3/5 Iraqi Resistance to Obama; Sudan:Covert AFRICOM; Afghanistan Op til 2025; Pak: Mumbai Redux; Who Makes 'News' ?

The Iraqi Resistance Responds to President Obama
There is no such thing as friendly occupation, we advise you to revise your plans to vacate Iraq at a time suitable for our people not suitable for your agents in the green zone. 
The Political Committe, Baghdad. The Republic of Iraq
[excerpted] Statement in Response to President Obama’s Remarks made February 27, 2009 regarding the proclaimed ending to the occupation of The Republic of Iraq.
Official English Transcript Release No: 57

Good Evening,
In Respect to the remarks of President Barak Hussain Obama, The president of the United States of America. The Political Committee of a number of factions in the Iraqi Resistance, mainly the factions present in our front, respond with our point of view on the contents of his speech. Over the last four months, as the battle of our people continues to free Iraq of all foreign occupation. We have been studying the movements on the ground as well as analyzing the intelligence in order to assess the next strategy that the US administration will take under the leadership of the new presidency...

You have inherited a nation at war, a failed economy, and a desperate people who are bearing the full brunt of an economic crisis that was not of their making. As well as thousands of young men dead and handicapped.
We have inherited a foreign occupation, endless counts of innocent dead, injured, and handicapped, millions of refugees, in essence, Mr. President, the complete and planned disintegration of our nation and people....
By the will of God almighty, the resilience of our men, and the patience of our humble people, we have so far managed to halt and render useless all imperialist agendas set for Iraq and the region in whole. Simply by choosing to resist occupation, a right guaranteed by God first and then by international conventions to all men. A right your country’s policies continue to disrespect and dishonor, in clear example to state sponsored Terrorism.

You have spoken to our people in part of your speech, and we thank you for these words, you have displayed a far better understanding our nation, than your predecessor, who preferred to dive deep into the oceans of illiteracy and ignorance. Despite the fact that you did not mention the Iraqi resistance in your speech, and chose to label us as terrorists along with those who arrived with your troops, we will set that aside for now, and mention a few facts for the record.

1- The people of Iraq whom you addressed, in all their sects colors and religions, refuse your occupation, and those who accept it, are those who benefit from it.
2- The Iraqis you addressed, as we truly hope, are not the ones who bathe in the riches of treason, behind your walls of the green zone, nor are they the likes of Ahmed Al Chalabi, whom your previous government conspired with and his likes from the dark alleys of 5 star hotels in the US and Europe prior to your occupation.
3- The Iraqi people you talked to, are those who never invited your occupation, and were trying their best to survive on what was possible, under the criminal sanctions that went on for 13 years only to be crowned with a foreign occupation, unmatched in criminal acts, in today’s modern world.

President Obama, The suffering, that our people had to go through is beyond comprehension. And the endless crimes of your troops as well as that of neighboring countries, cannot simply be undone or dismissed, nor can they be brushed under the carpet. Your troops still occupy the land and kill the innocent, that is why we can only address you as the president of an occupying nation. The Iraqi People are disappointed in your plan. They expect your troops to leave our country in full and not in part. Our people, seek a complete end of occupation and not the fulfillment of a strategic treaty that was rushed against the will of our people, in the last few days of your predecessor...

We the Iraqi People and their resistance demand the following:
1- The fulfillment of all the conditions presented to your government through the mediators you Sent in 2006.
2- The hand over of all the traitors & Collaborators in the green zone to the Iraqi people where They will be dealt with as any nation would do with in cases of high treason.
3- The full & just compensation for our people for the losses they have suffered.
4- The halting of all compensations paid to those who fall under your umbrella in the region from the resources of our people.
5- The return of all land stolen from our country.
6- The departure of all foreign corporations mainly in the sectors of energy, communication, & infrastructure rebuilding, specifically those linked to Neocon interests. Our people are more than qualified to rebuild and operate our institutions.
7- The hand over of all mercenaries accused of killing innocent civilians mainly security contractors in Black Water and their CEO to be tried for murder.
8- All foreign advisors are to leave Iraq with your troops.
9- The dismantling of all militias equipped by your country and Iran together to shift the nature of battle towards the sectarian nature in order to allow your troops to concentrate on the major resistance activities in the central region of Iraq.
10- The halting of all support to the sectarian government elected in the orchestrated elections in the green zone.
11- The reduction of the influence of your Persian allies in Iraq which your previous government worked with in close conjunction and who continue to fund Al Qaeda on behalf of your intelligence agency’s behalf.
12- The return to the old constitution of a unified Iraq. And the Upholding of new elections Within 6 months of the resistance taking power of the nation, this will be supervised but must be conducted in the presence of a number of credible international monitors. Not the ones Sponsored by the CIA.
13- Cities and provinces are to be handed over one by one starting with the four main cities and airports of Baghdad, Basra, then Mosul and Kirkuk in the same order. The rest will fall immediately in our hands. The borders will have other arrangements.

The list goes on, but the intention is to give you an idea of what we pledged our people to achieve. In return for our people’s demands, we will cease to attack all occupation forces withdrawing to the south and beyond the border post of Safwan.
Without these straightforward moves on your part, we regret to inform you that the resistance of the people of Iraq will continue until that last boot of US/British/Persian occupation is thrown across the borders of our country.
If you choose change as you claim, then you must have reached the conclusion that to continue dealing with the same people your predecessor appointed to fulfill his dirty work, will fail to deliver positive results for both our people. It is not the thieves of the green zone who brought the defeat of your military.

You must search further for the honest Iraqis and from the ranks of our people and not those of your collaborators to achieve a just solution. You can also recognize the right for the Iraqi people to resist and publicly ask for our advice and representation. The Iraqi people intend to be masters of their own house as they always have, and by following the plan you have declared, you have not yet fully understood Iraq well.... we would also like to clarify that the forces of the puppet government which has been equipped to defeat the resistance will not stand ground, nor will they block our efforts to liberate our cities one by one if we had to, and all the efforts of your collaborators to move to the north and south of the country and create their own federal states have been studied well for their weaknesses and will be crushed within a short period. This is a more realistic scenario. True there will be still the Persian occupation which will offer it’s militias support, but we know that the US cannot leave the oil rich south to be occupied by Iran, and they would rather see it fall in our hands instead. As it would be giving too much to a close yet not so trust worthy ally, and would deprive your military necessary funds that would support long-term military presence necessary in Iraq and throughout the region. Funds that some in your government think they can still rely on. Funds that your economy can no longer bear in the midst of the turmoil in the globalized economy of your nation, to control the world....

Yes President Obama, we do agree with you, that the US needs a smarter, more sustainable & comprehensive approach, but rest assured, that what your predecessor has failed to achieve with all the military might at his disposal, we will make sure that you will fail to achieve the same goals through the soft hand of the Democratic party....

President Obama, It is time that people in Washington understand that there are no shared interest between an occupying tyrant and an oppressed victim of occupation....

Your government would stay forever in Iraq if the traitors who conspired with your consecutive administrations had their way in starving the Iraqi people into submission and force them to welcome your occupying troops with flowers as Chalabi promised you. But after three wars and over a decade of sanctions, there were enough honest men to defeat the world’s most powerful army & play a major role in destroying the most imperialistic Globalized economy ever developed by expansionary capitalism.

These are the type of people you are speaking to Mr. Obama. And if you were not presented with this reality throughout the briefings that occurred, and understood the true scale of the economic disaster with all the social and geopolitical implications of your military defeat in Iraq, then please allow us to mention a few of the major achievements that the Iraqi Resistance have promised it’s people and the free people of the world and has delivered:
1- We promised to pin down your troops in Iraq and drain your economy until you admit defeat and withdraw your troops. And this we fulfilled.
2- We promised to halt the US plan for Middle East in full, and prevent the loss of other innocent lives in other neighboring countries, and that we fulfilled.
3- We embraced the war and continue the fight on behalf of all the oppressed world, which not only stood still and watched the massacre of our people and the illegal occupation of our nation, but many of it’s leaders participated and continue in harming our people inside and outside Iraq and assist in the theft of our resources. This, apart from the support of honest people all around the world,
4- including citizens of your country, who marched day and night to support the cause of Iraq’s right to resist, marches that defied the weather, and weathered criminal defiance and ignorance of world politicians. Marches that we will ever be indebt to, and in gratitude & in appreciation for. May god bless those people wherever they are. And this we fulfilled and continue to do so.
5- We have understood the nature of international balances of power and most importantly predicted the primitive mind of the occupation and played a major role in forcing the US to increase oil prices in clear desperation for cash. And use that to allow other powers to recover. And the numbers never lied, this we also fulfilled.
6- The Iraqi People wrote a new chapter in Urban warfare, and invented the art of remote combat, and in turn gave the world lessons and set a new standard in how to defeat the world’s most powerful army. In this, the most dangerous achievement that threatens US global influence is that all the oppressed people who suffer from negative US influence, can use this experience to free themselves as well. This also has been delivered.
7- The Resistance has already drafted its 2, 5 and 10 year plan to engage Iraq in rebuilding programs that will set a new standard for development in the Region and restore Iraq to it’s rightfully earned place in world politics and positive human development. This while maintaining Iraq’s isolation from harmful neighboring countries at the same time, these plans was prepared and drafted in the early months of 2007 and are ready to implement once we see the end of your occupation.
8- The resistance created a new battle field and utilized every tool available to break free of the corporate media and tell, inform, and educate the world of the true nature of the struggle, and present every curious man and woman daily reports and videos of your military’s defeat and in every language possible. People from all over the world, chose out of their own free will and time, people of different religions and backgrounds chose to be soldiers of the cyber wars and translated all what we had to tell, asking nothing in return but the truth. The true casualties of your war are yet to be declared. (We refer to the green card soldiers)
9- The resistance has sparked not only the collapse of the US economy, but also caused the domino effect and the destruction of your fine tuned and delicate Globalized economy, and forced the return to national economic protection, and the rights of local and regional economies to grow and ensure a decent life and practice their right to develop as well. All your efforts to restore the globalized economy will deliver nothing of value, and puppet governments that maintain your oversight of world resources will eventually fall, one after the other, as their faults will be more evident to their average citizens, and that is why you are now receiving daily reports, from the CIA about the world economy.

no surprise...
Obama Doesn't Plan to End the Iraq Occupation
by Jeremy Scahill, 12/5/8
Announcing his national security team this week, Obama reasserted his position. "I said that I would remove our combat troops from Iraq in 16 months, with the understanding that it might be necessary — likely to be necessary — to maintain a residual force to provide potential training, logistical support, to protect our civilians in Iraq." While some have portrayed this as Obama going back on his campaign pledge, it is not. What is new is that some people seem to just now be waking up to the fact that Obama never had a comprehensive plan to fully end the occupation. Most recently, The New York Times:
"On the campaign trail, Senator Barack Obama offered a pledge that electrified and motivated his liberal base, vowing to 'end the war' in Iraq," wrote reporter Thom Shanker on Thursday. "But as he moves closer to the White House, President-elect Obama is making clearer than ever that tens of thousands of American troops will be left behind in Iraq, even if he can make good on his campaign promise to pull all combat forces out within 16 months."...
Richard Danzig, President Clinton's former Navy Secretary who may soon follow Robert Gates as Obama's Defense Secretary, said during the campaign that the "residual force" could number as many as 55,000 troops. That doesn't include Blackwater and other mercenaries and private forces, which the Obama camp has declared the president-elect "can't rule out [and] won't rule out" using. At present there are more "contractors" in Iraq than soldiers, which is all the more ominous when considering Obama's Iraq plan.
In April, it was revealed that the coordinator of Obama's Iraq working group, Colin Kahl, had authored a paper, titled "Stay on Success: A Policy of Conditional Engagement," which recommended, "the U.S. should aim to transition to a sustainable over-watch posture (of perhaps 60,000-80,000 forces) by the end of 2010 (although the specific timelines should be the byproduct of negotiations and conditions on the ground)." Kahl tried to distance the views expressed in the paper from Obama's official campaign position, but they were and are consistent.
In March, Obama advisor Samantha Power let the cat out of the bag for some people when she described her candidate's 16-month timetable for withdrawing U.S. "combat" forces as a "best case scenario." Power said, "He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator."...
The New York Times also raised the prospect that Obama could play semantics when defining his 16-month withdrawal plan, observing, "Pentagon planners say that it is possible that Mr. Obama's goal could be accomplished at least in part by relabeling some units, so that those currently counted as combat troops could be 're-missioned,' their efforts redefined as training and support for the Iraqis." http://www.commondreams.org/view/2008/12/05-1 http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/152

In the Crosshairs of Empire: Geo-Politics of US Interests in the Middle East
Elias Rashmawi*
I. Challenges to US Strategy of Dominance
The escalating US pressure on Syria and Iran is part of an overall long-term policy aimed at dominating the geo-strategic, political, and economic assets of the Middle East. It is part of a systematic policy that has its origin in historic trends, and is an extension to the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

To achieve its goals towards Syria and Iran, the US is advancing two simultaneous strategies: exasperating competing interests and fragmenting potential consensus. It is fanning sectarian sentiments along religious and ethnic lines, all while forcing alliances of interests between emerging entities to arrive at a decentralized Iraqi, and, possibly, Syrian and Iranian states. As the US pins Iran on the issue of nuclear power production and Syria on the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, in reality it is manipulating their sphere of regional and internal power politics with the aim of tipping the scale towards US allies and proxy forces in the region and within Iran and Syria themselves. ...

II. Geo-Strategic Assets and US Long-Term Goals
Of particular interest to the US is dominance over the Arab World. It is a region composed of 22 states and 300 million people, extending from the Arabian Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean, sharing common language, culture and aspirations for unity. The region known as Central Asia, which lies to the east of the Arab World, composed of states such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, the former southern Soviet Republics, amongst others, is also of particular interest to the US. Together, these two regions possess vital geo-strategic interests to the US imperial design. In addition to vast energy reserves and productivity, these interests include: valuable contiguous landmasses, airspace, and waterways without which US-European-Asian trade would be severely restricted, and the ability of US military maneuvering would be significantly hampered.

For example,...the Suez Canal, which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea through Egypt and has shortened the distance of a maritime journey from London to Bombay by 41% and from London to Shanghai by 32%, plays a vital role in US military and economic designs. In the year 2000, 62% of the canal’s shipping was US and European, and only 11% was African, 20% Asian, and 7% Arab. The majority of Asian shipping was in reality trading with Europe and the US. Also using the Suez Canal, and other vital waterways such as the Bab Al Mandeb and the Gibraltar Straits, are vast US military forces. The US has three major naval fleets between east and south Asia and the Middle East, including the Sixth Fleet which roams the Mediterranean Sea. Lack of control over these water pathways would significantly choke US ability to maneuver.

On the energy level, of the largest 20 energy-producing countries, 8 are Arab, including the top 3; 14 are in Asia and Africa; and only 3 are Western (Norway, US, and Canada). Japan imports about 85% of its oil from the Middle East. In 2001, 76.2% of its total net oil imports came from the Arab Gulf region alone, with 31 percent from Saudi Arabia. In the same year, the US imported 25.3% of its net oil imports also from the same Gulf region, with approximately 60 percent of that amount from Saudi Arabia. Iraq’s oil reserves stand at about 115 billion barrels, equivalent to the total oil reserves of the US, Canada, Mexico, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and the whole of Asia. Through its occupation, the US hopes that Iraq would be able to sustain the export of about 600-700,000 barrels per day, mostly to the US, in addition to 300-400,000 barrels for domestic consumption; to be increased in the future to the pre-war level of 2.5 million barrels a day, but this time under full US control.

Against these significant interests, the US is following a comprehensive strategy that aims to: (1) de-Arabize and fragment developed Arab states; (2) prevent the possibility of any form of pan-Arab unification; (3) position in the region a forward deterrent force in collaboration with Israel supported by proxy regimes; (4) destroy the Palestinian national liberation movement and transform Palestine into another functionary entity; (5) secure the total economic, military and political Arab dependency on the US; (6) secure landmasses, airspace and waterways entrances into Africa and Central Asia; (7) secure control over markets and energy sources for the rapidly expanding economies of China, Japan, India, and Indonesia, hence securing indirect control over these expanding powers; (8) deepen competing interests between anchoring states of the Middle East, such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria; and (9) position itself at the southern flank of Russia and at the western flank of China. [...]

III. Historical Context....

IV. Conclusion
The advance of US Empire can’t occur without significant re-alignment of the Middle East. This entails the forced formation of the Greater Middle East, as called by US strategists, where Israel’s colonial policies are normalized; the Palestinian people are permanently dismembered through Apartheid Walls and absorbed in neighboring destabilized states without realizing their right to return home; Syria is transformed into a functionary junior entity devoid of its pan-Arab identity; Lebanon is once again transformed into a confessional fragile entity dependent on the US and Israel for its imposed stability; Jordan continues its buffer role as a client state through which US and Israeli policies enter the Arab World; Iraq is truncated into a decentralized proxy state with its vast resources in the hands of US corporations; Saudi Arabia is maintained as a forward US base and an economic baton with which emerging powers will be threatened; Egypt is maintained as the flagship of normalization and proxy US force; and Iran is weakened to a point of instability hence allowing the ascendance of a client regime. And the Middle East as a whole is secured as a point of air, land and water entry into Asia, Africa and Russia. All in all, the policies of the US aim at gutting the Arabs from each other and from their Asian and African basin. To achieve these goals, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Iran must be brought into the fold for they are the only remaining entities outside full US control in that region. The success or failure of this strategy, thus, depends on the ability of opposing forces to counter it in their respective areas and regions.

"It is important that the United States always underscores our unshakeable, durable and fundamental support for the state of Israel,"
"There is no doubt that any nation, including Israel, cannot stand idly by while its territory and people are subjected to rocket attacks."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Jerusalem 3/3/9

Iran's supreme leader, said Barack Obama, the US president, is pursuing the same "wrong path" as George Bush, his predecessor, in supporting Israel.

Choosing Atrocity: Israel, America and the Strangling of Gaza
Chris Floyd
...I will pay Barack Obama much more respect than many of his followers do. I don't believe that he looked at the attack on Gaza, felt to his very soul that it was an horrific atrocity, but then refused to denounce it out of some sort of cynical political calculation. (Which is the usual explanation offered by his acolytes when he does something unseemly.) I believe that, like most good, decent, honorable, upright, serious members of the American Empire's power elite, he did not think the attack on Gaza was an atrocity at all. It was simply a grim necessity, the kind of thing that essentially good and altruistic nations like the United States and Israel have to do sometimes, even if, unfortunately, it does produce some "collateral damage" here and there. But just like the last great Democratic secretary of state said about the 500,000 children killed by America's Gaza-like blockade of Iraq for years on end, these grimly necessary unfortunate actions are "worth it." Just as Bush could have ended the attack with a word, so too could Obama end the deliberate degradation and destruction of the Palestinians in Gaza. He could force the Israelis to lift the blockade tomorrow -- today -- this very hour -- simply by threatening to cut off the massive flow of American aid that Israel is dependent on. The fact that he will not do that -- or anything like that -- is, like the Israeli infliction of Nazi-like collective punishment on Gaza, a very deliberate choice... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=52323

'humanitarianian aid' as WMD
Donor's Pledge $4.48 Billion in New Gaza Aid
By Edward Yeranian
Voice Of America, Cairo
Conference host Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said it is his "priority to reach a truce between Israel and the Palestinians," despite the multiple setbacks in negotiations Egypt has been mediating. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said international donors meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh have pledged more than $5 billion for Gaza reconstruction....It is nearly twice the amount sought by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed aid money for Gaza must be accompanied by a "comprehensive peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors."... said the United States pledged $300 million in humanitarian aid for Gaza, in addition to $600 million for the Palestinian Authority...
French President Nicholas Sarkozy said making peace with Israel was the duty of all "responsible Palestinians" and excuses are no longer acceptable...
Among the extremists Mr. Sarkozy was referring to is the Islamic Hamas movement, which controls Gaza. International donors want Hamas to play no part in spending funds pledged to rebuild Gaza... Israel threatened Sunday to launch a punishing new round of retaliatory strikes against Gaza if there is not a halt to rocket attacks against Israeli territory that have continued since the Israeli incursion ended in January.

u.s.-israeli media fail to mention settlements are illegal per U.N. resolutions
Peace Now: Israel planning 73,300 new homes in West Bank
By Sara Miller, Haaretz Correspondent
A report by the Israeli left-wing NGO Peace Now released Monday says that the government is planning to build more than 73,300 new housing units in the West Bank. if all of the units are built, it would mean a 100-percent increase in the total number of Israeli settlers. The report says that some settlements, including the two largest Ariel and Ma'aleh Adumim, would double in size... a new right-wing government presents the danger of "expanding settlement growth at a rapid pace... with the clear intention of destroying the possibility of a two-state solution." Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu of the rightist Likud party, tapped to form the new government after the February 10 elections, has expressed his opposition to a two-state solution. He also said that while a Likud government would not build new settlements, it would allow natural growth in existing ones. But the Peace Now report says 17,000 units are planned for Gush Etzion, near Bethelehem, to be built outside existing settlements. The report also states some 19,000 of the planned homes would be built beyond the route of the West Bank separation fence, including in Kiryat Arba in Hebron and Ariel....
Deputy U.S. State Department Spokesman Gordon Duguid issued a response later Monday, saying "what we do have to say we have said many times from this podium, that we call on both sides not to take any actions that exacerbate tensions in the region. But I don?t have any particular information on this report."

US to boycott UN racism conference
The United States to boycott UN conference on racism unless its final document is changed to drop all references to Israel. "President Obama's decision not to send US representation to the April event is the right thing to do and underscores America's unstinting commitment to combating intolerance and racism in all its forms and in all settings," the American Israel Public Affairs Committee said. The Conference of Presidents, an umbrella group of more than 50 Jewish organisations, said: "It was clear from the preparatory meetings that this conference was again being hijacked by those who want to have a repetition of the first Durban conference, which focused almost singularly on Israel and was the occasion for vile and bigoted declarations and manifestations. "It is our hope that the European countries will follow suit and announce that they will not participate."
US officials said they are pressing European nations to boycott the conference unless there are revisions to the final statement....
The Conference Against Racism, to be held in Geneva in April, is a follow-up to the conference held in the South African town of Durban in 2001...The US and Israeli delegations walked out of the 2001 meeting in protest against the resolution which likened Zionism - the movement to establish and maintain a Jewish state - to racism....

The Strategic Importance of Africa
by IASPS Staff
co-authored by IASPS Strategic Fellow Paul Michael Wihbey and US State Department expert Dr. Barry Schutz, Office of Analysis for Africa,Washington DC., the article challenges the conventional wisdom that the United States has no vital interests in Africa... because of the availability of its alternative, plentiful and reliable energy sources, Africa is increasingly an attractive zone for American engagement at the political, economic and security levels. The authors recommend three specific American policy initiatives that would enhance the US presence in Africa including: 1. Debt Forgiveness, 2. Free Trade and 3. Establishing a new US military command
structure for the South Atlantic.

American Policy and Africa

The Pentagon's New Africa Command
Interviewees:Robert T. Moeller, Rear Admiral, Head of Africa Command
Robert G. Loftis, Ambassador, State Department

AfriCom will preside over all countries on the continent except Egypt according to Pentagon officials to secure vast, lawless areas where terrorists have sought safe haven to regroup and threaten U.S. interests.

"...Africom was fashioned as a template for a new interagency structure that would coordinate "hard" and "soft" U.S. power...."
U.S. Africa Command Trims Its Aspirations
Nations Loath to Host Force; Aid Groups Resisted Military Plan to Take On Relief Work
By Karen DeYoung
The U.S. Africa Command, designed to boost America's image and prevent terrorist inroads on the continent, has scaled back its ambitions after African governments refused to host it and aid groups protested plans to expand the military's role in economic development in the region. Africom, due to begin operations Oct. 1, will now be based for the foreseeable future in Stuttgart, Germany, with five smaller regional offices planned for the continent on hold while the military searches for places to put them... U.S. Agency for International Development personnel were assigned to Africom, and a senior State Department diplomat was named one of two command deputies under Army Gen. William E. "Kip" Ward. Not only would Africom help make Africa secure, Bush said when he unveiled it in February 2007, it would help promote "development, health, education, democracy and economic growth."... The trouble was, no one consulted the Africans...

'hard' & 'soft' imperialist power merged to give U.S. penetration & domination a friendly 'development' face
Winning the world's hearts and minds... trying to polish America's image with communication and humanitarian assistance strategies.
By Peter A Buxbaum in Washington, DC for ISN Security Watch (28/07/08)
With world public opinion of the US the lowest it has been in decades, there is little the Bush administration can do to change global perceptions at this point. The same cannot be said for the "permanent government," as the Washington bureaucracy is sometimes called. This effort is not exactly brand new; the seeds of a new attitude toward global outreach were sown several years ago. But with the winds of change blowing through Washington in anticipation of a new administration next year, thought and action on these fronts are picking up steam.
Two documents emblematic of enhanced US outreach efforts are worth noting. The first, a report from the Pentagon's Defense Science Board, released in September 2004, calls for the development of a national strategic communication strategy and the establishment of an independent Center for Strategic Communication to support the US National Security Council in its efforts to win the world's hearts and minds. The other, also emanating from the Pentagon, is Department of Defense Directive 3000.05, issued in November 2005, which states that addressing the basic human needs of civilians is "a core US military mission that the Department of Defense shall be prepared to conduct and support. They shall be given priority comparable to combat operations."
The fact that both of these documents originate with the Department of Defense is significant. Increasingly, both communication and humanitarian efforts are being funded and supported by the US military...."This will be an effort to synchronize diplomacy with military psychological operations to develop an overarching concept of creating the right message for the right audience delivered in the right way to help shape perceptions."... US government communication must be "reasonably consistent" in order to prevent "information fratricide" and "dissipating the effectiveness of the message.... recommendation of the Defense Science Board to establish an extra-governmental institute to help shape US government communications....
"Military humanitarian projects are similar to those conducted by civilian aid agencies and non-governmental organizations," he told ISN Security Watch. "The difference lies in the strategic rationale with which these projects are selected and chosen by the military, rather than the principal focus on humanitarian need and sustainability that is held by civilian development experts." This has been borne out by the experience of the USAID. "I have worked with military officers who acted as development officers in Afghanistan," Elisabeth Kvitashvili, deputy assistant administrator in the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID, told ISN Security Watch....
That the provision of humanitarian assistance is a strategic Pentagon priority was highlighted by the launch of the US Africa Command, or AFRICOM, in 2007. "As with other regional commands, AFRICOM will have responsibility for US military operations with a particular area of responsibility," said Brigety. "Yet it is distinguished from other regional commands because its primary mission will be conducting non-military operations."

'NEWS' LEFT & RIGHT: THINK TANKS, NGOS, & FOUNDATIONS FRAME, FORMULATE & PUBLICIZE U.S. GEOSTRATEGIC AND TACTICAL POLICIES TO CREATE 'POSITIVE' PUBLIC OPINION : the digest uncovers the whats, whos and whys buried beneath the 24/7 state propaganda called news:

Think tanks are public policy research, analysis and engagement institutions that generate policy-oriented research, analysis and advice on domestic and international issues that enables policymakers and the public to make informed decisions about public policy issues. Think tanks may be affiliated or independent institutions and are structured as permanent bodies, not ad hoc commissions. These institutions often act as a bridge between the academic and policymaking communities, serving in the public interest as an independent voice that translates applied and basic research into a language and form that is understandable, reliable, and accessible for policymakers and the public. (Think Tanks and Policy Advice in the US: Academics, Advisors and Advocates, Routledge 2007)

[The] non-profit World Security Network Foundation launched a fresh fact-finding FATA Round Table and a concrete initiative to stabilise the fragile situation in the so-called Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan on the border to Afghanistan. More than 50 high ranking experts, generals, ambassadors and politicians from Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Germany, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the U.S. discussed the situation and its relationships to Afghanistan, and out of this process, a new double strategy of development and containment for this very important hot-spot in the world took shape: the GCC-EU FATA Friendship Fund (see the presentation here)...

WSN is a new kind of global foreign affairs action network in the age of globalization... an international, independent, nonprofit organization, the largest global elite network for foreign and security policy with more than 303,000 elite users all over the world who receive our weekly electronic newsletter, publishing this website with more than 2 million hits monthly with analysis and proposals, supported by an International Advisory Board of well-known experts from 19 countries-including 14 generals and admirals-and more than 200 authors, 230 media partners and 136 institutes cooperate with WSN and make use of its analysis "Networking a safer world"... our Advisory Board contains 16 generals. WSN also focuses on important, 'soft' factors in peacemaking: the second pillar of effective, credible double strategies. Softer factors are neglected in all conflicts, but hard reality shows them to be as important, or more important, as hard military power.... foreign affairs from global experts such as Brent Scowcroft, Senators McCain, Biden and Lieberman, General James Jones, Richard Holbrooke, Carl Bildt, Ali Larishani, Massoud Barzani, Gary Kasparow, Otto von Habsburg, or Klaus Naumann... Mentor and Pentagon Strategists with contributions by Alexander Haig, Henry Kissinger, and Donald Rumsfeld

David Sanger, NYT, for example, like many major state-propagandists -- some whose memberships may surprise you -- is a member of the CFR, as well as WSN'S

"If war aims are stated which seem to be solely concerned with Anglo-American imperialism, they will offer little to people in the rest of the world. The interests of other peoples should be stressed. This would have a better propaganda effect."
- Private memo from The Council of Foreign Relations to the US State Department, 1941

More Than Humanitarianism: A Strategic U.S. Approach Toward Africa
Beyond Humanitarianism: What You Need to Know About Africa and Why It Matters
Princeton N. Lyman, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies, Patricia Lee Dorff, Director, Council Publishing
Council on Foreign Relations Press
September 2007

Foreign Policy Research Institute / FPRI
Founded in 1955, FPRI is devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests. We add perspective to events by fitting them into the larger historical and cultural context of international politics.

from FPRI's Think Tank Directory record - fpri - 06/13/2007
Open Society Institute Founded: 1993 Contact information Mailing address: 400 West 59th Street New York, NY 10019 URL: http://www.soros.org/ Telephone Country Code: 1 Telephone Number: 212-548-600 Fa ...Think Tank Directory record - fpri - 06/13/2007

About IRIN http://www.irinnews.org/about.aspx U.N. OFFICE FOR COORDINATION OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs...humanitarian news and analysis, Radio service, Film and TV service, Evaluation reports, funding documents and surveys

International Crisis Group / ICG Named in Top Ten Global Think Tanks
Brussels, 9 January 2008: The International Crisis Group has been listed as one of the “Top 10 Think Tanks in the World” in a new survey, based on peer review, conducted over 18 months by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute/FPRI.
The International Crisis Group is now generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. Our work has been applauded by, among others, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (‘a global voice of conscience, and a genuine force for peace’); former U.S. President Bill Clinton (‘in the most troubled corners of the world, the eyes, the ears and the conscience of the global community’); successive U.S. Secretaries of State (Colin Powell: ‘an organization that matters’; Condoleezza Rice ‘a widely respected and influential organization’); the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (‘a highly influential and inspiring voice in the field of conflict prevention’); former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (‘the leading non-governmental organization in the field of analyzing conflict situations’); former U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke (on the design and content of our monthly CrisisWatch bulletin, ‘sheer genius by your team. Nothing I saw in government was as good as this.’); and The Economist (our reports are ‘invaluable’).

Crisis Group was founded in 1995 as an international non-governmental organisation on the initiative of a group of well known transatlantic figures who despaired at the international community’s failure to anticipate and respond effectively to the tragedies in the early 1990s of Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia. They were led by Morton Abramowitz (former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Thailand, then President of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace), Mark Malloch Brown (later head of the UNDP, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and UK Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN), and its first Chairman, Senator George Mitchell. The idea was to create a new organisation – unlike any other – with a highly professional staff acting as the world’s eyes and ears for impending conflicts, and with a highly influential board that could mobilise effective action from the world’s policy-makers.

From small beginnings – a two-person office in London, and a tiny field staff in the Balkans and West Africa – Crisis Group has grown very rapidly in the last few years. It currently employs worldwide some 140 full-time staff, representing between them 48 nationalities and speaking 53 different languages, plus at any given time around 20 consultants and 35 interns. They are located on the ground in twelve regional offices and seventeen other locations covering between them over 60 countries or situations of actual or potential conflict; in four advocacy offices, in Brussels (the global headquarters), Washington, New York and London; and as liaison presences in Moscow and Beijing. Crisis Group publishes annually around 90 reports and briefing papers, as well as the CrisisWatch bulletin assessing every month the current state of play in some 70 countries or areas of actual or potential conflict. Publications are sent in print or email form to over 25,000 targeted recipients and over 100,000 website subscribers, and are available free of charge on our website, which has grown enormously in popularity in recent years, with over 2 million visitors in 2007.
What distinguishes Crisis Group from other organisations working on conflict analysis, prevention or resolution is a unique combination of field-based analysis, sharp-edged policy prescription, and high-level advocacy, with key roles being played – very unusually for an NGO – by a senior management team highly experienced in government and by a highly active Board of Trustees containing many senior statesmen and women used to making things happen. Crisis Group’s Board is co-chaired by Lord (Christopher) Patten, formerly EU Commissioner for External Relations, Governor of Hong Kong, and UK Cabinet Minister; and by Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former Senior Vice President for International Relations at Boeing. Crisis Group’s President and CEO has been, since January 2000, Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia (1988-96) and a member of many international panels and commissions.
Crisis Group’s reports, and the advocacy associated with them, have had a very significant direct impact on conflict prevention and resolution in such areas as the Balkans and West, Central and Horn of Africa, and an ever-growing influence elsewhere, particularly in the Middle East and throughout Asia, as policymakers wrestle with how to handle Islamist terrorism, nuclear proliferation, local conflict and the multiple problems associated with failed, failing and fragile states worldwide. We are generally seen as playing a major role in six main ways: [...]

"Opposition in Africa means the new command's headquarters will more likely be in US or Europe."

ICC warrant raises questions on leaders targeted
The International Criminal Court's decision to pursue a sitting head of state on war crimes charges puts others around the world on notice, but it's also raising questions about which leaders are being targeted. African and Arab nations say they will support Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, fearing the warrant issued against him Wednesday will bring even more conflict in Darfur, where up to 300,000 people have died since 2003, and further destabilize Sudan. And they question why only Africans have been charged since the ICC - branded "the white man's court" by Sudan's information ministry - began its work six years ago. A temporary court, the tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, indicted Slobodan Milosevic in 1999 while he was still president of Yugoslavia.
The chairman of the 52-state African Union has accused the court of "double standards," asking why no cases have emerged from conflicts in the Caucasus, Iraq or Gaza. Al-Bashir's arrest warrant... initiated by the U.N. Security Council.... in itself shows hypocrisy, critics say, given that three of the council's five permanent members - China, Russia and the United States - refuse to join the international court. The precedent set by the court Wednesday could extend to former U.S. President George W. Bush, amid charges his officials were the architects of criminal detention policies that led to torture in Iraq and at Guantanamo detention center in Cuba. But that is an extremely remote prospect. The Security Council is unlikely to order that while Washington is a veto-wielding permanent member.

UN: 'irrevocable damage' from Darfur expulsions
UNITED NATIONS -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Sudan's expulsion of 13 aid organizations will cause "irrevocable damage" to humanitarian operations in Darfur and is urging the government to reconsider. (Updated 3/5/ 9:40 a.m. PT)

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who was hit by a war crimes arrest warrant Wednesday, has managed to hold power in Africa's largest nation despite 20 years of turmoil, including a long civil war, U.S. airstrikes, Western sanctions and bloodshed in Darfur. The 64-year-old al-Bashir, Sudan's longest-serving president since independence in 1958, has been able to weather the storms by keeping a firm hold on his ruling coalition of the military and Islamic fundamentalists - and by knowing when to make limited concessions to the West. The Darfur conflict brought al-Bashir heavy condemnation from the West. But at the same time, al-Bashir made himself valuable to the United States by cooperating with Washington against terrorism and by sealing the southern peace deal. The end of the north-south war also boosted Sudan's economy, and the country has raked in investment, particularly from China, strengthening al-Bashir.... http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1107ap_ml_sudan_al_bashir_profile...

The Winter of Bashir's Discontent 
keith harmon snow 
5 March 2009
The ICC has issued indictments for the first time in history against a sitting head of state. Meanwhile, an Israeli weapons dealer is revealed shipping weapons into Sudan with Pentagon support.Here's the rest of the story.
I recently received a phone call from an Australian man who identified himself as an investigator for the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague, Netherlands. The investigator and his colleague had read my story, “Merchant’s of Death: Exposing Corporate Financed Holocaust in Africa,” and they wanted my cooperation to provide more detailed evidence about the warlords behind the massacres at Bogoro, Congo, described briefly in my story... 
Now, on 4 March 2009 the ICC prosecutors announced that they were at last issuing the long threatened but first ever indictments against a sitting head of state, Omar al-Bashir, the Arab President of Sudan. Meanwhile, Somali ‘pirates’ off East Africa recently freed a Ukrainian ship with a Panamanian registration, a Ukrainian crew and flag of Belize: The freighter carried tanks, rockets and munitions destined for Darfur, and it is owned by an Israeli ‘businessman’ and reputed MOSSAD operative named Vadim Alperin....
First note that the ICC can now be viewed as a tool of hegemonic U.S. foreign policy, where the weapons deployed by the U.S. and its allies include the accusations of, and indictments for, human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity... no white man has yet been charged with these or other offenses at the ICC—which now holds five black African “warlords” and seeks to incarcerate and bring to trial another black man, also an Arab, Omar Bashir. Why hasn’t George W. Bush been indicted? Or what about Donald Rumsfeld? Dick Cheney? Henry Kissinger? Ehud Olmert? Tony Blair? Vadim Alperin? John Bredenkamp?

Americans need to recognize that the Administration of President Barack Obama has begun to step up war for control of Sudan in keeping with the permanent warfare agenda of both Republicans and Democrats. The current destabilization of Sudan mirrors the illegal covert guerrilla war carried out in Rwanda—also launched and supplied from Uganda—from October 1990 to July 1994. The Rwandan Defense Forces (then called the Rwandan Patriotic Army) led by Major General Paul Kagame achieved the U.S. objective of a coup d’etat in Rwanda through that campaign, and President Kagame has been a key interlocutor in the covert warfare underway in Darfur, Sudan.

Following on the heals of the announcement that the ICC handed down seven war crimes charges against al-Bashir, a story broadcast over all the Western media system and into every American living room by day’s end, President al-Bashir ordered the expulsion of ten international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in Darfur under the pretense of being purely ‘humanitarian’ organizations.

What has not anywhere in the English press been reported is that the United States of America has just stepped up its ongoing war for control of Sudan and her resources: petroleum, copper, gold, uranium, fertile plantation lands for sugar and gum Arabic (essential to Coke, Pepsi and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream). This war has been playing out on the ground in Darfur through so-called ‘humanitarian’ NGOs, private military companies, ‘peacekeeping’ operations and covert military operations backed by the U.S. and its closest allies... the U.S. war for Sudan has always revolved around ‘humanitarian’ operations—purportedly neutral and presumably concerned only about protecting innocent human lives—that often provide cover for clandestine destabilizing activities and interventions.
HTML http://www.allthingspass.com/uploads/html-264THE%20WINTER%20OF%20BASHIRS...
PDF http://www.allthingspass.com/uploads/pdf-264THE%20WINTER%20OF%20BASHIRS%...

Hundreds of Sudanese in Khartoum demonstrated against the issuing of the warrant
[Reuters] wyciwyg://8/http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2009/03/20093412473776936.html
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has ordered the arrest of Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country's western Darfur region. Sudan immediately rejected the decision of the three-judge panel describing it as part of "neo-colonialist" plan. "They do not want Sudan ... to become stable," Mustafa Osman Ismail, an adviser to the Sudanese president, said. "The court is only one mechanism of neo-colonialist policy used by the West against free and independent countries." Hundreds of Sudanese took to the streets of the capital, Khartoum, to protest against the warrant. The country's ruling party, the National Congress party, said a "million man march" was planned for Thursday.... Abdel Basit Sabdarat, Sudan's justice minister, said on Wednesday that Khartoum would not co-operate with the ICC."It has no jurisdiction, it is a political decision," he said.
The president has refused to acknowledge the authority of the court and, ahead of the announcement, he told reporters that any attempt to prosecute him would have "no value". ... He is the first sitting head of state to be ordered to face the tribunal since it began work in 2002. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor who called for an arrest warrant to be issued in July last year, said that al-Bashir must be arrested "to stop him from destroying evidence and committing new crimes". "It is time to protect the victims, to stop bombing civilians, to stop rapes, to stop the crimes," he said after the judges' decision was announced. Moreno-Ocampo says he has strong evidence that al-Bashir personally instructed his forces to annihilate three ethnic groups - the Fur, the Masalit and the Zaghawa - and says about 2.5 million people have been victimised by his actions. The panel decided there was insufficient evidence to support additional charges of genocide requested by the prosecution. The UN says up to 300,000 people have died since conflict broke out in the western Darfur region in 2003, when ethnic minority fighters took up arms against Sudan's Arab-dominated administration for a greater share of resources and power....
China, the African Union and the Arab League have suggested an indictment could worsen the Darfur conflict and destabilise the entire region....
Sudan revoked the operating licences of up to 10 [NGO] humanitarian aid agencies in the country on Wednesday, the UN said.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID):
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) functions as an instrument of CIA penetration into civil society, by enabling the “legitimate” funding of millions of dollars to promote U.S. foreign policy abroad and influence internal politics of foreign nations while avoiding Congressional scrutiny.
View the USAID documents

A vast global network of 'humanitarian' and 'news' orgs. are run by U.S. govt. backed imperialist-zionist multi-billionaire George Soros' NGOs
How the "Stop Darfur" Movement Aids the US Drive for Hegemony
George Wright
... the “Save Darfur” campaign started at the point it was obvious the United States invasion of Iraq had caused a catastrophe... ignored by Darfur “ humanitarian activists” was that a United States-led intervention would only amplify the level of violence; all one had to do is look at Iraq and Afghanistan to understand that.  Emblematic of the Orwellian world that we live at the moment, at “Save Darfur” "humanitarian activist demonstrations, many 'peace activists' carried signs which read: “Out of Iraq; Into Sudan”!...http://www.blackcommentator.com/224/224_genocide_olympics_wright_guest_pf.html

The US War In Darfur
Over Five Million Dead in Congo? How Truth is Hidden, Even When it Seems to Be Told
Debunking the claims of a “genocide against blacks” or an “Islamic holy-war” against Christians,
keith harmon snow
Genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - and on the entirety of the Africa continent - is the direct result of deliberate policies by American and European governments and the multinational corporations they serve. So-called "relief" agencies that make a pretense of counting the dead are often themselves creatures of the very corporations that have set countless militias and neighboring client states on successive rampages of slaughter and ethnic cleansing - all to protect the business of extracting the riches of Congo. Many, many Nuremburg courts could be filled to capacity with American and European luminaries guilty of crimes against humanity in Central Africa, yet the corporate, racist political culture insists African "savagery" is to blame for the ongoing holocaust...
However, the story of war and plunder in Congo is not unreported. It is a story that has been censored, manipulated, and covered up even while it is ostensibly being told. Plenty of information has been published about the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and plenty of this is flak, designed to whiteout the truth, and help keep the real story buried, and that includes the truly honest representations of war and suffering in Congo that have been published. Just because the mainstream doesn't cover it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. This is the falsification of consciousness..

Sudan's Bashir to attend Arab summit despite warrant
Wed Mar 4, 2009
KHARTOUM, March 4 (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir plans to attend an Arab summit set for this month in Qatar despite an arrest warrant against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. "We have received the invitation and accepted it," Mutrif Siddiq, under-secretary of foreign affairs, told Reuters. "He (Bashir) will attend all Arab summits and all African summits,"

Top Ten Reasons to Suspect "Save Darfur" is a PR Scam to Justify US Military Intervention in Africa
by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
The star-studded hue and cry to "Save Darfur" and "stop the genocide" has gained enormous traction in U.S. media along with bipartisan support in Congress and the White House. But the Congo, with ten to twenty times as many African dead over the same period is not called a "genocide" and passes almost unnoticed. Sudan sits atop lakes of oil. It has large supplies of uranium, and other minerals, significant water resources, and a strategic location near still more African oil and resources. The unasked question is whether the nation's Republican and Democratic foreign policy elite are using claims of genocide, and appeals for "humanitarian intervention" to grease the way for the next oil and resource wars on the African continent.
The regular manufacture and the constant maintenance of false realities in the service of American empire is a core function of the public relations profession and the corporate news media. Whether it's fake news stories about wonder drugs and how toxic chemicals are good for you, bribed commentators and journalists discoursing on the benefits of No Child Left Behind, Hollywood stars advocating military intervention to save African orphans, or slick propaganda campaigns employing viral marketing techniques to reach out to college students, bloggers, churches and ordinary citizens, it pays to take a close look behind the facade.
Among the latest false realities being pushed upon the American people are the simplistic pictures of Black vs. Arab genocide in Darfur, and the proposed solution: a robust US-backed or US-led military intervention in Western Sudan. Increasing scrutiny is being focused upon the "Save Darfur" lobby and the Save Darfur Coalition; upon its founders, its finances, its methods and motivations and its truthfulness. In the spirit of furthering that examination we here present ten reasons to suspect that the "Save Darfur" campaign is a PR scam to justify US intervention in Africa. ...
Chris Taylor, head of strategy for Blackwater, says his company has a database of thousands of former police and military officers for security assignments. He says Blackwater personnel could set up perimeters and guard Darfurian villages and refugee camp in support of the U.N. Blackwater officials say it would not take many men to fend off the Janjaweed, a militia that is supported by the Sudanese government and attacks villages on camelback. Apparently Blackwater doesn't need to come to the Congo, where hunger and malnutrition, depopulation, mass rape and the disappearance of schools, hospitals and civil society into vast law free zones ruled by an ever-changing cast of African proxies (like the son of the late and unlamented Idi Amin), all under a veil of complicit media silence already constitute the perfect business-friendly environment for siphoning off the vast wealth of that country at minimal cost.
Look for the adoption of the Congolese model across the wide areas of Africa that U.S. strategic planners call "ungoverned spaces". Just don't expect to see details on the evening news, or hear about them from Oprah, George Clooney or Angelina Jolie.

In a stunning disclosure...the journal Stratfor reported that the “United States delivered a very clear ultimatum to Musharraf in the wake of 9/11: Unless Pakistan allowed US forces to take control of Pakistani nuclear facilities, the United States would be left with no choice but to destroy those facilities, possibly with India’s help.” ..http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/The_United_States/Pak_nukes_already_under_US_control_Report/rssarticlesh ow/2556824.cms

Pakistan: FBI rules the roost
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
September 11, 2001… saw Pakistan throw in its lot with the US. This entailed ...opening its air bases to the US military for operations in Afghanistan...It also allowed US intelligence to establish a finger-hold in the country, which the FBI has now turned into a vice-like grip through an ever-expanding network that has infiltrated, to various degrees, Pakistan’s armed forces, the police and intelligence agencies… The FBI initially kept a low profile, working mostly at the direction of the all-powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s premier intelligence outfit and effectively the architect and orchestrator of Pakistan’s strategic policies.Now, however, the FBI works autonomously, with its own separate organizational setup… “After September 11, 2001, we were given instructions to work along with FBI operators. Initially they were given a room in the ISI’s operations office. They used to give commands to us, and we had to obey them. For instance, once they asked us to send a packet somewhere. We packed it and informed them that the parcel was ready. They unpacked the parcel and asked an ISI employee to repack it in front of them. This is the way the FBI operators showed their domination over the ISI staff. At first they asked us to coordinate in operations. Later on they were given a separate place of work, then they cultivated local police officers, and several times they did not bother to inform the ISI about their operations."… Some military experts take a dim view of this. One told Asia Times Online that having army units trained by a foreign intelligence apparatus was like handing over the keys of the country to another nation ...http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EJ04Df04.html

Political Destabilization in South and Central Asia: The Role of the CIA-ISI Terror Network
By Andrew G. Marshall
Recent terror attacks in New Delhi on September 13, 2008, raise the questions of who was responsible and for what reason these attacks occurred. Terror attacks in India are not a new phenomenon, however, in their recent past, they can be largely attributed to the actions, finances, training and resources of one organization: The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). These new bombings bare the same relationship with the ISI as has occurred in the past, and so it must be asked: what is the purpose of the ISI both in Central Asia as well as South Asia? The ISI appears to play the role of a force for the destabilization of Central Asia, India and the Middle East. It acts as a Central Asian base of operations for the CIA and British Intelligence to carry out Anglo-American imperial aims.

India will be the main focus of this report, due to the escalation of organized terror and violence against it in the past few years. As India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, after China, its northern neighbor which also borders Central Asian countries, its place in the New World Order is yet to be set in stone. Do western, and particularly Anglo-American elites allow India to grow as China, all the while attempting to co-opt their banking system to the western banking elite, thus, making them controllable? Or, will India be destabilized and dismantled, as is the plan with the Middle East and Central Asia, in order to redraw borders to suit geopolitical imperial ambitions, creating a network of manageable territories feeding the Metropoles of the New World Order, specifically New York (Wall Street) and London (The City of London)? ...
The ISI-CIA Islamic Terror Networks (...)

Afghan War & Occupation should last until 2025
In testimony yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Barno outlined a strategy that anticipates keeping U.S. troops there for another 16 years.

Afghani resistance compels shift in U.S. policy
Is Goal of military victory eclipsed by efforts to avoid defeat?
Sunil Freeman
Political and military leaders are scrambling to redefine the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, now in its seventh year, as the situation spirals out of control in the face of a rapidly strengthening 'insurgency'. The primary goal may no longer be securing victory, but rather avoiding a catastrophic, humiliating defeat. As part of that strategy, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates unsuccessfully lobbied defense ministers of NATO countries for commitments of additional troops at a recent meeting in Krakow, Poland. Those troops would have augmented the 17,000 additional troops Barack Obama authorized to join the struggling U.S. occupation force. The less-than-enthusiastic response from NATO countries was one more blow to the U.S. occupation...
The growing resistance is fueled by widespread opposition to the occupation. Attacks by unmanned Predator drones, which may minimize U.S. military casualties, have repeatedly killed civilians. Corruption in the U.S. puppet government is rampant, and large sums of foreign money are being siphoned off to a few privileged elites.
A study prepared by the U.S. Central Command and the International Security Assistance Force has noted a 46 percent increase in civilian casualties in 2008 over the year before. The report, "Metrics Brief, 2007-2008," makes clear the increased strength of the resistance. Coalition deaths have increased by 35 percent. In the war so far, at least 581 U.S. soldiers have been killed.
During the election campaign, Obama called for about 7,000 additional troops to be sent to Afghanistan. But in the transition period after the election, military leaders began to press for 30,000 additional troops. Obama’s announcement that 17,000 troops would be sent, an implicit acknowledgement that the U.S. military was not winning the war, could be the first in a series of troop level increases aimed at avoiding defeat.
Having failed to win a decisive victory in Iraq, Washington carried out a "surge" in troop levels and reached out to 'insurgents' paying them to stop shooting at U.S. forces. The Obama administration is hoping to pursue a similar strategy with Taliban resistance forces in Afghanistan: commit more U.S. troops while opening a back channel of cooperation and financial assistance with the armed resistance forces. All their talk about defending women’s rights and human rights will be put on the back burner if they can secure a new alliance with sectors of the Taliban. A catastrophic military defeat would be a huge blow to U.S. imperialism, but victory is not in the cards. A negotiated stalemate in an effort to save face may be Washington’s choice for cutting its losses. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=52330

cui bono: reading barely between the pro-u.s. lines
World Agenda: cricket attack exposes increasing chaos in Pakistan
March 4, 2009
Analysis Bronwen Maddox
Yesterday’s terrorist attacks do not mean that Pakistan is a failed state. But it has a failed President. Asif Zardari, a disastrous replacement for his assassinated wife, Benazir Bhutto, is compounding his country’s problems by his pursuit of personal survival at the expense of its Constitution, the rule of law and agreement between the main political parties that they will work to shore up democracy. He is utterly inadequate to meet the threat that Pakistan is facing.
=What is it facing? What kind of terrorist group would find it useful to hit at cricket, a national passion? Fingers were pointed yesterday at Lashkar-e-Taiba, widely held responsible for the Mumbai attacks.
The actions of militants make sense only if their aims are the destruction of the normal civil life of Pakistan, as well as the shattering of international links — particularly those with India and others on the sub-continent. Yesterday’s shootings show that terrorism can reach into the heart of Pakistan’s main cities — even Lahore, heart of the Punjab, the part of Pakistan that most solidly functions as a normal country.
The feature that gives cause for hope is that most Pakistanis are moderate and loathe religious extremism. Until recently, another claim for stability was that the big cities remained remarkably free of terrorist action. Normal commercial and sporting life must now be overshadowed by nervousness.
Will it help Mr Zardari? Not really. It would help a competent president, who might gain strength to rally the country against the threat of home-grown terrorism.
However, Mr Zardari is not that figure. He has proved as willing to talk to America and Britain about the war in Afghanistan as they could reasonably expect, but he will do any deal, it seems, to secure his survival. The most damaging for the stability of the country may prove to be last week’s support for the ruling by the highly politicised courts to bar Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League, from contesting elections. When Mrs Bhutto and Mr Sharif, heading the two main political parties, re-entered Pakistan in 2007, after years of exile, they swore to work together to restore democracy. That is a concept in which Mr Zardari is less interested, it seems.
Pakistan’s salvation is likely to depend on reforging commercial and social links with its neighbours to the east — India above all, but also Sri Lanka. The gunmen knew the value of their target.

Pakistani police 'were warned' of terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers
March 04, 2009
PAKISTANI police have been accused of having strong intelligence well in advance of yesterday's terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team but failing to deploy forces along the team's route. “Intelligence reports said that there might be an attack on the cricket team,” said Pervez Rashid, a senior member of the Punjab opposition. “They made no appropriate security arrangements for the team.” Pakistani news media publicised a document that appeared to show that local police had warned in writing that the Sri Lankan team might be targeted. The January 22 letter, from a member of the criminal investigation branch to the then provincial police chief, saying it was “learnt” that an attack was planned on the Sri Lankan team, either at their hotel or in transit between the hotel and the sports stadium. Police and administration officials met on January 23 to assess the threat and plan protection, according to the media reports. Islamabad was quick to dismiss the accusations of negligence. “It is disturbing that a major Pakistani political party would attempt to score cheap domestic points during such a serious incident,” said Farahnaz Ispahani, a spokesman for Zardari.

U.S. Unit Secretly in Pakistan Lends Ally Support
... They make up a secret task force, overseen by the United States Central Command and Special Operations Command. It started last summer, with the support of Pakistan’s government and military, in an effort to root out Qaeda and Taliban operations that threaten American troops in Afghanistan and are increasingly destabilizing Pakistan. It is a much larger and more ambitious effort than either country has acknowledged.
Pakistani officials have vigorously protested American missile strikes in the tribal areas as a violation of sovereignty and have resisted efforts by Washington to put more troops on Pakistani soil. President Asif Ali Zardari, who leads a weak civilian government, is trying to cope with soaring anti-Americanism among Pakistanis and a belief that he is too close to Washington...
American military officials remain frustrated that they have been unable to persuade the chief of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, to embrace serious counterinsurgency training for the army itself. General Kayani, who is visiting Washington this week as a White House review on policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan gets under way, will almost certainly be asked how the Pakistani military can do more to eliminate Al Qaeda and the Taliban from the tribal areas. The American officials acknowledge that at the very moment when Washington most needs Pakistan’s help, the greater tensions between Pakistan and India since the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last November have made the Pakistani Army less willing to shift its attention to the Qaeda and Taliban threat.
Officials from both Pakistan and the United States agreed to disclose some details about the American military advisers and the enhanced intelligence sharing to help dispel impressions that the missile strikes were thwarting broader efforts to combat a common enemy. They spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the increasingly powerful anti-American segment of the Pakistani population...
Intelligence from Pakistani informants has been used to bolster the accuracy of missile strikes from remotely piloted Predator and Reaper aircraft against the militants in the tribal areas, officials from both countries say. More than 30 attacks by the aircraft have been conducted since last August, most of them after President Zardari took office in September. A senior American military official said that 9 of 20 senior Qaeda and Taliban commanders in Pakistan had been killed by those strikes.
In addition, a team of Pakistani air defense controllers working in the United States Embassy in Islamabad ensures that Pakistani F-16 fighter-bombers conducting missions against militants in the tribal areas do not mistakenly hit remotely piloted American aircraft flying in the same area or a small number of C.I.A. operatives on the ground, a second senior Pakistani officer said....
The United States missile strikes, which have resulted in civilian casualties, have stirred heated debate among senior Pakistani government and military officials, despite the government’s private support for the attacks. One American official described General Kayani, who is known to be sensitive about the necessity of public support for the army, as very concerned that the American strikes had undermined the army’s authority. “These strikes are counterproductive,” Owais Ahmed Ghani, the governor of North-West Frontier Province, said in an interview in his office in Peshawar. “This is looking for a quick fix, when all it will do is attract more jihadis.” Pakistani Army officers say the American strikes draw retaliation against Pakistani troops in the tribal areas, whose convoys and bases are bombed or attacked with rockets after each United States missile strike.

20 Detained After Cricket Attack
...The owner of a hostel in an area of Lahore close to the attack said the police had detained about 13 students who were at his premises. The owner, Muhammad Ashger, said the students were arrested around midnight. A rocket launcher and clothes with bloodstains were recovered from the hostel, the police said. Another nearby hostel was searched by the police but no one was detained, Mr. Ashger said. A former interior minister, Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, who is a member of the Pakistan People’s Party of President Asif Ali Zardari, dismissed the detentions as meaningless. “They want to show to the world they are making arrests,” Mr. Sherpao said. “They don’t know anything. There is not any semblance of government.”
Newspaper editorials accused Mr. Zardari’s government and the opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, of devoting more attention to power politics than fighting terrorism. “The politicians need to wake up, bury the hatchet in the national good and rout the real enemy,” an editorial in Wednesday’s edition of Dawn, a national English-language newspaper, said....
The attack, which began at 9 a.m. Tuesday, appeared to have been well planned...The operation bore some similarity to the attack in November in Mumbai, India, in which 10 militants attacked hotels and other targets over three days, killing 163 people, security officials said.
In Lahore, the attackers also appeared to be in their early 20s. They wore sneakers and loose pants and carried backpacks loaded with weapons and high-energy snacks of dried fruit and chocolate, all characteristics of the Mumbai gunmen. The gunmen in Lahore walked casually as they fired, a stance that appeared to be part of the training of the attackers in Mumbai, security experts said. [more on Mumbai and its implications see http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/150 http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/151 ]
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack. A senior official at the Interior Ministry, Rehman Malik, who is close to President Zardari, said: “We suspect a foreign hand behind this incident. The democracy of the country has been undermined, and foreigners are repeatedly attacked to harm the country’s image.”
American counterterrorism officials said that it was too early to determine which group might be responsible, but that the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group, were possible suspects. One South Asia specialist also raised the possibility that Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka might have asked Lashkar-e-Taiba militants in Pakistan to attack the cricket team. If true, this would be an ominous sign of collaboration between regional terrorist groups.... The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, is scheduled to visit Pakistan on Wednesday on a previously planned trip. The F.B.I. offered to help in the investigation in Lahore, but had been told by the Pakistani government that its help was not needed, a senior bureau official said.

Pakistan Says Strikes Worsen Qaeda Threat
...They also voiced fears that the expected arrival of 17,000 American troops in Afghanistan this spring and summer would add to the stresses by pushing more Taliban fighters into Pakistan... The chief of the Pakistani Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has indicated that the impact on Pakistan of more American troops in Afghanistan will be among the most important topics at his meetings in Washington this week, Pakistani officials say. The assessment was provided during a two-hour briefing by senior analysts and officials of Pakistan's main spy service, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in keeping with the agency's policy. The analysis reflected the increasing public pressure on the Pakistani government to oppose the drone attacks, which are deeply unpopular here for the civilian casualties they have inflicted... and pointed to new and unintended dangers for American policy in the region -- a rapidly destabilized, nuclear-armed Pakistan, a state with a weak civilian government and a military struggling to fight an expanding insurgency. The sobering Pakistani assessment was in contrast to the optimism voiced earlier this month by the new American director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair....
American counterterrorism officials have long complained that Pakistan protects some militant groups like the Taliban as a proxy force, a charge that Pakistani officials say is no longer true. American officials say the longstanding ties are coming back to haunt Pakistan. ''In Pakistan, the jihadist Frankenstein monster that was created by the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani intelligence service is now increasingly turning on its creators,'' Bruce O. Riedel, a former C.I.A. analyst, said in an interview on the Council on Foreign Relations' Web site Jan. 28, two weeks before he was named chairman of President Obama's strategic review of Afghanistan and Pakistan....

Because You'll Believe Anything: Unknown Terrorist Group Claims Responsibility For Marriot Bombing
Winter Patriot
In a phone call to an Islamabad TV station, "a group calling itself Fedayeen-i-Islam" claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad, according to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn. Fedayeen-i-Islam is "a little-known group" according to Bloomberg. But just how little-known? Dawn's report quotes "a senior [Pakistani] government official" as saying: "We have not heard the name of the organisation but we are trying to locate its network." Amazing. Ever since Saturday night's bombing the media have been wrestling with the big question: "Why did al Qaeda do this?" But now they have to deal with a different question: "How is Fedayeen-i-Islam related to al Qaeda?" (...)It's nice to know the big questions are looked after. That gives us leeway -- here in the frozen corners of the blogosphere -- to ask meaningless little insignificant questions, like: What were US Marines doing in the Marriot Hotel just before the attack?... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=47445

US Targets Peacemakers While Pakistan Battles American-Taliban
By: Peter Chamberlin
...In the Marriott terror-bombing, which immediately became known as “Pakistan’s 911” because of the unusual evidence which points to foreign sources, the people and government were given notice of their vulnerability to terrorism.  In this suspicious bombing, as in all these Oklahoma City type bombings, the government almost immediately blames “al Qaida linked groups.”  ... It sickens me to see the terror and slaughter being rained down upon the heads of our Brothers and Sisters, the Pakistani people.  The hotel terror bombing is merely the latest and greatest act of violence, coming after Predator attacks, kidnappings and assassinations,...
In a series of Predator attacks since early August, the targets have been the associates of pro-government “Taliban,”  like Waziri leader Maulvi Nazir, or old jihadists Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (who were formerly aligned with the US against the Soviets).  The town of Wana in S. Waziristan is the epicenter of the recent Predator incursions into Pakistan, which have been targeting the local leaders who are friendly to the government.  These are the guys who want peace, the ones who recently joined and raised a militia of 20,000 fighters, vowing to repel any invading forces, standing with the Army to defend Pakistan.

This is the problem – the  US is waging war with the Pakistani government’s decision to negotiate peace.  To that end, American Predators are terror-bombing the most reasonable locals, turning entire families towards the path of retribution. Local networks and agents of foreign intelligence services are attacking government forces and sowing terror among the civilian population, while attacking the Shiite minority trying to ignite a sectarian war.  This is the “tickling” referred to recently by CIA Director Michael Hayden, the means to prod the peaceful locals into taking-up arms and reacting violently.  Every terrorist act and the way it is reported by the Western media is intended to provide the justification for a major escalation of military action.  Fifty-three people died when one of these players “tickled” the citizens of Islamabad by dumping an extremely powerful bomb into the Marriott hotel entrance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1KYKslZY8s ...

If the object of the attack was to decapitate the government, then this attack with an extremely powerful, extremely sophisticated bomb was an act of war that probably required state support from one or more foreign governments.

 A series of editorials in Pakistani newspapers are laying the blame for the hotel bombing and sponsorship of TTP (Tereek e-Taliban Pakistan) the “local Taliban” on the CIA and the Afghan, Indian and Israeli intelligence agencies. 
“General Kayani Must Not Blink and Pakistan's Taliban Are CIA” Islamabad accuses US of backing terror against Pakistan                                            
Indian RAW attacks Pakistan through proxy Mehsuds TTP      
“In repect of Pakistan Political Analysts and Intellectuals”
Another Terrorist Attack in Pakistan by U.S and India
These revelations started surfacing when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani confronted Washington about CIA sponsorship of the terrorist group, in response to US charges of ISI (Pakistani intelligence) complicity with the Taliban.  ...

Lieut. General Ayaz Ahmed:
“Firstly, let me clarify, the phrase Taliban has been coined by the  CIA, to give the Afghan freedom fighters a bad religious extremist connotation. The fighters in Afghanistan are freedom fighters pure and simple.  They are fighting the invaders i.e. USA and their toadies. They are mostly Afghans with a smacking of foreigners, mostly Muslims from all  over who had been encouraged and brought to Afghanistan by the  Americans when they wanted the Soviets out. Some of the foreigners  have stayed on because their own countries have disowned them.
So  they too have joined the Afghans in fighting the invaders as they have no other option. These operate purely in Afghanistan. Occasionally, when too  much pressure builds up on them, they slip  into the wild areas of FATA for temporary refuge.

Those, this side of the border in FATA and the settled  areas, are basically Indian and CIA trained and funded Indians as well  as Afghans and some misguided Pakistan nationals. They are basically  following the directions from RAW and CIA. Their task is to  destabilize the Law and Order situation in Pakistan, damage the economy  and thus bare Pakistan Government to US manipulations. Thereby the US aim to convince the West that Pakistan govt is unstable and there is risk of its nuclear assets falling into the hands of extremists, and therefore must be removed by force for the 'safety of the world'.

Re Targets. Since most of the terrorists in FATA are American agents, they are not targeted by the US forces. Only those elements in FATA  are targeted who are friendly to Pakistan and want the American influence out.  Even when Pakistan asks for satellite info re the miscreants in FATA, so that we take them on, the Americans do not provide the information. In fact in some cases they have been informing the Terrorists in FATA of the Peccary convoys for ambushes. So much for the ally of allies of US!
I have been saying that the trouble in this region started after the Americans came. It will go away only when the Americans are driven out. THE AMERICANS ARE THE PROBLEM. [...]peter.chamberlin@yahoo.com

US, North Korean generals meet amid new tension
March 2, 2009
American and North Korean generals sat down together this morning for the first time in six years, after the US was accused of deliberate provocation in the tense border zone between the two Koreas. The meeting, in the frontier area of Panmunjom on the dividing line between North and South Korea, comes at a time of increasing tension over the North’s preparations for firing a long-range rocket, which could strike targets in the far western US. But the North has accused the US side of making mischief of its own in the so-called Demilitarised Zone – the narrow border strip across which North Korea’s huge army faces well-equipped American and South Korean forces. "The US imperialist aggression forces in South Korea are stalking in groups in the above-said area any time they please,” said a statement put out over the weekend by the state Korean Central News Agency. “Such acts perpetrated . . . when the north-south relations are inching close to the brink of a war may touch off unpredictable military conflicts,” it continued. The statement accused US troops of twice approaching the Military Demarcation Line (MDL), which marks the border proper and which is flanked by a cordon sanitaire of one kilometre on either side. “On January 5 and 21 they approached as close as 30 metres from the MDL . . . in the Western region and took photographs of a [North Korean observation] post”. It said that military vehicles approached within 100 metres of the border “on as many as 66 occasions” in the first seven weeks of the year...
This morning’s meeting was attended by a major-general of the US Air Force, representing the United Nations Command which defended [SIC] South Korea during the Korean War. A statement for the UN command said that the talks, the first of their kind since 2002, “can be useful in building trust and preventing misunderstanding as well as introducing transparency regarding the intentions of both sides”. Far from representing a positive step, however, the North’s demand for the meeting seems to be symptomatic of increasing tension preceding the promised firing of the rocket that is expected this month. The North insists that it is a vehicle for the launch of a peaceful communications satellite; foreign governments say that, even if this is true, its potential for dual use as a missile makes any test launch a violation of UN resolutions...

American influence in the post-Soviet sphere — underlies the raft of policy disputes between the capitals, said Professor Angela E. Stent, who directs Russian studies at Georgetown University. Resolving it “may be impossible to do,” she said, “but it has to be tried.”

The Obama-Medvedev Turbo Shuffle
Pepe Escobar
The Obama administration urgently needs to do a couple of things: learn to play chess; and watch the DVD of the Godfather saga, especially larger-than-life parts I and II.

Obama's reply to Russian President's inauguration message
Obama Offered Deal to Russia in Secret Letter
The secret letter said the United States would back off on a missile defense system in eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles American officials said Monday. The letter to President Dmitri A. Medvedev was hand-delivered in Moscow by top administration officials three weeks ago.

Obama denies Iran offer to Russia
Barack Obama dismissed NYT reports that he had linked halting Washington's plans for a missile defence shield in Eastern Europe to Russian help on containing Iran's nuclear programme. The New York Times reported that Obama had last month offered the deal in a letter hand-delivered to Dmitry Medvedev, his Russian counterpart, in Moscow by officials in the US administration...

Is Obama embracing the lawless, omnipotent executive?
Glenn Greenwald
#To prevent a ruling on whether Bush's NSA program was illegal, the Obama DOJ is on the verge of defying a court order, and justifying its defiance with Cheney/Addington theories of executive power
# Obama's efforts to block a judicial ruling on Bush's illegal eavesdropping
The Obama DOJ engages in still more efforts to preserve the detention and secrecy architecture built by its predecessors
...As Marcy Wheeler documents in detail, the Obama DOJ is now spouting the Cheney/Addington view of government in its purest and most radical expression. Citing lengthy excepts from the Obama DOJ's brief filed on Friday following its loss in the appeals court -- a brief that could easily have been written by John Yoo or David Addington in its distinctly un-American and anti-constitutional theories purporting to vest unchallengeable, unreviewable power in the President -- Wheeler writes:
This whole passage, read in the context of the wholesale rollback on Executive claims to have exclusive control over classified information just reeks of desperation. Not to mention an acceptance of Cheney's contention that we have fewer than one--or even two--branches of government.

The brief filed by Obama on Friday afternoon (.pdf) has to be read to believed. It is literally arguing that no court has the power to order that classified documents be used in a judicial proceeding; instead, it is the President -- and the President alone -- who possesses that decision-making power under Article II, and no court order is binding on the President to the extent it purports to direct that such information be made available for use in a judicial proceeding. [...]
Glenn Greenwald Radio
* Salon Radio: Lanny Davis on Accountability Now and primary challenges
* More Glenn Greenwald Radio

Blueprints for a Police State
Marjorie Cohn
Seven newly released memos from the Bush Justice Department reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the President with power to override the Constitution. The memos provide "legal" rationales for the President to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of U.S. citizens; lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely in the United States without criminal charges; send suspected terrorists to other countries where they will likely be tortured; and unilaterally abrogate treaties.

a well-kept secret
In its final days, the George W. Bush administration issued a Justice Department opinion dramatically reversing most of the legal arguments that governed its war on terrorism - from interrogations to electronic surveillance.

Ex-Leaders of Countrywide Profit From Bad Loans
Executives from the company synonymous with the housing bubble are now buying distressed properties. Fairly or not, Countrywide Financial and its top executives would be on most lists of those who share blame for the nation’s economic crisis. After all, the banking behemoth made risky loans to tens of thousands of Americans, helping set off a chain of events that has the economy staggering. So it may come as a surprise that a dozen former top Countrywide executives now stand to make millions from the home mortgage mess. Stanford L. Kurland, Countrywide’s former president, and his team have been buying up delinquent home mortgages that the government took over from other failed banks, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. They get a piece of what they can collect. “It has been very successful — very strong,” John Lawrence, the company’s head of loan servicing, told Mr. Kurland one recent morning in a glass-walled boardroom here at PennyMac’s spacious headquarters, opened last year in the same Los Angeles suburb where Countrywide once flourished. “In fact, it’s off-the-charts good,” he told Mr. Kurland, who was leaning back comfortably in his leather boardroom chair, even as the financial markets in New York were plunging. As hundreds of billions of dollars flow from Washington to jump-start the nation’s staggering banks, automakers and other industries, a new economy is emerging of businesses that hope to make money from the various government programs that make up the largest economic rescue in history. They include big investors who are buying up failed banks taken over by the federal government and lobbyists. And there is PennyMac, led by Mr. Kurland, 56, once the soft-spoken No. 2 to Angelo R. Mozilo, the perpetually tanned former chief executive of Countrywide and its public face....

A war budget and
America's Fiscal Collapse
Michel Chossudovsky
"We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger" ( President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address 24 Feb 2009)
"Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account—to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day—because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government." President Barack Obama, A New Era of Responsibility, the 2010 Budget)
...Financial manipulation is an integral part of the New World Order. It constitutes a powerful means to accumulate wealth. Under the present political arrangement, those responsible for monetary policy are quite deliberately serving the interests of the financiers, to the detriment of working people, leading to economic dislocation, unemployment and mass poverty. This article has focused on how financial manipulation has served to shatter the structure of US public expenditure. This restructuring of global financial markets and institutions (alongside the pillage of national economies) has enabled the accumulation of vast amounts of private wealth – a large portion amassed as a result of strictly speculative transactions. ...

[U.S.] Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid
One in every 31 adults is in prison, on parole or probation, at a cost of $47 billion in 2008

Predatory lending with a smiley face
Obama is banking on "loan modifications" to help struggling homeowners -- but mortgage brokers are the winners.
By Alyssa Katz
"Loan modification is not only ineffective, it is evil. Coercing borrowers to continue paying a mortgage on a home that is hopelessly overvalued and not informing them of alternatives is predatory lending."
California real estate broker Ramsey Su in the Wall Street Journal
By the Obama administration's account, its new housing rescue plan, which goes into effect on Wednesday, will pull up to 4 million homeowners back from the brink of foreclosure. It also offers another 5 million or so excessively indebted borrowers the chance to refinance into lower-interest loans. But the biggest winners in the government's $275 billion homeowner bailout just might be the mortgage brokers who were largely responsible for creating the disaster in the first place. Many are now reinventing themselves as heroes of the mortgage crisis by offering loan modification services. And between its new cash support and the refinancing program, through which they can benefit from the federal aid via brokers' fees, the Obama homeowner bailout might as well be a full employment program for them. The Treasury Department's FAQ for borrowers warns, "Borrowers should beware of any organization that attempts to charge a fee for housing counseling or modification of a delinquent loan, especially if they require a fee in advance." But nothing in the homeowner bailout prevents these middlemen from stepping in and taking a cut.
In California, home to nearly one-fourth of all the foreclosures in the country, there are now applications pending from some 500 brokers and real estate agents seeking to get in on this new line of business, which hardly existed six months ago (but now has its own trade group). California's Department of Real Estate, which licenses mortgage brokers and real estate agents, has so far authorized more than 200 companies to negotiate with mortgage lenders to modify loans, and the list grows longer every week. They may charge borrowers whatever they choose for this service, as long as they only collect a portion of the fee upfront and take the rest once the job is completed. The going rate ranges from a flat $2,985 to about 1 percent of the amount of the mortgage, or $4,000 on a $400,000 loan.
The problem is that the majority of loan mods are lousy deals for homeowners. Federal banking regulators recently determined that more than half of all mortgages that were modified by lenders in early 2008 ended up heading into foreclosure again in less than six months. Most loan modifications, in fact, dig borrowers deeper into debt.

finally...U.S. has already deployed military in the 'homeland' against 'extremists'
By Geraint Jones
TOP secret contingency plans have been drawn up to counter the threat posed by a "summer of discontent" in Britain.The "double-whammy" of the worst economic crisis in living memory and a motley crew of political extremists determined to stir up civil disorder has led to the ­extraordinary step of the Army being put on ­standby. MI5 and Special Branch are targeting activists they fear could inflame anger over job losses and payouts to failed bankers... This week Britain’s most senior police officer warned that the summer could bring a wave of protests orchestrated by extremists in which ordinary people, fired by their own anger and fear at the economic downturn – became "foot soldiers".
What worries emergency planners most is that the middle classes, now struggling to cope with unemployment and repossessions, may take to the streets with the disenfranchised...
Superintendent David Hartshorn, who heads the Met’s public order branch, identified the G20 as the possible start of a "summer of rage". The "protest season" is due to ­begin on April 1 with the G20 Summit in London next month, followed by the 60th anniversary of Nato in Strasbourg a few days later. May Day is also ­potentially a flashpoint. The Stop the War coalition, orchestrating the G20 protest, said: "The first week of April could be a week world leaders will never forget."
http://www.uruknet.de/?p=5232 www.express.co.uk/posts/view/86981/MI5-alert-on-bank-riots