11/26/14

Permalink 41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground

New analysis of data conducted by human rights group Reprieve shared with the Guardian, raises questions about accuracy of intelligence guiding ‘precise’ strikes. The drones came for Ayman Zawahiri on 13 January 2006, hovering over a village in Pakistan called Damadola. Ten months later, they came again for the man who would become al-Qaida’s leader, this time in Bajaur. Eight years later, Zawahiri is still alive. Seventy-six children and 29 adults, according to reports after the two strikes, are not. However many Americans know who Zawahiri is, far fewer are familiar with Qari Hussain. Hussain was a deputy commander of the Pakistani Taliban, a militant group aligned with al-Qaida that trained the would-be Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, before his unsuccessful 2010 attack. The drones first came for Hussain years before, on 29 January 2008. Then they came on 23 June 2009, 15 January 2010, 2 October 2010 and 7 October 2010. Finally, on 15 October 2010, Hellfire missiles fired from a Predator or Reaper drone killed Hussain, the Pakistani Taliban later confirmed. For the death of a man whom practically no American can name, the US killed 128 people, 13 of them children, none of whom it meant to harm.


Permalink The American Dream Has Moved to Scandinavia

We noted in 2010 that the American Dream – the possibility of a “rags to riches” success story – has moved abroad … since social mobility in the U.S. is much lower than in many other developed nations. (And we pointed out that conservatives are as disturbed as liberals by the collapse of social mobility in modern America.) A paper published last year by University of Ottawa economics professor Miles Corak tells us exactly where the American Dream has gone … to Scandinavia. Denmark, Norway and Finland have the most social mobility (and Sweden is not that far behind). On the other hand, the UK, Italy and America have the least social mobility. [...] Norway is arguably the world’s most prosperous country. Denmark is 3rd; Sweden is 6th; and Finland is 8th … but the U.S. has dropped down to 10th place.


Permalink Neocon weekend coup d'état

xymphora The Jewish billionaires have finally told Barry their price for funding his very comfortable retirement - more Wars For The Jews. They had to wait for the Republicans to retake the Senate so they could force a neocon Secretary of Defense. In quick succession in the last few days we've seen:

1. Barry extending and expanding the War For The Jews in Afghanistan;
2. the mysterious collapse of the Iran peace talks (Iran thought they were headed for a deal and suddenly the other side turned away - see also "France Mistral Ship Update: Hollande Suspends Decision To Deliver Warships To Russia" connected for the War For The Jews against Russia being carried on in Ukraine);
3. the rather vicious firing of Hagel, the viciousness coming no doubt from the Jewish idea that he is an anti-Semite due to his skepticism at running all American foreign and military policy solely for the benefit of Zionism;
4. a new call for more sanctions on Iran in order to undermine any chances for peace (note the change from November 21 - "Why Is AIPAC Suddenly So Silent on Iran?" to November 24 - "AIPAC Leads Call for Sanctions to Sabotage Iran Talks").

Wayne Madsen Hagel’s Head Delivered to the Neocons on a Silver Platter || Hagel wanted a clear administration determination on what its priorities were in the Middle East. After making it clear at Cabinet meetings that ISIL was the primary threat to the entire Middle East region, Hagel was frustrated at the push-back from policy makers like Rice and her compatriot Power. To defeat ISIL quickly, there had to be an end to U.S. military advice and weaponry, in addition to finances, getting into ISIL hands through interlocutors like McCain’s friends in the Free Syrian Army and the government of Turkey. That is where Hagel ran into opposition from the Obama administration’s «Responsibility to Protect» (R2P) crowd of Rice, Power, Rhodes, and the rest of those who Hagel once referred to as Washington’s «Jewish Lobby». These extreme interventionists are in bed with Israel’s government in providing aid to Syria’s Al Nusra Front guerrillas who are allied with ISIL. With Hagel and Dempsey arguing for consistency in America’s policy against ISIL, which would entail coming to an accommodation with Assad and Damascus, a clash with the pro-Israeli neocons was bound to occur. When push came to shove, Hagel was shoved out the door.


11/25/14

Permalink US promotes terrorism by funding Takfiris: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the United States promotes terrorism by financing terrorists and creating division instead of strengthening unity among world nations. The Russian leader made the comments on Friday during a speech at the plenary session of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi. “In Syria, just like in old times, the US and its allies began to provide militants with direct funding and weapons to incite filling of their ranks by mercenaries from different countries,” Putin said, adding that this is how the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group has turned into a “de facto army.” “They [ISIL terrorists] are active in a highly effective manner, from the military perspective, they are real professionals,” he stated. Putin also said another reason why the ISIL has gained so much power is because the so-called anti-ISIL coalition, led by the US, is creating division among regional powers. The Russian president went on to say that such “unilateral dictatorship” does not help anti-terror efforts; instead it causes “growing chaos” in stable states. Those who support terrorism should reflect on their actions, said Putin, stressing that the same terrorists they are backing will “someday come and sow death to their countries.”


Permalink Talks should lead to recognition of Iran nuclear rights: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed that the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 should lead to the recognition of the Islamic Republic’s right to the enrichment of uranium for peaceful purposes on Iranian soil. President Putin made the remark in a telephone conversation with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Monday. During the conversation, both leaders discussed the developments regarding the recent nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 states – Russia, China, Britain, France, the US and Germany. In their last round of talks before a November 24 deadline, Iran and the six countries wrapped up a week of closed-door nuclear negotiations in Vienna, Austria, on Monday.


Permalink A License To Kill: No Indictment for Ferguson Officer

A Missouri grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a prosecutor announced late Monday. “The physical and scientific evidence examined by the grand jury, combined with the witness statements, supported and substantiated by that physical evidence, tells the accurate and tragic story of what happened,” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch told reporters. After an “exhaustive review,” the jurors deliberated for two days, he said. The grand jurors are “the only ones who have heard all the evidence,” McCulloch said. Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed Brown, a black teenager, on August 9. Hundreds of people gathered outside the Ferguson police station reacted with anger and dismay as word spread that there would be no indictment.

Grand Jury Evidence: State of Missouri vs. Darren Wilson
PressTV: Missouri grand jury's decision ‘a slap in the face to Americans’
Tampa Bay Times: Reaction to no indictment for Ferguson cop in Michael Brown shooting
Reading Eagle: Anger erupts in Ferguson after grand jury votes not to indict police officer
Reuters: Violence flares after grand jury decides against charges in Ferguson shooting
The Guardian: What next for Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown?
La Jornada: Estallan disturbios por fallo en Ferguson; protestas en Nueva York

Andre Damon No indictment for Ferguson cop who killed Michael Brown || St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert P. McCulloch’s statement Monday night that no charges will be filed against Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown is a travesty of justice. The entire process through which the grand jury arrived at its decision is a legal fraud. The outcome is not the result of fair judicial proceedings, but political calculations. The grand jury returned the outcome the state was seeking: no charges for the police murder of an unarmed African American youth. Despite the fact that the decision was not announced until after 9:00pm eastern time, there were protests Monday night throughout the United States.


Permalink U.S. Among Only 3 Countries at U.N. Officially Backing Nazism & Holocaust-Denial; Israel Parts Company from Them; Germany Abstains

Eric Zuesse In a U.N. vote, on November 21st, only three countries — the United States, Ukraine, and Canada — voted against a resolution to condemn racist facsism, or “nazism,” and to condemn denial of Germany’s World War II Holocaust against primarily Jews. This measure passed the General Assembly, on a vote of 115 in favor, 3 against, and 55 abstentions (the abstentions were in order not to offend U.S. President Obama, who was opposed to the resolution). The measure had been presented to their General Assembly after a period of more than a decade of rising “neo-Nazi” (i.e., racist-fascist) movements in Europe, including especially in Ukraine, where two Ukrainian nazi parties were installed by the U.S. into high posts in Ukraine’s new government, immediately after the democratically elected Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych was overthrown in a violent coup in Kiev during February of this year. [...] Ukraine voted no on this resolution because this new Ukrainian Government is the only nazi regime in the world.[...] Germany abstained from voting on this resolution because their leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, does not want to offend the U.S. President by voting for a resolution that the U.S. Government strongly opposes; and also because, as today’s leader of the land where nazism started — in the first nazi political party, the Nazi Party of Germany — she does not want Germany to vote against a resolution that condemns Nazism.


Permalink Putin Will Not Let Nazis Overrun East Ukraine

You can read the full interview here. But the following quote is, I believe, crucial:

"Today there is fighting in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian central authorities have sent the armed forces there and they even use ballistic missiles. Does anybody speak about it? Not a single word. And what does it mean? What does it tell us? This points to the fact, that you want the Ukrainian central authorities to annihilate everyone there, all of their political foes and opponents. Is that what you want? We certainly don't. And we won't let it happen."

The Russian original sentence is: "Вы этого хотите? Мы не хотим. И не позволим." I personally would translate this sentence "You want that? We don't. And we will not allow this." You could also translate the last part as "we will not permit this". This is not an expression of a preference or a much more vague "we won't condone" or "we oppose". This is a very categorical statement which warns that Russia will proactively prevent such an outcome. As I said it many times here already: Russia will not let the Nazis overrun Novorussia.


Permalink The Englishman who took a bullet for Russia

I have been aware of the numerous reports by Graham Phillips from Novorussia and I knew that he had been kidnapped by Ukrainian goons not once, but twice. What always touched me in his reports was the visible fondness of the Novorussians for Graham, and in this video below you will see them calling him "Gremchik". Not even Graham (terrible!) British accent could be an obstacle for the respect and affection the Novorussians showed him (and in this video, they are clearly upset and distressed at the fact that he got hurt). I know that Graham did not truly "take a bullet for Russia", but that he probably took it for the cause of honest journalism and I would say for the Truth. But I am also quite sure that for the Novorussians it was "our Gremchik" who took a bullet for "us". In my opinion President Putin should bestow the medal "for bravery" to Graham just as he did to that other fantastic reporter, Anastasia Popopva, for her truly heroic reporting from Syria. Check out the video (left) of how Phillips was wounded. He took a shrapnel wound to his lower back and his life is not in danger. I wish him a prompt recovery and I hope that his work will finally get the recognition it deserves. And even if his courage and integrity are never recognized in the West, his example proves one more time that there is this "other West" which is not hostile to Russia at all and which is principled and honorable. - The Saker


11/24/14

Permalink Hagel Submits Resignation as Defense Chief Under Pressure

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel handed in his resignation on Monday, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and the struggles of his national security team to respond to an onslaught of global crises.
Administration officials said that Mr. Obama made the decision to remove Mr. Hagel, the sole Republican on his national security team, last Friday after a series of meetings between the two men over the past two weeks.
The officials characterized the decision as a recognition that the threat from the militant group Islamic State will require different skills from those that Mr. Hagel, who often struggled to articulate a clear viewpoint and was widely viewed as a passive defense secretary, was brought in to employ.

PressTV: Hagel bows to pressure from White House


Permalink Regin, new computer spying bug, discovered by Symantec

A leading computer security company says it has discovered one of the most sophisticated pieces of malicious software ever seen. Symantec says the bug, named Regin, was probably created by a government and has been used for six years against a range of targets around the world. Once installed on a computer, it can do things like capture screenshots, steal passwords or recover deleted files. Experts say computers in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Ireland have been hit most. It has been used to spy on government organisations, businesses and private individuals, they say. Researchers say the sophistication of the software indicates that it is a cyber-espionage tool developed by a nation state.


Permalink Planned Israeli Bill Would Revoke Residency for ‘Bad People’ and Their Relatives

A planned, but as-of-yet not introduced bill is being hyped by Israel’s far-right coalition, which would give the Interior Ministry broad power to revoke the residency of Arabs deemed to be a threat to “state sovereignty.” Incredibly, the bill will also allow the ministry to expel their relatives, even if they haven’t done anything. Though it’s being couched as an “anti-terror” measure, the bill also covers people who the government perceives as “inciting violence” through speech or activism, as well as “rioters” and rock-throwers. And obviously all of their families. Interior Minister Gilad Erdan embraced the idea to give him this huge new power, which Jerusalem’s mayor couched as granting the Israeli government to nullify citizenship or residency of “bad people.” Naturally, the bill only applies to Arabs, and seems to be focused squarely on occupied East Jerusalem.

Irish Times: Israel approves law that makes country a Jewish state The Israeli cabinet has endorsed a controversial Bill enshrining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, despite criticism by Israel’s Arab minority who fear the measure will leave them as second-class citizens. A divided cabinet voted 14-6 in favour of the Bill yesterday after a session that ministers described as a “shouting match”. Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly banged on the table and said “it cannot be that Arabs can live in Jewish towns, but Jews can’t live in Arab towns. A country within a country is developing.” He said the law was needed because Palestinians refused to recognise Israel as a Jewish state and Israeli Arabs were seeking autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev.


Permalink Scientific study reveals conspiracy theorists the most sane of all

Researchers — psychologists and social scientists, mostly — in the U.S. and United Kingdom say data indicate that, contrary to those mainstream media stereotypes, “conspiracy theorists” appear to be more sane than people who accept official versions of controversial and contested events. If you’re a conspiracy theorist, then you’re crazy, right? That’s been the common belief for years, but recent studies prove that just the opposite is true. Researchers — psychologists and social scientists, mostly — in the U.S. and United Kingdom say data indicate that, contrary to those mainstream media stereotypes, “conspiracy theorists” appear to be more sane than people who accept official versions of controversial and contested events. The most recent study was published in July 2013 by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent in the UK. Entitled “‘What about Building 7?’ A Social Psychological Study of Online Discussion of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories,” the study compared “conspiracist,” or pro-conspiracy theory, and “conventionalist,” or anti-conspiracy, comments on news websites.

The Saker On conspiracy theories and credibility


Permalink Heartbreaking Ukraine Civilian Bombing Video

Old man breaks down seeing his wife and grandchild killed: I'll avenge
my granddaughter and wife.
Ukraine explained: Eric Zuesse on AWIP


Permalink Russian foreign ministry regrets U.S., Canada, Ukraine vote against UN resolution

Russia’s Foreign Ministry regrets the U.S., Canada and Ukraine have voted against the UN resolution on fighting glorification of Nazism, and the EU countries’ delegations have abstained from voting. “Ukraine’s position is especially regretful. It is tough to realise how a country, which people had experienced the horrors of Nazism and had made a major input in the common Victory over it, could be voting against a document, which condemns is glorification,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement published on Saturday. “We hope adoption of this resolution will send a clear signal to the countries, which have been facing the necessity of most decisive measures to fight the growing attempts to glorify Nazism,” the statement reads.

Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices...
The Saker The US, Canada and the Ukraine refuse to condemn the heroization of Nazism


Permalink Ecuadorian President Says His Accounts Under Cyber Attacks From US

Ecuadorian President reportedly announced that his accounts have been a target of cyber attacks that came from the United States. According to the president, these attacks were aimed at gaining access to personal data. He noted that the attacks targeted the computers of the people closest to him. The newspaper added that back in October Correa said that "organized networks" carried out several cyber attacks from Colombia trying to extract information from the government. In September, Ecuadorian authorities announced plans to set up a Cyber Defense Command, which is to be established by mid-2015. The $8 million of funding was to be used to recruit staff and provide necessary software and hardware.


Permalink Israel provides medical treatment to terrorists wounded in Syria

Occupied Jerusalem, SANA, Israeli occupation forces transported last night two wounded terrorists from Syria to Nahariya hospital in Western Galilee to the north of occupied Palestine in a daily violation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions which are related to countering terrorism. The Israeli Walla website reported Sunday “Last night two wounded were transported from Syria to Nahariya hospital as they suffered moderate-to-serious wounds.” The website indicated that “Nahariya hospital has treated 443 persons wounded in Syria so far.” Members of “Jabhat al-Nusra” terrorist organization spread in the disengagement zone, and they are supported by Israel in spite of the UN condemnation of terrorist crimes perpetrated by this organization.


11/22/14

Permalink America’s 500th Drone Strike Launched in Pakistan

A US drone destroyed a house in Mada Khel village of North Waziristan today, killing six people and wounding three others. None of the slain were identified, but all were labeled “suspects.” If that story sounds awfully familiar, it’s because it is. Today’s attack marks the 500th confirmed US drone strike outside of actual warzones, with just about 10 years worth of strikes. The strikes were extremely rare at first, a couple a year in Pakistan during the waning years of the Bush Administration. Now the attacks are increasingly common, not just in Pakistan but in Yemen as well. The 500 attacks have killed some 3,674 people, and while only 473 are listed as confirmed civilians, the vast majority of the others slain have never been conclusively identified, remaining forever “suspects.”


Permalink Lavrov: West seeks regime change in Russia - Video

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the West of seeking a regime change in Russia through its sanctions against Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine. Lavrov made the remarks on Saturday while addressing a forum of political analysts in the Russian capital, Moscow. The West is showing unambiguously that they do not want to force (Russia) to change policy, they want to achieve a change of regime,” said Lavrov. “Now public figures in Western countries are saying that it’s necessary to introduce sanctions that would destroy the economy and rouse public protests,” Lavrov added. The top Russian diplomat also rejected comments made by US Vice President Joe Biden on Friday that Russia risks “greater isolation” if it fails in its commitments to resolving the crisis in Ukraine. “The vast majority of countries... we are continuing dialogue with them... There is no isolation,” said Lavrov.

RT.com: Western sanctions are aimed at regime change in Russia – Lavrov

Stephen Lendman Lavrov: West Wants Regime Change in Russia


Permalink Palestinian child seriously injured while being interrogated

The WAFA News Agency said the child, Khader al-‘Ajlouni, 16 years of age, was pushed down a flight of stairs at the police station, and suffered serious injuries to his neck, arms and back. It added that the child was transferred to a hospital in the city after becoming unable to move one of his arms and one of his legs. Also in Jerusalem, small groups of Israeli extremists invaded the yards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the al-Magharba Gate, under heavy Israeli military presence. Late on Tuesday at night, Israeli soldiers invaded a number of homes in the occupied city, and kidnapped several children, before taking them to an interrogation facility.

PressTV: Israel continues to abuse, torture Palestinian minors || The Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) said some 40 percent of Palestinian children are reportedly subjected to sexual abuse during interrogation. It said Israeli soldiers have arrested more than 600 Palestinian children in al-Quds (Jerusalem) since June 2013.


Permalink CIA Should Send Lethal Military Aid to Ukraine: Former Bush Advisor

Former US President George W. Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said stated that US should provide lethal military assistance to the Ukrainian government. The United States should provide lethal military assistance to the Ukrainian government via the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), former US President George W. Bush's National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said. "If I were in my old job I would be thinking of lethal assistance [to Ukraine], yes. But this is why you have a CIA. This is why you have covert action. I would be thinking: do we want to do it explicitly and send a message to [Russia's President Vladimir] Putin? Or do we want to do it covertly? I think we tend now to talk too much and act too little," Hadley said during a panel discussion "Dialogue on the Crisis with Russia" at the Aspen Institute on Friday when asked if the US should provide lethal aid to Kiev. The United States was not employing the type of "integrated and vicious strategy" that was required in Ukraine, Hadley lamented.


Permalink Totally innocent, unarmed 28yo 'accidentally' shot dead by NYPD police

A rookie NYPD officer “accidentally” shot and killed an unarmed African-American man in a staircase in a New York apartment block. It happened as Ferguson is tensely waiting for a grand jury decision on a police officer who shot Michael Brown. Akai Gurley, 28, and his girlfriend Melissa Butler were entering a staircase on the seventh floor in Pink House project in Brooklyn late Thursday evening when two policemen came down from the eighth floor. Peter Liang and his partner, Shaun Landau were doing a top-to-bottom patrol. Liang, a rookie on probationary assignment, fired a shot in Gurley’s chest without a warning, Butler said. “They didn’t present themselves or nothing and shot him,” Butler told DNAinfo New York. “As soon as he came in, the police opened the [door to the] eighth-floor staircase. They didn’t identify themselves at all. They just shot.” Gurley and Butler tried to go down the stairs but reached only the fifth floor where Gurley lost consciousness. There a neighbor called an ambulance. Butler says the policemen did not come to help nor called the ambulance. Gurley, who has a 2-year-old son, was pronounced dead on arrival to hospital.

PressTV: US officer cracks man’s head - VIDEO


Permalink US media erase Israeli state and settler violence

As Tuesday’s grisly murder of five Israelis in a Jerusalem synagogue by two Palestinian assailants continues to dominate headlines, major media outlets are actively erasing the Israeli violence that preceded the attack and the surging anti-Palestinian assaults that have followed. In typical fashion, The New York Times buried information alluding to Palestinian death and suffering in the fourteenth paragraph, while CNN disappeared Palestinians from the discussion entirely. The Washington Post went even further, using the synagogue attack as an opportunity to erase Israeli violence against Palestinians both past and present. Noting that the attack site is located in what used to be Deir Yassin — a Palestinian village destroyed in 1948 after Zionist militias deliberately executed more than one hundred of its inhabitants, including children — the Post rendered the massacre an unproven accusation against Israel. [AWIP: Attack on synagogue kills 4 Israelis in West al-Quds]


Permalink Salaita sues Univ. of Illinois for refusing to release emails related to firing

Steven Salaita is suing the University of Illinois for its refusal to release emails related to administrators’ decision to fire him last summer. Salaita had been hired by the university for a tenured position in the American Indian Studies program, but he was fired after an outcry by pro-Israel donors and activists over his tweets critical of Israel’s massacre in Gaza. Attorneys at the Chicago law firm Loevy & Loevy filed suit in the Circuit Court of Champaign County in Illinois on Monday alleging that the university is in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. The lawsuit asks the court to order the university to release thousands of emails and pay unspecified civil damages and legal costs.


11/21/14

Permalink One-Pager on Latest Developments in Russia

NONSENSE. It's never easy to pick the most idiotic anti-Russian rant but here’s the latest: “Putin’s Russia is one of the most loathsomely misogynistic countries in the world”. Fact: Russia has more women in senior management than any one else. But, it’s Russia, what do facts have to do with it?
RUBLE. Has fallen quite a lot against the USD (but so have most other currencies). Here's an analysis of the pros and cons. But the ruble price of oil is about the same.
SANCTIONS. They’re hurting Russia, but Europe more. Industrial production continues to rise in Russia but inflation is too. In Europe industrial production is down. Remember, it’s not that Russia was such a big market for the EU but that it was about the only one that was growing: Russia can substitute; the EU cannot. So why is Europe ruining itself in such a questionable cause?


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