American military creating an environmental disaster in Afghan countryside (Part 2 of 3)

Matthew Nasuti

American military creating an environmental disaster in Afghan countryside (Part 1 of 3)
American military creating an environmental disaster in Afghan countryside (Part 3 of 3)

American Military Burn Pits Pollute Afghan Countryside

Pentagon officials seem to support the following epitaph for Afghanistan:

We had to pollute the Afghan countryside in order to save it from the Taliban."

In reality, the American military did not have to pollute. It chose to be sloppy and reckless and to ignore environmental standards.

On October 28, 2009, George W. Bush, in one of his last acts as President, signed into law H.R. 2647, which included provisions of “The Military Personnel War Zone Toxic Exposure Prevention Act.” The Act was sponsored by Congressman Tim Bishop of New York. It banned the use of burn pits in Afghanistan by the military. What is disturbing about H.R. 2647 is that an act of Congress was necessary to force the Pentagon to act responsibly and cease its use of toxic (open air) burning pits. It raises the question about how committed the Pentagon is to environmental protection and to the people of Afghanistan.

The impetus for this legislation was a courageous report written by Lieutenant Colonel Darrin L. Curtis, PhD BSC. Lt. Col. Curtis was a Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight Commander at Balad Air Base in Iraq in 2006. He wrote a report on the environmental and health impacts of the Balad burn pits. His report, dated December 20, 2006, concluded that the burn pit was “the worst environmental site” he had seen in seventeen years of environmental work in the United States. He characterized the smoke released by the military as: “an acute health hazard” to everyone who has been deployed or will be deployed to Balad. He disclosed that the U.S. Army completed a study in April 2006, that supported his findings. It was generated by the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. Lt. Col. Curtis’ report was reviewed and endorsed by his equally courageous superior, Lieutenant Colonel James R. Elliott, MC, SPS, Chief Aeromedical Services. After that, the report went up the chain of command to more senior military officers much less courageous. They and the Pentagon ignored the report’s findings.

New York Car Bomb Incident: Another False Flag?

Stephen Lendman

On May 1, New York Times writers Al Baker and William Rashbaum headlined, "Police Find Car Bomb in Times Square," saying:

"A crude car bomb of propane, gasoline and fireworks was discovered in a 'smoking' Nissan Pathfinder in the heart of Times Square on Saturday evening, prompting the evacuation of thousands of tourists and theatergoers on a warm and busy night."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed

"We were very lucky. We avoided what could have been a very deadly event."

For much of the evening, Midtown New York, from 43rd - 48th streets, was closed, heightening fear reported for hours on cable news shows, including statements by Bloomberg, Governor David Paterson, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, saying the bomb "appeared (to be) in the process of detonating, but it malfunctioned."

Good luck or something else? We've seen this too often not to be suspicious. This one, like others, has all the earmarks of a false flag, more likely given its coverage and location in Times Square on Saturday night, followed by a May 2 video saying the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.

Who could imagine they had a branch office in New York, and no one even noticed. At least that's the impression from media disinformation, hyped to spread fear and prepare the public for what's to come, perhaps something much worse.

In addition, like previous times, a suspect is already in custody, a Muslim, of course, as part of the anti-Islamic post-9/11 rage, and given how abusively he may be treated (including frightening threats of life in prison or the death penalty), perhaps will confess to anything or make it appear that he did so headlines can blare it.

Top Media Lies About Iran

Huda Jawad

The Peace Prize President in the White House continues to increase his empty, but angry rhetoric in an attempt to garner enough support for a strike on Iran. The propaganda juggernaut is in full action, and thousands of articles, TV shows, and politicians are beating the drums for a war against Iran. If this sounds eerily familiar, it’s because it is. In 2001, the London Observer ran a series of reports linking Iraq to the September 11 attacks and going as far as to claim there were secret bases in Iraq that produced anthrax as a weapon of mass destruction.

In late 2009, The Times of London published a now admittedly forged document it asserted revealed “a four-year plan [by Iran] to test a neutron initiator.” On the same day, Catherine Phillips, another writer for The Times, quoted Mark Fitzpatrick barefacedly saying,

“Is this the smoking gun? That’s the question people should be asking. It looks like the smoking gun. This is smoking uranium.”

To the naïve, this would be a shocking use of the media to garner support for a war that is pre-emptive and unjustified. To everyone else, it’s a repeat of 2001 and the pre-Iraq war legacy of the two biggest war criminals of our generation: George Bush and Tony Blair.

Not surprisingly, very few members of the corporate owned media have bothered to ask: does Iran have nuclear weapons? Does Iran even want nuclear weapons? It doesn’t matter. When the media is as prostituted as it is now, the sole aim is to convince the masses that Iran threatens our very existence and must be dealt with in a manner that disregards every single international law and charter. The Times of London is part of the seasoned propagandist Rupert Murdoch publishing empire that owns Fox News, the Sunday Times, and the New York Post. As expected, each and every Murdoch-owned media outlet views Iran from a decidedly pro-Israeli lens and disregards the need for evidence in making claims against a country that has fulfilled every clause of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT or NNPT). -You know, the same one Israel refuses to sign. Below are the top myths the media tells us daily about Iran.

New York Times minimizes Gulf oil spill

Tom Eley

The April 20 blowout on a BP oil rig 50 miles off Louisiana’s coast, which claimed the lives of 11 workers, continues to gush millions of gallons of heavy crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico with no clear end in sight. The disaster has already led to major economic and environmental devastation, with the Gulf Coast’s multi-billion-dollar fishing industry suspended in high season.

With the calamity resulting from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon growing worse by the day, the New York Times, the leading publication of US liberalism and self-styled “newspaper of record,” declares in a Tuesday “new analysis” that the spill is really not so serious after all. The column, “Gulf Oil Spill Is Bad, but How Bad?” is a thoroughly dishonest piece whose clear aim is to chloroform mounting public anger against BP and the Obama administration.

The Times starts its column with a series of lies and half-truths. Dismissing “some experts” who “predict apocalypse,” authors John Broder and Tom Zeller declare that

the “Deepwater Horizon blowout is not unprecedented, nor is it yet among the worst oil accidents in history.” In the Times’ estimation, whether or not it achieves historic status “will depend on a long list of interlinked variables.”

With millions of gallons of oil spilled near a densley populated and economically crucial area, the Deepwater Horizon disaster is already among the worst oil spills in history, the Times’ “long list of interlinked variables” notwithstanding.

Rwanda Pursues Dissenters and the Homeless

Jeffrey Gettleman

Hundreds of young adults and minors arrested for petty crimes
ranging from being homeless to not having an identification card
awaited the arrival of a government minister to Iwawa Island.
Photo: Jehad Nga for The New York Times.

Iwawa Island, Rwanda — A few months ago, Gasigwa Gakunzi was hanging around a ramshackle house where poor children pay to watch television when the Rwandan police arrested him for loitering. The next thing he knew, he said, he was taken away from his family and carted off to this remote island in the middle of Lake Kivu.

Gasigwa, 14, now spends his days learning patriotic songs and how to march like a soldier. At night, he sleeps in a huge sheet-metal shed with hundreds of men and boys packed mattress to mattress.

“Please call my father,” he whispered. “He has no idea where I am.”

Nearly 900 beggars, homeless people and suspected petty thieves, including dozens of children, have recently been rounded up from the nation’s neatly swept streets and sent — without trial or a court appearance — to this little-known outpost. They will spend up to three years here being “rehabilitated,” learning skills like bricklaying, hairdressing and motorcycle maintenance.

It is one of the country’s newest self-improvement projects, and it seems a fitting symbol for what many political analysts and human rights groups say Rwanda has become: orderly but repressive.

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