Chile Launching Inquiry Into Allende’s Death in a CIA-Sponsored Coup

Chile Launching Inquiry Into Allende’s Death in a CIA-Sponsored Coup

By DJ Pangburn
In 1973, Chilean President Salvador Allende was murdered in a coup led by military leader Augusto Pinochet, a neo-fascist backed by the U.S. government.

In 1973, Salvador Allende lay bloodied on the floor of the presidential palace after committing suicide.  It was a symbolic action, one that Allende carried out so that the fascist reactionaries (supported financially and logicistically by the CIA) could not use his capture for propaganda purposes.

Allende said in his farewell radio address:

“I will pay for loyalty to the people with my life… “

Pinochet had been Allende’s Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean army until he led a CIA-backed coup-d’etat that toppled Allende’s government and allowed Pinochet to assume dictatorial power and American business interests to flow freely once again.

This story is as old as the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, which stated, in essence, that the Western Hemisphere was the American sphere of influence, and any European interference or further attempts at colonization would be viewed as acts of aggression precipitating war.

Translation: You, Europe, do not have the right to colonize South America; only the United States has the right.

And so it was with Chile through the puppet Augusto Pinochet.  People might argue that Pinochet was not a true fascist, but this is just semantics.  Fascism is the reactionary response to popular movements such as Communism, and, to a lesser degree, Anarchism; its only purpose being to preserve oligarchical capitalism.  We might even call Fascism, Militarized Capitalism.

And while it is interesting to argue the nature of Pinochet’s regime, it is important to remember that it was, from its inception to its last breath, supported by the United States government.  From 1973 to 1990 (the duration of the regime), five presidents held office, four of which were Republican: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush the Elder.  Pinochet was later indicted by the Chilean Supreme Court on human rights violations, but the case was dismissed.  He was later brought to trial again for allegations of torture and murder but died before justice could be served.

Now, according to the BBC, the nature of Allende’s death is being brought before the Supreme Court, along with 725 other human rights complaints committed during Pinochet’s reign.

The complaint was filed yesterday by prosecutor Beatriz Pedrals to determine how exactly Allende died.

Like JFK’s assassination, Allende’s death sparks similar emotions.  He was a popular social democratic leader who turned to Cuba and the Soviet Union when rebuked by the U.S. over American business interests.  And though Chileans and others around the globe might want to know exactly how Allende exited this planet, we all know how and why he died.

Allende was killed by Pinochet’s military and the U.S. government through the paramilitary activities of the CIA.

The Day Reagan Sold American Dictatorship To the World and Called It “Democracy”

20 Years Later: Reagan’s Westminster Speech

Published on June 4, 2002 by President Ronald Reagan

Ronald W. Reagan
Address to Members of the British Parliament
June 8, 1982

My Lord Chancellor, Mr. Speaker:

The journey of which this visit forms a part is a long one. Already it has taken me to two great cities of the West, Rome and Paris, and to the economic summit at Versailles. And there, once again, our sister democracies have proved that even in a time of severe economic strain, free peoples can work together freely and voluntarily to address problems as serious as inflation, unemployment, trade, and economic development in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity.

Other milestones lie ahead. Later this week, in Germany, we and our NATO allies will discuss measures for our joint defense and America’s latest initiatives for a more peaceful, secure world through arms reductions.

Each stop of this trip is important, but among them all, this moment occupies a special place in my heart and in the hearts of my countrymen — a moment of kinship and homecoming in these hallowed halls.

Speaking for all Americans, I want to say how very much at home we feel in your house. Every American would, because this is, as we have been so eloquently told, one of democracy’s shrines. Here the rights of free people and the processes of representation have been debated and refined.

It has been said that an institution is the lengthening shadow of a man. This institution is the lengthening shadow of all the men and women who have sat here and all those who have voted to send representatives here.

This is my second visit to Great Britain as President of the United States. My first opportunity to stand on British soil occurred almost a year and a half ago when your Prime Minister graciously hosted a diplomatic dinner at the British Embassy in Washington. Mrs. Thatcher said then that she hoped I was not distressed to find staring down at me from the grand staircase a portrait of His Royal Majesty King George III. She suggested it was best to let bygones be bygones, and in view of our two countries’ remarkable friendship in succeeding years, she added that most Englishmen today would agree with Thomas Jefferson that “a little rebellion now and then is a very good thing.”

Well, from here I will go to Bonn and then Berlin, where there stands a grim symbol of power untamed. The Berlin Wall, that dreadful gray gash across the city, is in its third decade. It is the fitting signature of the regime that built it.

And a few hundred kilometers behind the Berlin Wall, there is another symbol. In the center of Warsaw, there is a sign that notes the distances to two capitals. In one direction it points toward Moscow. In the other it points toward Brussels, headquarters of Western Europe’s tangible unity. The marker says that the distances from Warsaw to Moscow and Warsaw to Brussels are equal. The sign makes this point: Poland is not East or West. Poland is at the center of European civilization. It has contributed mightily to that civilization. It is doing so today by being magnificently unreconciled to oppression.

Poland’s struggle to be Poland and to secure the basic rights we often take for granted demonstrates why we dare not take those rights for granted. Gladstone, defending the Reform Bill of 1866, declared, “You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side.” It was easier to believe in the march of democracy in Gladstone’s day — in that high noon of Victorian optimism.

We’re approaching the end of a bloody century plagued by a terrible political invention — totalitarianism. Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy’s enemies have refined their instruments of repression. Yet optimism is in order, because day by day democracy is proving itself to be a not-at-all-fragile flower. From Stettin on the Baltic to Varna on the Black Sea, the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than 30 years to establish their legitimacy. But none — not one regime — has yet been able to risk free elections. Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.

The strength of the Solidarity movement in Poland demonstrates the truth told in an underground joke in the Soviet Union. It is that the Soviet Union would remain a one-party nation even if an opposition party were permitted, because everyone would join the opposition party.

America’s time as a player on the stage of world history has been brief. I think understanding this fact has always made you patient with your younger cousins — well, not always patient. I do recall that on one occasion, Sir Winston Churchill said in exasperation about one of our most distinguished diplomats: “He is the only case I know of a bull who carries his china shop with him.”

But witty as Sir Winston was, he also had that special attribute of great statesmen — the gift of vision, the willingness to see the future based on the experience of the past. It is this sense of history, this understanding of the past that I want to talk with you about today, for it is in remembering what we share of the past that our two nations can make common cause for the future.

We have not inherited an easy world. If developments like the Industrial Revolution, which began here in England, and the gifts of science and technology have made life much easier for us, they have also made it more dangerous. There are threats now to our freedom, indeed to our very existence, that other generations could never even have imagined.

There is first the threat of global war. No President, no Congress, no Prime Minister, no Parliament can spend a day entirely free of this threat. And I don’t have to tell you that in today’s world the existence of nuclear weapons could mean, if not the extinction of mankind, then surely the end of civilization as we know it. That’s why negotiations on intermediate-range nuclear forces now underway in Europe and the START talks — Strategic Arms Reduction Talks — which will begin later this month, are not just critical to American or Western policy; they are critical to mankind. Our commitment to early success in these negotiations is firm and unshakable, and our purpose is clear: reducing the risk of war by reducing the means of waging war on both sides.

At the same time there is a threat posed to human freedom by the enormous power of the modern state. History teaches the dangers of government that overreaches — political control taking precedence over free economic growth, secret police, mindless bureaucracy, all combining to stifle individual excellence and personal freedom.

Now, I’m aware that among us here and throughout Europe there is legitimate disagreement over the extent to which the public sector should play a role in a nation’s economy and life. But on one point all of us are united — our abhorrence of dictatorship in all its forms, but most particularly totalitarianism and the terrible inhumanities it has caused in our time — the great purge, Auschwitz and Dachau, the Gulag, and Cambodia.
Historians looking back at our time will note the consistent restraint and peaceful intentions of the West. They will note that it was the democracies who refused to use the threat of their nuclear monopoly in the forties and early fifties for territorial or imperial gain. Had that nuclear monopoly been in the hands of the Communist world, the map of Europe — indeed, the world — would look very different today. And certainly they will note it was not the democracies that invaded Afghanistan or supressed Polish Solidarity or used chemical and toxin warfare in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia.

If history teaches anything it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly. We see around us today the marks of our terrible dilemma — predictions of doomsday, antinuclear demonstrations, an arms race in which the West must, for its own protection, be an unwilling participant. At the same time we see totalitarian forces in the world who seek subversion and conflict around the globe to further their barbarous assault on the human spirit. What, then, is our course? Must civilization perish in a hail of fiery atoms?

Must freedom wither in a quiet, deadening accommodation with totalitarian evil?

Sir Winston Churchill refused to accept the inevitability of war or even that it was imminent. He said, “I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines. But what we have to consider here today while time remains is the permanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditions of freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries.”

Well, this is precisely our mission today: to preserve freedom as well as peace. It may not be easy to see; but I believe we live now at a turning point.

In an ironic sense Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis, a crisis where the demands of the economic order are conflicting directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West, but in the home of Marxist-Leninism, the Soviet Union. It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens. It also is in deep economic difficulty. The rate of growth in the national product has been steadily declining since the fifties and is less than half of what it was then.

The dimensions of this failure are astounding: A country which employs one-fifth of its population in agriculture is unable to feed its own people. Were it not for the private sector, the tiny private sector tolerated in Soviet agriculture, the country might be on the brink of famine. These private plots occupy a bare 3 percent of the arable land but account for nearly one-quarter of Soviet farm output and nearly one-third of meat products and vegetables. Overcentralized, with little or no incentives, year after year the Soviet system pours its best resource into the making of instruments of destruction. The constant shrinkage of economic growth combined with the growth of military production is putting a heavy strain on the Soviet people. What we see here is a political structure that no longer corresponds to its economic base, a society where productive forces are hampered by political ones.

The decay of the Soviet experiment should come as no surprise to us. Wherever the comparisons have been made between free and closed societies — West Germany and East Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, Malaysia and Vietnam — it is the democratic countries what are prosperous and responsive to the needs of their people. And one of the simple but overwhelming facts of our time is this: Of all the millions of refugees we’ve seen in the modern world, their flight is always away from, not toward the Communist world. Today on the NATO line, our military forces face east to prevent a possible invasion. On the other side of the line, the Soviet forces also face east to prevent their people from leaving.

The hard evidence of totalitarian rule has caused in mankind an uprising of the intellect and will. Whether it is the growth of the new schools of economics in America or England or the appearance of the so-called new philosophers in France, there is one unifying thread running through the intellectual work of these groups — rejection of the arbitrary power of the state, the refusal to subordinate the rights of the individual to the superstate, the realization that collectivism stifles all the best human impulses.

Since the exodus from Egypt, historians have written of those who sacrificed and struggled for freedom — the stand at Thermopylae, the revolt of Spartacus, the storming of the Bastille, the Warsaw uprising in World War II. More recently we’ve seen evidence of this same human impulse in one of the developing nations in Central America. For months and months the world news media covered the fighting in El Salvador. Day after day we were treated to stories and film slanted toward the brave freedom-fighters battling oppressive government forces in behalf of the silent, suffering people of that tortured country.

And then one day those silent, suffering people were offered a chance to vote, to choose the kind of government they wanted. Suddenly the freedom-fighters in the hills were exposed for what they really are — Cuban-backed guerrillas who want power for themselves, and their backers, not democracy for the people. They threatened death to any who voted, and destroyed hundreds of buses and trucks to keep the people from getting to the polling places. But on election day, the people of El Salvador, an unprecedented 1.4 million of them, braved ambush and gunfire, and trudged for miles to vote for freedom.

They stood for hours in the hot sun waiting for their turn to vote. Members of our Congress who went there as observers told me of a women who was wounded by rifle fire on the way to the polls, who refused to leave the line to have her wound treated until after she had voted. A grandmother, who had been told by the guerrillas she would be killed when she returned from the polls, and she told the guerrillas, “You can kill me, you can kill my family, kill my neighbors, but you can’t kill us all.” The real freedom-fighters of El Salvador turned out to be the people of that country — the young, the old, the in-between.

Strange, but in my own country there’s been little if any news coverage of that war since the election. Now, perhaps they’ll say it’s — well, because there are newer struggles now.

On distant islands in the South Atlantic young men are fighting for Britain. And, yes, voices have been raised protesting their sacrifice for lumps of rock and earth so far away. But those young men aren’t fighting for mere real estate. They fight for a cause — for the belief that armed aggression must not be allowed to succeed, and the people must participate in the decisions of government — [applause] — the decisions of government under the rule of law. If there had been firmer support for that principle some 45 years ago, perhaps our generation wouldn’t have suffered the bloodletting of World War II.

In the Middle East now the guns sound once more, this time in Lebanon, a country that for too long has had to endure the tragedy of civil war, terrorism, and foreign intervention and occupation. The fighting in Lebanon on the part of all parties must stop, and Israel should bring its forces home. But this is not enough. We must all work to stamp out the scourge of terrorism that in the Middle East makes war an ever-present threat.

But beyond the troublespots lies a deeper, more positive pattern. Around the world today, the democratic revolution is gathering new strength. In India a critical test has been passed with the peaceful change of governing political parties. In Africa, Nigeria is moving into remarkable and unmistakable ways to build and strengthen its democratic institutions. In the Caribbean and Central America, 16 of 24 countries have freely elected governments. And in the United Nations, 8 of the 10 developing nations which have joined that body in the past 5 years are democracies.

In the Communist world as well, man’s instinctive desire for freedom and self-determination surfaces again and again. To be sure, there are grim reminders of how brutally the police state attempts to snuff out this quest for self-rule — 1953 in East Germany, 1956 in Hungary, 1968 in Czechoslovakia, 1981 in Poland. But the struggle continues in Poland. And we know that there are even those who strive and suffer for freedom within the confines of the Soviet Union itself. How we conduct ourselves here in the Western democracies will determine whether this trend continues.

No, democracy is not a fragile flower. Still it needs cultivating. If the rest of this century is to witness the gradual growth of freedom and democratic ideals, we must take actions to assist the campaign for democracy.

Some argue that we should encourage democratic change in right-wing dictatorships, but not in Communist regimes. Well, to accept this preposterous notion — as some well-meaning people have — is to invite the argument that once countries achieve a nuclear capability, they should be allowed an undisturbed reign of terror over their own citizens.

We reject this course.

As for the Soviet view, Chairman Brezhnev repeatedly has stressed that the competition of ideas and systems must continue and that this is entirely consistent with relaxation of tensions and peace.

Well, we ask only that these systems begin by living up to their own constitutions, abiding by their own laws, and complying with the international obligations they have undertaken. We ask only for a process, a direction, a basic code of decency, not for an instant transformation.

We cannot ignore the fact that even without our encouragement there has been and will continue to be repeated explosions against repression and dictatorships. The Soviet Union itself is not immune to this reality. Any system is inherently unstable that has no peaceful means to legitimize its leaders. In such cases, the very repressiveness of the state ultimately drives people to resist it, if necessary, by force.

While we must be cautious about forcing the pace of change, we must not hesitate to declare our ultimate objectives and to take concrete actions to move toward them. We must be staunch in our conviction that freedom is not the sole prerogative of a lucky few, but the inalienable and universal right of all human beings. So states the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which, among other things, guarantees free elections.

The objective I propose is quite simple to state: to foster the infrastructure of democracy, the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities, which allows a people to choose their own way to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means.

This is not cultural imperialism, it is providing the means for genuine self-determination and protection for diversity. Democracy already flourishes in countries with very different cultures and historical experiences. It would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy. Who would voluntarily choose not to have the right to vote, decide to purchase government propaganda handouts instead of independent newspapers, prefer government to worker-controlled unions, opt for land to be owned by the state instead of those who till it, want government repression of religious liberty, a single political party instead of a free choice, a rigid cultural orthodoxy instead of democratic tolerance and diversity?

Since 1917 the Soviet Union has given covert political training and assistance to Marxist-Leninists in many countries. Of course, it also has promoted the use of violence and subversion by these same forces. Over the past several decades, West European and other Social Democrats, Christian Democrats, and leaders have offered open assistance to fraternal, political, and social institutions to bring about peaceful and democratic progress. Appropriately, for a vigorous new democracy, the Federal Republic of Germany’s political foundations have become a major force in this effort.

We in America now intend to take additional steps, as many of our allies have already done, toward realizing this same goal. The chairmen and other leaders of the national Republican and Democratic Party organizations are initiating a study with the bipartisan American political foundation to determine how the United States can best contribute as a nation to the global campaign for democracy now gathering force. They will have the cooperation of congressional leaders of both parties, along with representatives of business, labor, and other major institutions in our society. I look forward to receiving their recommendations and to working with these institutions and the Congress in the common task of strengthening democracy throughout the world.

It is time that we committed ourselves as a nation — in both the pubic and private sectors — to assisting democratic development.

We plan to consult with leaders of other nations as well. There is a proposal before the Council of Europe to invite parliamentarians from democratic countries to a meeting next year in Strasbourg. That prestigious gathering could consider ways to help democratic political movements.

This November in Washington there will take place an international meeting on free elections. And next spring there will be a conference of world authorities on constitutionalism and self-goverment hosted by the Chief Justice of the United States. Authorities from a number of developing and developed countries — judges, philosophers, and politicians with practical experience — have agreed to explore how to turn principle into practice and further the rule of law.

At the same time, we invite the Soviet Union to consider with us how the competition of ideas and values — which it is committed to support — can be conducted on a peaceful and reciprocal basis. For example, I am prepared to offer President Brezhnev an opportunity to speak to the American people on our television if he will allow me the same opportunity with the Soviet people. We also suggest that panels of our newsmen periodically appear on each other’s television to discuss major events.

Now, I don’t wish to sound overly optimistic, yet the Soviet Union is not immune from the reality of what is going on in the world. It has happened in the past — a small ruling elite either mistakenly attempts to ease domestic unrest through greater repression and foreign adventure, or it chooses a wiser course. It begins to allow its people a voice in their own destiny. Even if this latter process is not realized soon, I believe the renewed strength of the democratic movement, complemented by a global campaign for freedom, will strengthen the prospects for arms control and a world at peace.

I have discussed on other occasions, including my address on May 9th, the elements of Western policies toward the Soviet Union to safeguard our interests and protect the peace. What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term — the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people. And that’s why we must continue our efforts to strengthen NATO even as we move forward with our Zero-Option initiative in the negotiations on intermediate-range forces and our proposal for a one-third reduction in strategic ballistic missile warheads.

Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that’s now going on in the world will not be bombs and rockets, but a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, the ideals to which we are dedicated.

The British people know that, given strong leadership, time and a little bit of hope, the forces of good ultimately rally and triumph over evil. Here among you is the cradle of self-government, the Mother of Parliaments. Here is the enduring greatness of the British contribution to mankind, the great civilized ideas: individual liberty, representative government, and the rule of law under God.

I’ve often wondered about the shyness of some of us in the West about standing for these ideals that have done so much to ease the plight of man and the hardships of our imperfect world. This reluctance to use those vast resources at our command reminds me of the elderly lady whose home was bombed in the Blitz. As the rescuers moved about, they found a bottle of brandy she’d stored behind the staircase, which was all that was left standing. And since she was barely conscious, one of the workers pulled the cork to give her a taste of it. She came around immediately and said, “Here now — there now, put it back. That’s for emergencies.”

Well, the emergency is upon us. Let us be shy no longer. Let us go to our strength. Let us offer hope. Let us tell the world that a new age is not only possible but probable.

During the dark days of the Second World War, when this island was incandescent with courage, Winston Churchill exclaimed about Britain’s adversaries, “What kind of a people do they think we are?” Well, Britain’s adversaries found out what extraordinary people the British are. But all the democracies paid a terrible price for allowing the dictators to underestimate us. We dare not make that mistake again. So, let us ask ourselves, “What kind of people do we think we are?” And let us answer, “Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well.”

Sir Winston led his people to great victory in war and then lost an election just as the fruits of victory were about to be enjoyed. But he left office honorably, and, as it turned out, temporarily, knowing that the liberty of his people was more important than the fate of any single leader. History recalls his greatness in ways no dictator will ever know. And he left us a message of hope for the future, as timely now as when he first uttered it, as opposition leader in the Commons nearly 27 years ago, when he said, “When we look back on all the perils through which we have passed and at the mighty foes that we have laid low and all the dark and deadly designs that we have frustrated, why should we fear for our future? We have,” he said, “come safely through the worst.”

Well, the task I’ve set forth will long outlive our own generation. But together, we too have come through the worst. Let us now begin a major effort to secure the best — a crusade for freedom that will engage the faith and fortitude of the next generation. For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.

Thank you.

Technicolor Sczenophrenic Color-Coding Terror War

Homeland Security Advisory System criticized for “scaring, not preparing”

Russia considers color-coded terror threat alerts

(AP) – 6 hours ago

MOCOW (AP) — Russia’s parliament on Friday gave preliminary approval to a law creating color-coded terrorist threat alerts, a measure rushed forward in the wake of the Moscow airport bombing that left 35 dead and raised questions about the country’s ability to handle attacks.

The proposed law is modeled on the U.S. system instituted after 9/11, which Washington announced Thursday it would be abandoned by the end of April and replaced with a new plan to notify specific people about specific threats. Critics had complained the general color alerts were unhelpful.

Russia’s State Duma, or lower house, unanimously approved the bill Friday in the first of three required readings.

Russia has not specified how its three-level codes would work. But the push to pass the legislation underlines Russia’s growing anxiety about its international security image as it tries to cope with terrorist attacks blamed on Islamist insurgents from the restive Caucasus region.

The measure was on the State Duma’s agenda for February, but the vote was rushed forward after the bombing at Domodedovo Airport, Russia’s busiest. No claim of responsibility for the bombing has been made, and officials have not publicly identified any suspects.

But, media reports say investigators are focusing on insurgents from the Caucasus region. Chechen rebels have claimed responsibility for a number of deadly attacks over the years, including ones against the Moscow subway system and suicide bombings of two planes that took off from Domodedovo in 2004.

The Monday afternoon explosion tore through the meeting area for international arrivals at Domodedovo. Some 180 people were injured, 129 of whom remained hospitalized Friday, according to the Health Ministry.

Authorities have not released an account of how the bombing took place, and media accounts have cited various sources as saying it was a male suicide bomber or a female, or that the bomb was remotely detonated.

The Interfax news agency on Friday cited an unidentified law enforcement source as saying that surveillance video showed an unaccompanied male suspected suicide bomber, clad in a black jacket and baseball cap, standing in the area for about 15 minutes before the blast.

Some media have shown photos of a severed head believed to be that of the bomber and say the head has been sent to a forensic laboratory for DNA analysis.

After the blast, suspicion initially fell on Chechen insurgents who have fought Russian forces since 1994 and who have claimed responsibility for an array of previous attacks, including last year’s double suicide bombing of Moscow subways that killed 40 people. However, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said preliminary evidence showed no connection with Chechnya.

In recent years, the Islamic insurgency that started in Chechnya has spread to adjacent parts of the Russian Caucasus, notably to Dagestan, where shootings, bombings and police operations against rebels occur almost daily. Late Thursday, security forces armed with rocket-propelled grenades killed two militants in an assault on a house in the village of Severny. One of the insurgents killed was identified by police as a militant commander, Adam Guseinov.

The respected newspaper Kommersant on Thursday reported that suspects in the airport bombing included a man identified as Vitaly Razdobudko, allegedly a member of an insurgent group in the Stavropol region of the Caucasus called the Nogai Brigade.

The state news agency RIA Novosti quoted an unidentified source as saying surveillance video showed Razdobudko was not the bomber. However, reports suggest he is being seen as possibly the organizer of the attack.

A half-dozen transport and police officials have been fired in connection with the bombing. President Dmitry Medvedev said after the blast that Domodedovo’s security was in a “state of anarchy.”

The attack stained Russia’s image at a vulnerable time, coming just before Medvedev’s appearance at the Davos World Economic Forum to try to woo international investment. The explosion also called into question Russia’s ability to safely host major international events such as the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 World Cup.

US Consulate employee was produced in court Friday on double murder charges

Court grants 6-day remand of American

Updated at: 1452 PST,  Friday, January 28, 2011
Court grants 6-day remand of American LAHORE: US Consulate employee was produced in court Friday on double murder charges, Geo News reported, a day after he shot dead two men on a motorcycle in what he said was self-defence.

The US citizen was appeared before the Senior Judge Zafar Iqbal who handed over the accused to the police on six-day remand.

The man, Raymond Davis was described by the State Department in Washington as an American civilian working for the US Consulate in Lahore.

A third Pakistani was crushed to death by a consulate car that went to the scene to aid the man following the shooting in a busy street in the eastern city.

Provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah said officials had asked the US Consulate to release the second vehicle and its driver to police.

The US embassy in Islamabad has confirmed the man involved was a consular worker but said it was still trying to work out with the police what had happened.

Punjab minister Sanaullah said no American pressure would be allowed to influence the criminal case.

American Shooter of Two Pakistanis Charged With Murder

American kills two men in ‘self defence’, booked for murder

* Another killed shortly after shooting when a car from US consulate crushed a motorcyclist at the crime scene

Staff Report

LAHORE: An employee of the US Consulate in Lahore shot dead two youths, while a third was crushed by the driver of a Parado, who was called by him for help, at Chowk Qartaba on Thursday afternoon.

The American, identified as David Raymond, told police that two armed motorcyclists tried to rob him. He chased them and opened fire at them near Chowk Qartaba.

Police said one of the bikers died on the spot while the other succumbed to his injuries in a hospital.

After the shooting, David made a rescue call and a team rushed to the scene in a jeep. Violating one-way traffic law, the jeep driver hit an innocent motorcyclist, who died on the spot. He sped away from the scene while police arrested David near Old Anarkali Food Street after a chase.

One of the two victims of David was identified as Faizan of Ravi Road while the other has not yet been identified. The jeep drivers’ victim was identified as Ibadur Rehman, a resident of A Block of Gulshan Ravi.

Eyewitnesses belied David’s claim and said the motorcyclists would have retaliated if they had guns.

A source in the police department said Faizan’s brother was murdered some time ago after which he started carrying weapon for self-defence.

The relatives and friends of Faizan said he had never been involved in any crime and the American’s story was a pack of lies.

Police registered a case against David on two counts late Thursday, while a case was registered against unidentified people on the application of Ibad’s brother Ijaz.

Key events in Lebanon since Hariri assassination

Key events from the 2005 assassination of Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri until Wednesday’s collapse of the unity government over a UN probe into the killing:

2005

  • Feb 14: Billionaire former prime minister Rafiq Hariri is killed in a massive Beirut bombing along with 22 others. A string of high-profile assassinations targeting anti-Syrian figures follow over the next three years. Pro-Western leaders blame Syria.
  • April 26: Syria, which denies any role in Hariri’s killing, pulls its troops from Lebanon after a 29-year deployment amid massive popular protests.
  • Oct 20: An initial UN probe implicates Syrian agents in Hariri’s murder.

2006

  • July 12-Aug 14: A 34-day war between Hezbollah and Israel kills nearly 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
  • Nov 11: All Shiite ministers, including two from Hezbollah, resign from government after failed talks on granting Hezbollah and its allies greater representation.

2007

  • May 20: Clashes break out between the army and Al-Qaeda inspired Fatah al-Islam in a Palestinian refugee camp. More than 400 people are killed and 30,000 displaced in 15 weeks.
  • June 10: The UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is created.
  • Nov 23: Pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud’s term ends. Lebanese are unable to agree on a successor.

2008

  • May 7: A government bid to curb Hezbollah’s power leads to a week of sectarian clashes, killing more than 100 as militants of the Hezbollah-led opposition seize large swathes of Sunni areas in Beirut.
  • May 21: Rival leaders agree to a power-sharing formula in Qatar. Army chief Michel Sleiman is slotted as next president.
  • July 11: Fuad Siniora forms government in which Hezbollah and its allies have veto power.
  • Oct 15: Syria and Lebanon formally establish diplomatic ties.

2009

  • April 29: The STL orders the liberation of four Lebanese generals detained without formal charges over Hariri’s murder since August 2005.
  • May 25: Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah accuses Israel of being behind a Der Spiegel report implicating his group in Hariri’s murder.
  • June 7: The anti-Syrian parliamentary majority wins legislative elections.
  • June 27: Saad Hariri, son of Rafiq, is named prime minister.
  • Nov 9: Hariri forms a national unity government in which Hezbollah has two ministers.

2010

  • March 31: Nasrallah reveals Hezbollah members were questioned by UN interrogators as “witnesses,” and warns his group would not “remain silent” if it is accused by the tribunal.
  • July 22: Nasrallah says Hariri informed him the tribunal will indict Hezbollah members in connection with the ex-premier’s assassination.
  • Oct 28: Nasrallah calls on Lebanese to boycott the STL and warns further cooperation is tantamount to attacking his party.
  • Nov 11: Nasrallah threatens to “cut off the hand” of any who attempt to arrest Hezbollah members over Hariri’s murder, amid frenzied speculation an indictment is near.

2011

  • Jan 11: The Hezbollah-led alliance announces failure of Syrian-Saudi efforts to defuse the STL crisis.
  • Jan 12: Hezbollah forces the collapse of Lebanon’s unity government when 11 ministers resign, representing the Shiite party, its allies and one loyal to the president.

US and Co-Conspirators Prepare Counter-Offensive Against New Lebanese Govt.

US Assistant secretary and former US ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman. Photo: AFP
Paris based expert on Lebanese affairs, who requested to remain anonymous, confirmed to iloubnan.info that a meeting between representatives of countries concerned about the situation in Lebanon was to take place tomorrow in Paris; however, excluding Syria. Late on Thursday, the meeting was postponed, after a Qatari decision that followed a meeting with President Sarkozy.

Representatives of the U.S., France, Qatar, Turkey, Russia and Saudi Arabia were to meet on Friday to discuss developments in Lebanon. However, late on Thursday, the meeting was postponed, most likely after a Qatari decision following a meeting between Cheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jaber al Thani (Prime minister and Foreign minister of Qatar) and French President.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman had arrived earlier this week to Paris, coming from Tunisia. Feltman’s visit to France, was described by the expert as “multi-layered and holding a macro Middle-Eastern dimension, followed by a Tunisian one.”

Information disclosed about this visit is not homogeneous in political circles. However, rumors say Feltman is launching a counter offensive to the appointment of a new Hezbollah-backed PM in Lebanon to form a cabinet, after they toppled U.S.-backed Saad Hariri’s cabinet on Januray 12.

“There are serious rumors, that remain to be proved, that the Elysee is to give green light to the Mikati/Syrian scenario in Lebanon; however, the French Foreign Ministry and French lobby are not satisfied by the set back of Hariri’s clan,” the source told iloubnan.info.

“Feltman’s visit is a way of launching a counter-offensive on that scenario; yet, the success of this offensive remains pending,” it added.

There were two scenarios for Friday’s meeting; “if the representatives of countries see the Status Quo in Lebanon as acceptable for a while, they will issue a mild statement regarding the new to be-cabinet.” If the situation in Lebanon and dialogue go down on the road, the counter offensive is to be taken further. “They will not attack Mikati in their statement, but they will remain at the skeptical side,” the source told iloubnan.info. “As far as Thursday night, Syria remains uninvolved in Friday’s meeting, a position Syria might consider insignificant or condemn it as an aggression to its choices. “ The source evoked the possibility that the meeting postponment might be due to Syria. The specialist said that the French Foreign Ministry was “furious”, as well as Jeffrey Feltman.

When asked if Feltman’s presence is the reason for Syria’s exclusion, the source did not disregard the option.

The source said that Marwan Hamadeh and Elias Murr, who left to Paris on Wednesday ‘on private visits’ might be meeting Feltman to look into the situation in Lebanon and tell him “things cannot be left this way.”

Moreover, the source confirmed that the Elysee did not call off the visit of the President of the National Assembly to Damascus, explaining that “its President makes his own decisions.&rdquo

The Planned De-Industrialization of America, January 1, 2001

`Post-Industrial’ Southern Strategy

(from: The Planned Gutting of Industrial America: Who Did It and Why)

http://educate-yourself.org/cn/southernstrategyassaultonamerica01jan01.shtml

By John Hoefle

The heart of the Southern Strategy was the oligarchy’s plan to shift the United States from the world’s most powerful industrial economy, into a post-industrial rentier-financier empire. The industrialized cities of the North would be allowed to decay, while the relatively small cities of the South would be built up as cheap-labor service centers. As the Industrial Belt turned into the Rust Belt, the New South ascended. Houston, spurred by the oil boom, became the fourth-largest city in the country, old Atlanta became the “New Atlanta,” and sleepy Charlotte became a major international financial center. Existing cities were transformed–Dallas, San Antonio, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Miami, to name a few–while Northern cities such as Baltimore, Cleveland, and Philadelphia went into decline.

Coincident with this Southern shift, was the ascension of finance over industry. U.S. industry had largely been in the hands of the financiers since the days of J.P. Morgan’s creation of the industrial trusts, and that control was rapidly consolidated during the 1980s. Orchestrated by Bush’s masters, the speculators took over. The corporate raiders, financed by the dirty-money junk bond networks, bought up significant chunks of corporate America, and terrified the rest. The raiders’ targets, and those who feared they might become targets, turned to Wall Street’s investment banks and law firms for “protection.” As such, the leveraged buy-out/junk bond operation functioned as a giant protection racket, destroying some as a way of collecting tribute from the rest. At the same time, dirty money poured into the real estate market, notably through the giant Canadian developers Olympia & York and Cadillac Fairview. These firms built the skyscrapers which were then filled up with service workers–bankers, lawyers, accountants, clerks, and other white-collar types. Having the tallest office building became something of a fetish for the business leaders, spurring ever larger towers, which in turn were filled with ever larger numbers of white-collar workers.

The pouring of hot money into the real estate markets caused real estate prices to rise. The “wealth” created by these rising values provided more money to pump into the bubble. The rising stock market served a similar function. The cities were transformed into service centers ringed by suburbia, leaving the inner cities full of the poor and minorities, ripe for Strategic Bombing Survey decimation through drug distribution and “Negro removal.”

In the office buildings and the suburbs, the ordinary citizen was also being hooked on speculation. One of the effects of Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s deadly interest-rate hikes in 1979-80, was that ordinary savings accounts suddenly started paying high rates of interest, giving the ordinary citizen a taste of the action. As more and more of the “little people” discovered the joys of usury, the modern “my money” era was born. That process escalated with the rise in residential real estate prices–homes were transformed from residences to “investments,” with rising equity values adding significantly to the pools of “my money.” The ordinary citizen also began making money from the rising stock market. Over time, a significant portion of the population became addicted to usury and speculation, considering it their right to make money from the manipulation of money. The speculator went from being the enemy to being the role model; the suckers now identified with the casino. The old-style productive industry became the realm of “losers,” replaced by the hot new “industries” of finance and information. Make derivatives, not steel!  (read HERE)

The Entire Arab World Is Going Over the Cliff

[We are about to see just how masterful the masters of the strategy of tension are in their meddling and attempting to turn societies against themselves in order to shape the fiery end-product.  I am certain that their egos exceed their mastery of human nature, at least any of the higher aspects of that nature.  They will continue playing around, manipulating hot-headed emotions until the whole thing takes  on a life of its own.]

Egyptian protests intensify, as clashes spread across the Middle East

Egyptian police have been fighting protesters in intensifying clashes, and demonstrations have reported from Yemen and Gabon – a sign that defiance against authoritarian rulers in the Middle East is spreading.

Egyptian protests intensify, as clashes spread across the Middle East

Riot police clash with protesters in Cairo yesterday  Photo: AP

Security forces shot dead a Bedouin protester in Egypt’s Sinai region on Thursday, bringing the death in the three days of protests to five. Police in Suez fired rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas at hundreds of demonstrators calling for an end to the 30-year-old rule of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president. Protesters chucked rocks and petrol bombs at police lines. In Ismailia, hundreds of protesters clashed with police, who dispersed the crowds with tear gas.

Like in many other countries in the region, protesters in Egypt complain about surging prices, unemployment and the authorities’ reliance on heavy-handed security to keep dissenting voices quiet. The protests are inspired by Tunisia, where a democratic movement recently overthrew the government.

Egyptian Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei announced on Thursday he was returning to Egypt to join the protests. “Tomorrow is going to be, I think, a major demonstration all over Egypt and I will be there with them,” he said. Mr Baradei, who won the Nobel peace prize for his work as head of the UN’s nuclear agency, called on Mr Mubarak to leave office, saying “he has served the country for 30 years and it is about time for him to retire.”

His arrival could spur protesters who have no figurehead, although many activists resent his absences in recent months.

“Our government is a dictatorship. A total dictatorship,” said Mohamed Fahim, a 29-year-old glass factory worker, as he stood near the charred skeleton of a car.

“It’s our right to choose our government ourselves. We have been living 29 years, my whole life, without being able to choose a president.”

On Wednesday evening, people in Suez had tried to burn down a government building, another police post and a local office of Egypt’s ruling party before police stopped them. The government has said it intervened there against what it called ‘vandalism’.

One policeman has been killed in Cairo in the anti-government protests, unprecedented during Mubarak’s rule of a state that is a key US ally.

Al-Arabiya television reported that Egypt’s general prosecutor had charged 40 protesters with trying to “overthrow the regime”.

Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif urged citizens to exercise self control on Friday, the cabinet spokesman told reporters.

A page on Facebook announcing Friday’s protest gained 55,000 supporters in less than 24 hours and the call was then repeated by some opposition groups.

“Egypt’s Muslims and Christians will go out to fight against corruption, unemployment and oppression and absence of freedom,” wrote an activist on Facebook, which alongside sites like Twitter has been a key tools to rally people on to the streets.

US embassy official kills two men during ‘robbery’ in Pakistan

Foreigner shot 3 dead in Lahore

Foreigner shot 3 dead in Lahore

A foreigner gunned down two people and hit another motorcyclist by his car in Qartaba Chowk Lahore. All the three injured have succumbed to their injuries in the hospital. As per police, the foreigner named Steve David, said to be a US consulate employee, has been apprehended from Purani Anarkali. The accused told the police that he opened fire on the deceased at Qartaba Chowk, Lahore in his defence as they tried to loot him.

US embassy official kills two men during ‘robbery’ in Pakistan

Third man killed by embassy vehicle rushing to the aid of American official, who was named by local media as Raymond Davis

  • Declan Walsh in Islamabad
  • guardian.co.uk
  • The car a US consulate employee was travelling in when he was engaged in a shoot-out in Lahore. The car a US consulate employee was travelling in when he was engaged in a shoot-out in Lahore. Illustration: Mohsin Raza/ReutersA US government official shot dead two Pakistanis during an apparent attempted robbery on a Lahore street this afternoon. A third man died after being run over by an embassy vehicle rushing to the scene.

    Local police took the American, named by local media as Raymond Davis, into custody.

    The US embassy confirmed he was an employee but did not specify his job or say why he was carrying a weapon. Pakistani television stations speculated he was a CIA agent.

    Crowds of protesters burned tyres on the site of the shooting as the Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident.

    “The American told us that he opened fire in self-defence after one of the men pulled out a pistol,” the Lahore police chief, Aslam Tarin, told Reuters.

    The shooting incident could inflame tensions in a country where anti-Americanism is rife and speculation abounds about the malign intentions of US covert officials.

    Witnesses said that two men riding a motorbike, one carrying a gun, approached the American’s car on a busy street. The American drew his firearm and shot both of them.

    The American called for help from a sports utility vehicle that either rushed from the nearby consulate or was following close behind, according to different versions. On the way the jeep knocked over a pedestrian who later died in hospital.

    The brother of the dead pedestrian told reporters that the driver of the car should be tried for murder. “We will not take the body of my brother until the foreigner is punished. We will file a case against him so he is hanged,” he said.

    Television stations showed footage of Davis – a white American in his 40s with grey hair and a plaid shirt – emerging from his white car, which had several bullet holes in the windscreen.

    The identities or motives of the dead gunmen were not clear. Police officials said the American was the victim of an attempted robbery but presented no evidence to back up the statement.

    Street robberies are not uncommon in Lahore, although the city is less risky than Karachi and attacks on foreigners are rare.

    Pakistan is considered one of the riskiest posts for American officials, who are posted at the Islamabad embassy and consulates in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar.

    A suicide bomber killed an official working for the National Security Agency outside the Karachi consulate in 2006. Gunmen in Peshawar killed an American aid official in 2008, and later that year opened fire on a vehicle carrying the consul general, who escaped unscathed.

    Three US special forces officers were killed in a Taliban bomb attack in Khyber Paktunkhwa province last year.

    Diplomats do not generally have permission to carry weapons although some are escorted by armed bodyguards. Security rules vary from city to city, with Lahore considered perhaps the least risky despite the threat from Punjabi militant groups.

    US spies posted to Pakistan also contend with a hostile public that holds them responsible for many of the country’s ills. Last month, the CIA station chief in Islamabad, named as Jonathan Banks, had to flee Pakistan after a tribesman named him in a criminal prosecution related to CIA drone strikes in Waziristan.

Robert Gates Loves His War

[Gates wants the American people to submissively accept the idea that it is more to expand foreign wars than it is to invest in saving the homeland.  Ending the war will not end the American economy or our way of life, but continuing the war will finish-off we have of saving either one.  They want us to believe that spending our last dollar on killing another bin Laden clone will achieve something other than wasting any chance we might still have to save ourselves.  You see, America can survive the resolution of all of our mistakes if we will only change directions and begin correcting the things that we have done with our military machine.  It is the military that has brought us to the point in the great poker game where we have nothing more to bet on the next deal of the cards.  If we siphon-off the last dollar into the last B-1 bomber or Abrams tank, we will get no closer to our goal of world domination than we are now.  Gates and all the other false prophets of the military/intelligence complex have been riding high on a river of bullshit since his mentors, Reagan and Bush S. began their war on democracy.  It is past time that the American people intervened and dried that river up.

Gates is whining in the press like the high-priced big baby/bully that he is, saying don't lay this mess on his doorstep.  Why not?  When we can trace the entire river of bullshit back to his office door three decades ago, then it is only fitting that, in the end, all the dung be delivered back to his desk.  No one believes that the sky will fall without new tanks, bombs, guns, more gas, more war, more bringing hell into the homes of millions of innocent people.

Yeah, Bob.  The fuckin' sky is falling.]

In this photo released by the U.S. Dept. of Defense, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, left, shakes hands with Canadian Capt. Nancy Silver, while U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson looks on, upon his arrival in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2010. Gates is in Canada to attend trilateral meetings with his counterparts from Canada and Mexico. (AP Photo/Dept. of Defense, Cherie Cullen)

Gates faults Congress for ‘crisis on my doorstep’

(AP) – 1 hour ago

OTTAWA, Canada (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates is accusing Congress of dumping what he calls a “crisis on my doorstep” by holding the Pentagon to last year’s spending levels.

He said this has the potential to create a $23 billion budget gap this year that could weaken a wartime military.

Gates says it is increasingly likely that Congress will not act on the Pentagon’s 2011 budget request — which would have the effect of forcing the Pentagon to make do with last year’s amount.

Gates is warning of emergency cuts to make ends meet.

Gates also says in an interview that he isn’t ready to reveal the timing of his planned retirement this year. He’s been on the job since former President George W. Bush chose him to replace Donald Rumsfeld in 2006.

Baloch Resistance Attacks–Jan. 27

Highway Bridge blown up, hand grenade hurled at Levis stations, gas pipeline damaged in blast

Occupied Balochistan: Unidentified people have hurled a hand grenade on a Levis station in Surab area of District Kharan Balochistan. The external wall of the Levy station has been damaged due to the blast, however, no casualty have been reported.

Meanwhile a bridge was exploded near RD342 Levis Station on National Highway between Sui and Jaffarabad on Wednesday. According to the administration, unidentified man placed explosive materials under the bridge which exploded. Resultantly, the bridge was completely damaged and traffic was suspended.

Baloch Liberation Front’s spokesman Basham Baloch in a phone call to NNI has accepted the responsibility for the attack on Levis Station on Wednesday.

26/01/2011- Gas pipeline blown up: Another gas pipeline was blown up by unknown militants in Sui area of Zafar Colony on Tuesday. According to the official sources that an explosive device was planted with gas pipeline of Well No 53 which is connected with Pirko to Sui plant that exploded with a big blast destroying the 8-inch diameter gas pipelines. Gas supply suspended to Sui gas Purification Plant from well no 53.

Officials preparing plan to repair it at the earliest to restore supply to Sui plant. Case has been registered against the unknown persons and investigation is under way.

26/01/2011 – 5 Security men hurt in blast: Five security personnel sustained injuries in a landmine blast here in Sui area of Bugti Tribal Territory on Tuesday.

According to official source, a security personnel vehicle was patrolling Loti gas field area from Sui to Loti, when it hit a landmine that was planted by the unknown militants. It exploded with big bang.

Five people inside the vehicle received multiple wounds in the blast. Law enforcement agencies rushed to the spot and injured were taken to the PPL hospital for treatment. Law enforcement agencies cordon off the area started the manhunt for the culprits and also making investigations.(Courtesy: dailytawar & DailyBalochistan Express)

Related links: http://tribune.com.pk/story/109177/la … ss-helplessness-national/
http://www.sify.com/news/hrcp-concern … national-lb1pardaghi.html
http://tribune.com.pk/story/109831/se … imposed-in-balochistan-3/

Small Explosion at Davos Hotel Shatters Glass and Calm

Small Blast at Davos Hotel Shatters Glass and Calm

BY PAUL GEITNER AND CHRIS V. NICHOLSON

DAVOS, Switzerland — A small blast caused some broken glass — but no injuries — Thursday morning at a four-star hotel in Davos, not far from the main venue of theWorld Economic Forum.

Thomas Hobi, a spokesman for the police in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, where Davos is located, said there had been a “little detonation” in an underground storage area of the Posthotel Morosani around 9 a.m. local time. Some windows were broken but no one was hurt, he said.

Federal authorities have taken control of the investigation. In the tactical interests of the inquiry, they were disclosing nothing further, according to a statement issued by the attorney general of Switzerland.

The blast was the first sign of trouble at this year’s World Economic Forum, which has long attracted protests from anti-globalization, anarchist and other leftist groups.

DESCRIPTION

Shortly beforehand, someone with the online tag of “Revolutionary Perspective” claimed responsibility on an Italian activist website. A post with a local time stamp of 7:28 a.m. says “We have attacked the Hotels Morosani with pyrotechnics and sugar.”

The post claimed that two explosive devices were placed in the hotel, and that the oil tank of the hotel’s heating system was contaminated with sugar. It also claimed that members of the Swiss government and representatives of UBS bank were staying at the hotel, which is located on the southwest side of the village, about a mile from the Congress Center.

Authorities did not question the authenticity of the posting. But Thomas Abegglen, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, denied that members of the Swiss government were staying at the hotel. He called the blast “a minor incident with a political dimension,” and said that the security of members of the Swiss government had not been threatened.

A spokesman for the cantonal government took issue with the term “explosive devices,” and said the detonation was caused by nothing more than “fireworks.” A spokeswoman for the forum also described the explosive as a “firecracker.”

A spokeswoman for the hotel declined to comment. The entrance to the hotel, which opened in the 19th century, is guarded and arriving guests must go through a metal detector and have their bags scanned, as is done at most of the finer hotels in Davos during the forum.

The explosion came hours before a luncheon titled “Criminals Without Borders,” which was held at the hotel as part of the forum. Among those attending were Juan Manuel Santos, president of Colombia, and Yury Fedotov, executive director of theU.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. News of the blast also buzzed around the Congress Center, where the big names circulating Thursday included the French President,Nicolas Sarkozy, and former President Bill Clinton.

As in past years, security has been extremely tight at Davos. Snipers clothed in black visibly patrol the roofs, and people arriving by train or car are carefully monitored. The Swiss army has deployed 4,000 soldiers to guard the gathering, as well as more than 10 miles worth of barbed wire and fencing and 1,000 sandbags.

US Consulate Employee Kills Two Pakistanis In Gun Battle

US national kills two in Pakistan

Three people were killed after a shootout between an armed US consulate employee and two Pakistani gunmen in the eastern city of Lahore today, police said.

The foreigner, identified by the US embassy as a consular employee in Lahore, was sitting in his car at a traffic signal when two men chasing him aboard a motorcycle opened fire.

The man returned the fire in self-defence, wounding the two attackers, who both died later in the hospital. Police said a consulate car that came to the scene later struck and killed a pedestrian.

Aslam Tarim, Lahore police chief, said in broadcast comments the US national had been taken into custody at a police station.

Police official Omar Saeed had earlier told Reuters the man had opened fire in self-defence. “We are investigating whether it was a robbery attempt or something else,” he said.

Pakistan is a vital US ally, but anti-American sentiment runs high in the mainly Muslim nation.

Three US Special Operations soldiers were killed in a bomb attack last year in northwestern Pakistan, where militants are very active.

Still More British-Trained Death Squads, This Time Its Bangladesh

Bangladesh ‘death squad’ trained by UK police resumes extrajudicial killing

David Cameron set to raise issue with visiting Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina after UK connection revealed by WikiLeaks

  • Ian Cobain
  • guardian.co.uk
  • Members of the Rapid Action Battalion Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have received training from British police in ‘investigative interviewing techniques’. Photograph: Abir Abdullah/EPAA Bangladeshi paramilitary unit that receives training from British police has resumed killing people in so-called “crossfire” incidents that human rights groups say are extrajudicial killings.

    The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) – condemned by human rights group as a “death squad” – ceased the killings briefly after the existence of the British training programme was disclosed in US diplomatic cables posted on the internet by WikiLeaks last month.

    However, the unit announced on 12 January that it had killed a 32-year-old man in Dhaka and since then has shot dead three more men in the capital.

    According to a report published this month by the Bangladeshi rights group Ain O Salish Kendra, 133 people died in extrajudicial killings inBangladesh last year; RAB officers were said to be responsible for the overwhelming majority.

    Another human rights group, Odhikar, put the figure at 127 and said that 74 died in operations involving RAB. Around 18 of those who died were said to be communist party activists.

    Human Rights Watch, the New York-based NGO, has described RAB asa Bangladeshi government death squad, pointing out that senior political figures have expressed support publicly and privately for its policy of extrajudicial killings. The group has called for the UK to withdraw its support.

    The leaked diplomatic cables showed that Washington is prevented by law from offering support to RAB because of its human rights abuses. RAB has admitted killing more than 600 people since its inception in 2004. Its use of torture has been documented by the UK government as well as human rights groups.

    The British government does not face the same legal restraints as the US government and began offering training in late 2007, around the time that UK intelligence agencies were seeking closer counterterrorism co-operation with RAB and with Bangladeshi intelligence agencies.

    Small teams of British police from forces such as West Mercia and Humberside have travelled to Bangladesh under the auspices of the National Police Improvement Agency. The leaked cables show that they offered training in “investigative interviewing techniques and rules of engagement”.

    Asked whether it believed it was appropriate for British officers to be training members of an organisation condemned as “a government death squad”, and whether courses in investigative interviewing techniques might not render torture more effective, an NPIA spokesman said the courses had been approved by the government and by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

    The Foreign Office, which funds the programme from its counterterrorism programme, said it was intended to provide “human rights and ethical policing skills training”. A spokesperson said: “A decision to fund a particular project is taken only after an assessment of possible impacts and human rights implications has been completed.”

    Shortly after WikiLeaks posted his confidential cables on the internet, James Moriarty, US ambassador to Dhaka, said every extrajudicial killing should be investigated in a transpararent fashion by the Bangladeshi authorities.

    Successive governments have promised to end RAB’s use of murder. The current government promised in its manifesto that it would end all extrajudicial killings, but they have continued since its election two years ago.

    In 2009 the shipping minister, Shahjahan Khan, speaking in a discussion organised by the BBC, said: “There are incidents of trials that are not possible under the laws of the land. The government will need to continue with extrajudicial killings, commonly called crossfire, until terrorist activities and extortion are uprooted.”

    Because RAB enjoys popular support in Bangladesh, with some sections of the population even voicing support for the extrajudicial killing of alleged criminals and terrorists, activists at Human Rights Watch and elsewhere argue that it will be disbanded only as a result of pressure from western governments.

    The Bangladeshi prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, is visiting the UK, meeting political figures, and is to speak at the Oxford Union. On Monday Lord Howells, the Foreign Office minister, told the Lords that concerns about RAB were “exactly the sort of matter” that David Cameron would be raising when he met her. Meanwhile, the human rights lawyer Phil Shiner is considering mounting court proceedings to challenge the legality of the UK’s support for RAB.

Fictional State of the Union

Fictional State of the Union


President Obama lied to the nation in his latest state of the union address, not his first lie, but surely one of his biggest ones. The state of the union is not strong; it is terrible.


by Joel S. Hirschhorn
(libertarian)
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

President Obama lied. It was not his first time, nor will it be his last time. But it was one of the biggest possible lies. The state of union is absolutely not strong. Anyone with a smidgen of intelligence and critical thinking capability knows that in almost every conceivable way the US is in terrible shape.

Watching his overly long state of the union speech was a waste of time and very annoying. It just provided yet another basis for all the pundits and commentators to talk endlessly about it, without, however, ever noting or emphasizing the one big lie. Like the President, everyone is spinning to spread their chosen propaganda.

Imagine if the President of the USA stood up in front of Congress, the whole nation and the world with the courage to tell the truth: the state of the union is terrible, about the worst in over 100 years. And that is why Americans had to wake up, pay attention, sacrifice and join together to make things much, much better and the hell with conventional politics driven by the worst special interests and the rich.

By telling the lie that the state of the union is strong, Obama removed the necessary motivation for Americans to get their distracted and delusional minds oriented in the right direction. The nation needs to shift into crisis mode.

What if he turned around at some early point, looked straight at the Speaker of the House and said something like: this man has all the wrong ideas and is the enemy of the vast majority of Americans! Would the Speaker have cried?

What if he had the guts to speak about need to remove the power of corporate interests, especially within the financial sector?

What if he had the honesty to describe the stunning decline of the middle class?

Obama is a master of great-sounding generalities that ultimately mean nothing, nor define a specific set of legislative and executive actions. Just as Republicans are frequently criticized for not providing enough details, especially about cuts in federal spending, so does Obama practice the same con game.

The ugly truth is that China and other nations are beating the crap out of the US in just about every conceivable way and nothing the US is currently doing has the ability to change this situation and win the global competition. Just as Americans have watched once great companies disappear (Remember Polaroid?), they need to wake up to the downfall of their own country. All the talk about jobs is just another monumental deception, because there is no way that millions of new, good paying jobs will be created for many years.

In stark contrast to the empty rhetoric of Obama, at about the same time a remarkably honest report by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that provides incredibly honest criticisms and explanation of exactly what caused the economic meltdown that millions of Americans are still suffering from was ignored. If President Obama respected its findings, he would have used them as the basis for detailing his actions against the entities responsible for the Great Recession. Here is a sample of the report’s important views:

“The crisis was the result of human action and inaction, not of Mother Nature or computer models gone haywire. The captains of finance and the public stewards of our financial system ignored warnings and failed to question, understand and manage evolving risks within a system essential to the well-being of the American public. Theirs was a big miss, not a stumble.”

The financial industry has gotten away with murder and ended up profiting enormously. No mystery because it and groups affiliated with it spent more than $3.7 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions from 1999 to 2008.

And imagine if the President would have had the guts to talk openly about the incredibly awful financial predicament of most states!

Nothing defines our delusional democracy more than a president providing delusional thinking to mostly delusional citizens. Make no mistake; this is an epidemic of bipartisan delusion. This is what makes America exceptional. A once great nation is sliding down the toilet and most everyone, especially politicians, are lying endlessly as it does, as if the nation’s decay should be ignored rather than honestly combated.

The War – Did We Sacrifice a Million Lives and a $Trillion Cash Just to Hand Our Jobs to China?

[The following article (all four parts) does as good a job as any other in explaining the goofy geopolitical rationale behind American foreign policy.  We see clearly that China is the big winner in Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and in the "Pipeline Wars," buying-up all the oil and gas, as well as the strategic minerals made available by American military efforts.  Is this an unintended consequence of multiple failed war efforts, or has the plan always been to facilitate Chinese economic interests?  I believe that this has always been the secret plan, that American corporate and govt. leaders have plotted together to wage wars of aggression, to undermine the American economy and the world economy, to deceive the people of the world...all in the name of "freedom and democracy."

Does this reflect a secret merger between the big oil companies and the Chinese govt., or does it merely highlight the latest stage in forging a new world order?  In light of the dying American economy, does this mean a complete abandonment of the American market in order to facilitate the new Chinese growth, or is this simply another diversification of America's multinational corporations?  In a few years time, will the US mainland be completely cut-off from all oil and gas imports, in favor of easier to service Chinese outlets?  I think that China is just the next stage in the evolution of multinationalism, the plan all along.   China is just another layer of profit-taking, that will itself be disrupted by its own internal contradictions, just like the American capitalist state has been.

In contrast to the author's optimistic prescription for change, I have my doubts that any moderate political actions that we could take would alter the outcome that has long been planned.  It is going to take drastic political actions to save this Republic from the forces supposedly protecting us.  We have to shut down the corrupt system before we see the Powers That Be shutting it down for us.  This is way bigger than just the oil companies.]

The War – Did We Sacrifice a Million Lives and a $Trillion Cash Just to Hand Our Jobs to China?

Nicholas C. Arguimbau

While the Tea Partiers and the liberals squabble over important domestic issues, America’s corporate and military titans, at the expense of America’s workers and taxpayers and with the blessing of Congress and the President, are creating China’s economic miracle. The military, at a cost of over $1 trillion, has paved the way for China to acquire and the U.S. to lose access to vast mineral and petroleum resources. The oil industry, with U.S. government assistance, is building a safe haven in East Asia from the imminent crash of oil everywhere else, by cornering the entire supply. And foreign investment, largely American, is giving China on average nearly one million new jobs a month while American unemployment soars.

This is a four-part series. Part One discusses why and how the oil industry could create a safe haven from its own collapse, and why it might choose China for the project. Part Two discusses how East Asia became “the right market” for the world’s remaining oil reserves, endangering everyone else. Part Three discusses how the US military has turned Afghanistan and Iraq into China’s good buddies. Part Four takes a broader view of what has happened and what if anything can be done about it. Enjoy.

Part One of Four. Thinking About the War

“The war is not China’s war, but economically and socially, we can try to help.”

Liu Xuecheng,

China Institute of International Studies, Chinese Foreign Ministry, Beijing1

“Are you a prisoner?”

Hugo Chavez, speaking to Barack Obama, April 20092

Introduction

The War in Iraq and Afghanistan has had many victims – one million dead Iraqis, thousands of U.S. and Taliban casualties, countless U.S. soldiers with PTSD bringing the war home to their families, two U.S. Commanders-in-Chief and as we shall see, it has had one victor – the growing Chinese empire.

There are two current explanations for the war – the official “fighting terrorism” explanation, and the popular explanation on the left and in Europe that the US is a dying imperialist nation attempting to save its bloated economy by taking control of the world’s remaining oil by force. If either explanation is correct, then “the world’s only superpower,” as we were perceived and perceived ourselves a decade ago, has nothing whatsoever other than remarkably fast collapse of that status to show for its efforts – an outrageously expensive and demoralizing result. And as the “fighting terrorism” explanation has come to appear “thinner” every passing year, the world has come to perceive us, I think, as a nation of petulant children willing to kill to keep our SUVs running. That is a very sad end for the nation of Jefferson and Lincoln, the nation that pronounced:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.3

We weren’t all bad, you know, but the “dying imperialist” view leaves us no friends at all..

What if neither explanation is correct? I think you’ll agree if you read on that there has been one hands-down winner in this war: a winner of almost every battle, and that is China.. We shall see that China is working very hard at cornering the world oil market, and that the United States military, with some encouragement from the oil industry, has assisted China along its way immensely. I think the evidence shows that was probably not merely the effect but the intent of our trillion-dollar adventure in Afghanistan and Iraq, that the United States Government has accomplished EXACTLY what it set out to accomplish: a great victory for China but the final blow to American prosperity. Has our Government truly gone that low? That’s what the facts suggest.

But keep in mind the caveat of a great and good friend who read this essay in draft:

“I have learned over the years not to attribute to malfeasance that which can more easily be described as stupidity. Sometimes folks just do stupid things. So, is your article linking a bunch of stupid actions, or reflecting a larger truth? Damned if I know.”

Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe we need a “regime change” to root out the majority of both parties who put Wall Street and the oil industry before the people but divert us into issues that divide us so we will vote perennially for the “lesser of two evils” until we are rendered penniless and powerless. Regardless, I hope you will enjoy a little saunter through Googlespace, and I think you will find a wealth of information through the links if you wish to pursue it.

Let’s try to take a look at the last decade with open minds. One thing is clear: that if the war of the last decade hasn’t been to some extent “about oil,” that would be pretty surprising, because everything else has been to some extent “about oil.”

Look around you. Unless you are in an exceptional place, the scene is dominated by petroleum. You see (under lights more likely than not poweed by fossil fuels), walls coated in petroleum-based paint, “organic chemicals ((aka petroleum derivatives) in your food, asphalt on your roof and under your car, which runs on “petrol,” and is largely made of plastic; in the summer you wear polyester, a petroleum product, or cotton, which arguably uses more petroleum than polyester does;4 and in winter you warm yourself with oil or natural gas.  And so on, ad nauseum. No wonder the world uses thirty billion barrels of the stuff per year, 200 gallons per capita.

The industry associated with this has under its control something under a trillion barrels of the “conventional” (easy to access) portion of this black goop, worth maybe eighty trillion dollars, and generating about 2.5 trillion dollars per year in gross income (but it might be $8 trillion next year). No one outside the industry really knows, because the industry doesn’t like to open its books, especially on the total supply figures (which it openly exaggerates) and no one has forced the issue.5 It’s important to keep in mind, though, that 90% of the oil is “owned” by countries rather than companies.6

Who else has that sort of wealth and income to command? The United States Government, about comparable to the oil industry in gross income. Who else? Maybe the U.S. banking industry So to understand what’s going on in the world, we’d better understand something about the behavior of these three entities. Let’s start with oil.

So your boss controls all the oil. What’s your plan for the great crash?

Imagine that you are a planner for the private oil industry. You know, and your client knows, whether or not you admit it publicly, that oil is running out fast. Conventional oil,7 with reserves you know to be under 1 trillion barrels, has to run out completely in about 30 years if the present rate of consumption continues, and if instead consumption drops in the frequently-observed approximate “exponential decay” form, then the quantities will have to drop by 3-4% per year. Without the discovery and rapid development of several Saudi Arabias, which is pretty much impossible just in terms of time, production has to go down at the same time as demand is increasing everywhere and particularly rapidly in China.8 The latest report on China says its demand for oil is rising at an “astonishing 28% per year,”9although its more typical rate of increase is 10%/yr, which means doubling its already enormous demand every seven years. Your client has likely known the general situation since 1990 or before, but has done the best it can to keep the public unaware of the quantity of remaining oil and when production would peak.10 You know and your client knows that the myth of a long-lasting supply is what it is, and you also know that the post-oil human carrying capacity is widely seen to be and is likely actually to be AT MOST 2 billion, comparable to the preoil actual population.11 Anyhow, with one billion people (and rising) going hungry now, no one says we can feed and clothe and house 9.5 billion people on zero oil (how things will be about 2050), so things are looking a bit bleak.

Your client, however, is coming upon an extraordinary one-time opportunity. Although if things go as generally anticipated there will in a generation be no more oil and therefore no more oil industry, the industry has the greatest potential for investment the world has ever known. It comes from two sources: (1) oil prices are about to burst through the ceiling,12 giving the industry a greatly increased income from a gradually decreasing oil supply, (2) the formerly ever-rising costs devoted to oil exploration, drilling, pipeline construction, and refinery construction are likely to drop off long before the income stream ceases. So the industry is coming upon a time when it can invest trillions per year in a world in which the contraction of oil is causing contraction of economies and industries, virtually across the board, and shortly will be causing contraction of populations as well.

So what to do? Logically, the answer appears to be to concentrate all oil supplies in an area of population around 2 billion and proceed to concentrate investments in non-oil industries in that place, which will be shielded from collapse to the extent possible because (1) it will be assured dependable oil longer than any other part of the world, (2) its non-oil industries will have their foreign competition decimated or impoverished by the lack of oil elsewhere, and (3) the oil industry will be supporting an economy for as long as possible that is small enough in fact to do without oil once oil is gone. This may be the ONLY advice you can rationally give your client, because it is the only advice that would result in your client having the optimal conditions for investing its riches as its oil disappears, and for leaving the largest technically feasible human economy in the post-oil era.

But where? Given your client’s interests, the following criteria seem logical

(1) The place should be densely populated to minimize needs for oil as transportation fuel.

(2) The place should be self-sustaining for food to the extent possible without oil, a criterion seemingly at war with the first.

(3) As a general proposition, the place should have been in the past as little dependent upon oil as possible, so that there will be the fewest preconceptions about necessary or efficient or desirable allocation of the resource.

(4) To make your client happy, labor costs should be low and controllable.

(5) Environmental and health regulation of both the oil industry and other manufacturing industries should be minimal.

(6) Ideally, the place will have a government willing and able to make probusiness decisions smoothly, and to “manage” any opposition “efficiently.”

(7) There should be a solid educational system allowing the population to be “brought up to speed” quickly.

(8) The place should be physically defensible from invasion by angry or hungry hordes.

(9) Should it prove necessary, the government should be capable and willing to take population-control measures.

This combination might likely assure that the maximum percentage of the oil with which the country is supplied can be used for expansion of a manufacturing economy and therefore assure maximum income to investors.

Looks like China, doesn’t it? China and some of its neighbors as appropriate. No one else comes close.

And China’s extraordinarily rapid economic expansion strongly suggests the assistance of outside investment from some source or sources with immense economic resources at a time that most economic entities everywhere are stressed. Looks like oil, doesn’t it?

But how? The private industry can take its own steps to the extent it is free to do so, to shift oil resources to China, but in fact those steps are fairly limited because at this time, 90% of the world’s oil reserves are publicly owned.13 So control of the nations owning oil and control of transportation corridors for oil is essential. It should be obtained by economic and political means where possible, but by military means where necessary.

What military means? The oil industry lacks direct military might. China lacks the ability to place ground forces in large numbers in oil-producing nations. Besides, to carry out a plan in which China obtains oil supplies at the expense of the rest of the world by overt military hostilities to the extent of “drying up” everyone else is hardly the way to win friends and therefore might undermine the whole project. This needs to be a militarily mighty nation other than China, with potential “cover” for its designs, which can be controlled in its actions by the oil industry, and which will not suffer so much from the gambit that it will refuse to cooperate. Sounds like the US, doesn’t it? Probably no one else.

And finally, you’ve got to be decisive – the people short-counted on the oil are going to have to fight, for their at least temporary survival. Once you have control of the oil fields, you have to provide them security and maintain control of the shipping lanes, a task more difficult if the potential competitors have any oil of their own. So the trick, logically, is to be quick and complete and decisive.

OK, that’s a plan. Corner all the oil, using your political control over the US as necessary, send it to China (and possibly adjacent Asian nations), starve everyone else of oil, stop investing in marginal oil and oil infrastructure, and put your excess cash from “peak oil” where you’re sending the oil. EVERYONE seeking to find a safe haven for living and investing in the era of collapsing oil might logically seek out the place where the oil is going to last longest, and go there. But the oil industry has a unique advantage -the ability to pick the spot itself. Once we look at it, it is hard to see how the oil industry could avoid having this or a very similar plan.

Of course your client doesn’t understand, and maybe neither do you (so it’s a story for another day), that this plan won’t work unless corporate sociopathy and the growth imperative are abandoned, because otherwise the oil reserve cushion will disappear overnight.

All of this is almost pure , unadulterated speculation. Is there any real evidence?

——————————-

The author is a California-licensed lawyer residing in Massachusetts (e-mail narguimbau@earthlink.net). He wishes to thank Ted Cady, Peter Goodchild, Peter Hollings, Lance Rodgers and Emily Spence for encouragement and valuable input.  All rights reserved, in particular for republicatiion.

NOTES

1. Tini Tran, AP News Service, “As U.S. fights, China spends to gain Afghan foothold ,” US Independence Day, July 4, 2010, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38076136/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

2. Quoted in Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg, “Still the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?” Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, November 21, 2009. http://www.ucimc.org/content/still-land-free-and-home-brave.

3. Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus,” http://www.libertystatepark.com/emma.htm

4. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sustainable-fashion-polyester-vs-cotton.html.

5. Nicholas C. Arguimbau, “Imminent Crash of the Oil Supply. . .” http://www.countercurrents.org/arguimbau230410.htm

6. Council on Foreign Relations -”National Security Consequences of Oil Dependency,” Oil Drum December 5, 2006, http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/12/4/121714/354

7. See definition discussed in Nicholas C. Arguimbau, “Imminent Crash of the Oil Supply. . .” http://www.countercurrents.org/arguimbau230410.htm .

8. Nicholas C. Arguimbau, “Imminent Crash of the Oil Supply. . .” http://www.countercurrents.org/arguimbau230410.htm

9. Live Oil Prices, March 12, 2010, IEA says China oil demand increase is astonishing, http://www.liveoilprices.co.uk/oil/iea_oil_report/03/2010/iea-says-china-oil-dema nd-increase-is-astonishing.html

10. The OPEC nations traditionally inflate their reserves to justify increased sales and the governments traditionally use the OPEC figures for planning purposes Arguimbau, “Imminent Crash of the Oil Supply . . .,” http://www.countercurrents.org/arguimbau230410.htm; only in 2010 an Oxford University study uncovered that as a result, planners had been knowingly assuming reserves implying a full decade of supply in excess of reality. Rowena Mason, “Oil reserves ‘exaggerated by one third’,” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7500669/Oilreserves-exaggerated-by-one-third.html; and no one has ever followed through on the warnings of global petroleum investment banker Matt Simmons, recently deceased, that OPEC had to open its books. EnergyTechStocks.com, “Meeting the Challenge Matt Simmons: Force All Oil Producers to Give Transparent Data,” (September, 2007) http://energytechstocks.com/wp/?p=245

11. See Pimentel et al, “WILL LIMITS OF THE EARTH’S RESOURCES CONTROL HUMAN NUMBERS,” dieoff.org/page174.htm. See also Hayes, “REINDEER, CARS & MALTHUS: POPULATION, CONSUMPTION AND CARRYING CAPACITY.” Population Press 1995,http://www.populationpress.org/essays/essay-hayes.html, Population, Carrying Capacity,http://www.umac.org/ocp/Carrying Capacity/info.html. Please note that these numbers are based upon “steady state” assumptions, but humanity has not shown itself capable of maintaining a steady state population for a reasonable time since prior to the agricultural revolution; additionally, humanity has done substantial damage to the planet in the last century, which will likely further reduce its carrying capacity for anywhere from centuries to millions of years, so this writer suspects that the true carrying capacity is substantially lower time. Nonetheless, a widely accepted estimate of carrying capacity, not the actual number, is the logically relevant figure when, as here, we are trying to ascertain what people are likely to do rather than what they ought to do.

12.See, for example, Deutsche Bank’s projection that crude oil prices will double in five years, http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/07/deutsche-bank-oil-to-hit-175-a-barrel-by-20 16-which-will-drive-a-final-stake-into-long-term-oil-demand-spurred-by-a-disrupt ive-technology-the-hybrid-and-electric-car-that-will-very/

13. Council on Foreign Relations -”National Security Consequences of Oil Dependency,” Oil Drum December 5, 2006,http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/12/4/121714/354

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The War – Did We Sacrifice a Million Lives and a $Trillion Cash Just to Hand Our Jobs to China?

Nicholas C. Arguimbau

While the Tea Partiers and the liberals squabble over important domestic issues, America’s corporate and military titans, at the expense of America’s workers and taxpayers and with the blessing of Congress and the President, are creating China’s economic miracle. The military, at a cost of over $1 trillion, has paved the way for China to acquire and the U.S. to lose access to vast mineral and petroleum resources. The oil industry, with U.S. government assistance, is building a safe haven in East Asia from the imminent crash of oil everywhere else, by cornering the whole supply. And foreign investment, largely American, is giving China on average nearly one million new jobs a month while American unemployment soars.

This is a four-part series. Part One discusses why and how the oil industry could create a safe haven from its own collapse, and why it might choose China for the project. Part Two discusses how East Asia became “the right market” for the world’s remaining oil reserves, endangering everyone else. Part Three discusses how the US military has turned Afghanistan and Iraq into China’s good buddies. Part Four takes a broader view of what has happened and what if anything can be done about it. Enjoy.

Part Two of Four. The US and Europe Aren’t “the Right Markets.”

Does “Big Oil” have the resources to carry out your plan?

For starters, is it right to assume that the oil industry has an enormous amount of money to invest somewhere else at this time and in the short-term future? Apparently, yes. As oil becomes depleted, exploratory drilling drops because it is futile, additional tankers are largely unnecessary if there isn’t additional oil, and as the industry approaches peak production there is less reason to expand refinery capacity. The industry isn’t about to announce its investment strategy, but to the extent available, statistics bear this out. When oil was a growth industry, it was necessary steadily to increase refinery capacity. But it is uneconomical to build refineries that will be unnecessary long before their useful life is over. Global refinery capacity has hardly grown at all since the early eighties, and the excess of refinery capacity over production/demand dropped from 15 mbpd (close to enough to meet the entire US demand) to zero between 1980 and the peak in production of conventional oil,1increasingly recognized as having occurred in or around 2005. (Refineries are again being built, but overall, e.g. with several being built in China while five of Britain’s eight have “for sale” signs, “the world needs fewer oil refineries.”)2 Additionally, exploratory drilling for conventional oil dropped from 11,000 wells to 3000 wells in the same period.3 . Similarly, oil tanker construction (92% of which takes place in South Korea, China and Japan) is slowing.4 These changes began three decades ago, which suggests, notwithstanding a stance of public denial that continued until this year,

the industry has been aware for that long of the coming peak.5

And then, of course, is the industry’s coming “free ride” from price escalation. It has been calculated that a 4% drop in supply could result in a 177% increase in gasoline prices(i.e. from $3/gal to $8.31/gal) and that a 15% drop in supply could result in a 550% increase in prices, (i.e. from $3/gal to $19.50/gal.),6 that peak oil could “soon”, according to Robert Hirsch,7 result in $12-15/gal gasoline, and according to the former Shell President that gas will rise to $5/gal in 2012..8 None of this should be too surprising, because the prices will have to cut consumption of oil generally by perhaps 20% by 2020. 9

While oil is sitting pretty relative to the rest of us, such figures might present almost as scary a prospect to the industry as they do to you and me. How can the oil industry get away from the oil shortages to which everyone else is about to fall victim? Well, China is increasing its demand by 10%/yr, doubling its consumption in 7 years, and (if it can keep up the frenetic pace) quadrupling consumption in 14 years. That would run the rest of the world down to zero. ZERO petroleum by 2025. Of course doubling your consumption twice in fourteen years is a pretty good trick, but then you might get fire sale prices because the oil industry is rooting for you, and buying the oil and leaving it in the ground where no one else could touch it would work as well to take the oil away from everyone else. As we shall see, China is well on its way with the potential to increase its consumption by 50% just from its overwhelming success at the 2009 Iraq oil auction. In fifteen years, all the world could be destitute except for China and its chosen few neighbors, with a population arguably not too many for a permanent global steady state, and with half a trillion barrels of oil left all to itself to tide it over to sustainability, assuming it does not pollute the world to death..

China sitting by itself with its population is far from sustainable, notably because of a massive groundwater deficit for agriculture on the North China Plain.10 The country has long prided itself as being self-supportive for food, but has more recently been considering importation of grain as an alternative to extremely expensive water importation to the North China Plain, but neither alternative should be out of reach of a nation holding most all the oil. China, after all, performs a trick that looks inconceivable: being the world’s greatest grain producer with farms averaging under an acre in size.11 And were China to corner the world oil supply with enough to keep it going for a century or so, the rest of the world would be virtually defenseless to any attempts it makes to pick the plums of the remaining world’s resources. It will be said by anyone who survives,

“The sun never sets on the Chinese empire.”12

Is “Big Oil”moving into China as if it’s planning to stay?

Is the oil industry in fact putting down roots in the Chinese economy? Glad you asked. Yes. International oil companies have been “pumping money into China,” with BP, Shell and Exxon-Mobil “leading the surge.” They are making the sort of investment that suggests they intend to stay awhile and think their industry will, too. They’ve been building 100 gas stations per month for years, the Kuwaiti Oil Company is building one refinery in China,13 and Shell is building another.14 And China itself is building refineries in Nigeria and Brazil.15 This isn’t how they’d behave it they thought China was going to run out of oil in a hurry. It’s more as if they think China is cornering the market. And they should know.

Of course, there are the five billion or so people who would rather not see ALL the remaining oil going to China and its neighbors, and if it appears that’s what’s happening, may wish to intervene. Fifteen years is not much time, and while the scenario, like China’s “astonishing” January 2009 to January, 2010 28% demand increase, seems improbable on its face, there is surprisingly little to stop it. A partnership between the oil industry and China is a pretty formidable one.

What we might expect is that the United States, with the most to lose, the most military might, and endless lip service to the importance of “energy independence,” would step in to create some balance.. But consistent with Congress’ long-established subservience to oil (the industry, not the commodity), the reverse is in fact happening.

Getting the oil to the “right market”

The oil industry has long had the ability to use the US Government to steer oil resources away from the US itself. Maybe you remember the fight over construction of the pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope. This was just after peak US oil, and concerns about American oil “security,” and American “oil independence” were as strong as they are today. There were two alternative pipeline routes: up the Mackenzie River Valley in Canada, ending in the US Midwest (the environmentally preferred alternative), and down through the completely undeveloped Alaskan interior to Valdez, the oil-industry preferred alternative. To be fair, “completely undeveloped” is hardly an accurate phrase. There were native Alaskan villages in the way, the rights of which Congress swept away in favor of the oil industry with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.16 The oil industry maintained that it was important for the sake of “security” and “oil independence” that the route be entirely “on American soil.” All of that made sense until Charles Cicchetti, then an economist at John Hopkins, pointed out that from an economic point of view it made no sense to build the pipeline to Valdez rather than to the Midwest if the oil were to remain in the US, because there was a surplus of low-priced oil on the West Coast but a short supply of high-priced oil in the Midwest. . The only way the oil industry would prefer the Alaskan route, he said, was if it intended to sell to Japan rather than to the US.17 So much for American oil “independence.” The Alaskan route was chosen by Congress anyway. A restriction was placed in the bill that said the oil could not be shipped directly from Valdez to Japan, but that did not change Cicchetti’s calculus – that we needed the oil in the Midwest, and didn’t need it on the West coast. Thus the US Government was willing as long ago as 1972 to assist oil companies in reducing the supply of American oil to American citizens, all in the name of oil independence.

Since at least 1998, there has been an odd dichotomy between the perceived strategic aims of the US in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the actual beneficiaries of our intevention.. Almost immediately after 9/11, there arose a cottage industry of “It’s about oil” writing,18 and it probably is. This writer recalls being part of the fan club and an occasional contributor .That is not the focus of this article. What is odd is the dichotomy – a confusion between a war for oil and a war for oil companies.

Columnist George Monbiot said it all on October 23, 2001, in a column titled “America’s pipe dream. A pro-western regime in Kabul should give the US an Afghan route for Caspian oil.” He argued,

If the US succeeds in overthrowing the Taliban and replacing them with a stable and grateful pro-western government and if the US then binds the economies of central Asia to that of its ally Pakistan, it will have crushed not only terrorism, but also the growing ambitions of both Russia and China. Afghanistan, as ever, is the key to the western domination of Asia.19

But what was the “Afghan route for Caspian oil” that a “pro-western regime in Kabul should give the US”? John Maresca. Unocal Vice President and former US diplomat,20described it in testimony on invitation from Congress in February, 1998,21 in which he discussed the need to remove the Taliban so as to make way for pipelines to carry Caspian crude and natural gas across Afghanistan to the coast of Pakistan, where it could be shipped to India and China. Maresca’s testimony is a fount of information for conspiracy buffs, but it stands on its own as an indicator of US policy with regard to energy for China. Maresca said that the Caspian oil was likely “enough to service Europe’s oil needs for 11 years” if exported through a pipeline to the Mediterranean, and that the Caspian could be producing 4.5 mbpd by 2010. In 1998 China, by comparison, consumed 4.1 mbpd.22 Nonetheless, Maresca recommended against reliance on the pipeline to the Mediterranean and in favor of a pipeline across Afghanistan that would service India and China. Unocal presumably was aware that peak oil would occur in the interim, so giving oil to China was taking it from the rest of the world.

While Maresca’s testimony later proved optimistic and the oil pipeline across Afghanistan for Caspian crude, specifically endorsed by Robert W. Gee, Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Energy at the time of Maresca’s testimony,23 is apparently no longer on the table, it is nonetheless indicative of what Congress was willing to give away to China. Why was this Maresca”s recommendation?

He explained that a western route, out through the Mediterranean, would not have the capability to move it to the “right markets.” The Mediterranean route was designed for export of Caspian oil to the United States and Europe,24implicitly the “wrong markets.” Predictably, he mentioned Europe but not the United States in this testimony invited by the US Department of Energy. East Asia, he predicted, was “a different story altogether” and could be expected to more than double its demand before 2010. That in fact happened.

Such predictions, of course, always have an element of self-fulfilling prophecy. As discussed below, investment rather than exports is the primary driver of GDP growth in China, and foreign investments in China multiplied by ten in the six years prior to Maresca’s testimony, to a level that has been approximately 10% of the GDP ever since.25 So in modern China, if one must ask “Which came first, the chicken (foreign investment) or the egg (economic growth)?” the answer appears to be, “The chicken.” Promoting oil for China, promoted foreign investment.

Next, Maresca told his listeners, twice for emphasis, that

 

“The territory across which the pipeline would extend is controlled by the Taliban, an Islamic movement that is not recognized as a government by most other nations. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of our proposed pipeline cannot begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders and our company..”

Maresca was asking Congress to intervene in Afghanistan in a manner that would shift oil, and ultimately jobs, to China.

—————————–

The author is a California-licensed lawyer residing in Massachusetts (e-mail narguimbau@earthlink.net). He wishes to thank Ted Cady, Peter Goodchild, Peter Hollings, Lance Rodgers and Emily Spence for encouragement and valuable input.  All rights reserved, in particular for republicatiion.

NOTES

1. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2006/01/chp1pdf/fig1_21.pdf ; “Conventional” oil means that which is pumped from fields on the land or under shallow water, is not under deep sea and does not come from “tar sands,” shales, etc. See Campbell, below.The “unconventional” oils exist in staggeringly high amounts, but are often useless as energy sources because the energy recovered over the energy in (“EROEI”) is numerically less than one. Even to the extent practically recoverable, none of these sources can be developed quickly enough to eliminate shortfalls in the near future.

2. Martin Quinlan,”Refining: short-term improvement, long-term problems.” Petroleum Economist June 2010, http://www.petroleum-economist.com/default.asp?page=14&PubID=46&ISS=25678&SID=726819

3. Colin Campbell, “Peak Oil: an Outlook on Crude Oil Depletion,”http://www.greatchange.org/ov-campbell,outlook.html .

4. MIC, “World Ship-Building forecast shows weak-but-steady growth in oil and as tanker fleet over next five years,” http://www.micportal.com/index.php/Please%20see%20the%20MPA%20circular%20for%20full%20details%20a%20link%20to%20which%20can%20be%20found%20here:%20http:/Please%20see%20the%20MPA%20circular%20for%20full%20details%20a%20link%20to%20which%20can%20be%20found%20here:%20http:/cgvi.uscg.mil/media/Please%20see%20the%20MPA%20circular%20for%20full%20details%20a%20link%20to%20which%20can%20be%20found%20here:%20http:/www.mpa.gov.sg/circulars_and_notices/pdfs/banners/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2432:world-shipbuilding-forecast-shows-weak-but-steady-growth-in-oil-and-gas-tanker-fleet-over-next-five-years&catid=7:Tankers&Itemid=15 (2009)

5. 1980 was when Ronald Reagan was elected President. His environmental policies demonstrated a strong allegiance to the oil industry, and his support for massive public and private debt and large-scale development of unsustainable oil-guzzling suburbia, set the stage for much of America’s present predicament. Did his policies reflect what the oil industry knew would come three decades later? That’s a question for historians, if history survives the next few decades.

6. Stanton, “Is the UK ready for an oil shortage?” http://www.roadtransport.com/Articles/2008/01/30/129667/Is-the-UK-ready-for-an-oil-shortage.htm

7. speaking on CNBC, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWGsnW_NnxE

8. Cleanmpg.com http://www.cleanmpg.com/forums/index.php

9. See graph in Nicholas C. Arguimbau, “Imminent Crash of the Oil Supply. . .” http://www.countercurrents.org/arguimbau230410.htm

10. “Water Policy Briefing: Choosing Appropriate Responses to Groundwater Depletion,” International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka Email:waterpolicybriefing@cgiar.org,http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/waterpolicybriefing/index.asp. This report is exclusively on the North China Plain problem. IWMI in Sri Lanka is an excellent source of materials on global water problems.

11. UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Agricultural Outlook 2010-2019 (2010)

12. Credits to John Wilson, who is said to be the originator of “The sun never sets on the British Empire,” Answers.com, http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_said_’The_sun_never_sets_on_the_British_Empire’

13. China: Foreign Oil Companies Boosting Investments ,” Energy Tribune January 27, 2007, http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm?aid=365&idli=1

14. “Shell, CNOOC Parent in Talks on Refinery Deal, China Daily Says,” Bloomberg News, Jan 10, 2011, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-11/shell-cnooc-parent-in-talks-on-refinery-deal-china-daily-says.html

15. www.glennbeck.com/2011/01/14/footnotes-research-for-t...

16. (43 USC 1601-1624) — Public Law 92-203, approved December 18, 1971 (85 Stat. 688)

17. Cicchetti, C.J. 1972. Alaskan Oil: Alternative Routes and Markets. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Congress placed a provision in the bill limiting direct shipment from Valdz to Japan; whether it alleviated thesituation, this writer does not know. But it could not change the fact that from an American standpoint, the oil was needed in the Midwest but not on the West Coast..

18. Cvf. Ted Rall, It’s About Oil. The San Francisco Chronicle: November 2, 2001: http://articles.sfgate.com/2001-11-02/opinion/17625946_1_kazak-caspian-sea-black-sea

19. George Monbiot The Guardian, Tuesday 23 October 2001

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/23/afghanistan.terrorism

20. http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa48119.000/hfa48119_0.HTM

21. Mr. Maresca’s testimony, made on invitation of the House Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, may be read at http://www.serendipity.li/wot/wsap212982.htm

22. US Energy Information Administration. Independent Statistics and Analysis, International Petroleum (Oil) Consumption http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/international/RecentPetroleumConsumptionBarrelsperDay.xls Researchers will find the EIA data bank invaluable

23. House Committee transcript at 17, http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa48119.000/hfa48119_0.HTM

24. Leyla Tabasaranskaya (Senior Supply Chain Officer, Supply Chain Management Department, BP Azerbaijan Business Unit) “Baku – Tbilisi-Yhan Pipeline Project Underway,” UK Trade and Investment, http://www.touchoilandgas.com/baku-tbilisi-yhan-pipeline-a102-1.html

25. FDI inflows into China 1984-2009,The rise of foreign direct investment (FDI) , Chinability, http://www.chinability.com/FDI.htm

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The War – Did We Sacrifice a Million Lives and a $Trillion Cash Just to Hand Our Jobs to China? 

Nicholas C. Arguimbau

While the Tea Partiers and the liberals squabble over important domestic issues, America’s corporate and military titans, at the expense of America’s workers and taxpayers and with the blessing of Congress and the President, are creating China’s economic miracle. The military, at a cost of over $1 trillion, has paved the way for China to acquire and the U.S. to lose access to vast mineral and petroleum resources. The oil industry, with U.S. government assistance, is building a safe haven in East Asia from the imminent crash of oil everywhere else. And foreign investment, largely American, is giving China on average nearly one million new jobs a month while American unemployment soars.

This is a four-part series. Part One discusses why and how the oil industry could create a safe haven from its own collapse, and why it might choose China for the project. Part Two discusses how East Asia became “the right market” for the world’s remaining oil reserves, endangering everyone else. Part Three discusses how the US military has turned Afghanistan and Iraq into China’s good buddies. Part Four takes a broader view of what has happened and what if anything can be done about it. Enjoy.

Part Three of Four. Our Hand-Picked Governments in Afghanistan and Iraq Snub Us and Befriend China 

Next stop, Afghanistan

After ousting the Taliban under the guise (or the reality – take your pick) of doing something about 9/11, the US put in place Hamid Karzai, a former Unocal (you remember, the company that convinced Congress that the “right markets” were in East Asia, not the West) adviser. While the specific project pushed by Unocal’s Maresca has not gone forward, the continuing significance of Maresca’s testimony is demonstrated by the signing in December, 2010 by Karzai of a multinational agreement (not including the US) to build a natural gas pipeline, to serve points East. Maresca’s vision of the “right markets” has remained alive and well.

Shortly, with the Taliban out of the way, China arrived on the scene to get involved in a variety of resource exploitation projects, and was greeted by the Karzai administration and the Afghan public with open arms. With the Taliban gone from Kabul, Afghan-Chinese business is booming on many levels. In the decade since 9/11, trade has increased tenfold, consumer markets in Kabul, like those in the US, are packed with Chinese products, often one fifth the price of similar goods manufactured in the US or Germany or Iran, and there is a continuous stream of about 30,000 traders shuttling back and forth between the two countries.1

At least equally important, and better known, is that China has won numerous industrial and resource-development contracts from the Karzai government in Afghanistan. China Railway Construction Group/China Railway Shisiju Group has won major railway-construction contracts. Chinese companies now dominate the Afghan cable and fiber optics markets. Chinese contractors have also received contracts for hospital, school, road and housing developments..

The crown jewel of it all is a 30-year contract to exploit what is said by some to be the largest and by others to be the second-largest undeveloped copper deposit in the world, Aynak, approximately 40 miles southeast of Kabul.. The deposit is said by one reporter to be valued at $30 billion and by another to be valued at “up to” $88 billion, yet China’s bid of $3.5 billion winning it the deal over several other bidders including Phelps-Dodge of the United States, reportedly surprised analysts who were not expecting a bid over $2 billion. Some have questioned the integrity of the bidding process, which also reportedly had no economic or environmental review, and question the over-involvement in favor of the Chinese proposal by Karzai’s mining minister, discussed in a Nature article in October, 2007, but the Karzai government denies any wrong-doing.2

None of this would have been possible without the United States’ military intervention, apparently immensely expensive to the people of the United States in dollars, lives, and loss of good will. Mathew Nasuti of Kabul Press writes:

“China is not merely winning the propaganda war. It is keeping a low public profile in Afghanistan, which keeps Muslim militant efforts focused on the very visible American military presence. While the United States Government spends an estimated $1 billion a day in Afghanistan and, more importantly, places its men and women in uniform in the line of fire, the country that benefits the most from that effort appears to be China. If the Americans and their NATO allies were not fighting and dying in Afghanistan, Chinese military forces would likely have to be deployed. The Beijing government seems happy to have the West take over its military responsibilities. As the Taliban and al-Qaeda focus on battling the very visible Western forces, China officials work behind the scenes preparing to benefit in the long-term from the primarily American effort.”3

Ironically, one of the reasons for continued presence of the United States in Afghanistan is that the Aynak mining operation faces continued threats from Taliban insurgents, and the U.S. Army’s Tenth Mountain Division patrols the area for China.4

Even the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, folks one would expect to find allies among American Republicans and Tea-Partiers, is whistling into the wind about what’s going on: “We’re giving tens of billions of dollars in assistance to Afghanistan, and we’re getting no credit. We need a policy on developing mines and minerals and oil and gas in Afghanistan. Otherwise, it will be dominated by the Chinese.”5

None of these stunning advances for China could have occurred without military intervention by the United States. Can they be reconciled with the Government’s asserted goal of routing out Al Qaeda in Afghanistan? No, because there are in fact under 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. For this we would deploy over 100 THOUSAND US troops, spend half a trillion dollars and still find ourselves regularly outmaneuvered? Can they be reconciled with the leftperceived goal of US imperialism in the sense of capture and control of the resources of a nation with the use of military force? No, because the only imperialist interests appearing to be furthered are those of the Chinese, and if conventional imperialism is involved, we are fighting FOR those we should be fighting against. No especially because US imperialist interests cannot be reconciled with providing military security for China’s mining operations.

Has George Monbiot’s prediction that our handpicking the Taliban’s successor would “crush” China’s ambitions in Afghanistan come true? Hardly. On the other hand, if the US military has been hijacked by the oil industry and China to aid in consolidating resources in Maresca’s “right markets,” then not only do the facts fit, but far from bumbling, the operation has been a tremendous success at costs that, while very high to the US taxpayer, have been negligible to the “clients.”

All of this is surely at least CONSISTENT with implementation of the conjectured plan for giving oil a Chinese safe haven in which to invest its trillions as the oil-based economies of the rest of the world, including the US, collapse. It is not a pretty picture to see the US using its military might with either the effect or the intent of depriving Americans of resources and sending them to China, while China, insisting it has nothing to do with the war, reaps the benefits. That uis unquestionably the effect, but we should take a look at what’s been happening in Iraq before jumping to conclusions about intent.

On to Iraq, the One-time Home of Saddam Hussein.

Iraq is in fact more of the same. The United States Government has never shown that Al Qaeda had a safe haven in Iraq or even that the US was making an attempt to rout out Al Qaeda. The same is true of the Taliban in Iraq. And the back-up claim of the US, that attempts to manufacture weapons of mass destruction in Iraq had to be halted, was never shown to have any factual support. This writer will not reiterate the evidence on this subject. So that left a “US-imperialists-are seeking-control-of-the-oil” explanation as the only apparently viable one.

Viable, that is, until the US “regime change” occurred and Saddam Hussein’s chosen successor began to parcel out contracts on its vast oil reserves, estimated at 110 billion barrels (vast at least in this day of declining oil). We shall look in vain for any signs of gratitude to the U.S. from the newly-installed “grateful pro-western government.”6

Falah Aljibury, an Iraqi energy analyst who has advised several Iraqi oil ministers as well as other OPEC nations, says that the Asian nations have been at an advantage as a result of their non-participation in the military operations that secured benefits for them.7 And so it certainly appears.

In an early round of sales, four small contracts were entered into, but notably, all with Asian contractors: China, Vietnam, India and Indonesia.8

In August, 2008, without a bidding process, Iraq entered into a 20-year contract with China to develop the small Ahdab field, near the Iranian border, expected to yield 125,000 bpd. Iraq’s spokesperson, discussing the deal with the Washington Post, emphasized that Western oil compaies had thus far only been given technical services contracts, that the contract given to China was much more lucrative, and that Iraqi officials hoped the deal with China would “refute all the rumors that say the American companies are the only ones benefitting from the American occupation.” 9

In 2009, again without a bidding process, Iraq gave China and its partner BP the largest contract that can or will ever be made anywhere again for oil

a 20-year contract to develop its crown jewel, the Rumaila field, said to be second only in the world to Saudi Arabia’s now-declining Ghawar field.10Longterm contracts, unique in Iraq for the Middle East, are permitted under the Iraqi regime change’s law, the terms of which were reviewed by the Bush Administration prior to its submission to the Iraqi parliament.11 Those terms include the contractor sharing title to the petroleum with Iraq, but that particular provision has yet to be approved by Iraq’s parliament. With estimated reserves of 17 billion barrels and production at 2.85 mbpd, Rumaila makes the giant Alaskan Prudhoe Bay field, the largest in North America (total production to reach 13 billion barrels at a maximum production rate of 2 mbpd,12) look modest.

Again without a bidding process, in May, 2010, Iraq signed a contract with China and the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to develop the Maysan oilfield complex, which contains 2.5 billion barrels. The complex is expected to yield 450,000bpd (remember that only a decade ago, that alone would have been 10% of China’s demand), and the stakes are divided 64% China, 11% Turkey, and 25% retained by Iraq. 13.

The American companies by appearances got their main chance in Iraq with an open auction on numerous large fields in December, 2009. The American companies were, however, according to the press, “noticeably absent.”14 Despite a very flashy televised show of transparency in the bidding process,15 the die had already been cast – the American companies had apparently already decided either that they did not want to develop Iraq’s huge oil reserves, or that they could not win on the terms Iraq was offering. The fields auctioned off16 included

Rajnoon – another “Prudhoe Bay” field, its total reserves 13 billion barrels and projected output 1.8 mbpd- successful bidder Malaysia.

Halfaya (4.1 billion barrels of reserves, projected output of 535,000 barrels per day (bpd)) – successful bidder China (50%), along with partners Total from France (25%) and Petronas from Malaysia (25%).

Gharaf (reserves of around 860 million barrels, projected output of 230,000 bpd) – successful bidder a partnership (Malaysia 60%, Japan 40% )

West Qurna Phase 2(about 12 billion barrels of reserves; projected production of 1.8 mbpd) – successful bidder Russia.

US company Exxon-Mobil, partnering with Royal Dutch Shell, had been awarded one month earlier a significant 20-year development contract for West Qurna Phase 1 (estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels, with an output target of 2.1 mbpd),17 but that is the only major contract awarded to a U.S. company, and there are not expected to be additional major auctions for decades. As discussed in Part Two, Exxon is actively investing in China, so the oil it obtains from Iraq may ultimately go to China rather than to the U.S.

Here in summary are the fields parceled out by Iraq in 2009 alone:

Asia  Rumaaila     2.85mbpd         primary holder China

Maysan     0.45                   primary holder China

Rajnoon     1.80                  primary holder Malaysia

Halfaya     0.535                 primary holder China

Gharaf      0.230                 primary holder Malaysia

Total Asia 5.865

Russia W. Qurna Ph 2 1.80

Exxon/U.S. W. Qurna Ph 1 2.10

France Halfaya (25%) 0.134

Malaysia is a small player in the world of oil relative to the above contracts, producing approximately 693,000bpd and consuming 536,000 bpd, with reserves of about 4 billion barrels,18 so Malaysia is likely standing in for someone else in Iraq.

Oh, yes. Part of what the US is doing in Iraq is the same as in Afghanistan: serving as security forces for the primarily-Asian and particularly Chinese oil contractors, which is apparently a major reason the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t seem to be in much hurry to fulfill his commitment to bring the troops home.19

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The author is a California-licensed lawyer residing in Massachusetts (e-mail narguimbau@earthlink.net). He wishes to thank Ted Cady, Peter Goodchild, Peter Hollings, Lance Rodgers and Emily Spence for encouragement and valuable input.  All rights reserved, in particular for republicatiion.

NOTES

1. Tini Tran, AP News Service, “As U.S. fights, China spends to gain Afghan foothold ,” US Independence Day, July 4, 2010, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38076136/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

2. Mathew Masuti, “US Losing Afghanistan to China,” Kabul Press July 19,2010, http://www.kabulpress.org/my/spip.php?article19517; Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, November 24, 2007, “Afghanistan: China’s Winning Bid For Copper Rights Includes Power Plant, Railroad,” http://www.afghan-web.com/economy/china_copper.htm land ; Tini Tran, AP News Service, “As U.S. fights, China spends to gain Afghan foothold ,” US Independence Day, July 4, 2010, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38076136/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

3. Mathew Masuti, “US Losing Afghanistan to China,” Kabul Press July 19,2010, http://www.kabulpress.org/my/spip.php?article19517.

4. As reported in the Asia Times, citing the Economist magazine. Syed Fazl-e-Haider “Afghan cash starts going to China, ” http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KK11Df04.html.

5. As reported in the Asia Times, citing an NBC News interview of Donald Ritter, president of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce. Syed Fazl-e-Haider “Afghan cash starts going to China, ” http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KK11Df04.html.

6. Cf. observations of George Monbiot in October 2001, quoted above.

7. Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer, April 5 2007: “And Iraq’s big oil contracts go to … Companies from China, India and other Asian nations are seen getting the first contracts. But don’t write off Big Oil just yet.” http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/05/news/international/iraq_oil/index.htm

8. Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer, “And Iraq’s big oil contracts go to … Companies from China, India and other Asian nations are seen getting the first contracts. But don’t write off Big Oil just yet.’ April 5 2007.http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/05/news/international/iraq_oil/index.htm

9. Amit R. Paley, Washington Post Foreign Service, Friday, August 29, 2008, “Iraq and China Sign $3 Billion Oil Contract: Deal Is First of Its Kind Since Invasion,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2008/08/28/AR2008082802200.html

10. Friday, 24 September 2010, Jay Ruskin, “NEWS: ‘Surge of interest’ in Iraq oil contracts as BP prepares to develop Rumaila field.” http://www.ufppc.org/us-a-world-news-mainmenu-35/9930-news-surge-ofinterest-in-iraq-oil-contracts-as-bp-prepares-to-develop-rumaila- field.html. Note that the Prudhoe Bay field has had 13 billion barrels of “recoverable” oil but 25 billion barrels total. Press reports for Rumaila have not made the distinction, so there is some possibility that its “recoverable” oil is no more than Prudhoe Bay’s.

11. Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer, April 5 2007: “And Iraq’s big oil contracts go to … Companies from China, India and other Asian nations are seen getting the first contracts. But don’t write off Big Oil just yet.” http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/05/news/international/iraq_oil/index.htm

12. Wikipedia, Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prudhoe_Bay_Oil_Field

13. “Iraq signs oilfield deals with CNOOC, TPAO,” Maktoob News, 5/17/2010http://en.news.maktoob.com/20090000470398/Iraq_signs_oilfield_deals_with_C NOOC_TPAO/Article.htm

14. Jane Arraf, Global Post, December 12, 2009, “Iraq’s giant oil fields go on auction block. Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysia’s state-owned oil company win the biggest prize, the super-giant Majnoon Field,” http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/iraq/091211/oil-auction

15. The auction “was conducted like a high-stakes game show. To ensure transparency, oil company representatives brought their bids to the stage in sealed envelopes. The figures were then put up on giant screens with the winner announced to polite applause.” Jane Arraf, Global Post, December 12, 2009, “Iraq’s giant oil fields go on auction block. Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysia’s state-owned oil company win the biggest prize, the super-giant Majnoon Field,”http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/iraq/091211/oil-auction

16. Pepe Escobar, “Iraq’s oil auction hits the jackpot,” Asia Times On Line, December 16, 2009, http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KL16Ak02.html

17. Alarabiya.net, Thursday, 05 November 2009, “W.Qurna a prized oilfield with 8.7 bln bbls of reserves. Exxon-led group clinches Iraq’s W.Qurna contract.” (The article alternatively refers to the field as having 8.5 and 8.7 billion barrels.)http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/11/05/90303.html

18. EIA, “Malaysia Oil,” http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Malaysia/Oil.html

19. See, e.g., Ben Lando, “Major oil export development highlights security questions, July 13, 2010, http://www.iraqoilreport.com/security/energy-sector/major-oil-export-developmen t-highlights-security-questions-4814/

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The War – Did We Sacrifice a Million Lives and a $Trillion Cash Just to Hand Our Jobs to China?

Nicholas C. Arguimbau

While the Tea Partiers and the liberals squabble over important domestic issues, America’s corporate and military titans, at the expense of America’s workers and taxpayers and with the blessing of Congress and the President, are creating China’s economic miracle. The military, at a cost of over $1 trillion, has paved the way for China to acquire and the U.S. to lose access to vast mineral and petroleum resources. The oil industry, with U.S. government assistance, is building a safe haven in East Asia from the imminent crash of oil everywhere else. And foreign investment, largely American, is giving China on average nearly one million new jobs a month while American unemployment soars.

This is a four-part series. Part One discusses why and how the oil industry could create a safe haven from its own collapse, and why it might choose China for the project. Part Two discusses how East Asia became “the right market” for the world’s remaining oil reserves, endangering everyone else. Part Three discusses how the US military has turned Afghanistan and Iraq into China’s good buddies. Part Four takes a broader view of what has happened and what if anything can be done about it. Enjoy.

Part Four of Four. What’s Really Going on Here?

Several months before the 2009 auction in Iraq, MichaelEconomides, editor of the industry newspaper, Energy Tribune, had described the changing roles of the West and China in petroleum acquisition in a virtual script for the up-coming Iraqi auction:

“It is certain that large Chinese oil acquisitions will become commonplace . .. . .Almost overnight, the US and the EU will be reduced to mere bystanders while China moves into the geopolitical major leagues. Massive Chinese acquisition of energy assets will lead to a transfer of political and economic power that the modern world has rarely seen. Why the US would be willing to give up competing for what has arguably been the world’s most vital commodity and for which there is no credible alternative, is mystifying.”1

Mystifying indeed. Economides attributed the Western lassitude to too much “philosophizing on the future of the planet.”2Hmmm. Is that what motivated the US oil companies in sitting out the 2009 auction? Somehow it seems even less likely than the idea that the war has been an aging imperialist nation’s gambit to “crush the growing ambitions of China.” We all allow our vision to be clouded on occasion by our determination to blame things on our favorite enemies. Were we “philosophizing on the future of the planet” when we killed one million Iraqis? Were we “crushing the growing ambitions of China” when we imposed “regime changes” in which the new rulers fell over backwards to give China their geological crown jewels? I don’t think so.  And yet the BEHAVIOR of both the US Government and the US oil companies is as if they do not want Americans to have oil in the future.  An environnmentally admirable position to take if the oil were not going to be used anyway, but the safe-haven-in-China motive and Maresca’s assurances that Asia is the “right market” ring more true to this observer at least, especially given that the Waxman and Kerry global warming bills were drafted apparently so that the oil industry would be saved from doing more than “peak oil” would require.  Seewww.countercurrents.org/arguimbau230410.htm (“Imminent Crash of the Oil Supply . . .”), .

Good cop, bad cop

So we go into Afghanistan, rough everyone up, put “our” man in charge and tell ‘em it’s time to have a democracy. Folks aren’t terribly impressed. Then right behind us comes China, which “hearts and minds ‘em,” and they lay out the red carpet. The scene repeats itself in Iraq, where there’s a literal red carpet at the 2009 petroleum auction.

It’s a classic “good cop bad cop” routine. For those unfamiliar with it, the routine originated in police interrogation techniques. The “good cop” ingratiates himself to the suspect, offers him food or drink, explains that he wants to get him the best possible deal and may be able to do so if the suspect cooperates. The “bad cop” is standing by, seething, seemingly willing to beat up the suspect at the least excuse if he fails to cooperate. When the routine works, the suspect ultimately does what the “good cop” wants out of gratitude for having an alternative to the “bad cop.”

In context, China, playing “good cop,” is in a strong position to negotiate favorable contracts for pipeline corridors, oil or other resources from a country that has been subjected to US military intervention. The countries holding natural resources or pipeline corridors coveted by China may choose between China’s “carpet of gold” and America’s “carpet of bombs.” 3 To the casual observer, the “good cop” and “bad cop” have conflicting goals, but in fact they are one and the same.. As Chinese analyst Liu Xuecheng puts it as quoted at the opening of this article, the US wages war while China “tries to help.”

You have to admire China’s chutzpah. China avoids blame for engaging in imperialist war, China carries off the spoils, United States soldiers bear the casualties, United States taxpayers shoulder the bill, the United States takes the exclusive blame for yet another immoral war, AND China purchases bonds, about one trillion dollars, altogether, on which U.S. taxpayers will be paying interest for decades, to cover the cost.4 As writer William Schneider asks, “Isn’t there something worrisome about Communist China financing operations of the U.S. government?”5 But that’s a question for another day.

OK, what’s goin’ on here, if it isn’t clear already?

So what IS going on here? Let’s make a list:

(1) In 1992, there began a massive foreign investment in China. Annual foreign investment multipled by more than 10 in five years to around $70 billion per year by 1997, an influx of “stimulus money” every year greater relative to the size of the GDP, than the US stimulus package of 2009. China, which had been stagnating in the years just prior to that influx, boomed. And for the last decade, investment has been by far the largest contributor to China’s GDP growth, eclipsing its phenomenal export volume,.6 And for the last five yearshas contributed an average of 750,000 jobs per month to the Chinese economy.One might surmise that the oil industry had something to do with that, given its abundance of cash, but this writer lacks the data.

(2) John Maresca made his famous 1998 speech on invitation of Congress and DOE explaining why the Taliban needed to be booted from power in Afghanistan to make way for a pipeline that could get oil to .”the right markets” – namely East Asia rather than the western markets.

(3) The Clinton and Bush administrations negotiated with the Taliban over the pipeline corridor up until August, 2001. The US negotiator made the famous “carpet of gold or carpet of bombs”warning shortly before the negotiations collapsed.

(4) 9/11 happened, apparently as the brainchild of Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda, and in response the “War Against Terrorism” began. At the time, these folks were in fact in Afghanistan

(5) The US delegated capture of Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda to local fighters, the “Northern Alliance,” who allowed Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda to escape into Pakistan, where we let them be. The US forces themselves went after the Taliban and ousted its government, replacing it with Hamid Karzai.

(6) These events led the left and much of the European press to conclude that a major and perhaps exclusive purpose of the US in ousting the Taliban was that the war was “for oil,” when the logical inference to be drawn was that it was for “oil companies” who wanted the oil itself to go to East Asia.

(7) China particularly, plus other East Asian nations,, have profited magnificently from the war the United States has fought at tremendous cost in Afghanistan and Iraq., and could not otherwise have profited unless they had gone to war themselves.

(8) The Energy Tribune concluded prior to the Iraqi auctions that neither the United States nor its oil companies are any longer seeking to secure oil rights for Americans, and are abandoning the field to China.

(9) The US oil companies were “no shows” at the major 2009 Iraqi auctions, and China and Malaysia secured the great majority of he contracts.

(10) Everyone agrees that China’s ability to do business in Afghanistan and Iraq has been helped, and America’s ability has been hurt, by America rather than China having had the military presence.

(11) Despite enormous expenditures of money and loss of lives, the United States has made negligible progress for itself, but has made enormous progress getting oil to the “right markets,” where its use in a declining oil industry will automatically mean that the Western markets will have substantially less.

There have been a multitude of analyses why the Afghan/Iraq war cannot be considered to be exclusively or even primarily a “war against terror,” a war against “weapons of mass destruction,” or, since we have had an opportunity to see the “changed regimes” in action, a war for US energy security. This writer submits, however, that the simplest explanation that fits all the facts,7 is that it has been from the start a war to ensure that as much oil and other natural resources will get to the “right markets” – namely, East Asia, as possible. Because oil production is no longer growing, every new barrel of oil for East Asia is a barrel less for the remainder of the world.

What about our hypothetical plan’s objective of depriving the “nonwnners” of as much oil as possible as quickly as possible? That is where things get scary. As noted above, the current trend has China increasing its share of oil consumption exponentially at 1%^/yr, meaning that its share, if the trend could continue, would reach 100% of the then-available total, with no one else having anything China didn’t want to give them, by 2025. With the support of the US military in the form of security, and the support of the oil industry in the form of subsidies and “no-shows,”   there is no obvious insurmountable hurdle. And as long as China and the US can continue playing “good cop bad cop” to a gullible world, China has nothing to lose and everything to gain. Could the hypothetical conspirators be so demonic? Well, there’s nothing new about this. Psychopathy is not-unheard-of even among supposedly sane U.S. geopolitical planners.8

If something like this weren’t happening, we would have no viable explanation for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we would have no viable explanation for what is happening to the oil industry’s probably enormous postpeak profits. And with China and the US Government working in harmony, there is no obvious reason why China will not acquire the whole remaining oil supply in short order. Is that at least part of the reason

-Microsoft is making major investments in China,9

-GM, raised from the dead by United States taxpayers, has put most of its

hopes for the future in China, where its sales already exceed its sales in the US,10

-business invested in only 39,000 new jobs in the US in November as compared to the 750,000 jobs per month, 45 million total over the last five years that foreign investors have created in China11 and

-American oil companies were “noticeably absent” from the Iraq auction, the editor of Energy Tribune says Europe and the United States are no longer trying to compete with China for oil, and private oil companies are building refineries and gas stations in China?

Do they all know something we don’t know about where the remaining oil is going to go?

But Hold On, Oil’s Chinese Safe Haven Isn’t Quite Built Yet

There’s always a possible glitch. China has a legitimate ability to sap the American economy: the extreme disparity between wages here and there, which is ultimately unsustainable. But China does not have a legitimate expectation that the United States will provide military assistance at our taxpayers’ expense to forward Chinese imperialist designs. Nor does China have legitimate expectation that the United States will assist in creating a Chinese safe haven from the end of oil, allowing American companies to pick up their marbles and take them away with impunity, taking our jobs with them. In fact there should be no safe havens from the end of oil, because they are inconsistent with climate stabilization,. Nor does China have a legitimate expectation that it can take charge of companies built by and for Americans, leaving behind lifeless skeletons like Detroit.

The fundamental reason that this was able to occur, was that we allowed oil and banking interests to corrupt or at least control our government so completely that we cannot even call the military our own. So we must all work to end that, starting by making sure we all agree we will not allow anyone to be elected who has accepted contaminated money in their public lives. No more voting for “lesser evils” who support our particular concerns but continue to accept oil money, Wall Street money, etc. We need to end the ability of corporate “persons” to spend billions influencing elections. We need to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan NOW, and restore the constitutional principle that our presidents cannot engage in war without a declaration of war setting its boundaries. The books need to be opened as to major investments by Americans and American businesses in foreign countries, and in particular as to the use of any “bailout” funds for investment in China. Steps must be taken to preserve or replace at the cost of the investors, jobs jeopardized through foreign investment. These things are unlikely to occur while we have a Congress and President so removed from those they ostensibly represent that they will engage in war at our expense with the intent or effect to take our jobs away.

We must also remember that the pay disparity between developing countries and the US is a legitimate threat to the US economy wherever and whenever it exists. Consequently, it is in our interest to work for healthy labor conditions and fair compensation EVERYWHERE.

And we, individually and collectively, need to go all out to minimize our petroleum use because (a) it is necessary for saving the earth, (b) it is necessary for dispelling our ugly public image, and (c) if China and industry succeed with the “safe haven,” we;d better get used to it FAST.

Finally, we must remember what we did when Sputnik crossed our skies. We didn’t just whine. We started a crash program in technical education to assure that our workers would continue to offer unique talents to the world. The time has come again for that. The United States has the best educational institutions in the world (although China is rapidly outstripping us) but by no means the best educations. Over the long haul, we have to expect our paychecks to correlate better with our talents than they do today, which means doing what it takes to improve American education.

So we have our work cut out for us. We don’t have much time, because with the active support of our government and businesses and no significant opposition, China may be able to achieve 100% control of the oil reserves by 2025.  We need a government that will not “give away the store,” as both parties have become accustomed to doing with impunity.

——————————

The author is a California-licensed lawyer residing in Massachusetts (e-mail narguimbau@earthlink.net). He wishes to thank Ted Cady, Peter Goodchild, Peter Hollings, Lance Rodgers and Emily Spence for encouragement and valuable input.  All rights reserved, in particular for republicatiion.

NOTES

1. Economides, “China’s Oil Power Play,” Energy Tribune, August 27, 2009,http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/2199/Chinas-Oil-Power-Play

2. Economides, “China’s Oil Power Play,” Energy Tribune, August 27, 2009,http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/2199/Chinas-Oil-Power-Play

3. Cf. threat made by US negotiators with Taliban shortly before 9/11 concerning an oil pipeline corridor to the Indian Ocean, as quoted in the French book by two reputable investigative reporters, published November 15, 2001, “Bin Laden, la verité interdite” (”Bin Laden, the forbidden truth”):”Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.” http://archive.democrats.com/view.cfm?id=5166. The threat has never subsequently been denied by the US.

4. “Who Owns the US National Debt?” Business Insider, January 14, 2011.http://www.businessinsider.com/who-owns-the-us-national-debt-2011-1

5. William Schneider, “Re-evaluating U.S. Debt,” Atlantic Monthly, 10/ 2005, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2005/10/re-evaluating-usdebt/4396/

6. “An old Chinese myth. Contrary to popular wisdom, China’s rapid growth is not hugely dependent on exports.” The Economist, Jan 3rd 2008, http://www.economist.com/node/10429271?story_id=10429271

7. Occam’s Razor, or as Einstein put it, “Everything should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Wikipedia, “Occam’s Razor,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam’s_razor

8. Daniel Ellsberg’s Website, September 13, 2009, “U.S. Nuclear War Planning for a Hundred Holocausts,” describing the approved US plan for eliminating one billion civilians in a nuclear first strike against the Sino-Soviet bloc, http://www.ellsberg.net/archive/us-nuclear-war-planning-for-a-hundred-holocaust s

9. See for example, CIIP.con, “Microsoft steps up its expansion in second-tier cities,” January 4, 2011, http://www.ciipp.com/en/index/view-285257.html ; Agence France-Presse, “Microsoft Plans $1 Billion Investment in China R&D,” November 13, 2008,” http://www.industryweek.com/articles/microsoft_plans_1_billion_investment_in_ china_rd_17808.aspx

10. Bloomberg News, “GM’s First-Half China Sales Surge Past the U.S.,” 7/2/10, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-02/general-motors-first-half-china-sale s-rise-48-5-pass-u-s-for-first-time.html

 

 

 

Russian TNK-BP Shareholders File Lawsuit To Stop BP and Rosneft Deal

Russian TNK-BP shareholders oppose the deal BP and Rosneft

As reported Jan. 27 the source of Itar-Tass, the Russian shareholders of TNK-BP from AAR appealed to the London court to suspend the deal between BP and Rosneft.

The representative of BP in Russia, Vladimir Buyanov confirmed the agency that the company received notice of the lawsuit and plans to present at the meeting. The court session is scheduled for February 1, 2011, he added. The same day, BP will publish reports for the 4 th quarter of 2010. As reported, on the eve of BP and Rosneft signed an agreement in Davos on strategic partnership in the development achieved two weeks earlier agreements on the establishment of a strategic alliance for joint development of hydrocarbons in the Russian Arctic. According to the agreement, Rosneft will receive as a result of 5% stake in BP in exchange for 9.5% of its shares.Companies will create a joint venture that will exploration and development of three promising oil and gas sites in the Kara Sea shelf. After the announcement of the deal became known that the Russian partners in BP’s TNK-BP – AAP has begun to explore how the deal with BP Rosneft corresponds Settlements shareholders’ agreement, TNK-BP. The paper argues that all its projects in Russia and Ukraine through implementing partners BP, TNK-BP. AAR and BP owned TNK-BP on an equal footing.

Russian Authorities Circulate Photo of Domodedovo Bomber’s Head for Possible I.D.

Islamist Suicide Bomber’s Head from Domodedovo: GRAPHIC


The pictures show the dead head of the islamist suicide bomber who blew himself up in Moscow, Russia, at the Domodedovo International Airport and the drawing of this man done by specialists from the Russian police.

Note, that he blew himself up in the hall right after the passport control bar where passengers pick up their luggage. THAT MEANS HE ARRIVED TO MOSCOW BY JET. The question is – where

 

 

 

Richard Falk Questions 911 and the Politics of Murder

[Mr. Falk caught hell for speaking-up for the right of all Palestinians to NOT be murdered in their sleep, now he is brave enough to take-on the 911 cover-up.  For this daring feat, America's shrew in residence at the UN raked him across the coals, calling upon the gods of the Empire to strike him down, or at least get him fired.  Her call for his sacking follows Falk's blog entry below.]

Interrogating the Arizona Killings from a Safe Distance

RICHARD FALK

I spent a year in Sweden a few years after the assassination of Olaf Palme in 1986, the controversial former prime minister of the country who at the time of his death was serving as a member of the Swedish cabinet. He was assassinated while walking with his wife back to their apartment in the historic part of the city after attending a nearby movie. It was a shocking event in a Sweden that had prided itself on moderateness in politics and the avoidance of involvement in the wars of the twentieth century. A local drifter, with a history of alcoholism, was charged and convicted of the crime, but many doubts persisted, including on the part of Ms. Palme who analogized her situation to that of Coretta King who never believed the official version of her martyred husband’s death.

I had a particular interest in this national traumatic event as my reason for being in Sweden was a result of an invitation to be the Olaf Palme Professor, a rotating academic post given each year to a foreign scholar, established by the Swedish Parliament as a memorial to their former leader. (after the Social Democratic Party lost political control in Sweden this professorship was promptly defunded, partly because Palme was unloved by conservatives and partly because of a neoliberal dislike for public support of such activities)

In the course of my year traveling around Sweden I often asked those whom I met what was their view of the assassination, and what I discovered was that the responses told me more about them than it did about the public event. Some thought it was a dissident faction in the Swedish security forces long angered by Palme’s neutralist policies, some believed it was resentment caused by Palme’s alleged engineering of Swedish arms sales to both sides in the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, some believed it was the CIA in revenge for Palme’s neutralism during the Cold War, some believed it could have criminals in the pay of business tycoons tired of paying high taxes needed to maintain the Swedish maximalist version of a welfare state, and there were other theories as well. What was common to all of these explanations was the lack of evidence that might connect the dots. What people believed happened flowed from their worldview rather than the facts of the event—a distrust of the state, especially its secret operations, or a strong conviction that special interests hidden from view were behind prominent public events of this character.

In a way, this process of reflection is natural, even inevitable, but it leads to faulty conclusions. We tend to process information against the background of our general worldview and understanding, and we do this all the time as an efficient way of coping with the complexity of the world combined with our lack of time or inclination to reach conclusions by independent investigation. The problem arises when we confuse this means of interpreting our experience with an effort to provide an explanation of a contested public event. There are, to be sure, conspiracies that promote unacknowledged goals, and enjoy the benefit of government protection. We don’t require WikiLeaks to remind us not to trust governments, even our own, and others that seem in most respects to be democratic and law-abiding. And we also by now should know that governments (ab)use their authority to treat awkward knowledge as a matter of state secrets, and criminalize those who are brave enough to believe that the citizenry needs to know the crimes that their government is committing with their trust and their tax dollars.

The arguments swirling around the 9/11 attacks are emblematic of these issues. What fuels suspicions of conspiracy is the reluctance to address the sort of awkward gaps and contradictions in the official explanations that David Ray Griffin(and other devoted scholars of high integrity) have been documenting in book after book ever since his authoritative The New Pearl Harbor in 2004 (updated in 2008). What may be more distressing than the apparent cover up is the eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials. Is this silence a manifestation of fear or cooption, or part of an equally disturbing filter of self-censorship? Whatever it is, the result is the withering away of a participatory citizenry and the erosion of legitimate constitutional government. The forms persist, but the content is missing.

This brings me to the Arizona shootings, victimizing both persons apparently targeted for their political views and random people who happened to be there for one reason or another, innocently paying their respects to a congresswoman meeting constituents outside a Tucson supermarket. As with the Palme assassination, the most insistent immediate responses come from the opposite ends of the political spectrum, both proceeding on presuppositions rather than awaiting evidence.

On one side are those who say that right-wing hate speech and affection for guns were clearly responsible, while Tea Party ultra-conservatives and their friends reaffirm their rights of free speech, denying that there is any connection between denouncing their adversaries in the political process and the violent acts of a deranged individual seemingly acting on his own.  If we want to be responsible in our assessments, we must restrain our political predispositions, and get the evidence. Let us remember that what seems most disturbing about the 9/11 controversy is the widespread aversion by government and media to the evidence that suggests, at the very least, the need for an independent investigation that proceeds with no holds barred.

Such an investigation would contrast with the official ‘9/11 Commission’ that proceeded with most holds barred.  What has been already disturbing about the Arizona incident are these rival rushes to judgment without bothering with evidence. Such public irresponsibility polarizes political discourse, making conversation and serious debate irrelevant.

There is one more issue raised, with typical candor and innocence, by the filmmaker, Michael Moore. If a Muslim group has published a list of twenty political leaders in this country, and put crosshairs of a gun behind their pictures, is there any doubt that the Arizona events would be treated as the work of a terrorist,, and the group that had pre-identified such targets would be immediately outlawed as a terrorist organization. Many of us, myself included, fervently hoped, upon hearing the news of the shootings, that the perpetrator of this violence was neither a Muslim nor a Hispanic, especially an illegal immigrant. Why? Because we justly feared the kind of horrifying backlash that would have been probably generated by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly,  Sarah Palin, and their legion of allies. Now that the apparent perpetrator is a young whiteAmerican, the talk from the hate mongers, agains without bothering with evidence, is of mental disorder and sociopathology. This is faith-based pre-Enlightenment ‘knowledge.’

What must we learn from all of this? Don’t connect dots without evidence. Don’t turn away as soon as the words ‘conspiracy theory’ are uttered, especially if the evidence does point away from what the power-wielders want us to believe. Don’t link individual wrongdoing, however horrific, to wider religious and ethnic identities. We will perish as a species if we don’t learn soon to live together better on our beautiful, globalizing, and imperiled planet.


Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Richard Falk

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, NY
January 25, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

I am appalled by the recent personal blog written by Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.”

In this blog post, dated January 11, 2011, Mr. Falk endorses the slurs of conspiracy theorists who allege that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were perpetrated and then covered up by the U.S. government and media.

Mr. Falk’s comments are despicable and deeply offensive, and I condemn them in the strongest terms. I have registered a strong protest with the UN on behalf of the United States. The United States has in the past been critical of Mr. Falk’s one-sided and politicized approach to his work for the UN, including his failure to condemn deliberate human rights abuses by Hamas, but these blog comments are in another category altogether.

In my view, Mr. Falk’s latest commentary is so noxious that it should finally be plain to all that he should no longer continue in his position on behalf of the UN. I would note that U.S. and many other diplomats walked out in protest in September 2010 when Iranian President Ahmadinejad made similarly slanderous remarks before the UN General Assembly.

The United States is deeply committed to the cause of human rights and believes that cause will be better advanced without Mr. Falk and the distasteful sideshow he has chosen to create.

Suspect Sought In Domodedovo Airport Bombing

Sought by the terrorist attack in Domodedovo has been missing since October

 

A resident of Stavropol Razdobudko, the orientation at which sent in police regions in the investigation of the terrorist attack at the Domodedovo airport, along with his wife in October 2010 has been missing, said on Thursday, RIA Novosti news agency a source in law enforcement in the region.

Ukrainian Nationalists Detained With Arms Cache

Ukrainian Nationalists Detained With Arms Cache

IVANO-FRANKIVSK, Ukraine — Ukrainian officials say nine members of a nationalist organization have been arrested in western Ukraine, RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service reports.

Interior Ministry officials in the Ivano-Frankivsk region has said the Trizub (Trident) members arrested on January 10 came to the region from other parts of the country and were armed. Police say they confiscated an AK-47 assault rifle, three pistols, ammunition, nine walkie-talkies, knives, two grenades, two sniper rifles, and a pump-action rifle from the activists.

Police say the group had planned to carry out antigovernment acts in the region. They said the activists were being questioned.

On January 10, leaders of Trizub said that at least 10 members of the organization have been arrested this month in connection with damage inflicted on a bust of Soviet leader Josef Stalin in the southwestern city of Zaporizhzhya on December 28.

Trizub claimed responsibility for removing Stalin’s head from the bust.

The Trizub is an ancient Ukrainian symbol that was the family crest of the 10th century Prince Volodymyr. It can be seen in various styles on many things in Ukraine, including on postage stamps and banknotes, and is on the country’s coat of arms.

Leaked Papers Confirm British Intelligence Hand in Plot Against Hamas Govt.

[This was all an American-led conspiracy against the popularly-elected govt. of the Palestinian people, lest anyone forget.  SEE: The Gaza Bombshell]

MI6 ‘drew up plan to crush Hamas’

British intelligence advised the Palestinian Authority to crush Hamas and other violent groups in the West Bank by detaining some of their leading figures, leaked documents have shown.

Hamas celebrates 23rd anniversary in Gaza City

Flag day: a member of Hamas’ security forces at a rally to mark the movement’s 23rd anniversary in Gaza City in December Photo: AFP/GETTY

In an effort to restore peace during the Second Palestinian Intifada against Israel, MI6 drew up a strategy in 2004 to help Yasser Arafat’s security forces neutralise “rejectionists” opposed to a Middle East peace deal.

Two strategy papers recommended “the detention of key middle-ranking officers” from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Al Aqsa Brigades, groups that had mounted a campaign of suicide bombings and rocket attacks against Israel.

“We could also explore the temporary internment of leading Hamas and PIJ figures, making sure they are well treated,” the author of one of the documents writes.

Both papers were included in a batch of 1,600 secret Palestinian files leaked to the Al Jazeera television station, the latest tranche of which were released last night.

At the time the MI6 papers were written, the United States had stopped funding the Palestinian security forces in protest at Arafat’s failure to stop the violence.

Britain stepped in to make up the shortfall and took a leading role in trying to revive peace talks. Israel refused to resume negotiations until the Palestinian Authority had made significant progress in reining in extremist groups.

Britain has been involved in “capacity building” of Palestinian security forces over the course of a number of years under initiatives run by the Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence and Department for International Development.

British intelligence services have played a “small part” in that programme, according to sources.

There has also been a “leadership training programme” that has emphasised the role of human rights and both projects were conducted at the request of the Palestinian Authority.

One Whitehall source said there were “clearly security concerns in the West Bank and Gaza” but Britain’s efforts to help the Palestinian authority deal with those concerns was based around a respect for human rights.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “It is the government’s longstanding policy not to comment on intelligence matters.”

The latest batch of papers also revealed that Israel asked the Palestinians in 2005 to kill a militant suspected of carrying out a suicide bombing.

Palestinian officials were non-committal in their response and the militant died the following month in an Israeli drone attack on his car.

Earlier disclosures from the documents have angered some Palestinians who believe that their leaders appeared overly-accommodating of Israel.

Yesterday, US officials said that the leaks had made peace negotiations harder.

A State Department spokesman said he could not “deny that this release will, at least for a time, make the situation more difficult than it already was”.

Hizbollah government will damage US relationship with Lebanon, Clinton says

Hizbollah government will damage US relationship with Lebanon, Clinton says

A Hizbollah-backed billionaire has won enough support to become Lebanon’s prime minister, in a move that Hillary Clinton said would damage the country’s relationship with the US.

Angry protesters burn a van belonging to Al-Jazeera in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon Photo: AP

Hizbollah managed to forge a coalition to back Najib Mikati after bringing down the government of the pro-American Saad Hariri two weeks ago.

President Barack Obama is likely to retaliate by suspending some or all of its aid to Beirut. The US administration had earmarked $246 million (£156 million) in support this year, including $100 million (£63 million) in military aid and $37 million (£23 million) for counter-terrorism operations.

Hizbollah, which is financially backed by Iran and Syria, is listed as a terrorist entity by Washington.

Mrs Clinton, the US secretary of state, said the power shift would “clearly have an impact on our bilateral relationship.”

Israel, which already has Hizbollah ally Hamas on one side, will also be concerned by a Hizbollah-led government likely to insist on a more confrontational approach in the region.

Mr Mikati’s appointment, secured after 68 out of 125 members of parliament expressed their support, sparked a “day of rage” in Lebanon, with crowds in Beruit and towns across the north of the country blocking roads, setting tyres on fire and ransacking the offices of a prominent supporter of the new prime minister.

Mr Mikati and the man he replaced, Mr Hariri, are both Sunnis, and the protesters mocked Mr Mikati as a “traitor” for agreeing to work with Hizbollah, an Iranian-backed Shia militant group.

“They are taking us for idiots,” said a Rana Fatfat, a Sunni lawyer at a protest. “We will fight them through sit-ins and peaceful protests because we cannot match their military might.”

The latest resurgence in Lebanon’s bitter, long-running political and civil strife follows Mr Hariri’s refusal to disavow a United Nations special tribunal investigating the murder of his father, Rafiq, another billionaire former prime minister.

Mr Hariri senior was killed by a car bomb in 2005, which at the time was widely blamed on Syria. The tribunal is expected to indict Hizbollah members as having carried out the killing.

Mr Mikati will spearhead a policy of non-cooperation with the tribunal however.

Hizbollah’s triumph in securing power lay not just in withdrawing 11 sympathetic cabinet members from Mr Hariri’s government but in persuading Walid Jumblatt, the long-standing leader of the Druze minority in Lebanon, to switch the votes of his MPs.

It then had to find a friendly Sunni politician to lead the government. Under Lebanon’s constitution, the president has to be Christian, the Prime Minister Sunni and the speaker Shia.

Mr Mikati said that being backed by Hizbollah did not make him a “Hizbollah prime minister”.

“I will co-operate fully with all Lebanese to form a new government that protects their unity and sovereignty,” he said.

Hassan Nasrallah, the Hizbollah leader, also tried to calm Sunni fears that its seizure of the reins of power amounted to a coup.

“The new government will not be a Hizbollah government nor will it be led by Hizbollah,” he said. “We don’t want power.”

Moscow airport bomb–”False Flag” Being Pinned-On Pakistan

Moscow airport bomb: suicide bombers were part of squad trained in Pakistan

The two suicide bombers who carried out the Moscow attack were thought to be part of a suicide squad trained in Pakistan’s al-Qaeda strongholds sent to the capital to target the city’s transport system.

The two suicide bombers who carried out the Moscow attack were thought to be part of a suicide squad trained in Pakistan's al-Qaeda strongholds and sent to the capital to target the city's transport system.  

A guard uses a metal dectector on a passenger at a security checkpoint in Sochi airport Photo: AP
Andrew Osborn

By Andrew Osborn, Moscow and Damien McElroy

Russian security services warned in December that there were two attack teams primed to carry out attacks, sparking fears there could still be terrorists at large who were prepared to carry out another attack.

Intelligence sources said that one of the squads was likely to have established a base, at a house in Moscow, where the suicide belts to be used in attacks were assembled.

Russian security sources said yesterday that a male and female suicide bomber from the Black Widow brigades had carried out the bombing together. The attack had been closely supervised by three accomplices, who had watched from a distance and are now being sought by the authorities.

A Russian security official said the bomb that ripped through Moscow’s Domodedovo airport was carried by a woman who mingled in the crowd at arrivals. She then either set the bomb off herself or someone else detonated it using a remote-control device.

An eyewitness said the woman had been dressed in black and had worn a veil, suggesting she may have been a ‘Black Widow’ suicide bomber from the North Caucasus region out to revenge the killing of her husband by Russian security forces.

“The explosion occurred the moment the presumed female suicide bomber opened her bag,” the security source told the RIA Novosti news agency. “The terrorist was accompanied by a man. He was standing beside her and (the blast) tore off his head.”

Intelligence services have been embarrassed by the revelation that informants had warned of an attack on an airport in the Russian capital just weeks before the incident. Security experts said the tip-off had revealed that a criminal gang based in the Moscow suburbs was assisting a Chechen bombing making squad and that a suicide cell was travelling from a training camp.

A newspaper close to Russia’s FSB security service published what it claimed was a warning to Moscow police issued in December that said there was credible intelligence that a suicide squad made up of three women and one man from Chechnya was headed to Moscow.

The memo said the team had spent time in Pakistan and Iran and that one of the women had a relative with a flat in Moscow that might be used as a bomb making factory. Another group of five Islamist militants trained in Pakistan was also expected to cross into Russia soon, it added.

An al-Qaeda linked website said that the group Islamic Caucasus Emirate, led by the rebe Doku Umarov, was poised to claim it had staged the attack. It said that Russia’s harsh military measures against independence activists in the Caucasus had provoked the attack. It said: “You disbelievers are the firewood of Hell. You will enter it.”

The daily Kommersant newspaper said security service officials were alerted to the extent of the threat when a woman accidentally blew herself up on New Year’s Eve in Moscow. It later emerged that her husband was in jail for being a member of an Islamist terror group and that she and a girlfriend had been sent to Moscow from the internal Muslim republic of Dagestan to commit an act of terror.

Russian media published a grisly picture of the male terrorist’s severed head that was being circulated around police and security services in the troubled mostly Muslim North Caucasus region to see if anyone recognised him.

The region, which includes restive internal Russian republics such as Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, is in the grip of a growing Islamist insurgency and has served as a launching pad in the past for a series of deadly strikes on civilian targets in Moscow and other cities.

Does Kyrgyz Document Prove Govt. Collusion With Terrorists?

Interim government includes terrorist into aid group

26/01-2011 08:10, Bishkek – 24.kg news agency , by Julia MAZYKINA

During June events, interim government included a terrorist, injured on January 4, 2010, by officers of special service of Kyrgyzstan, into aid group at the south of the republic.

The document, received by Kyrgyz language newspaper El Sozu, proves it. According to the document, called “temporary mandate”, signed by chief-of-staff of interim government Emilbek Kaptagaev on June 12, 2010, 13 persons were sent to the south to render humanitarian aid to effected people.

Names of all 13 persons were listed in the document. Edil Abdrakhmanov, detained in Strelnikovo village during special operation, was among them. Now he is in hospital, 6 other detainees are in pre-trial detention center of Kyrgyzstan’s State National Security Committee (GKNB).

According to the document signed by Emilbek Kaptagaev, mandate was effective till June 30, 2010. There yet were no comments of security agencies officers and authorities on the publication in mass media.

Note: Edil Abdrakhmanov and other detainees were arrested by law enforcement officers during a number of special operations in January 2011. They are suspected in attempt to organize terroristic acts all over the country, last year explosion near sports arena and terroristic act attempt near the building of Main Department of Internal Affairs of the capital.

The Provisional Government itself has prepared the terrorists?

By our hands got an amazing document. Look at this document! It is personally signed by the Chief of Staff of the Provisional Government of Emile Kaptagaevym "temporary mandate"!

According to this document June 12 (2010) of the people listed in the list, were sent to the South for the provision of humanitarian assistance. To date, one of the "patriots"Abdrakhmanov Edil was injured in the events of January 4 (24-year-old Edil Abdrakhmanov, a native of Bishkek, the detainee during spets.operatsii in s.Strelnikovo-ca. Gezitter.kg), is in hospital. And six of the others are in custody in SCNS.

How does all this be understood? Events 4-5 January, an explosion at the Palais des Sports, the car packed with explosives near the Bishkek police department-it-all "games" Duyshobaeva? There is just such a vopros.U SCNS end sredstva.Ne is whether all this is to seek assistance from international organizations, the United States. Here’s a puzzle!

Draw your own conclusions. All bearded terrorists? And all the bearded terrorists? Bearded all Muslims? All of these bait-Duyshobaeva? Do not like it all blown up the towers in New York on September 11? And we have the Zionists, Nazis, Jews make their case hands Duyshobaeva?

Source: newspaper "EL SRAM" № 21 dated 25.01.2011 / page 2

Provisional Government of Kyrgyzstan itself has prepared the terrorists? (A sensational document)

E-SPM

20 Signs That The United States Is Rapidly Becoming A Totalitarian Big Brother Police State

Once upon a time, the United States was a land of unparalleled freedom.  The rest of the world envied the freedom that ordinary Americans had to think, say and do what they wanted.  But all of that has changed.  Now Americans have to fear that they will be tackled by a squad of security goons and dragged off to a detention facility somewhere if they spill a Pepsi on a flight attendant or take a few too many pictures of a public building.  The United States used to be the polar opposite of totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, but now America is rapidly becoming very much like them.  Due to the fear of a boogeyman living in a cave somewhere or some guy with explosive powder in his underwear we are all being forced to give up our freedoms and learn to live in a Big Brother police state.

But have things really changed so much that we have to give up all of the cherished freedoms that our fathers and grandfathers fought and died for?  Haven’t there always been fanatics and crazies and criminals out there?  Why do we suddenly have to become so afraid of them?

In the past, Americans would not let anyone make them live in fear.  If some unbalanced individual did something bad, it wasn’t the end of the world, was it?  No, in the past Americans dusted themselves off and continued to live as free men and women.  You see, when we live in fear and radically alter our way of life just to feel a little more secure, we lose.  We have let someone else steal our freedom and our dignity.

But now in the name of “security” all kinds of bizarre proposals have been implemented on the local, state and national levels.  Somehow we think that if everything that we do is watched, monitored and analyzed we will all be safer somehow.

Maybe we are safer and maybe we aren’t, but we are certainly a whole lot less free.

The following are 20 signs that the United States is rapidly becoming a totalitarian “Big Brother” police state….

#1) A new bill being pushed by Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman would allow the U.S. military to round up large numbers of Americans and detain them indefinitely without a trial if they “pose a threat” or if they have “potential intelligence value” or for any other reason the President of the United States “considers appropriate”.

#2) Lawmakers in Washington D.C. working to create a new immigration bill have decided on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would be required to obtain.

#3) Barack Obama is backing a plan to create a national database to store the DNA of people who have been arrested but not necessarily convicted of a crime.

#4) Just to get on an airplane, Americans will now have to go through new full-body scanners that reveal every detail of our exposed bodies to airport security officials.

#5) If that wasn’t bad enough, the Transportation Security Administration has announced that airport screeners will begin roving through airports randomly taking chemical swabs from passengers and their bags to check for explosives.

#6) Starting this upcoming December, some passengers on Canadian airlines flying to, from or even over the United States without ever landing there, will only be allowed to board their flights once the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has determined they are not terrorists.

#7) Organic milk is such a threat that the FDA has been conducting military style raids on Amish farmers in Pennsylvania.

#8) An NYPD officer has broken his silence and has confessed that innocent citizens are being set up and falsely arrested and ticketed in order to meet quotas.

#9) A growing number of police departments across the U.S. are turning to mobile camera systems in order to fight motor vehicle theft and identify unregistered cars.

#10) For decades, Arizona has been known as “the sunset state”, but lately many frustrated residents have started calling it “the surveillance state”.

#11) Judges and police in Florida have been caught using “secret codes” on tickets in the state of Florida.

#12) An extensive investigation has revealed that between 2003 and 2007, that state of Texas quietly gave hundreds of newborn baby blood samples to a U.S. Armed Forces laboratory for use in a forensics database.

#13) A 6-year-old girl was recently handcuffed and sent to a mental facilityafter throwing temper tantrums at her elementary school.

#14) One 12-year-old girl in New York was recently arrested and marched out of her school in handcuffs just because she doodled on her desk.

#15) In Florida, students have been arrested by police for things as simple as bringing a plastic butter knife to school, throwing an eraser, and drawing a picture of a gun.

#16) When a mother on a flight to Denver spanked both of her children and cussed out a flight attendant who tried to intervene, she suddenly found herself handcuffed and headed for prison.  Why?  She was charged with being a domestic terrorist under the Patriot Act.

#17) A new global treaty may force U.S. Internet service providers to spy on what you do online.

#18) A leaked Obama administration memo has revealed plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres of land from Montana to New Mexico.

#19) 56 percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll said that the U.S. government has become so large and powerfulthat it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.

#20) But one other recent poll found that 51 percent of Americans agree with this statement: “It is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.”

Karzai opens Afghan parliament, taunts West

Karzai opens Afghan parliament, taunts West

Main Image
Main Image

By Hamid Shalizi

KABUL

(Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai inaugurated parliament on Wednesday, ending weeks of political infighting, but took a dig at the West saying “foreign interference” had been a serious problem.

Western diplomats called the event a “big day” for Afghanistan, but the comments exposed the often frayed ties between Karzai and his backers and in private officials warned of a bigger battle ahead between the president and his new parliament.

Afghanistan’s government was plunged into political crisis last week when Karzai decided to delay the opening of the assembly by a month so a special poll court he set up could have more time to investigate fraud in the September 18 election.

Washington is pressing Karzai to demonstrate good governance as it looks to withdraw U.S. forces from an unpopular war now in its tenth year, and the latest showdown has renewed concern about the president’s credibility as an ally.

Under huge pressure from winning candidates, who threatened to take their seats in parliament this month with or without him, and in the face of criticism from the United Nations and countries supporting Afghanistan with troops and cash, Karzai backed down and agreed to a Wednesday inauguration.

Karzai, who has already accused Western powers of meddling in a fraud-ridden presidential poll that saw him re-elected in 2009, said foreign interference in last year’s parliamentary vote was one of the things that sullied the results.

“During the election process we faced serious problems in protecting people’s votes, preventing fraud and from the interference of foreigners,” Karzai said in his opening speech to members of the assembly shortly before they were sworn in.

“We must ‘Afghanise’ government institutions and the elections. Undoubtedly, elections convened by the Afghans will be more transparent, less expensive,” he said.

The president’s relations with the West have often been rocky and tension came to a head last year over the presidential poll.

But the international community needs signs of progress in Afghanistan as it prepares to start handing over security. Karzai still has nearly four years still in office, and is granted wide-ranging powers by the constitution, so his role is key. The United Nations, which had expressed “deep concern” last week at Karzai’s decision to delay the inauguration, offered a determinedly upbeat interpretation in his latest remarks.

“I think what he meant is that he wants in the future to have much more involvement of the Afghans in their own elections and we agree,” said Staffan de Mistura, the top envoy in Kabul.

SPECIAL COURT

Karzai’s comments appeared to be sparked by criticism over his creation of a special election tribunal, the legality of which has been questioned by diplomats, MPs and rights groups.

The president is thought to be unhappy with the new make-up of the assembly, which although not necessarily united, now faces a more vocal and coherent opposition bloc.

“The special court is key. I think we can expect to see the president using what he says are legal powers to try to remove some parliamentarians,” said a senior Western diplomat.