4/28 Collateral Murder Meets Defeats; "U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths" part 2


"It is vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them...And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure."

U.S. Flag Recalled After Causing 143 Million Deaths
satire by The Onion
April 13, 2010 -- WASHINGTON—Citing fatal malfunctions dating back to 1777, flag manufacturer Annin & Company announced Monday that it would be recalling all makes and models of its popular American flag from both foreign and domestic markets... Annin & Company president Ronald Burman confirmed that the number of flag-related deaths had noticeably spiked since 2003..."The last thing we would want is for more innocent men and women around the world to die because of our product."..."I strongly urge all U.S. citizens: If you have an American flag hanging in your home or place of business, please discontinue using it immediately." Millions of U.S. flag–related injuries and fatalities have been reported over a 230-year period in locations as far flung as Europe, Cuba, Korea, Gettysburg, PA, the Philippines, Iraq and Vietnam... Manufacturers are designing a revised model that they hope will cut down on deaths in the United States and overseas, where experts say the flag is nearly 1,000 times as deadly. 4-28-10 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25343.htm

Hezbollah vows to continue amassing 'arms of resistance'
"There is a big difference between arms which serve invasions, occupations and aggressions, such as those of the United States and its ally Israel ... and the arms of resistance which defends, protects, and liberates"

US-Sponsored Terror Network: Death Squads in Afghanistan
By Francis Shor, Counterpunch, April 27, 2010
US Special Forces in Afghanistan are responsible for an increasing number of murders.. Special Forces have become US military death squads... the offensive against supposed Taliban forces in Kandahar has already commenced, with the "opening salvos of the offensive…being carried out in the shadows by Special Operations forces" ...as if Dick Cheney, who asserted the US would have to operate in the shadows in prosecuting its global war on terror, is still the guiding political force behind such military operations, notwithstanding the fact that the Obama Administration has dispensed with references to the war on terror.... US citizens are bombarded with both heavy-handed and subtle messages that reinforce the false belief these soldiers are "our" troops and not the imperial instruments... as long as the citizenry does nothing to translate its outrage into real-world action, the daily outrages perpetrated in our name in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other sites of US military intervention will continue... we must mount an organized campaign at every level to raise the political cost to prosecute the war... a way to act individually and collectively to stop being the enablers of US death squads.

U.S. retreat from Afghan valley marks recognition of blunder
Washington Post April 15, 2010; A01
KORENGAL VALLEY, AFGHANISTAN -- Wednesday the U.S. presence here came to an abrupt end... The American hope is that pulling out of the Korengal rectifies a mistake and that troops can be better used stabilizing larger, less violent areas."You can't force the local populace to accept you in their valley...You can't make them want to work with us." ...

Dread surrounds Operation Hope
By Jean MacKenzie www.globalpost.com/dispatch/afghanistan/100418/countdown-operation-hope
KABUL, Afghanistan — It is being called Operation Omid. The word omid means "hope" in Afghanistan’s Dari language. But judging by the reaction of local residents the coming U.S.-led military offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar could not be more inappropriately named. Those who haven't fled the US-led Kandahar offensive look to sell up and get out... Kandahar is key for U.S. and NATO operations

Fighters switch back to Taliban after 'broken promises'
By Julius Cavendish in Kabul, 23 April 2010
A quarter of Taliban fighters...Eight out of 33 low-level commanders and former foot-soldiers... who laid down their weapons in exchange for amnesty and promises of cash have rejoined the insurgency fighting US and UK troops in Helmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces...a damning prognosis of the problems facing Nato's reintegration strategy, a new report by the respected Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network. It cautioned the actual figures may be far higher: these are just the commanders that officials know about....reintegration is a key pillar of efforts to turn the tide of the war... Robert Gates, US Defence Secretary, describing it as "getting the foot soldiers to decide that they don't want to be part of the Taliban".

Dutch Afghanistan mission prepares for retreat
24 April 2010 09:54

U.S. AFRICOM Backs Bloodshed in Central Africa
by Keith Harmon Snow
Eastern Congo remains awash in blood due to western mining companies and their proxy armies, the military regimes of Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), and Joseph Kabila (DRC), all hidden behind reams of western newsprint blaming Congolese victims for their own suffering. Across the continent a new rebellion in western Congo has reportedly engaged Belgian paratroopers and UN "peacekeepers" in alliance with the DRC government. With massive casualties and more than 200,000 civilians forced to flee western Congo the UN and western media have covered up the new rebellion. Meanwhile, AFRICOM under the Obama administration has major base constructions and secret deployments across Central Africa, with NATO, Dyncorp and Special Operations Command shipping Ugandan grunts to U.S. wars in Somalia, Afghanistan, Darfur and Iraq....http://www.uruknet.de/?p=64975

Kazakhstan: U.S.- NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China
Rick Rozoff
April 11, the day before the two-day Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, DC, U.S. President Barack Obama met with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev and their deliberations resulted in the U.S. obtaining the right to fly troops and military equipment over (and later directly into) the territory of Kazakhstan for the escalating war in Afghanistan.Sunday’s deal is the latest in a steady and expanding series of moves by the Pentagon and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to establish a permanent military outpost in Kazakhstan, the most critically important spot on the earth for the West to monitor its two main potential challengers and to hold joint Russian-Chinese initiatives like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [6] in check (if not to tear the heart out of them). Kazakhstan is a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) along with Russia and five other former Soviet states. In terms of land mass it is the second largest member of the CSTO and the third most populous behind Russia and Uzbekistan.
The geopolitical significance of the country in general has not escaped the U.S. since the day the Soviet Union was fragmented into its fifteen federal republics in 1991 and has been an even greater cynosure of Washington’s attention since Barack Obama was elected president on November 4, 2008. And with good reason. Kazakhstan borders Kyrgyzstan, the most vital transit country for the war in Afghanistan, where according to U.S. Central Command 50,000 U.S. troops passed through on their way to and from Afghanistan last month alone. [7] It also borders Uzbekistan, which evicted U.S. military forces in 2005, and fellow Caspian Sea nation Turkmenistan, a country in transition since the death of President Saparmurat Niyazov in 2006 and until now the only state from the Balkans to Central Asia not pulled into the Pentagon’s and NATO’s greater Afghan war network.... If developments proceed in the direction they are headed, the Afghan war will secure a [U.S.] bulwark in the heart of Eurasia and permanent military presence in a country bordering almost 5,000 miles of Russian and Chinese territory, far broader in scope than comparable plans for Mongolia...
Mongolia:Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China and Russia http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/mongolia-pentagon-trojan-hors...

Pentagon Gains One-Year Extension On Use Of Kyrgyz Air Base
Radio Netherlands April 16, 2010
Posted by: "Rick Rooff" rwrozoff@yahoo.com rwrozoff
Following the ousting of its president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev...Kyrgyzstan has extended the contract permitting the US to use the Manas air base for another year. The present contract expires this June.

Ukraine-Russia pact may hinder U.S. goals
The decision to host a Russian naval base for 25 more years in exchange for cheaper gas, ratified despite a brawl in the Ukrainian parliament, could complicate NATO plans to use the Black Sea as a base for future operations in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Deposed Kyrgyz president leaves allowing U.S. outreach to new leaders
Bakiyev's departure coincided with a visit by Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake, who had been sent to Bishkek to clear the air with Otunbayeva and the other former opposition leaders who are part of the new government. They had complained for years that Washington tolerated human rights abuses by Bakiyev, including the killings of more than a dozen journalists and politicians, because Kyrgyzstan hosts a U.S. air base that supplies NATO operations in Afghanistan.

Plane Crash May Strain Poland’s Ties With Russia
The crash came days after Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin became the first Russian leader to join Polish officials in commemorating the 1940 massacre at Katyn Woods, a wound that has festered between the two countries for decades and to Poles was a symbol of Russian domination...a stunning blow to Poland, wiping out a large portion of the country’s leadership in one fiery explosion. And in a chilling twist, it happened at the moment that Russia and Poland were beginning to come to terms with the killing of more than 20,000 members of Poland’s elite officer corps in the same place 70 years ago.... Russian emergency officials said 97 people were killed. They included Poland’s deputy foreign minister and a dozen members of Parliament, the chiefs of the army and the navy, and the president of the national bank. They included Anna Walentynowicz, 80, the former dock worker whose firing in 1980 set off the Solidarity strike that ultimately overthrew Polish Communism, as well as relatives of victims of the massacre that they were on their way to commemorate... While the crash is not likely to substantially change Poland’s relationships with other countries, including its plans to host part of an American missile defense system, it could agitate Poland’s relationship with Russia.

Iran "hardliner" issues Strait of Hormuz warning to U.S.
The head of a hardline Iranian political party warned the United States Tuesday against attacking Iran, saying it could hit back by choking "the West's throat" at a waterway crucial for global oil supplies.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/27/AR2010042701973.html

"Part of the goal -- not the only goal, but part of the goal -- that we were pursuing was to try to influence the Iranian decision regarding whether or not to pursue a nuclear weapon. And, as I said in my speech, you know, the evidence is accumulating that that [pursuing a nuclear weapon] is exactly what they are trying to do, which is deeply concerning, because it doesn't directly threaten the United States, but it directly threatens a lot of our friends, allies, and partners here in this region and beyond."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at U.S.-Islamic World Forum, Doha, Qatar, Feb. 14 2010

"Iran's continued defiance of its international obligations on its nuclear program and its support of terrorism represents (sic) a significant regional and global threat. A nuclear-armed Iran could transform the landscape of the Middle East...fatally wounding the global non-proliferation regime, and emboldening terrorists and extremists who threaten the United States and our allies."
National Security Adviser James Jones

Obama meets with Israeli defense minister, assured Israeli official Monday that the U.S. has an unshakable commitment to Israel's security

Israel Has Promised Not to Attack Iran in 2010
April 26, 2010

"Collateral Murder" VIDEO

Gates Defends Soldiers in Iraq Shooting Video
Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday defended the soldiers shown firing on a group of people near Baghdad in a classified military video released last week, saying the troops were caught in a "split-second" situation and the video doesn't show the "broader picture."... He said the military has investigated the incident "very thoroughly." The military has admitted to misidentifying the Reuters cameramen as insurgents... Gates acknowledged that the video showing men on the streets running from gunfire while U.S. troops appear to make playful remarks, is a "hard thing to see," but said he doesn't anticipate the footage will hurt the U.S. image abroad. "It's unfortunate. It's clearly not helpful, but by the same token I think it should not have any lasting consequences," Gates told ABC's "This Week." Julian Assange, a WikiLeaks editor, acknowledged it's likely some people in the video were "carrying weapons." But Assange said that doesn't let the soldiers off the hook and insisted that nothing was taken out of context in the footage. "Nearly every Iraqi household has a rifle or an AK. Those guys could have just been protecting their area," he said.

Al-Iraqiya, "Iraqi National Television"
Al-Iraqiya, the "Iraqi National Television" [1 http://www.allied-media.com/ARABTV/al_iraqiya.html], is a Pentagon-funded TV station—described in November 2003 as "One of the chief U.S. weapons in the battle to win Iraqi hearts and minds"—which provides an "optimistic, pro-American slant." Critics then saw the station "as a pawn of the U.S.-led occupation authorities." [2] "After Baghdad fell, the Pentagon sent equipment and media experts from Science Applications International Corp., a U.S. defense contractor whose staff is packed with ex-U.S. military and intelligence officials. SAIC hired 350 Iraqis for the network, which went live May 13 [2003]." [3http://www.redorbit.com/news/general/34224/pentagon_funds_prous_network_in_iraq/index.html]

Iraq War Vets reveal U.S. war crimes as policy at Winter Soldier hearings
"Just Shoot People, and the Officers Would Take Care of Us":
Dahr Jamail
"... we were encouraged to carry 'drop weapons', or 'drop shovels' ...if we shot a civilian, we could just toss the weapon on the body, and make them look like an insurgent."... "...they said to fire on all taxicabs because the enemy was using them for transportation.... One of the snipers replied 'Excuse me? Did I hear that right? Fire on all taxicabs?' The lieutenant colonel responded, 'You heard me, trooper, fire on all taxicabs.' After that, the town lit up, all the units firing on cars...my first experience with war...kind of set the tone for the rest of the deployment...Vincent Emanuele, a Marine rifleman who spent a year in the al-Qaim area of Iraq near the Syrian border, told of emptying magazines of bullets into the city without identifying targets, running over corpses with Humvees and stopping to take "trophy" photos of bodies. "...Bryan Casler, a Marine corporal... "... saw Marines defecate into MRE bags or urinate in bottles and throw them at children on the side of the road," ... Scott Ewing, who served in Iraq from 2005-2006, admitted units intentionally gave candy to Iraqi children for reasons other than "winning hearts and minds....If the kids were around our vehicles, the bad guys wouldn't attack. We used the kids as human shields." http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25177.htm

How Americans are propagandized
Glenn Greenwald , Salon
February 12 of this year, U.S. forces entered a village in the Paktia Province in Afghanistan and, after surrounding a home where a celebration of a new birth was taking place, shot dead two male civilians (government officials) who exited the house in order to inquire why they had been surrounded, then shot and killed three female relatives (a pregnant mother of ten, a pregnant mother of six, and a teenager). The Pentagon issued a statement claiming that (a) the dead males were "insurgents" or terrorists, (b) the bodies of the three women had been found by U.S. forces bound and gagged inside the home, and (c) suggested that the women had already been killed by the time the U.S. had arrived, likely the victim of "honor killings" by the Taliban militants killed in the attack. Although numerous witnesses on the scene as well as local investigators vehemently disputed the Pentagon's version, insisting all of the dead (including the women) were civilians killed by U.S. forces, American media largely adopted the Pentagon's version... But enough evidence emerged disproving those claims that the Pentagon was forced yesterday to admit their original version was false and it was U.S. troops who killed the women... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=64822

INSI: training and protecting imperialist-zionist journalists
INSI: International News Safety Institute

capitalist freedom of speech
US Bans Arab TV Channels
By Yusra Alvi
The United States claims one of its top foreign policy initiatives is to spread democracy and freedom around the world. But a recent bill in the US Congress has led many to wonder whether the US wants to become one of the world’s biggest hindrances to media freedom. Early December the US House of Representatives voted by an overwhelming majority to pass House Resolution 2278 to stop 17 satellite TV channels from Arab nations being transmitted to American audiences due to engagement in ‘anti-American incitement to violence’. In a Congress that cannot... agree on burning issues — fixing the broken healthcare system or dealing with the turbulent economic situation — the bill passed with 395 ‘yes’ votes, and only three dissenters. http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspa...

Confronting the Occupation: Haiti, Neo-liberalism, and the US Occupation
Kali Akuno, National Organizer, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement
The three-month marker for the earthquake that devastated Haiti is now upon us. The significance of this marker is not determined by the Haitian people, but by the enemies of the Haitian people and peoples’ movements throughout the world. According to Milton Friedman and the intellectual guru’s of neo-liberalism there are critical timelines and stages that must be strictly adhered by to successfully capitalize on a catastrophe and transform a society. The three month marker is one of these critical timelines, in the words of Friedman " a new administration has some six to nine months in which to achieve major changes; if it does not seize the opportunity to act decisively during that period, it will not have another such opportunity."... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=65037

U.S., fearing growing revolutionary momentum, plays 'violent gang' cards to justify its genocidal occupation
Gang violence increases as angry Haitians see quake aid benefiting the wealthy elite
...Groups who once supported the president of Haiti, René Préval, are arming themselves against the government, putting the earthquake-ravaged country in danger of renewed instability and political violence... The Senate voted last week to extend the state of emergency by 18 months, creating a reconstruction commission to administer billions in aid that will be overseen by Préval and former US president Bill Clinton. Despite pledges of billions in aid from the international community following January's earthquake – which killed 230,000 people – anger and resentment are growing against both the Haitian government and the international community. The anger is being driven by the widespread perception – three months after the catastrophe – that what aid and reconstruction money is coming into Haiti is benefiting the country's more articulate and wealthy minority, while not reaching the vast mass of victims of the quake. That, in its turn, has revitalised the country's long-existing political and social antagonisms between a huge and impoverished class and a tiny political and business elite....
"We have many groups who are getting organised," said an older man who called himself "Danger". "Préval must go. And we are the people who helped him get elected."... Asked about their political agenda, the men said they would prefer "an occupation" to manage the country's recovery, rather than their own leaders...
"It could go either way right now," said one international official, who asked to remain anonymous."Haiti is facing real dangers in the short term. The government has disappeared, as far as most Haitians are concerned. The state itself is very fragile. All I can say with any certainty is that all the ingredients for a social explosion are there. We are now seeing gangs back on the scene. But the biggest problem is people's perceptions, especially in the camps. Rightly or wrongly, they feel they've been abandoned."

NYT: liberal fascism whips up anti-immigrant movement
Fleeing Drug Violence, Mexicans Pour Into U.S.
The story of Fort Hancock, 57 miles southeast of El Paso on the Rio Grande, is echoed along the Texas border with Mexico, from Brownsville to El Paso. As the violence among drug gangs continues to spiral out of control in Mexico, more Mexican citizens are seeking refuge in the United States. The influx of people fleeing the violence, some of whom were involved in drug dealing in Mexico, has disrupted Fort Hancock’s peaceful rhythms. These days, there are more police cars prowling the dusty streets, and fear runs high among residents...

Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields
Interview With reporter Charles Bowden
... NAFTA. We can’t have a peaceful country where it destroys the livelihood of the people in it. There’s got to be decent wages. You have to have the right to organize a union. You have to have plants that have environmental controls. Two, realize the war on drugs is a disaster. It’s forty years in. We’re at war with our own people. We’re destroying nations, like Mexico.... 40 percent of the Mexican budget, for example, comes from their oilfields. Their oilfields are dying. This current president says they’ll be gone in nine years. The second licit leading, as far as the money in Mexico, is remittances from illegal Mexicans working here who send back $20-$25 billion a year. Drugs earns the country $30 to $50 billion a year. For Mexico to seriously say “We’re going to wipe out the drug industry” would be saying “We’re going to commit suicide.” The country has become dependent on it. It’s a tiny economy compared to ours. It’s four percent the size of the US. Drugs mean a great deal in that economy,... We’re [US] is giving $500 million a year to the Mexican army, which is marauding in the country.... our immigration law. We’ve got 20,000 men and women with guns hunting Mexicans...coming north because NAFTA in good parts destroy their economic base in Mexico. You’re not going have a peaceful world if you’re making war on the poor. What we’ve created, with a foreign policy, meaning our free trade treaty, is, one, slave factories all over the country, where nobody can live on the wages,...we’ve created something so bleak that crime is actually, and murder, is a rational way to live. And we’re not going to put a lid on it by “just say no,” by presidential visits, and by—what was it? We’re now going to teach them how to run a court system, you know, send our experts.... Why are we talking about a war on drugs? Why are we giving a half-a-billion dollars a year for this thing, when this war has been going on forty years now? Every drug is more available in this country than it was forty years ago. Every drug has higher quality. Every drug is cheaper. This is a war... the drug organizations who produce it slaughters poor people...

No condemnation --- after weeks of mayhem & murder -- of forces US instigates and/or benefits from ... like Iran 'opposition'
Thousands of the "red shirt" protesters gathered outside the US embassy demanding clarification of comments by Thailand's deputy prime minister that the Thai government received U.S. intelligence of possible sabotage during the rally.

Violence Erupts in Thai Streets
BANGKOK — Antigovernment protesters repulsed an attempt by the military to disperse them on Saturday in fierce running battles filled with tear gas, gunfire and explosions in the worst political violence in nearly 20 years. With both sides armed and aggressive, 15 people were reported dead and more than 650 wounded. The violence opened the door to continuing tension after more than three years of turmoil that has included a military coup, months of protests and the closing of Bangkok’s airports... The army said that 60 soldiers had been wounded, including two who had been shot. There were several reports that protesters had used explosive devices, and Mr. Abhisit said that these blasts had caused many of the injuries.The government-run Erawan Medical Center said early Sunday that at least 15 people had been killed and 678 wounded. It said four of the dead were soldiers and the rest were civilians.Among the dead was a Japanese cameraman, Hiro Muramoto, 43, who worked for the Thomson Reuters news agency and died of a gunshot wound to the chest.In Washington, a White House spokesman, Mike Hammer, said, “We deplore this outbreak of political violence in Thailand, our long-term friend and ally, and urge good-faith negotiations by the parties to resolve outstanding issues through peaceful means.”