part 2 : Tiananmen Bash; Provoking NK; Perceptions v. Reality:Obama's Con; Settlements & al qaeda assists

Commander-in-chief of world's #1 state terrorist imperialism
Obama Calls for Military Dialogue With China, urges China to make progress in a Dalai Lama 'dialogue'
“the promotion of human rights is an essential aspect of U.S. global foreign policy”


Great Firewall' is raised in China as anniversary of 1989 protest nears
There is no tweeting about Tiananmen Square, or anything else, in China this week. In a crackdown apparently timed to the 20th anniversary Thursday of the crushing of pro-democracy demonstrations, the Chinese government has pulled the plug on the social-networking site Twitter and dozens of other Internet sites and blogs according to the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy.... Jeremy Goldkorn, an expert in online media in China, said he thinks the government was particularly upset that people were trading information about how to read a controversial new memoir. It was written by the late Zhao Ziyang, the former secretary-general of the Communist Party who was fired in 1989 for his opposition to a military crackdown on the demonstrations....

U.S.- NGO Connections Exposed
Who is America to judge
After Abu Ghraib, Gitmo and extraordinary renditions, other countries now challenge America's standing on human rights
Mark Weisbrot
...China has for several years responded to the state department's human rights report by publishing its own report on the United States. It includes a catalogue of social ills in the United States, including crime, prison and police abuse, racial and gender discrimination, poverty and inequality. But the last section is titled "On the violation of human rights in other nations".
The argument is that the abuse of people in other countries – including the more than one million people who have been killed as a result of America's illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq – must now be taken into account when evaluating the human rights record of the United States....US-based human rights organisations will undoubtedly see the erosion of Washington's credibility on these issues as a loss – and understandably so, since the United States is still a powerful country, and they hope to use this power to pressure other countries on human rights issues. But they too should be careful to avoid the kind of politicisation that has earned notoriety for the state department's annual report – which clearly discriminates between allies and adversary countries in its evaluations. The case of the recent Human Rights Watch report on Venezuela illustrates the dangers of this spillover of the politicisation of human rights from the US government to Washington-based non-governmental organisations. More than 100 scholars and academics wrote a letter complaining about the report, arguing that it did not meet "minimal standards of scholarship, impartiality, accuracy or credibility". For example, the report alleges that the Venezuelan government discriminates against political opponents in the provision of government services. But as evidence for this charge it provides only one alleged incident involving one person, in programmes that serve many millions of Venezuelans. Human Rights Watch responded with a defence of its report, but the exchange of letters indicates that HRW would have been better off acknowledging the report's errors and prejudice, and taking corrective measures.Independence from Washington will be increasingly important for international human rights organisations going forward if they don't want to suffer the same loss of international legitimacy on human rights that the US government has. [...]

In 2008 the International Tibet Support Network received grant funding from the Isdell Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy, as well as donations from individuals. An important part of the Network's funding comes from the annual membership fee paid by member organisations.
The International Tibet Support Network has recently created a new strategic plan, which has been devised by a Task Force of experienced campaigners, in consultation with Tibet Groups and experts on China and Tibet

June 4: 20 Year Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre

Students for a Free Tibet are coordinating with Tibet groups to organise global solidarity candlelit marches and vigils on the evening of 3 June. In particular, these solidarity marches and vigils can be organised in cities where there is no planned 4 June event. SFT plans to issue a joint press release listing all the cities involved. Full details will be posted on If you wish to participate please contact SFT's Campaign Director, Kate Woznow, at
Iniatives for China are organising a series of events leading up to 4th June. Events began in Boston on 19 May, and include rallies and bike rides in Providence, New Haven, Bridgeport, New York City and Philadelphia. Also there are a series of international walks, rides and rallies in America, Europe, Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia and mainland China. Please contact Linda Mancini (Boston Tibet Network) for more info. email:, phone 617 277 8269, cell 617 501 3724.

Risky Geopolitical Game: Washington Plays ‘Tibet Roulette’ with China (including excellent summary of USAID / NGO-SOROS control of 'human rights dissidents')
By F. William Engdahl April 10, 2008

The crimson revolution’s true colours

Blum, William, The NED and ‘Project Democracy,’ January 2000,

"Democratic Imperialism": Tibet, China, and the National Endowment for Democracy by Michael Barker - bibliography:
[1] McGranahan, C. “Tibet’s Cold War: The CIA and the Chushi Gangdrug Resistance, 1956–1974.” Journal of Cold War Studies, 8 (3), (2006), p.105.
[2] Conboy, K. and J.Morrison. The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2002.
Deane, H. “The Cold War in Tibet.” Covert Action Information Bulletin 29 (Winter 1987): 48-50.
Knaus, J. K. Orphans of the Cold War: America and the Tibetan Struggle for Survival. New York: Public Affairs, 1999.
[3] Mann, J. “CIA Funded Covert Tibet Exile Campaign in 1960s.” The Age (Melbourne), 16 Sept. 1998. 21 Jun. 2007. .
[4] Parenti, M. “Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth (Updated).” Jul. 2004. 21 Jun. 2007. .
[5] Mann, J. “CIA Funded Covert Tibet Exile Campaign in 1960s.” The Age (Melbourne), 16 Sept. 1998. 21 Jun. 2007. .
[6] Knaus, J. K. Orphans of the Cold War: America and the Tibetan Struggle for Survival. New York: Public Affairs, 1999.
Salopek, P. “The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet.” Seattle Times, 26 Jan. 1997. 21 Jun. 2007. .
[7] Knaus, J. K. “Official Policies and Covert Programs: The U.S. State Department, the CIA, and the Tibetan Resistance.” Journal of Cold War Studies, 5 (3), (2003), p.78.
[8] Reagan, R. W. “Address to Members of the British Parliament.” Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, 8 Jun. 1982. 21 Jun. 2007. .
[9] Rasmus, J. The War at Home: The Corporate Offensive Against American Workers and Unions from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. San Ramon, CA: Kyklos Productions, 2006.
[10] Ignatius, D. “Innocence Abroad: The New World of Spyless Coups.” The Washington Post, 22 September 1991.
[11] Robinson, W. I. and J. Gindin. “The Battle for Global Civil Society.”, 13 Jun. 2005. 21 Jun. 2007. .
[12] Barker, M. J. “Taking the Risk Out of Civil Society: Harnessing Social movements and Regulating Revolutions.” Refereed paper presented to the Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, University of Newcastle 25-27 September 2006. 21 Jun. 2007. . Roelofs, J. Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.
[13] Barker, M. J. “The National Endowment for Democracy and the Promotion of ‘Democratic’ Media Systems Worldwide.” Communication for Development and Social Change: A Global Journal (In Press).Barker, M. J. “Democracy or Polyarchy? US-Funded Media Developments in Afghanistan and Iraq Post 9/11.” Media Culture Society (In Press). Sussman, G. “The Myths of ‘Democracy Assistance’: U.S. Political Intervention in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe.” Monthly Review, Dec. 2006. 21 Jun. 2007. .
[14] Barker, M. J. “A Force More Powerful: Promoting ‘Democracy’ Through Civil Disobedience.” State of Nature, Mar. 2007. 21 Jun. 2007. .
[15] Fenton, A. “Canada’s Growing Role in Haitian Affairs (Part I).” Znet, 21 Mar. 2005. 21 Jun. 2007. .
[16] For a detailed examination of both individuals strong ties to the NED see Barker, M. J. “Promoting a Low Intensity Public Sphere: American Led Efforts to Promote a ‘Democratic Media’ Environment in China.” A paper to presented at the China Media Centre Conference (Brisbane, Australia: Creative Industries Precinct, 5-6 July 2007).
Also of interest is Barker, M. J. “Hijacking Human Rights: A Critical Examination of Human Rights Watch’s Americas Branch and their Links to the ‘Democracy’ Establishment.” Znet, August 3, 2007. .
[17]Grandin, G. Empire's workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006.
[18] Robert, P. “Tibet Information Network Closes as Funds Dry Up.” Tibet Information Network, 13 Sep. 2005. 21 Jun. 2007.

"The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2008 is prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States, and as a reminder for the United States to reflect upon its own issues," China said...."The U.S. practice of throwing stones at others while living in a glass house is a testimony to the double standards and hypocrisy of the United States in dealing with human rights issues and has undermined its international image," the Information Office of the State Council said in its report on the U.S. human rights record. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2008 was in retaliation to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2008 issued by the U.S. Department of State on Feb. 25. For years, the United States positioned itself over other countries and released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices annually to criticize human rights conditions in other countries, using it as a tool to interfere with and demonize other nations, the report said. "The U.S. has turned a blind eye to its own violations of human rights....

Full Text of Human Rights Record of United States in 2008 2009-02-2
BEIJING, (Xinhua) The Information Office of the State Council published a report titled "The Human Rights Record of United States in 2008" here on Thursday. Following is the full text:
The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2008 on February 25, 2009. As in previous years, the reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China, but mentioned nothing of the widespread human rights abuses on its own territory. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2008 is prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States, and as a reminder for the United States to reflect upon it s own issues.

U.S. State Dept. & NGOs Slam China's Human Rights
...Chinese officials often dismiss U.S. criticism of its human rights policies as an attempt to impose Western values on China....

China, Others Criticize U.S. Report on Rights
Double Standard at State Dept. Alleged


 "It may well be that the key to bolstering Western resolve is another terrorist attack like 9/11 or the London transit bombings of two years ago, he says. If nothing happens, it will be harder still to say this [Canadian meddling in Afghanistan] is necessary."
 "A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran; culminating in a 'defensive' US action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan."
Chertoff interview with Lt. Colonel Doug Delaney, chair of the war studies program at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, a NATO intelligence center in the

Obama Realism May Not Play Well in Cairo Streets
...It may [SIC[ be the imperative of building a global order for the 21st century that accounts for the strikingly realist cast to the Obama administration’s conduct of foreign affairs. Both the president and his chief aides have steered clear of the language of democracy. In China in March, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said bluntly that America’s concern about human rights “can’t interfere” with progress on the global economy, climate change and other issues. Egypt, too, occupies an important place in Mr. Obama’s strategic calculus, which aims to lay the groundwork for peace in the Middle East by shoring up “moderate” states while coaxing Iran and Syria into the fold.
The White House has accommodated President Mubarak by eliminating American funding for civil society organizations that the state refuses to recognize, and by stating publicly that neither military nor civilian funding will be conditioned on reform... Mr. Obama has a gift for eluding antinomies: he is “both-and” rather than “either-or.” But consensus-seeking has its limits... Mr. Obama, who is seen throughout the world as the incarnation of American democracy, and who well understands America’s power to inspire both hope and resentment. Does he want to be seen as the architect of a policy that gives a dictator free rein in exchange for strategic cooperation? Would that even be a “realist” choice?

On this set of issues, as on so many others, President Obama has declined to come down on one side of an either-or choice. During the campaign, he spoke eloquently about democracy at home and abroad, and in an interview before taking office asserted that the promotion of democracy “needs to be at a central part of our foreign policy.”... As president, Mr. Obama has managed to use the language both of the realists, who typically address the behavior of regimes, and of idealists, who, at least since Woodrow Wilson’s time, have sought to speak directly to the aspirations of ordinary citizens.Mr. Obama has tried to re-knit frayed ties by opening new lines of communication with Cuba and Iran, by soft-pedaling human-rights concerns in China, by remaining respectful toward Russia despite the occasional provocation. Just last week, he sought to harvest the fruits of his realpolitik by assembling a united front of states, very much including China and Russia, in the face of North Korea’s nuclear test.
This duality has as much to do with geopolitical reality as with Mr. Obama’s own temperament. In a recent speech, David Miliband, Britain’s scholarly foreign minister, observed that, in the face of “threats from climate change, terrorism, pandemics and financial crisis,” global security can be guaranteed only by “the broadest possible coalition of states and political movements,” including undemocratic ones. At the same time, he added, “we need the consent of citizens.” Both objectives were realist ones, in the sense that they further common national interests. But they were inevitably, Mr. Miliband acknowledged, in tension with one another....

Will Obama give Mubarak a pass?
"For 60 years, the United States pursued stability at the expense of democracy in the Middle East, and we achieved neither," then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said four years ago in Cairo. "Now we are taking a different course. We are supporting the democratic aspirations of all people." The Bush administration's strategy faltered when anti-U.S. groups from Egypt to Lebanon became huge beneficiaries of the Republican push for political reforms. In elections, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood emerged as the biggest opposition bloc in the country's parliament. Hamas hard-liners won majority control of the Palestinian Authority, and the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim Hezbollah secured veto power in Lebanon's government.
Obama now is charting a different path. He's expected to use Thursday's speech to call for a cooperative era of ambitious regional diplomacy, and Egypt is expected to play a central role in his push. The country is the second-largest recipient of U.S. aid. It's one of only two Arab nations to sign a peace treaty with Israel, and Mubarak has signaled an aggressive new willingness to challenge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's attempts to shift the balance of power in the Middle East....
There are widespread expectations in Cairo that Obama will play down calls for democratic reforms in Egypt and instead rely on private meetings to raise the issue with Mubarak.
"They know how to speak to the Egyptians," said Hossam Zaki, a spokesman for Egypt's Foreign Ministry. "There are ways to speak that can infuriate someone, and there are ways to get him to do whatever you want. And this is a problem that we faced in the past."

the always perfectly timed foil:
in case you didn't get it yet: "if you're not with US you're with the terrorists"
Al-Qaida criticizes Obama's upcoming Cairo speech
Al-Qaida's deputy leader on Tuesday criticized President Barack Obama's upcoming speech to the Islamic world in Cairo, saying it will not change the "bloody messages" the U.S. military is sending Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. Al-Qaida has repeatedly lashed out at Obama since he was elected, a move some analysts believe indicates the terrorist organization is worried he will be effective in improving the U.S. image in the Muslim world.

al Qaeda, al Qaeda, al Qaeda, al Qaeda, Did I Mention al Qaeda?
Yesterday Bush gave a delightfully refreshing speech on the state of the war in Iraq and the threat we face from terrorists....Did you know that al Qaeda is in Iraq? That is whom we are fighting in Iraq. This month, anyway. Remember when we were going after those WMDs? Then we were liberating an oppressed people from a horrible dictator. Then we were training the Iraqi army to bring stability to the country. After that we were setting up Democracy. Now we are stopping al Qaeda to protect America...We know that because Bush brought up al Qaeda
95 times in his 29-minute speech today. He said Iraq over a hundred times. If our president says something that many times, it must be true.
It’s like an infection. Seems like if we stay there, eventually Iraq will just start calling itself “al Qaeda.” [...]
The role of al qaeda has long been as an agent of western intelligence agencies, wittingly or not. That role began in support for the mujihadeen in the 1980s under Reagan, continued with Clinton in Kosovo in the 1990s and continues to fulfil a vital role in justifying US and Uk imperial ambitions. See for example Nafeez Ahmed "The War on Truth" (2005) and his recent working paper "Subverting Terrorism". Daniele Ganser's "Nato's Secret Armies" is a classic study. The "al qaeda as enemy" discourse is discredited, and as a policy regime it is bankrupt. The sooner Americans realize what their government is really up to and begin real opposition as opposed to the me-too approach of the Democrats the sooner the world will be a safer place. James O'Neill comment

The Birth Pangs of a "New Palestine/Middle East”
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Saudi Arabia’s initiative was in effect handed over to Riyad by London and Washington in 2002 as part of an Anglo-American military-political roadmap for the Middle East and as part of the Project for the “New Middle East.”... The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, the Agreement of Principles, and Annapolis are all phases for establishing the economic integration of the Arab World with Israel through the Project for the “New Middle East” and the integration of the entire Mediterranean with the European Union through the Mediterranean Union. The presence of troops from both NATO and E.U. members in Lebanon is also a part of this goal....
Remarks by His Excellency Dr. Marwan Muasher, Minister of Foreign Affairs on September 23, 2002 at the Council on Foreign Relations.
For the first time since this conflict started, the whole Arab world is promising Israel collective security measures. The whole Arab world is promising Israel a collective peace treaty and normal relations -- not with neighbor Arab states, but with every single one of them."

As President Obama prepares to head to the Middle East this week, administration officials are debating ... measures under discussion... all largely symbolic to toughen their stance against any expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.... Placing conditions on loan guarantees to Israel, as the first President Bush did nearly 20 years ago, is not under discussion, officials said.... “There are things that could get the attention of the Israeli public,” a senior administration official said, touching on the widespread belief within the administration that any Israeli prime minister risks political peril if the Israeli electorate views him as endangering the country’s relationship with the United States. But, the official added, “Israel is a critical United States ally, and no one in this administration expects that not to continue.” He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly....When asked what he would do if Mr. Netanyahu continued to balk at a settlement freeze, Mr. Obama said he was not yet ready to offer an “or else....“That conversation only took place last week.”

This is the US
"Two founding members of what was the largest U.S. Muslim charity were each sentenced to 65 years in prison Wednesday for funneling millions to the Palestinian militant group Hamas."
If you funnel money to the Israeli terrorist army, it is tax-deductible in the US... if you funnel money to any Palestinian group, you serve time in jail.

An invention called 'the Jewish people'
Tom Segev, 29/02/2008
Israeli historian Shlomo Zand, in
Prof. Shlomo Zand's [Tel Aviv University] new book, "When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?" asserts there never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion, and the exile also never happened - hence there was no return. Zand rejects most of the stories of national-identity formation in the Bible, including the exodus from Egypt and, most satisfactorily, the horrors of the conquest under Joshua. It's all fiction and myth that served as an excuse for the establishment of the State of Israel

Clinton: U.S. Gaza aid tied to recognition of Israel

Israel has sanctioned the transfer of thousands of machineguns and other military equipment from Jordan to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas's forces in the West Bank, according to Hebrew press... Daily Ha'aretz quoted a responsible PA security official as saying that the procedure had already taken place under complete secrecy. The paper noted that similar shipments to the Gaza Strip earlier this year had fallen in the hands of Hamas fighters after they took control of the Strip almost two months ago. The source said that a big shipment had entered the West Bank from Jordan in mid July according to prior agreement between Israel, Jordan and the PA presidency.The same paper pointed out that the Hebrew state and the PA on Wednesday resumed full civilian coordination after re-operation of the liaison offices which also followed resumption of security coordination between the two sides. Israeli premier Ehud Olmert is currently studying Abbas's request to allow entry of armored vehicles, bullet-proof vests and other military equipment in addition to the Badr forces stationed in Jordan to boost his power against Hamas.

Report: Israel used unmanned drones to attack Sudan convoys

'Soft Power' Agents: US supported 'human rights' / 'humanitarian aid' NGOs, including Ai & HRW, in George Soros' vast global OSI network serve imperialist-zionism
Rights group: Hamas waging campaign against Palestinian opponents
The Amnesty International human rights group has accused Hamas of waging a deliberate campaign to kill or maim scores of Palestinian opponents in the Gaza Strip since the end of December. The human rights group said in a report that at least two dozen men were shot dead by gunmen from the Islamic group. AI said Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip have engaged in a campaign of abductions, deliberate and unlawful killings, torture and death threats against those they accuse of collaborating with Israel, as well as opponents and critics.

'Tactical errors' and 'perceptions' the problem, not terror and deaths by u.s. 'counter insurgency' strategy
"I believe the perception caused by civilian casualties is one of the most dangerous things we face in Afghanistan, particularly with the Afghan people," he said. "We've got to recognize that that is a way to lose their faith and lose their support, and that would be strategically decisive against us."
Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal testifying at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Army general chosen to take over as top commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan believes the war can be won if a proper counterinsurgency campaign is undertaken.

Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal
Director of The Joint Staff, August 2008-present; Commander, Joint Special Operations Command and commander, Joint Special Operations Command Forward, 2006-2008; commanding general, Joint Special Operations Command, 2003-06; vice director for operations, J-3 The Joint Staff, 2002-03; chief of staff, XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, 2001-02; assistant division commander for operations, 82d Airborne Division; commander, 75th Ranger Regiment, 1997-99.
B.S., U.S. Military Academy; M.A. in national security and strategic studies, U.S. Naval War College; M.S. in international relations, Salve Regina University.

U.S. Report Finds Errors in Afghan Airstrikes
A military investigation has concluded that American personnel made significant errors in carrying out some of the airstrikes in western Afghanistan on May 4 that killed dozens of Afghan civilians, according to a senior American military official. The official said the civilian death toll would probably have been reduced if American air crews and forces on the ground had followed strict rules devised to prevent civilian casualties.

“In several instances where there was a legitimate threat, the choice of how to deal with that threat did not comply with the standing rules of engagement,” said the military official, who provided a broad summary of the report’s initial findings on the condition of anonymity...
The inquiry into the May 4 strikes in the western province of Farah illustrated the difficult, split-second decisions facing young officers in the heat of combat as they balance using lethal force to protect their troops under fire with detailed rules restricting the use of firepower to prevent civilian deaths.In the report, the investigating officer, Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, analyzed each of the airstrikes carried out by three aircraft-carrier-based Navy F/A-18 strike aircraft and an Air Force B-1 bomber against targets in the village of Granai, in a battle that lasted more than seven hours.In each case, the senior military official said, General Thomas determined that the targets that had been struck posed legitimate threats to Afghan or American forces, which included one group of Marines assigned to train the Afghans and another assigned to a Special Operations task force.But in “several cases,” the official said, General Thomas determined either that the airstrikes had not been the appropriate response to the threat because of the potential risk to civilians, or that American forces had failed to follow their own tactical rules in conducting the bombing runs.

On Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, nominated to be the American commander in Afghanistan, vowed that reducing civilian casualties was “essential to our credibility.”
Any American victory would be “hollow and unsustainable” if it led to popular resentment among Afghanistan’s citizens, General McChrystal told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a confirmation hearing. During his testimony, General McChrystal said that strikes by warplanes and Special Operations ground units would remain an essential part of combat in Afghanistan. But he promised to make sure that these attacks were based on solid intelligence and that they were as precise as possible. American success in Afghanistan should be measured by “the number of Afghans shielded from violence,” not the number of enemy fighters killed, he said....
The Afghan government concluded that about 140 civilians had been killed in the attacks. An earlier American military inquiry said last month that 20 to 30 civilians had been killed. That inquiry also concluded that 60 to 65 Taliban militants had been killed in the fight. American military officials say their two investigations show that Taliban fighters had deliberately fired on American forces and aircraft from compounds and other places where they knew Afghan civilians had sought shelter, in order to draw an American response that would kill civilians, including women and children.[..]

US objects to UN report on military killings
The Obama administration charged Wednesday that a U.N. investigator violated his mandate by accusing the U.S. of failing to properly investigate allegations of unlawful killings by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.... PDF version of Alston's report:

Obama does his Bush impression
By Pepe Escobar
The money quote is Obama's appraisal of Pakistan: "We want to respect their sovereignty, but we also recognize that we have huge strategic interests, huge national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don't end up having a nuclear-armed militant state."
Pakistani "sovereignty" is a joke: Pakistan is now openly being run from Washington... what happened in Swat is that it moved beyond a - corrupt - state, and neo-colonial control. Washington's enemy suddenly swelled to part of the 1.3 million people in the area whose only means of protection are armed militias - what the West bundles up as "Taliban". It's crucial to remember that the "Taliban" have all sorts of agendas, from armed resistance to US occupation in Afghanistan to armed resistance to Pakistani army incursions. What they all want is basically the end of Washington's drone war, the end of Pakistan's support for the "war on terror" in AfPak...What matters for the Pentagon is that the minute any sectarian outfit or bandit gang decides to collude with the Pentagon, it's not "Taliban" anymore; it magically morphs into a "Concerned Local Citizens" outfit. By the same token any form of resistance to foreign interference or Predator hell from above bombing is inevitably branded "Taliban"...
The Obama administration not only has rebranded the Bush "global war on terror" (GWOT) as the subtly Orwellian "overseas contingency operations" (OCO). The key component of OCO - the AfPak front - is now being actively rebranded, and sold, not as an American war but a Pakistani war.

Zardari plays his pitiful bit part; alongside Obama, the Pentagon and the State Department, he has been convincing Pakistani public opinion to fight Washington's OCO, defending the Predator bombing of Pashtun civilians in Pakistani land. It ain't easy: at least 20% of Pakistani army soldiers are Pashtun - now forced to fight their own Pashtun cousins.
As for the "Af" element of AfPak, the war against occupation in Afghanistan has "disappeared" from the narrative to the benefit of this Pakistani "holy war" against Talibanization. What has not disappeared, of course, is US bombing of Afghan peasants (with attached Hillary "regrets") plus the Predator war in FATA.

The question is: How far will the Obama, the Pentagon and Zardari collusion go in terms of wiping out any form of resistance to the US occupation of Afghanistan and the drone war against Pashtun peasants in FATA? The relentless warnings on the collapse of Pakistan may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Were it to happen, the balkanization of Pakistan would do wonders for the Pentagon's long-term strategy in the "arc of instability". From a Pentagon dream scenario point of view, the balkanization of Pakistan would mean dismantling a "Terrorist Central" capable of contaminating other parts of the Muslim world, from Indian Kashmir to the Central Asian "stans". It would "free" India from its enemy Pakistan so India can work very closely with Washington as an effective counter power to the relentless rise of China.

AfPak war depopulates and devastates north-west Pakistan
By James Cogan
A little over a month ago, the Pakistani government acquiesced to the demands of the Obama administration to use brute force to eradicate radical Islamist influence in the north-west of the country, as part of the so-called AfPak war to secure American interests in Central Asia. The human cost and long-term political consequences are now becoming clear.... The current UN estimate is that 2.4 million people have been internally displaced in just over a month, making it the largest displacement on the Indian subcontinent since the 1947 partition....There is no estimate of how many civilians have lost their lives... "Waziristan is at the heart of Western counter-terrorism interests in this region." A Pakistani onslaught in Waziristan would "hit the sweet spot for us". Pakistani troops—not American will serve as Obama’s cannon fodder in bloody battles...

"Why were we napalming young children? Why did the CIA, my employer for 16 years, report lies instead of the truth? I hated my part in the charade of murder and horror. My efforts were contributing to the deaths, to the burning alive of children - especially the children. The photographs of young Vietnamese children burned by napalm destroyed me."
Ralph McGehee former CIA intelligence analyst

Terrorist or Mythic Symbol: A Tale of Iraqi Politics
Mr. Baghdadi has long been a symbolic figure, regardless of whether he exists... Abu Omar al-Baghdadi was captured again several weeks ago. By now it’s old hat. Mr. Baghdadi is the leader of the most zealous group of jihadists fighting in Iraq, and he has been reported captured and killed several times before. As many times, he has also been declared not real.... He has not appeared publicly, though, except by voice — in recordings of his florid lectures condemning the West, Israel, Iran and insufficiently zealous Sunnis. This has given him a mystique that has only made him more powerful in the eyes of jihadists, and has spared him the kind of public relations embarrassments that befell his now-dead forerunner, Abu Musab al-Zarqaw. The case of Mr. Baghdadi is not the only example of how easy it is, here in Iraq, to become disoriented by various versions of reality: the thicket of accusations, the wild rumors, the often wildly divergent casualty figures reported after attacks. All can divert attention from other evidence, tragic, irrefutable and available daily, that in the streets of Baghdad, as Donald Rumsfeld once noted, real stuff does happen... The Americans here... have played it safe. “It’s not really what he calls himself,” Maj. Gen. David Perkins, the chief military spokesman here, told reporters. “It is really, at the end of the day, what role did he play.” That is still being determined, he added... careful not to dismiss the government’s claims out of hand. “We have nothing that would contradict the intelligence they have so far".

pre-trip propaganda push blames puppet
Maliki's warnings prompted Obama's reversal on detainee photos
Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
President Barack Obama reversed his decision to release detainee abuse photos from Iraq and Afghanistan after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki warned that Iraq would erupt into violence and Iraqis would demand that U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq a year earlier than planned....Maliki said, " Baghdad will burn" if the photos are released, said a second U.S. military official who along with others requested anonymity because of the matter's sensitivity...

all fighters for u.s. are mercenaries
Obama Has 250,000 "Contractors" in Iraq and Afghan Wars, Increases Number of Mercenaries
Jeremy Scahill
A couple of years ago, Blackwater executive Joseph Schmitz seemed to see a silver lining for mercenary companies with the prospect of US forces being withdrawn or reduced in Iraq. "There is a scenario where we could as a government, the United States, could pull back the military footprint," Schmitz said. "And there would then be more of a need for private contractors to go in." When it comes to armed contractors, it se ems that Schmitz was right. According to new statistics released by the Pentagon, with Barack Obama as commander in chief, there has been a 23% increase in the number of "Private Security Contractors" working for the Department of Defense in Iraq in the second quarter of 2009 and a 29% increase in Afghanistan, which "correlates to the build up of forces" in the country...

Iraq: The Return of the Resistance
Dahr Jamail
At least 20 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq in May, the most since last September, along with more than 50 wounded. Iraqi casualties are, as usual - and in both categories - at least ten times that number. Attacks against US forces are once again on the rise in places like Baghdad and Fallujah, where the Iraqi resistance was fiercest before so many joined the Sahwa (Sons of Iraq, also referred to as Awakening Councils), and began taking payments from the US military in exchange for halting attacks against the occupiers...

pretending this is 'news' ...the good news is that the murdering invading occupiers are being defeated
u.s. strategists & propaganda 'news' sources only at 'invitation-only briefing to 12 journalists and policy analysts from Washington-based think-tanks.'
The U.S. will leave combat forces in Iraq 'a decade ' despite an 'agreement' with its puppet govt. Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff said Tuesday the world remains dangerous and unpredictable, and the Pentagon must plan for extended U.S. combat and stability operations in two wars. "Global trends are pushing in the wrong direction," Casey said. "They fundamentally will change how the Army works." ... Casey stressed that the United States must be ready to take on sustained fights in the Middle East while meeting other commitments.
He spoke at an invitation-only briefing to a dozen journalists and policy analysts from Washington-based think-tanks. He said his planning envisions combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade as part of a sustained U.S. commitment to fighting extremism and terrorism in the Middle East...Casey said his comments about the long war in Iraq were not meant to conflict with administration policies. President Barack Obama plans to bring U.S. combat forces home from Iraq in 2010, and agreed all American forces would be gone by 2012....several senior U.S. officials have suggested Iraq could request an extension, the legal agreement the two countries signed last year would have to be amended for any significant U.S. presence to remain. Iraqi quislings already 'redefined' geographical areas to suit its masters 'agreement'..."... we're going to have 10 Army and Marine units deployed for a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan."...As recently as February, Defense Secretary Robert Gates reiterated the U.S. commitment to the agreement worked out with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
"Under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011," Gates said during an address at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. "We will complete this transition to Iraqi responsibility, and we will bring our troops home with the honor that they have earned.

After 6-year presence, American influences seep into Iraq
By Anthony Shadid, The Washington Post
These Basra residents are dressed in a manner that would be fairly indistinguishable from that of a typical American. Some youths say the U.S. mission brought openness.
BAGHDAD —Across the street from the tidy rows of tombstones in the British cemetery, mute testimony to the soldiers of an earlier occupation, Mustafa Muwaffaq bears witness to the quieter side of the United States' 6-year-old presence in Iraq.In wraparound sunglasses, shorts and shoes without socks, the burly 20-year-old student waxes eloquent about his love for heavy metal of all kinds: death, thrash, black. But none of it compares, he says, to the honky-tonk of Alan Jackson, whose tunes he strums on his acoustic guitar at night, pining for a life as far away as a passport will take him."You know, I wanna go to Texas and be a country boy," he said, standing in the sweltering shade of Baghdad's Academy of Fine Arts. "I wanna be a cowboy, and I wanna sing like one."... Rickety stands overflowed with goods. Toy guns emblazoned with the moniker "Super Police" sat next to imitation handcuffs and walkie-talkies. A doll with fatigues and dog tags carried an M-16 rifle; with a squeeze of its hand, Queen's "We Will Rock You" belted out to a street speaking Arabic.

All occupations eventually end. When this one does, history's narratives will be shaped by the cacophony it wrought — the carnage unleashed by the U.S.-led invasion that threatened Iraq's notion of itself as a country and that will haunt generations to come.But the whispers may linger just as long: the far quieter way in which two cultures that often found it difficult to share the same space intersected to reshape Iraq's language, culture and sensibility. From tattoos of Metallica to bellybutton piercings to stories parents tell their naughty children in Fallujah of the Americans coming to get them, the occupation already has left its mark....
Iraq remains a proud country, its people bridling at what they see as the condescension inherent in the United States' modern-day equivalent of a civilizing mission. History — thousands of years of it — forms the refrain of any conversation: Mesopotamia gave birth to civilization, and at its medieval zenith, as Europe slumbered, Baghdad was a city of racetracks, law schools, museums, libraries, hospitals, zoos and insane asylums.
The country's past shamed its present, and in the wake of Saddam's 2003 fall, many Iraqis, however suspicious, were willing to give the Americans the benefit of the doubt. Now, many blame them for everything from sectarian strife to Baghdad's disrepair. The only kind of American most Iraqis have met is a young, gun-toting soldier, and a look of scornful incomprehension often greets a question about the Americans' cultural legacy.
"What are they leaving behind?" asked Mohammed Chayan... "...wherever I go, whenever I go, I just see remains of destruction."...

Iraq redux? Obama seeks funds for Pakistan super-embassy
By Saeed Shah and Warren P. Strobel | McClatchy Newspapers
The U.S. is embarking on a $1 billion crash program to expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan, another sign that the Obama administration is making a costly, long-term commitment to war-torn South Asia, U.S. officials said Wednesday. The White House has asked Congress for — and seems likely to receive — $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with permanen t housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space in the Pakistani capital...

America seeks to destroy Iraq
Atif Salahuddin
...America has failed to control Afghanistan; it badly needs the Pakistan army to conduct the operation... to punish the people of Swat for their support to the fighters who attack the American and NATO supply convoys heading for Afghanistan and for their Pakhtoon brethren across the border fighting the American led occupation. By displacing up to a staggering 2.4 million people from the area, the Zardari regime, with the terror of the American drone strikes in the area, has effectively cleansed the area of it's population... to increase the security of the American and NATO supply lines. By creating an area free from it's population, the Zardari regime has also created a buffer zone along the Afghan border to stem Western losses inside Afghanistan.... created the biggest humanitarian refugee crisis the world has seen since the Rwanda genocide in 1994 according to the United Nations. With no independent journalists allowed inside the theatre of operation, it is anyone's guess as to how many men, women and children have died, how many have been injured and how many have lost their homes and had their livelihoods destroyed ...

Millions displaced as Pakistani military extends its offensive
By James Cogan
The Pakistani military is deepening its assault against Islamist militants in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) district of Swat Valley and beginning to extend its operations into other ethnic Pashtun-populated areas. The Obama administration insisted that the Pakistani government launch the offensive as part of US efforts to crush the anti-occupation insurgency over the border in Afghanistan. The present focus of the fighting is Mingora, once the largest city in Swat with a population over 250,000. It is estimated that all but 10,000 to 20,000 of its inhabitants fled before the military assault. In the east of the valley, troops have reportedly seized the former ski resort town of Maalam Jabba. To the west, operations are continuing against the remaining militants in the Peochar Valley...

U.S. Hegemony and Pakistani Government Betrayals
By Talha Mujaddidi. Axis of Logic
The U.S has already expanded the war on terror inside Pakistani territory...."Af-Pak" - U.S. Imperialist Policy for Afghanistan & Pakistan: the U.S would like nothing more than to cut off the land link between Pakistan and China. The "AfPak" plan calls for attacks on TTP militants who control FATA, Swat areas, the Pushtoon dominated border region of Afghanistan-Pakistan border, up to Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan... AfPak would like more trouble in Baluchistan.... the current Baluchistan government is another proxy of U.S, hence they have announced that government will spend millions of rupees to make Gwadar, the winter capital of Baluchistan. Quetta is the current capital for the province, and it’s predominantly Pushtoon. A parallel government is to be setup in Gwadar, from where Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and Jandullah can operate from. BLA will operate inside Baluchistan, and Jandullah will try to create trouble in Iran. Iran has, since last year, begun to fence its border with Baluchistan. Once violence is escalated in Baluchistan, BLA will claim that we have setup an independent Baluchistan government in Gwadar. The U.S can use either terrorism or an alternate supply route as a pretext to take control of most strategically located Gwadar. Pepe Escobar calls Baluchistan the biggest prize for U.S in this region. Baluchistan comprises 48% of the land area of Pakistan. It is poorly protected as Pakistan does not have enough troops to man different areas of Baluchistan, especially when Army is fighting in Swat. The Pakistan Navy is a small force, and is no match to the U.S. Navy carrier group which is just off the coast of Gwadar. On the other side of the Pakistan border. in Afghanistan (Helmand province), a brand new U.S airbase is being built and that area also called, 'desert of death’ will house some eight thousand U.S troops. ...
U.S plans for Pakistan and a puppet Pakistani government: the following demands for the Pakistani government:
1. Completely freeze Pakistan’s nuclear and missile program
2. Handover the existing enriched uranium to U.S special task force so that it can be moved to a "safe location" outside Pakistan
3. Keep following the IMF/World Bank guidelines for managing the economy of Pakistan
4. Change the Pakistan military doctrine; make India an ally in "war against terror", instead of an enemy nation.
5. Move Pakistani troops from eastern border with India
6. Accept Indian hegemony in South Asia, and allow India to send its supplies (transit trade) through Pakistan into Afghanistan.
7. The U.S needs another supply line from Pakistani port of Gwadar; hence the Pakistan government would cooperate in that regard.

previous digest issues have in-depth coverage of U.S./NGO manufactured 'genocide' in Darfur & 'soft power' intervention more broadly in Africa
"We Saw No Evidence of Genocide"
Women in Darfur
Afshin Rattansi
...Collette Valentine, a TV producer visiting from the United Kingdom, and Ali Gunn, a British media consultant, last week returned from Darfur where they attended the first "International Conference on the Challenge Facing Women in Darfur" say articles about Darfur in the international press make her feel as if she visited a completely different country and region...
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Cindy Crawford, Bono, Michael Caine, Claudia Schiffer, Bob Geldof, Hugh Grant, Mia Farrow, Mick Jagger and so many others have expressed their solidarity with the people of the oil-rich region of Darfur. A few weeks ago, Democrats John Lewis of Georgia, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Lynn Woolsey of California, Donna Edwards of Maryland, and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts were all arrested as they demonstrated against the Sudanese government. When Colin Powell used the word genocide in 2004, it kicked off $1 billion-a-year international aid program, much higher than that afforded Somalia or Congo. But why?...
the anger of the people...all over Darfur, speaking to women at all levels from all communities throughout the region was that they did not want foreign interference because they know that it is all about oil and water – the "oil of tomorrow".... how Sudan was sitting on the biggest underwater lake in Africa giving rise to the best arable land. Despite the desertification, responsible for so many of the deaths in recent years, the lake holds great promise. She told me about how Chevron was thrown out of the country and how Chevron executives took all their drilling and exploration maps with them. They still believe that the NGOs in concert with the U.S. are only involved because of water and oil. She pointed to Congo, Sierra Leone and other African countries, firmly believing that there were no good intentions when it comes to great power involvement on the continent....
The Sudanese government expelled some foreign aid groups, accusing them of espionage. They include Oxfam, Save the Children and Medecins Sans Frontieres. According to the Save Darfur Campaign, it was the relief organizations that provided clean water, food, and medical attention to roughly 1.5 million people. The Sudanese government claims these aid-agencies deliberately exclude Arab Darfuris in their ranks, exacerbating sectarian tensions. The IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in the refugee camps are people who have fled trouble in their own areas of Sudan. They didn’t want to leave but had no option but to flee. Before the international NGOs got involved, the IDPs were provided with camps by Al-Bashir’s government, provided with wells, administrators, bureaucratic structures, materials for shelter and local doctors, clinics, and health services paid for by the Sudanese government...We saw no evidence of any genocide. We were not embedded by the government nor with any NGO. We had absolute freedom to talk with whomever we wished.... One woman told me that allegations of wide and systematic rape crimes against Darfur women constitute a type of war against Sudan. Historically, in areas of conflict, they maintained, cases of crime and rape are bound to increase. Rape is not a weapon of the government and women are being told to report instances of rape. But the ICC is using the prevalence of rape and giving it undue importance, helping NGOs...

Behind The Arrest Warrant for The President of Sudan
No other government in the world is charging Sudan with Genocide except the American government... The American government is determined to topple the National Congress Party, the ruling party in Sudan and to demonize its leader President Omar al-Bashir. This attempt is to break up the Sudan into 3 or 4 separate entities making it impossible for the Sudanese people to unite and keeping them at war while the Western World robs The Sudan of their natural resources, oil being the chief one.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Friday that the United States had detected no unusual military movement in North Korea and had no plans to reinforce some 28,000 American forces in South Korea after the North threatened its neighbor with a military attack.

this sentence ("Material from the Los Angeles Times included in this report") is omitted from both NYT articles linked below...
"International nonproliferation officials said atmospheric tests may be completed next week to determine if Monday's blast was a nuclear test, as suspected."
N. Korea gets tough warning from U.S.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned North Korea today that the United States would not accept it as a nuclear-weapons state and would...

same author, Elisabeth Bumiller, published same day
“We will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in the region — or on us ...President Obama has offered an open hand to tyrannies that unclench their fists,” Mr. Gates said. “...but we will not bend to pressure or provocation.” ... officials acknowledged that the United States had only limited information about what was happening inside North Korea...
“I know some in Asia have concluded that Afghanistan does not represent a strategic threat to their countries, owing in part to Afghanistan’s geographic location,” Mr. Gates said. “But the threat from failed or failing states is international in scope.”...Mr. Gates concluded that the United States, “in our efforts to protect our own freedom, and that of others” had “from time to time made mistakes, including at times being arrogant in dealing with others.” He did not name names, but then said, “We always correct our course.”

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) (excerpt)
Nuclear character yet to be established
Once the manmade character has been established, the next step will be to detect radioactive particulates or noble gases that are frequently released into the atmosphere even by underground nuclear tests...Only after further analysis at the International Data Centre in Vienna, using data from the 16 auxiliary seismic stations that recorded the event as well, will it be possible to confirm that the signal was manmade and not an earthquake....
180 States, the vast majority of the international community, have signed the CTBT, underscoring their support for a definitive ban on nuclear testing. 148 of these have also ratified the Treaty. To enter into force, however, the CTBT must be signed and ratified by 44 specific States. These States participated in the negotiations of the Treaty in 1996 and possessed nuclear power or research reactors at the time. Thirty-five of these States have ratified the Treaty, including the three nuclear weapon States France, Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. Of the nine remaining States, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Israel and the United States have signed [NB: not ratified] whereas the DPRK, India and Pakistan have not yet signed it....

It's Not Just North Korea that Wants a Bomb
By Seumas Milne
In April 2003, North Korea drew the obvious conclusion from the US and British aggression against Iraq... it commented at the time, "that to allow disarmament through inspections does not help avert war, but rather sparks it". Only "a tremendous military deterrent force", could prevent attacks on states the world's only superpower was determined to bring to heel.

Iran Secretly Helped U.S. Bomb Taliban Units, Find Al Qaeda
By Jeff Stein
Iran supplied U.S. diplomats with the location of Taliban military units in Afghanistan after the initial bombing campaign in the fall of 2001 failed to rout them, according to former officials in the George W. Bush administration.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the visiting Afghan and Pakistani presidents, Hamid Karzai and Asif Ali Zardari, that "we [Iran] strongly support trilateral cooperation"... Such a noticeable improvement in Iran's relations with two US-backed regimes from the region will probably have positive dividends for upcoming US-Iran talks...The German special envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bernd Mutzelberg, is also visiting Tehran this week and this could be significant in terms of both Iran-Germany as well as Iran-NATO relations. This is particularly true as German military assistance in Afghanistan is non-offensive and largely focused on logistics, which are an important issue given NATO's pursuit of an Iranian supplies corridor to Afghanistan....

Iran mosque blast bears 'US, Israel thumbprints'
29 May 2009
At least 25 people were killed and 125 others were injured on Thursday after bombers targeted a religious ceremony in the Shia Amir al-Momenin mosque. The mosque was partially destroyed by the blast. A senior Iranian official says Israel and the US have had a hand in the terrorist mosque bombing that shook the southeastern city of Zahedan to its core. “The bomb tragedy that occurred yesterday in the city of Zahedan is awash with Israeli and US fingerprints,” said Tehran's Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami. “Without a doubt, it was a scheme to drive a wedge between the Shia population and the Sunni minority in Iran,” he added. Ayatollah Khatami said that the perpetrators of the bomb attack have been identified and will be brought to justice. Jalal Sayah, deputy provincial governor of the Sistan-Baluchistan province that borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, said Friday that at least three people have been arrested with regards to the terrorist attacks. "According to the information obtained they planted the bomb at the behest of the United States and its allies"
US denies involvement in Zahedan blast
Fri, 29 May 2009
US State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly says the US was not involved in the bombing of a mosque ...The US strongly condemns all forms of terrorism.

Iran Said to Execute Three Over Mosque Bombing
The bombing in a crowded Shi'ite mosque on Thursday evening wounded more than 120 people in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province [digest: see PAK articles: Baluchestan central to u.s. agenda] home to Iran's mostly Sunni ethnic Baluchis , in the city of Zahedan ...two weeks before presidential elections... "Three people convicted of being involved in the recent terrorist bombing in Zahedan were hanged in public on Saturday morning," IRNA said, adding that the executions took place near the mosque where the bombing took place....
A Sunni opposition group named Jundollah (God's Sons) Iran says is part of the Islamist al Qaeda network backed by the United States, said it was behind the bombing, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Friday...."The bombing happened with the explosives these three convicted criminals brought to the country," ... Ebrahim Hamidi, a local judiciary official, said the men were convicted after going through the normal judiciary process, adding that they were also involved in past "terrorist activities." Hamidi said... It was not possible to verify the claim of Jundollah, which says it fights for the rights of Iran's minority Sunnis...Thursday's bombing was deadliest such incident in Iran since its 1980-88 war with Iraq...Iran has accused the United States of supporting Sunni rebels operating on its border with Pakistan. Tehran repeated the claim on Friday, saying the "terrorists were equipped by America." ... Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei condemned the bombing, saying "no one can doubt that the hands of ... interfering powers and their spying services are bloodied by the blood of the innocent." ...Washington denied the allegation.

for detailed Information Warfare background see
12/07 Obama voted for immunity to telecommunications companies for illegally providing customers information to U.S. government ...
fascist -friendly face state 'overhauling' its thin democratic shell
Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Cyberspace Wars
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to create a new military command for cyberspace, administration officials said Thursday, stepping up preparations by the armed forces to conduct both offensive and defensive computer warfare.The military command would complement a civilian effort to be announced by President Obama on Friday that would overhaul the way the United States safeguards its computer networks... Officials said that in addition to the unclassified strategy paper to be released by Mr. Obama on Friday, a classified set of presidential directives is expected to lay out the military’s new responsibilities and how it coordinates its mission with that of the N.S.A., where most of the expertise on digital warfare resides today...
The main dispute has been over whether the Pentagon or the National Security Agency should take the lead in preparing for and fighting cyberbattles. Under one proposal still being debated, parts of the N.S.A. would be integrated into the military command so they could operate jointly...
The strategy review Mr. Obama will discuss on Friday was completed weeks ago, but delayed because of continuing arguments over the authority of the White House office, and the budgets for the entire effort. It was kept separate from the military debate over whether the Pentagon or the N.S.A. is best equipped to engage in offensive operations. Part of that debate hinges on the question of how much control should be given to American spy agencies, since they are prohibited from acting on American soil. “It’s the domestic spying problem writ large,” one senior intelligence official said recently. “These attacks start in other countries, but they know no borders. So how do you fight them if you can’t act both inside and outside the United States?”...
It is still unclear whether the military’s new command or the N.S.A. — or both — will actually conduct this new kind of offensive cyberoperations... Although Pentagon civilian officials and military officers said the new command was expected to initially be a subordinate headquarters under the military’s Strategic Command, which controls nuclear operations as well as cyberdefenses, it could eventually become an independent command. “No decision has been made,” said Lt. Col. Eric Butterbaugh, a Pentagon spokesman. “...we are looking at how the department can best organize itself to fill our role in implementing the administration’s cyberpolicy.”... The White House has never said whether Mr. Obama embraces the idea that the United States should use cyberweapons, and the public announcement on Friday is expected to focus solely on defensive steps and the government’s acknowledgment that it needs to be better organized to face the threat from foes attacking military, government and commercial online systems....
Officials declined to describe potential offensive operations, but said they now viewed cyberspace as comparable to more traditional battlefields. “We are not comfortable discussing the question of offensive cyberoperations, but we consider cyberspace a war-fighting domain,“ said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. “We need to be able to operate within that domain just like on any battlefield, which includes protecting our freedom of movement and preserving our capability to perform in that environment.”
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has pushed for the Pentagon to become better organized to address the security threat... The decision to create a cybercommand is a major step beyond the actions taken by the Bush administration, which authorized several computer-based attacks but never resolved the question of how the government would prepare for a new era of warfare fought over digital networks.... The creation of the cyberczar’s office inside the White House appears to be part of a significant expansion of the role of the national security apparatus there. A separate group overseeing domestic security, created by President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks, now resides within the National Security Council. A senior White House official responsible for countering the proliferation of nuclear and unconventional weapons has been given broader authority. Now, cybersecurity will also rank as one of the key threats that Mr. Obama is seeking to coordinate from the White House....

Pentagon's Promised War on the Net Growing
"Direct Action within Social Media (blogging, counter-blogging, posting products to YouTube, etc.); Monitoring and Analysis of the Social Media landscape (relating to Air Force and Airmen); and policy and education (educating all Public Affairs practitioners and the bigger Air Force on Social Media)."... "counter-blogging" Capt. Faggard says is when "Airmen counter the people out there in the blogosphere who have negative opinions about the US government and the air force."
"We obviously have many more concerns regarding cyberspace than a typical Social Media user," Capt. Faggard says. "I am concerned with how insurgents or potential enemies can use Social Media to their advantage. It's our role to provide a clear and accurate, completely truthful and transparent picture for any audience."...
It's not just the Air Force...As a result of a focus on social media, SSgt Mulero says that his team has greatly increased positive exposure of the Marine Corps across the Northeastern U.S....

Pentagon’s Black [SIC] Budget Grows to More Than $50 Billion
By Noah Shachtman
It makes the Pentagon’s secret operations, including the intelligence budgets nested inside, “roughly equal in magnitude to the entire defense budgets of the UK, France or Japan,” Sweetman adds. All in all, about seven and a half percent of the Defense Department’s total spending is now classified. Many of the secret budgets still remain clandestine, however. In the research budget, the line item for a “Special Program”of the super-secret National Security Agency is a string of zeros. Same goes for an NSA “Cyber Security Initiative” kitty. And don’t even ask about NSA’s “Intelligence Support to Information Operations” account. That’s a blank slate, too.
Some other fun facts, buried in the Pentagon’s just-released budget docs:

* Money for “Directed Energy Technology” — real-life ray gun research — jumps from $62.7 million last year to $105.7 million in 2010.
* Cash for “Prompt Global Strike Capability Development” — weapons that can hit anywhere on the planet, in just a few hours — jumps from $74.1 million to $166.9 million.
* The high-flying Global Hawk drones get an an extra $486.8 million.
* The Office of the Secretary of Defense is pushing $75 million in new alt-fuel and alt-power projects — from “Landfill Gas Energy Capture” to a “Tactical, Deployable Micro-Grid.”
* The Maui Space Surveillance System gets a major downgrade, from $36.3 million to a mere $5.8 million. Aloha, space-watchers!
UPDATE:CQ’s Tim Starks reports that “the budget would also allocate an unspecified amount to the new ‘Imagery Satellite Way Ahead‘ program, a joint effort between the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Defense designed to revamp the nation’s constellation of spy satellites.”
The mostly classified plan would include new, redesigned “electro-optical” satellites, which collect data from across the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as the expanded use of commercial satellite imagery. Although the cost is secret, most estimates place it in the multibillion-dollar range.

China's Military Rise Means End of US Hegemony?
U.S. military spending continues to increase even though conventional threats against the United States are de minimis. China is the leading contender for Enemy Number 1.
But if Beijing poses a threat, it is to U.S. domination of East Asia, not the country itself. Only the latter is worth fighting for. Commonly expressed is fear of growing Chinese military outlays. The Pentagon highlighted its concern with the latest annual report on the Chinese defense budget. Yet Beijing's armed forces remain dwarfed by America's military, which starts at a vastly higher base and spends several times as much. The Pentagon report states that the United States ``encourages China to participate responsibly in the international system." True enough, but how does Washington define ``responsibly"? One suspects it means accepting American military hegemony in East Asia ― something with which Beijing isn't likely to agree.... In fact, Beijing's military buildup is focused on preventing the United States from attacking China. The Pentagon admits as much without explicitly saying that Beijing is focused on deterring Washington....

"We have the deepest, most liquid financial markets in the world."
Geithner to China: U.S. is OK
...Chinese officials did not comment publicly on Geithner's reassurances, but judging from the reaction of the college students, Geithner may still have some explaining to do. The students peppered the Treasury secretary with questions about the debt, the administration's massive amounts of support to the banks and U.S. auto companies and the recent rise in interest rates on Treasury securities. Some students wanted to know whether China's holdings of $768 billion of U.S. Treasury securities — which makes China America's biggest creditor — were safe, given projections by the Obama administration that the deficit for this year will soar to an astronomical $1.84 trillion, four times the previous single-year record. Some students wondered whether the recent rise in interest rates was a signal that investors are beginning to worry that U.S. budget deficits will weaken the dollar and reduce the value of the Chinese holdings. China's investments in the United States "are very safe," Geithner told the students. "We have the deepest, most liquid financial markets in the world."...

Gitmo detainee died of an "apparent suicide"
By The Associated Press
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Yemeni detainee ... held without charge at Guantánamo since February 2002... has died of an "apparent suicide," U.S. military officials announced Tuesday... The prisoner appears to have joined the long-running hunger strike at the prison in Cuba, according to medical records previously released by the military in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by The Associated Press. His weight was down to about 86 pounds in December 2005
The Joint Task Force that runs the U.S. prison in Cuba said guards found 31-year-old Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih unresponsive and not breathing in his cell Monday night. In a statement issued from Miami, the U.S. military said the detainee was pronounced dead by a doctor after "extensive lifesaving measures had been exhausted." The Yemeni prisoner has been held without charge at Guantánamo since February 2002. His is the fourth apparent suicide at Guantánamo... A prison spokesman, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, confirmed the incident but declined to discuss further details on how the Yemeni man committed suicide and whether any family members have been contacted.
DeWalt declined to say whether procedures have changed at the prison as a result of the apparent suicide.

creating an 'anti-american, anti-jewish muslim terrorist'
6/2/9 Suspect pleads not guilty in soldier's death
A prosecutor said Muhammad admitted shooting Long and another soldier "because of what they had done to Muslims in the past." Long and soldier Quinton Ezeagwula had recently completed basic training and had never seen combat. Police Chief Stuart Thomas said Muhammad was a convert to Islam and not part of a broader scheme to attack the American military.

6/3/9 Little Rock shooter may have had other targets
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -A Muslim convert accused of killing a soldier outside a recruiting center may have been considering other targets including Jewish and Christian sites — and had the firepower to carry out more attacks, according to law enforcement officials.
A joint FBI-Homeland Security intelligence assessment obtained by The Associated Press said officers found maps to Jewish organizations, a child care center, a Baptist church, a post office and military recruiting centers in the southeastern U.S. and New York and Philadelphia.
"Out of an abundance of caution, and in light of newly discovered information, the FBI cannot rule out additional subjects, targets, or the potential for inspired copycats who might act out in support of the original act," the intelligence assessment said.
Muhammad had been under investigation by an FBI-led terrorism task force since he returned to the United States from Yemen last year, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official said Muhammad had been jailed in Yemen at some point for using a Somali passport. The official, who was not authorized to discuss the investigation, spoke on condition of anonymity....

6/3/ Report of Motive in Recruiter Attack
A 23-year-old man charged with killing one soldier and seriously wounding another in a shooting outside an Army recruiting office in Little Rock, Ark., was once detained in Yemen for possessing a fake Somali passport and other counterfeit documents, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. The episode in Yemen prompted a preliminary inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other American law enforcement agencies into whether the man, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, [formerly Carlos Bledsoe] had ties to extremist groups, the officials said. But that investigation was inconclusive, they said, leaving the bureau with insufficient evidence to wiretap his phone or put him under surveillance....

Safety Lapses Raised Risks In Trailers for Katrina Victims
Formaldehyde Found in High Levels; 17,000 Say Homes Caused Illnesses

HUD will sell hurricane victims their trailers for $1
President Barack Obama's administration, which is trying to avoid mass evictions of hurricane victims still living in federally supplied trailers along the Gulf Coast, will offer $50 million in new housing vouchers and sell trailers for as little as $1, an administration official said. A senior administration official with knowledge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development plan spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan wasn't going to be made public until later Wednesday.

More than 3,300 households affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 remain in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers and mobile homes, almost all in Louisiana and Mississippi, with a handful in Alabama. May 1 was the deadline to vacate. Notices followed that warned residents who remained after last Saturday that the only stable homes many of them have known since the storms could be repossessed. To entice as many as possible to leave on their own and move into more permanent housing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development also plans to work with state officials to tap the states' shares of "re-housing" and homelessness prevention aid under the federal economic recovery plan, according to the administration official.

That aid could help those who cannot or do not want to buy their housing units to pay for security deposits or rent, the official said. FEMA spokesman Clark Stevens said in a statement that no one would face eviction while the new measures are implemented. No time frame was given. At the peak, about 143,000 Gulf Coast households were in trailers and mobile homes. Some communities have banned trailers. But in areas where they are permitted, people will be allowed to buy their trailers for $1 or mobile homes for $5, the official said. Those who have already bought their units or are in the process of doing so will be able to get their money above that price back, the official said.
Paul Rainwater, Louisiana's hurricane recovery chief, credited the administration with "really trying to look at this in a compassionate way" but he said the key, with any plans, will be results. Fred Tombar, a HUD senior adviser for disaster and recovery programs, said he believes the resources his agency is announcing Wednesday, along with case management efforts, "will help many of these families find stability."

Accounting error misplaces $2.3 billion in stimulus funds
Last month was the $250-checks-being-sent-to-thousands-of-dead-people [1] thing. Then, last week, we noted that the Labor Department had slipped a footnote onto [2] that corrected by $10 billion [3] the amount of stimulus money the department put in the unemployment trust fund. This week, ProPublica received a copy of a section of California’s corrected application [4] for State Fiscal Stabilization money that fixes an accounting error worth $2.3 billion.