Saturday, October 01, 2011

18 bodies recovered in Indonesia plane crash


Casa C-212 had recent maintenance; Country's air safety record takes another pounding

Associated Press
By Binsar Bakkara
10/01/2011

BAHOROK, Indonesia 

The bodies of all 18 people who were on board a plane that crashed into the jungle-covered mountains of western Indonesia were recovered from the wreckage Saturday, an official said.

    The Spanish-designed CASA C-212 lost contact with air traffic control early Thursday while flying from North Sumatra to Aceh province. Minutes later, it sent out a distress signal, then dropped off the radar.

Remote crash site difficult for rescuers to reach
Rugged, forested terrain and bad weather had prevented rescuers from reaching the crash site by foot, and the wreckage was spotted from a helicopter Friday in the Leuser mountains at an altitude of 5,000 feet (1,524 meters).

Early Saturday, 13 rescuers were lowered by helicopter by rope to the crash site, following two others who had reached the site just before darkness fell Friday.

    "They found the bodies in their seats with their seat belts on," Sunarbowo Sandi, head of the local search-and-rescue team, told The Associated Press from his monitoring post in a village near the crash site in the Bahorok region, about 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Jakarta.

    The bodies included all 14 passengers and four crew members. Four of the dead were children.

    Hopes had been raised that there may be survivors after the aircraft was spotted intact with one of its doors open, and rescuers dropped food and medicine down to the crash site.

    The victims' relatives, who had been waiting for information, broke down in tears when they learned that their loved ones were found dead. Many of them accused the airline — PT Nusantara Buana Air — of taking far too long to give them information.

    "The rescue operation was too slow and unprofessional," Rosmawati Harahap, who lost her son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in the crash, said while sobbing.

    But rescuers insisted that tornado-like winds and heavy fog hampered their efforts to reach the crash site.

    "The conditions were really bad," said Sandi, the search-and-rescue official, adding that rescuers were further hampered by the mountainous terrain and impenetrable forests.

    Robur Rizallianto, a safety manager with the airline, said "all efforts" were made to try to save the passengers.

    It was unclear what caused the crash, and Indonesia's transportation safety commission was investigating the accident.

    The aircraft, made in Indonesia in 1989, was last inspected Sept. 22, according to Rizallianto. It was in good condition, and a check ahead of takeoff Thursday also came up clean, he said.

    Indonesia, a sprawling archipelagic nation of 240 million people, has been plagued by transportation accidents in recent years, from plane and train crashes to ferry sinkings. Many are blamed on overcrowding and poor safety standards.


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.


Is The War On Terror A Hoax?


Americans are too petrified to address this, because if they acknowledge that it was/is a hoax, then they would be obliged to do something about it - and that's much too dangerous

ICH
By Paul Craig Roberts
09/30/2011

In the past decade, Washington has killed, maimed, dislocated, and made widows and orphans millions of Muslims in six countries, all in the name of the “war on terror.” Washington’s attacks on the countries constitute naked aggression and impact primarily civilian populations and infrastructure and, thereby, constitute war crimes under law. Nazis were executed precisely for what Washington is doing today.

     Moreover the wars and military attacks have cost American taxpayers in out-of-pocket and already-incurred future costs at least $4,000 billion dollars--one third of the accumulated public debt--resulting in a US deficit crisis that threatens the social safety net, the value of the US dollar and its reserve currency role, while enriching beyond all previous history the military/security complex and its apologists. 

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld:  War Criminals
Perhaps the highest cost of Washington’s “war on terror” has been paid by the US Constitution and civil liberties. Any US citizen that Washington accuses is deprived of all legal and constitutional rights. The Bush-Cheney-Obama regimes have overturned humanity’s greatest achievement--the accountability of government to law.

 If we look around for the terror that the police state and a decade of war has allegedly protected us from, the terror is hard to find. Except for 9/11 itself, assuming we accept the government’s improbable conspiracy theory explanation, there have been no terror attacks on the US. Indeed, as RT pointed out on August 23, 2011, an investigative program at the University of California discovered that the domestic “terror plots” hyped in the media were plotted by FBI agents.

     FBI undercover agents now number 15,000, ten times their number during the protests against the Vietnam war when protesters were suspected of communist sympathies. As there apparently are no real terror plots for this huge workforce to uncover, the FBI justifies its budget, terror alerts, and invasive searches of American citizens by thinking up “terror plots” and finding some deranged individuals to ensnare. For example, the Washington DC Metro bombing plot, the New York city subway plot, the plot to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago were all FBI brainchilds organized and managed by FBI agents.

     RT reports that only three plots might have been independent of the FBI, but as none of the three worked they obviously were not the work of such a professional terror organization as Al Qaeda is purported to be. The Times Square car bomb didn’t blow up, and apparently could not have.

     The
latest FBI sting ensnared a Boston man, Rezwan Ferdaus, who is accused of planning to attack the Pentagon and US Capitol with model airplanes packed with C-4 explosives. US Attorney Carmen Ortiz assured Americans that they were never in danger, because the FBI’s undercover agents were in control of the plot.

     Ferdaus’ FBI-organized plot to blow up the Pentagon and US Capitol with model airplanes has produced charges that he provided “material support to a terrorist organization” and plotted to destroy federal buildings--the most serious charge which carries 20 imprisoned years for each targeted building.

     What is the terrorist organization that Ferdaus is serving? Surely not al Qaeda, which allegedly outwitted all 16 US intelligence services, all intelligence services of America’s NATO and Israeli allies, NORAD, the National Security Council, Air Traffic Control, Dick Cheney, and US airport security four times in one hour on the same morning. Such a highly capable terror organization would not be involved in such nonsense as a plot to blow up the Pentagon with a model airplane.

     As an American who was in public service for a number of years and who has always stood up for the Constitution, a patriot’s duty, I must hope that the question has already popped into readers’ minds why we are expected to believe that a tiny model airplane is capable of blowing up the Pentagon when a 757 airliner loaded with jet fuel was incapable of doing the job, merely making a hole not big enough for an airliner.

     When I observe the gullibility of my fellow citizens at the absurd “terror plots” that the US government manufactures, it causes me to realize that fear is the most powerful weapon any government has for advancing an undeclared agenda. If Ferdaus is brought to trial, no doubt a jury will convict him of a plot to blow up the Pentagon and US Capitol with model airplanes. Most likely he will be tortured or coerced into a plea bargain.

     Apparently, Americans, or most of them, are so ruled by fear that they suffer no remorse from “their” government’s murder and dislocation of millions of innocent people. In the American mind, one billion “towel-heads” have been reduced to terrorists who deserve to be exterminated. The US is on its way to a holocaust that makes the terrors Jews faced from National Socialism into a mere precursor.

     Think about this: Are not you amazed that after a decade (2.5 times the length of WW II) of killing Muslims and destroying families and their prospects in six countries there are no real terrorist events in the US?

     Think for a minute how easy terrorism would be in the US if there were any terrorists. Would an Al Qaeda terrorist from the organization that allegedly pulled off 9/11--the most humiliating defeat ever suffered by a Western power, much less “the world’s only superpower”--still in the face of all the screening be trying to hijack an airliner or to blow one up?

     Surely not when there are so many totally soft targets. If America were really infected with a “terrorist threat,” a terrorist would merely get in the massive lines awaiting to clear airport “security” and set off his bomb. It would kill far more people than could be achieved by blowing up an airliner, and it would make it completely clear that “airport security” meant no one was safe.

     It would be child’s play for terrorists to blow up electric sub-stations as no one is there, nothing but a chain link fence. It would be easy for terrorists to blow up shopping centers. It would be easy for terrorists to dump boxes of roofing nails on congested streets and freeways during rush hours, tying up main transportation arteries for days.
 
    Before, dear reader, you accuse me of giving terrorists ideas, do you really think that these ideas would not already have occurred to terrorists capable of pulling off 9/11?

     But nothing happens. So the FBI arrests a guy for planning to blow up America with a model airplane. It is really depressing how many Americans will believe this.

     Consider also that American neoconservatives, who have orchestrated the “war on terror,” have no protection whatsoever and that the Secret Service protection of Bush and Cheney is minimal. If America really faced a terrorist threat, especially one so professional to have brought off 9/11, every neoconservative along with Bush and Cheney could be assassinated within one hour on one morning or one evening.

     The fact that neoconservatives such as
Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, John Bolton, William Kristol, Libby, Addington, et. al., live unprotected and free of fear is proof that America faces no terrorist threat.

     Think now about the airliner shoe-bomb plot, the shampoo-bottled water plot, and the underwear-bomb plot. Experts, other than the whores hired by the US government, say that these plots are nonsensical. The “shoe bomb” and “underwear bomb” were colored fireworks powders incapable of blowing up a tin can. The liquid bomb, allegedly mixed up in an airliner toilet room, has been dismissed by experts as fantasy.

     What is the purpose of these fake plots? And remember, all reports confirm that the “underwear bomber” was walked onto the airliner by an official, despite the fact that the “underwear bomber” had no passport. No investigation was ever conducted by the FBI, CIA, or anyone into why a passenger without a passport was allowed on an international flight.

     The purpose of these make-believe plots is to raise the fear level and to create the opportunity for former Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff to make a fortune selling porno-scanners to the TSA.

     The result of these hyped “terrorist plots” is that every American citizen, even those with high government positions and security clearances, cannot board a commercial airline flight without taking off his shoes, his jacket, his belt, submitting to a porno-scanner, or being sexually groped. Nothing could make it plainer that “airport security” cannot tell a Muslim terrorist from a gung-ho American patriot, a US Senator, a US Marine general, or a CIA operative.

Age is no problem:  TSA digitally penetrates all
If a passenger requires for health or other reasons quantities of liquids and cremes beyond the limits imposed on toothpaste, shampoo, food, or medications, the passenger must obtain prior approval from TSA, which seldom works. One of America’s finest moments is the case, documented on UTube, of a dying woman in a wheelchair, who requires special food, having her food thrown away by the gestapo TSA despite the written approval from the Transportation Safety Administration, her daughter arrested for protesting, and the dying woman in the wheelchair left alone in the airport.

     This is Amerika today. These assaults on innocent citizens are justified by the mindless right-wing as “protecting us against terrorism,” a “threat” that all evidence shows is nonexistent.

     No American is secure today. I am a former staff associate of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee. I required high security clearances as I had access to information pertaining to all US weapons programs. As chief economist of the House Budget Committee I had information pertaining to the US military and security budgets. As Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, I was provided every morning with the CIA’s briefing of the President as well as with endless security information.

     When I left the Treasury, President Reagan appointed me to a super-secret committee to investigate the CIA’s assessment of Soviet capability. Afterwords I was a consult to the Pentagon. I had every kind of security clearance.

    Despite my record of highest security clearances and US government confidence in me including confirmation by the US Senate in a presidential appointment, the airline police cannot tell me from a terrorist.

      If I were into model airplanes or attending anti-war demonstrations, little doubt I, too, would be arrested.

     After my public service in the last quarter of the 20th century, I experienced during the first decade of the 21st century all of America’s achievements, despite their blemishes, being erased. In their place was erected a monstrous desire for hegemony and highly concentrated wealth. Most of my friends and my fellow citizens in general are incapable of recognizing America’s transformation into a warmonger police state that has the worst income distribution of any developed country.

     It is extraordinary that so many Americans, citizens of the world’s only superpower, actually believe that they are threatened by Muslim peoples who have no unity, no navy, no air force, no nuclear weapons, no missiles capable of reaching across the oceans.

     Indeed, large percentages of these “threat populations,” especially among the young, are enamored of the sexual freedom that exists in America. Even the Iranian dupes of the CIA-orchestrated “Green Revolution” have forgotten Washington’s overthrow of their elected government in the 1950s. Despite America’s decade-long abusive military actions against Muslim peoples, many Muslims still look to America for their salvation.

     Their “leaders” are simply bought off with large sums of money.

     With the “terrorist threat” and Al Qaeda deflated with President Obama’s alleged assassination of its leader, Osama bin Laden, who was left unprotected and unarmed by his “world-wide terrorist organization,” Washington has come up with a new bogyman--the Haqqanis.

     According to John Glaser and anonymous CIA officials, US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mike Mullen “exaggerated” the case against the Haqqani insurgent group when he claimed, setting up a US invasion of Pakistan, that the Hagganis were an operating arm of the Pakistan government’s secret service, the ISI. Adm. Mullen is now running from his “exaggeration,” an euphemism for a lie. His aid Captain John Kirby said that Mullen’s “accusations were designed to influence the Pakistanis to crack down on the Haqqani Network.” In other words, the Pakistanis should kill more of their own people to save the Americans the trouble.

     If you don’t know what the Haqqani Network is, don’t be surprised. You never heard of Al Qaeda prior to 9/11. The US government creates whatever new bogymen and incidents are necessary to further the neoconservative agenda of world hegemony and higher profits for the armaments industry.

     For ten years, the “superpower” American population has sat there, being terrified by the government’s lies. While Americans sit in fear of non-existent “terrorists” sucking their thumbs, millions of people in six countries have had their lives destroyed. As far as any evidence exists, the vast majority of Americans are unperturbed by the wanton murder of others in countries that they are incapable of locating on maps.

     Truly, Amerika is a light unto the world, an example for all.
 
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was appointed by President Reagan Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and confirmed by the US Senate. He was Associate Editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, and he served on the personal staffs of Representative Jack Kemp and Senator Orrin Hatch. He was staff associate of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, staff associate of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and Chief Economist, Republican Staff, House Budget Committee. He wrote the Kemp-Roth tax rate reduction bill, and was a leader in the supply-side revolution. He was professor of economics in six universities, and is the author of numerous books and scholarly contributions. He has testified before committees of Congress on 30 occasions.

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.



American Vengeance: The Roots of Social Tyranny


Too cowardly to attack the cause of their miseries, Americans now embrace their murderers in a disgusting, treasonous attempt to save face

Counterpunch
By David Rosen
09/31/2011

Over the last few months, the U.S. has witnessed repeated calls for vengeance, for revenge, punishment, retribution … for blood.   These calls express one of the most disturbing facets of the American “character,” the Old Testament call for an eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth.  Vengeance haunts 21st century America like a ghost of times long dead.

    The call for vengeance is rooted in the nation’s very founding, in the way English settlers treated the native people and each other.  Over the last four centuries, it has repeatedly been expressed as violence acted upon the most defenseless people, scapegoats of social tyranny.  Vengeance is the Achilles heel of what it means to an American, negating the hope that inspires each generation and continues to draw immigrants.

The most gruesome recent examples of social vengeance were the state murders of Troy Anthony Davis in Georgia and Lawrence Russell Brewer in Texas.   For many supporters of the death penalty, these killings illustrate the blindness of justice:  death was inflicted fairly on an obviously wrongly-convicted black man and an unrepentant racist white man.  For anyone who believes in a humane sense of justice, one that has a moral or ethical (as opposed to a vindictive or punitive) lesson at its heart, these acts illustrate how barbarity is accepted as a normal part of American life.

    Both men were executed by lethal injection.  This procedure exhibits the rationality of a mad science-fiction movie come to life as public policy.  Two centuries ago, ancient Israelites experienced vengeance witnessing crucifixions on the Roman cross.  It was explicit, brutal and painfully drawn-out, death often taking days.

    Over the last two centuries, America has progressed to a more refined use of social terror, the lethal injection.  Vengeance is now clean, rational and nearly immediate.  Both the cross and the injection share an equally compelling object lesson.

    While these state murders were the most shocking episodes of vengeance, the most revealing incidences were the outbursts by the audience at the Republic presidential candidates debate held on September 7th at the Reagan Library.  These outbursts point to a deeper disturbance of America’s body politic, the apparent desire for blood vengeance gleefully expressed by a significant number of “ordinary” Americans.

    Those in the audience represent a new political current, one recalling the Know Nothing, Klan, McCarthyite and Southern white racist tendencies that long deformed the American character.  The roots of this tendency run deep, it is the mean-spirited, unforgiving strain of American politics.

Troy Davis:  Murdered by the state of Georgia
The heavily conservative, Tea Party-oriented audience at the Republican blab-fest cheered (some shouting “Let ‘em die!”) when Rep. Ron Paul stumbled answering whether he’d let a person die who didn’t have health insurance; clearly caught off-guard, Paul took no stand, mumbling something incoherent and essentially unheard.  Again, the audience cheered when the moderator asked Rick Perry if he was troubled by the 235 executions he’s overseen as Texas’ governor.  The good Christian governor, with blood dripping from his fangs, puffed up to the audience’s cheer for blood lust.

    These incidents of vengeance take on their full, grotesque meaning when placed in context to what must surely be the most disturbing act of terror conducted in postmodern American history, the murder of Osama bin Laden.

    State-sanctioned assassination is not foreign to the U.S. government; how many failed CIA execution attempts were made against Fidel Castro?  Today, the drone strike is the latest weapon in the never-ending arsenal amassed to fight the war on terror.  It is increasingly relied upon as the cutting-edge tool of both U.S. foreign and military policy.

   The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the quintessential examples of 20th century modernity, scientific rationality imposing mass vengeance.  The drone strike is ostensibly precise, targeted, epitomizing the high-tech, “clean” wars of the 21st century military-industrial complex.  It is the quintessential representation of the postmodern military state, the “virtual” videogame as advanced combat.

    The drone signifies postmodern corporate capitalism, the unity of the state, science and academia, technology and finance, and, of course, the media that cultivates false consciousness.  Like so much pork-barrel waste that makes-up the Dept. of Defense’s budget, no one really knows if drones work.
  
    However, knowing the drone’s limits, a special-ops assassination squad was deployed to inflict President Obama’s vengeance: to seize, kill and dispose of bin Laden.

    How is one to assess the moral significance of the bin Laden assassination?  It must be compared to another example of state-sanctioned “justice,” one that embodies an equally historical-illuminating lesson, one that embodies a define feature of Western values.  No better example is that of the fate of Adolf Eichmann.

    Eichmann’s name is interchangeably with the Holocaust.  He was the Nazi bureaucrat responsible for executing the “Final Solution,” the extinction of the Jewish people.  An estimated 5 million Jews perished during World War II as a result of his actions and those of other Nazis.

    Its 1960, the war against fascism is long over and Eichmann is living under an assumed name in Argentina.  He is captured by the Israeli secret service in Buenos Aires on May 11, 1960; he goes on trial in Jerusalem on April 11, 1961; and he is executed on May 31, 1962.

    For two short years, the world served as the jury for the gravest trial in modern history.   The Eichmann trial signified an era’s commitment to justice.  Justice meant something for those who had lived through the Great War and the Great Depression, who survived Dachau, Stalingrad and Hiroshima, and who judged at Nuremberg.  Eichmann faced the world, his crime clear to everyone, the verdict nearly-universally accepted as just.

Adolph Eichmann
President Obama had the option to capture, try and execute bin Laden; he chose, instead, to kill him on site, seize his body and dump it into the high seas.   This mass murderer was responsible for the death of some 3,000 innocent people on September 11, 2001.   With bin Laden’s assassination, 20th century justice was replaced by 21st century vengeance.  Is this the new make-up of the America character?

    Blood vengeance runs deep in American history.  A handful of examples illustrate just how close to the surface this passion resides.

    Mary Johnson, of the Wethersfield colony in Connecticut, was one of ten Puritan women executed for having sex with Satan. In 1648, Johnson allegedly admitted to minister Samuel Stone (and reported by Cotton Mather): “She said her first Familiarity with the Devils came by Discontent” with her role as a servant and that “she was guilty of the Murder of a Child and that she had been guilty of Uncleanness with Men and Devils.”  Two years earlier, she had been accused of thievery and was publicly whipped. However, for her truly unholy deed of consorting with the devil, she was convicted of witchcraft and executed.

    Having sex with the devil was the most horrendous crime committed by early Puritan settlers, bringing down merciless vengeance on the sinner.  This vindictive clan of militant Calvinists fled from England following the Civil War and took their vengeance out of the soul of new America.  Johnson’s execution took place a half-century before the Salem witch trials.  Over the subsequent four centuries, Native people and African Americans as well as Quakers, Mormons, Catholics, Jews and, most recently, Muslims have been victims of American vengeance.

    The Know-Nothing movement of the pre-Civil War era drew together Protestants who felt threatened by the rapid increase in European immigrants, most especially Catholics flooding the cities.  They felt that Catholics, as followers of the Pope, were not loyal Americans and were going to take over the country.  The movement found strong support in the North that witnessed large-scale Irish immigration following the 1848 Irish potato famine.  Religious intolerance led to numerous anti-Catholic attacks, including the burning of churches, random beatings and killings in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington and Louisville where 22 people were killed.

    The Mormon religion was born of vengeance.  On June 27, 1844, a mob of anti-Mormon vigilantes stormed the Carthage, IL, jail where Mormon founder Joseph Smith was being kept on charges of treason.  The jail was set afire to force him out; Smith was ultimately shot and killed.  Thirteen years later, Mormon leaders conspired in one of the greatest mass murders in American history, the Mountain Meadows massacre.  On September 11, 1857, they oversaw the killing of 120 men, women, and children who were part of a wagon train passing through southern Utah from Arkansas to California.

Mountain Meadows massacre
A half-century later, between May and September 1919, as the U.S. was demobilizing from the Great War, race riots broke out in New York and more then two-dozen other cities.  James Weldon Johnson, the noted Harlem Renaissance writer, dubbed it the “Red Summer of 1919.”

    Demobilization fueled racial tensions culminating in vindictive riots from New London, CT, to Bisbee, AZ, and from Hobson City, AL, to Omaha, NB, as well as in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Knoxville, New Orleans, Chicago and New York.  Many of the riots bore the same familiar character: whites men attacking blacks based on a false claim of a sexual assault on a white woman by a black man.

    Jump ahead another quarter-century.  The U.S. is mobilizing for war.  In Los Angeles, cultural differences fuel mounting social tension.  In ’41, clashes between Mexican-American zoot suiters and white servicemen, many from the South, broke out in movie theatres, ballrooms and other venues.  In ’42, the Sleepy Lagoon murder case intensified cultural differences and brought zoot suiters front-page news coverage.  Things came to a boil in June ‘43 when the “zoot suit riot” erupts and vengeance inflicted.

    Over five days, white soldiers and sailors attacked zoot-suit-wearing Mexican-Americans — called pachucos — and more than 110 civilians and servicemen were injured.  The riot broke out on the night of June 3rd when some 200 uniformed sailors commandeered a caravan of taxis and invaded East Los Angeles, a Mexican-Americans stronghold.

    The white rioters went after any zoot suiter they could find and did so with military vengeance.  They broke into bars and theaters, beating whomever they could, even stripping some male victims of their clothes.  Time reported that, “The police practice was to accompany the caravans of soldiers and sailors in police cars, watch the beatings and jail the victims.”

    The zoot suit riot signified old-world vengeance, the intimately personal exercise of punishment.  Two years later, the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagosaki became the quintessential examples of new-world vengeance, signifying 20th century modernity: Scientific rationality imposing mass retribution.

    The hundreds-of-thousand of people who perished at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were victims of a nuclear holocaust.  Their deaths served two, reinforcing, ends.  First, they were victims of a military campaign that helped end the Second World War, facilitating the reorganization of a new world order.  Second, their deaths imposed a new moral order; victims were guinea pigs in the nascent war on terror, the war to impose the mass psychology of fear.

    Three-quarters of a century later, World War II vengeance has become the daily moral life of 21st century America.  Our continuing use of death-penalty executions, our cheering crowds celebrating letting uninsured people die and our state-sanctioned assassination of war criminals testifies to the moral crisis that now besieges America.  What has become of American character?

David Rosen can be reached at drosennyc@verizon.net.

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.

Mullen stands by statement on ISI - Haqqani links; wants WWIII to "save" Obama


Obama may be trying to start war with Pakistan in order to save himself in 2012; did he forget Pakistan has nuclear weapons

Times of India
09/29/2011

America's topmost military commander Mike Mullen is standing by his blunt statement that the "virulent" Haqqani network is a "veritable arm" of Pakistan's military-run ISI, as the White House and Pentagon sought to distance themselves from his remarks.

    "The ISI specifically has enough support for the Haqqanis in terms of financial support, logistic support and actually, sort of free passage in the safe haven and those links are part of what enable the Haqqanis to carry out their mission," Admiral Mullen told the popular National Public Radio (NPR).

Mullen:  Arrogant, power mad, no "friend" of Pakistan
"I just think those links have to be broken. I don't believe they can be broken overnight, but if they're broken, I think that fundamentally changes the viability of that safe haven and the overall strategy," he asserted.

Last week at a Congressional hearing, Mullen triggered a storm in Pakistan by his statement that Haqqani network was a "veritable arm" of the ISI, which evoked sharp reaction from Islamabad.

    Mullen said he would not change a word of his testimony.

    "I phrased it the way I wanted it to be phrased," he said in the interview.

    Mullen, who has met General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, the Pak Army Chief at least 30 times in the last two and half years, said he spoke to the latter about taking action against the Haqqani network.

    "I've talked about them supporting it. When Gen Kayani and I have talked about this in the past, he's not a big fan of the Haqqani network." 

Highly pissed off:  ISI, Haqqani supporters
It's a very lethal, very virulent insurgent terrorist group that you just can't walk up to and eliminate. So it isn't anything that could be done anywhere close to overnight.

We talked about how to do it in the past, from my perspective, that's really up to the Pakistanis to figure out," he said.

    However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney refrained from using the term that the "Haqqani network is a veritable arm of the ISI" even though pressed repeatedly by the White House press corps at his daily news conference.

    "As I've said and others have said, is that the continuing safe havens that the Haqqani Network enjoys in Pakistan and the links between the Pakistani military and the Haqqani Network are troubling, and we want action taken against them. That is a conversation we have had with the Pakistani government for a long time, not just in recent days and weeks," Carney told reporters.


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.

STRATFOR Geopolitical Journey: Iran at a Crossroads


Iran set to take place at international table; Will the mullahs allow it

STRATFOR
By Kamran Bokhari
09/30/2011

Geopolitically, a trip to Iran could not come at a better time. Iran is an emerging power seeking to exploit the vacuum created by the departure of U.S. troops from Iraq, which is scheduled to conclude in a little more than three months. Tehran also plays a major role along its eastern border, where Washington is seeking a political settlement with the Taliban to facilitate a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    The Islamic republic simultaneously is trying to steer popular unrest in the Arab world in its favor. That unrest in turn has significant implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an issue in which Iran has successfully inserted itself over the years. The question of the U.S.-Iranian relationship also looms — does accommodation or confrontation lie ahead? At the same time, the Iranian state — a unique hybrid of Shiite theocracy and Western republicanism — is experiencing intense domestic power struggles.

Khomeni and Islamic revolution set the stage for Iran today
This is the geopolitical context in which I arrived at Imam Khomeini International airport late Sept. 16. Along with several hundred foreign guests, I had been invited to attend a Sept. 17-18 event dubbed the “Islamic Awakening” conference, organized by the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Given the state of Iranian-Western ties and my position as a senior analyst with a leading U.S.-based private intelligence company, the invitation came as surprise.

    With some justification, Tehran views foreign visitors as potential spies working to undermine Iranian national security. The case of the American hikers jailed in Iran (two of whom were released the day of my return to Canada) provided a sobering example of tourism devolving into accusations of espionage.

    Fortunately for me, STRATFOR had not been placed on the list of some 60 Western organizations (mostly American and British think tanks and civil society groups) banned as seditious in early 2010 following the failed Green Movement uprising. Still, the Iranian regime is well aware of our views on Iranian geopolitics.

    In addition to my concerns about how Iranian authorities would view me, I also worried about how attending a state-sponsored event designed to further Iranian geopolitical interests where many speakers heavily criticized the United States and Israel would look in the West. In the end, I set my trepidations aside and opted for the trip. 

Geopolitical Observations in Tehran

    
    STRATFOR CEO and founder George Friedman has written of geopolitical journeys, of how people from diverse national backgrounds visiting other countries see places in very different ways. In my case, my Pakistani heritage, American upbringing, Muslim religious identity and Canadian nationality allowed me to navigate a milieu of both locals and some 700 delegates of various Arab and Muslim backgrounds. But the key was in the way STRATFOR trains its analysts to avoid the pitfall that many succumb to — the blurring of what is really happening with what we may want to see happen.

    The foreigner arriving in Iran immediately notices that despite 30 years of increasingly severe sanctions, the infrastructure and systems in the Islamic republic appear fairly solid. As a developing country and an international pariah, one would expect infrastructure along the lines of North Korea or Cuba. But Iran’s construction, transportation and communications infrastructure shares more in common with apartheid-era South Africa, and was largely developed indigenously. 

Iran technology keeping pace with the rest of the world
Also notable was the absence of any visible evidence of a police state. Considering the state’s enormous security establishment and the recent unrest surrounding the Green Movement, I expected to see droves of elite security forces. I especially expected this in the northern districts of the capital, where the more Westernized segment of society lives and where I spent a good bit of time walking and sitting in cafes.

    Granted, I didn’t stay for long and was only able to see a few areas of the city to be able to tell, but the only public display of opposition to the regime was “Death to Khamenei” graffiti scribbled in small letters on a few phone booths on Vali-e-Asr Avenue in the Saadabad area. I saw no sign of Basij or Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps personnel patrolling the streets, only the kind of police presence one will find in many countries. 

    This normal security arrangement gave support to STRATFOR’s view from the very beginning that the unrest in 2009 was not something the regime couldn’t contain. As we wrote then and I was able to see firsthand last week, Iran has enough people who — contrary to conventional wisdom — support the regime, or at the very least do not seek its downfall even if they disagree with its policies.

    I saw another sign of support for the Islamic republic a day after the conference ended, when the organizers arranged a tour of the mausoleum of the republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. We visited the large complex off a main highway on the southern end of town on a weekday; even so, numerous people had come to the shrine to pay their respects — several with tears in their eyes as they prayed at the tomb.

    Obviously, the intensity of religious feelings varies in Iran, but a significant stratum of the public remains deeply religious and still believes in the national narrative of the revolutionary republic. This fact does not get enough attention in the Western media and discourse, clouding foreigners’ understanding of Iran and leading to misperceptions of an autocratic clergy clinging to power only by virtue of a massive security apparatus. 

In the same vein, I had expected to see stricter enforcement of religious attire on women in public after the suppression of the Green Movement. Instead, I saw a light-handed approach on the issue. Women obeyed the requirement to cover ********** but their hands and faces in a variety of ways. Some women wore the traditional black chador. Others wore long shirts and pants and scarves covering their heads. Still others were dressed in Western attire save a scarf over their head, which was covering very little of their hair.

The dress code has become a political issue in Iran, especially in recent months in the context of the struggle between conservative factions. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has encountered growing opposition from both pragmatic and ultraconservative forces, has come under criticism from clerics and others for alleged moral laxity when it comes to female dress codes. Even so, the supreme leader has not moved to challenge Ahmadinejad on this point.

Ahmadinejad and the Clerical-Political Divide

    
    In sharp contrast with his first term, Ahmadinejad — the most ambitious and assertive president since the founding of the Islamic republic in 1979 — has been trying to position himself as the pragmatist in his second term while his opponents come out looking like hard-liners. In recent months his statements have become less religiously informed, though they have retained their nationalist and radical anti-Western tone.

    For example, his speech at the conclusion of the second day of the conference on the theme of the event, Islamic Awakening, was articulated in non-religious language. This stood in sharp contrast to almost every other speaker. Ahmadinejad spoke of recent Arab unrest in terms of a struggle for freedom, justice and emancipation for oppressed peoples, while his criticism of the United States and Israel was couched in terms of how the two countries’ policies were detrimental to global peace as opposed to the raw ideological vitriol that we have seen in the not too distant past.

    But while Iran’s intra-elite political struggles complicate domestic and foreign policymaking, they are not about to bring down the Islamic republic — at least not anytime soon. In the longer term, the issue at the heart of all disputes — that of shared governance by clerics and politicians — does pose a significant challenge to the regime. This tension has existed throughout the nearly 32-year history of the Islamic republic, and it will continue to be an issue into the foreseeable future as Iran focuses heavily on the foreign policy front.

 Iran’s Regional Ambitions

    
     In fact, the conference was all about Iran’s foreign policy ambitions to assume intellectual and geopolitical leadership of the unrest in the Arab world. Iran is well aware that it is in competition with Turkey over leadership for the Middle East and that Ankara is in a far better position than Iran economically, diplomatically and religiously as a Sunni power. Nevertheless, Iran is trying to position itself as the champion of the Arab masses who have risen up in opposition to autocratic regimes. The Iranian view is that Turkey cannot lead the region while remaining aligned with Washington and that Saudi Arabia’s lack of enthusiasm for the uprisings works in Tehran’s favor.

    The sheer number of Iranian officials who are bilingual (fluent in Persian and Arabic) highlights the efforts of Tehran to overcome the ethno-linguistic geopolitical constraints it faces as a Persian country trying to operate in a region where most Muslim countries are Arab. While its radical anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli position has allowed it to circumvent the ethnic factor and attract support in the Arab and Muslim worlds, its Shiite sectarian character has allowed its opponents in Riyadh and elsewhere to restrict Iranian regional influence. In fact, Saudi Arabia remains a major bulwark against Iranian attempts expand its influence across the Persian Gulf and into Arabian Peninsula, as has been clear by the success that the Saudis have had in containing the largely Shiite uprising in Bahrain against the country’s Sunni monarchy.

    Even so, Iran has developed some close relations across the sectarian divide, something obvious from the foreign participants invited to the conference. Thus in addition to the many Shiite leaders from Lebanon and Iraq and other parts of the Islamic world, the guest list included deputy Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook; Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) chief Ramadan Abdullah Shallah; a number of Egyptian religious, political, intellectual and business notables; the chief adviser to Sudanese President Omar al Bashir as well as the leader of the country’s main opposition party, Sadiq al-Mahdi; a number of Sunni Islamist leaders from Pakistan and Afghanistan, including former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani whom I had the opportunity of speaking with only two days before he was assassinated in Kabul; and the head of Malaysia’s main Islamist group, PAS, which runs governments in a few states — just to name a few. 

Hamas
Tehran has had much less success in breaching the ideological chasm, something evidenced by the dearth of secular political actors at the conference. Its very name, Islamic Awakening, was hardly welcoming to secularists. It also did not accurately reflect the nature of the popular agitation in the Arab countries, which is not being led by forces that seek revival of religion. The Middle East could be described as experiencing a political awakening, but not a religious awakening given that Islamist forces are latecomers to the cause.

    A number of my hosts asked me what I thought of the conference, prompting me to address this conceptual discrepancy. I told them that the name Islamic Awakening only made sense if one was referring the Islamic world, but that even this interpretation was flawed as the current unrest has been limited to Arab countries.

   While speaker after speaker pressed for unity among Muslim countries and groups in the cause of revival and the need to support the Arab masses in their struggle against autocracy, one unmistakable tension was clear. 

    This had to do with Syria, the only state in the Arab world allied with Iran. A number of speakers and members of the audience tried to criticize the Syrian regime’s efforts to crush popular dissent, but the discomfort this caused was plain. Syria has proven embarrassing for Iran and even groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and PIJ, which are having a hard time reconciling their support for the Arab unrest on one hand and supporting the Syrian regime against its dissidents on the other.


The Road Ahead


   
    Attending this conference allowed me to meet and observe many top Iranian civil and military officials and the heads of Arab and other Muslim non-state actors with varying degree of relationships with Tehran. Analyzing them from a distance one tends to dismiss their ideology and statements as rhetoric and propaganda. Some of what they say is rhetoric, but beneath the rhetoric are also convictions.

    We in the West often expect Iran to succumb to international pressure, seek rehabilitation in the international community and one day become friendly with the West. We often talk of a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement, but at a strategic level, the Iranian leadership has other plans.

    While Iran would like normalized relations with Washington and the West, it is much more interested in maintaining its independence in foreign policy matters, not unlike China’s experience since establishing relations with the United States. As one Iranian official told me at the conference, when Iran re-establishes ties with the United States, it doesn’t want to behave like Saudi Arabia or to mimic Turkey under the Justice and Development Party.

    Whether or not Iran will achieve its goals and to what extent remains unclear. The combination of geography, demography and resources means Iran will remain at the center of an intense geopolitical struggle, and I hope for further opportunities to observe these developments firsthand.


    Iran at Crossroads republished with permission and thanks from The 5th Estate.


The dead begin to speak up in India


Indian officials go to great lengths to silence journalists reporting on/from Kashmir

The Guardian
By Arundhati Roy
09/30/2011

At about 3am, on 23 September, within hours of his arrival at the Delhi airport, the US radio-journalist David Barsamian was deported. This dangerous man, who produces independent, free-to-air programmes for public radio, has been visiting India for 40 years, doing such dangerous things as learning Urdu and playing the sitar.

    Barsamian has published book-length interviews with public intellectuals such as Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Ejaz Ahmed and Tariq Ali (he even makes an appearance as a young, bell-bottom-wearing interviewer in Peter Wintonick's documentary film on Chomsky and Edward Herman's book Manufacturing Consent).

    On his more recent trips to India he has done a series of radio interviews with activists, academics, film-makers, journalists and writers (including me). Barsamian's work has taken him to Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan. He has never been deported from any of these countries. So why does the world's largest democracy feel so threatened by this lone, sitar-playing, Urdu-speaking, left-leaning, radio producer? Here is how Barsamian himself explains it:

Kashmir:  Long war almost guarantees excesses
"It's all about Kashmir. I've done work on Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Narmada dams, farmer suicides, the Gujarat pogrom, and the Binayak Sen case. But it's Kashmir that is at the heart of the Indian state's concerns. The official narrative must not be contested."

News reports about his deportation quoted official "sources" as saying that Barsamian had "violated his visa norms during his visit in 2009-10 by indulging in professional work while holding a tourist visa". Visa norms in India are an interesting peep-hole into the government's concerns and predilections. Using the tattered old banner of the "war on terror", the home ministry has decreed that scholars and academics invited for conferences and seminars require security clearance before they will be given visas. Corporate executives and businessmen do not.

    So somebody who wants to invest in a dam, or build a steel plant or a buy a bauxite mine is not considered a security hazard, whereas a scholar who might wish to participate in a seminar about, say, displacement or communalism or rising malnutrition in a globalised economy, is. Terrorists with bad intentions have probably guessed that they are better off wearing Prada suits and pretending they want to buy a mine than admitting that they want to attend a seminar.

    David Barsamian did not travel to India to buy a mine or to attend a conference. He just came to talk to people. The complaint against him, according to "official sources" is that he had reported on events in Jammu and Kashmir during his last visit to India and that these reports were "not based on facts". Remember Barsamian is not a reporter, he's a man who has conversations with people, mostly dissidents, about the societies in which they live.

    Is it illegal for tourists to talk to people in the countries they visit? Would it be illegal for me to travel to the US or Europe and write about the people I met, even if my writing was "not based on facts"? Who decides which "facts" are correct and which are not? Would Barsamian have been deported if the conversations he recorded had been in praise of the impressive turnouts in Kashmir's elections, instead of about daily life in the densest military occupation in the world (an estimated 600,000 actively deployed armed personnel for a population of 10 million people)?

Beautiful, deadly:  Kashmir mostly off limits to journalists
David Barsamian is not the first person to be deported over the Indian government's sensitivities over Kashmir. Professor Richard Shapiro, an anthropologist from San Francisco, was deported from Delhi airport in November 2010 without being given any reason. It was probably a way of punishing his partner, Angana Chatterji, who is a co-convenor of the international peoples' tribunal on human rights and justice which first chronicled the existence of unmarked mass graves in Kashmir.

    In September 2011, May Aquino, from the Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearances (Afad), Manila, was deported from Delhi airport. Earlier this year, on 28 May, the outspoken Indian democratic rights activist, Gautam Navlakha, was deported to Delhi from Srinagar airport. Farook Abdullah, the former chief minister of Kashmir, justified the deportation, saying that writers like Navlakha and myself had no business entering Kashmir because "Kashmir is not for burning".

    Kashmir is in the process of being isolated, cut off from the outside world by two concentric rings of border patrols – in Delhi as well as Srinagar – as though it's already a free country with its own visa regime. Within its borders of course, it's open season for the government and the army. The art of controlling Kashmiri journalists and ordinary people with a deadly combination of bribes, threats, blackmail and a whole spectrum of unutterable cruelty has evolved into a twisted art form.

    While the government goes about trying to silence the living, the dead have begun to speak up. Perhaps it was insensitive of Barsamian to plan a trip to Kashmir just when the state human rights commission was finally shamed into officially acknowledging the existence of 2,700 unmarked graves from three districts in Kashmir. Reports of thousands of other graves are pouring in from other districts. Perhaps it is insensitive of the unmarked graves to embarrass the government of India just when India's record is due for review before the UN human rights council.

    Apart from Dangerous David, who else is the world's largest democracy afraid of? There's young Lingaram Kodopi an adivasi from Dantewada in the state of Chhattisgarh, who was arrested on 9 September. The police say they caught him red-handed in a market place, while he was handing over protection money from Essar, an iron-ore mining company, to the banned Communist party of India (Maoist). His aunt Soni Sori says that he was picked up by plainclothes policemen in a white Bolero car from his grandfather's house in Palnar village.

A man walks past unmarked graves in Kashmir
Interestingly, even by their own account, the police arrested Lingaram but allowed the Maoists to escape. This is only the latest in a series of bizarre, almost hallucinatory accusations they have made against Lingaram and then withdrawn. His real crime is that he is the only journalist who speaks Gondi, the local language, and who knows how to negotiate the remote forest paths in Dantewada the other war zone in India from which no news must come.

    Having signed over vast tracts of indigenous tribal homelands in central India to multinational mining and infrastructure corporations in a series of secret memorandums of understanding, the government has begun to flood the forests with hundreds of thousands of security forces. All resistance, armed as well as unarmed has been branded "Maoist" (In Kashmir they are all "jihadi elements").

    As the civil war grows deadlier, hundreds of villages have been burnt to the ground. Thousands of adivasis have fled as refugees into neighbouring states. Hundreds of thousands are living terrified lives hiding in the forests. Paramilitary forces have laid siege to the forest, making trips to the markets for essential provisions and medicines a nightmare for villagers. Untold numbers of nameless people are in jail, charged with sedition and waging war on the state, with no lawyers to defend them. Very little news comes out of those forests, and there are no body counts.

    So it's not hard to see why young Lingaram Kodopi poses such a threat. Before he trained to become a journalist, he was a driver in Dantewada. In 2009 the police arrested him and confiscated his Jeep. He was locked up in a small toilet for 40 days where he was pressurised to become a special police officer (SPO) in the Salwa Judum, the government-sponsored vigilante army that was at the time tasked with forcing people to flee from their villages (the Salwa Judum has since been declared unconstitutional by the supreme court).

    The police released Lingaram after the Gandhian activist Himanshu Kumar filed a habeas corpus petition in court. But then the police arrested Lingaram's old father and five other members of his family. They attacked his village and threatened the villagers if they sheltered him. Eventually Lingaram escaped to Delhi where friends and well-wishers got him admission into a journalism school. In April 2010 he travelled to Dantewada and escorted villagers to Delhi to give testimony at the independent peoples' tribunal about the barbarity of the Salwa Judum and the police and paramilitary forces. In his own testimony, Lingaram was sharply critical of the Maoists as well.

Kashmir protests escalating
That did not deter the Chhattisgarh police. On 2 July 2010, the senior Maoist leader, Comrade Azad, the official spokesperson for the Maoist party, was captured and executed by the Andhra Pradesh police. Deputy Inspector General Kalluri of the Chhattisgarh police announced at a press conference that Lingaram Kodopi had been elected by the Maoist party to take over Comrade Azad's role (it was like accusing a young school child in 1936 Yan'an of being Zhou Enlai). The charge was met with such derision that the police had to withdraw it. Soon after they accused Lingaram of being the mastermind of a Maoist attack on a congress legislator in Dantewada. But oddly enough, they made no move to arrest him.

    Lingaram remained in Delhi, completed his course and received his diploma in journalism. In March 2011, paramilitary forces burned down three villages in Dantewada – Tadmetla, Timmapuram and Morapalli. The Chhattisgarh government blamed the Maoists. The supreme court assigned the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Lingaram returned to Dantewada with a video camera and trekked from village to village documenting first-hand testimonies of the villagers who indicted the police. By doing this he made himself one of the most wanted men in Dantewada. On 9 September the police finally got to him.

    Lingaram has joined an impressive line-up of troublesome news gatherers and disseminators in Chhattisgarh. Among the earliest to be silenced was the celebrated doctor Binayak Sen, who first raised the alarm about the crimes of the Salwa Judum as far back as 2005. He was arrested in 2007, accused of being a Maoist and sentenced to life imprisonment. After years in prison, he is out on bail now.

Evacuating a casualty
Kopa Kunjam was my first guide into the forest villages of Dantewada. At the time he worked with Himanshu Kumar's Vanvasi Chetna ashram, doing exactly what Lingaram tried to do much later – travelling to remote villages, bringing out the news, and carefully documenting the horror that was unfolding. In May 2009 the ashram, the last neutral shelter for journalists, writers and academics who were travelling to Dantewada, was demolished by the Chhattisgarh government.

    Kopa was arrested on human rights day in September 2009. He was accused of colluding with the Maoists in the murder of one man and the kidnapping of another. The case against Kopa has begun to fall apart as the police witnesses, including the man who was kidnapped, have disowned the statements they purportedly made to the police. It doesn't really matter, because in India the process is the punishment.

    It could take years for Kopa to establish his innocence. Many of those who were emboldened by Kopa to file complaints against the police have been arrested too. That includes women who committed the crime of being raped. Soon after Kopa's arrest Himanshu Kumar was hounded out of Dantewada.

It will be some time before the valley sees peace again
Eventually, here too the dead will begin to speak. And it will not just be dead human beings, it will be the dead land, dead rivers, dead mountains and dead creatures in dead forests that will insist on a hearing.

In this age of surveillance, internet policing and phone-tapping, as the clampdown on those who speak up becomes grimmer with every passing day, it's odd how India is becoming the dream destination of literary festivals. Many of these festivals are funded by the very corporations on whose behalf the police have unleashed their regime of terror.

    The Harud literary festival in Srinagar (postponed for the moment) was slated to be the newest, most exciting literary festival in India – "As the autumn leaves change colour the valley of Kashmir will resonate with the sound of poetry, literary dialogue, debate and discussions …"

    Its organisers advertised it as an "apolitical" event, but did not say how either the rulers or the subjects of a brutal military occupation that has claimed tens of thousands of lives could be "apolitical". I wonder – will the guests come on tourist visas? Will there be separate ones for Srinagar and Delhi? Will they need security clearance?

    The festive din of all this spurious freedom helps to muffle the sound of footsteps in airport corridors as the deported are frog-marched on to departing planes, to mute the click of handcuffs locking around strong, warm wrists and the cold metallic clang of prison doors.

    Our lungs are gradually being depleted of oxygen. Perhaps it's time use whatever breath remains in our bodies to say: "Open the bloody gates."


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.





Those 'Coining the Blood of War' Should Sacrifice Too


Talking about everybody sacrificing:  Obama, congress, senate need to cough up kids/grandkids to military or be forced to explain why not

World News
By Dallas Darling
09/29/2011

In 1919, immediately after World War One but still during the United States' military occupations of Russia and China, Hiram Johnson, the former reform governor of California who served in the Senate, spoke for many who feared American involvement in the Great War might continue to generate obscene profits for armaments makers. To ensure that corporate interests and their futuristic manufactured wars did not reap unfair gains from the war taxes imposed on citizens, Johnson proposed that the government make the defense industry contribute toward the expenses of war.

Despite lies, Iraq casualties rising
In, "Why Not a Dollar Draft?," and since Johnson senses an injustice and inequality in taxation, he believes that the government should not only conscript the blood of the nation, but it should conscript a part of the wealth of the United States that is coined out of its blood. "With a boundless enthusiasm we conscripted, in a very brief period, the youth of this land," writes Johnson, "With an enthusiasm that would brook no delay, we took our youth and sent that forth to fight for this nation, and to die if necessary, upon foreign soil. I ask that same enthusiasm for conscripting the wealth of the nation..."

    The "other" wealth of the United States that Johnson is referring to are military war industries, armament manufacturers, and enterprising war profiteers. According to Johnson, "Those who coin the blood of war are the ones best able to pay the expense of war. Those who make swollen war profits out of this particular exigency are those who ought to pay for the cost of this war." For Johnson and many others, it was quite a trivial matter to take from the swollen fortunes that came from the Great War, especially when considering those who lost their lives and blood and limbs on foreign battlefields.

    Unlike England, which took 80 percent of the war profits to run its war, the United States took very little monies from massive armaments industries and their profits. Arm makers were actually subsidized by the government while a staggering $20 billion national debt was incurred, a debt to be paid by future generations. Although Johnson proposed to take the largest possible share of the war profits that is possible for the government to take from armaments industries, should not "all" profits be seized from the war profiteers? When many sacrifice blood, is not sacrificing war profits the least arm makers can do?

Remains of U.S. soldier on floor in surgery theater
Perhaps a "dollar draft," or seizing the profits from those who coin the blood of war, will prevent what Robert Burns writes about in, "Stars and Stripes." In his article, "In Iraq, youngest US troops bore the heaviest tool," Burns relates how graveyards across America are becoming filled with young soldiers who have been killed in the U.S.-Iraq War. Nearly one-third of U.S. troops killed in Iraq were only age 18 to 21, and more than half were in the lowest enlisted ranks. But insurgency wars confuse commanders, and preemptive wars needlessly maim and kill tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers.

    Such wars not only leave behind death and destruction on foreign soil, but they leave millions to suffer unseen psychological and emotional wounds for years to come. The soldier Burns writes about is like most who joined the military "as a ticket to a better life." But it was an unexpected, fatal ticket. Meanwhile, chief officers and board members are reaping enormous profits from armaments industries, like Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. Political and military investors are accumulating tremendous wealth from wars. They all live in million-dollar homes and drive the most expensive cars.

    Should not their war profits be conscripted, just as the blood of the young are conscripted? Should not they be forced to sacrifice their earnings from war, just as young men and women in uniform are called to sacrifice their blood and lives? And since preemptive wars were met with a boundless enthusiasm by these war profiteers, why not employ the same enthusiasm to preemptively seize "all" profits from their wars? After all, would this not show true courage, patriotism and sacrifice? How fair is it for corporate leaders, in a kind of non-terroristic fascism, to dominate an integrated national system?(1)

    Those coining the blood of war should have to sacrifice too, even if it is only their profits from war.

Dallas Darling (darling@wn.com)

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for www.worldnews.com. You can read more of Dallas' writings at www.beverlydarling.com and wn.com//dallasdarling.

Notes:

(1) Williams, William Appleman. Americans in a Changing World: A History of the United States in the Twentieth Century. New York, New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1978., p. 207.


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.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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

 photo
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

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

 photo
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.

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

 photo capitalism_zpsah78uy5p.jpg
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.

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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...

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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;

 photo TAMIFLU_small_zpssojx6okt.jpg
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...

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 photo WHO02_zpsplmhtlpr.jpg
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 . . .

READ MORE >>

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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.

READ MORE >>