out behind the cover story of “fighting Islamic extremism” - is pure Pentagon full spectrum dominance: to better spy on both China and Russia with forward outposts of the empire of bases; to engage in Pipelineistan, via the Trans-Afghan (TAPI) pipeline, if it ever gets built; and to have a controlling hand in the Afghan narco-trade via assorted warlords. Cheap heroin is literally flooding Russia, Iran and Eastern Europe. Not by accident, Moscow regards opium / heroin as the key issue to be tackled in Afghanistan, not Islamic fundamentalism.
68772733_a94c2aafa2The Changing Zbig, then President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski visiting ‘his boy’, Osama Bin Laden, in training with the Pakistan Army, 1981. Photo originally scanned from the New York Village Voice. Photo credited to the Sygma/Corbis Agency, Paris.
As for those think-tankers, they do remain incorrigible. Last week at a Rand-sponsored Afghanistan bash in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, former president Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the man who gave the Soviets their Vietnam in Afghanistan, announced that he had advised the George W Bush administration to invade Afghanistan in 2001; but he also told then Pentagon supremo, Donald Rumsfeld, that the Pentagon should not stay on “as an alien force”. That’s exactly what the Pentagon is right now.
And yet, Zbigniew believes the US should not leave Afghanistan; it should “use all our leverage” to force NATO to fulfill the mission – whatever that is. Not surprisingly, Zbigniew couldn’t help revealing what the heart of the “mission” really is: Pipelineistan, that is, to build TAPI by any means necessary.
China, India and Russia may agree that a regional – and not an American – solution to Afghanistan may be the only way to go, but still can’t agree on how to formalize a proposal which would be offered in the cadre of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Li Qinggong, the number two at the China Council for National Security Policy Studies, has been a key voice of this proposal. Washington, not surprisingly, wants to remain unilateral.
It all harks back to a 1997 Brookings Institution publication by Geoffrey Kemp and Robert Harkavy,Strategic Geography and the Changing Middle East, in which they identify an (in capital letters) “energy strategic ellipse” with a key node in the Caspian and another in the Persian Gulf, concentrating over 70% of global oil reserves and over 40% of natural gas reserves. The study stressed that the resources in these zones of “low demographic pressure” would be “threatened” by the pressure of billions living in the poor regions of South Asia. Thus the control of the Muslim Central Asian “stans” as well as Afghanistan would be essential as a wall against both China and India.

So all along the watchtower, the princes of war keep their view. That spells balkanization all along. It’s full spectrum dominance against the Asian energy security grid. The Pentagon well knows that AfPak is the key land bridge between Iran to the west and China and India to the east; and that Iran has all the energy that both China and India need. The last thing full spectrum dominance wants is to have the AfPak theater subjected to more influence from Russia, China and Iran.
There could not be a more graphic illustration of empire of chaos logic in action than the AfPak theater. While the McChrystal show amuses the galleries, what’s really at stake for Washington is how to orchestrate a progressive encirclement of Russia, China and Iran. And the name of the game is not really AfPak – even with all the breaking up and balkanization it may entail. It’s all about the New Great Game for the control of Eurasia.
Source: GeoPloticalNWO
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

Coalition Reinforces Position at Torkham Border Crossing–Main Point of Egress

http://kalash.files.wordpress.com/2007/02/28-03-06_1341.jpg?w=869

Coalition forces establishing bunkers near Pakistan border

LANDIKOTAL: The coalition forces have started establishing new bunkers at the hilltops on the Afghan side of the border near Torkham, sources said. Eyewitness said that a Chinook and two gunship helicopters were Tuesday dropping Afghan and Nato troops with the heavy and light weapons on the hilltops near Torkham, Pak-Afghan border.

They also saw long-range heavy guns hanging from the helicopters being shifted from Shiraz US base to the area near Torkham border. Meanwhile, movement of the Nato forces at Torkham border was extraordinary as they established scanning equipment in container-rooms at checkpoints on Afghan side of Torkham bazaar to keep a vigil on the pedestrians’ movements, the sources said. Officials at Torkham border when contacted expressed ignorance about the fresh deployment of US and Nato forces.

‘Proof linking Jundallah to Pakistani intelligence given’

‘Proof linking Jundallah to Pakistani intelligence given’

[Iran may be overlooking the most obvious connection between the ISI and Jundullah, who is about to go on trial in New York City, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.  Another even more important connection may have been uncovered in the links between American (former?) CIA asset David Coleman Headley and (former?) Pak Army officer Ilyas Kashmiri, who is alleged to be part of the S. Waziristan training program which trained Rigi and the Yemeni-Baloch relatives of KSM and Ramzi Yousef.]

Abdolhamid Rigi, brother of Abdolmalek Rigi, who is the leader of Sunni militant group Jundallah (God’s soldiers), prepares for a news conference in Zahedan, 1,076 km southeast of Tehran, August 25, 2009. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: A senior Iranian official said Iran has presented evidence to Islamabad that shows links between Pakistani intelligence services and the Jundallah militant group based in the Sistan-Balochistan province.

In an interview with the Fars news agency on Tuesday, the director of the Sistan-Balochistan provincial justice department, Ebrahim Hamidi said the documents were based on confessions obtained from Abdolmalek Rigi’s brother Abdolhamid, who is currently in prison in Iran.

Iran alleges that Abdolmalek Rigi, who heads Jundallah, is based in Pakistan. He has organised several deadly attacks inside Iranian territory over the past few years, Iranian officials say.

Hamidi urged Pakistan to capture and extradite Abdolmalek Rigi so he can be tried on charges of ordering terrorist attacks.

He said Tehran would provide Islamabad more evidence if necessary. — DawnNews

NATO Ambition Exceeds Its Airlift Capacity–Seeks Russian Choppers

NATO asks Russia to supply helicopters for Afghanistan

MOSCOW: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday called on Russia to strengthen its cooperation on Afghanistan, asking Moscow to supply more helicopters for the conflict.

“Today I have invited Russia to strengthen Russia’s terms of cooperation in Afghanistan,” Rasmussen said after talks with President Dmitry Medvedev.

“I have presented them with a list of concrete proposals. Firstly, I suggested a helicopter package,” Rasmussen said.

“I think Russia could contribute in a very concrete way by providing helicopters, helicopter training and spare parts,” Rasmussen said.

Russia had already provided the Afghan government with two helicopters for humanitarian purposes. It was not immediately clear from Rasmussen’s comments if the new helicopters would be for Kabul or for NATO forces.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was present at the talks, said Medvedev had already given an order to review the proposals.

French victims of Pakistan blast accuse Sarkozy ally

French victims of Pakistan blast accuse Sarkozy ally

Wednesday, 16 Dec, 2009 Former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur at the Elysee Palace in Paris. The families of the victims believe ‘they were deceived by the French state and several top ranking French and Pakistani political leaders and that their loved ones were exposed and killed due to a sordid political funding scandal.’ -Photo by Reuters

PARIS: Families of French naval engineers killed in a Pakistani bomb attack said Wednesday that they had lodged a complaint accusing former prime minister Edouard Balladur’s presidential campaign of corruption.

If prosecutors agree to take up the case it could embarrass France’s current president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who was one of the most prominent supporters of Balladur’s failed 1995 presidential bid.

Relatives of the 11 French engineers killed in a May 2002 bomb attack on a bus in Karachisuspect that Pakistani agents carried out the attack in revenge after France cancelled their illegal commissions on an arms deal.

‘We’re just asking for the truth about the murder of our loved ones. It’s been almost eight years that we’ve been treated like fools,’ Magali Drouot, the daughter of one of the slain technicians, told AFP.

‘We’re talking about the revelation of a secret financing network that implicates several ministers at that time, including the prime minister,’ alleged the families’ lawyer, Olivier Morice.

A report commissioned by France’s state naval construction firm, leaked in June, alleged that Balladur’s political committee was to have received a cut on corrupt commissions on the sale of French submarines to Pakistan.

In 1995, newly elected president Jacques Chirac cancelled the pay-offs, which he believed had funded his rival’s campaign, angering Pakistani officers awaiting a share of the graft, the secret report said.

‘The complainants have been treated in an unacceptable manner, while the highest representatives of the French state know perfectly well that we’re looking at a significant matter of state,’ Morice said.

In 1995, Sarkozy was Balladur’s budget minister and government spokesman.

When Balladur broke a promise to support Chirac and mounted a rival presidential bid, Sarkozy became the prime minister’s campaign spokesman.

Sarkozy succeeded Chirac in 2007 and earlier this year dismissed talk of secret kickbacks to the campaign as a ‘fairy tale.’

On Monday, six of the 11 bereaved families lodged a complaint with the Paris state prosecutor alleging that Balladur’s ‘Association for Reform,’ three offshore companies and an arms exporter were guilty of corruption.

The state naval construction firm DCN, now known as DCNS, has also been accused of perverting the course of justice, Morice said.

Morice said he had asked prosecutors to investigate why the company failed to give the 2002 Nautilus Report — its internal probe into the bomb attack — to anti-terrorist magistrates until it was leaked this year.

The families believe ‘they were deceived by the French state and several top ranking French and Pakistani political leaders and that their loved ones were exposed and killed due to a sordid political funding scandal.’

It is now for French prosecutors to decide whether to take up the case.

In all, 14 people were killed on May 8, 2002, when a suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying French naval engineers from their Karachi hotel to where they were working on the submarines sold to Pakistan in the suspect deal.

At first, officials in both countries blamed radicals at war with the West for carrying out the attack, but French counter-terrorism officers have begun privately to accuse Pakistani spies of ordering it.

Pak. Supreme Court to Rule on NRO Today

SC verdict expected in petitions against NRO

Nasir Iqbal

The chief justice also censured both Chairman NAB Naveed Ahsan and Acting Attorney-General Shah Khawer for not rendering proper information to the court. — Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will come up with an authoritative pronouncement on the controversial NRO at 4:30 pm as all the legal counsels have completed their arguments.

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry said that when the presidency and the government have already denied withdrawal of money laundering cases pending in Swiss courts whether or not former Attorney-General Malik Qayyum was equally responsible for causing loss to the nation.

The observation came after Principle Secretary to the President Salman Farooqui submitted a statement signed by two responsible officers of the president house that there was no record of initiating proceeding of withdrawal of cases pending before Swiss magistrate.

The chief justice also censured both Chairman NAB Naveed Ahsan and Acting Attorney-General Shah Khawer for not rendering proper information to the court.

‘Probably you have not realised the importance of the case. This is our duty to protect national wealth,’ the chief justice observed.

The NAB Chairman was required to sign the list the authority provided suggesting details of cases against the accused with a warning in case the information later proved to be incorrect.

Earlier Wednesday, the Supreme Court summoned the Principle Secretary to the President and Law Secretary Riaz Kiani with the complete record to ascertain from where the initiative to withdraw the money laundering cases before the Swiss magistrate originated.

The instructions were issued by the 17-member bench of the Supreme Court hearing challenges against the NRO after questioning Acting Attorney-General Shah Khawer who wanted to submit a report showing how the Swiss cases were withdrawn to comply a Sindh High Court judgment and to obey the instruction of the former president.

However, he was corrected by the bench that at that time the former president’s government was in power.

Mr Farooqui told the Supreme Court that the presidency has no files to suggest how the request was originated to withdraw the money laundering cases pending before the Swiss magistrate. He was asked to submit in writing what he had said.

Likewise, Secretary Law Riaz Kiani told the court that Farooq Naek, now Chairman Senate, had sent a request to the Law Ministry in October 2007 to withdraw cases from Switzerland, UK and New Jersey but was told by the then Law Minister Zahim Hamid to contact the foreign ministry as it was out of the law ministry’s ambit.

Besides, the NRO was also pending before the Supreme Court and unless decided upon, no action can be taken. Moreover a reference by a private individual can not be entertained, the Law Secretary said while reading the response of the ministry.

A Few Hundred Marines Guard Six-Thousand Sq. Miles

Marines may have trouble curbing Taliban on Afghan border

 

KHAN NESHIN, Afghanistan (AP) — Only a few hundred American troops are policing the southern border of one of Afghanistan‘s major smuggling areas, leaving open a vast expanse of desert that the Taliban use to shuttle in weapons and fighters from Pakistan.

This dusty hamlet 75 miles north of the border in Helmand province was the Taliban’s key transit point from Pakistan before the Marines arrived in July. Since then, the Marines have set up a series of patrol bases east and west of Khan Neshin to disrupt the Taliban’s supply lines.

But the battalion deployed at only about 50% of its authorized strength, and one of its three companies is posted in central Helmand. That leaves several hundred Marines to cover roughly 6,000 square miles — an area larger than Connecticut.

As a result, the Marines may have trouble curbing Taliban supply lines as thousands of fresh troops pour into the province as part of President Obama’s surge.

"I would like to push closer to the border, but I can only go as far as I can support," said Lt. Col. Michael Martin, commanding officer of 4th Marine Division, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

"Like Napoleon, you don’t want to overextend your capabilities, or you will get your butt handed to you," said Martin, whose troops are spread out among a handful of patrol bases along the Helmand River, marking the coalition’s most southern presence in the province.

Some 8,500 additional Marines are slated to arrive in Helmand by mid-2010 as part of the 30,000-troop buildup. But any decision to send more Marines south to patrol the largely uninhabited border area would leave fewer troops for the major population centers farther north.

Many Taliban fighters fled to Pakistan following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and found sanctuary in the mountainous belt that runs between the two countries. Obama has pressed Pakistan to target the militants, but many analysts believe the government has resisted because the Taliban could serve as useful proxies if the coalition effort in Afghanistan fails.

That leaves the Marines with the difficult task of disrupting the flow of Taliban fighters into Afghanistan largely without Pakistani help.

"We are trying to make it as difficult as possible for the Taliban to stay connected to their sanctuary in Pakistan," said Capt. Timothy Newkirk, executive officer of 4th LAR’s Bravo Company, which is based in a 200-year-old mud fort in the town of Khan Neshin.

Tribal elders attending a recent meeting at the Marines’ most eastern patrol base reported scores of Taliban fighters flowing through a bazaar about 12 miles to the northeast near the town of Sar Banader.

"If they can get there, they can get into Marjah and they have basic freedom of movement there," Newkirk said.

Marjah is the Taliban’s principal stronghold in central Helmand and will likely be a key target once the 11,000 Marines currently in the province are bolstered with the surge troops.

If the Taliban are able to send reinforcements to Marjah from Pakistan, it could make it more difficult for the Marines to take the city.

Martin, the battalion commander, said his ultimate goal would be to push south with Afghan border police the Marines are training to set up an outpost near Bahram Chah, a town just north of the Pakistani border teeming with Taliban fighters and drug smugglers making their way into Afghanistan.

But that would require hundreds of additional troops so that the Marines could extend their security control far enough south to protect any outpost near the border.

"I can drive my vehicle down to the border and back, but if I have a problem, I can’t be reinforced," Martin said.

The Marines said they don’t want to make the same mistake as the Army, which set up a series of remote bases near Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan that were constantly in danger of being overrun because the military didn’t control the surrounding area. Some of those outposts have now been abandoned.

"A presence on the border would be better, but it is so far south that supporting it wouldn’t be feasible right now," Newkirk said. "It wouldn’t be diligent to have hundreds of Marines down in hostile territory 125 miles from the nearest medical facilities."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Adobe Acrobat Fully Infested With Various Malware, Some Deadly

[SEE:  British Government Dispensing Trojan Viruses With Info Trojans connected to Adobe Acrobat have proved to be two of my worst cyber-attacks, one came from a British govt. site, the other from an Israeli site.  Read between the lines.  Incidentally, my Trojan rode in on Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.  The attack was very strange, beginning when I opened the document on "Prevent" Program and a window popped-up saying I had to update my Adobe Reader to read the document, but the window only had a "YES" button in it, no escape.  Nothing on the screen would work after that, except, I presume, the "Yes" button to update.  The next time I started the computer a window opened to update Adobe 7.0 and I had that particular program.  I think that the real Trojan may have been activated by it, because things then began to go wrong, starting with all updates and my own anti-Trojan program wouldn't start-up.  Sneaky bastards!]

FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY, DON’T OPEN ANY ADOBE DOCUMENTS!!!]

Adobe investigating Reader, Acrobat exploit reports

Adobe warned of reports of an attack exploiting a hole in Reader and Acrobat on Monday.

“This afternoon, Adobe received reports of a vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions being exploited in the wild,” the company said in an advisory on its Security Incident Response Team blog. “We are currently investigating this issue and assessing the risk to our customers. We will provide an update as soon as we have more information.”

Three different security vendor partners reported the alleged exploit to the company on Monday afternoon, said Adobe spokeswoman Wiebke Lips. She said she could not provide more details.

Last week, Adobe released a critical update affecting Flash Player and Adobe AIR.

Meanwhile, some Macintosh users were reporting on the Adobe Forums site that they were having problems installing an update from October that resolved a critical vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.1.3 that had reportedly been exploited in the wild.

Updated 6:01 p.m. PST with Mac user problems installing update.

Symantec confirms zero-day Acrobat, Reader attack

Symantec on Tuesday confirmed a vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat and Reader and said it was being exploited by a Trojan hidden in e-mail attachments.

The malicious Adobe Acrobat PDF file is distributed via an e-mail attachment that “drops and executes when opened on a fully patched system with either Adobe Acrobat or Reader installed,” Symantec said in a statement.

Symantec identified the file as Trojan Pidief.H, which targets Windows 98, 95, XP, Windows Me, Vista, NT, 2000 and Server 2003.

The rate of infection is extremely limited and the risk assessment level is very low, according to Symantec.

The exploit has been in the wild since at least last Friday, according to the Shadow Server blog.

“Several tests have confirmed this is a 0-day vulnerability affecting several versions of Adobe Acrobat [Reader] to include the most recent versions of 8.x and 9.x. We have not tested on 7.x, but it may also be vulnerable,” the post says. “We did not discover this vulnerability but have received multiple reports of this issue and have examined multiple different copies of malicious PDFs that exploit this issue. This is legit and is very bad.”

The vulnerability is in a JavaScript function within Adobe Acrobat Reader itself, the Shadow Server post says, before advising users to disable JavaScript.

Adobe posted a security advisory late on Tuesday saying that it had confirmed a critical vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions that could crash the system and allow an attacker to take control of the computer.

Affected software is Reader 9.2 and earlier for Windows, Macintosh, and Unix, and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier for Windows and Macintosh, Adobe said. The company recommended disabling JavaScript to protect the system.

Adobe had said on Monday night that it was investigating reports of a vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions being exploited in the wild.

Adobe has increasingly had to deal with holes in and exploits targeting its popular software. Adobe issued updates in October that fixed nearly 30 holes in Reader and Acrobat 9.2. Earlier that month, Trend Micro reported on a zero-day exploit targeting Adobe Reader, as well as 9.1.3 and earlier versions of Adobe Systems’ Acrobat.

In July, Adobe warned of attacks in which malicious PDF files were exploiting a vulnerability in Flash. And in April a new Reader hole emerged after Adobe fixed a two-month-old critical vulnerability in Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat 9.

Updated 5:10 p.m. PST with Adobe confirming vulnerability.

Beyond Afghanistan: A Time to Break Silence

[Substitute Afghanistan for Vietnam, as you read this.]

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

By Rev. Martin Luther King
4 April 1967

Speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

[Please put links to this speech on your respective web sites and if possible, place the text itself there. This is the least well known of Dr. King's speeches among the masses, and it needs to be read by all]

http://www.ssc.msu.edu/~sw/mlk/brkslnc.htm



I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join with you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

The truth of these words is beyond doubt but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement well and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don’t mix, they say. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

In the light of such tragic misunderstandings, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church — the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate — leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.

I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia.

Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they can play in a successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reason to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.

Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the NLF, but rather to my fellow Americans, who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents.

The Importance of Vietnam

Since I am a preacher by trade, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor — both black and white — through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years — especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

For those who ask the question, "Aren’t you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself unless the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath–
America will be!

Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America’s soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.

As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission — a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for "the brotherhood of man." This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men — for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the "Vietcong" or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this one? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

Finally, as I try to delineate for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.

This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

Strange Liberators

And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond to compassion my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them too because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1945 after a combined French and Japanese occupation, and before the Communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony.

Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not "ready" for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination, and a government that had been established not by China (for whom the Vietnamese have no great love) but by clearly indigenous forces that included some Communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.

For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam.

Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of the reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization.

After the French were defeated it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva agreements. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators — our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly routed out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords and refused even to discuss reunification with the north. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by U.S. influence and then by increasing numbers of U.S. troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem’s methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictatorships seemed to offer no real change — especially in terms of their need for land and peace.

The only change came from America as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace and democracy — and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us — not their fellow Vietnamese –the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go — primarily women and children and the aged.

They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals, with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one "Vietcong"-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them — mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children, degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.

What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones?

We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation’s only non-Communist revolutionary political force — the unified Buddhist church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. What liberators?

Now there is little left to build on — save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call fortified hamlets. The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these? Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These too are our brothers.

Perhaps the more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front — that strangely anonymous group we call VC or Communists? What must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the south? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the north" as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.

How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent Communist and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will have no part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them — the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again and then shore it up with the power of new violence?

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

So, too, with Hanoi. In the north, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which would have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again.

When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered. Also it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva agreements concerning foreign troops, and they remind us that they did not begin to send in any large number of supplies or men until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands.

Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard of the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the north. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humor and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor weak nation more than eight thousand miles away from its shores.

At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless on Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called enemy, I am as deeply concerned about our troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create hell for the poor.

This Madness Must Cease

Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words:

"Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism."

If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. It will become clear that our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony and men will not refrain from thinking that our maximum hope is to goad China into a war so that we may bomb her nuclear installations. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horribly clumsy and deadly game we have decided to play.

The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways.

In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war. I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:

  1. End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.
  2. Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.
  3. Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos.
  4. Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and in any future Vietnam government.
  5. Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva agreement.

Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We most provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country if necessary.

Protesting The War

Meanwhile we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative means of protest possible.

As we counsel young men concerning military service we must clarify for them our nation’s role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is the path now being chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.

There is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. I say we must enter the struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing. The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality we will find ourselves organizing clergy- and laymen-concerned committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. Such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God.

In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which now has justified the presence of U.S. military "advisors" in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counter-revolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and why American napalm and green beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken — the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. n the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and through their misguided passions urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not call everyone a Communist or an appeaser who advocates the seating of Red China in the United Nations and who recognizes that hate and hysteria are not the final answers to the problem of these turbulent days. We must not engage in a negative anti-communism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove thosse conditions of poverty, insecurity and injustice which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

The People Are Important

These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. "The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light." We in the West must support these revolutions. It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has the revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgement against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every moutain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain."

A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept — so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force — has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John:

Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says : "Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word."

We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The "tide in the affairs of men" does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out deperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on…" We still have a choice today; nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.

We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world — a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter — but beautiful — struggle for a new world. This is the callling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.

As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated:

Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, God’s new Messiah,
Off’ring each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
Twixt that darkness and that light.

Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet ’tis truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong:
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow
Keeping watch above his own.


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New poll reveals human cost of US unemployment

New poll reveals human cost of US unemployment

By Tom Eley

A new New York Times/CBS News poll offers a glimpse of the devastating human impact of the US unemployment crisis.

As massive bank bonuses are due to be announced this month, millions of people have been thrown out of their homes, find it impossible to pay for basic necessities, have depleted limited retirement savings or have lost their health care due to the unemployment crisis.

The survey of over 700 unemployed adults was conducted between December 5 and December 10. Accompanying the survey on the Times web site were self-made computer videos of unemployed workers discussing their problems.

The poll and interviews illustrate some of the measures taken by unemployed workers to survive. About one quarter of those surveyed have relied on food stamps and one fifth have received help from food charities. Half said that their spouse has taken on extra hours or another job to supplement family income, and 53 percent have borrowed money from family members in order to make ends meet.

Sixty percent have liquidated money from savings and retirement accounts. Among these is Lee Daves, 54, who worked as a machinist making $13 an hour in Springfield, Missouri, until he was laid off in January. His unemployment benefits, which are soon to expire, are not enough to pay for his modest lifestyle. To pay bills, he was forced to sell off his 401(k) retirement account.

One of the survey’s more striking revelations is that nearly half of the unemployed workers in its sample have received no unemployment benefits through the nation’s restrictive jobless insurance system. Among those who have, 61 percent say that this has not been enough money to pay for mortgages, health insurance, food and other expenditures.

Fifty-four percent of those polled by the Times/CBS say they have cut back on medical treatment or visits to the doctor, and forty-seven percent are without health care coverage.

Bill Grierson, of Dayton, Ohio, worked at auto parts maker Delphi for nearly 20 years. He is now jobless and without health insurance for his family. "To have some sort of ailment and not be able to go to the doctor or just wait and hope things get better," is a new experience for his family, Grierson said.

After losing health care coverage, Grierson’s daughter fell at school and hurt her head. The resulting emergency room bill was $8,000, a sum the family was unable to pay. "Watching them play sports," Grierson says of his children, "you say play your hardest, but please don’t get hurt because we can’t do anything about it."

Howard Watley, 63, is a laid off construction project manager from North Texas. He is without health insurance for himself and his wife, and his unemployment benefits are set to expire. "We can’t afford our medicines sometimes and can’t afford our doctors visits," he says.

One fourth of those surveyed said they had been threatened with foreclosure or eviction.

Vicky Newton of Mount Pleasant, Michigan, lost her job in March "and from there on, everything went downhill,” she told the Times. She abandoned her house in Flint, Michigan, went on food stamps to feed her daughter, and moved into a rental house owned by her father.

Unemployment is causing anxiety, stress, and other mental disorders, the poll finds. Nearly 70 percent of respondents reported being "stressed more than usual," while 55 percent reported suffering from insomnia. A quarter have sought help from mental health professionals. Forty percent say that as a result of unemployment they have noticed changes in the behavior of their children.

“Every time I think about money, I shut down because there is none,” said Tammy Linville, 29, of Louisville, Kentucky, the mother of two small children. “I get major panic attacks. I just don’t know what we’re going to do.” After losing her job, Linville underwent counseling for depression, but was forced to quit after she was unable to afford repairs on her car.

Nancy Perry, who lost her job at a Florida child care center and has no unemployment insurance, said that she suffers from insomnia, headaches and depression. "Knowing that it’s the holiday season has made it worse." Perry said. "For me there’s not going to be a holiday this year."

In response to unemployment, 40 percent of those surveyed said they have considered moving to a different part of the country, two-thirds have pondered switching careers, and 44 percent have tried job retraining or other educational possibilities.

These often desperate individual responses, as well as much of the emotional suffering caused by unemployment, result from the lack of a social and political response to the crisis.

But there is also an understanding among unemployed workers that the jobs crisis is not their fault.

“We grow up with the impression there’s a correlation between effort and the fruits of your labor,” said Evan Gutierrez, 29, who lost his job working for a church charity in Los Angeles after its endowment collapsed. “To be honest with you, I have very little confidence I’m going to be able to turn this around. It just feels completely, completely out of my control.”

Indeed, mass unemployment arises from the economic crisis, which was set into motion by the predatory financial speculation of the American ruling class. Since then every measure put in place by the Bush and Obama administrations has had as its overriding concern the defense of the biggest banks and the enormous personal wealth of the financial elite.

The Obama administration has taken no serious steps to address mass unemployment, finding in it an important tool in driving down wages and reducing “overconsumption.“ Obama administration officials openly warn the population to expect years of high unemployment.

The Times/CBS poll found evidence that many unemployed workers blame some aspect of the political and economic setup for their predicament. Of those surveyed, 26 percent blamed former president George W. Bush, 12 percent blamed the banking industry, and 8 percent attributed unemployment to jobs moving overseas.

Only 3 percent of the sample blamed President Obama, who has ruled out any government jobs program or public works programs to put people to work. On the other hand, 44 percent expressed disapproval over Obama’s efforts at job creation.

Tuesday found Obama in suburban Virginia at a Home Depot building and repair mega-store, touting his "cash for caulkers" proposal which would offer cash rebates to homeowners able to come up with the money to change windows, put in insulation, and similar "energy saving" schemes. This is, to say the least, a derisory response to an economic crisis in which more than one in six workers are unemployed or underemployed.

It is not only the unemployed who are suffering. A separate Times/CBS poll, also conducted in early December, found that about one third of US workers say that their pay was cut last year as a result of the economic crisis.

And a recent Zogby International poll found that an astonishing 72 percent of Americans already consider themselves poor or can imagine themselves becoming poor (20 percent and 50 percent, respectively). And about half of Americans say they worry about money "most or all of the time."

"What they’re saying is that they’re one, two or three paychecks away from poverty," said John Zogby, the CEO of the polling company. "This has a huge implication."

Dennis Jacobe, chief economist of polling firm Gallup, said "people do not feel safe." Workers "compare the stock market rally to the economy they are experiencing, there is an atmosphere of unreality," Jacobe said. "Wall Street gets theirs and the average American doesn’t. There is a sense of unfairness and confusion."

Copyright © 1998-2009 World Socialist Web Site

Just enough war

Just enough war

by Marc V. Simon,

hastings

While it upsets me and probably offended the Nobel committee to have a peace prize winner lecture the audience on the necessity of war, peacemakers should be grateful for the opportunity to re-engage in this debate. This is a struggle of ideas, and the idea of the just war simply isn’t going away.Those of us who believe, as Bishop Dozier once said, that ‘the just war theory belongs in the same place as the flat earth theory’, must confront some powerful ideas and images that make the just war theory resonate with people.

It’s not surprising that many conservatives liked this speech, and see Obama as finally doing something Presidential. Among US elites there is some consensus that a President can’t become a great leader without going to war and killing people. That’s what makes you look presidential; that’s the kind of ‘hard choice’ that gives someone the aura of being a statesman. A lot of regular people seem to agree.

At least three things help account for the popularity of war in America. First, war brings no immediate consequences to all but a tiny minority of the American public. No taxes, no deaths in the family, no retaliation, no victims on TV. Second, the bulk of the public agrees with what I call the ‘sports bar mentality’ of international conflict. You win by being tougher, more coercive, more violent than the other side. Conflicts are zero sum-only one winner, one loser. If someone ‘disses’ you, get in their face. Your reputation is everything. Only wimps talk it out. Third, Americans, both elites and masses, cling to a moral self-image; we refuse to acknowledge the evil within our own society or our own selves.

War’s popularity produces a profound need for a just war theory. If you believe that the US is strong and envied, it will be threatened, attacked, or disrespected; when that occurs, we must fight with violence because we can’t see ourselves as soft. But we can’t see ourselves as evil either, so we need a doctrine to justify the violence.

The emotional evidence that Obama provides for the just war is not Afghanistan, but as always, the stubborn image of World War II. Images of demonic Nazis validate not just the existence of evil, but evil’s concentration within one human being, or one nation. Hollywood understands that this has a deep resonance in the human psyche: even our children see the hyenas marching in goosestep, saluting Scar in the Lion King. People have an enormous capacity to see other people as enemies, completely evil, beyond redemption.

But the reliance on the Nazis reveals the fallacy of this view. By now we should understand that all people are both good and evil in some measure. We dehumanize enemies so that it’s easier to kill them and still hold on to our moral self image, which we desperately need, for fear of confronting the evil within ourselves.

The flip side of the Nazi image in Obama’s speech is his glorification of American might and selflessness during the cold war and after. The US provided security for the world for six decades with the “blood of our citizens,” “the strength of our arms,” and “the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.” Yes, we are good, we are strong. Gloss over the “mistakes we have made,” and thank God for the USA.

Images of good and evil are powerful. It’s not surprising that the images Obama evoked overwhelm the weak logic of his argument.

If you read the speech closely, Obama understands that WW2 did not follow the conduct of a just war criteria, as more civilians were killed than soldiers; this violates the noncombatant immunity and proportionality guidelines of war conduct in the doctrine.

Obama also accepts that the UN has basically solved the problem of big interstate war, but he cites ‘new’ threats-civil war, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation-to argue that the just war theory needs rethinking. Like Bush, he needs a new just war.

Finally, we get the false choice: faced with these threats, and the presence of evil in the world, Obama says he can’t “stand idle.” Though he had just discussed Gandhi and King, and admitted that there is nothing passive about nonviolence, he presents his choice as either standing idle or using violence. His decision: like Bush he will use force unilaterally, though (of course) only in self defense.

This reasoning is poor history and an insult to veterans of nonviolent campaigns. In the face of the evil of Jim Crow and lynching, did King “stand idle?” Did Gandhi “stand idle” in the face of British massacres and oppression? Did thousands of their followers who risked their lives in nonviolent struggle stand idle?? Did the students of Otpor, the nonviolent movement that ended Milosevic’s rule in Serbia and really brought democracy to the Balkans, stand idle?

I wish Obama would reread King’s Riverside Church speech against the Vietnam war.

Still, none of this matters to the public at large. It’s the images of good vs. evil that dominate.

Despite Obama’s skillful rhetorical attempt to reconcile war and nonviolence, Gandhi and King were right. The ends and means are connected. If we want to bend the moral arc of history more quickly toward justice, we need to stop using violence to solve our problems. A first step on that path is to stop trying to justify our violence with the just war theory.

Commentary by Marc V. Simon, associate professor of political science and coordinator of the peace and conflict studies minor at Bowling Green State University

Fighting a World War With an All-Volunteer Army

Less Than Citizens (Part Two): Occupation Wars and Rights

Sunday 13 December 2009

by: Nick Mottern, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

photo
(Photo: The U.S. Army; Edited: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

"I just want to say that most of us are tired mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our children really don’t know their parents. Marriages are suffering. Our spouses are tired and stressed. I was really hoping that my husband would not re-enlist again but he did. The strain of these deployments (this is our third) is showing in our community. I have never seen so much stress in my life until we became a military family."
- Michele

(Posted October 28, 2009, on the "Sound Off" blog of the web site of the 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, Watertown, New York.)

As President Barack Obama begins ordering 30,000 more soldiers into the Afghanistan/Pakistan War, Michele’s statement raises two fundamental questions: How is the United States using its "all volunteer" military, and is this not violating basic civil and human rights of US military personnel and their families?

Also see: Part One.

Moreover, it is important to examine how apparent violations of the constitutional rights of US military and their families are a direct result of US violation of rights of the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Morale Under Assault

High morale is essential for effective fighting. So, according to an article in the November 10, 2009, edition of Syracuse’s The Post Standard, Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, commander of the 10th Mountain Division, became concerned when he saw an October 8, 2009, report by The Times of London saying that two chaplains from the 10th Division stationed in Afghanistan were reporting low morale among 10th Division troops. The Times article began: "American soldiers serving in Afghanistan are depressed and deeply disillusioned …"
General Terry, who took command of the 10th in September 2009, decided to go to Afghanistan to see for himself what was going on with his soldiers, according to The Post Standard. One of the things he did for morale when he came back, the article continued, was to put the question – "Morale – How are we doing?" – on the 10th Division’s Task Force Mountain (TFM) web site, addressing, the paper said, "36,000 members of the Fort Drum community, here and abroad."
Explaining the request for comments on morale, the TFM web site says: "Some recent news articles have questioned the morale of our Soldiers and Families and their ability to sustain themselves through an era of <b>persistent conflict</b> (emphasis added)."
Michele’s response to General Terry’s question is representative of others on the TFM blog that speak to the demands of "persistent conflict." General Terry, and the US military, face profound morale problems in part because they are drawing from a military force that is far too small to support wars of occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thus, soldiers and their families are progressively worn down.
General Terry, also facing the shock to morale caused by recent deaths and casualties in the 10th (noted in Part One), recognizes that the current deployment schedule for his soldiers, one year deployed, one year at home, one year deployed and on and on, is adding to the stress of his soldiers and families and progressively eroding their morale.
"I get that," General Terry is quoted by The Post Standard. "Given that we’re an army at war in a persistent conflict, what we can control is dwell time (the time soldiers are home).
But it is far from clear that General Terry can do that. Reporting on the December 2, 2009, congressional testimony of Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Associated Press said:
"Mullen said supplying the extra forces for Afghanistan while there are still so many troops in Iraq will mean putting off for a couple of years the goal of lengthening the time they rest and retrain at home between tours of duty – a period the military calls ‘dwell time.’ The Army had been moving toward giving two years of dwell time between each one-year tour."
This does not bode well for mental health of soldiers, judging from a report released in November 2009 by the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army Medical Command, based on surveys conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan in late 2008 and early 2009 by the Mental Health Advisory Team (MHAT). The report, commonly known as MHAT VI, the latest in a series of studies of mental health in the war zones, finds that:
"Soldiers with short dwell-time report high mental health problems, high intent to leave the military and low morale. A near return to garrison rates of mental health problems occurs around 24 months with full return around 30 to 36 months of dwell time."
While this finding was contained in the Iraq section of the report, it is intended for Afghanistan as well. It means that a soldier needs to be home for at least 2-1/2 to three years to have the best chance to achieve a level of mental health comparable to the norm on a base in the US or otherwise outside the war zones.
The Damage of Multiple Deployments

The problems for the soldiers and their families involve much more than "dwell time", however. Multiple deployments, without which the US could not conduct its wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, are being found to increase mental health problems among soldiers as the number of deployments increase.
MHAT VI, in its study of male, non-commissioned officers in Afghanistan, reported that:
"Three-plus times deployers are significantly more likely to meet the criteria for a psychological problem (31 percent) than are first (13.6 percent) or second time (18.1 percent) deployers."
MHAT VI reported similar findings in Iraq, as did MHAT V, conducted in late 2007, which explained:
"One of the most dramatic findings (of the team study) centered on the effects of multiple deployments. As a group, those soldiers who were on their second deployment or on their third/fourth deployment were at increased risk of low morale, mental health problems and degraded performance due to stress or emotional problems."
MHAT V said that two similar previous Army medical health studies found "the behavioral health status of soldiers on the second deployment was significantly lower than the health of those on their first deployment." It reported that 21.5 percent of soldiers on the third/fourth deployments reported that stress and emotional problems were limiting their ability to do their jobs, compared to 17.5 percent on their second deployment and 14.8 percent on their first deployment.
The stress of multiple deployments is reflected in increased use of mental health medications as the number of deployments increase. In Afghanistan, MHAT VI found 3.5 percent of soldiers reported using mental health medications during the first deployment, 4.5 percent during the second deployment and 9.8 percent during the third deployment.
The report noted, in discussing the use of mental health medications:
"The negative effects of multiple deployments were discussed in the majority of focus groups. One maneuver (combat) unit soldier summed it up by saying, "multiple long-term deployments – it is hard on everyone. It is starting to wear on people."
Army Lt. Col. Paul Bliese, one of the chief researchers of MHAT VI, said that combat, being in a war, is what makes multiple deployments a damaging factor. There is no concern, he said noted, about multiple deployments to US bases outside war zones such as in Germany.  (full report Here)

Despite FBI proof, Pak denying ISI-LeT link

Despite FBI proof, Pak denying ISI-LeT link

CNN-IBN

DENIAL MODE: Pakistan

DENIAL MODE: Pakistan’s envoy to UK says there is no question of ISI involvement in dastardly activities.

New Delhi: The FBI’s investigation of suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Rana is throwing up more questions than answers. The questions range from not just whether Headley and Rana knew about and planned the Mumbai attacks, but how much US officials knew about the men and also, were they rogue CIA agents?

The FBI has now alleged that Rana met a retired Pakistani army brigadier, Abdur Rahman Hashim Syed, who is known as “Pasha” in Dubai. Pasha was Headley’s direct link to one of Pakistan’s most wanted terrorists, Ilyas Kashmiri, and a direct link to al-Qaeda as well.

The question that was being asked on CNN-IBN’sTalking Point was: Is Pakistan’s ISI-LeT link now out in the open? To try and answer the question on the panel of experts were Pakistan High Commissioner to UK, Wajid Shamshul Hasan; Associate Editor The Hindu, Siddharth Varadarajan; and strategic affairs expert, B Raman.

CNN-IBN: Can Pakistan now deny anymore that in some way the links between the ISI and the Lashkar and their operations in targeting Indian installations are becoming clearer by the day? The fact was that both Headley and Rana have been trained in elite Pakistani schools, they have links with Pakistan, there is the admission of Brigadier Pasha who also appears to be with them. Pakistan appears neck-deep in the Headley-Rana case.

Wajid Shamshul Hasan: I don’t know what you are talking about because we have no involvement in such cases. We are defending ourselves against terrorism, we are fighting terrorism in Pakistan, we are cooperating with everybody who is fighting terrorism, and so there is no question of Pakistan’s or ISI’s involvement in such dastardly activities. We are committed to peace and we are committed to fighting terrorism and that should be understood very clearly in Delhi and elsewhere. Pakistan has suffered much more on account of terrorism than

any other country has and that is why we seek regional cooperation and the cooperation of everybody who is opposed to terrorism to help us fight terrorists. That is what we have been asking India as well – to provide us evidence if they have any. We have discovered a lot of evidence of Indian involvement in some of the terrorist activities in Pakistan.

CNN-IBN: But Mr Hasan, we are no longer talking of India’s evidence, we are now talking of FBI evidence that has been produced in a Chicago court. The facts that David Coleman Headley and Tahawwhur Rana had links with a former Pakistani brigadier and that Pakistani army members had links with the Lashkar are coming out of the FBI’s evidence.

Wajid Shamshul Hasan: This is totally wrong. The Pakistani army or the ISI has no role to play in such activities. If they were involved, they were all ex-army personnel so you can’t blame the current army or the current members of the ISI of being involved in any of these activities. As a matter of fact we are in the forefront of the war against terrorism and we are fighting it out on our territory and we are helping others fight it out as well. We have always supported India and we have always sought India’s help.

CNN-IBN: Mr Hasan how long can you live in this denial? You have said that you wanted India to provide evidence, now it is the FBI which is providing evidence. Everyday the FBI chargesheet is coming out with new and explicit details and all details point to the fact that Headley and Rana had widespread links with members of the establishment in Pakistan and that these elements were plotting various conspiracies in India. How can you now deny a fact which is now coming out in a Chicago court. It is no longer an Indian conspiracy.

Wajid Shamshul Hasan: Well, I am again repeating what we have always been saying and propagating. The fact is that no one from the Pakistani establishment is involved in such activities and we are fighting a war against terrorism, so how could we be supporting such nefarious elements?

CNN-IBN: Siddharth Varadarajan, is it just Pakistan which has much to answer for or is it now the US – keeping in mind the fact that Headley was in fact an agent of a US agency who turned rogue?

Siddharth Varadarajan: I think there is a lot more to this case than meets the eye or which has emerged so far. The fact that the FBI has a taped conversation between Headley and Rana dated in September 2008 obviously suggests that they were being very closely monitored and the American authorities had some inkling of a connection between these two gentlemen and what exactly they were up to. I am not saying that they were necessarily duty-bound to provide every bit of information to India. Unfortunately, we run a very, very porous system where the confidentiality of information coming out of Mumbai is not respected and this is true of virtually every level of the Government. Nevertheless, the coming weeks will establish to what extent the FBI and CIA were actually aware of Headley’s involvement in this plot, were they allowing Headley to continue with his travels in order to unravel a wider conspiracy. I think these are questions that the Indian side needs to quietly take up with the American side without really muddying the waters with accusations at this stage.

CNN-IBN: B Raman, so far it seems as if up to this point, the US is getting Pakistan to cooperate in the Headley-Rana investigation in a way which India has been unable to in the past. How much further do you think this goes since there is now the involvement of Illyas Kashmiri in all of this as well.

B Raman: So far as this case is concerned, it is for the US to make Pakistan cooperate because they have all the evidence – including the taped conversation. We still do not have any evidence other than what the US has chosen to share with us. They have all the email correspondence between Headley and Rana and their Pakistani handlers and all these have been produced in court and all these things are available on the FBI’s website. The evidence has brought out the involvement of one retired officer and two serving officers and the retired officer has been named but they have not given the name of the serving officers. Now it is up to the FBI to bring enough pressure on Pakistan to make the country cooperate. And Pakistan is in denial mode. They have not only been denying the evidence India has produced but also the evidence which the FBI has produced. This is a big problem that the world community faces.

CNN-IBN: But if the conversations were taped in September 2008 – before 26/11 – why wasn’t this real-time intelligence shared with India? If the FBI was taping conversations between Headley and Rana which they have now produced in court it either proves that Headley was someone that the US was tracking before 26/11 and was possibly a rogue agent or it proves that this information was never shared with India.

B Raman: We still don’t know how much information was shared with India and when the FBI started sharing this information but I would like to say one thing here and that is that whatever technical intelligence the FBI has produced in court along with the first affidavit in October and the subsequent affidavits in December against Rana – all date from October 2008 till now. Initially these concerned the plans of a terror strike in Copenhagen and subsequently terror strikes in India. Whether they had any intelligence before that we don’t know. Yes, they alerted the Government of India in 2008 but whether that alert was based on technical intelligence we don’t know. So certain amount of intelligence they have been sharing but one gets the impression that they did not share all that needed to be shared.

CNN-IBN: Wajid Shamshul Hasan you have always been very consistent with what you have said on this show but first you denied that the 26/11 attacks were plotted in Pakistan and then you admitted it. Then the country denied any Pakistani nationals were part of the attack and then they admitted it. Is this something that we are going to have to deal with in coming months that there were Pakistani officers involved in plotting and planning the Mumbai attacks last year? Is that something Pakistan is going to have to come to admit now?

Wajid Shamshul Hasan: Well you are discussing the American citizens who were caught.

CNN-IBN: They were originally Pakistani citizens, they have trained and studied in Pakistan.

Wajid Shamshul Hasan: They are presently American citizens. We don’t know where they were trained but the fact is that we have largely been talking peace in Pakistan with India and that is what we discussed with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when our Prime Minister met him in Sharm-al-Sheikh.

CNN-IBN: But it is the understanding that we are talking about here. There is an FBI team in Pakistan which is following the leads of David Headley and Tahawwhur Rana. What are you saying about that? This is now FBI evidence against Pakistani army officers.

Wajid Shamshul Hasan: This is not against Pakistani army officers. This is about American citizens who were caught and it has nothing to do with the Pakistani army or the ISI.

CNN-IBN: In the chargesheet the FBI talks about ‘Person A’ who is understood to be a serving Pakistani army officer.

Wajid Shamshul Hasan: Well it is again what you say and what the FBI talks about. The FBI says ‘Person A’ and we don’t know who he is. He could be an American citizen that they are talking about. This is nothing to do with Pakistan as such.

CNN-IBN: Siddharth Varadarajan, you wrote today (Tuesday) in The Hindu that this is the right time for India and Pakistan to come back to the dialogue table. How do you come back to the dialogue table when Pakistan still lives in denial about any involvement of its establishment with terror. That’s where the problem comes – the lack of trust.

Siddharth Varadarajan: I have some sympathy for Mr Hasan and the civillian government and the people of Pakistan. The problem of terrorism that we are confronting is very much like an onion. You peel away the layers and the deeper you go, the more you unearth and this is a painful and traumatic process. It causes tears and pain and the saner elements of the Pakistani establishment have to be encouraged to come to grips with this problem. There are wise sections in the Pakistani establishments who realise that the Pakistani links with Jihadi establishments are exacting on the neighbourhood and within Pakistan itself. My view on the talks is that India has to do what it has to do to protect itself. In other words, homeland security, internal security must be strengthened – all the stuff that we haven’t been doing must be done.

CNN-IBN: Even if we say that terrorism is complex and multi-layered, shouldn’t there be an acknowledgment at some stage by the Pakistani civillian government that they are confronted with a problem. It can’t be a Hafiz Saeed denial, a Headley Rana denial and then expect India to go the extra mile.

Siddharth Varadarajan: You are right when you say that Pakistan has not even admitted to a tenth of the problem, but the fact that they have admitted to something, the fact that you have seven or eight LeT men in prison on trial and even if they are small fry, it affects the ability of the LeT to run major operations. So, we shouldn’t underestimate them. I just don’t see how continuing the suspension of dialogue makes India more secure. I think we need to do what we can to nudge this entire process along and to work with the US. I remember in 1993, India supplied the triggers of the Bombay bombs and showed the US that they were of Pakistani origin and the US didn’t do anything about it. The US is cooperating with us more than ever now. Today, we have some evidence and they are willing to crack the whip because American nationals died. We need to do what we can to nudge this process along and I don’t think it compromises our security in any way.

This is a Lawsuit Against State Terrorists

[The former minister of the soon to be former state {we can only hope} whining about the British legal system avers that lawsuits are needed against terrorists, as if she and her government were not purveyors of state terrorism.  What was intentionally done to the Palestinian people in Gaza was clearly a massive crime against humanity that has been compounded by the medieval siege upon Gaza ever since.  I know that it is all a ruse, but it would be a wonderful thing if Britain and the US could jettison their Zionist baggage—ALL of it.]

Livni slams ‘abuse’ of legal systems

By GIL HOFFMAN AND JPOST.COM STAFF

A day after British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called Kadima head Tzipi Livni and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Tuesday evening in an apparent effort to prevent the diplomatic crisis stemming from a British arrest warrant issued against Livni from spinning completely out of control, the former foreign minister on Wednesday spoke out against the "abuse" of legal systems, which constitute a threat not only to Israel but to all democracies.

"These days, Israel is facing something that no democracy can accept. Legal systems are being abused for lawsuits against soldiers and officials," Livni said during a meeting at the Knesset with Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Ušackas, who is in Jerusalem on an official visit.

"This is not just against Israel but against all democracies," Livni said.

"Lawsuits are needed against terrorists and not against those who fight terror. It’s not against me personally, but is against the free world and its war against terrorist. It’s a challenge for the free world to meet. [The legal systems] are being abused by those who don’t care about civilians and we must confront it together," she added.

In a statement she gave the BBC on Tuesday, Livni expressed similar sentiments.

"What needs to be put on trial here is the abuse of the British legal system," she said. "This is not a suit against Tzipi Livni, this is not a lawsuit against Israel. This is a lawsuit against any democracy that fights terror."

Livni reiterated her conviction in the necessity of the moves the government, which she was part of, made during the three-week Gaza operation which began in December last year.

"The decisions that we made are the same decisions that any country that wants to defend its citizens would have taken and it’s about time to put terrorists on trial, and not those who want to stop terror and bring life or peace to our region," she stated.

Civilization, Created by Mass-Murderers Using Slave Labor

[The only thing that can save us is if we bring it all to a screeching halt.  Only a nationwide general strike, for as long as it takes, can turn our corrupt Nation around and bring an end to its global aggression.]

Beware the Psychopath, My Son

by Clinton Callahan

Twilight of the Psychopaths, by Dr. Kevin Barrett and The Trick of the Psychopath’s Trade by Silvia Cattori.  Both articles are recommended. Both articles reference the book Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes, by Andrzej Lobaczewski.

Cattori’s article is longer and includes an interview with the book’s editors, Laura Knight-Jadczyk and Henry See. I make the effort to share this information because it gives me, at last, a plausible answer to a long-unanswered question: Why, no matter how much intelligent goodwill exists in the world, is there so much war, suffering and injustice? It doesn’t seem to matter what creative plan, ideology, religion, or philosophy great minds come up with, nothing seems to improve our lot. Since the dawn of civilization, this pattern repeats itself over and over again. The answer is that civilization, as we know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths.

All civilizations, our own included, have been built on slavery and mass murder. Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, cheat, steal, torture, manipulate, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse, in order to establish their own sense of security through domination. The inventor of civilization — the first tribal chieftain who successfully brainwashed an army of controlled mass murderers — was almost certainly a genetic psychopath. Since that momentous discovery, psychopaths have enjoyed a significant advantage over non-psychopaths in the struggle for power in civilizational hierarchies — especially military hierarchies. Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary history, is the actual insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve their disproportionate power. And as their power grows ever-more-threatened, the psychopaths grow ever-more-desperate.

We are witnessing the apotheosis of the overworld — the overlapping criminal syndicates that lurk above ordinary society and law just as the underworld lurks below it. During the past fifty years, psychopaths have gained almost absolute control of all the branches of government. You can notice this if you observe carefully that no matter what illegal thing a modern politician does, no one will really take him to task. All of the so called scandals that have come up, any one of which would have taken down an authentic administration, are just farces played out for the public, to distract them, to make them think that the democracy is still working. One of the main factors to consider in terms of how a society can be taken over by a group of pathological deviants is that the psychopaths’ only limitation is the participation of susceptible individuals within that given society. Lobaczewski gives an average figure for the most active deviants of approximately 6% of a given population. (1% essential psychopaths and up to 5% other psychopathies and characteropathies.) The essential psychopath is at the center of the web. The others form the first tier of the psychopath’s control system. The next tier of such a system is composed of individuals who were born normal, but are either already warped by long-term exposure to psychopathic material via familial or social influences, or who, through psychic weakness have chosen to meet the demands of psychopathy for their own selfish ends.

Numerically, according to Lobaczewski, this group is about 12% of a given population under normal conditions. So approximately 18% of any given population is active in the creation and imposition of a Pathocracy. The 6% group constitutes the Pathocratic nobility and the 12% group forms the new bourgeoisie, whose economic situation is the most advantageous. When you understand the true nature of psychopathic influence, that it is conscienceless, emotionless, selfish, cold and calculating, and devoid of any moral or ethical standards, you are horrified, but at the same time everything suddenly begins to makes sense. Our society is ever more soulless because the people who lead it and who set the example are soulless — they literally have no conscience. In his book Political Ponerology, Andrej Lobaczewski explains that clinical psychopaths enjoy advantages even in non-violent competitions to climb the ranks of social hierarchies. Because they can lie without remorse (and without the telltale physiological stress that is measured by lie detector tests), psychopaths can always say whatever is necessary to get what they want. In court, for example, psychopaths can tell extreme bald-faced lies in a plausible manner, while their sane opponents are handicapped by an emotional predisposition to remain within hailing distance of the truth. Too often, the judge or jury imagines that the truth must be somewhere in the middle, and then issues decisions that benefit the psychopath. As with judges and juries, so too with those charged with decisions concerning who to promote and who not to promote in corporate, military and governmental hierarchies. The result is that all hierarchies inevitably become top-heavy with psychopaths. Since psychopaths have no limitations on what they can or will do to get to the top, the ones in charge are generally pathological. It is not power that corrupts, it is that corrupt individuals seek power. How can we distinguish between psychopaths and healthy people? What is the portrait of a true psychopath? Such a dangerous question has almost never been successfully asked. The reason is because we mistakenly confuse healthy for normal. Human psychological diversity is the health of our race. There is no normal because healthy humans continuously evolve beyond all normalizing standards. The terrorism of searching through hierarchies for anyone deviating from normal is no different from witch hunts or Inquisitions. You must remember that hierarchies thrive on such low dramas, torturing victims until they confess to evil beliefs. Not so long ago the church and state ongoingly acquired significant income and property through witch hunts and Inquisitions. This continued for over two hundred and fifty years. Ten generations of Europeans understood pogrom as normal life. Let us not return to that nightmare. Testing for normal is guaranteed to backfire in our face. There is no normal. But there is conscience. We have very little empirical evidence to support the idea that true psychopathy is the result of an abused childhood, and much empirical evidence to support that it is genetic. The neurobiological model offers us the greatest hope of being able to identify even the most devious psychopath. Other recent studies lead to similar results and conclusions: that psychopaths have great difficulty processing verbal and nonverbal affective (emotional) material, that they tend to confuse the emotional significance of events, and most importantly, that these deficits show up in brain scans! A missing internal connection between the feeling heart and the thinking brain is detectable. Psychopaths are incapable of authentic deep emotions. In fact, when Robert Hare, a Canadian psychologist who spent his career studying psychopathy, did brain scans on psychopaths while showing them two sets of words, one set of neutral words with no emotional associations and a second set with emotionally charged words, while different areas of the brain lit up in the non-psychopathic control group, in the psychopaths, both sets were processed in the same area of the brain, the area that deals with language. They did not have an emotional reaction until they intellectually concluded that it would be better if they had one, and then they whipped up an emotional response just for show. The simplest, clearest and truest portrait of the psychopath is given in the titles of three seminal works on the subject: Without Conscience by Robert Hare, The Mask of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley, and Snakes in Suits by Robert Hare and Paul Babiak.

A psychopath is exactly that: conscienceless. The most important thing to remember is that this lack of conscience is hidden from view behind a mask of normality that is often so convincing that even experts are deceived. As a result, psychopaths become the Snakes in Suits that control our world. Psychopaths lack a sense of remorse or empathy with others. They can be extremely charming and are experts at using talk to charm and hypnotize their prey. They are also irresponsible. Nothing is ever their fault; someone else or the world at large is always to blame for all of their problems or their mistakes. Martha Stout, in her book The Sociopath Next Door, identifies what she calls the pity ploy. Psychopaths use pity to manipulate. They convince you to give them one more chance, and to not tell anyone about what they have done. So another trait — and a very important one — is their ability to control the flow of information. They also seem to have little real conception of past or future, living entirely for their immediate needs and desires.

Because of the barren quality of their inner life, they are often seeking new thrills, anything from feeling the power of manipulating others to engaging in illegal activities simply for the rush of adrenaline. Another trait of the psychopath is what Lobaczewski calls their special psychological knowledge of normal people. They have studied us. They know us better than we know ourselves. They are experts in knowing how to push our buttons, to use our emotions against us. But beyond that, they even seem to have some sort of hypnotic power over us. When we begin to get caught up in the web of the psychopath, our ability to think deteriorates, gets muddied. They seem to cast some sort of spell over us. It is only later when we are no longer in their presence, out of their spell, that the clarity of thought returns and we find ourselves wondering how it was that we were unable to respond or counter what they were doing. Psychopaths learn to recognize each other in a crowd as early as childhood, and they develop an awareness of the existence of other individuals similar to themselves. They also become conscious of being of a different world from the majority of other people surrounding them.

They view us from a certain distance. Think about the ramifications of this statement: Psychopaths are, to some extent, self-aware as a group even in childhood! Recognizing their fundamental difference from the rest of humanity, their allegiance would be to others of their kind, that is, to other psychopaths. Their own twisted sense of honor compels them to cheat and revile non-psychopaths and their values. In contradiction to the ideals of normal people, psychopaths feel breaking promises and agreements is normal behavior. Not only do they covet possessions and power and feel they have the right to them just because they exist and can take them, but they gain special pleasure in usurping and taking from others; what they can plagiarize, swindle, and extort are fruits far sweeter than those they can earn through honest labor. They also learn very early how their personalities can have traumatizing effects on the personalities of non-psychopaths, and how to take advantage of this root of terror for purposes of achieving their goals.

So now, imagine how human beings who are totally in the dark about the presence of psychopaths can be easily deceived and manipulated by these individuals, gaining power in different countries, pretending to be loyal to the local populations while at the same time playing up obvious and easily discernible physical differences between groups (such as race, skin color, religion, etc). Psychologically normal humans would be set against one another on the basis of unimportant differences (think of Rwanda 1994, think of Israelis and Palestinians) while the deviants in power, with a fundamental difference from the rest of us, a lack of conscience, an inability to feel for another human being, reaped the benefits and pulled the strings. We are seeing the final desperate power-grab or endgame (Alex Jones) of brutal, cunning gangs of CIA drug-runners and President-killers; money-laundering international bankers and their hit-men — economic and otherwise; corrupt military contractors and gung-ho generals; corporate predators and their political enablers; brainwashers and mind-rapists euphemistically known as psy-ops and PR specialists — in short, the whole crew of certifiable psychopaths running our so-called civilization. And they are running scared.

Why does the Pathocracy fear it is losing control? Because it is threatened by the spread of knowledge. The greatest fear of any psychopath is of being found out. Psychopaths go through life knowing that they are completely different from other people. Deep down they know something is missing in them. They quickly learn to hide their lack of empathy, while carefully studying others’ emotions so as to mimic normalcy while cold-bloodedly manipulating the normals.

Today, thanks to new information technologies, we are on the brink of unmasking the psychopaths and building a civilization of, by and for the healthy human being — a civilization without war, a civilization based on truth, a civilization in which the saintly few rather than the diabolical few would gravitate to positions of power. We already have the knowledge necessary to diagnose psychopathic personalities and keep them out of power. We have the knowledge necessary to dismantle the institutions in which psychopaths especially flourish — militaries, intelligence agencies, large corporations, and secret societies. We simply need to disseminate this knowledge, and the will to use it, as widely and as quickly as possible. Until the knowledge and awareness of pathological human beings is given the attention it deserves and becomes part of the general knowledge of all human beings, there is no way that things can be changed in any way that is effective and long-lasting. If half the people agitating for truth or stopping the war or saving the earth would focus their efforts, time and money on exposing psychopathy, we might get somewhere.

One might ask if the weak point of our society has been our tolerance of psychopathic behavior? Our disbelief that someone could seem like an intelligent leader and still be acting deceptively on their own behalf without conscience? Or is it merely ignorance? If the general voting public is not aware that there exists a category of people we sometimes perceive as almost human, who look like us, who work with us, who are found in every race, every culture, speaking every language, but who are lacking conscience, how can the general public take care to block them from taking over the hierarchies? General ignorance of psychopathology may prove to be the downfall of civilization. We stand by like grazing sheep as political/corporate elites throw armies of our innocent sons and daughters against fabricated enemies as a way of generating trillions in profits, vying against each other for pathological hegemony.

Nearly everyone who has been part of an organization working for social change has probably seen the same dynamic play out: The good and sincere work of many can be destroyed by the actions of one person. That doesn’t bode well for bringing some sort of justice to the planet! In fact, if psychopaths dominate political hierarchies, is it any wonder that peaceful demonstrations have zero impact on the outcome of political decisions? Perhaps it is time to choose something other than massive, distant hierarchies as a way of governing ourselves? So many efforts to provide essays, research reports, exposés and books to leaders so they might take the new information to heart and change their behavior have come to naught. For example, in the final paragraph of his revised edition of the book, The Party’s Over, Richard Heinberg writes: I still believe that if the people of the world can be helped to understand the situation we are in, the options available, and the consequences of the path we are currently on, then it is at least possible that they can be persuaded to undertake the considerable effort and sacrifice that will be entailed in a peaceful transition to a sustainable, locally based, decentralized, low-energy, resource-conserving social regime.

But inspired leadership will be required.

And that is the just-murdered fantasy. There are no inspired leaders anymore. And in hierarchical structures there can’t be. Assuming that you can elect men or women to office who will see reason and the light of day, and who will change and learn and grow, make compassionate decisions and take conscientious actions… is a foolish, childish dream. Continuing to dream it simply plays into psychopathic agendas. Only when the 75% of humanity with a healthy conscience come to understand that we have a natural predator, a group of people who live amongst us, viewing us as powerless victims to be freely fed upon for achieving their inhuman ends, only then will we take the fierce and immediate actions needed to defend what is preciously human. Psychological deviants have to be removed from any position of power over people of conscience, period. People must be made aware that such individuals exist and must learn how to spot them and their manipulations. The hard part is that one must also struggle against those tendencies to mercy and kindness in oneself in order not to become prey. The real problem is that the knowledge of psychopathy and how psychopaths rule the world has been effectively hidden.

People do not have the adequate, nuanced knowledge they need to really make a change from the bottom up. Again and again, throughout history it has been meet the new boss, same as the old boss. If there is any work that is deserving of full time efforts and devotion for the sake of helping humanity in this present dark time, it is the study of psychopathy and the propagation of this information as far and wide and fast as possible. There are only two things that can bring a psychopath under submission:1. A bigger psychopath.2. The non-violent, absolute refusal to submit to psychopathic controls no matter the consequences (non-violent noncompliance).

Let us choose path 2! If individuals simply sat down and refused to lift a hand to further one single aim of the psychopathic agenda, if people refused to pay taxes, if soldiers refused to fight, if government workers and corporate drones and prison guards refused to go to work, if doctors refused to treat psychopathic elites and their families, the whole system would grind to a screeching halt. True change happens in the moment that a person becomes aware of psychopathy in all its chilling details. From this new awareness, the world looks different, and entirely new actions can be taken. Distinguishing between human and psychopathic qualities begins the foundation of responsibility upon which we have a real chance to create sustainable culture.

Clinton Callahan, originator of Possibility Management, author ofRadiant Joy Brilliant Love, founder of Callahan Academy, empowers responsible creative leadership through authentic personal development.Read other articles by Clinton, or visit Clinton’s website.

Militant Attacks Becoming Fewer, Yet Bigger

A view of destruction caused by a suicide car bombing in Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab province, Pakistan on Tuesday.

Saleem Raza/AP

Pakistan suicide attacks spike, but overall attacks are down

While suicide attacks have risen – apparently in retaliation for Army offensives – militant attacks overall have dropped sharply, suggesting that the Army’s efforts to rein in Pakistani Taliban are paying off.

By Carol Huang Staff Writer / December 15, 2009

Islamabad, Pakistan

Pakistani militants struck again on Tuesday, adding to the rise in suicide bomb attacks hitting the country’s populous heartland, Punjab Province.

But while suicide attacks have spiked – apparently in retaliation for the Army’s offensives in the northwest in recent months – militant attacks overall have dropped sharply, suggesting that the Army’s efforts to rein in Pakistani Taliban are paying off, though at a cost, not least of all in civilian casualties.

According to the Brookings Institution, the number of monthly militant attacks has slid since June, dropping from more than 250 to about 170. That decline coincides with the first of the Army’s two major offensives this year, in Swat Valley.

The decline has been sharpest in the North West Frontier Province, where Swat is located, dropping from about 160 to 70.

These attacks, which Brookings labels as “terrorist/insurgent attacks,” refer to “any attack against civilians or targets within the country by insurgents not participating in a battle against security forces,” explains Ian Livingston, who helped create the index. This includes unprovoked gun attacks, roadside bombings, mortar attacks on outposts, and so on. It also includes some suicide bombings.

The past several weeks have seen an even further drop in attacks, Mr. Livingston says. This decrease came as the Army launched an offensive Oct. 17 against Pakistan’s main Taliban faction in their South Waziristan stronghold in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The dropoff is especially sharp in NWFP and FATA, he says.

Suicide attacks up

Whatever military success these figures may imply, civilians are certainly bearing some of the pain. The recent spree of bomb attacks in response to the Waziristan offensive has killed more than 500 people, mostly civilians.

Punjab, Pakistan’s central, largest province, is home to the capital, Islamabad, and the cultural hub of Lahore. It saw almost no suicide attacks through 2006. But it was struck 11 times in 2007, 14 in 2008, and 18 times so far in 2009, according to the Lahore Police Department.

Tuesday’s attack: dual targets

Tuesday’s attack took place at what’s considered a “gateway” between Punjab and NWFP, underscoring the trend that militants in Punjab are linking up with the Taliban in the northwest, helping them carry out suicide bomb attacks not just in the remote Afghan border region but in the center of the country and in major cities.

The bomb hit a marketplace, damaging several shops as well as a mosque. It also apparently targeted a senior adviser to the provincial chief minister, who has been “very vocal against militants,” says Armi Rana, whose nongovernmental organization, the Pakistani Institute for Peace Studies, tracks bomb-attack trends. The adviser, Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan, was not at home when the bomb went off.

Hiding the Fascists to Preserve the Police State



(12-15) 17:43 PST SAN FRANCISCO — A lawsuit accusing a Bay Area flight-planning company of aiding an alleged CIA program of kidnapping and torturing terror suspects threatens national security and is too sensitive to discuss fully in a public courtroom, an Obama administration attorney argued Tuesday.

“The case cannot proceed without getting into state secrets,” Justice Department lawyer Douglas Letter told an 11-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Several judges noted that most of the essential facts of the case have been widely aired – the existence of the “extraordinary rendition” program under President George W. Bush, the five plaintiffs’ accounts of their abduction and torture, and the alleged participation by Jeppesen Dataplan of San Jose – and asked why the case is too sensitive for the courts to hear.

Letter said he could reply only in a closed session. For the record, he said, “the U.S. government will not confirm or deny any relationship with Jeppesen.”

The court met privately with Letter after the one-hour public hearing, a practice that the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union, described as common in cases involving government claims of secrecy.

During the public session, Wizner accused the administration of trying to cover up wrongdoing.

“The CIA has engaged in kidnapping and torture and declared its crimes state secrets,” he said. Dismissing the suit without deciding whether the plaintiffs’ rights were violated, he said, would be “dangerous to democracy.”

Extraordinary rendition is the practice of abducting suspected terrorists and taking them to foreign countries or CIA prisons for interrogation.

The Bush administration used rendition extensively but said it always insisted on a guarantee from the foreign country that it would not torture the prisoner. President Obama has issued orders closing secret CIA prisons and barring torture, but has also endorsed Bush’s arguments for dismissal of the Jeppesen case and other suits by alleged victims of torture.

CIA’s air provider

Jeppesen, a Boeing Co. subsidiary, was described in a 2007 Council of Europe report as the CIA’s aviation services provider. In a court declaration in the current suit, a company employee quotes a director as telling staff members in 2006 that Jeppesen handled the CIA’s “torture flights.”

The five plaintiffs accuse Jeppesen of arranging their flights to foreign or CIA prisons, where they say they were interrogated brutally. Two of the men are still being held in Egypt and Morocco, and the others have been released without U.S. charges.

The Bush administration won a ruling by U.S. District Judge James Ware of San Jose dismissing the suit in February 2008. A three-judge appeals court panel reinstated the suit this past April, saying that neither the CIA nor its contractors were above the law. But the full court then granted the Obama administration’s request to refer the case to an 11-judge panel.

Mixed reaction

The government’s argument Tuesday – that allowing the case to proceed would risk disclosure of secrets about interrogation methods and CIA operations – drew a mixed reaction from the court.

Judge Michael Hawkins, author of the April decision, noted that the Obama administration plans to try the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks in open court and has spoken publicly about interrogation abuses.

But Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said the administration, not the courts, must decide crucial questions of secrecy.

“I understand you think it’s not fair, but so what?” he told Wizner.

The plaintiffs could ask Congress to pass a special compensation bill for them without involving the courts, Kozinski said.

Congress already allows victims of torture, including foreigners, to sue for damages, the ACLU lawyer replied. “It’s not a waste of judicial resources to give torture victims their day in court,” he said.

The court gave no indication of when it would rule. The losing side could appeal to the Supreme Court.

E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@sfchronicle.com.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/12/15/BA6H1B4L3P.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0Zqflh9KR

Pakistan’s Fatal Assumptions About American Intentions

Rebuffing U.S., Pakistan Balks at Crackdown

Ministry of Defense, via Associated Press

Gen. David H. Petraeus, left, met Monday with the head of the Pakistani military, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, in Rawalpindi.

Published: December 14, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Demands by the United States for Pakistanto crack down on the strongest Taliban warrior in Afghanistan, Siraj Haqqani, whose fighters pose the biggest threat to American forces, have been rebuffed by the Pakistani military, according to Pakistani military officials and diplomats.

The Obama administration wants Pakistan to turn on Mr. Haqqani, a longtime asset of Pakistan’s spy agency who uses the tribal area of North Waziristan as his sanctuary. But, the officials said, Pakistan views  the entreaties as contrary to its interests in Afghanistan beyond the timetable of President Obama’s surge, which envisions reducing American forces beginning in mid-2011.

The demands, first made by senior American officials before President Obama’s Afghanistan speech and repeated many times since, were renewed in a written message delivered in recent days by the United States Embassy to the head of the Pakistani military, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, according to American officials. Gen. David H. Petraeus followed up on Monday during a visit to Islamabad.

The demands have been accompanied by strong suggestions that if the Pakistanis cannot take care of the problem, including dismantling the Taliban leadership based in Quetta, Pakistan, then the Americans will by resorting to broader and more frequent drone strikes in Pakistan.

But the Pakistani leadership has greeted the refrain with public silence and private anger, according to Pakistani officials and diplomats familiar with the conversations, illustrating the widening gulf between the allies over the Afghan war.

Former Pakistani military officers voice irritation with the Americans daily on television, part of a mounting grievance in Pakistan that the alliance with the United States is too costly to bear.

“It is really beginning to irk and anger us,” said a security official familiar with the deliberations at the senior levels of the Pakistani leadership.

The core reason for Pakistan’s imperviousness is its scant faith in the Obama troop surge, and what Pakistan sees as the need to position itself for a regional realignment in Afghanistan once American forces begin to leave.

It considers Mr. Haqqani and his control of large areas of Afghan territory vital to Pakistan in the jostling for influence that will pit Pakistan, India, Russia, China and Iran against one another in the post-American Afghan arena, the Pakistani officials said.

Pakistan is particularly eager to counter the growing influence of its archenemy, India, which is pouring $1.2 billion in aid into Afghanistan. “If America walks away, Pakistan is very worried that it will have India on its eastern border and India on its western border in Afghanistan,” said Tariq Fatemi, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States who is pro-American in his views.

For that reason, Mr. Fatemi said, the Pakistani Army is “very reluctant” to jettison Mr. Haqqani, Pakistan’s strong card in Afghanistan. Moreover, the Pakistanis do not want to alienate Mr. Haqqani because they consider him an important player in reconciliation efforts that they would like to see get under way in Afghanistan immediately, the officials said.

Because Mr. Haqqani shelters Qaeda leaders and operatives in North Waziristan, Washington is opposed to including Mr. Haqqani among the possible reconcilable Taliban, at least for the moment, a Western diplomat said.

In his reply to the Americans, General Kayani stressed a short-term argument, according to two Pakistani officials familiar with the response.

Pakistan currently has its hands full fighting the Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan and other places, and it is beyond its capacity to open another front against the Afghan Taliban, the officials said of General Kayani’s response. The offensive has had the secondary effect of constraining the Haqqani network in North Waziristan and driving some of its commanders and fighters across the border to Afghanistan, senior American military officials in Afghanistan said.

But implicit in General Kayani’s reply was the fact that the homegrown Pakistani Taliban represent the real threat to Pakistan. General Kayani argued that they are the ones carrying out attacks against security installations and civilian markets in Pakistan’s cities and must be the army’s top priority, the officials said.

For his part, Mr. Haqqani fights in Afghanistan, and is considered more of an asset than a threat by the Pakistanis. But he is the most potent force fighting the United States, American and Pakistani officials agree.

He has subcommanders threaded throughout eastern and southern Afghanistan. His fighters control Paktika, Paktia and Khost Provinces in Afghanistan, which lie close to North Waziristan. His men are also strong in Ghazni, Logar and Wardak Provinces, the officials said.

Because Mr. Haqqani now spends so much time in Afghanistan — about three weeks of every month, according to a Pakistani security official — if the Americans want to eliminate him, their troops should have ample opportunity to capture him, Pakistani security officials argue.

As a son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, a leading mujahedeen fighter against the Soviets who is now aged and apparently confined to bed, Siraj Haqqani is keeper of a formidable lineage and history.

In the early 1970s, the father attended a well-known madrasa, Dar-ul-Uloom Haqqaniya in the Pakistani town of Akora Khattack in North-West Frontier Province.

In the 1980s, Jalaluddin Haqqani received money and arms from the C.I.A. routed through Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, to fight the Soviets, according to Ahmed Rashid, an expert on the Afghan Taliban and the author of “Descent Into Chaos.”

In the 1990s, when the Taliban ran Afghanistan, Jalaluddin Haqqani served as governor of Paktia Province.

The relationship between the Haqqanis and Osama bin Laden dates back to the war against the Soviets in the 1980s, according to Kamran Bokhari, the South Asia director forStratfor, a geopolitical risk analysis company.

When the Taliban government collapsed at the end of 2001 and Qaeda operatives fled from Tora Bora to Pakistan, the Haqqanis relocated their command structure to North Waziristan and welcomed Al Qaeda, Mr. Bokhari said.

The biggest gift of the Pakistanis to the Haqqanis was the use of North Waziristan as their fief, he said.

The Pakistani Army did not appear to be assisting the Haqqanis with training or equipment, he said. More than 20 members of the Haqqani family were killed in a drone attack in North Waziristan last year, showing the limits of how far the Pakistanis could protect them, Mr. Bokhari said.

Today, Siraj Haqqani has anywhere from 4,000 to 12,000 Taliban under his command. He is technically a member of the Afghan Taliban leadership based in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province.

That leadership is headed by Mullah Omar, the former leader of the Taliban regime. But Mr. Haqqani operates fairly independently of them inside Afghanistan.

He funds his operations in part through kidnappings and other illicit activities. The Haqqani network held David Rohde, a correspondent for The New York Times, for seven months, seeking ransom until he escaped in June.

Siraj Haqqani maintains an uneasy relationship with the Pakistani Taliban, said Maulana Yousaf Shah, the administrator of the madrasa at Akora Khattack.

Mr. Haqqani believed the chief jihadi objective should be forcing the foreigners out of Afghanistan, and he had tried but failed to redirect the Pakistani Taliban to fight in Afghanistan as well, he said.

Ismail Khan contributed reporting from Peshawar, Pakistan; Pir Zubair Shah from Islamabad; and Eric Schmitt from Kabul, Afghanistan.

Cuba Uncovers US Spy Giving-Out Phones and Computers

Contractor arrest may ruffle Obama’s Cuba overture

Esteban Israel

HAVANA

Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:17pm EST

A member of Cuba's Communist Youth League holds a Cuban flag outside the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana during an event asking for the release of five Cuban agents arrested by the United States a decade ago in Havana June 18, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba’s arrest of a U.S. government contractor employed to help Cuban dissidents may rattle U.S. President Barack Obama’s initiative to improve ties with Havana but should not derail it, analysts said.

World

The U.S. State Department has confirmed the Dec 5. arrest of the unidentified American, who The New York Times reported was handing out telecommunications equipment such as cellphones and laptops on the communist-ruled island.

Havana has not commented publicly on the detention but may choose to turn it into the latest in a long list of diplomatic and espionage disputes that have roiled U.S.-Cuban relations for almost half a century.

But some analysts believe its impact will not seriously hamper Obama’s efforts to create an improved, more communicative relationship with Cuba.

"It may cause an interruption in the near term, but ultimately I don’t believe it will affect the new dialogue on migration, re-establishment of postal service, and other matters," said Phil Peters, a Cuba expert at the Lexington Institute in Virginia.

Cuba has not yet granted American diplomats in Havana access to the detained man, who is not a U.S. government employee, a State Department spokesman said in Washington.

Maryland-based Development Alternatives Inc, which says it has a federal contract to support "just and democratic governance in Cuba," described the American held as a sub-contractor employed "to assist Cuban civil society organizations".

These Cuban dissident groups are termed "mercenaries" and "traitors" by the Cuban government, which has often accused the United States of supporting them openly and also covertly in a bid to undermine communist rule on the Caribbean island.

Obama promised this year to "recast" Washington’s relationship with Cuba and took initial steps such as lifting restrictions on family visits and slightly softening the 47-year-old trade embargo on the island. This included freeing up opportunities for U.S. telecommunications companies in Cuba as part of an increased "people to people" contact strategy.

A friendlier atmosphere led the Cold War-era enemies to resume migration talks in July and the Cuban government initially acknowledged a new attitude from the White House.

But Cuba has since then accused the Obama administration of continuing to meddle in its affairs by supporting and funding dissident groups in the same way as previous U.S. governments.

To back this argument, Cuban state television recently broadcast images of two U.S. diplomats attending a march last week by dissidents to mark Human Rights Day.

CUBA WARY OF TELECOMS CHALLENGE

Cuban President Raul Castro, 78, who took over from his ailing elder brother Fidel Castro in February 2008, has ended previous curbs on ordinary Cubans using cellphones and computers, but satellite phones and walkie-talkies are banned.

The Internet, access to which is heavily controlled on the island, has become the latest frontline for Cuban dissidents, such as well-known blogger Yoani Sanchez, who are seeking to challenge government clamps on the media and political activity outside the one-party communist system.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said on Tuesday Washington regarded its support for human rights in Cuba as important. This included "providing and helping groups provide a capability to network and to communicate." Countries like Cuba and China that feared the "flow of information" were going against the trend of this century, Crowley added.

Dan Erikson, a Cuba analyst with the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, said the arrest could be a warning Obama’s administration not to pursue USAID-funded programs in support of human rights and "civil society."

"It is clearly intended to send a shot across the bow to future U.S. grantees who seek to circumvent the Cuban government to work with the island’s civil society," he said.

The U.S. contractor’s detention may also fuel criticism of Washington’s foreign policy in Latin America, where a new generation of leftist leaders such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has already expressed disappointment with Obama.

"It shows Washington’s policy on Cuba hasn’t changed at all under the Obama administration. They keep using the same espionage, infiltration and subversion tactics of previous years," Eva Golinger, a left-wing Venezuelan-American attorney and commentator, wrote on a leftist political website.

Fidel Castro warned on Monday that Obama’s "kindly smile" could not be trusted, saying Washington was plotting against leftist Latin American governments, including Venezuela’s.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Quinn in Washington, Editing by Helen Popper, Pascal Fletcher and Doina Chiacu)

DID US SPECIAL FORCES CARRY OUT THE MUMBAI ATTACKS?

DID US SPECIAL FORCES CARRY OUT THE MUMBAI ATTACKS?

David Headley, alleged CIA agent, may be the key to the Mumbai bombings of 2008 (Headley top right)

In the Indian parliament, Brinda Karat, leader of the CPI(M) party, has stated, quoting reports, that the American David Headley worked for the CIA, and that the US government helped him make frequent trips to Pakistan. (Tharoor makes light of Karat’s comment on Headley in RS )

Headley befriended Indian celebrity Rahul Bhatt.

According to Bhatt, Headley claimed to have done a stint with the US army.

Headley told Bhatt about the US military’s Delta Force and the CIA’s top-secret force called Special Activities Division which carries out covert political action and paramilitary operations. (IndiaDaily – Rahul Bhatt hints Headley may be a dual CIA-ISI agent …)

Headley was operating from a Training Gym extremely close to the US Consulate at Bridge Candy. (Mahesh Bhatt & the Headley affair )

“He was also very friendly with the personnel at the US consulate and was on a first name basis with a number of US Consulate officials that he met at the gym.

“He also shared his house with other White individuals.

“Similarly Ken Haywood a suspect in the Ahmedabad blasts has received training in the US army & was connected to extremist Christian organizations.” (Mahesh Bhatt & the Headley affair )

According to The Times of India, Headley, while in India, ‘frequently introduced himself as a CIA agent’. (Is Headley an American agent? )

aangirfan: MUMBAI SUSPECT DAVID HEADLEY INTRODUCED HIMSELF AS A CIA AGENT.

HAYWOOD

In 2008, US national Ken Haywood, reportedly with the help of the US embassy, fled from India. (Cached)

He was being investigated for terrorism.

Ken Haywood’s computer was used to send a “terrorist” e-mail minutes before bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, in July 2008.

Reportedly, Haywood has links to Abdur Subhan Qureshi, alias Taufique Bilal and Tauqir, reportedly the top terrorist in India.

Haywood returned to India in September 2008. (Ahmedabad blasts: Ken Haywood arrives in India 11 Sep 2008, 0215 hrs IST, C Unnikrishnan,TNN)

Photo of Bombay by Wen-Yan King

In India, Haywood works for a firm called Campbell White, suspected of being a front for the CIA.

Haywood doesn’t feature on its list of employees. (Cached)

The Indian Express reported on 14 August 2008 that the company’s Mumbai office ‘is located in two small adjoining rented rooms on the ground floor of Sanpada railway station complex’, and that ‘the two rooms also serve as prayer rooms for Potter’s House… part of the Christian Fellowship Ministries based in Arizona.’

Duplex in Wadala

A Post at ‘Consortium of Indian Defence Websites’ (Cached), 20 Aug 2008:

“Haywood’s fleeing immediately after the cracking of the Gujarat blasts and capture of the perpetrators is most suspicious.

“His escape resembles that of our ex-R&AW traitor,who also escaped with alleged US help.

“It also indicates that we may have in our intelligence services moles/informants working for foreign agencies tipping off agents within the country.

“However,the fact the Haywood was working for a bogus ‘missionary’ outfit is doubly alarming.

“The role of US so-called missionaries/evangelical groups in India is very controversial,for they are playing a dual role in agressive conversions as well as being part of the CIA destabilisation plan for India.

“Tehelka a few years ago revealed the fact that over 100 US so-called “Christian” evangelical groups/organisations were in fact bogus and part of Bush’s CIA network.

“The question that now looms large in the mind is what connection exits between the CIA and the SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) sponsored terrorists?

“Is SIMI actually a CIA operation?

“Does the Islamist terrror in India have a CIA-ISI background.

“Given the cosy relationship that the ISI and the CIA have had for decades and the termemndous importance and preferential treatment that Pak receives in comparison with India,it stands to reason that a sinister destabilisation operation is on to weaken India, especially at a time when we have the weakest ever puppet PM and his govt. in power.”

~~

aangirfan: BRUCE REIDEL, DAWOOD IBRAHIM and the BOMBAY ATTACKS