Thursday, September 29, 2011

U.S. Warns on Possible Saudi Abduction Plot


With Iraq and Afghanistan in toilet, U.S. building case to invade Saudi Arabia

Reuters
By Andrew Quinn
09/28/2011

The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia warned on Wednesday that a terrorist group may be planning to abduct Westerners in the capital, Riyadh, and urged U.S. citizens to exercise caution.

    "U.S. Embassy in Riyadh advises U.S. citizens in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that we have received information that a terrorist group in Saudi Arabia may be planning to abduct Westerners in Riyadh," the embassy said in a message posted on its website.

"Don't worry dude, we will let you keep your harem."
"The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh reminds all U.S. citizens to exercise prudence and enhanced security awareness at all times," the message said.

The message gave no further details on the information received by the embassy, and advised U.S. citizens to carry out regular security measures including varying personal travel routines and minimizing their public profile.

    A U.S. diplomatic source told Reuters in Dubai that the warning was based on "solid information" but that the embassy had no plans to reduce the hours it was open or repatriate any staff or their family members.

   A Saudi interior ministry official, contacted by Reuters, said he had no information about the threat that prompted the U.S. warning.

    In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Heidi Fulton said underscored that the embassy statement was issued "specific to a new threat to abduct Westerners in Riyadh" but declined to provide further details.

    "We do not comment on specific intelligence, as doing so threatens to undermine intelligence operations that are critical in protecting the United States and our allies," she said in an emailed statement.

    Al Qaeda launched a campaign of attacks in Saudi Arabia in 2003 which fizzled out in 2006 but the government fears al Qaeda militants could use their base in Yemen to restart operations.

Saudi prince looks at his new workplace after U.S. occupation
The government also fears that Shi'ite Iran could stir up dissent among minority Shi'ites to destabilize the kingdom, home to Islam's holiest sites.

Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally and the world's leading oil exporter, has no political parties and its parliament is an appointed body with limited powers.

    The former head of Saudi Arabia's intelligence agency said on Monday the kingdom was sure its 35,000-strong security force can protect oil installations from what he said was the rising threat of attack in the region.

    Prince Turki al-Faisal told an audience in Madrid that the wave of unrest rippling across the Arab world has created fertile ground for terrorist groups but that the kingdom itself remained "stable and secure."

    Additional reporting by Firouz Sedarat in Dubai; reporting by Andrew Quinn; editing by Eric Beech and Jackie Frank


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The 5th Estate is making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.





Empire of the Son


The president’s parents were supporters, not opponents, of American hegemony

Reason Magazine
By Thaddeus Russell
09/27/2011

Although the debate over Barack Obama’s national identity ended with the release of his long-form birth certificate, questions about his political identity continue. Is he a socialist, a New Deal liberal, a neoliberal, a neoconservative, a fascist, an Uncle Tom, a black nationalist, or just an unprincipled coward? Does he identify with whites, with blacks, or, as Cornel West recently claimed, with Jews? Does he want an accountable or monarchical executive branch? Does he side with investment bankers or with foreclosed mortgagers? Does he really believe in God? If so, which one?

    Obama’s apparent inconsistency on several issues has helped fuel the public debate over his beliefs. But if anything in Obama’s rhetoric and policies has been constant, it is his devotion to the American empire. Throughout the presidential campaign, he promised to fulfill the mission of his heroes, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy: strengthening American influence across the world. Obama declared that, like the globalist American leaders of the past, “we must embrace America’s singular role in the course of human events.”

Investigator Wayne Madsen outside SDN 01 MENTENG
Many of the candidate’s most loyal supporters were veterans of the movements against U.S. interventions in Southeast Asia and Central America, but Obama himself flatly asserted that the United States “has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known” and therefore “must lead the world, by deed and example.” Before audiences who somehow saw him as a peace candidate, he lauded Franklin Roosevelt for building “the most formidable military the world has ever seen” and promised to continue the tradition. As lifelong peaceniks plastered his face on their cars and homes and made their children march in parades for him, the candidate made it clear, in speeches, articles, and the 2008 Democratic National Platform, that if elected he would seek to enlarge the Army and Marine Corps, increase military spending, and escalate the war in Afghanistan.

    Similarly, 10 months after taking office, Obama used the Nobel Peace Prize to declare war on potentially most of the world. In his October 2009 acceptance speech, the president pledged to go “beyond self-defense”—with armed intervention when necessary—anywhere “the inherent rights and dignity of every individual” are denied. Moreover, he ominously asserted that economic development “rarely takes root without security” and that “military leaders in my own country” believe that “our common security hangs in the balance” so long as climate change is not swiftly and forcefully addressed. Seldom has a political leader delivered such a strident and comprehensive call for American hegemony.

   As we now know, Obama’s imperial rhetoric was not empty. With the cooperation of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, he did in fact increase Pentagon spending and expand the Army and Marine Corps to create the largest and most powerful military in the history of the world, tripled down in Afghanistan and Pakistan, launched new military operations in Libya, Yemen, and Somalia, and maintained 50,000 troops in Iraq.

Indonesia:  Obama attended public school in Jakarta
Clearly, anyone who saw Obama as a peacemaker simply did not listen to what he was saying. But his commitment to preserving and expanding the American empire should also be no surprise to anyone familiar with the facts of his childhood. Obama is, after all, the empire’s son. Neither New York Times reporter Janny Scott nor conservative public intellectual Dinesh D’Souza—the authors of books on Obama’s mother and father, respectively—understand this. But for anyone with knowledge of the involvement of the United States in Indonesia and Kenya during Obama’s childhood, the information Scott and D’Souza provide makes it clear that Obama is fundamentally a product of American imperialism.

    Let us begin with a physical fact: Obama literally would not exist without the Central Intelligence Agency. His father and mother met at the University of Hawaii’s East-West Center, which was created by Congress and directed by CIA operatives. Obama’s father was brought to the University of Hawaii by the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation and the U.S. State Department at the request of Tom Mboya, a CIA-backed leader in the Kenyan independence movement. The dormitory where Obama Sr. lived at the East-West Center was funded by the Asia Foundation, also a creation of the CIA. According to a 1961 congressional report, the mission of the East-West Center was to inculcate pro-American sentiment in foreign students and thereby “win the battle for men’s minds.” John Witeck, a scholar who once worked at the center, has called it “a true cult of imperialism.”

    More important than the CIA connections of Obama’s parents, the world in which he was raised was filled with people devoted to bringing American ways of life to the rest of the world. From Janny Scott’s biography of Stanley Ann Dunham, A Singular Woman, we learn that Obama’s mother built her life around a commitment to spreading American business practices to rural Indonesia. What we don’t learn from Scott’s book is the political context or meaning of Dunham’s state-sponsored secular missionary work. 

    Shortly after divorcing Obama’s father, Dunham married Lolo Soetoro, the son of an upper-class Javanese family and a lieutenant in the Indonesian army, who in 1962 was sent by the Indonesian government to study at the East-West Center. Scott tells this story but omits what made the liaison possible. At the time, the Kennedy Administration, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), was sending tens of millions of dollars per year to the Indonesian government in an attempt to win its loyalty against similar bribery from the Soviet Union. Much of that funding was used to send elite Indonesian students, such as Soetoro, to American schools. In particular, to schools—such as the East-West Center—that worked directly with U.S. intelligence and security agencies and trained foreign students to teach American business methods and philosophies back in their home countries.
His mother may have signed him in as an Indonesian national
In 1966 Soetoro returned to Indonesia to work for the military, which had just carried out mass executions of communists and suspected communists. Scott does not mention that according to a congressional report, 1,200 of the Indonesian military officers who organized and led this purge, which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, had been trained in U.S.-based counterinsurgency programs, or that many of the weapons used in the killings were supplied by Washington. The elimination of communists, who had violently protested U.S. influence in Indonesia, cleared the way for a greater influx of American and American-trained nation builders, such as Soetoro and Dunham. Obama’s mother and stepfather were the velvet glove of “development” covering the iron fist of state violence.

    In 1967 Dunham moved with Obama to join her husband in Jakarta, and she soon took a job at a school operated by the USAID. Obama wrote in his 1995 memoir Dreams From My Father that the move was part of “the promise of something new and important” for his mother, namely “helping her husband rebuild a country in a charged and challenging place beyond her parents’ reach.” Dunham taught English to Indonesian businessmen to prepare them for U.S.-sponsored training in American business schools. It is well documented that during this period the USAID and CIA worked together closely in developing pro-American elites in Indonesia and elsewhere. One of those pro-American elites was Obama’s stepfather, who sometime in the late 1960s or early ’70s began working as the governmental liaison in the Jakarta offices of the California-based Union Oil Company.

    Obama’s mother spent several years at the USAID school, then took a series of jobs—all sponsored directly or indirectly by U.S. government agencies—studying and promoting American-style economic development in rural Indonesia. Through the 1970s Dunham worked on a string of projects funded by the USAID; then in 1981 she was hired by the Ford Foundation’s Southeast Asia regional office in Jakarta to help develop microfinance programs in rural Indonesia. The Ford Foundation’s entanglement with the CIA during this period has always been public knowledge, with journalists, academic scholars, and congressional investigators documenting a long history of covert funding and what the sociologist James Petras has called “a close structural relation and interchange of personnel at the highest levels between the CIA and the Ford Foundation.” A 1976 congressional investigation showed that close to half of the foundation’s international projects were funded by the agency. Dunham left the foundation in 1988 to work as a consultant and research coordinator for Bank Rakyat Indonesia, with her work again funded by the USAID. In narrating Dunham’s and Soetoro’s careers, Scott consistently fails to mention the intimate connections between Obama’s parents and U.S. agencies or, more important, to notice that an expansive U.S. foreign policy created Obama’s world.

It was illegal for foreigners to attend public schools then
This brings us to Dinesh D’Souza’s spectacular conspiracy theory, laid out with architectural logic in The Roots of Obama’s Rage. Although leftists and libertarians generally have dismissed the book as a psychotic screed, those of us who wish to end the American empire should nonetheless hope that D’Souza’s mind-bending thesis is correct. According to D’Souza, Obama’s aggressive foreign policies are actually part of an elaborate scheme to end what the president sees as the “wars of imperial aggression” in Iraq and Afghanistan and to withdraw the United States, which he considers “the last of the neocolonial powers,” from the world outside its borders. Obama’s alleged plan for Iraq is to wait for it to stabilize, “then say the troops aren’t needed any more,” and pull them all out. As for Afghanistan, Obama’s surge was simply a way for the president, who actually “doesn’t want to win” the war, to be able to later withdraw all the troops and still “seem tough on terrorism.” Why? Because “for an anti-colonialist like him, winning in Iraq is bad enough, but to win in Afghanistan also would be a nightmare! Think of what two victories in a row would do to America’s arrogance, and to its appetite for further wars of imperial aggression.” Motivating this grand subversion, according to D’Souza, is Obama’s devotion to the anti-colonial beliefs of his late father, Barack Obama Sr., who served as an official in the Kenyan government shortly after independence. 

    As much as I wish this were all true, the fatal flaw in D’Souza’s argument is that the senior Obama’s anti-colonialism did not include an antipathy toward American influence, even in his home country. In fact, the president’s father was a client of the United States.

    Although D’Souza portrays Tom Mboya, Obama Sr.’s mentor and patron, as the original source of both Obamas’ alleged anti-colonialist passion, there is wide agreement among scholars of post-independence Kenyan politics that while Mboya was consistently opposed to European colonialism—his slogan was “To Hell With European Domination”—he was always a friend and beneficiary of American neocolonialism. When he was a 26-year-old rising leader in the Kenyan labor movement, Mboya made a speaking tour of American college campuses, during which he was recruited by representatives of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), an anti-communist, pro-U.S. federation of trade unions that was jointly financed by the AFL-CIO and the U.S. State Department and received many of its directives from the CIA. Mboya formally joined the ICFTU in 1959 and for the rest of his life worked closely with the federation and received its continued financial support. This fact has been known since shortly after Mboya’s assassination in 1969, when Ramparts reported the following: “The CIA’s program in Kenya could be summed up as one of selective liberation. The chief beneficiary was Tom Mboya.…Mboya was ideal for the CIA’s purposes—the main nationalist hero and eventual chief of state Jomo Kenyatta, not being considered sufficiently safe.” D’Souza mentions none of this.

So, just what was Obama's nationality at that time
For D’Souza, the key piece of evidence linking Mboya’s alleged anti-colonialism with Obama Jr.’s alleged anti-Americanism is an article written by Obama Sr. in 1965, which elaborated Mboya’s political beliefs. The main, damning point in it, according to D’Souza, is the following: “The question is how are we going to remove the disparities in our country, such as the concentration of economic power in Asian and European hands, while not destroying what has already been achieved and at the same time assimilating these groups to build one country?…One need not be a Kenyan to note that nearly all commercial enterprises…and industries are mostly owned by Asians and Europeans. One need not be a Kenyan to note that when one goes to a good restaurant he mostly finds Asians and Europeans, nor has he to be a Kenyan to see that the majority of cars running in Kenya are run by Asians and Europeans.” But this is precisely why Mboya was chosen by the CIA as its front man in Kenya: He and his disciples opposed America’s rivals there. Obama Sr., like his son, devoted his career not to bringing down the American empire but to installing it in place of the declining colonial powers.

    Anyone who reads these books with a knowledge of the relevant information that is left out of them—namely, the history of U.S. involvement in Indonesia and Kenya—will find it difficult to take them seriously. But a reader who connects the dots between that history and the stories these books tell should find it not only unsurprising but also predictable that a brown-skinned man “with a funny name” has taken up the long American project of killing people with names and complexions like his in order to save them.  

    Thaddeus Russell is the author of A Renegade History of the United States (Free Press).


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U.S. Death Toll From Contaminated Cantaloupe May Rise From 13, CDC Says


Testing weaponized bacteria again; CDC lies through it's teeth

Bloomberg
By Molly Peterson
09/29/2011

The U.S. listeria outbreak linked to tainted cantaloupes may continue to sicken people through October, and the number of deaths may rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

    The outbreak is the deadliest caused by contaminated food in more than 10 years, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said today on a conference call. More illnesses are likely to occur because it can take more than two months for people to become sick after eating the tainted fruit, Barbara Mahon, deputy chief of the CDC’s Enteric Disease branch, said on the call.

Listeria bacteria
Laboratory tests so far have linked 72 illnesses and at least 13 deaths to cantaloupes grown by Jensen Farms in Granada, Colorado, Mahon said. Jensen recalled the Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes on Sept. 14, and the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to eat them. The agency is working with Colorado health officials to learn how the contamination occurred, said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

    “This outbreak has been a tough one for all involved,” Hamburg said on the conference call. “This is the first outbreak we’ve seen with listeria” linked to cantaloupe, “and that is a surprise.”

    Of 10 previous outbreaks linked to tainted cantaloupe in the past decade, seven were caused by salmonella and three were from norovirus, Frieden said.

‘Unusual Bacteria’

    “Listeria is an unusual bacteria,” Frieden said on the conference call. “The incubation period is one to three weeks on average, and can be two months or more, so there is a continued risk. If you have cantaloupe in your refrigerator that you are in doubt about the source of, it’s best to throw it out.” 

Only thing unusual about this new CDC bacteria is it works
Listeria, a bacterium often found in soil and water, sickens about 1,600 people and kills about 260 in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC website. Animals can carry the germ without appearing ill. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are among those at greatest risk for listeria infections. Symptoms include fever and diarrhea.

    In 1998, 21 people died from listeria linked to tainted hot dogs, according to a CDC online database.

    “We haven’t seen a lot of very large listeria outbreaks” in recent years, Mahon said. “To a large extent, that’s due to improvements to the safety of hot dogs and deli meats.”

    The FDA and state officials are investigating whether animals or water may have transmitted the bacteria to the melons, and whether the contamination occurred during the growing, harvesting, packing or rinsing processes, Sherri McGarry, senior adviser in the FDA’s Office of Foods, said on the conference call.

    “We are working vigilantly to ensure that the product is being removed from the market,” McGarry said. The tainted cantaloupes, shipped from July 29 to Sept. 10 in at least 17 states, are “nearing the end of their shelf life,” she said.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Molly Peterson in Washington at mpeterson9@bloomberg.net.


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Partnership, not pressure, will win Pakistan's help


Like most sovereign countries, Pakistan does not respond well to U.S. threats of invasion

Bloomberg
09/27/2011

Now that the US has openly accused Pakistan of helping plan and conduct the attack earlier this month on the US Embassy in Kabul, the Obama administration’s exit strategy from Afghanistan is looking increasingly cloudy.

    An American departure depends on Pakistan’s cooperation in keeping things quiet. Yet its spy agency, the ISI, helped plan and conduct the embassy assault with the Islamist Haqqani network, according to Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. The US government sees the Haqqani group, which is based in Pakistan, as an al-Qaeda affiliate. Pakistan denies these claims, but it has been unwilling to move against the group’s safe haven within Pakistan’s borders. The US has threatened to take unilateral action if Pakistan doesn’t crack down.

Dead Pakistani militants
Can the US and Pakistan ever get on the same page?

Since the US killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last spring, US-Pakistan relations have been in free fall. The US has put pressure on Pakistan to do more to fight terrorism. US officials ended their “strategic dialogue” with Pakistan, suspended $800m in military aid and, for the first time, made public their private views that

    Pakistan is duplicitous on counterterrorism matters. Recently, the administration openly implicated Pakistan’s military leaders in the murder of a Pakistani journalist, and now, Mullen has said the ISI and Pakistani army use the Haqqani network as “proxies.”

    But pressure tactics haven’t worked. Pakistani officials counter US threats of unilateral action with talk of closing supply routes to Afghanistan and ending all counterterrorism cooperation. In private, they say they have written off US assistance as too small and inconsistent to influence their decision-making. Given the economic climate, they say, Congress would have trimmed the aid anyway.

    Pakistan’s leaders also believe they can make friends elsewhere. For instance, when the US rolled back energy assistance, which had been a big part of the bilateral relationship from 2009 to 2011, Pakistan restarted talks with Iran about building a gas pipeline between the two countries. This initiative undermined US efforts to isolate Iran in the region. What’s more, such a pipeline would compete with the US-supported TAPI project, which would bring natural gas from Turkmenistan to India and Pakistan through Afghanistan. 

    The US has been promoting the idea of Afghanistan as a transit corridor connecting resources in Central Asia to markets in South Asia and the rest of the world, creating a New Silk Road that would foster stability in Afghanistan.

U.S. drones like this have killed thousands of Pakistanis
Pakistan has been generally supportive of the New Silk Road but sees Iranian gas as a quicker and easier alternative to the Turkmenistan option. And this isn’t just about filling Pakistan’s energy needs. President Asif 

Ali Zardari has lauded the pipeline to Iran as a new paradigm for the region, a homemade alternative to the US-backed New Silk Road. In seeking rapprochement with Iran, Pakistan is sending a clear message of defiance to Washington.

    If Pakistan is willing to forgo American aid, what can the US do to win Pakistan’s cooperation on stabilising Afghanistan and fighting terrorists? The answer is simple: It needs to talk to Pakistan about Afghanistan’s future.

    Afghanistan has been at the centre of Pakistan’s strategic outlook for the past three decades. Officials in Islamabad worry that a future Afghanistan, at least as America envisions it, will make common cause with India to squeeze Pakistan and even snatch away its restless Pashtun region on the border with Afghanistan. 

    Pakistan continues to look to the Taliban to protect its interests in Afghanistan. Pakistan won’t break with these and associated extremists unless it believes that an independent Afghanistan, with a strong military, won’t pose a threat.

    The US has done little to assuage such fears. Rather, it has decided to shape Afghanistan on its own. It is building a strong military and promoting reconciliation between the government of president Hamid Karzai and the Taliban. Afghanistan’s neighbours aren’t a part of this process but are expected to support its outcome. US officials aim to accelerate the course of events with a regional conference in Turkey in November followed by an international conference in Germany in December.

Militants operate with impunity
Pakistan isn’t happy sitting on the margins; it wants a major role. The government in Islamabad would like to bypass the international conferences and deal with the US directly in setting the terms of reconciliation talks, controlling the agenda, and keeping a firm hold on the Taliban as they negotiate for turf and power.

    The US isn’t ready to give Pakistan this role, especially with the current state of relations. And Afghan officials reject the idea that Pakistan should have a say on the future of their country. They would actually like to secure a US promise to keep Pakistan out of Afghanistan indefinitely. But that would require a continuing, large US troop presence, and the US already has decided to leave.

   Somewhere in this, there is a middle ground. The US should reach out to Pakistan and attentively discuss with its leaders their interests and objectives in Afghanistan. Such meetings should precede any further US steps, including talking with the Taliban, setting the stage for the upcoming conferences and signing off on any agreements.

    This does not mean giving in to Pakistan’s demands, but rather treating Pakistan, rightfully, as a party with a special interest in Afghanistan’s future. The US should make engagement with Pakistan on these issues contingent on tangible progress in Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts. That would give Pakistan an incentive to rein in extremism on both sides of the border, which is what the US needs, if it is to leave Afghanistan on schedule.

    (Vali Nasr is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)


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Defecting Yemeni troops switch uniforms and sides


When troops start defecting, it's all over Saleh

France 24
By Noreddine Bezziou
09/28/2011

Akram al Yousfi was a soldier in Yemen’s Republican Guard posted in the Nahm region northeast of the capital of Sanaa when he decided to defect to the opposition side.

    “I was fighting and killing people, and I said to myself, why? I decided to join the revolution,” al Yousfi told FRANCE 24 reporters on the ground in Sanaa. “I want to defend my people, I don't want to kill them.”

People of Yemen want Saleh gone:  no compromises
Al Yousfi - along with around 250 other defected Yemeni troops – gathered earlier this week in Sanaa’s re-named Tahrir Square, which has turned into a symbol of the uprising to oust longtime Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Support for Saleh in the country’s military ranks has been dwindling over the course of the months-long uprising, with the defection in March of a top general and former close Saleh ally, Gen. Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar.

    Long considered the second-most important man in the impoverished Arab nation, Gen. al-Ahmar’s defection to the opposition tore apart the government in this troubled Mideast country that has been behest by inter-tribal rivalries and an al Qaeda-linked Islamist militancy.

Leaving the barracks behind

    At the anti-Saleh rally in Sanaa’s Tahrir Square, defecting troops had arrived from across the country, according to Gen. al-Ahmar’s advisors.

    “We left our old army uniform in the barracks and we have joined this peaceful revolution,” Abdessalam el 

    Husseini, a former sergeant in the Yemeni Special Forces, told FRANCE24 reporters. “Here, we are given another uniform.”

    Sheikh Abdel Salah Joureyd used to be a member of the Yemeni Special Forces before he defected in April and helped organise the Tahrir Square event.

    “We supervised this operation, we sent envoys to convince the soldiers they had to come and be on our side. 

Yemen part of 2011 "Arab Awakening"
These soldiers have come to support the people's peaceful revolution,” said Joureyd.

Protest organisers displayed a handful of military ID cards of soldiers who they claim have defected from the Yemeni military. They include soldiers from Republican Guard and the Special Forces.

    Once they are registered with the opposition, the new dissidents are teamed up with the older ones to join the campaign to topple Saleh.

   On Wednesday, a shaky calm returned to Sanaa following days of violent demonstrations following Saleh’s surprise return from Saudi Arabia on Friday. He had been in Riyadh for three months receiving treatment after a June bomb attack.

   Demonstrators filing through Tahrir Square on Tuesday flashed peace signs at troops loyal to Gen. al-Ahmar manning rocket launchers and machine guns. "Peacefully, peacefully, we don't want a civil war," said the protesters as they marched past the dissident soldiers.

    Experts have warned that the impoverished Middle East nation could slide into civil war and there are real concerns that al Qaeda-linked militants could take advantage of a security vacuum to increase their operations.

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UN: Afghanistan violence "surges" 40%


More lives lost, more money spent; when are Americans going to say "enough"

Agence France Presse
09/28/2011

Violent incidents in the Afghan war have increased by nearly 40 percent over last year, according to UN figures released Wednesday.

But in an unusual step, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force issued a statement in response saying it found the figures "inconsistent with the data that we have collected".


10 years on:  casualty rate the same
ISAF is set to give further details Thursday.

The UN figures showed total security incidents averaging 2,108 a month in the first eight months of 2011, up 39 percent on the same period in 2010.



Two thirds of the activity was focused on the southern and southeastern regions, particularly the Taliban birthplace of Kandahar and its surrounds.

A report to the UN Security Council shows that despite US-led efforts to protect ordinary people, the number of civilians killed over the summer rose five percent compared to the same period in 2010.

From June to August, the UN's mission in Afghanistan documented 971 civilian deaths, with three quarters attributed to insurgent violence and 12 percent blamed on NATO's US-led forces. The rest could not be attributed.

Recent multi-pronged attacks in Kabul and high-profile political assassinations over the summer have fed perceptions that after 10 years, the West's war effort is losing a grip on the Taliban's bid to return to power.

The average number of suicide attacks each month was unchanged, but complex suicide attacks made up a greater proportion of the violence, with three such attacks each month in 2011, a 50 percent rise on the same period in 2010.


As in Vietnam, war crimes escalate with time
"In the context of overall intensified fighting" the report said, the rise in violent attacks was mostly due to the use of Taliban bombs and suicide attacks.

Air strikes were the leading cause of civilian deaths by pro-government forces, but the number of those killed through ground combat and armed clashes increased 84 percent on the same time period in 2010.


The deaths of ordinary people in NATO's counterinsurgency campaign has long been a thorny issue for the alliance, with President Hamid Karzai making public rebukes over controversial strikes.

The relentless rise in the scale of killing comes as gradual withdrawals of foreign troops begin, firstly with the removal of some of the 33,000 US "surge" troops who were sent in to turn the war around.

The UN in June reported that civilian deaths in the first half of the year were up 15 percent, putting 2011 on track to be the deadliest in the long war.

Some 130,000 people have been displaced from January 1 until the end of July, the latest report said, an increase of two-thirds on a year before.

However, in brighter news for government efforts to eradicate opium crops, which generate funds for much of the Taliban's efforts, the UN and Ministry of Counter Narcotics reported a 65 percent increase in poppy eradication in 2010.



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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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