6/9/9 Oratory and Aggression to Advance 'National Security' Agenda

U.S. Weighs Intercepting North Korean Shipment

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration signaled Sunday that it was seeking a way to interdict, possibly with China’s help, North Korean sea and air shipments suspected of carrying weapons or nuclear technology. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met Friday in Washington with Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan of South Korea.
The administration also said it was examining whether there was a legal basis to reverse former President George W. Bush’s decision last year to remove the North from a list of states that sponsor terrorism.
The reference to interdictions — preferably at ports or airfields in countries like China, but possibly involving riskier confrontations on the high seas — was made by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was the highest-ranking official to talk publicly about such a potentially provocative step as a response to North Korea’s second nuclear test, conducted two weeks ago. While Mrs. Clinton did not specifically mention assistance from China, other administration officials have been pressing Beijing to take such action under Chinese law....
Mr. Obama, aides say, has decided that he will not offer North Korea new incentives to dismantle the nuclear complex at Yongbyon that the North previously promised to abandon.
“I’m tired of buying the same horse twice,” Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said last week while touring an antimissile site in Alaska that the Bush administration built to demonstrate its preparedness to destroy North Korean missiles headed toward the United States. (So far, the North Koreans have not successfully tested a missile of sufficient range to reach the United States, though there is evidence that they may be preparing for another test of their long-range Taepodong-2 missile.) In France on Saturday, Mr. Obama referred to the same string of broken deals, telling reporters, “I don’t think there should be an assumption that we will simply continue down a path in which North Korea is constantly destabilizing the region and we just react in the same ways.” He added, “We are not intending to continue a policy of rewarding provocation.”... Now, after examining the still-inconclusive evidence about the results of North Korea’s second nuclear test, the administration has come to different conclusions: that Pyonyang’s top priority is to be recognized as a nuclear state, that it is unwilling to bargain away its weapons and that it sees tests as a way to help sell its nuclear technology. “This entirely changes the dynamic of how you deal with them,” a senior national security aide said. While Mr. Obama is willing to reopen the six-party talks that Mr. Bush began — the other participants are Japan, South Korea, Russia and China — he has no intention, aides say, of offering new incentives to get the North to fulfill agreements from 1994, 2005 and 2008; all were recently renounced....

In conducting any interdictions, the United States could risk open confrontation with North Korea. That prospect — and the likelihood of escalating conflict if the North resisted an inspection — is why China has balked at American proposals for a resolution by the United Nations Security Council that would explicitly allow interceptions at sea... North Korea has repeatedly said it would regard any interdiction as an act of war...

To counter the Chinese concern, Mr. Steinberg and his delegation argued to the Chinese that failing to crack down on North Korea would prompt reactions that Beijing would find deeply unsettling, including a greater American military presence in the region and more calls in Japan for that country to develop its own weapons. Mrs. Clinton seemed to reflect this concern in the interview on Sunday. “We will do everything we can to both interdict it and prevent it and shut off their flow of money,” she said. “If we do not take significant and effective action against the North Koreans now, we’ll spark an arms race in Northeast Asia. I don’t think anybody wants to see that.”

While Mrs. Clinton also said the State Department was examining whether North Korea should be placed back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, she acknowledged that there was a legal process for it. “Obviously we would want to see recent evidence of their support for international terrorism,” she said. That evidence may be hard to come by. While North Korea has engaged in missile sales, it has not been linked to terrorism activity for many years. And North Korea’s restoration to the list would be largely symbolic, because it already faces numerous economic sanctions.

spies -r - US
Silence on North Korea Detainments Causes Concern Among Current TV Staff
At Current TV’s headquarters in San Francisco, the detainments of two employees, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, have been shrouded in secrecy. The startup cable channel, co-founded by Al Gore, the former vice president, has steadfastly refused to comment about Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee since the two journalists were detained in North Korea on March 17. On Monday the two journalists were sentenced to 12 years of hard labor. The dearth of information from Current has left some employees of the cable channel feeling deeply uncomfortable, according to two employees who requested anonymity because they were instructed to refrain from commenting about the situation.... In an interview on CNN in mid-May, Mr. Gore said he had been “deeply involved” in the efforts to free the journalists “every single day.” “I have talked extensively and at length on many, many, many occasions with the State Department, with other people who are helping around the world in other governments, and through private intermediaries,” Mr. Gore said. But in public, the channel continues to say no comment....

"Another name mentioned as a possible special envoy is Al Gore, the former vice president. He is a co-founder of Current TV, the San Francisco-based media company for which Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee were working when detained, near the border with China. Mr. Gore has not spoken publicly about the case."

A Korean professor at Tufts U., Boston, in PBS news interview 6/8, before being 'corrected', initially failed to make requisite statement de-linking spy issue from NK nuclear issue, and commented that the american journalists were of little 'intelligence value' ...
N. Korea Sentences 2 U.S. Journalists to 12 Years of Hard Labor
...President Obama was “deeply concerned” by reports of the journalists’ sentencing, the White House said in a statement Monday. The United States is “engaged through all possible channels to secure their release,” the statement said.... The United States has been displaying increasing impatience with what President Obama has called “extraordinarily provocative” behavior by Pyongyang. But the North Korean leadership has not lessened its bellicose language as the United States and its regional allies confer on a tougher set of United Nations sanctions and the possible interdiction of North Korean ships suspected of carrying unconventional weapons. The United States is also considering relisting North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism....

Some analysts said dispatching a special envoy to free the journalists could provide Washington and Pyongyang an opportunity to reopen dialogue.... one person like to be considered for such a role, Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico who as a congressman helped negotiate the release of American citizens held in North Korea in the 1990s, said such a move would be premature. Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, the governor said that the Obama administration had solicited his advice but added: “Talk of an envoy is premature because what first has to happen is a framework for negotiations on a potential humanitarian release. What we would try to seek would be some kind of a political pardon.”

Another name mentioned as a possible special envoy is Al Gore, the former vice president. He is a co-founder of Current TV, the San Francisco-based media company for which Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee were working when detained, near the border with China. Mr. Gore has not spoken publicly about the case.

Lisa Ling, Laura Ling’s sister, told ABC television the two were working on a story about the trafficking of North Korean women into China, but other reports said they were reporting on North Korean refugees who had fled their country. The human rights group Amnesty International sharply criticized the legal procedures behind the women’s sentence and called for their immediate release. “No access to lawyers, no due process, no transparency: the North Korean judicial and penal systems are more instruments of suppression than of justice,” said Roseann Rife, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific deputy director. In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists described the sentence as “deplorable” and called on all participants in the six-party talks on North Korea — both Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States — to work together for the women’s release. [ BOTH ARE USAID/SOROS SOFT POWER / PROPAGANDA NGOS]

Experts Say Full Disclosure Not Always Best Tactic in Diplomacy
On the issue of North Korea, the United States is engaged in extremely quiet negotiations with China and Russia over how to respond to the North’s recent nuclear test and missile launches. China, in particular, bridles at public pressure from the United States to crack down on North Korea’s financial flows or to inspect ships suspected of carrying nuclear parts.
In this case, administration officials and outside experts said, the White House is likely to say little publicly about Beijing’s role, aside from repeating the mantra that it hopes officials in North Korea will return to multiparty talks with China, the United States, Russia, South Korea and Japan. Washington’s relations with China are founded on one of the most famous examples of “constructive ambiguity” in modern diplomacy: the Shanghai Communiqué. In the agreement, negotiated by Mr. Kissinger, the United States implicitly acknowledged the existence of a single China, but left the language vague enough to maintain its support of Taiwan even as it normalized relations with Beijing. “There are times with authoritarian regimes that you are trying to nudge in a positive direction when you do not want to say things too publicly,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a former under secretary of state for political affairs...

In Lebanese Vote, Hopeful Signs for U.S.
Gains by the American-aligned coalition could mark a significant shift in regional dynamics, with another major election, in Iran, just four days away....
"Lebanon is a telling case. It is no longer relevant for extremists to use the anti-American card." Osama Safa, director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies on the victory of American-backed coalition in parliamentary elections.

Hezbollah warns Lebanon not to touch its weapons
Agence France-Presse
Hezbollah on Monday warned the Western-backed coalition that won Lebanon's election that its weapons arsenal was not a subject open to discussion. warned Lebanon not to touch its weapons: “The majority must commit not to question our role as a resistance party, the legitimacy of our weapons arsenal and the fact that Israel is an enemy state,” a senior Hezbollah official Mohamed Raad told Agence France-Presse.... Hezbollah and Israel waged a devastating war in 2006 that left much of south Lebanon in ruins and killed more than 1,200 people, mainly Lebanese civilians, as well as 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers. The militant group has since refused to disarm despite a post-war UN resolution that calls for all militias to turn in their weapons. It argues that its arsenal is needed to defend the country against Israel.

Foreign Money Seeks to Buy Lebanese Votes
...Lebanon has long been seen as a battleground for regional influence, and now, with no more foreign armies on the ground, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region are arming their allies here with campaign money... Despite the vast amounts being spent, many Lebanese see the race — which pits Hezbollah and its allies against a fractious coalition of more West-friendly political groups — as almost irrelevant. Lebanon’s sectarian political structure virtually guarantees a continuation of the current “national unity” government, in which the winning coalition in the 128-seat Parliament grants the loser veto powers to preserve civil peace.
Still, even a narrow win by Hezbollah and its allies, now in the parliamentary opposition, would be seen as a victory for Iran — which has financed Hezbollah for decades — and a blow to American allies in the region, especially Saudi Arabia and Egypt. So the money flows. “We are putting a lot into this,” said one adviser to the Saudi government, who added that the Saudi contribution was likely to reach hundreds of millions of dollars in a country of only four million people. “We’re supporting candidates running against Hezbollah, and we’re going to make Iran feel the pressure.”...
From Brazil to Australia, thousands of expatriates are being offered free plane trips back home to vote. Saad Hariri, the billionaire leader of the current parliamentary majority and a Saudi ally, is reputed to be the biggest election spender. It may not have helped that he kicked off his campaign with a gaudy televised event that resembled the set of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” ... Candidates and political parties generally will not admit to receiving money from abroad.One recently broke with convention by acknowledging it openly. Ahmed al-Asaad, 46, said that Saudi Arabia’s government was a “significant source of support” for his campaign against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. He said his goal was to pull the Shiites of Lebanon away from Iran. “... if the Saudis have an interest in building a state here, why shouldn’t I take advantage of that?” said Mr. Asaad, an American-educated businessman, during an interview at his office just outside Beirut.
Hezbollah Accepts Lebanon Election Defeat
The United States renewed its support for Lebanon after the surprise [!!!] election victory by the "March 14" anti-Syrian coalition. President Barack Obama said Washington would "continue to support a sovereign and independent Lebanon, committed to peace."... The vote was a blow to Syria and Iran, which support Hezbollah, and welcome news for the United States, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which back the "March 14" bloc.... Hezbollah, classified by the United States as a terrorist organisation, sees veto rights as vital to fend off any challenge to its status as an armed group resisting Israel. It fought a 34-day war with the Jewish state in 2006. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Centre was also observing the election, said the results were "fairly accurate as a judgement [sic] of the will of the people." "There will always be some violations," he added at a news conference... The EU observer mission said vote-buying had marred the election. "Financial resources played an excessively large role in the campaign and new regulations on spending have yet to have any notable effort on this phenomenon," it added.... http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/06/08/world/international-uk-lebanon...

White House Memo
Following a Different Map to a Similar Destination
by Peter Baker
WASHINGTON — More than four years after his predecessor declared it America’s mission to end tyranny around the world, President Obama is trying to reformulate a lofty goal that has become tarnished in many circles. Mr. Obama used his address in Cairo last week to revive but recast the democracy agenda that was central to President George W. Bush’s foreign policy. Yet even as he embraced the aspiration rhetorically, Mr. Obama left it uncertain how aggressively he planned to push repressive regimes that did not agree. The president’s focus on democracy — one of seven tenets of the speech — was his most expansive discussion of the issue since taking office. The decision to address it directly culminated a four-month struggle within the administration between those who want nothing to do with what they consider Mr. Bush’s discredited ideological crusade and those who argue America should still promote freedom, just in a humbler manner.

“I think that sends a signal to people in his administration who have been moving in a steady neorealist direction that he doesn’t want to abandon this,” said Jennifer Windsor, executive director of Freedom House, an advocacy organization. “I know the battles were quite intense inside to even get it in there.” ... “I don’t think this yet settles the question of how they are going to distance themselves from Bush, but still reclaim the tradition of American democracy promotion,” said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.

Mr. Obama got applause the moment he used the word “democracy” and three more times during this section of his speech. When he finished this passage, someone in the crowd shouted, “Barack Obama, we love you!” Yet Mr. Obama kept his words general and did nothing to challenge his Egyptian host, President Hosni Mubarak, whose government has jailed opponents, censored the news media and broken up protests. Indeed, the Obama administration, while increasing financing for democracy programs elsewhere, recently cut it for Egypt, and in an interview before leaving Washington, the president said he did not consider Mr. Mubarak an authoritarian. “No, I tend not to use labels for folks,” he told the BBC. Instead he called Mr. Mubarak “a force for stability and good” in the Middle East. While Mr. Obama acknowledged “there have been criticisms of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt,” he said his job “is not to lecture but to encourage, to lift up what we consider to be the values” of all peoples.

For advocates like Larry Diamond, the gentle treatment of Mr. Mubarak undermined a strong speech. “I would have wished that he would have at some point in his visit to Egypt been a bit more explicit in raising concerns about what is a very hard authoritarian regime,” said Mr. Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and director of Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law.
Robert Kagan, a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said, “I thought he did the bare minimum.” Mr. Kagan said: “Obviously he and his advisers knew that if he didn’t mention democracy at all, that would be a news item. But he said very little that would cause Mubarak, or any other autocrat around the world, much if any heartburn.”
Elliott Abrams, Mr. Bush’s deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy, was more supportive, noting that Mr. Obama backed the expansion of freedom and made the case that free governments were more secure and successful. But he questioned whether Mr. Obama would back up the words with actions. “The problem is that the democracy and human rights offices in his government have fallen into disrepair, especially in the N.S.C.,” said Mr. Abrams, referring to the National Security Council. “To carry out his stated policy, he needs to be sure he has the people in place and that they have the power to influence policy. So far this is simply not the case.” ...
The uncertainty about how Mr. Obama will proceed was highlighted by the response of Human Rights Watch to his speech. At first, it issued a statement condemning the speech under the headline, “Obama Dodged Rights Issue.” Then less than an hour later it retracted the statement. Finally, it issued a new one titled, “Obama Mid-East Speech Supports Rights, Democracy.”

Hold Your Applause
By Chris Hedges
Did they play Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world in the prison corridors of Abu Ghraib, Bagram air base, Guantanamo or the dozens of secret sites where we hold thousands of Muslims around the world?

How Much Really Separates Obama and Netanyahu?
By Jennifer Loewenstein
Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama have one thing very much in common: both of them have nearly the same vision for the future of "Palestine". They may not recognize it yet, but sooner or later, whether Netanyahu remains in power or is replaced by someone who speaks Dove-Liberalese better, they will shake hands and agree that the only thing that really separated them in the early months of President Obama’s administration was semantics: the language e ach man used to describe what he saw for the future of Palestine, or "the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" –a phrase that suggests there are two sides each with a grievance that equals or cancels out the other’s and that makes a just resolution so difficult to formulate. How deeply have we been indoctrinated...

If Obama clarified anything in his lengthy, often patronizing, often obsequious speech in Egypt – a country whose leader epitomizes the tyrannical and repressive regimes so often the primary recipients of massive US foreign aid for doing as they are told – it was the fact that no threat to the status quo of the Bush-Clinton-Bush decades is waiting in the wings.

One would never know this by the responses of often much more acute observers of Middle East regional and global affairs. Their responses of praise and excitement over the bold new President and his willingness to challenge the pro-Israel camp in the US owe much to the success of mass marketing and public image-creation that went into the brilliant Obama campaign; one that has brought to us the bona-fide New American Century promised earlier but left undelivered until now: at last we have someone who will liberate us from the scourges of unwanted wars and conflicts; who will restore the lost glory of the "City on the Hill", that beacon of humanitarian grace and nobility known as the United States of America whose exceptional history sets us apart from the barbarism and depravity of other civilizations...

Before moving on to discuss other important topics such as Iran, which has the legal right under the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty to complete the cycle of uranium enrichment that would include developing the capacity to produce nuclear weapons (but not necessarily to do so) and to discuss the importance of democracy in the Middle East (from Cairo, remember), Obama urges the Palestinians "to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past." Perhaps someone ought to point out to him the irony that his next stop after Cairo is not Gaza City or Beirut... but Buchenwald, a death camp from the Nazi era, located in the now former East Germany...rushing off for photo ops at one of the mighty symbols of a depraved Holocaust industry? --one whose finely tuned ideology seeks justification for every act of inhumanity based on the grievance of past inhumanity?

Barack Obama sent Benjamin Netanyahu the message he seeks...continue your colonial-settler project...just change the vocabulary you use to describe it. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=54934

Political, anti-imperialist/zionist Muslims [branded "terrorists" by USRAELI state terrorism] response
while the digest political orientation is revolutionary and atheist, it supports resistance to USRAEL, without endorsing any religious political programs or ideology
Barack Bonaparte: ‘Soft Power’ and Personal Charm
By Hizb ut-Tahrir
June 05, 2009 "Hizb ut-Tahrir" -- When the European conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt as part of his quest for world domination, he told the people: “You will be told that I came to destroy your religion; do not believe it … I have more respect than the Mamelukes for your God, His Prophet, and the Koran” and many more sweet words besides.

Barack Obama’s speech in Egypt has been hailed by some as a new direction in policy towards the Muslim world. Although this appears a seemingly positive gesture towards the Muslim world, the actions of his government appear every bit as ruthless as the Bush administration. He differs only to the extent that, unlike Bush who spoke with frank hatred, he uses ‘soft power’ and personal charm to cover his intentions. Instead of the rhetoric, let us look at the facts:

On Pakistan: In his first few months in office, Obama’s administration has succeeded in creating 3 million refugees by pushing the corrupt Zardari regime to launch a war in Swat. Even before he took office he declared Pakistan the most dangerous place on earth, and said he would even bomb Islamabad if he had to. His whole policy in the region is driven by trying to secure America’s foothold in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and fighting a popular insurgency – except he has decided to sacrifice Pakistan’s soldiers instead of American ones. We have even seen evidence of dirty tricks of the sort used by the CIA in Iraq or Central America, to instil hatred and division between Muslims and Obama has continued US drone attacks in Pakistan.

On Palestine: Obama boasts he wants to see the ‘road-map’ implemented towards securing a Palestinian state. People seem positive because he seeks to challenge the Israeli politicians who oppose this. However, what people forget in this propaganda about the ‘road-map’ is that this so-called Palestinian state will be little more than a glorified prison camp, where the guards are Palestinian instead of Israeli – because if they did not keep Israel’s security to a standard it is happy with, it will simply invade again.

On supporting Israel: Obama appointed, Rahm Emanuel, the son of an Israeli Irgun terrorist, as his Chief of Staff. Emanuel has said that Obama did not need his influence to “orientate his policy toward Israel”. This is true because before he was elected, Obama said “We must preserve our total commitment to our unique defence relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defence programs”. Moreover, he went further than any US President saying, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.” His response to Israel’s massacre in Gaza was “America is committed to Israel’s security. And we will always support Israel’s right to defend itself against legitimate threats.”

On Guantanamo Bay and torture: Obama has promised to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and most people had expected the military tribunals to end. However, many of the Guantanamo prisoners will remain imprisoned elsewhere, and he has decided to continue with the very controversial military tribunals. Although he has made a lot of rhetoric of the CIA being banned from using torture, he has decided not to prosecute anyone who carried out torture in the past, and he has not ruled out using evidence gained through torture in other parts of the world.

On imprisonment without trial: In May 2009 Obama went on record supporting indefinite detention without trial in the USA. He used very Bush-like language saying there are some “very dangerous people” where there is not enough evidence to convict, so they needed to be locked up.

On Supporting tyrants and criminal rulers in the Muslim world: Obama is as supportive of the tyrants and criminal rulers in the Muslim world as any of his predecessors. In his recent BBC interview he described Mubarak, the Pharaoh of Egypt, who tortures and represses his opponents saying “he’s been a stalwart ally to the US… he’s been a force for stability and good in the region”. He also praised Mubarak’s “sustained peace with Israel” which included blockading the people of Gaza from getting help and humanitarian relief.

Muslims should not be deceived by Obama’s words. The United States of America is a Capitalist state. Its institutions are geared towards maintaining America’s power around the world, even if they have to exploit others in the process; they are geared to crush any competitor to America in the world, even if it means people have to live under occupation and tyranny. So regardless of whether it is Bush, Obama or anyone else, fundamental US interests and policies will never change.

The real reason why Obama is making these gestures is to improve America’s image as it is both economically and morally bankrupt. Its economic system has been exposed as a fragile house of cards, ready to collapse at any time. Despite their promises of creating wealth to relieve poverty, they have made poverty a reality for billions. Its superior moral tone about its political system – democracy and human rights – has been exposed as nothing more than lies, as it killed, imprisoned and tortured people without limit.

What Obama is trying to do is a desperate attempt to thwart the rise of an alternative and rival in the Muslim world. The CIA predicted that by 2020 the world would see the emergence of a new Khilafah State in the Muslim world. This would be a state that would not create the terror unleashed by the United States, but a state that would end occupation and bring stability and security in the Muslim world. It is a state that would have an economic system to help end poverty and bring tranquility to the world. It is a state that would uphold the Shariah of Allah (swt), the dignity of His Messenger (saw), and the well being of its citizens.[...]
Hizb ut-Tahrir - Britain http://www.hizb.org.uk/hizb/who-is-ht.html http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22779.htm

Obama: Mubarak is ‘force for stability and good in the region’
At the outset of his trip to the Middle East where he is due to make a speech that seeks to repair America’s battered image amongst Muslims, US President Obama gave an interview to the BBC.
Asked about the oppressive regime of Hosni Mubarak which tortures and imprisons political opposition, Obama spoke about promoting human rights and democracy, which he described as universal values and also talked about the US being an example, saying he closed Guantanamo for this reason. He described Egypt's dictator Hosni MubaraK saying ”he’s been a stalwart ally to the US, he’s sustained peace with Israel, he’s been a force for stability and good in the region.”...US support for these criminal regimes is part of what drives Muslim anger.His argument of being an example on human right looks even weaker when he has introduced his own detention without trial - Mubarak style - in the USA. His treatments of US troops who have committed abuses and torture - blocking the release of photos, as well as US support for these regimes speak volumes of his commitment to change.
He is fast developing a reputation for being all image and little substance. Similar policies to George W Bush, but with an abundance of charisma.

Taliban: Obama speech to Muslims "deceptive"
The Taliban said on Saturday that U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world was full of "deceptive slogans" and did nothing to change relations between America and Muslims...."His occupation and transgressing forces continue to kill, torture and arrest Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq, trample upon their deserved rights with their feet, mercilessly kill them for defending their rights and throw them in the most horrible prisons in the world,"...

Obama is Igniting Civil War in Pakistan
By Mahmud Tarshubi
Dunia Al-Watan, Palestine
Translated By Siko Bouterse
Since he came into office at the beginning of this year, American President Barack Obama’s administration has succeeded in lighting the fuse of the first outright civil war in Pakistan...The American administration boldly incited the Pakistani government against the Taliban movement in Pakistan, ordering it to repeal the agreement in the Swat Valley and insistently demanding that it drag the Pakistani army into a fierce war against the movement, wreaking havoc in the northwestern areas of Pakistan... the American administration did not conceal its glee. Recently, American Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed being “very satisfied” with the Pakistani military response to the Taliban advance. As for the Pakistani authorities, they are certain to continue to plunge into the war, in accordance with the Americans’ wishes. America has increased its promises to give military and economic assistance to the Pakistani army and government. In Washington, Democratic Senator John Kerry and his Republican colleague, Richard Lugar, submitted a non-military aid proposal for Pakistan totaling 5.7 billion dollars over a five year period.The American budget for 2009 includes an additional 400 million dollars to finance Pakistan’s military operations against the Taliban and 600 million more in civil aid. This amount was put forth as part of a lump sum of 7.96 billion dollars approved by the House Appropriations Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives to finance America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As for the 2010 budget, the White House requested 130 billion dollars to finance the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
These funds that America is pumping in to ignite wars in the Islamic world, and in Pakistan and Afghanistan in particular, will not help America achieve its colonialist goals or help its agents defeat the Islamists. The situation in Pakistan is complicated and sensitive, and it is likely to turn against America and its agents rather than eliminating the Taliban movement. American support for client governance will help to gradually increase the strength of the Islamists in Pakistan. Perhaps, at the end of the war, their chances of establishing the first real Islamic state in Pakistan will increase, at the expense of America and the West, eliminating America’s influence in the region once and for all. http://watchingamerica.com/News/28432/obama-is-igniting-civil-war-in-pak...

Obama and the People of Eloquence
By Dr. Hamoud Abu Talib
Translated By Dawoud Al-Massri
3 June 2009
Today, President Barack Obama’s first visit to the Arab region begins to discuss the future of the region in detail, tempting us with possibilities. These enticements help calm the region down for a while but tensions will soon escalate again, reaching the peak of crisis that will lead to an explosion.

In all cases and circumstances, we should regard America as the remedy to a certain ailment that is expected but never arrives, or comes in calculated doses that do not cure, but only act as a pain-killer or a repeated provisional anesthesia, which have led to what might be called an "addiction" to waiting for the American solution.

Experience has shown that the continuation of the state of tension, conflict, and no-solution are the basis of the American strategy in the region, because this situation alone guarantees the survival of U.S. interests in this area. It also helps the U.S. keep its grip on the threads of control in the eyes of those watching the scene, and helps to achieve other long-term goals related to American policy in more than one location. In a holistic and realistic view, these experiences have proved that there is no difference between the Republican and Democratic Party, or between one president and another... We remember well the offers of good faith that President Obama has repeatedly extended toward Arabs and Muslims, but we must remember in the end that good policy is not directed by emotions and feelings of goodwill, but by strategic interests. The interests of America should not be hidden to anyone after all this time, as the days after Obama’s speech will show. Edited by Christie Chu http://watchingamerica.com/News/28310/obama-and-the-people-of-eloquence/

Muslim Brotherhood rebuffs Obama's overtures to Muslim world
06 June 2009
Cairo - The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition group, on Saturday said US President Barack Obama's speech to the world's 1.5 billion Muslims showed the "cunning of the masters of the Zionist/American project against the sons of the Muslim nation." In a statement sent to reporters Saturday, the group said it "completely agreed with the general principles of human rights, justice and the need for dialogue based on respect and mutual trust that Obama laid out." But the US president's "deft use of language to win Muslims' hearts does nothing to give Muslims their rights, whether in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, where blood is shed day and night by the design of successive US administrations," the statement said.

The Muslim Brotherhood slammed Obama's expressions of support for "the Zionists in Palestine," and his "attempts to force the Palestinian people to surrender."
The US president's "focus on the myth of the Holocaust ... does not begin to justify the occupation of Palestine, the ethnic cleansing, genocide, and massacre ... of the Palestinian people, or the stifling and lethal blockade of the Gaza Strip, which Obama completely ignored," the group said.

The Brotherhood statement dismissed Obama's "attempts to tickle... Muslims" by quoting verses of the Koran and praising Islamic values and contributions to society as "a mere change in tactics" that "would not deceive Muslims."
It further criticised Obama's "brief mention of democracy" while "turning a blind eye to dictatorships and corrupt regimes that oppress their people."

The Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt, and its members are routinely arrested, but Brotherhood-affiliated lawmakers hold 20 per cent of the seats in the Egyptian parliament as independents.
Members of the Brotherhood's parliamentary bloc attended the speech at the invitation of al-Azhar University and Cairo University, but the White House on Wednesday tacitly confirmed that the US government played a role in making sure they were invited. "The process by which invitations are made is that we from the States had folks that we were interested in making sure were invited; the embassy obviously in Cairo played a leading role in identifying people to invite," US Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough told reporters in response to a question about the Brotherhood, on the eve of Obama's speech.

Hizbullah to Obama: Those Whose History Was Based on Eliminating People Cannot Guide Others
Saturday, 06 June 2009
Hizbullah commented on U.S. President Barack Obama's Cairo speech saying it represents a clear copy of strictly contradictory U.S. policy. A Hizbullah statement on Saturday said those who history was mainly based on eliminating other people couldn't guide others. The Shiite party added, "any change felt by the region's Muslim and Arab people in the speech is not related to a change in U.S, strategy, but rather to repeated [U.S.] failures in conquering Arab and Muslim states as well as the failure of policies."
The party said that this is mainly due to the [continued] "resistance by forces of resistance, liberation and independence. "Hizbullah described president Obama's speech as a form of "smart talk that aims to polish Washington's deformed image. This does not rise up to the standard of a new strategy, or [political] objective by the new American administration."

Barack Obama In Cairo, Egypt A New Face For Imperialism
Sunday, 07 June 2009
The speech delivered by US President Barack Obama in Cairo yesterday was riddled with contradictions. He declared his opposition to the “killing of innocent men, women, and children,” but defended the ongoing US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the US proxy war in Pakistan, while remaining silent on the most recent Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza. These wars have killed at least one million Iraqis and tens of thousands in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories.
Obama declared his support for democracy, human rights and women’s rights, after two days of meetings with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, two of the most notorious tyrants in the Middle East. He said nothing in his speech about the complete absence of democratic rights in Saudi Arabia, or about the ongoing repression under Mubarak’s military dictatorship. In the days before the US president’s arrival at Al-Azhar University, the campus was raided by Egyptian secret police who detained more than 200 foreign students. Before leaving on his Mideast trip, Obama praised Mubarak as a “steadfast ally.”...

While posturing as the advocate of universal peace and understanding, Obama diplomatically omitted any reference to his order to escalate the war in Afghanistan with the dispatch of an additional 17,000 US troops. And he tacitly embraced the policy of his predecessor in Iraq, declaring, “I believe the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein.” He even seemed to hedge on the withdrawal deadline of December 2011 negotiated by the Bush administration, which he described as a pledge “to remove all our troops from Iraq by 2012.”
Obama rejected the charge that America is “a self-interested empire”—a perfectly apt characterization—and denied that the United States was seeking bases, territory or access to natural resources in the Muslim world. He claimed that the war in Afghanistan was a “war of necessity” provoked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This is the same argument made by the Bush-Cheney administration at the time, which deliberately conceals the real material interests at stake. The war in Afghanistan is part of the drive by US imperialism to dominate the world’s two most important sources of oil and gas, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Basin.
There was of course a distinct shift in the rhetorical tone from the bullying “you’re either with or against us” of George W. Bush to the reassuring “we’re all in this together” of Obama. But as several commentators noted (the New Republic compared the speech line-for-line to that given by Bush to the United Nations on September 16, 2006), if you turned off the picture and the sound and simply read the prepared text, the words are very similar to speeches delivered by Bush, Condoleezza Rice and other officials of the previous administration...

In his speech in Cairo, Obama was playing the role for which he was drafted and promoted by a decisive section of the US financial elite and the military and foreign policy apparatus. This role is to provide a new face for US imperialism as part of a shift in the tactics, but not the strategy, of Washington’s drive for world domination.
Nearly two years ago, former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski gave his public backing to the presidential candidacy of a still-obscure senator from Illinois, holding out the prospect that as an African-American with family ties to the Muslim world, Obama would improve the worldwide image of the United States.
Brzezinski was the leading hawk in the administration of Democrat Jimmy Carter and helped instigate the political upheavals in Afghanistan in the hopes of inciting a Soviet invasion that would trap the Moscow bureaucracy in a Vietnam-style quagmire. He has remained steadily focused on what he calls the “great chessboard” of Eurasia, and particularly on oil-rich Central Asia, where a struggle for influence now rages between the United States, Russia, China and Iran. According to Brzezinski in August 2007, Obama “recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America’s role in the world... Obama is clearly more effective and has the upper hand. He has a sense of what is historically relevant and what is needed from the United States in relationship to the world.” Brzezinski, ruthless defender of the interests of US imperialism, has issuing warnings to the American ruling elite of the danger of what he calls the “global political awakening.”... he told the German magazine Der Spiegel, only months before he endorsed Obama, that the vast majority of humanity “will no longer tolerate the enormous disparities in the human condition. That could well be the collective danger we will have to face in the next decades.”
To call it by its right name, what the more perceptive elements in the US ruling class fear is revolution. The effort to prevent such social upheaval is what impelled them to install Obama in the White House and what set him on his pilgrimage to Cairo.

Obama implements the "common ground" strategy to maximize u.s. agenda 'freedom' : liberal and 'far right' imperialist-zionist opinions:
By David Horowitz
June 5, 2009 | Yes, he rewrote history, particularly the history of Muslim and Arab rapacity and bigotry, and he pandered a lot. But the pandering was in large part diplomacy and far less than conservatives were predicting... He most pointedly did not apologize for American actions after 9/11, or seek to find excuses for the terrorist attacks in our policies and behavior before 9/11. On the contrary, he deliberately opened the wound of 9/11 to justify America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.... Iraq! This is the war he had opposed as unnecessary and wrong, until now. In Cairo he did not apologize for "Bush's war" or America's "occupation." He said that the Iraqis were better off without Saddam Hussein, which obviously could not have happened without the war -- a truism, which for seven years Democrats failed to concede. Where Kennedy and Gore and Obama himself condemned America's war as "unnecessary," "illegal," "based on lies," an aggression against a "fragile and unstable" country that could not defend itself, Obama, speaking in a Muslim capital, defended our presence in Iraq as driven by a desire to give Iraqis their freedom and their country. Bush could not have said it better.

As for the Middle East conflict, Obama began -- began -- by telling the Muslim world that the bond between Israel and the United States is unbreakable, and by opening the wound of the Jews that made a homeland for them a moral imperative: "America's strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied."
And then he characterized Holocaust deniers like Ahmadinejad as despicable, and identified them as a cause of war in the Middle East, and announced that he was going to Buchenwald the next day (clearly to underscore that fact): "Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed -- more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction -- or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews -- is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve."...

And while Obama made false parallels between Jews and Arabs as contributors to the intractability of the Middle East conflict and rewrote some history, he also said in no uncertain terms that it was Palestinians who had to renounce violence (and herehe drew no parallels and no moral equivalence) and had to recognize the Jewish state -- something even the "moderate" terrorist Abbas refuses to do.... he drew a parallel between the struggles of American blacks for civil rights and Palestinians. But unlike Condoleezza Rice, who not too long ago drew the same parallel to aggrandize the PLO terrorists as civil rights activists, Obama drew a sharp and revealing line of distinction between them: "Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding."...And that was really the core of Obama's speech. It was a defense of America's founding and America's mission. We are a tolerant nation and a peaceful nation, Obama told 1.5 billion Muslims, and we will accept and embrace you if you reject the violent and hateful among you and walk a peaceful and tolerant path. ...
That is not pandering. It is saying that America's democratic, tolerant, inclusive way needs to be the path to the future for the Muslim world. Conservatives will make a great mistake if they fail to see this speech for what it was, and treat it as another round in the partisan food fight. It was not an appeasement of our enemies. It was a forthright statement by an American leader in a Muslim capital explaining why America is in fact the global leader in those battles that matter most to people everywhere: freedom, equality, and peace....

Salon title: Fellow conservatives, admit it: Obama gave a great speech
In front of the whole Muslim world, he defended Israel and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. What's not to like?

Horowitz politics and activities
Ongoing Programs
Frontpage Magazine
Frontpagemagazine.com, the Freedom Center’s online magazine, features some of America’s most provocative writers and analysts. Their commentary captures the turbulence of the daily news and provides a perspective on the crucial events affecting the nation and the world.
» Visit the site
Terrorism Awareness Program
The Terrorism Awareness Project will work in cooperation with Students for Academic Freedom, which has chapters on over 150 college campuses, to help conservative student activists to demand equal time—in the classroom as well as at campus-wide events—whenever the left presents propaganda about the war and those who regard America as “the Great Satan.”... a speakers’ bureau featuring figures such as Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer
Discover the Networks
DiscoverTheNetworks.com is an online encyclopedia of the political left and its intricate interconnections. DTN is a model for understanding how the left operates in our society, and how the networks it has created have penetrated our philanthropic, educational, and religious institutions.
» Visit the site
Students for Academic Freedom
Students for Academic Freedom is a national coalition of student organizations with chapters on over 150 campuses whose goal is to end the political abuse of the university and to restore its academic integrity. The motto of SAF is “education, not indoctrination.”
» Visit the site
Parents & Teachers for Academic Freedom
The left has begun the transformation of many K-12 classrooms into indoctrination projects for its agendas.... campaigns launched by the left at high schools geared to converting students into activists against the war and discouraging them from volunteering to serve. Radical pedagogy exemplified by the “Teaching for Social Justice” regimen has entered teacher training texts and teacher training graduate courses. In response to this juggernaut, the Freedom Center has launched a Students and Parents for Academic Freedom in K-12 schools, modeled on our campaign on college campuses and with the same agenda: take politics out of the classroom. The Center has drafted an academic bill of rights for K-12 schools and created a new website—www.psaf.org.
Wednesday Morning Club
The Freedom Center’s Wednesday Morning Club has established a conservative presence in Hollywood. It provides a stimulating environment where authors, intellectuals, and political figures meet members of the entertainment industry. The WMC has featured figures such as Newt Gingrich, Christopher Hitchens, Victor Davis Hanson, and Bill Kristol.
» Visit the site
Jihadwatch, edited by Robert Spencer, traces the efforts of Islamic radicals to subvert Western institutions and civic life and ultimately to subordinate the West within a Muslim dominated world. It provides a unique vantage point for understanding the worldview of radical Islam.
» Visit the site
The Individual Rights Foundation
The Individual Rights Foundation is a national network of lawyers who have spearheaded the fight against political correctness and speech codes on college campuses and successfully defended the Boy Scouts against the ACLU.
» Visit the site
Restoration Weekend
The Weekend is an annual get together for Freedom Center supporters featuring some of the top policymakers and opinion leaders in America. Past keynote speakers have included Mayor Rudy Guiliani, John McCain, , Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly.
» Visit the site

Obama emerged in Cairo as a true friend of Israel
By Gideon Levy
Last update 02:16 05/06/2009
Neither Tel Aviv nor Ramallah held their breaths Thursday as the American president gave a speech in Cairo; the traffic in both crowded cities continued normally. Tel Aviv was indifferent, Ramallah sunk in desperation: Both cities have already had their fill of nice, historic speeches. Nonetheless, no one can ignore the speech given by Barack Obama: The mountain birthed a mountain. Obama remained Obama. Only the Israeli analysts tried to diminish the speech's importance ("not terrible"), to spread fear ("he mentioned the Holocaust and the Nakba in a single breath"), or were insulted on our behalf ("he did not mention our right to the land as promised in the Bible"). All these were redundant and unnecessary. Obama emerged Thursday as a true friend of Israel.

The Chicago View
By David Brooks
Chicagoans like to see themselves as pragmatists, not ideologues.... they contain both sides of The Great Tension. President Obama’s Cairo speech characteristically blended idealism with cunning. At one level, the speech was an inspiring effort to create a new dialogue in the Middle East....Obama, as is his custom, positioned himself above the fray and tried to create a new narrative that all sides could relate to...each side has been equally victimized by history, each side has legitimate grievances and each side has duties to perform. To construct this new Middle East narrative, Obama strung together some hard truths, historical distortions, eloquent appeals and strained moral equivalencies... But this is diplomacy, not scholarship....
President Obama’s Cairo speech characteristically blended idealism with cunning. At one level, the speech was an inspiring effort to create a new dialogue in the Middle East... That was the idealistic part of the speech, and it was effective. But there was another layer, designed for the people in the ministries. In this layer, Obama implied American policies that are cautious and Machiavellian. On nearly every substantive issue, Obama scaled back American goals and expectations...
This speech builds an idealistic facade on a realist structure. And this gets to the core Obama foreign-policy perplexity. The president wants to be an inspiring leader who rallies the masses. He also wants be a top-down realist who cuts deals in the palaces. There is a tension between these two impulses that even a sharp Chicago pol is having trouble managing.

Great expectations
JPost editorial
Jun 4, 2009 21:34 | Updated Jun 6, 2009 1:03
It was with mixed feelings that we watched President Barack Obama deliver his extraordinary speech to the Muslim and Arab worlds in Cairo yesterday. Critics will see the speech as incredibly naive. Yet it was also the most meaningful and coherent attempt by an American leader since 9/11 to dissociate the world's 1.5 billion Muslims from demagogic elites preaching worldwide jihad and hatred of non-believers. It is not insignificant that Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden took the president's power to persuade seriously enough to try to preempt him by issuing fresh rants. It must have galled them to see hard-line imams and Muslim Brothers listening attentively in the audience. A Gallup Poll, taken before the speech, showed 25 percent of Egyptians approving of the US under Obama, compared to 6% under George W. Bush. In a city where Holocaust denial is part of the popular culture, it was good to hear Obama telling Muslims: "Six million Jews were killed," and saying otherwise is "ignorant, and hateful." To no applause, he proclaimed: America's ties with Israel are "unbreakable." ... elsewhere, Obama's moral equivalency was disconcerting....
BUT THIS speech was not largely about the Arab-Israel conflict. It was an effort to pursue public diplomacy and suasion - trying to decouple the susceptible Muslim masses from the demagogic extremists who now hold such sway. That is why the president was wise to travel first to Saudi Arabia, "where Islam began," and, just before his speech, to be seen deferentially touring a mosque in Cairo - the city from where the theology of worldwide jihad first spread its vicious tentacles.
The speech was brilliantly proleptic: first acknowledging Muslim grievances, then stating the American case. To the Israeli ear, the president sounded fawning, prefacing each mention of the Koran with "holy." But it was just the right tack given the task at hand. Similarly, as the president highlighted the epochs during which Islam was a force for enlightenment, we could not help but recall that even in that "Golden Age," Jews were still treated as a dhimmi people. And yet, the president's harking back to periods of relative tolerance bolstered his call on today's Muslims to behave temperately....

Obama's picks, so extreme the public exposure of their histories threatens 'national security', get in one way or the other with different job titles
6/ 5/ 2009 Obama nominee withdrawing over interrogations
During the Bush administration, Mudd served as deputy director of the Office of Terrorism Analysis at the CIA. According to the Associated Press, in that position, he had direct knowledge of the administration's interrogation program. Given the sensitivity of that issue, and the opposition to that program and the people who participated in it, it seems that the AP's disclosure of Mudd's peripheral role was enough to kill his chances. http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/06/05/mudd/index.html?source...

AP 6/3/9 : Obama nominee tied to CIA interrogation
The Obama administration's pick for a top post... under secretary of intelligence and analysis at Homeland Security.... Mudd's confirmation hearing is expected next week... his ties to the CIA's harsh interrogation program... could become an issue.. a congressional aide confirmed that Mudd, who was deputy director of the Office of Terrorism Analysis at the CIA during the Bush administration, had direct knowledge of the agency's harsh interrogation program. The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Neither Mudd nor the White House responded to requests for comment....The interrogation program has come under harsh criticism by Democratic lawmakers and President Barack Obama. Mudd's analysts used information obtained through harsh interrogations...
In November, Obama's selection of John Brennan as CIA director was derailed after a firestorm from liberal bloggers associated him with the Bush administration's interrogation, detention and rendition programs. Faced with the prospects of contentious confirmation hearings, Brennan withdrew from consideration. He currently serves as the president's White House-based homeland security adviser, a position that does not require Senate confirmation.

Hillary Clinton demands China investigate and disclose its past abuses
It didn't seem possible to top - for pure irony - Bush's 2006 condemnation of Russia for illegal warrantless spying

reality asserts itself despite the size and scope of big lies rhetoric
Obama Abandons Transparency
Glenn Greenwald: Earlier this week, I noted that the Senate passed -- with Obama's support -- a pernicious amendment to the spending supplemental bill, jointly sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, that empowers Obama and the Pentagon, at their sole discretion, to suppress any "photograph taken between September 11, 2001 and January 22, 2009 relating to the treatment of individuals engaged, captured, or detained after September 11, 2001, by the Armed Forces of the United States in operations outside of the United States." That is bad enough. This is so much worse: The amendment has no purpose other than to expressly allow the President to conceal evidence of war crimes (torture) and to block the Supreme Court from ruling (as two federal courts have already held) that the Freedom of Information Act compels disclosure of those photographs. Blocking Judicial Branch review of Executive Branch actions is simply the tactic of scoundrels... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=54908

U.S. state propaganda media propaganda attempt to make itself look like legit news ...
Baghdad Now: All the news that's fit to slant
By Ernesto Londono
The Washington Post
U.S. soldiers distribute Baghdad Now. Although it is not labeled as a U.S. military publication, the military acknowledges it is produced by an Army psychological-operations unit and distributed for free by soldiers. The pages of Baghdad Now, an Arabic-language newspaper, portray a country on the upswing. Iraqi soldiers and policemen are capable civil servants who take weapons off the streets and doggedly pursue criminals. Iraqis of all sectarian backgrounds work in unison. The Iraqi government delivers. The paper's editorials hail democracy. Fashion pages chronicle fads in Beirut and Kuwait. There's little news of the more than 130,000 U.S. troops who remain in the country [or the 1.5 million Iraqis liberated to death] ... It is part of America's huge psychological-warfare campaign to influence Iraqis' behavior and attitudes.

In 2004, reeling from the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal and wrestling a burgeoning insurgency, the U.S. military hired public-relations firms — including some apparently established to compete for the contracts — to improve its image. One of them, Arlington, Va.-based Lincoln Group, came under fire in 2005 for paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories conceived and written by U.S. military officials. The communications firms have come up with campaigns that military officials have said are designed to appear as Iraqi-generated initiatives. Pentagon officials say the campaigns allow them to push back against insurgent groups that have made the media a key battleground....Propaganda produced by a group called the Future Iraq Assembly has become omnipresent....
U.S. military officials and contractors have spent hundreds of millions of dollars.. to burnish the U.S. military's image, marginalize extremists, promote democracy and foster reconciliation.
Some campaigns are meant to encourage Iraqis to turn their backs on insurgent groups and cooperate with the U.S. military and Iraq's security forces. Others have loftier themes: democratic values, sectarian reconciliation and national pride.... many Iraqis have grown dismissive of the flood of propaganda they know or assume comes from the U.S. government....
"All Iraqis know that these organizations are supported" by the U.S. government "with the aim of normalizing the occupation," said Abdul Kareem Ahmad, a lawyer....

reader comment: "... this article is from the Washington Post, a leading part of the mainstream media in the US. It features grab quotes from such as Ziyad al-Aajeely, director of Iraq's nonprofit "Journalistic Freedom Observatory".... partners with Reporters Without Borders - a George Soros financed gang..."

The ever changing story: Anatomy of a typical US military propaganda campaign.
Christopher Dowd
One month later, after the bombings of a village in western Afghanistan that killed up wards of 150 civilians, we now get this half assed admission of culpability on the part of the US military. The US military is now saying that "errors" were made in the air strikes last May 4th that resulted in over a hundred civilian deaths. Oh, they are still claiming that most killed were "Taliban" (what the Pentagon and their pocket poodle American media call anyone who take up arms against the holy selfless Paladins of the US military in Afghanistan. And they are still hinting that this "Taliban" is responsible but this new story, a month later, is in stark contrast to first initial responses of the US military on this bombing- which were, in my opinion, outright lies made up out of whole cloth.... Read the full article / Leggi l'articolo completo: http://www.uruknet.de/?p=54902

The NYT's nice, new euphemism for torture
Glenn Greenwald
New York Times William Glaberson describes a proposal being circulated by the Obama administration to enable Guantanamo detainees to be put to death upon a mere guilty plea, i.e., without the need for a full-blown trial. The article describes the purpose of the proposal this way ... the word "torture" never once appears in this NYT article. Instead, according to the NYT, detainees in CIA black sites were merely subjected to "intense interrogations." ... The steadfast, ongoing refusal of our leading media institutions to refer to what the Bush administration did as "torture" -- even in the face of more than 100 detainee deaths; the use of that term by a leading Bush official to describe what was done at Guantanamo; and the fact that media outlets frequently use the word "torture" to describe the exact same methods when used by other countries -- reveals much...
As the excellent blog NPR Check routinely documents, NPR is one of the worst offenders of using obfuscating language to white-wash what the Bush administration did, as illustrated by one routine NPR report last week regarding Obama's efforts to suppress photographic evidence of torture (h/t archtype):
'The contortionists at NPR are mighty busy these days being super, extra careful not to use the word torture to describe - well - torture. Keeping the English language in such painful stress positions leads to some rather interesting remarks....'
As governments have long recognized, language is very potent, and euphemisms can thus mask and even justify the most heinous and barbaric acts. But in our country, our leading media institutions use these methods at least as vigorously as political officials do in order to obscure, rather than illuminate, what our government does. [...]

Iraq's New Death Squad
The Iraq Special Operations Forces (ISOF) is probably the largest special forces outfit ever built by the United States, and it is free of many of the controls that most governments employ to rein in such lethal forces. The project started in the deserts of Jordan just after the Americans took Baghdad in April 2003. There, the US Army's Special Forces, or Green Berets, trained mostly 18-year-old Iraqis with no prior military experience. The resulting brigade was a Green Beret's dream come true: a deadly, elite, covert unit, fully fitted with American equipment, that would operate for years under US command and be unaccountable to Iraqi ministries and the normal political process.
According to Congressional records, the ISOF has grown into nine battalions, which extend to four regional "commando bases" across Iraq. By December, each will be complete with its own "intelligence infusion cell," which will operate independently of Iraq's other intelligence networks. The ISOF is at least 4,564 operatives strong, making it approximately the size of the US Army's own Special Forces in Iraq. Congressional records indicate that there are plans to double the ISOF over the next "several years."

According to retired Lt. Col. Roger Carstens, US Special Forces are "building the most powerful force in the region." In 2008 Carstens, then a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security [digest: CNAS, is a major Obama admin. thinktank: for its politics & players see http://www.cnas.org/node/49] was an adviser to the Iraqi National Counter-Terror Force, where he helped set up the Iraqi counterterrorism laws that govern the ISOF. "All these guys want to do is go out and kill bad guys all day," he says, laughing. "These guys are shit hot. They are just as good as we are. We trained 'em. They are just like us. They use the same weapons. They walk like Americans."

When the US Special Forces began the slow transfer of the ISOF to Iraqi control in April 2007, they didn't put it under the command of the Defense Ministry or the Interior Ministry, bodies that normally control similar special forces the world over. Instead, the Americans pressured the Iraqi government to create a new minister-level office called the Counter-Terrorism Bureau. Established by a directive from Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, the CTB answers directly to him and commands the ISOF independently of the police and army. According to Maliki's directive, the Iraqi Parliament has no influence over the ISOF and knows little about its mission. US Special Forces operatives like Carstens have largely overseen the bureau. Carstens says this independent chain of command "might be the perfect structure" for counterterrorism worldwide....

President Obama has said he plans to increase reliance on the US Special Forces; Defense Secretary Robert Gates's recent appointment of Stanley McChrystal as commander of Afghanistan suggests that he is keeping his word. From 2003 to 2008, McChrystal was the head of the Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the Army's most secretive forces and is responsible for the training of special forces abroad. McChrystal was also commander of US Special Operations Forces in Iraq for five years, during which time, according to the Wall Street Journal, he commanded "units that specialize in guerrilla warfare, including the training of indigenous armies. "The eventual drawdown in Iraq is not the end of the mission for our elite forces," Gates said in May 2008... Obama says he will institutionalize irregular warfare capabilities, and the White House stresses the need to "create a more robust capacity to train, equip and advise foreign security forces, so that local allies are better prepared to confront mutual threats."
Bowden says those "local allies" are often used for covert operations. "The United States Special Operations Command cultivates relationships with special forces in other countries because it gives the United States the opportunity of intervening militarily in a covert way," he says. "The ideal covert op is one that is actually carried out by local forces."...

US contractors arrested in Iraq
Five US contractors have been arrested by Iraqi police in connection with the murder of a colleague If the men appear in court, it would be the first time American citizens face Iraqi justice since a bilateral security pact came into force in January. A US embassy spokesman said no formal charges had been filed against the men who were detained on Sunday, and they "appear well"...

U.S. reliance on private sector employees has grown to "unprecedented proportions," yet the government has no central database of who all these contractors are, what they do or how much they're paid, the bipartisan Wartime Contracting Commission report found....more than 240,000 private sector employees are supporting military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands more work for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.

How the Other 0.00000003 Percent Lives
by Adam Turl
Back in February...Newsweek magazine ran an article titled “Why there won’t be a revolution” to reassure the rich...“Americans might get angry sometimes,” they wrote, “but we don’t hate the rich. We prefer to laugh at them.” Newsweek couldn’t be more wrong.... before the economic crisis began, inequality had already risen to levels not seen in the U.S. since the eve of the 1930s Great Depression. In the 2000s, family income declined for the first time in decades, while those at the very top became richer and richer.
Ultimately, this wealth came from squeezing it out of the vast majority of people in the U.S. and around the world. The rich became richer by making workers work harder for less.
Now...hourly wages are declining, unemployment is skyrocketing The 10 percent of Americans who rely on food stamps, the 25 percent of Ohioans waiting in lines at food banks, the 500,000 people who lost their jobs last month, the millions more who can’t find work–these people aren’t laughing.... plenty of Americans–rightly–hate the rich.... while our homes go into foreclosure, while our credit card rates go up, while our jobs disappear and college tuition shoots up, the well-heeled “masters of the universe”...are making out like bandits, now with hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money, courtesy of the Obama administration...
A lot more people would be even angrier if the mainstream media reported the truth... What should make us most angry is that it doesn’t have to be this way. The immense wealth of society doesn’t have to be wasted on these parasites. It could be democratically controlled by the working-class people who produced it in the first place, and used to meet human needs.... http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/06/how-the-other-000000003-percent-lives/

"pro-choice/common ground" prez picks...
Founder of pro-life Catholic organization gets HHS group directorship
June 7, 2009 | President Barack Obama's appointment of Alexia Kelley, founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, as director of the Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives took the pro-choice movement by surprise....Kelley's group of self-described progressive Catholics takes a position held by only a small minority, that the Catholic church is right to prohibit birth control
Kelley and other moderately progressive [SIC] Catholic and evangelical groups owe their pull in the Democratic Party to the disappointment of 2004. They seized on the Democratic defeat in the 2004 elections as a means to push the party to the right on sex and reproduction. Democrats, stung by their near miss in Ohio, desperate to attract swing voters, eager to prove that they were "sensitive" to religion, took the bait.
With support from George Soros and Michael Kieschnick, the founder of Working Assets and Credo Mobile, groups like Sojourners, Faith in Public Life and Catholics in Alliance entered the electoral arena....
Catholics for Choice and Catholics in Alliance/Catholics United is representative of the struggle between religious progressives who support gay marriage and reproductive freedom and those like Kelley who think war and abortion are the same evil. Jon O'Brien, CFC president, was the first pro-choice leader to criticize Kelley's appointment, and he went after her with a vengeance. In a press release, he called Kelley's "abortion reduction rhetoric ... simply a newly packaged antiabortion message," claimed the group used "flawed economic data to support anti-poverty measures as a means to reduce the number of abortions," and asserted the current policy fascination with "common ground" has devolved "into an abandonment of ideals."
CFC backed up its assertions about the anti-family-planning and antiabortion agenda of Kelley and Catholics in Alliance with a report titled "The Trouble With Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good." The report asserted that the Catholic Alliance's "position on abortion is firmly planted on the far right ... In its own words: 'Catholics in Alliance is pro-life. We support full legal protection for unborn children as a requirement of justice and as a matter of essential human rights.'"... http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/06/07/hhs/index.html?source=ne...

amerika's capitalist created nightmare
More than 600,000 seniors are delinquent in their mortgage payments, about to lose homes or already in foreclosure, USA Today reports...
a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 36 percent of workers ages 55 and over have less than $25,000 in savings and investments aside from the values of their homes.... Senior mortgage woes are creating challenges for retirement communities and assisted-living centers [NOT FOR THE ALREADY OR ABOUT-TO-BE-HOMELESS], which are finding that new members can't move in because they are saddled with homes they can't sell because people usually sell their homes to finance the entry fees.... mortgage specialist Dean Wegner told the newspaper "They're upside down (owing more on their mortgage than their homes are worth), they can't refinance and they're on a fixed income." ...

"common ground" strategy to cut costs, e.g. increase profits at the expense of the vast majority: 'eloquent' propaganda and electoral politics saves profit - predators day
Obama to Forge a Greater Role on Health Care
“We must attack the root causes of skyrocketing health costs”
President Obama is preparing a push for legislation that will include speeches, town-hall-style meetings and much deeper engagement with lawmakers, officials say... Broadly speaking, he wants to extend coverage to the 45 million uninsured while lowering costs, improving quality and preserving consumer choice. His budget includes what he called a “historic down payment” of $634 billion over 10 years, accomplished mostly by slowing Medicare growth and limiting tax breaks for those with high incomes...
Mr. Obama began taking steps to make his case early in his administration. He convened a “fiscal summit” where health care was a major topic, followed by a “health summit.” Not long ago, he invited industry leaders to the White House, where they pledged to cut $2 trillion in health care costs over the next decade.[which they denied, accusing him of misrepresentation]...
“The president is very much aware that to bring about enduring change — health care reform that lasts, gets implemented, wins the support of the American people and does not get repealed in a couple of years — you need bipartisan support,” said Mr. Wyden, who was among two dozen Senate Democrats who met with Mr. Obama about health care last week. “So he’s grappling with, how do you do that?”
The radio address was the start of a public relations campaign coinciding with a 50-state grass-roots effort that Organizing for America, the president’s political group, began Saturday to promote a health care overhaul. His hope is to provide what his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, called “air cover” for lawmakers to adopt his priorities. It is a gamble by the White House that Mr. Obama can translate his approval ratings into legislative action. “Obviously,” Mr. Emanuel said, “the president’s adoption of something makes it easier to vote for, because he’s — let’s be honest — popular, and the public trusts him.” ...http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/us/politics/07policy.html?_r=1&hp

obama's transparent 'common ground' con job
Big Pharma and Big Insurance go on the attack
They don't want a public option that would compete with private insurers and to negotiate better rates with drug companies. They argue that would be unfair. Unfair to give more people better healthcare at lower cost... http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/06/08/reich/index.html?source=...

Medical bills underlie 60 % of U.S. bankruptcies: More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.

preview of 'healthcare overhaul'
UW nursing students face 43% tuition increase
About three dozen students in the doctoral family-nurse-practitioner program at the University of Washington are facing a 43 percent tuition increase, after budget cuts led the UW to switch how it bills the program. Because of that change, some students also are losing an employee subsidy — resulting in a tenfold cost increase for them... The three-year nurse-practitioner program allows graduates to prescribe medicine, order tests and, in many cases, become primary-care providers — in short, to perform many of the tasks traditionally associated with doctors. The program is the top-ranked of its type in the country, and praised for the way it fills a need in family medicine and rural health care. Beginning in the summer, tuition will be paid through UW Educational Outreach rather than the UW School of Nursing... the billing change amounts to a quasi-privatization of the program. The result is that students must pay a larger share of the program's cost and no longer can claim a UW employee subsidy...."If anything, the entire school has been the victim of a state funding bait-and-switch," Marla Salmon, dean of the nursing school, said... http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2009307255_nursing06m.ht...

as cities across amerika cut education funding, teachers are being laid off, salaries are being slashed, classes and schools being eliminated, the push for switch to public charter schools grows:
Next Test: Value of $125,000-a-Year Teachers
The school’s founder, Zeke M. Vanderhoek, 32, a Yale graduate...founded a test prep company... The school, called the Equity Project, is premised on the theory that excellent teachers... are the critical ingredient for success. Experts hope it could offer a window into some of the most pressing and elusive questions in education: Is a collection of superb teachers enough to make a great school? Are six-figure salaries the way to get them? And just what makes a teacher great? ... an eight-teacher dream team, lured to an innovative charter school... will open in Washington Heights in September with salaries that would make most teachers drop their chalk and swoon; $125,000 is nearly twice as much as the average New York City public school teacher earns, and about two and a half times as much as the national average for teacher salaries. They also will be eligible for bonuses, based on schoolwide performance, of up to $25,000 in the second year. The school, called the Equity Project, is premised on the theory that excellent teachers — and not revolutionary technology, talented principals or small class size — are the critical ingredient for success. Experts hope it could offer a window into some of the most pressing and elusive questions in education: Is a collection of superb teachers enough to make a great school? Are six-figure salaries the way to get them? And just what makes a teacher great? ... The school received 600 applications. Mr. Vanderhoek interviewed 100 in person ...The eight winning candidates, he said, have some common traits, like a high “engagement factor,” as measured by the portion of a given time frame during which students seem so focused that they almost forget they are in class. They were expert at redirecting potential troublemakers, a crucial skill for middle school teachers. And they possessed a contagious enthusiasm The school will use only public money for everything but its building... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/05/education/05charter.html?em

real 'murican wife beater/imprisoner no 'suspected terrorist' in white burbslnd
Substance recovered from Everett home likely deadly toxin, FBI says
The situation began with a domestic-violence... Everett police found a bleeding 43-year-old woman in her front yard. The FBI Thursday was investigating "a strong suspicion" that an Everett man had the deadly poison ricin in his home office, and a specially trained hazardous-materials team — including experts flown in from Washington, D.C. — locked down the home.... Although the amount of the suspected ricin was enough to raise red flags, an FBI spokeswoman said agents have no fear that the substance poses any risk to the public or to neighbors, and no one has been exposed or evacuated... Ricin is an extremely powerful biological toxin extracted from castor beans. An amount even smaller than a grain of sand can kill an adult....the FBI has no idea what the man planned to do with the suspected ricin. "We have no reason to believe he had ties to terrorism or had any big plans," she said.... The husband has been informed that when he is released from the hospital he will either be taken to the Snohomish County Jail on domestic-violence assault and unlawful-imprisonment charges, or handed over to the FBI for federal charges related to the substance in his office... http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009302885_ricin05m0.htm...

Black suspects presumed guilty, set up for countless crimes on the basis of racist 'beliefs'
"Police Believe some of the suspects were involved in several other violent 'take-down' style robberies..."
Wal-Mart slaying suspects committed other robberies, police told
Police believe some of the suspects charged in Tuesday's fatal robbery at a suburban Tacoma Wal-Mart may be responsible for as many as eight.... Meanwhile, authorities in Pierce, King and Thurston counties are investigating the possibility that some of the suspects were involved in several other violent, "takedown"-style robberies, said Troyer, the sheriff's spokesman."These were bad crimes...Just bad. Way over the top, more than they needed to be bad." "Like running into a Kentucky Fried Chicken with guns, jumping over the counter, tying [employees] up and threatening to kill them."."Obviously, someone who is willing to walk in and shoot someone in the head for a bag of money, then go have dinner at the Red Lobster, probably ain't above taking down some kids who work at a Kentucky Fried Chicken," said Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer. "Multiple agencies are now looking at these suspects, including us."... Although suspects in those crimes generally wore masks or otherwise concealed their faces, Troyer said some victims have since told police they recognize the Wal-Mart robbers as the same people who robbed them.... http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009307061_walmartrobber...

most oppressed further cut off
Millions Face Blank Screens in TV Switch
Michael J. Copps, the acting head of the Federal Communications Commission, said that the people most likely to lose reception are society’s most vulnerable — lower-income families, the elderly, the handicapped and homes where little or no English is spoken. The transition will hit inner-city and rural areas hardest, he said. And officials say that millions more who thought they were prepared are likely to experience technical problems like poor reception or improperly connected antennas. Their problems arise because the way the digital signal travels is different from analog and can be more affected by topography, weather or even heavy auto traffic. A list of 49 particularly vulnerable markets includes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston and Dallas-Fort Worth. Officials said Puerto Rico is also among the most susceptible to problems, as it has the highest rate of households that receive their television signals over the air.... the latest survey by the Nielsen Company indicates that as of the end of May, more than 10 percent of the 114 million households that have television sets are either completely or partly unprepared....
Concerned about a possible political reaction, President Obama issued a statement on Thursday urging consumers to take steps so they do not lose television reception. “We have worked hand in hand with state and local officials, broadcasters and community groups to educate and assist millions of Americans with the transition,...I want to be clear: there will not be another delay,” ...
The transition has already been a huge windfall to television and equipment makers and retailers, as millions of consumers have had to buy digital television sets or converter boxes and special antennas for their old sets. Shawn G. DuBravac, chief economist at the Consumer Electronics Association, said that sales of digital television sets were up 32 percent this year over the comparable period in 2008, even in the midst of a deep recession....
The conversion is the final step in a long-running plan for more efficient use of the broadcast spectrum. The plan took spectrum licenses from broadcasters, replacing them with other frequencies. It will reallocate some of the broadcasters’ former spectrum to public safety providers. Other frequencies were sold for billions of dollars, primarily to the large wireless telephone companies, whose demand for spectrum has risen with the proliferation of hand-held devices that can surf the Internet and send and receive e-mail.