National Guard asked to explain ‘internment’ jobs

LIFE WITH BIG BROTHER

National Guard asked to explain ‘internment’ jobs

Campaign recruiting for workers at ‘civilian resettlement facility’


Posted: August 07, 2009
11:45 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

An ad campaign

featured on a U.S. Army website seeking those who would be interested in being an “Internment/Resettlement” specialist is raising alarms across the country, generating concerns that there is some truth in those theories about domestic detention camps, a roundup of dissidents and a crackdown on “threatening” conservatives.

Are you an enemy of the state? Get the bumper sticker that lets everyone know you have no apologies for being right!

The ads, at the GoArmy.com website as well as others including Monster.com, cite the need for:

“Internment/Resettlement (I/R) Specialists in the Army are primarily responsible for day-to-day operations in a military confinement/correctional facility or detention/internment facility. I/R Specialists provide rehabilitative, health

, welfare, and security to U.S. military prisoners within a confinement or correctional facility; conduct inspections; prepare written reports; and coordinate activities of prisoners/internees and staff personnel.

The campaign follows by only weeks a report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warning about “right-wing extremists” who could pose a danger to the country – including those who support third-party political candidates, oppose abortion and would prefer to have the U.S. immigration laws already on the books enforced.

The “extremism” report coincided with a report out of California that the Department of Defense was describing protesters as “low-level terrorists.”

The new ad says successful candidates will “provide external security to … detention/internment facilities” and “provide counseling and guidance to individual prisoners within a rehabilitative program.”

Officials at the state and federal National Guard levels told WND they were unaware of the program, although one officer speculated it could be intended for soldiers trained in the U.S. and dispatched overseas to “detention facilities.” From the national level, WND was told, officials were unaware of any such “internment facilities” at which there could be jobs to be available.


Army job ad for ‘internment’ specialist

At a NationalGuard.com website, a front page video describes the position thoroughly.

But one of the critics was a YouTube contributor who identifies himself as jafount and titled his video, “Want a job putting people into camps?”

Alarmed by the ads, he said it, the idea “just absolutely blew my mind.”

Citing a promise that successful applicants would be trained in “search and restrain procedures,” he said, “That’s code for violating the 14th Amendment.”

Likewise, he said, “use of firearms” is “code for depriving somebody of their life.’

“This is the real deal, I think,” he said, citing, among others, the NationalGuard.com link.

“I saw something that didn’t sit right with me. I posted it so other people can investigate,” he said.

A commenter on the YouTube site pooh-poohed the whole suggestion.

“You have … put out a relatively benign fact, twisted it into something sinister, and then did a tinfoil-hat connection to give a false impression,” the forum participant wrote.

The ads list as “advanced responsibilities” issues such as supervision and administration, responsibility for the “prisoner/internee” population, “custody/control for the operation of an Enemy Prisoner of War/Civilian Internee (EPW/CI) camp,” and work on “custody/control for the operation of detention facility or the operation of a displaced civilian (CD) resettlement facility.”

An editorial at CanadaFreePress.com raised some overall concerns:

Let’s look at some of the evidence we have of the U.S. government’s intentions to establish the infrastructure that could be used to house large numbers of political dissidents, so-called terrorists and other individuals the U.S. government wants locked up.

HR 645 the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act is a proposed bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would authorize FEMA to build no less than six National Emergency Centers throughout the U.S. on closed or open military facilities. These facilities are to be designed to house large numbers of people. Why would emergency centers need to be built on closed or open military facilities unless there was a need to keep people from coming in and out of them?

KBR was granted a government contract a few years ago to build facilities to house illegal immigrants. Now with illegal immigration becoming less of a problem with the U.S. economy in the toilet, these facilities can now be used for other purposes.

“This is just another step in the U.S. government’s long term plan to build the infrastructure that could be used to contain wide spread popular revolt. Combine this with the swine flu fear mongering and the potential for a mass swine flu vaccination operation and it is easy to see what might happen. Refuse to take their poisonous vaccine and you might risk being locked up as being a hazard to public safety. With the economy in the toilet and more and more people not trusting either political party or the corporate media, the ‘powers that be’ realize that they need to continue building their martial law apparatus. These Army National Guard job listings are just another piece to that puzzle proving what we already know is being built,” the editorial claimed.

At the Examiner, a commentator wrote, “Correctional/internment facilities? I have to admit that the U.S. government is good at one thing: creating fluffy names for evil acts. During WW2, of course, the U.S. didn’t have concentration camps, we had ‘relocation centers’ for hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese citizens.”

The jobs also were listed at Jobsearch.money.cnn.com, employmentguide.com and freedomsphoenix.com.

WND reported when the DoD eventually withdrew a training manual question that linked protesters across the United States to terrorism.

That followed by only weeks a Department of Homeland Security report that described as “right-wing extremists” those who oppose abortion and support secure national borders.

Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, has told WND that as part of his organization’s research for its lawsuit over the DHS “extremism” report, it has discovered additional information that it is withholding now but will include in a pending amended complaint.

Thompson said one of the things that sparked the organization’s curiosity was a reference by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in the original report to not only government resources but also non-governmental resources.

Thompson said the information he has “creates even more concern that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is unconstitutionally targeting Americans merely because of their conservative beliefs.”

The earlier DHS report was “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” WND has posted the report online for readers to see.

The report linked returning veterans with the possibility of terrorism, and when it was released it created such a furor for Napolitano she has given several explanations for it, including that she would have reworded the report and that it was issued by a rogue employee.

She later apologized to veterans for having linked them to terror.

But Thompson noted that the report also targeted as “potential terrorists” Americans who:

  • Oppose abortion
  • Oppose same-sex marriage
  • Oppose restrictions on firearms
  • Oppose lax immigration laws
  • Oppose the policies of President Obama regarding immigration, citizenship, and the expansion of social programs
  • Oppose continuation of free trade agreements
  • Are suspect of foreign regimes
  • Fear Communist regimes
  • Oppose a “one world” government
  • Bemoan the decline of U.S. stature in the world
  • Are upset with loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China and India, and more

Thompson told WND no apology has been offered to the members of any of those classes of citizens.

Thompson said the original “extremism” report was “the tip of the iceberg. … Conservative Americans should be very outraged.”

The Thomas More Law Center filed its lawsuit against Napolitano and the DHS on behalf of nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, Gregg Cunningham of the pro-life organization Center for Bio-Ethical Reform Inc. and Iraqi War Marine veteran Kevin Murray.

It alleges the federal agency violated the First and Fifth Amendment constitutional rights of the three plaintiffs by targeting them for disfavored treatment and chilling their free speech, expressive association, and equal protection rights. The lawsuit further claims that DHS encouraged law enforcement officers throughout the nation to target and report citizens to federal officials as suspicious rightwing extremists and potential terrorists because of their political beliefs.

Jewish-Bought Congressmen Visit Israel

Jewish-Bought Congressmen Visit Israel

JEWISHBOUGHT CONGRESSMEN VISIT ISRAEL
By Brother Nathanael Kapner, Copyright 2009

___________________________________


A DELEGATION OF 25 JEWISH-BOUGHT CONGRESSMEN assured Israeli President Shimon Peres of “strong congressional backing” for the Jewish state of Israel on August 4, 2009.

Led by the Zionist Jew and Republican Whip, Eric Cantor, the delegation’s visit comes out of “concern” that “too much pressure” is now being placed on Israel by the Obama administration. (Actually, the Jewish Lobby PAID for the trip.)

Cantor, who wishes to bring even more US DOLLARS to the rogue state of Israel while American Gentiles continue to lose their jobs, could not bend low enough to kiss the buttocks of Shimon Peres in his address to him:
“To a person, all of us will tell you Mr President that we are here, first and foremost, to reconfirm the message that the US Congress stands staunchly on the side of Israel and its struggle. We are here in Israel to figure out how to strengthen the US-Israel relationship.” View Entire Story Here & Here.

But this was not enough for the Jew-agenda-serving Cantor in his obsequious adoration of Shimon Peres who told the visiting Congressmen that “Iran must be stopped.”

Picking up the cue from Peres in an obviously staged meeting, Cantor then assured Peres that the settlements by the Jews was not the issue, that he was “disturbed” by Obama’s criticism of the eviction of two Arab families from an East Jerusalem neighborhood, that Obama is “wrong” to demand the cessation of Jewish settlements — but rather — the threat from Iran is what really matters:
“We are concerned about the focus being placed on settlement growth when the real issue is the existential threat that Israel faces from Iran. We do not support the decision by the Obama administration to engage with the terrorist regime in Tehran.” View Entire Story Here & Here.

Then during the delegation’s visit to the illegal Jewish settlement of Alfe Menashe, the Zionist Jew Cantor accompanied by his fellow American traitors, affirmed Israel’s refusal to return the land stolen from the Palestinians in their 1967 war of aggression:
“The insistence that Israel return lands it has occupied since the Six-Day war and accept a right of return of Palestinians who fled their homes in what is now Israel is just like saying you don’t accept the historical right of Israel to exist.” View Entire Story Here.
See Text & Video: Congressional Delegation Encourages Israeli Settlers Here.

Not to be outdone by Cantor’s Jewish-buttocks kissing, House Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (yet another Zionist Jew in power as there is now a RECORD NUMBER OF JEWS in Congress) will follow Cantor later in the month with a delegation of 35 Democrats and even more fawning over self-serving Jews.

US CONGRESS UNDERWRITTEN BY JEWS

“WHO UNDERWRITES THE CONGRESSIONAL TRIPS TO ISRAEL?” many concerned Americans are now asking. The powerful, BILLION DOLLAR JEWISH LOBBY in America, that’s who.

Cantor’s and Hoyer’s trips are underwritten by the American Israel Education Foundation, yet another Jewish lobby organization affiliated with the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The Foundation is the vehicle that AIPAC and Congress members use to organize and fund their junkets to Israel.

And since every Jewish organization (and there are THOUSANDS of them) are affiliated with each other and work to the same end of TOTAL CONTROL of the Gentiles, it should come as no surprise that Jimmy Carter recently said that any Congressman opposing the Israel Lobby commits “political suicide” and will never be re-elected. Read Carter’s Interview Here.

Indeed, as political analyst James Petras points out, even Jewish ‘religious’ organizations serve as conduits of Zionist propaganda through direct intervention in US politics at all levels even though non-profit organizations are forbidden by US law to engage in political activities. (But the Jews OWN America and always act with impunity.)

A MEMO FROM ONE JEWISH GROUP, The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, outlines their strategy in defense of Israel’s Gaza massacre: “Every congregation should issue a statement supporting Israel. Solicit statements from elected officials at the city, state or provincial, or federal levels. Monitor and respond to media coverage. Whenever possible, enlist public officials to demonstrate their support for Israel.”

The strategy paper highlights the way in which a highly organized, well-financed minority multiplies its power far beyond its own membership, ‘leveraging’ influential Gentiles, the mass media at all levels and public figures into a powerful juggernaut in defense of Israeli genocide in Gaza today and for war against Iran tomorrow. View Entire Petras Article Here.

COME NOW MY FRIENDS and VIEW THE NAMES HERE of all of the JEWISH-BOUGHT Congressmen who have had lavished on them MILLIONS OF JEWISH DOLLARS by the American Israel Education Foundation.

Is it any wonder then that US Congressmen care only about PLEASING THE JEWS and not the American people?

Enter the Real Taliban, Hafiz Gul Bahadur

[Will the wave of reprisal attacks for the assault on Mehsud’s family be confined to N. Waziristan, or will it infect the entire nation?  It may prove that the intensity of the attacks will tell whether Mehsud is alive or dead, whether it is merely the retribution of his friends or that of an enraged husband.]

Hafiz Gul Bahadur: A Profile of the Leader of the North Waziristan Taliban

“Senior Taliban commander Qari Hussain, maintaining that Baitullah is alive, has threatened to unleash a wave of suicide attacks to “avenge the government-sponsored propaganda against our leader”.

Two security men killed in N Waziristan bomb blast

MIRANSHAH: Two security personnel were martyred and four others severely injured when a remote detonated bomb went off in Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, sources told Geo News Sunday.

A convoy of security forces heading toward Miranshah from Bannu came under bomb attack at Mir Ali area.

The security forces retaliated by attacking the hideouts of the assailants at Miranshah Road.

Meanwhile, curfew has been imposed in different areas of North Waziristan including its headquarter Miranshah from Sunday morning for two days. No relaxation in curfew will be allowed during 48 hours.

Pakistan Taliban commander denies shootout, says alive

Pakistan Taliban commander denies shootout, says alive

By Alamgir Bitani

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – A Pakistani Taliban commander who the government said was involved in a deadly shootout with a rival commander denied on Sunday that there had been any fighting and said both he and the rival were alive.

The comments by Wali-ur-Rehman add to a volley of unverifiable claims and counter-claims by the government and the Taliban that have surrounded the reported death of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a U.S. missile attack on Wednesday.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik had said on Saturday that Taliban commander Wali-ur-Rehman had been

involved in a shootout with rival Hakimullah Mehsud, and that there were reports one of them died.

Wali-ur-Rehman, speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location to a Reuters reporter who had spoken with him several times before, denied that any council meeting, or shura, had taken place to decide on a successor to Baitullah Mehsud.

“There are no differences. There was no fighting. We both are alive, and there was no special shura meeting,” he said.

Hakimullah Mehsud had earlier denied that Baitullah Mehsud had been killed by the U.S. drone strike in the first place.

Taliban commanders have said the government is fabricating reports of dissent within its ranks in order to promote division and undermine the movement.

Hakimullah Mehsud would call journalists soon to prove he too was alive, Rehman said.

“He definitely will call you and tell you everything,” he said.

Western governments with troops in Afghanistan are watching to see if any new Pakistani Taliban leader would shift focus from fighting the Pakistani government and put the movement’s weight behind the Afghan insurgency led by Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Hakimullah, who controls fighters in the Orakzai, Kurram and Khyber tribal regions, is regarded as one of the leading contenders to replace Baitullah Mehsud, who had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head.

(Additional reporting by Kamran Haider; Writing by Jason Subler; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

Pakistan Still On Obama’s Hook–Bin Laden’s Ghost Remains Uncaught

ISLAMABAD – The United States has conveyed to Pakistan its renewed desire for military offensive in Waziristan in the wake of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud’s death even against any possible decision by Islamabad to call off the operation.
The US authorities want the Pakistani forces to go after the Taliban militants and Al-Qaeda activists in South Waziristan followed by same action against miscreants in North Waziristan and it has been conveyed to Islamabad through diplomatic channels.
“The Obama administration is pleased over the death of Baitullah Mehsud but it is against any decision by Islamabad to delay the South Waziristan offensive for long or call it off,” said a diplomatic source desiring not to be named.

Spokesman for Army’s “anti-Taliban,” Turkestan Bhitani Upsets New Official Story

[Claiming that Mehsud’s entire terrorist hierarchy was eliminated in this one game-changing attack (over 40 dead) strains whatever credibility this “witness” had.   If local witnesses and ISI spokesmen seeking to confirm press reports didn’t report this key element of the attack, then they must be passing on hearsay, not facts.  If the same “witnesses,” who didn’t know that 40 key terrorists were killed, are providing the DNA samples for testing, who knows where said “evidence” came from? Before the notoriously photo-shy Mehsud was allegedly killed, pictures of Abdullah Mehsud (his cousin), Jirahuddin Haqqani, and his son Sirahuddin were often mislabeled as Baitullah.  Now, “google” his name and see whose image bears his name today.]

Baitullah, Hakimullah, Wali killed: Turkistan Beetani

Updated at: 1208 PST,  Sunday, August 09, 2009
Baitullah, Hakimullah, Wali killed: Turkistan Beetani PESHAWAR: A commander of Abdullah Mehsud Group, Haji Turkistan Beetani has said that Baitullah Mehsud along with his forty associates was killed in the missile attack, while Hakimullah Mehsud and Mufti Waliur Rahman died in ‘shoora’ meeting feud leading to cross firing.

Talking to Geo News, Abdullah Mehsud Group commander, Haji Turkistan Beetani said that Baitullah Mehsud accompanied by his forty stalwarts was killed in missile attack in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. He was buried in his house.

Betani said that Mufti Waliur Rahman and commander Hakimullah Mehsud later died in a row over the selection of a new Amir succeeding Baitullah Mehsud in shoora meeting, which flared into fierce clash and cross firing.

He said that the suicide attack mastermind commander, Qari Hussain is grievously injured. Haji Turkistan said that Baitullah Mehsud and his companions worked for the destruction of the country, but the backbone of this group has broken. Differences among the members of Baitullah Mehsud group intensifying.

Liberal Agenda Threat to Nation

Liberal Agenda Threat to Nation

The Intelligencer

With members of Congress taking a few weeks off for their traditional August vacation, thoughtful Americans may be grateful themselves for the break. But this month may be the calm before a very rough storm for the nation.

Consider just three items of unfinished business on the agendas of both President Barack Obama and liberal lawmakers:

  • Health care: As members of the House of Representatives were preparing to leave Washington about a week ago, it was announced that conservative “blue dog” Democrats had reached a compromise with their more liberal peers on the issue of health care.

At first, the news sounded good. The “blue dogs” are fiscal conservatives, after all. Their leaders had maintained that they would not agree to a national health care program that increased the federal debt.

Since the deal was announced, however, analysts have warned that it would not prevent deficit spending. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Obama health care package will result in $1 trillion in deficit spending.

Massive new taxes will be needed to fund the program. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers admitted last week that Obama has not ruled out a middle-class tax increase to reduce the deficit – a deficit that would be created by the health care plan.

  • “Cap and trade” : House of Representatives members approved the bill earlier this summer, by the narrow margin of 219-212. It would do little to reduce carbon emissions – but would result in enormous increases in electric bills for tens of millions of Americans, including those in West Virginia and Ohio.

Action on “cap and trade” was put off by the Senate, but is expected to occur in September or October. The outlook is uncertain – but Obama and his liberal cronies already have begun to lobby both senators and the public in favor of the bill.

  • “Card check”: The measure involves a political promise made by Obama to his labor union supporters.

Under current law, workers at a business targeted by union organizers have the right to a secret-ballot vote on whether to join the union. If the “card check” bill is enacted, that right effectively would be eliminated. It would do away with one of the most cherished rights of Americans, that of making important decisions through secret ballots.

All three measures have good chances of being approved once Congress returns from the August break. If they are enacted, they will result in massive – and unpleasant – changes in our nation. Electricity will cost much, much more for many Americans. Workers will lose an important right. And the entire nation will suffer from a national health care program that will be costly both in terms of money and the quality of medical treatment available to us.

While our elected representatives and senators allegedly are “on vacation,” Obama, liberal lawmakers and radical organizations are working overtime to ensure that all three bills are enacted. The propaganda machine is spinning at full speed. Political favors are being handed out. Pressure is being exerted on reluctant lawmakers.

But no, many lawmakers are not actually reading the hundreds of pages of legislation involved in the three bills. Some simply do not know what they contain. They do not care – because Obama and his clique already have made up their minds for them.

August should not be a vacation for Americans who understand the perils contained in the three bills. The storm will break in just a few weeks – and steps need to be taken to keep it from becoming one of the worst disasters ever to hit our country.

NO..!! To US for illogical demands: The Frontier Post

NO..!! To US for illogical demands: The Frontier Post

Sajid Ansari

How can Pakistan give permission to a country which is almost openly involved in conspiracies against our homeland in collaboration with Pakistan’s arch enemy, India, and also Israel…? The ultimate objective of US of coming over to Afghanistan, taking the plea of ‘war-on-terror’ and to ‘catch’ Osama Bin Laden is to reach and secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals which Washington has said more than a dozen times. So How can we give permission to US for making a mini-US State Department and Pentagon & CIA Regional head quarters, in Islamabad?

The people of Pakistan are not in favour of giving US such facilities and would treat it as tantamount to treachery and highest order of ‘treason’ against the country as giving away these permissions mean committing suicide. The way Mr. Zardari gave India Wagah-Torkham transit route, without consulting the Parliament, it is feared that he will also grant this permission to the US. The US administration very well knows the ‘tricks of the trade’ as a little pressure on Zardari yields results.

In a democratic country, normally Opposition benches make lot of hue and cry in and out of the Parliament but unfortunately the leader of our main opposition party has been put to ‘sleep’ by Holbrooke, in his last meeting with him, and gave him a ‘strong doze’ to keep quiet and you will be the next President and since then the major and the strongest opposition party is ‘sleeping’ even on issues which directly threaten country’s integrity and solidarity. He is not rightly evaluating the ‘dangers’ and the possibilities of disintegration, looming over the skies of Pakistan, therefore, ever since he is either sleeping, eating or spending much of his time in front of the man-size mirror to see how would he look like ‘President’?

Therefore, the people of Pakistan should not expect any hopes from the main opposition party, PML-N, that it would oppose US’s illogical demand. However, it is quite likely that the students and lawyers come out on the streets, all over the country and block these permissions. If we look from the viewpoint of sincerity of the present government, and also the opposition benches, we would find that none of them seems to be sincere with the country as they ought to be.

If, God forbid, anything goes wrong with the country, all these Feudal, Waderas, Choudhris, Nawabs, Sharifs and Sardars of the ruling PPP and the rulers-in-waiting, PML-N would fly away to their villas and luxurious apartments and hefty bank balances in European countries and also in the Gulf as they have amassed unlimited wealth after getting through highly unfair means, kick-backs on international contracts and the unpaid and written-off loans of billions of rupees and the cases of corruption cleared by virtue of the controversial NRO. They will immediately get PIA flights rescheduled to their destinations, London and Dubai residences, leaving behind the masses at the mercy of Americans, Indians and the Israelis.

And those, Feudal and Industrial Lords, who stay back will provide their allegiance and loyalties to the “conquerors”, the Americans and Indians, in order to save their lands and industries and also to “rule” once again the remaining of Pakistan, as the “conquerors” will divide the country into three pieces. Do they still call themselves Muslims after grabbing and amassing wealth through totally unfair means in a country which has been thriving on loans and aid and the poor have reached  a stage where they are murdering their families and themselves or selling their children for not being able to feed them even once a day?

What actually the intentions of the US could be for enhancing its diplomatic staff positions to 10 times more than the approved strength, by the government of Pakistan, particularly keeping of hundreds of Marines and the import of hundreds of DynCorp Armoured Personnel Carriers?. The big question is if a lot of US diplomats can move freely from Islamabad to Lahore and Multan/Bahawalpur, most of them without permission and without an escort too whereas it was also in the news that Southern Punjab is a ‘breeding ground’ of Taliban and yet these Diplomats remained safe and sound, then why 350 additional Marines and DynCorp Armoured Personnel Carriers, are required to be posted in Pakistan?

And what is the guarantee that all of these would not be Mossad agents with state-of-art-arms n their possession? It may be recalled that 49 Steel Boxes, burnt in the controversial fire after the bombing at the Marriot Hotel, Islamabad, had arrived in the 6th trip of Mullen’s aircraft which went straight from the aircraft to the already waiting trucks of the US embassy, unchecked. What was in those large 49 ‘steel boxes’ that burned so profusely…? Nobody knows about it but one may just guess the contents from the secrecy maintained by the US Embassy as these ‘steel boxes’ were transferred from the Embassy to Marriott Hotel, Islamabad, at 2:30 AM by Marines who did not allow any of the hotel employees to touch them and handled/transported, all of these, on 4th & 5th floors of the hotel by themselves.

It means that the US Embassy’s storing capacity had been reached to the Full, with such consignments, having been arriving in the past through Mullen’s aircraft, which had made quite frequent trips to Islamabad, that is why the Embassy had to hire two floors to keep this ‘special consignment’. It could be someone’s wild guess that there were sophisticated arms and ammunition in those boxes, which could have been supplied to the paratroops of the Special Elite Green Force, Delta Force and the Orange Force, waiting near Pakistan’s borders in Afghanistan to be airlifted into Pakistan at 12 hrs notice, as and when the American President gave green signal to the Chief of command of US army in Afghanistan.

Therefore, it seems that by enhancing ‘diplomats’ presence in Pakistan and 350 more Marines, US has more ‘dangerous designs’ against Pakistan. There is another logical big question that India is almost 8-10 times bigger country than Pakistan and a new ‘ally’ too then why US has not chosen India for its ‘bigger’ presence in the region, instead of, specifically, Pakistan…?

Moreover, US administration has announced a number of times that they will stay in Afghanistan for an unspecified period, it could be 10, 20 or 50 years, therefore, they want an easy access to Helmand, the Southern province of Afghanistan. Therefore, the demand for a ‘small’ portion of Balochistan’s coast is in fact a multi-purpose use as 1. The US will have a short cut to Afghanistan. 2. The US will have total control of Strait of Hormuz, 3. US’s presence in Balochistan and in Afghanistan will boost subversive activities in Iran. 4. Russia and China’s access to the Arabian Peninsula will be completely blocked. 5. All the Central Asian countries will be dependent on US for access to the Gulf & Middle Eastern markets. There may be other benefits of the area they are demanding through Balochistan’s coastal area, most likely near Iranian border, they will stay there for ever and will never vacate it.

Therefore, by giving permission to US, to have an access to Afghanistan, via Balochistan coast, means “Good-bye” to Balochistan. However, according to confirmed news ‘report’, there are already US troops in Pakistan under the guise of US private security contractor “Blackwater Force”, in Peshawar apart from Special Elite Force, Delta Force and Orange force. All these ‘Forces’ have different jobs assigned to them and to be carried out in Pakistan not in Afghanistan “Blackwater Force” (This is a report by the German news agency DPA) Fear is spreading across University Town, an up market residential area in Pakistan’s north-western city of Peshawar, due to the overt presence of the controversial US private security contractor Blackwater. Sporting the customary dark glasses and carrying assault rifles, the mercenaries zoom around the neighbourhood in their black-coloured armoured Chevy Suburban, and shout at motorists when occasionally stranded in a traffic jam.

For more on this article, please click on the following link: NO..!! To US for illogical demands: The Frontier Post

NO..!! To US for illogical demands: The Frontier Post

Sajid Ansari

How can Pakistan give permission to a country which is almost openly involved in conspiracies against our homeland in collaboration with Pakistan’s arch enemy, India, and also Israel…? The ultimate objective of US of coming over to Afghanistan, taking the plea of ‘war-on-terror’ and to ‘catch’ Osama Bin Laden is to reach and secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals which Washington has said more than a dozen times. So How can we give permission to US for making a mini-US State Department and Pentagon & CIA Regional head quarters, in Islamabad? The people of Pakistan are not in favour of giving US such facilities and would treat it as tantamount to treachery and highest order of ‘treason’ against the country as giving away these permissions mean committing suicide. The way Mr. Zardari gave India Wagah-Torkham transit route, without consulting the Parliament, it is feared that he will also grant this permission to the US. The US administration very well knows the ‘tricks of the trade’ as a little pressure on Zardari yields results. In a democratic country, normally Opposition benches make lot of hue and cry in and out of the Parliament but unfortunately the leader of our main opposition party has been put to ‘sleep’ by Holbrooke, in his last meeting with him, and gave him a ‘strong doze’ to keep quiet and you will be the next President and since then the major and the strongest opposition party is ‘sleeping’ even on issues which directly threaten country’s integrity and solidarity. He is not rightly evaluating the ‘dangers’ and the possibilities of disintegration, looming over the skies of Pakistan, therefore, ever since he is either sleeping, eating or spending much of his time in front of the man-size mirror to see how would he look like ‘President’? Therefore, the people of Pakistan should not expect any hopes from the main opposition party, PML-N, that it would oppose US’s illogical demand. However, it is quite likely that the students and lawyers come out on the streets, all over the country and block these permissions. If we look from the viewpoint of sincerity of the present government, and also the opposition benches, we would find that none of them seems to be sincere with the country as they ought to be. If, God forbid, anything goes wrong with the country, all these Feudal, Waderas, Choudhris, Nawabs, Sharifs and Sardars of the ruling PPP and the rulers-in-waiting, PML-N would fly away to their villas and luxurious apartments and hefty bank balances in European countries and also in the Gulf as they have amassed unlimited wealth after getting through highly unfair means, kick-backs on international contracts and the unpaid and written-off loans of billions of rupees and the cases of corruption cleared by virtue of the controversial NRO. They will immediately get PIA flights rescheduled to their destinations, London and Dubai residences, leaving behind the masses at the mercy of Americans, Indians and the Israelis. And those, Feudal and Industrial Lords, who stay back will provide their allegiance and loyalties to the “conquerors”, the Americans and Indians, in order to save their lands and industries and also to “rule” once again the remaining of Pakistan, as the “conquerors” will divide the country into three pieces. Do they still call themselves Muslims after grabbing and amassing wealth through totally unfair means in a country which has been thriving on loans and aid and the poor have reached l a stage where they are murdering their families and themselves or selling their children for not being able to feed them even once a day? What actually the intentions of the US could be for enhancing its diplomatic staff positions to 10 times more than the approved strength, by the government of Pakistan, particularly keeping of hundreds of Marines and the import of hundreds of DynCorp Armoured Personnel Carriers?. The big question is if a lot of US diplomats can move freely from Islamabad to Lahore and Multan/Bahawalpur, most of them without permission and without an escort too whereas it was also in the news that Southern Punjab is a ‘breeding ground’ of Taliban and yet these Diplomats remained safe and sound, then why 350 additional Marines and DynCorp Armoured Personnel Carriers, are required to be posted in Pakistan. And what is the guarantee that all of these would not be Mossad agents with state-of-art-arms n their possession? It may be recalled that 49 Steel Boxes, burnt in the controversial fire after the bombing at the Marriot Hotel, Islamabad, had arrived in the 6th trip of Mullen’s aircraft which went straight from the aircraft to the already waiting trucks of the US embassy, unchecked. What was in those large 49 ‘steel boxes’ that burned so profusely…? Nobody knows about it but one may just guess the contents from the secrecy maintained by the US Embassy as these ‘steel boxes’ were transferred from the Embassy to Marriott Hotel, Islamabad, at 2:30 AM by Marines who did not allow any of the hotel employees to touch them and handled/transported, all of these, on 4th & 5th floors of the hotel by themselves. It means that the US Embassy’s storing capacity had been reached to the Full, with such consignments, having been arriving in the past through Mullen’s aircraft, which had made quite frequent trips to Islamabad, that is why the Embassy had to hire two floors to keep this ‘special consignment’. It could be someone’s wild guess that there were sophisticated arms and ammunition in those boxes, which could have been supplied to the paratroops of the Special Elite Green Force, Delta Force and the Orange Force, waiting near Pakistan’s borders in Afghanistan to be airlifted into Pakistan at 12 hrs notice, as and when the American President gave green signal to the Chief of command of US army in Afghanistan. Therefore, it seems that by enhancing ‘diplomats’ presence in Pakistan and 350 more Marines, US has more ‘dangerous designs’ against Pakistan. There is another logical big question that India is almost 8-10 times bigger country than Pakistan and a new ‘ally’ too then why US has not chosen India for its ‘bigger’ presence in the region, instead of, specifically, Pakistan…? Moreover, US administration has announced a number of times that they will stay in Afghanistan for an unspecified period, it could be 10, 20 or 50 years, therefore, they want an easy access to Helmand, the Southern province of Afghanistan. Therefore, the demand for a ‘small’ portion of Balochistan’s coast is in fact a multi-purpose use as 1. The US will have a short cut to Afghanistan. 2. The US will have total control of Strait of Hormuz, 3. US’s presence in Balochistan and in Afghanistan will boost subversive activities in Iran. 4. Russia and China’s access to the Arabian Peninsula will be completely blocked. 5. All the Central Asian countries will be dependent on US for access to the Gulf & Middle Eastern markets. There may be other benefits of the area they are demanding through Balochistan’s coastal area, most likely near Iranian border, they will stay there for ever and will never vacate it. Therefore, by giving permission to US, to have an access to Afghanistan, via Balochistan coast, means “Good-bye” to Balochistan. However, according to confirmed news ‘report’, there are already US troops in Pakistan under the guise of US private security contractor “Blackwater Force”, in Peshawar apart from Special Elite Force, Delta Force and Orange force. All these ‘Forces’ have different jobs assigned to them and to be carried out in Pakistan not in Afghanistan “Blackwater Force” (This is a report by the German news agency DPA) Fear is spreading across University Town, an up market residential area in Pakistan’s north-western city of Peshawar, due to the overt presence of the controversial US private security contractor Blackwater. Sporting the customary dark glasses and carrying assault rifles, the mercenaries zoom around the neighbourhood in their black-coloured armoured Chevy Suburban, and shout at motorists when occasionally stranded in a traffic jam.

For more on this article, please click on the following link: NO..!! To US for illogical demands: The Frontier Post

Who’s playing Pakistan’s shadowy Great Game?

Who’s playing Pakistan’s shadowy Great Game?

Shobhan Saxena, TNN

Blame it on bad excuses. South Block’s best explanation for the Sharm el-Sheikh “blunder” was bad drafting. That means the poor language skills

of some of our top diplomats led India to make two huge concessions to Pakistan. But “bad drafting” was not the full story, namelt that the Indians weren’t really that careless; the Pakistanis were more cunning.

Balochistan was included in the document because the Pakistani team had carefully planned it that way. Sources say that Pakistan’s foreign secretary Salman Bashir played a key role in exerting pressure on India to include Balochistan in the statement Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed with his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani. Bashir is said to have chalked out the “Sharm el-Sheikh plan” in the Prime Minister House. Gilani, officers from the Pakistan Army headquarters and interior ministry officials were present. It was so meticulously planned that senior Pakistani journalists reversed their decision not to travel with the delegation to Egypt. The hacks, it’s said, knew that Gilani and Bashir were “going to do something spectacular in Egypt.”

Hamid Mir, executive editor of the Islamabad-based Geo TV, was in Sharm el-Sheikh. He says, “Salman Bashir told Menon on July 14 not to link India-Pakistan talks with terrorism. He told Menon, ‘If you make noise on the Mumbai attacks, we will have no other choice than to expose the Indian role in Balochistan through Afghanistan and it will create problems for Afghanistan, NATO and also for US’.’’ The next day Gilani put two opposition MPs, who were part of the delegation, before the Indian Prime Minister. “They actually told Manmohan Singh that ‘we, the opposition, are with our government on the issues of Kashmir and Balochistan’,” says Mir. It was a carefully planned move to show that there were no fissures within the Pakistani establishment on this crucial matter.
The whole affair is thought to underline the hard work Pakistan is putting in on three fronts – the West, India and China. The team that’s doing the bold thinking and heavy lifting is a mix of hawks and doves:

l Prime minister Gilani
l Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi
l Minister of state Malik Amad Khan
l Foreign secretary Salman Bashir
l ISI chief Lt Gen Shuja Pasha

Qureshi, whom Pakistan considers a dove, was not at Sharm el-Sheikh. “Qureshi is close to President Zardari who is also seen as soft towards India. So, it’s not surprising that Malik Amad went to Sharm el-Sheikh. He is 36, a former army officer from the Armoured Corps Regiment and an expert on military-strategic affairs,” says a source in Islamabad. “He is also considered close to the GHQ because of his background.”

Qureshi, meanwhile, has been focusing on taking the “all-weather friendship” with China to a new level. In October 2008, he chose China to make his first trip abroad as foreign minister. He went with the President but is thought to have worked overtime to make the visit a major success. The two countries signed agreements for a major cash infusion from China, arms sales and energy assistance. There were also moves on a possible civilian nuclear pact similar to the Indo-US nuclear deal. “Before leaving Beijing, Zardari called China the ‘future of the world’ and promised to return there every three months. It was all Qureshi’s work,” says an observer in Lahore.

Qureshi is said to work closely with Bashir on China. Bashir was Pakistan’s ambassador in Beijing before becoming foreign secretary. Meanwhile, it’s on the India front that General Pasha and his men play a key role. Insiders say that Pakistan’s defence and foreign policies are deeply entwined when it comes to India. The India desk at the ISI office has the final say on bilateral matters, in collaboration with GHQ. Policy briefs are reportedly directly conveyed to the President’s House and to the foreign secretary.

Bashir, whose younger brother Admiral Noman Bashir heads the Pakistan Navy, is often the pointsman and is thought to have been fairly successful at engaging the Americans and Chinese on the Balochistan issue. Mir says that “Americans want to open a consulate in Quetta and maybe some bases as well. They need it to coordinate with their forces in south Afghanistan.”

Indeed, it’s on the Afghan front that Pakistan’s foreign policy honchos have achieved real success. The Pakistani army’s successful campaign against the Taliban in Swat valley seems to have not only destroyed the militants’ bases, but restored the ISI’s tarnished image somewhat.
The Great Game continues.

The Biden and Clinton Mutinies

[The Zionist entity that rules America is making its move.  Obama continues to flash the Imperial smile for the talking heads of the controlled press.  The American people may gain a glimpse of their true masters, as our ship of state slips silently neath the white-capped waves.  Can sheep swim?]

The Biden and Clinton Mutinies

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

Time bombs tossed seemingly casually in the past month by his vice president and his secretary of state disclose president Obama, in the dawn of his first term,  already the target of carefully meditated onslaughts by senior members of his own cabinet.

At the superficial level Obama is presiding over an undisciplined administration; on a  more realistic and  sinister construction, he is facing mutiny, publicly conducted by two people who only a year ago were claiming that their qualifications to be in the Oval Office were far superior to those of the junior senator from Illinois .

The great danger to Obama posed by Biden’s and Clinton’s  “time bombs” (a precisely correct description if we call them political, not diplomatic time bombs) is not international confusion and ridicule over what precisely are the US government’s policies, but a direct onslaught on his presidency by a domestic Israeli lobby that is so out of control that it renders ridiculous Obama’s puny attempt to stop settlements–or to curb Israeli aggression in any other way.

Take Joe Biden. Three weeks ago he gave Israel the green light to bomb Iran, only to be swiftly corrected by his boss.  At the time it seemed yet another,somewhat comical mile marker in a lifetime of gaffes, perpetrated in the cause of self-promotion and personal political advantage.

But Biden’s subsequent activities invite a darker construction.   In the immediate aftermath of Obama’s Moscow visit, the air still soft with honeyed words about a new era of trust and cooperation, Biden headed for Ukraine and Georgia, harshly ridiculing Russia as an economic basket case with no future. In Tbilisi he told the Georgian parliament  that the U.S. would continue helping Georgia “to modernize” its military and that Washington “fully supports” Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO and would help Tbilisi meet the alliance’s standards. This elicited a furious reaction from Moscow, pledging sanctions against any power rearming Georgia.

Georgia could play a vital, enabling role, in the event that Israel decides to attack Iran’s nuclear complex. The flight path from Israel to Iran is diplomatically and geographically challenging. On the other hand, Georgia is perfectly situated  as the take-off point for any such raid. Israel has been  heavily involved in supplying and training Georgia’s armed forces. President Saakashvili has boasted that his Defense Minister, Davit Kezerashvili and also  Temur Yakobashvili , the minister responsible for negotiations over South Ossetia, lived in Israel before moving to Georgia, adding  “Both war and peace are in the hands of Israeli Jews.”

On the heels of Biden’s shameless pandering in Tbilisi, Secretary of State Clinton took herself off to Thailand for an international confab with Asian leaders and let drop to a tv chat show that “a nuclear Iran could be contained by a U.S. ‘defense umbrella,’” actually a nuclear defense umbrella for Israel and for Egypt and Saudi Arabia too.

The Israel lobby has been promoting the idea of a US “nuclear umbrella” for some years, with one of its leading exponents being Dennis Ross, now in charge of Middle Eastern policy at Obama’s National Security Council. In her campaign last year  Clinton flourished the notion as an example of the sort of policy initiative that set her apart from that novice in foreign affairs, Barack Obama.

From any rational point of view the “nuclear umbrella” is an awful idea, redolent with all the gimcrack theology of the high cold war era, about “first strike”, “second strike”, “stable deterrence” ,“controlled escalation” and “mutual assured destruction”, used to sell US escalations in nuclear arms production, from Kennedy  and the late Robert McNamara(“the Missile Gap”) to Reagan (“Star Wars”).

Indeed, as one Pentagon veteran remarked to me earlier this week, “the Administration’s whole nuclear stance is turning into a cheesy rerun of the Cold  War and Mutually Assured Destruction, all based on a horrible exaggeration of one or two Iranian nuclear bombs that the Persians may be too incompetent to build and most certainly are too incompetent to deliver.”

The Biden and Clinton “foreign” policy is: 1) to recreate the same old Cold War (with a new appendage, the US versus Iran nuclear confrontation) for the same old reasons: to pump up domestic defense spending; and 2) to continue sixty years of supporting Israeli imperialism for the same reasons that every president from Harry to Dubya (perhaps barring Ike) did so: to corner Israel lobby money and votes. Regarding the latter, Obama did the same by grabbing the Chicago-based Crown and Pritzker family money very early in his campaign and by making Rahm Emanuel his very first appointment (the two are hardly unrelated).

So right from the start Obama was already an Israel lobby fellow traveler. The Mitchell appointment and the toothless blather about settlements were simply cosmetic,  bones tossed to the increasing proportion of the American electorate that’s grossed out by the ethnic cleansing of the Arabs from the Holy Land. Obama does have a coherent strategy: keep the defense money flowing and increasing, but without making so much noise as the older generation did about ancient Cold War enemies (e.g. Russia and Cuba).  The F-22 — to date, the one and only presidential issue on which he’s shown any toughness at all — is in no sense a departure from keeping the money flowing, since he is indeed increasing the defense budget, in part by using the F-22 cancellation to push spending on the even worse F-35 and to hide his acquiescence to all the other pork in the Congressional defense budget.

The window for any  new president to impose a decisive change in foreign policy comes in the first three months, before opposition has time to solidify. Obama squandered that opportunity, stocking his foreign policy team with tarnished players such as Ross. As the calculated indiscretions of Biden and Clinton suggest, not to mention the arrogance of Netanyahu and his political associates, the window of opportunity has  closed.

Would it have been that hard to signal a change in course? Not really. Obama could have excited the world by  renouncing  the Bush administration’s  assertion, in the “National Defense Strategy of the United States” of 2002 — preserved in its essence in ensuing years — of  the  right and intention of the United States to preëmptively attack any country “at the time, place, and in the manner of our choosing.”  As  William Polk, the State Department’s middle east advisor in the Kennedy era, wrote last year: “As long as this remains a valid statement of American policy, the Iranian government would be foolish not to seek a nuclear weapon.”

But Obama, surrounded with Clinton-era veterans of NATO expansionism and, as his Accra speech indicated, hobbled with an impeccably conventional view of how the world works, is rapidly being overwhelmed by the press of events. He’s bailed out the banks. He’s transferred war from Iraq to Afghanistan. The big lobbies know they have him on the run.

Hence Biden and Clinton’s mutinies, conducted on behalf of the Israel lobby and designed to seize administration policy as Obama’s popularity weakens. When the results of the latest Rasmussen presidential poll were published, showing Obama’s declining numbers, there were news reports of cheering in Tel Aviv. And remember two useful guiding principles: first, it is impossible to overestimate the vanity of politicians, particularly of Joe Biden. Maybe he secretly entertains some mad notion of challenging Obama in 2012, propelled by Israel Lobby money withheld from Obama. Maybe Bill is reminding HRC that he reached the White House in 1992 partly because the Israel lobby turned against George Bush Sr. Second principle: there is no such thing as foreign policy, neither in democratic governments nor in dictatorships. As Thalheimer’s Law* decrees. All policy is domestic.

* I was introduced to Thalheimer’s Law by his nephew, Pierre Sprey, himself a valued friend and advisor to CounterPunch on matters ranging from statistics to weaponry (he was one of the designers of the A-10 and F-16 before the aerospace profiteers got their mitts on them) to high-end sound. (Go to his website, www.mapleshaderecords.com/) Pierre writes, “Dr. Siegfried Thalheimer  was a brilliant political historian (and art historian), much published in Germany and France. Among many extraordinarily interesting books, he wrote the finest history of the Dreyfus Affair in print–one of the very few that makes clear that anti-Semitism had nothing to do with the heart of the affair, showing instead that it was, in fact, one of the earliest military-industrial-political conspiracies of the modern era.”

The Coup and the U.S. Airbase in Honduras

Oct. 6, 2008: Demonstrators write "Out Yankees" on a wall outside the U.S. Palmerola military base in Honduras during a protest against American military presence in Latin America. Photo: Edgard Garrido / Reuters file Oct. 6, 2008: Demonstrators write “Out Yankees” on a wall outside the U.S. Palmerola military base in Honduras during a protest against American military presence in Latin America. Photo: Edgard Garrido / Reuters file.

Zelaya, Negroponte and the Controversy at Soto Cano

The Coup and the U.S. Airbase in Honduras

By NIKOLAS KOZLOFF

The mainstream media has once again dropped the ball on a key aspect of the ongoing story in Honduras: the U.S. airbase at Soto Cano, also known as Palmerola.  Prior to the recent military coup d’etat President Manuel Zelaya declared that he would turn the base into a civilian airport, a move opposed by the former U.S. ambassador.  What’s more Zelaya intended to carry out his project with Venezuelan financing.

For years prior to the coup the Honduran authorities had discussed the possibility of converting Palmerola into a civilian facility.  Officials fretted that Toncontín, Tegucigalpa’s international airport, was too small and incapable of handling large commercial aircraft.  An aging facility dating to 1948, Toncontín has a short runway and primitive navigation equipment.  The facility is surrounded by hills which makes it one of the world’s more dangerous international airports.

Palmerola by contrast has the best runway in the country at 8,850 feet long and 165 feet wide.  The airport was built more recently in the mid-1980s at a reported cost of $30 million and was used by the United States for supplying the Contras during America’s proxy war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua as well as conducting counter-insurgency operations in El Salvador.  At the height of the Contra war the U.S. had more than 5,000 soldiers stationed at Palmerola.  Known as the Contras’ “unsinkable aircraft carrier,” the base housed Green Berets as well as CIA operatives advising the Nicaraguan rebels.

More recently there have been some 500-to-600 U.S. troops on hand at the facility which serves as a Honduran air force base as well as a flight-training center.  With the exit of U.S. bases from Panama in 1999, Palmerola became one of the few usable airfields available to the U.S. on Latin American soil.  The base is located approximately 30 miles north of the capital Tegucigalpa.

In 2006 it looked as if Zelaya and the Bush administration were nearing a deal on Palmerola’s future status.  In June of that year Zelaya flew to Washington to meet President Bush and the Honduran requested that Palmerola be converted into a commercial airport.  Reportedly Bush said the idea was “wholly reasonable” and Zelaya declared that a four-lane highway would be constructed from Tegucigalpa to Palmerola with U.S. funding.

In exchange for the White House’s help on the Palmerola facility Zelaya offered the U.S. access to a new military installation to be located in the Mosquitia area along the Honduran coast near the Nicaraguan border.  Mosquitia reportedly serves as a corridor for drugs moving south to north.  The drug cartels pass through Mosquitia with their cargo en route from Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

A remote area only accessible by air, sea, and river Mosquitia is full of swamp and jungle.  The region is ideal for the U.S. since large numbers of troops may be housed in Mosquitia in relative obscurity.  The coastal location was ideally suited for naval and air coverage consistent with the stated U.S. military strategy of confronting organized crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism.  Romeo Vásquez, head of the Honduran Joint Chiefs of Staff, remarked that the armed forces needed to exert a greater presence in Mosquitia because the area was full of “conflict and problems.”

But what kind of access would the U.S. have to Mosquitia?  Honduran Defense Secretary Aristides Mejía said that Mosquitia wouldn’t necessarily be “a classic base with permanent installations, but just when needed. We intend, if President Zelaya approves, to expand joint operations [with the United States].”  That statement however was apparently not to the liking of eventual coup leader and U.S. School of the Americas graduate Vásquez who had already traveled to Washington to discuss future plans for Mosquitia.  Contradicting his own colleague, Vásquez said the idea was “to establish a permanent military base of ours in the zone” which would house aircraft and fuel supply systems.  The United States, Vásquez added, would help to construct air strips on site.

Events on the ground meanwhile would soon force the Hondurans to take a more assertive approach towards air safety.  In May, 2008 a terrible crash occurred at Toncontín airport when a TACA Airbus A320 slid off the runway on its second landing attempt.  After mowing down trees and smashing through a metal fence, the airplane’s fuselage was broken into three parts near the airstrip.  Three people were killed in the crash and 65 were injured.

In the wake of the tragedy Honduran officials were forced at long last to block planes from landing at the notoriously dangerous Toncontín.  All large jets, officials said, would be temporarily transferred to Palmerola.  Touring the U.S. airbase himself Zelaya remarked that the authorities would create a new civilian facility at Palmerola within sixty days.  Bush had already agreed to let Honduras construct a civilian airport at Palmerola, Zelaya said.  “There are witnesses,” the President added.

But constructing a new airport had grown more politically complicated.  Honduran-U.S. relations had deteriorated considerably since Zelaya’s 2006 meeting with Bush and Zelaya had started to cultivate ties to Venezuela while simultaneously criticizing the American-led war on drugs.

Bush’s own U.S. Ambassador Charles Ford said that while he would welcome the traffic at Palmerola past agreements should be honored.  The base was used mostly for drug surveillance planes and Ford remarked that “The president can order the use of Palmerola when he wants, but certain accords and protocols must be followed.”  “It is important to point out that Toncontín is certified by the International Civil Aviation Organization,” Ford added, hoping to allay long-time concerns about the airport’s safety.  What’s more, the diplomat declared, there were some airlines that would not see Palmerola as an “attractive” landing destination.  Ford would not elaborate or explain what his remarks were supposed to mean.

Throwing fuel on the fire Assistant Secretary of State John Negroponte, a former U.S. ambassador to Honduras, said that Honduras could not transform Palmerola into a civilian airport “from one day to the next.”  In Tegucigalpa, Negroponte met with Zelaya to discuss Palmerola.  Speaking later on Honduran radio the U.S. diplomat said that before Zelaya could embark on his plans for Palmerola the airport would have to receive international certification for new incoming flights.  According to Spanish news agency EFE Negroponte also took advantage of his Tegucigalpa trip to sit down and meet with the President of the Honduran Parliament and future coup leader Roberto Micheletti [the news account however did not state what the two discussed].

Needless to say Negroponte’s visit to Honduras was widely repudiated by progressive and human rights activists who labeled Negroponte “an assassin” and accused him of being responsible for forced disappearances during the diplomat’s tenure as ambassador (1981-1985).  Moreover, Ford and Negroponte’s condescending attitude irked organized labor, indigenous groups and peasants who demanded that Honduras reclaim its national sovereignty over Palmerola.  “It’s necessary to recover Palmerola because it’s unacceptable that the best airstrip in Central America continues to be in the hands of the U.S. military,” said Carlos Reyes, leader of the Popular Bloc which included various politically progressive organizations.  “The Cold War has ended and there are no pretexts to continue with the military presence in the region,” he added.  The activist remarked that the government should not contemplate swapping Mosquitia for Palmerola either as this would be an affront to Honduran pride.

Over the next year Zelaya sought to convert Palmerola into a civilian airport but plans languished when the government was unable to attract international investors.  Finally in 2009 Zelaya announced that the Honduran armed forces would undertake construction.  To pay for the new project the President would rely on funding from ALBA [in English, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas] and Petrocaribe, two reciprocal trading agreements pushed by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez.  Predictably the Honduran right leapt on Zelaya for using Venezuelan funds.  Amílcar Bulnes, President of the Honduran Business Association [known by its Spanish acronym COHEP] said that Petrocaribe funds should not be used for the airport but rather for other, unspecified needs.

A couple weeks after Zelaya announced that the armed forces would proceed with construction at Palmerola the military rebelled.  Led by Romeo Vásquez, the army overthrew Zelaya and deported him out of the country.  In the wake of the coup U.S. peace activists visited Palmerola and were surprised to find that the base was busy and helicopters were flying all around.  When activists asked American officials if anything had changed in terms of the U.S.-Honduran relationship they were told “no, nothing.”

The Honduran elite and the hard right U.S. foreign policy establishment had many reasons to despise Manuel Zelaya as I’ve discussed in previous articles.  The controversy over the Palmerola airbase however certainly gave them more ammunition.

Nikolas Kozloff is the author of Revolution! South America and the Rise of the New Left (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008)

Pakistan Taliban Leader Allegedly Dead

Now that Mehsud is allegedly killed by US missiles images of him are flooding the net. It seems that there is an ongoing psyop to merge two sets of pictures, in order to confuse the public about who he is, and who is really dead. Look closely at the leader in the crowd. Does he resemble the fat guy or the traditional image of Mehsud? http://www.topnews.in/files/Baitullah-Mehsud1.jpg

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