5/1/9 MayDay: War On International Working Class; Making Mexico the 'Failed State" Predicted; Plans Beyond Pakistan's Existence

Note latest official political re-branding: Mexico is the target, not U.S. owned swine industry
Obama administration officials, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, have been at pains to argue the disease should not be called “swine flu” because the name “suggests a problem with pork products.” Obama had gotten the message by Tuesday, referring to the crisis as “the H1N1 flu outbreak,” whereas he had referred to it as “swine flu” one day earlier. According to ABC News, “Representatives of certain agricultural industries had made their displeasure known to the Obama administration.” swine flu — now officially called influenza A(H1N1) — because scientists believe it started in pigs, but they do not know if that was recently or years ago. The name change was designed to allay fears about pigs and eating pork.

psychological state terror
In some places... people seemed perplexed — even mocking — at the thought anyone would change their behavior given the relatively small number of confirmed cases in the United States and an illness that has, so far, caused only one fatality in this country.... worries over the flu (which despite the efforts of public health officials, no one seems to be calling 2009 H1N1) had created a new set of social politics.... Some complained bitterly about the news media’s “over-hyping” the matter.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/health/01fear.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

MAKING MEXICO THE 'FAILED STATE' U.S. 'PREDICTED'
JFCOM's "Joint Operating Environment" (JOE) document, with a forward by JFCOM's chief, U.S. Marine Corps Four-Star General James Mattis, [who] also heads NATO's Allied Command Transformation, drafted by a team of officers and civilians he selected, was signed in mid-November 2008 and posted on the Pentagon's Web site. It has generated protests by the governments of Mexico - whose potential collapse is depicted as a grave threat to U.S. national security...

The crisis is exacting a terrible toll on the country’s economy....officials estimate it is costing businesses $85 million a day in lost revenues... Mexico was already the country most affected in Latin America by the global financial meltdown, because of its close ties to the United States [digest translation: U.S. political-economic dominance]. The maquiladora assembly plants near the border have carried out mass layoffs in response to plummeting demand in the US. Meanwhile, two principal sources of national income, oil and remittances sent home by the nearly 13 million Mexican immigrants in the US, have fallen sharply.
The third, tourism, had suffered a significant decline before the epidemic, but has now been decimated, with the US, the European Union and other countries advising against travel to Mexico. In Europe, the French government has called on the EU to impose a ban on flights to the country. There have already been 2,500 cancellations of visits in group travel alone. In Mexico City, 90 percent of hotel rooms are unoccupied. A decision by the authorities in the capital to close down virtually all places where people gather—restaurants, bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, gyms and athletic clubs—has brought fully one quarter of economic activity in Mexico City to a halt. The city, in turn, accounts for one third of all economic activity nationwide.
Most hard-hit are the 450,000 people working in restaurants and bars, 70 percent of whom have been laid off and left without any income....
Last week, the International Monetary Fund predicted that the country would see its economy contract by 3.7 percent as a result of the deepening world crisis. Banco Mexico on Wednesday said it may shrink by as much as 4.8 percent this year—before the impact of the present health crisis is included. Banamex, Citibank’s Mexican subsidiary, estimated that in the first week since the state of emergency was declared, private consumption in Mexico had suffered a decline of $3.3 billion....

Fifty percent of Granjas Carroll, one of the country’s largest pig farms is owned by the US-based corporation Smithfield Foods, headquartered in Virginia. It produces close to one million pigs annually. Smithfield faced repeated fines and lawsuits over its operations in the US. After its hog waste lagoons overflowed and polluted rivers and streams in North Carolina, the company settled an environmental protection lawsuit in 2000 by agreeing to pay the state $50 million. Residents of Perote have long protested that the pig farm—with its open lakes of pig excrement and toxic chemicals—was destroying the local environment and damaging their health, but to no avail. Local and national officials defended the company, while threatening and prosecuting those who protested. As the Mexican daily La Jornada commented in an editorial earlier this month: “For polluting with its waste, the powerful company, the principal shareholder of Carroll, was fined in the United States. Here, on the other hand, it is permitted to do anything... Moreover, it should be noted how local authorities persecute those who fight for the environment and health.”
Even after the flu outbreak, agents of Mexico’s Federal Agency of Investigations came to Perote to arrest one of the protesters, the peasant Guadalupe Serrano Gaspar. Meanwhile, the company has formally charged others with slander. Smithfield Foods Inc., which is the largest pork producer in the world, issued a statement Sunday claiming that it found no evidence of swine flu among the animals or the workers at its Mexican factory farm. “Smithfield has no reason to believe that the virus is in any way connected to its operations in Mexico,” the company said....
Mexican workers are paying with their lives for a system that has systematically transferred social wealth from the mass of the population to a native ruling elite and its mainly US-based corporate and financial partners [e.g. masters].... http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/apr2009/mexi-a30.shtml

"POSSIBLE PANDEMIC" FOR 'HUMANITARIAN' MARTIAL LAW
World flu alert goes higher; Mexico plans shutdown:
Mexico: Bearing brunt of the outbreak, residents take cover
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Felipe Calderon... asked his countrymen to literally stay in their homes between May 1 and May 5, saying "there is no safer place to protect yourself against catching swine flu, than in your house." [BTW: MAY 1, INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY, AND NATIONAL CINQO DE MAYO ARE HUGE IN MEXICO, NOT 'HELPFUL' TO U.S. /COMPRADORS/PROXY MEXICAN GOVT. DEVASTATING MILLIONS WORLDWIDE IN A WAR ON THE INTERNATIONAL WORKING CLASS TO SAVE U.S. FINANCE CAPITALISM] Mexico took even more drastic action to squelch a swine flu epidemic, ordering a suspension of private business activity and non-essential federal government activities, as the World Health Organization ratcheted up alert to Level 5, [the highest being 6] warning that "all of humanity" is threatened. The dire warning showed that world health officials are very worried about the potential for massive numbers of deaths worldwide from the mutated virus, even though the epidemic so far has claimed only a confirmed eight lives in Mexico and one in the United States. Roughly 170 deaths are suspected of having been caused by the virus in Mexico....
Medical detectives have not pinpointed where the outbreak began. Scientists believe that somewhere in the world, months or even a year ago, a pig virus jumped to a human and mutated, and has been spreading between humans ever since....
Swine flu has symptoms nearly identical to regular flu — fever, cough and sore throat — and spreads like regular flu, through tiny particles in the air, when people cough or sneeze. People with flu symptoms are advised to stay at home, wash their hands and cover their sneezes.... U.S. /CDC 'DIAGNOSTICS' PROVIDE OFFICIAL 'CONFIRMATION'

truth of the matter finally mentioned in passing but severely underplayed by U.S. media
7 swine flu deaths, not 152, says WHO
A member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) dismissed claims that more than 150 people have died from swine flu, saying it has officially recorded seven deaths around the world.
http://www.smh.com.au/world/only-7-swine-flu-deaths-not-152-says-who-200...

NAFTA: Mexico’s Swine Flu and the Globalization of Disease
http://americasmexico.blogspot.com/2009/04/mexicos-swine-flu-and-globali...
Mexico has long been considered the laboratory of globalization. Now a potentially deadly virus has germinated in that laboratory...Those conditions include: a rapid transition from small livestock production to industrial meat farms after NAFTA established incentives for foreign investment, the failed decentralization of Mexico’s health system along lines established by multilateral lending banks, lax and non-enforced environmental and health regulations as the Mexican government was forced to downsize, the increased flow of goods and persons across borders, and restricted access to life-saving medicines due to NAFTA intellectual property monopolies for pharmaceutical companies.

NAFTA unleashed the spread of industrial livestock farms in Mexico by creating investment incentives for transnational companies to relocate operations there. The “race to the bottom” –where companies move production to areas where environmental and health restrictions and enforcement are low, is exemplified in livestock farming.Smithfield has had more than its share of legal problems stemming from its operations in the United States. Most recently it announced a decision to reject a $75 million dollar settlement on claims brought in Missouri by residents complaining of the stench. On August 8, 1997 a federal court judge in Virginia imposed a $12.8 million fine on Smithfield Foods for violation of the Clean Water Act. In September of 1999 an appeal upheld the ruling. In 1994, the year NAFTA went into effect, Smithfield established the Perote operations with the Mexican agrobusiness AMSA (Agroindustrias Unidas de México S.A. de C.V.). In 1999 it bought the U.S. company Carroll’s Foods for $500 million and began rapid expanision of its operations in Perote....

SPP: Integrated Risk Management or Integrated Risks?
It’s ironic and inexcusable that the most integrated region in the world responded so poorly to the recent epidemic. One of the main selling points for the extension of NAFTA into the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) was that a working group was preparing integrated response to epidemics that would make all North Americans safer. In fact, this was one of the few publicly announced activities of the secretive working groups that primarily devote their activities to making it easier for the Smithfields and Tysons to do business throughout the continent.
The Plan supposedly established mechanisms to coordinate actions, monitor outbreaks, and supervise animal farms....
Mexico despite being a poor country with greater risk of disease, had not received the technology needed to immediately analyze flu strains so had to send samples to the Canadian Health Ministry and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta for analysis. About a week was lost in this process. Moreover, as mentioned the CDC didn’t respond quickly or effectively.
Where was this plan when Perote was reporting illness and a local epidemic way back in March? Has this group done serious research on the risks of industrial livestock production? Why did the CDC take nearly a week to respond to reports of the Mexican epidemic?...

Mexico’s grand experiment in sink or swim neoliberalism included privatization and erosion of health systems and basic services. Mexican health policy expert Gustavo Leal told the CIP Americas Program that “the notorious delay in the response of the federal government can be attributed in part to the decentralization of healthcare promoted by international finance institutions such as the World Bank. “This broke down the chain of command and the flow of information,” Leal said.

Obama and US commander discuss military intervention in Mexico
By Bill Van Auken
March 10, 2009
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen briefed President Barack Obama over the weekend on the so-called drug war in Mexico and the prospect of increased US military involvement in the conflict south of the border. Mullen had just returned from a six-day tour of Latin America, which took him on his last and most important stop to Mexico City. There he held meetings with Mexico's secretary of national defense and other top military officials and discussed proposals for rushing increased US aid to Mexico under the auspices of Plan Merida, a three-year, $1.4 billion package designed to provide equipment, training and other assistance to the Mexican armed forces....
With US backing, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has increasingly militarized the country, deploying tens of thousands of troops in areas ranging from Matamoros and Reynosa in the east to Tijuana, Guerrero, Michoacán and Sinaloa in the west. On the eve of Mullen's visit, the Mexican military poured some 5,000 additional troops into Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, redoubling patrols by combat-equipped units and effectively sealing the city off with roadblocks. Some 2,500 troops had already been deployed in the city last spring.
He said that in his meetings with Mexican military officials he had discussed US aid focusing on "intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance," or ISR in US military parlance.He indicated that intelligence-sharing had already been implemented, but that "there are additional assets that could be brought to bear across the full ISR spectrum."
In the first instance, this could mean the deployment of US manned surveillance aircraft as well as unmanned drones over Mexican territory. It could likewise suggest the deployment of Special Forces units or military "contractors." Mullen refused to answer when questioned whether unmanned drones had already been deployed over Ciudad Juarez and other Mexican cities.

According to an unnamed US military official cited by the Associated Press, the meeting between Mullen and Obama on Saturday focused on how to increase US military aid.
"Clearly one of the things the president was interested in was the US military capability that may or may not apply to our cooperation with the Mexicans," the official said. "He was very interested in what kind of military capabilities may be applied."
In a telephone press conference conducted as he returned from Mexico, Mullen said that the Pentagon was prepared to help the Mexican military employ the same tactics that US forces have applied in counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US military, he said, was "sharing a lot of lessons we have learned, how we've developed similar capabilities over the last three or four years in our counterinsurgency efforts as we have fought terrorist networks." He added, "There are an awful lot of similarities."...
In a March 1 television interview, Defense Secretary Robert Gates sounded a similar note, praising Calderon for having "taken on the battle" against drug trafficking by deploying the army and claiming that the "old biases against cooperation" between Mexico and the Pentagon were "being set aside." As a result, Gates added, Washington was prepared to provide the Mexican military "with training, with resources, with reconnaissance and surveillance kinds of capabilities."
The indications of more direct US military involvement follow a growing chorus of official as well as media reports portraying Mexico as a potential "failed state" and a mounting threat to US national security. In its annual report assessing global security threats, the Pentagon's Joint Forces Command lumped Mexico together with Pakistan as countries that "bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse." The document added a warning: "Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response, based on the serious implications for homeland security as well." This was followed by a report released at the US Military Academy in January by retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who was director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Bill Clinton. Mexico, he wrote, is "fighting for survival against narco-terrorism" and required greater US intervention.[...]
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/mar2009/mexi-m10.shtml

DHS Sets Guidelines For Possible Swine Flu Quarantines
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/04/28/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry...
DHS Assistant Secretary Bridger McGaw circulated the swine flu memo, which was obtained by CBSNews.com, on Monday night. It says: "The Department of Justice has established legal federal authorities pertaining to the implementation of a quarantine and enforcement. Under approval from HHS, the Surgeon General has the authority to issue quarantines." ...
The Bush administration released the National Strategy For Pandemic Influenza in November 2005; it envisioned closer coordination among federal agencies, the stockpiling and distribution of vaccines and anti-viral drugs, and, if necessary, government-imposed "quarantines" and "limitations on gatherings."...
A Defense Department planning document summarizing the military's contingency plan says the Pentagon is prepared to assist in "quarantining groups of people in order to minimize the spread of disease during an influenza pandemic" and aiding in "efforts to restore and maintain order."... the federal plan to respond to pandemic influenza was "in effect." ...Anyone violating a quarantine order can be punished by a $250,000 fine and a one-year prison term. A Defense Department planning document summarizing the military's contingency plan says the Pentagon is prepared to assist in "quarantining groups of people in order to minimize the spread of disease during an influenza pandemic" and aiding in "efforts to restore and maintain order." ... Until recently, the last involuntary quarantine in the United States was in 1963. Then, in 2007, Andrew Speaker, an Atlanta lawyer, was quarantined inside a hospital in Denver on suspicion of having extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. It turned out that the CDC was incorrect and Speaker had a milder form of the disease for which he was getting treatment. The CDC's error is one example of how quarantines can raise civil liberties issues. http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22524.htm

Deadly drug effects
The CDC recommends Tamiflu for prevention and treatment of swine flu, as they did with the avian flu several years ago. Yet at the height of the avian flu scare, European researchers conducted a review of numerous studies of of anti-viral medications, which was then published in the prestigious medical journal Lancet on Jan. 19, 2006. According to this review of 51 randomized controlled trials, Tamiflu was useless against the avian flu and many other flus. Contrary to the CDC, their recommendation was not to use Tamiflu. What about now? ...
At the height of the avian flu scare, European researchers conducted a review of numerous studies of anti-viral medications, which was then published in the prestigious medical journal Lancet on Jan. 19, 2006. According to this review of 51 randomized controlled trials, Tamiflu was useless against the avian flu and many other flus. As reported in Time magazine and the Wall Street Journal , the study's authors found no "credible evidence" that Tamiflu works against avian flu. Contrary to the CDC, their recommendation was not to use Tamiflu.

As the media was spreading fear about the avian flu around the world, the CDC came out with the Tamiflu recommendation, yet provided little evidence of its effectiveness. Only later was the recommendation seriously questioned. How could the CDC be so confident in its recommendation without significant research? How can health officials claim Tamiflu is effective with any certainty now, when the current rash of swine flu cases were discovered such a short time ago?

Tamiflu: Resistant Strains, Side Effects, and Expiration Date
Using the avian flu again as a point of reference and caution, CBS and Associated Press reported on Dec. 12, 2005 that some avian flu victims died after developing resistance to Tamiflu:
In a development health experts are calling alarming, two bird flu patients in Vietnam died after developing resistance to Tamiflu, the key drug that governments are stockpiling in case of a large-scale outbreak. The experts said the deaths were disturbing because the two girls had received early and aggressive treatment with Tamiflu and had gotten the recommended doses.

And then there were the deaths not from the flu or drug resistant strains, but from the side effects of Tamiflu. According to a report in Australia's respected Sydney Morning Herald on March 1, 2007, there were 18 juvenile fatalities linked to side effects of Tamiflu in 17 months. And though the U.S. media largely failed to report it, Japan banned Tamiflu for teenagers that same month. According the the official Tamiflu website , "people with the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at an increased risk of self injury and confusion shortly after taking Tamiflu and should be closely monitored for signs of unusual behavior."

Yet governments spent billions of dollars stockpiling Tamiflu even after all this information was reported. According to a Feb. 2, 2007 New York Times report , the U.S. government at the time was creating a $1.4 billion stockpile of Tamiflu, while admitting that "it is useful only when taken within the first 48 hours, and Tamiflu-resistant strains of the flu have already been found in Vietnam and in Egypt." ...
According to the pharmaceutical company which owns exclusive distribution rights to the drug, Roche Laboratories, Tamiflu's shelf life is 48 months , so all the medications stockpiled may eventually be useless. How many hundreds of millions of dollars will go to waste? How much more money will flow into the coffers of the major pharmaceuticals as a result of the current scare? And why are so few questioning the recommendation of Tamiflu to prevent and treat swine flu...?

google aids u.s. surveillance data bases
To Aid Mexico, Google Expands Flu Tracking
Google has released a new version of its Flu Trends service tailored for Mexico in the hope of helping health officials and others track the spread of swine flu in that country... Google said it had created the new version of Flu Trends at the suggestion of scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States....Google Flu Trends, which was first released in the United States, in November, tries to track the incidence of flu based on the ebb and flow of searches for keywords related to influenza. The company called its Flu Trends for Mexico experimental because unlike in the United States, it does not have historical surveillance data to validate that its search data correlates to actual infections.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/technology/internet/01google.html?_r=1...

The DNA Age
Taking a Peek at the Experts’ Genetic Secrets
Personal Genome Project, a study at Harvard University Medical School aimed at challenging the conventional wisdom that the secrets of our genes are best kept to ourselves....
The goal of the project, which hopes to expand to 100,000 participants, is to speed medical research by dispensing with the elaborate precautions traditionally taken to protect the privacy of human subjects. The project is as much a social experiment as a scientific one. “We don’t yet know the consequences of having one’s genome out in the open,” said George M. Church, a human geneticist at Harvard who is the project’s leader and one of its subjects. “But it’s worth exploring.”
A new federal law prohibits health insurers and employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of their genetic profile. But any one of the PGP 10 could be denied life insurance, long-term care insurance or disability insurance, with no legal penalty.
Because of the known and unknown risks, Dr. Church required the first 10 participants to demonstrate the equivalent of a master’s degree in genetics. Most are either investors or executives in the biomedical industry, or else teach or write about it, so they may have a financial interest in encouraging people to part with their genetic privacy.The project has drawn criticism from scientists and bioethicists who caution that even its highly educated volunteers cannot understand the practical and psychological risks of disclosing information long regarded as quintessentially private. “I’m concerned that this could make it seem easy and cool to put your information out there when there is still a lot of stigma associated with certain genetic traits,” said Kathy Hudson, dire...ctor of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University. “There will be new uses of this data that people can’t anticipate — and they can’t do anything to get it back.” ... http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/us/20gene.html

EGYPT: 'the underclass' pays for loss of its unhealthy livelihood
Most of Egypt’s pig farmers are Christians, and some accuse the government of using swine flu fears to punish them economically...“... we are the underclass, so it’s very easy to go after us. But this city relies on us to process its waste. It relies on the pigs.”... a combination of raising pigs and collecting garbage — two professions...tied together in a city where garbage collection can be an informal affair and poor farmers rely on food scraps [e.g. garbage] to feed their livestock... “These pigs are perfectly healthy. How am I going to feed my children and send them to school without my livestock?”Mr. Girgis lives with his extended family, about 30 people, in the first two floors of a building that leans against a cliff. His 60 small pigs live on the ground floor.... Many of Cairo’s pig farmers live in similar conditions, sharing their small spaces in the teeming city with their animals....
Egypt has not reported any cases of the new virus that has hit 11 other nations, but the country has been hard hit by avian flu. After international health officials criticized Egypt’s decision to kill about 300,000 pigs, the Agriculture Ministry’s head of infectious diseases, Saber Abdel Aziz Galal, explained that the cull was “a general health measure,” according to Agence France-Presse...“We will build new farms in special areas, like in Europe,” he said. “Within two years the pigs will return, but we need first to build new farms." The Health Ministry originally said the farmers would be paid, but after many in Parliament disagreed, the ministry appeared to back down. .... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/01/health/01egypt.html?th&emc=th

"...Colonial administration always relies on creating dissension between subjugated "native" tribes and populations. The fundamental white-power core of the American ruling class manages the nation in the colonial style. It sees itself as a small elite of elevated race (with a sprinkling of approved and tested tokens) that must control a vast, lower-class population. Setting the natives against each other in petty jealousies helps to fragment any opposition to their true masters.
The "carrot" always offered to subjugated natives is the chance to "sit at the right hand of the master, at his table." This is an avenue of advancement for a select few -- the Clarence Thomases, the Alberto Gonzalezes -- to implement the rule of the elite to the detriment of their own tribes, but for personal gain. Such people have been termed the "comprador" class in the literature of colonial administration. These are the "native bosses" who buy the labor needed for elite projects (e.g., native troops and native police), and keep current on doings in the tribes, to ensure the elite can quell independent thinking should it threaten to arise (e.g., weed out opposition leaders). They also man the facade of "diversity" and "equal opportunity" which all colonial administrations find useful for public relations. See the movie "Burn" by Pontecorvo (1970, starring Marlon Brando).
What can frustrate many natives is that the comprador option is just a cynical ploy, not an indication of real avenues of opportunity. So it is only open to a few, and these must be both highly capable and thoroughly compromised. Thus there can be much frustration among natives who are taken in by the ploy yet unable to actualize the false promises. Many want to "sit at the table" and believe themselves worthy, either on the basis of their own talents and achievements or by association with a reliably exploitable tribe ("we deserve it").
 Manuel Garcia, Jr  --  Immigrant Bashing For Colonial Control 
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/June06/Garcia06.htm

Obama congratulates Israel on turning 61, says bond with Israel 'unshakeable as ever'
Israel imposed a full closure over the West Bank on Tuesday for Memorial Day and Independence Day until midnight of the following day. During that period, no Palestinians will be allowed into Israel except in cases of humanitarian emergency.
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1081816.html

And So It Goes ... Obama's Occupation Now
Dahr Jamail
...Conveniently, during her recent visit to Baghdad, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while perched in the surreal Green Zone which is floating atop a sea of Iraqi blood, had the gall to claim "that Iraq is going in the right direction" and that the recent violence does "not reflect any diversion from the security progress that has been made" in Iraq. The primary reason for her unannounced visit was to reassure Prime Minister Maliki that if the violence continues to worsen, the Obama administration would back off its so-called withdrawal plan. Let us not forget the context of this visit - in addition to the hellish week Iraq has just experienced, overall violence there has been on the rise for the last two months. Along with leaving up to 50,000 US troops in Iraq indefinitely, the plan to remove many of the other troops by August 2010 is slipping into the background as the justifications for remaining in Iraq are now being placed in the foreground. Iraq is Obama's occupation now, and circumstances there are ripping away the mask of any promised "change." .. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=53770

Court Of Appeals Supports Obama Rules Detainees Are Not “Persons” Have No Constitutional Right Not to Be Tortured
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Appeals_court_rules_Gitmo_detainees_are_04...

supporting their troops...
U.S. Soldier Killed Herself--After Refusing to Take Part in Torture
Greg Mitchell
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/pressingissues_display.j...
Alyssa Peterson was one of the first female soldiers killed in Iraq. A cover-up, naturally, followed. According to official records, she died on Sept. 15, 2003, from a "non-hostile weapons discharge."... The Arizona Republic, three days after her death, reported that Army officials "said that a number of possible scenarios are being considered, including Peterson's own weapon discharging, the weapon of another soldier discharging, or the accidental shooting of Peterson by an Iraqi civilian."... And that might have ended it right there. But... longtime radio and newspaper reporter Kevin Elston, not satisfied with the public story, decided to probe deeper in 2005... he filed a Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] request. When the documents of the official investigation of her death arrived, they contained bombshell revelations. Here's what the Flagstaff public radio station, KNAU, where Elston then worked, reported:
" Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed."
According to the official report on her death released the following year, she had earlier been "reprimanded" for showing "empathy" for the prisoners..."
Peterson was then assigned to the base gate, where she monitored Iraqi guards, and sent to suicide prevention training. "But on the night of September 15th, 2003, Army investigators concluded she shot and killed herself with her service rifle," the documents disclose. A notebook she had been writing was found next to her body. Its contents redacted in the official report....

'journalistic' psychological propaganda warfare
Brian Ross spread the same falsehoods about the Khalid Sheik Mohammed interrogation
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/28/ross/index.html?source...
(updated below)
In The New York Times this morning, Brian Stelter documents how a widely-cited 2007 report by ABC News' Brian Ross -- amplifying the claim by former CIA agent John Kiriakou that Abu Zubaydah lasted only 30-35 seconds on the waterboard before confessing numerous Terrorist plots to the CIA -- permeated media discussions and was uncritically repeated over and over, even though we know now the claim was absolutely false, as Zubaydah was waterboarded at least 83 times. Below I document (a) just how pervasive that "Zubaydah-confessed-after-30-seconds" myth became and -- more importantly -- (b) how obvious it was to real journalists that Kiriakou's claim required serious skepticism and doubt....

The ways in which these false Mohammed and Zubaydah claims were widely disseminated are important not only in their own right, but because they illustrate how so many of these absolute falsehoods are routinely injected into our debates, not only by the government but by their indispensable conspirators in the establishment media. There are few things more common than reporters mindlessly reciting what their anonymous government sources tell them to say, and no matter how many times that dynamic results in pure fiction being "reported," that slothful, propagandistic practice continues to be the staple of our modern press corps.
Using that method, Brian Ross, of course, was responsible for the widespread and completely false reports in October and November, 2001 that government tests on anthrax resulted in a finding of bentoninte, which -- Ross breathlessy said over and over -- was a key sign that the anthrax attacks came from Saddam Hussein. That same method -- uncritically reciting what anonymous government sources told them -- is what led The Washington Post to spread absolute lies about the inspiring firefight Jessica Lynch waged against her evil Iraqi captors and the circumstances surrounding Pat Tillman's death. And most of the myths and lies about Iraq -- both before and during the war -- were the by-product of this same joint government/media effort.
Indeed, one could write volumes about the myths and falsehoods that are regularly "reported" when establishment media reporters uncritically repeat as fact what anonymous government officials tell them to say. Yet that continues to be the central method for how establishment media outlets convey information about the government. And no matter how many times they are exposed as spreaders of absolute falsehoods -- as Ross, yet again, is so exposed today -- they continue to engage in the same behavior, rendering unavoidable the conclusion that such falsehood-spreading behavior on behalf of the government is what they are eager to do.
UPDATE: Ross' report about Mohammed breaking down and confessing everything after less than 3 minutes on the waterboard was obviously completely false. That report was based on nothing but anonymous sources who ostensibly told that to Ross. Basic journalist ethics compel a reporter to identify one's sources if those sources lie to the reporter with the intent to have the reporter disseminate falsehoods, but just as Ross did with his sources who falsely told him about the Saddam-incriminating bentonite in the anthrax, Ross will almost certainly continue to... be chosen to be fed "exclusives" by anonymous government officials... Glenn Greenwald

Discipline of Military Redirects Dropout
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/08/us/08cadet.html?th&emc=th
President Obama’s urgent call for every student to graduate and receive higher training has put a new spotlight on programs like the Job Corps, the government’s education and career-training program; YouthBuild, a group that helps dropouts earn G.E.D. certificates as they rebuild urban housing; and the smaller Youth Challenge program, which graduates more than 7,000 teenagers each year — a large majority of them male — from sites in 28 states. The camps, mostly at military bases, do not admit youths with felony records and expel those who fail a drug test, steal or fight. Participation is voluntary. “By taking them away from their neighborhoods, we’re giving them a safe place to get their act together,” Colonel Zimmerman said.
“This is not a military recruitment program,” said Jennifer Buck, the deputy secretary of defense for reserve affairs, who oversees the program. It was founded by Congress in 1993 to make use of the military’s experience in shaping up young people. The routines have a military cast, though the rigors are short of a real boot camp and there is no training in weapons or tactics.
“The dropout rate is as great a threat to this country as terrorism is,” Ms. Buck said, justifying the use of defense money for the program — $88.5 million this year, with the states adding another $50 million. The National Guard, rooted in the states and with a tradition of community service, is an ideal home for the program, Ms. Buck said.

big fucking surprise...
US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, made a surprise visit to Baghdad yesterday to reassure [SIC] Iraqi leaders that the Obama White House would refrain from withdrawing its troops from urban areas if renewed violence continued to worsen.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/26/clinton-iraq-us-army-withdra...

Exceptions to Iraq Deadline Proposed
United States and Iraqi military officials will meet Monday to decide whether to consider the city an exception to the deadline in the Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA, between the countries. “Mosul is the one area where you may see U.S. combat forces operating in the city” after June 30, the United States military’s top spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Gen. David Perkins, said in an interview.
In Baghdad there are no plans to close the Camp Victory base complex, consisting of five bases housing more than 20,000 soldiers, many of them combat troops. Although Victory is only a 15 minute drive from the center of Baghdad and sprawls over both sides of the city’s boundary, Iraqi officials say they have agreed to consider it outside the city.
In addition, Forward Operating Base Falcon, which can hold 5,000 combat troops, will also remain after June 30. It is just within Baghdad’s southern city limits. Again, Iraqi officials have classified it as effectively outside Baghdad, so no exception to the agreement needs to be granted, in their view.
Combat troops with the Seventh Field Artillery Regiment will remain in the heart of Baghdad at Camp Prosperity, located near the new American Embassy compound in the Green Zone. In addition to providing a quick reaction force, guarding the embassy and noncombat troops from attack, those soldiers will also continue to support Iraqi troops who are now in nominal charge of maintaining security in the Green Zone. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/world/middleeast/27withdraw.html?hp=&p...

Primitive Accumulation the roots of Capitalism: Who are the real pirates?
http://www.pslweb.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=11855&news_iv_ctrl=...

...Western media has relentlessly demonized Somalis... Somalis have been accused of looting and plundering and have been falsely accused of being terrorists. They have been purposely associated with al-Qaeda to justify their inclusion as targets in the criminal “Global War on Terrorism.” Washington is attempting to use the situation to further justify their bloody imperialist intervention in Somalia and the region. There is deep irony in the accusations of barbarity and brutality being hurled at Somali pirates. Western capitalism was in fact built on colonial plunder and the extraction of vast wealth from the Americas, Africa and Asia.

Primitive accumulation: the roots of capitalism
In Karl Marx’s landmark work, “Capital,” he attacked the myth that hard work, diligence and frugality enabled capitalists to amass their vast sums of wealth. In fact, the capitalist mode of production only began to develop after centuries of the “primitive accumulation of wealth.” This “accumulation” primarily took the form of piracy, raids, pillage, rape and massacres of whole peoples. Marx wrote: “The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. … If money ‘comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek,’ capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt.”

Each European capitalist country competed savagely to exploit the colonial world. In the early 17th century, Spain and England struggled for control of the African slave trade to the Americas. An estimated two million Africans died in the “Middle Passage,” as European traders, planters and manufacturers raked in huge profits. They would stop at nothing. In acquiring slaves, Dutch colonizers rounded up entire populations and locked them in secret dungeons before sending them off in slave ships. Over the course of sixty years, the murderous Dutch occupation had reduced the population in one Javan province by 75 percent. Such genocides helped launch Dutch colonialism to its commercial supremacy by the mid 17th century.
In India between the years 1769 and 1770, the English East India Company bought up all supplies of rice to artificially stimulate demand. The result was a devastating famine that caused massive suffering and death.
Meanwhile, back in England the ruling class carried out a massive enslavement of child labor to convert the manufacturing industry into factory. Starting as young as seven years old, children were snatched from their homes, starved to the bone, and forced to work grueling hours.

These are the barbaric roots of capitalism. The stage of primitive accumulation has long since passed—and now capitalists use the wage system to extract wealth—but the Western imperialists have maintained a fundamentally pirate-like approach to Africa. From the Congress of Berlin in 1884 to the present, imperialist rulers have always viewed the vast human and natural resources of Africa as “theirs.” Racist ideologies like the “white man’s burden” and “manifest destiny” have been used by capitalists to justify genocide, the rape of natural resources, and enslaving tens of millions of Africans. As noted Pan-Africanist George Padmore stated in 1936, “The Black man certainly has to pay dear for carrying the white man’s burden.” A modern-day manifestation of these ideologies was articulated by U.S. policymakers at a 2002 conference in Washington, D.C., entitled, “African Oil: A Priority for U. S. National Security and African Development.” At the conference, Walter Kansteiner, former assistant secretary of state for African affairs, declared: “It is undeniable that this [oil] has become of national strategic interest to us.”

The roots of Somali piracy
Although Africa has suffered through centuries of forced underdevelopment, resource extraction, and slavery, it has not been repaid a single dime in reparations. To the contrary, African nations remain neo-colonies of Western financial institutions, who leverage debt obligations to shape African economies and political systems. This is the context, which the Western media ignores, needed to understand the isolated incidences of piracy off the coast of Somalia.

To the United States, Somalia—one of the poorest countries in the world—is of key geo-political importance. It lies at a commercial crossroads between the Middle East and Asia, and a large portion of the world’s oil tankers pass along its coast. For this reason, the Pentagon has repeatedly intervened to repress any semblance of independence in the Somali government. In the aftermath of a total governmental collapse in 1991, the United States invaded in 1992 and Somalia was left with no central government. In 2006, the Union of Islamic Courts, a coalition of Somali judges and courts with overwhelming popular support, was able to effectively unify the country for the first time since 1991. However, the UIC did not bow down sufficiently to U.S. dictates, and was quickly targeted for regime change.

In coordinated actions by the United States and Ethiopia in late 2006 and early 2007, Somalia was bombarded, invaded and occupied. The aim was to overthrow the UIC and replace it with the Transitional Federal Government, a U.S. proxy regime lacking any popular support. As a direct result of U.S.-Ethiopian aggression, over 400,000 Somalis were displaced without access to food, clean water, shelter or medicine. These are the facts on the ground that shape Somali life and face young men and women just looking for a way to survive. While many are undoubtedly drawn to the hijacking business for purely economic reasons, there is a political dimension as well.

Today, Somalia is completely surrounded by U.S. forces and its many proxies in the region. To the east, the U.S. Navy’s fifth fleet patrols the country’s coastline. On its northern, western and southern borders lie Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya, all of which are U.S. client states. Without any form of state structure to defend Somalia’s territory, its national sovereignty has been repeatedly violated, time and time again. Lacking forces to patrol its shoreline, Somalia’s territorial waters were soon plundered by commercial fishing fleets from around the world. The country’s coastline, the largest in the African continent, became an easy target for commercial vessels carrying nuclear waste to unload their toxic cargo without oversight. Somalia is roughly 8,000 nautical miles distant from the United States. In response to these flagrant violations of Somalia’s national sovereignty, fishermen stepped in to fulfill the role of naval and coast guard forces, arming themselves and protecting their territory by confronting illegal vessels. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” said Sugule Ali, a spokesman for the so-called pirates. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.” (NY Times Sept. 30, 2008)
The U.S. response to the Somali pirates is saturated with racism, with the aim of building public support for a greater military presence around the Horn of Africa....Western imperialists are the real pirates in Africa and the real enemies of progress.

A Taste of AFRICOM: Somalia tried to find peace and tried to stop piracy until the US bombed the shit out of it in 2006
chycho.com
...So while our Western Mainstream Media continues to feed us government sanctioned news, we should remember why and how Somalia became a failed State, some of the reasons as to why Somali pirates have become so active in the region, and we should never forget that it was the Union of Islamic Court fighters, the same organization that the United States bombed the shit out of in 2006 all the way up to 2008, that initially tried to prevent Somali pirates from seizing ships off the coast of Africa... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=53506

US Threatens to Invade Eritrea
Jason Ditz
http://www.uruknet.de/?p=53510
"President Obama Cannot Afford to Look Weak on Terrorism"
The United States has reportedly threatened to invade Eritrea and subject it to "the same fate as Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11 attacks" for providing support to the al-Shabaab resistance movement in Somalia, which the US has since attempted to link with al-Qaeda. The Daily Telegraph quotes one source as saying "There are consequences for working with al-Shabaab when President Obama cannot afford to look weak on terrorism."
Situated along the Red Sea, the State of Eritrea is a nation of under 5 million people with a long history of foreign occupation. Bought by an Italian shipping company in 1869, the region remained under Italian rule until 1941, when Britain took control of them. British control was formalized under UN auspices in 1947, and the United Nations ceded the region to Ethiopia.

What followed was a particularly bloodly 30-year long battle of secession between Ethiopia and an Eritrean rebel faction (the Eritrean Liberation Front), which ended in 1993 when Ethiopia finally gave in to demands for an independence referrendum, which passed with 99.79% of the votes in favor. Eritrea has remained on poor terms with Ethiopia since, fighting a border war which ended with the installation of a UN commission to establish the still tenuous border between the two.

In 2006, Ethiopia invaded Somalia with American support, vowing to crush the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) movement and prop up the self-proclaimed Transitional National Government (TNG) of Somalia, which had recently been chased from a Kenya hotel for failing to pay their bills and was attempting to assert control over the stateless region. Eritrea backed the ICU, and later the al-Shabaab movement ostensibly to repay Somali support for their own independence bid. Though the TNG remained on the verge of collapse, Ethiopia declared "mission accomplished" in December of 2008, withdrawing its troops and claiming it had foiled a "plan orchestrated by Eritrea."

The Bush Administration attempted to have Eritrea declared a "state-sponsor of terrorism" numerous times for backing forces in opposition to the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. Eritrea publicly denounced "foreign intervention" in Somalia and said the Ethiopian pullout had vindicated their position that military occupation would not stabilize the nation. Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki remains defiant, saying he will continue to oppose the Western-backed TNG’s attempt to assert control over the nation. "There is no government, there is not even a naiton of Somalia existing," the president insisted, calling for a peace conference in which all parties, including those branded by the US and Ethiopia as "extremists" would have a voice. "Peace is not guaranteed without a government agreed by all Somalis."

he should know...
Pakistan's nuclear arsenal safe: Obama
30 April 2009
http://www.daily.pk/pakistan/pakistannews/9833-pakistans-nuclear-arsenal...

Information published by Stratfor & Asia Times, suppressed by mainstream U.S. media:
PAKISTAN’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS ARE UNDER U.S. CONTROL
11/20/07
In a stunning disclosure...the journal Stratfor reported that the “United States delivered a very clear ultimatum to Musharraf in the wake of 9/11: Unless Pakistan allowed US forces to take control of Pakistani nuclear facilities, the United States would be left with no choice but to destroy those facilities, possibly with India’s help.” ..http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/The_United_States/Pak_nukes_already_under_US_control_Report/rssarticlesh ow/2556824.cms

US plans go beyond Pakistan's existence
www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=21476
RAWALPINDI: Two former top American officials have said that if the US failed over any important issue in Pakistan and subsequently Pakistan dismembered, then Washington will have to either hand over Pakistan and Afghanistan to terrorists and extremists or fight against them with or without world help. Former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former American Secretary of State Henry Kissinger expressed these views during Dr Shahid Masood’s programme Mairay Mutabiq of Geo News, Saturday. Bryzenski [sic] said, "We fear that the US may face defeat in Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is a strong possibility of defeat which is a real threat." He said that if the US failed in Pakistan, then "we will have to choose unsuitable things," which, he added, would be very painful.... If Pakistan is disintegrated and it is turned into a failed state even then we would have to seek a way out by countries that may be affected including China, India and Russia. "I don’t know right now what that way out will be...We hope this issue is never made part of the agenda," he remarked. He said he did not know what kind of proposal should be floated on the issue. But a country that has numerous nuclear weapons but no government where extremists are already present, it is certainly a cause of concern for the international community. "I think military strategy has been given more focus. First we have to deny our objectives in Afghanistan and then occupy its every part." Such situations should be created that the neighbours of Afghanistan could become part of the war, which had joint interests in the region, he said...."ours and Iran interests are similar, not to let Afghanistan become the land of guerrilla fighters." Similarly, he added, Russia had also interests like the US. "It’s a combination of military and political strategy".

He said the world crisis could determine good or bad for the US and world. "The condition of any one could not improve without us"...

Bryzenski [sic] said he thought that military and political strategy in Afghanistan was moving in right direction. "We want Pakistan help us. We have concern about some Pakistani institutions, especially intelligence services, which... are assisting Taliban", he remarked. "We are unable to find answer to the question that how we could get Pakistan’s help, while Pakistan is sure that it faces threat from India.... it puts us in complicated situation that how long we will back such a Pakistani democratic government, which is passing through internal chaos and fighting against extremists. I think it is almost impossible for us to improve such a grave situation there."...

Ralph Peters “Blood Borders: How a Better Middle East Would Look”
http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2006/06/1833899
... As for those who refuse to “think the unthinkable,” declaring that boundaries must not change and that’s that, it pays to remember that boundaries have never stopped changing through the centuries. Borders have never been static, and many frontiers, from Congo through Kosovo to the Caucasus, are changing even now...
Oh, and one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: Ethnic cleansing works....

Redrawn Map Has Pakistan Worried (original title changed and below, before & after maps gone)
Ringed by Foes, Pakistanis Fear the U.S., Too
By JANE PERLEZ
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A redrawn map of South Asia has been making the rounds among Pakistani elites. It shows their country truncated, reduced to an elongated sliver of land with the big bulk of India to the east, and an enlarged Afghanistan to the west. That the map was first circulated as a theoretical exercise in some American neoconservative circles matters little here. It has fueled a belief among Pakistanis, including members of the armed forces, that what the United States really wants is the breakup of Pakistan, the only Muslim country with nuclear arms.
That notion may strike Americans as strange coming from an ally of 50 years. But as the incoming Obama administration tries to coax greater cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against militancy, it can hardly be ignored.... Pakistan, a 61-year-old country marbled by ethnic fault lines, is a collection of just four provinces, which often seem to have little in common. Virtually every one of its borders, drawn almost arbitrarily in the last gasps of the British Empire, is disputed with its neighbors, not least Pakistan’s bitter and much larger rival, India... The new democratically [S]elected [by U.S.] president, Asif Ali Zardari, has visited the United States twice since assuming power three months ago. He has been generous in his praise of the Bush administration. But that stance is criticized at home as fawning and wins him little popularity among a steadfastly anti-American public.
So how will the promise by President-elect Barack Obama for a new start between the United States and Pakistan be received here? How can it be begun?
One possibility could be some effort to ease Pakistani anxieties, even as the United States demands more from Pakistan. That will probably mean a regional approach to what, it is increasingly apparent, are regional problems. There, Pakistani and American interests may coincide. American military commanders, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, have started to argue forcefully that the solution to the conflict in Afghanistan, where the American war effort looks increasingly uncertain, must involve a wide array of neighbors.
Mr. Obama has said much the same. Several times in his campaign, he laid out the crux of his thinking. Reducing tensions between Pakistan and India would allow Pakistan to focus on the real threat — the Qaeda and Taliban militants who are tearing at the very fabric of the country. “If Pakistan can look towards the east with confidence, it will be less likely to believe its interests are best advanced through cooperation with the Taliban,” Mr. Obama wrote in Foreign Affairs magazine last year.

But such an approach faces sizable obstacles, the biggest being the conflict over Kashmir. The Himalayan border area has been disputed since the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, and remains divided between them....Pakistanis warn that the United States should not appear too eager to mediate. First, they caution, India has always regarded Kashmir as a bilateral question. India, they note, also faces a general election early next year, an inappropriate moment to push such an explosive issue.
Second, some Pakistanis are concerned about the reliability of the United States as a fair mediator. “Given the United States’ record on the Palestinian issue, where the Palestinians had to move 10 times backwards and the Israelis moved the goal posts, the same could happen here,” said Zubair Khan, a former commerce minister who has watched Kashmir closely. It was discouraging, Mr. Khan said, that the United States ignored the importance of the huge nonviolent protests by Muslims in Kashmir against Indian rule this summer. “Anywhere else, and they would have been hailed as an Orange Revolution,” he said, referring to the wave of [U.S. / Soros sponsored] protests that led to a change in the Ukrainian government in 2004...

If the Obama administration is indeed to convince Pakistanis that militancy, not the Indian Army, presents the gravest threat, it will not be easy.... among ordinary Pakistanis, many regard Al Qaeda more positively than the United States, polls find. Talk shows here often include arguments that the suicide bombings in Pakistan are payback for the Pakistani Army fighting an American war. ...

Afghan Resistance Statement
statement regarding the start of new Nasrat (Victory) operations
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
...1.Since America and NATO have resolved to send extra troops to Afghanistan, therefore, the Afghans in response feel the need to start rapid and strong operations, as part of their struggle, to defend themselves and to free the country. 2. Beginning 30 April 2009, which corresponds to 10 Sowr (Ghwayi) 1388, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will start the new Nasra t operations throughout Afghanistan. These operations will include ambushes, offensives, explosions, martyrdom-seeking attacks and surprise attacks. The targets of these operations will be the military units of the invading forces, diplomatic centers, mobile convoys, high-ranking officials of the puppet administration...http://www.uruknet.de/?p=53821

Torture, War and the Imperial Project: The Fatal Thread
By CHRIS FLOYD
You cannot disentangle the torture program from the war of aggression in Iraq – nor from the illegal wiretapping program, the corrupt war profiteering, and all the other degradations of liberty and law that have been so accelerated in the past eight years. They are all of a piece, part and parcel of a plan to expand and entrench America's "unipolar domination" of world affairs with a thoroughly militarized state led by an unaccountable, authoritarian "Unitary Executive." ...
[Obama] has already demonstrated, over and over, that he has no intention or desire to unravel the skein of imperial power. Indeed, he is trying to strengthen that skein and bind it more tightly, as we have seen in his various court cases seeking to uphold or even expand authoritarian powers claimed by Bush, in his escalation of the Afghan war, in his continual expansion of attacks in Pakistan, in his servile coddling and protection of the CIA, and in his celebration of the "success" and "extraordinary achievement" of the war crime in Iraq.
Ironically, the torture issue that he is so desperately trying to shake off his hands is in fact the one opportunity for the historical greatness that Obama – and his ardent fans – obviously yearn for. It holds forth the best chance – the last chance? – for dismantling the imperial machine of brutality and corruption, and starting anew. But he would not be where he is today if he were the kind of man to see – and seize – such an opportunity. [...] http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd04222009.html

only the rhetoric & tactics changed because u.s. was so despised and defeated
Dark Passage: PNAC's Blueprint for Empire (excerpt)
(Original version published Sept. 20, 2002 in the Moscow Times. This is the expanded version from the book, Empire Burlesque.)
Chris Floyd
http://www.daily.pk/world/europe/9768-how-to-tell-im-not-a-terrorist.htm...

... "A New Pearl Harbor"
PNAC fired its first shot across the bow in 1998, with letters to President Clinton and Congressional leaders calling for "regime change" in Iraq, by force if necessary, and the establishment of a "strong U.S. military presence in the region." Then in September 2000, just months before the disputed election that brought George W. Bush to power, the group published a highly detailed, 90-page "blueprint" for transforming America's military – and the nation's role on the world stage. The document, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," acknowledged its adherence to the "basic tenets" of the controversial 1992 Wolfowitz-Libby report, and advocated a series of "transformations" in national defense and foreign affairs. These included:

--- Projecting American dominance with a "worldwide network of forward operating bases" – some permanent, others "temporary access arrangements" as needed for various military interventions – in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. These additions to America's already-extensive overseas deployments would act as "the cavalry on the new American frontier" – a frontier that PNAC declared now extended throughout the world.
--- Withdrawing from arms control treaties to allow for the development of a global missile shield, the deployment of space-based weapons and the production of a new generation of "battlefield nuclear weapons," especially "bunker-busters" for penetrating underground fortifications.
--- Raising the U.S. military budget to at least 3.8 percent of gross domestic product, with annual increases of tens of billions of dollars each year.
--- Developing sophisticated new technologies to "control the global commons of cyberspace" by closely monitoring communications and transactions on the Internet.
--- Pursuing the development of "new methods of attack – electronic, 'non-lethal, biological…in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace and perhaps the world of microbes." Just this month, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was complaining to Congress about long-standing international chemical weapons treaties which have "tangled us up so badly" and prevented the use of non-lethal chemical arms in subduing enemy armies – and enemy populations.
--- Developing the ability to "fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars." This means moving beyond the "two-war standard" of preparedness which has guided U.S. strategy since World War II in order to account for "new realities and potential new conflicts." It lists countries such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya as targets for those potential new conflicts, and urges Pentagon warplanners to consider not merely containing them or defeating them in battle, but "changing their regimes. .... removing Saddam was tied to the larger goal of establishing a permanent U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf in order to "secure energy supplies" and preclude any other power from dominating the vital oil regions of the Middle East and Central Asia. The PNAC report puts it quite plainly:

"The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

This is why the Bush Regime has offered a constantly shifting menu of rationales for the impending attack on Iraq: because the decision to remove Saddam was taken long ago, as part of a larger strategic plan, and has little to do with any imminent threat from the broken-backed Iraqi regime, which is constantly bombed, partially occupied (with U.S. forces already working in the autonomous Kurdish territories) and now swarming with UN inspectors. If the strategic need for the attack "transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein," then almost any rationale will do. Perhaps due to the presence of Washington heavyweights like Cheney and Rumsfeld, the PNAC report recognized that thorny political difficulties could stand in the way of implementing the group's radical designs. Indeed, in one of the most striking and prescient passages in the entire 90-page document, PNAC acknowledged that the "revolutionary" changes it envisaged could take decades to bring about – unless, that is, the United States was struck by "some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor."

That "new Pearl Harbor" did come, of course, in the thunderclap of September 11, 2001. And the PNAC alumni now in government were quick to capitalize on this "catalyzing event." All of the PNAC recommendations listed above were put into place, with almost no debate from Congress and a populace... In the very first days following the attack, Rumsfeld urged the Bush cabinet to make "Iraq a principal target of the first round in the war against terrorism," despite the lack of any proof connecting Baghdad to the terrorist atrocity, according to Bob Woodward's insider account, Bush at War. But Rumsfeld was overruled by Colin Powell, who counseled that "public opinion has to be prepared before a move against Iraq is possible." So the "war on terrorism" was launched initially against Afghanistan, where the Taliban regime was harboring Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden and his band of international extremists. The attack on Afghanistan was accompanied by the construction of new American bases and "temporary access arrangements" throughout Central Asia, giving America a military "footprint" in the strategically vital region for the first time. At the same time, new U.S. forces were dispatched to East Asia, to the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere, and to South America, to help Colombia combat "narco-terrorists" and to protect that nation's vital oil pipelines.

Meanwhile, at home, military budgets skyrocketed to deal with the "new realities and potential new conflicts." The Bush Administration withdrew from the landmark ABM arms control treaty and began construction of missile defense facilities. There were new funds and more research for the militarization of outer space (dubbed "Full Spectrum Dominance"), and the development of "non-lethal" biochemical weapons. Pentagon technicians, led by another convicted Iran-Contra figure, John Poindexter, began the development of Internet "data-mining" and monitoring technology (which, despite some recent Congressional restrictions, continues today). And the U.S. announced a new "nuclear posture," including the willingness to use tactical nuclear weapons ...

But there will be costs to taking up what Thomas Donnelly, the principal author of the PNAC blueprint, calls "the free man's burden." Donnelly, a former journalist and legislative aide, wrote in the journal Foreign Affairs last year that America should look to its "imperial past" as a guide to its future. Reviewing The Savage Wars of Peace, a pro-Empire book by journalist Max Boot, Donnelly cites approvingly the "pacification" of the Philippines by American forces in 1898-1900, in which at least 100,000 Filipinos were killed in a bid for independence. He also points to the U.S. Army's success in subduing the Native American tribes in a series of small wars, and, closer to our time, the efficient "constabulatory operation" in Panama, which was invaded by the first President Bush in 1989. Similar "savage wars of peace" – pacifications, counterinsurgencies, police actions, invasions – will be required to maintain the American Empire, says Donnelly...

The Beautiful Song of War
These texts spring from the Dominators' quasi-religious cult of "American exceptionalism," the belief in the unique and utter goodness of the American soul – embodied chiefly by the nation's moneyed elite, of course – and the irredeemable, metaphysical evil of all those who would oppose or criticize the elite's righteous (and conveniently self-serving) policies...
The documents explain America's relentless march across Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Middle East.
The Dominators dream of empire.... one of their chief gurus, Reaganite firebreather Michael Ledeen, says that if the Dominators have the courage to reject "clever diplomacy" and "just wage total war" to subjugate the Middle East, "our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

DEPT. OF DEFENSE MINERVA PROJECT
BAA Announcement Number No.
W911NF-08-R-0007
http://www.arl.army.mil/www/DownloadedInternetPages/CurrentPages/DoingBu...
BROAD AGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT
INTRODUCTION:
This Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) is issued under the provisions of the Department of Defense Grant and Agreement Regulations (DODGARS) 22.315(a). A formal Request for
Proposal (RFP), solicitation, and/or additional information regarding this announcement will not be issued. Request for same will be disregarded. Paper copies of this announcement
will not be provided.

I. GENERAL INFORMATION
1. Agency Name for Proposal Submission
U.S. Army Research Office P. O. Box 12211 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211
2. Research Opportunity Title
Minerva Research Initiative (MRI)
3. Program Name
Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Department of Defense Minerva Research Initiative
4. Research Opportunity Number
W911NF-08-R-0007

Research Opportunity Description
The Minerva Research Initiative is a DoD-sponsored, university-based social science research program initiated by the Secretary of Defense. It focuses on areas of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. It seeks to increase the Department’s intellectual capital in the social sciences and improve its ability to address future challenges and build bridges between the Department and the social science community. Minerva will bring together universities, research institutions, and individual scholars and support multidisciplinary and cross-institutional projects addressing specific topic areas determined by the Department.

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy [OUSD(P)] and Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics [OUSD(AT&L)] will work collaboratively to achieve the Secretary of Defense’s vision by piloting several approaches for engaging the social science community. This multi-pronged approach will enable the Department to solicit a broad range of proposals and to leverage the expertise and infrastructures of a wide range of existing mechanisms for funding basic research.
One of those mechanisms is represented by this broad agency announcement.

The FY 2009 Minerva Research Initiative (MRI) competition is for research related to the five (5) topics listed below. Detailed descriptions of the topics can be found in Section VIII,
“Specific Minerva Research Initiative Topics.” The detailed descriptions are intended to provide the offeror a frame of reference and are not meant to be restrictive. Innovative proposals related to these research topics are highly encouraged.

The MRI aims to promote research in specific areas of social science and to promote a candid relationship between DoD and the social science academic community.
White papers and full proposals are solicited which address the following topics:

(1) Chinese Military and Technology Research and Archive Programs
(2) Studies of the Strategic Impact of Religious and Cultural Changes within the Islamic World
(3) Iraqi Perspectives Project
(4) Studies of Terrorist Organization and Ideologies
(5) New Approaches to Understanding Dimensions of National Security, Conflict, and Cooperation

VIII. SPECIFIC MINERVA RESEARCH INITIATIVE TOPICS
FY09 MRI Topic #1
Chinese Military and Technology Research and Archive Programs
Background: The Chinese publish a wealth of unclassified information about military, technological and scientific developments. However, much of this material is difficult for scholars
outside of China to locate or access and most of it is not generally known beyond a small circle of researchers. The breadth and depth of material, and the scope of topics, offers insights into China regarding everything from industry and agriculture, to technology development and scientific research, to politics and military issues. Exploring these information resources can enable a better understanding of China, its future, and its aspirations in our evolving world.
The Department seeks to support scholarly efforts to gather these materials, translate them where necessary, interpret them and make them available to a wider audience by creating an open
source platform to facilitate, pool and network the knowledge and understanding of subject matter experts in Government and academia.
From a practical perspective, social, cultural and geo-political knowledge and models can help define appropriate objectives and activities for meeting National Security goals. Therefore, the Department of Defense will facilitate research using these materials and foster discovery and discussion, conferences, and publication of papers and books.

Objectives: The overall objective of this program, Chinese Military and Technology Research and Archive Programs, is to explore the social, cultural, and political characteristics and
implications of trends and developments in the Chinese military as well as in supporting technological and industrial sectors. If appropriate, applicants will be asked to contribute to
documentation centers or archives, physical or virtual, of translated current open source Chinese documents and books on these topics for use by other scholars. Copies of these
materials will be placed with the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC).
Examples of appropriate research might include the effects of a shift from a command to a market economic system on the defense establishment and budget; changing identities in the
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) that accompany ideological shifts from a closed to a more open political system; perceptions and the evolution of PLA strategic thinking; formal and
informal aspects of Chinese bureaucratic practices and politics; understanding PLA perceptions of China’s international role and military needs; and education and challenges for military or
industrial technology....

Impact: Research into the dynamics and trends in Chinese military and technology will provide valuable insights into the workings of an important and influential power. A real and a virtual
documentation center, which will serve as an archive for such publications, in both Chinese and English, will be a valuable resource for developing expertise among academics and interested
researchers, as an aid to policymakers, and ultimately to help the American people better understand China and its future role in our evolving world.
Research Topic Chief: Chris Skaluba, 703-692-3908, chris.skaluba@osd.mil

W911NF-08-R-0007
FY09 MRI Topic #2
Studies of the Strategic Impact of Religious and Cultural Changes within the Islamic World
Background: Current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan highlight the need for a better understanding of the influence of and trends in Islamic religious and cultural norms in order to build and sustain peace within the region. The shift from overt military action to more subtle, informed actions that take into account the overall ideological climate of the world of Islam is thought to be key in developing strategies to reduce terrorism and political violence.
Understanding that world, and the various “climates” within it, is of critical importance in order to substantively engage the Muslim world and find resources and new avenues to more effectively promote rule of law, social justice and decreases in political violence and terrorism. As religion is only one influence on society, it is important to examine other social and cultural variables including political, social, and economic variables. All of this is important to ultimately understanding the structure and stratifications of a society.

The Department of Defense seeks to support a program of multidisciplinary research that will elucidate the relationships amongst social, cultural, political, religious and economic factors that
interact to foster political violence, terrorism or insurgent behavior. Relevant disciplines include anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, social and cognitive psychology, and
computational science. Some key questions include: how can the resurgence of the Taliban be explained, and what does their resurgence mean within the new context of relationships in
Afghanistan? How can the West better understand the militant madrassah school and radical missionary movements and their messages in the respective nation-states in which they reside?
Are there “counter-dialogues” within Muslim cultures and communities that account for why radicalism and militancy are found more in some places than others? The impact of new
phenomena such as global travel, the Internet and other aspects of communications technologies that can span continents should also be considered, placing these studies within a larger strategic context.

Objectives: The objective of this program, Studies of the Strategic Impact of Religious and Cultural Changes within The Islamic World, is to promote long-term and sustained scholarly research and development of expertise in order to understand the implications of trends in the religious and cultural life within the Islamic world. All regions of the globe are open to inquiry.
Both historical and contemporary projects will be considered. In either case successful candidates will be capable of explaining the contemporary political and strategic relevance of their findings. Subject areas of particular interest include: the relationship between religious ideologies and the behavior of sub-state actors bound by ethnic, tribal, and regional identities;
transnational networks of religious thinkers and authorities; debates between religious extremists and their political competitors, religious and non-religious alike; and the interplay
between religious and non-religious forms of identity. Preference will be given to studies by experts capable of analyzing source material in the original languages, to studies that exploit materials that have not been previously translated, and to studies that combine academic expertise in Islamic studies with other relevant disciplines, such as anthropology.

Impact: A research program dedicated to the study of how religious views, values, beliefs, and attitudes evolve, especially with increasing globalization, is an important contributor to the
intellectual basis on which to develop strategy for countering violent ideological extremism. In addition, this understanding can be of extremely high value in the development of training
systems to support more effective, more culturally sensitive interactions between the US military
Islamic populations.
Research Topic Chief: Dr. Harold Hawkins, 703-696-4323, harold.hawkins@navy.mil

MRI Topic #3
Iraqi Perspectives Project
Background: In the course of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a vast number of documents and other
media came into the possession of the Department of Defense. The materials have already
been transferred to electronic media and organized. Yet these comprise only a small part of the
growing declassified archive and its potential, combined with the open literature. This
continuing collection offers a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary scholarship combined with
research in methods and technologies for assisting scholarship in automated analysis,
organization, retrieval, translation, and collaboration. For this research effort, broad
understanding of the culture of interest is a fundamental requirement.

Objectives: This program, Iraqi Perspectives Project, will explore the political, social, and cultural workings and changes within Iraq during the years Saddam Hussein was in power. Some examples of appropriate research might be studies of leadership dynamics; social psychological studies of national identity and political unity; and Iraqi perceptions of international relations and systems. Preference will be given to studies by experts capable of analyzing source material in the original languages, to studies that exploit materials that have not been previously translated, and to innovative multi-disciplinary projects that bring insights from the humanities and social sciences and relevant disciplines. Successful candidates will be capable of explaining the contemporary political and strategic relevance of their findings.
DoD seeks to research that fosters scholarship in the area of cross-cultural awareness, cross- cultural competence and cultural intelligence. Open source materials, declassified Department
of Defense documents, literature from non-Western sources and other multi-media should be included in this research.

Impact: Exploration and scholarship in Iraqi perspectives will offer insights into the dynamics of how such authoritarian regimes retain power and legitimacy, how their social and cultural
contexts may influence perceptions and decision making, and how they acted internationally. These insights will allow scholars and policymakers important tools for understanding future
challenges.
Research Topic Chief: Dr. Joseph Psotka, 703-602-7945, joseph.psotka@us.army.mil

Studies of Terrorist Organization and Ideologies.
Background: The Department of Defense has identified a need to better understand the dynamics of terrorist organizations, their underlying motivations and ideologies, how they organize, how they recruit and retain members, and how they evolve and adapt in the face of new challenges.
Objective: This program, Studies of Terrorist Organization and Ideologies, will examine the relationship between transnational terrorist ideologies and intergroup conflicts.

Areas of particular interest include: the interaction between political dynamics on the ground and terrorist goals and ideologies; the role of new media technologies in terrorist recruitment,
radicalization, and de-radicalization; the spread of ideologies across culturally diverse populations; and the role of non-rational decision making (e.g., values, morals, trust, belief and
emotions) in the collective behavior and how best to represent non-rational decisions in computational models of collective and group behavior. Preference will be given to innovative
multi-disciplinary projects that bring insights from the humanities and social sciences to bear on terrorism studies. Researchers need not focus exclusively on the contemporary period, but they
must be able to explain the relevance of their findings to current debates about terrorism and, where appropriate, help anticipate future trends.

This program encourages the integration of social and behavioral sciences with modeling approaches ranging from semantic to analytical. This integration will require close cooperation
among scientists in many disciplines, including but not limited to social network analysis, operations research, social psychology, cognitive and cultural anthropology, sociology, and political science. This effort will involve the development of models and approaches to study behavior networks, groups, and communities over time. Innovative multi-disciplinary approaches are encouraged between social, behavioral, cognitive, and biological scientists with computational researchers in disciplines such as mathematics, computer science, modeling, artificial intelligence, control theory, and adaptive systems. The relevance of context and situation may require field research.

Multi-disciplinary approaches are needed to integrate the various approaches to the study of terrorist networks including both quantitative and qualitative methods. Interests include, but are
not limited to, the application of novel approaches to studying the evolution of networks, the structure of networks, and the distribution of information. These could include innovative approaches to uncovering structure such as methods for categorization, clustering, etc. This effort will also involve multiple levels of analysis ranging from the individual to the nation-state.
The integration of computational and naturalistic approaches is encouraged.

Impact: In addition to overall network characterization, there is an urgent need to be able to locate the points of influence and characterize the processes necessary to influence populations
that harbor terrorist organizations in diverse cultures as well as individuals who identify with terrorist group figures of note. A better understanding of neuro-cognitive systems responsible
for the processing of socio-cultural and other environmental cues is crucial both to research and to a whole range of practical situations. Including the explicit representation of the above
factors in models of various cultural groups would improve understanding of the behavior of groups and communities. Development of models that can be used to explain and explore human behavior in this area—organized violence—will be especially helpful to the Department of Defense in understanding where organized violence is likely to erupt, what factors might
explain its contagion, and how to circumvent its spread. Research on belief formation and emotional contagion will provide cultural advisors with better tools to understand the impact of
operations on the local population. This research should also contribute to countermeasures to help revise or influence belief structures to reduce the likelihood of militant cells forming.
Research Topic Chief: Dr. Terence Lyons, 703-696-9542, terence.lyons@afosr.af.mil

New Approaches to Understanding Dimensions of National Security, Conflict, and Cooperation
Background: Just as new ideas and fields of study, such as game theory and Kremlinology, evolved during the Cold War, the challenges facing the world today will require a much broader
conception and application of national power than just military prowess. The government and the Department of Defense need to engage additional intellectual disciplines – such as history,
anthropology, sociology, demography, and evolutionary psychology – in order to better understand what we have overlooked and what is on the horizon. What topic areas or
questions relevant to international affairs, international security, and national security, have not been properly understood or are emerging? What disciplines have contributions to make and
can help us better understand the future?

Objective: This program, New Approaches to Understanding Dimensions of National Security, Conflict, and Cooperation, seeks to explore and develop new or underused interdisciplinary
perspectives to security issues. These approaches may include and combine history, anthropology, sociology, demography, economics, and systems and network analyses to explore new dimensions of national security, conflict, and conflict resolution in order to develop new theories and models that address the security challenges of the 21st century. [...]
Research Topic Chief: Dr. Joseph Psotka, 703-602-7945, joseph.psotka@us.army.mil

'Bailed Out' Bank Credit Card Companies Snatch Social Security Payments
Debt collectors for credit card companies and other creditors are now going after Social Security payments, which are supposed to be exempt from garnishment in such situations. Their tactics include freezing the bank accounts into which a beneficiary’s Social Security checks are direct-deposited.
http://snipurl.com/h0rlm