Saturday, December 17, 2011

Engineered Vvirus Which Hacks and Controls Brain : Do you Mind?


Just what we need.  Civilians worldwide will rue the day they paid for their own "scientists" and "doctors" to engineer viruses to kill, disable them

Agencies
11/17/2011

Today, an average computer user cannot even keep the machine secured. So what will the world look like when hacking your mind becomes as easy as infecting your machine with a computer virus?

­
    Human knowledge on DNA nanotechnology and bio-molecular computing increases exponentially with every passing year. Thus, protecting your own brain from security breaches could become the highest priority challenge of the 21st century.

Synthetic biology is becoming one of the most powerful forms of technology in the world. But many people fear that scientists’ games with the genetics of life forms could spin out of control and open the door to a new age of bio-hacking and bio-terrorism.

Natural living viruses and bacteria are not only making people sick, they also control the behavior and condition of the hosts, though without any malice. But the consequences of getting exposed to an artificially-created virus could be much more serious than a headache or a fever.

    “Synthetic biology will lead to new forms of bioterrorism,” security expert Marc Goodman told the Daily Mail. “Bio-crime today is akin to computer crime in the early ’80s.”

    Viruses and bacteria are manipulating the chemicals inside the human body and, by programming them to send the right agents into the brain, the bio-programmer potentially can take control over the victim’s behavior.

    We are seeing the opening stages of the synthetic biology industry. Some basic tasks like decoding, insertion and excision of parts of the DNA, and relatively successful attempts of cloning is pretty much everything that modern science can carry through.

    But in the ’80s, computer science technology was actually at the same level of maturity. At that time no one could really believe that 20 years later any person would have a greater power over the computer – and not only the one that belongs to him – than the best present-day programmers.

Mad scientists/doctors working on weaponizing HIV virus
Cells are living computers and DNA is a programming language that can be used to control and influence life forms, believes Andrew Hessel of Singularity University, on NASA’s research campus.



   “Synthetic biology – the writing of life,” Hessel says. “It’s growing fast. It will grow faster than computer technologies.”

    Programming the DNA, however, is more of a speculation at this point. There is no development environment or any frameworks to manipulate the cell. Just like in computer programming, a set of basic instructions and codes has to be developed before an average coder could perform some task of greater complexity.

    The industry is developing rapidly and the future of DNA programming seems bright. But drawing parallels with computer science, it would be better for humankind to recognize the problem of “malicious bio-programmers” with all possible seriousness and proactively develop defensive and counter-offensive methods.



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'Intense mental pressure on US officials'


Nice way of saying Obama, Clinton and other administration officials criminally insane; attempt to cover for criminal CIA acts

Press TV
12/16/2011
A senior Iranian military commander says US President Barack Obama's recent plea to Tehran to return the RQ-170 spy drone is a sign of extreme psychological pressure on American leaders. 

Obama's criminal insanity becoming harder to hide
In his words, Obama showed to the entire world what kind of logic he uses to govern America,” Brigadier General Mehdi Mahdavinejad, commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, said on Friday.

“Americans never imagined such security and intelligence scandal because they did not have a correct understanding of Iran's might in electronic [warfare],” Mehr News Agency quoted him as saying on Friday. 

    Mahdavinejad also stated that many senior US military officials believe that invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan by the US has been fruitless.

    “Such measures prove the lack of wisdom and low intellect of America's leaders who after several years of presence in these countries [Iraq and Afghanistan], must now withdraw their forces from Iraq with humiliation and will certainly have to do the same in Afghanistan in future,” he said.

    The IRGC commander added that US efforts to create crisis in other countries have backfired and the Occupy Wall Street movement is currently targeting America's capitalist system. 

CIA's R!-170 drone
A US RQ-170 spy drone crossed Afghanistan's border with Iran on December 4, but was successfully brought down with minimal damage by the Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit. The aircraft was flying over the northeastern Iran city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) away from the Afghan border. 

    Following days of silence on the capture and unveiling of spy drone by Iranian armed forces, US President Barack Obama claimed on December 12 that Washington has asked Tehran to return the US reconnaissance drone.

   “We've asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond,” he added in a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Washington.  

    High-ranking Iranian officials, including Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi have announced that the spy plane will remain in Iran's possession to undergo reverse engineering.

    The RQ-170 is an unmanned stealth aircraft designed and developed by the Lockheed Martin Company.

    The drone is one of America's most advanced surveillance aircraft. Its loss is considered a major embarrassment for Washington.



SS/HGH


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Arab League Gives US-NATO Green Light to Intervene in Syria


The Arab League has just bought themselves a war in which they will be decimated; U.S. big oil waiting to move into irradiated Middle East wasteland

GRTV
By Michel Chossudovsky
10/13/2011

The Arab League has voted to suspend Syria from all meetings until Damascus ends its bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters.

    Eighteen countries supported the move while Lebanon, Yemen and Syria voted against it and Iraq abstained. The suspension will come into effect on November 16, according to the Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim.

Assad will not go quietly into night
The vote came during an emergency session to discuss Syria's failure to end a bloody government crackdown on opposition protests. Qatar's foreign minister has called on the Syrian army to stop the violence against civilians.

In turn, Syria's representative to the Arab League, Youssef Ahmed, said the decision to suspend Damascus violated the organization's charter and showed it was "serving a Western and American agenda," reports Reuters.

    Ahmed told Syrian state television that the move to suspend Syria would only have been valid if taken by consensus at a summit meeting of Arab leaders, whereas it was in fact opposed by two delegates at the Arab League meeting.

    The League has also warned Syria that it could face sanctions if it fails to end the violence. However, Bin Jassim stressed that "no-one is talking about a no-fly zone -- people are trying to mix up the cases. None of us is talking about this kind of decision." In February, the LAS suspended Libya's membership and went on to propose the enforcement of a no-fly zone over the country.

  Michel Chossudovsky, the Director of the Centre for Research on Globalisation, says the League's decision comes as no surprise.

    "These countries are essentially obeying orders emanating from Washington. This is not a decision of the Arab League or the Arab world. It is a decision of Washington and it is there to justify war plans directed against Syria, which are already on the drawing board of the Pentagon," he said.

   On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Arab League headquarters in Cairo to demand that it freeze Syrian membership in order to defend civilians in the country.



    Protesters carried placards reading "Freedom for the Syrian people" and "Arab leaders are garbage" as they chanted for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Later they were joined by demonstrators from Yemen protesting at a lethal government crackdown in their country.

    The Syrian opposition has been calling for the League to take action against the Assad regime for some time. The suspension deals a powerful symbolic blow to a nation that prides itself on being a powerhouse of Arab nationalism.



    On November 2, Syria agreed to a peace plan brokered by the LAS, but the violence has continued unabated, with November shaping up to be the deadliest month yet in Syria's 8-month-long uprising. Since signing up to the League's deal 11 days ago, more than 250 Syrian civilians have been killed amid a bloody siege of the city of Homs.

   According to UN estimates, over 3,500 people have been killed in the crackdown since an uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad began eight months ago, inspired by the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

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STRATFOR : The Syria Crisis: Assessing Foreign Intervention


U.S. military not going home from Iraq, was moved to Jordan to threaten Syria and Iran, protect Israel

STRATFOR
By Scott Stewart
12/15/2011

The ongoing unrest, violence and security crackdowns in Syria have been the subject of major international attention since February. Our current assessment is that the government and opposition forces have reached a stalemate in which the government cannot quell the unrest and the opposition cannot bring down the regime without outside intervention.



In the Dec. 8 Security Weekly, we discussed the covert intelligence war being waged by the United States, Israel and other U.S. allies against Iran. Their efforts are directed not only against Tehran’s nuclear program but also against Iran’s ability to establish an arc of influence that stretches through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. To that end, the United States and its allies are trying to limit Iran’s influence in Iraq and to constrain Hezbollah in Lebanon. But apparently they are also exploring ways to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a longtime ally of Iran whose position is in danger due to the current unrest in the country. In fact, a U.S. State Department official recently characterized the al Assad regime as a “dead man walking.”

We therefore would like to examine more closely the potential external efforts required to topple the Syrian regime. In doing so, we will examine the types of tools that are available to external forces seeking to overthrow governments and where those tools fit within the force continuum, an array of activities ranging from clandestine, deniable activities to all-out invasion. We will also discuss some of the indicators that can be used by outside observers seeking to understand any efforts taken against the Syrian regime.

Syria Is Not Libya

It is tempting to compare Syria to Libya, which very recently was the target of outside intervention. Some similarities exist. The al Assad regime came to power in a military coup around the time the Gadhafi regime took control of Libya, and the regimes are equally brutal. And, like Libya, Syria is a country that is quite divided along demographic and sectarian lines and is governed by a small minority of the population.

However, we must recognize that the situation in Syria is quite different than Libya’s. First, the fault lines along which Syrian society is divided are not as regionally distinct as those of Libya; in Syria, there is no area like Benghazi where the opposition can dominate and control territory that can be used as a base to project power. As our map indicates, protests have occurred throughout Syria, and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) claims to have a presence in many parts of the country.

Moreover, while some low-level, mostly Sunni soldiers have defected from the Alawite-controlled Syrian military to the FSA, Syria has not seen the large-scale military defections that occurred in Benghazi and eastern Libya at the beginning of that conflict that immediately provided the opposition with a substantial conventional military force (sometimes entire units defected). The Syrian military has remained far more unified and intact than the Libyan military.

Second, Syria simply does not have the oil resources Libya does. We have not seen the Europeans push for military intervention in Syria with the same enthusiasm that they did in Libya. Even France, which has been the most vocal of the European countries against Syria, has recently backed away from advocating direct military intervention. The strength of the Syrian military, specifically its air defense system — which is far superior to Libya’s — means military intervention would be far more costly in Syria than in Libya in terms of human casualties and money. In fact, Syria spent some $264 million on air defense weapons in 2009 and 2010 after the embarrassing September 2007 Israeli airstrike on a Syrian nuclear reactor.

With the future of Libya still unclear, it does not appear the United States and Europe have the political will or economic incentive to conduct another major military intervention (operations in Libya were very expensive). We also do not believe that regional powers interested in Syria, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Turkey, could take military action against Syria without U.S. and NATO support.

Regardless, it is important to remember that there are many options foreign governments can apply against the al Assad regime (or any regime, for that matter) that do not constitute outright invasion or even entail an air campaign supported by special operations forces.

The Force Continuum

As we examine some of the actions available along that force continuum, we should keep in mind that the steps are not at all static; there can be much latitude for action within each step. For example, training provided by mercenaries or the CIA’s Special Activities Division is far more low-key, and therefore easier to deny, than training provided by the U.S. Army’s Special Forces. 

The least risky and least detectable option for a country pursuing intervention is to ramp up intelligence activities in the target country. Such activities can involve clandestine activities like developing contact with opposition figures or encouraging generals to conduct a coup or defect to the opposition. Clandestine efforts can also include working with opposition groups and non-governmental organizations to improve their information warfare activities. These activities may progress to more obvious covert actions, such as assassinations or sabotage. Most of actions taken in the covert intelligence war against Iran can be placed in this level.

Clandestine and covert activities often are accompanied or preceded by overt diplomatic pressure. This includes press statements denouncing the leadership of the target country, the initiation of resolutions in international organizations, such as the Arab League or the United Nations, and international economic sanctions. These overt measures can also include formally meeting with representatives of the opposition in a third country, as when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Dec. 6 with Syrian opposition members in Geneva.

The next level up the force continuum is to solidify a relationship with the opposition and to begin to provide them with intelligence, training and advice. In the intervention in Libya, this happened fairly early on as foreign intelligence officers and special operations forces traveled to places like Benghazi, then later the Nafusa Mountains, to provide the Libyan opposition with intelligence regarding Gadhafi’s forces, and to begin to train the militia forces to fight. In Syria there is still a very real issue of a lack of unity within the opposition, which is apparently more fragmented than its Libyan counterpart.

In this level, outside governments often take opposition fighters to a third country for training. This is because of the difficulty involved with training inside the home country, which is controlled by a hostile government that rightfully views the opposition as a threat. Already we are seeing signs that this is happening with the training of FSA members in Turkey.

The next step beyond training and intelligence-sharing is to provide the opposition with funding and other support, which can include food, uniforms, communication equipment, medical assistance and even weapons. To restate a point, providing funding is not as aggressive as providing weapons to the opposition, so there is a great deal of latitude within this level.

When providing weapons, an outside government will usually try to supply opposition forces with arms native to their country. This is done to maintain deniability of assistance. For example, at the outset of international support for the mujahideen who were fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, efforts were made to provide the fighters with weapons consistent with what the Soviets and the Afghan communists were using. However, when those weapons proved insufficient to counter the threat posed by Soviet air superiority, the decision was made to provide U.S. FIM-92 Stinger man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) to the Afghan fighters. Tactically, the MANPADS greatly benefited the mujahideen on the battlefield. But since they were advanced, exogenous weapons systems, the MANPADS stripped away any sense of plausible deniability the U.S. might have maintained regarding its operations to arm the Afghans. 

U.S. gave Stingers to Afghans, who then killed Americans
 We saw a similar situation in Libya in May, when rebels began using Belgian-made FN-FAL battle rifles. While the rebels had looted many Gadhafi arms depots filled with Soviet-era Kalashnikovs, the appearance of the FN-FAL rifles clearly demonstrated that the rebels were receiving weapons from outside patrons. The appearance of Iranian-manufactured bomb components in Iraq in 2006-2007 was another instance of a weapon indicating foreign government involvement in an armed struggle.

Since furnishing weapons foreign to a country eliminates plausible deniability, we are listing it as a separate step on the force continuum. Unveiling the foreign hand can also have a psychological effect on members of the regime by signaling that a powerful foreign actor is supporting the opposition.

The next level begins to bring direct foreign involvement into play. This usually entails foreign special operations forces working with local ground forces and foreign air power being brought to bear. We saw this model used in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, where the CIA, special operations forces and air power augmented Afghan Northern Alliance ground troops and helped them to defeat the Taliban quickly. This model was also used successfully against the Gadhafi regime in Libya.

The highest and least exercised step on the force continuum is foreign invasion, like the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. 

Preludes to Intervention

With this range of actions in mind, outside observers can look for signs that indicate where foreign efforts to support a particular struggle fit along the continuum.

Signs of a clandestine intelligence campaign can include the defection of critical officers, coup attempts or even major splits within the military. When figures such as former Libyan intelligence chief and Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa defected from the Gadhafi regime, they were doing so in response to clandestine intelligence efforts.

Signs of training and support will translate to increased effectiveness by the FSA — if they suddenly begin to employ new tactics, strike new targets, or show the ability to better coordinate actions over a wide geographic area, for example. Another sign of increased effectiveness would be if the FSA began to execute sophisticated asymmetrical warfare operations, such as coordinated ambushes or hit-and-run strikes directed against high-value targets. Foreign trainers will also help the FSA learn how to develop networks within the local population that provide intelligence and supplies, communication, shelter and early warning.

Outside training and intelligence support would lead to an increase in the strategic impact of attacks by armed opposition groups, such as the FSA. The opposition claims to have conducted several strikes against targets like the Syrian Directorate for Air Force Intelligence in suburban Damascus, but such attacks do not appear to have been very meaningful. To date these attacks have served more of a propaganda function than as a means to pursue military objectives. We are carefully monitoring alleged FSA efforts to hit oil and natural gas pipelines to see if they become more systematic and tactically effective. We have heard rumors of American, Turkish, French and Jordanian special operations forces training FSA personnel in Turkey, and if these rumors are true, we should begin to see results of the training in the near future.

As we watch videos and photos coming out of Syria we are constantly looking for evidence of the FSA possessing either an increased weapons supply or signs of external weapons supply. This not only includes a greater quantity of weapons, but different types of weapons, such as anti-tank guided missiles, mortars, mines, MANPADS and improvised explosive devices. We have yet to see either increased weapons or external weapons; the FSA appears to be using the weapons with which they defected.

If outside powers are going to consider launching any sort of air campaign — or establish a no-fly zone — they will first have to step up surveillance efforts to confirm the location and status of Syria’s air defense systems. This will lead to increased surveillance assets and sorties in the areas very close to Syria. Aircraft used in the suppression of air defenses would also be flown into the theater before launching any air operation, and an increase in aircraft, such as U.S. F-16CJ and British Tornado GR4s in Cyprus, Turkey or Greece, is a key indicator to watch. Increased EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, both carrier-based aircraft that regularly transit the region aboard U.S. Carrier Strike Groups, would likewise be important to watch. Aircraft carrier battle groups, cruise missile platforms, and possibly a Marine Expeditionary Unit would also be moved into the region prior to any air campaign.

Like the 2003 invasion of Iraq, any invasion of Syria would be a massive undertaking and there would be clear evidence of a buildup to such an invasion. The likelihood of actions against Syria happening at the top of the force continuum is very remote. Instead we will need to keep focused on the more subtle signs of foreign involvement that will signal what is happening at the lower levels of the scale. After all, any comparison to a “dead man walking” makes one wonder if the United States and its allies will take steps to hasten demise of the al Assad regime. 


Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

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This STRATFOR Intelligence Report is republished with permission and thanks from The 5th Estate.

Japan says Fukushima reactors now stable


Japan government with permission from Obama administration issues biggest lie yet regarding melting Fukushima reactor cores, radiation discharges; plan to allow Japanese citizens back inside contaminated areas as Guinea pigs

Agency France-Presse
12/16/2011

Japan said Friday it finally had control of leaking reactors at Fukushima, in what authorities say is a vital step on the long road to recovery, nine months after its nuclear crisis began.

    In a live press conference, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told the country the crippled reactors "have reached a state of cold shutdown".

Melting reactor cores at Fukushima continue to emit radiation
The government is hoping the announcement will bring relief to a disaster-weary public still haunted by the effects of the monster tsunami that tore into Japan in March.

Stabilisation of the reactors, whose molten cores spewed radioactive particles into the air and sea, marks the end of what the government has dubbed "Step Two" of the nuclear clean-up.

     The initial success of "Step One" -- the stable cooling of reactors and used fuel pools -- was announced in July, after the quake-triggered tsunami pummelled the plant on March 11 and laid waste to much of the northeast coast.

   "Today we have reached a major turning point with regard to the nuclear accident," said the prime minister.

    But Noda warned the battle after the world's worst atomic accident for a generation was far from over.

It is impossible to "contain" a melted reactor core
Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in a large area around the plant as it began leaking cancerous isotopes in the days after March 11.

Swathes of this zone remain badly polluted, with the clean-up proceeding slowly amid warnings that some towns could be uninhabitable for three decades.

    Noda said Friday that he was ordering decontamination teams into the area.

    "The government... will allocate more than one trillion yen ($13 billion) (and will) secure more than 30,000 workers who will do actual decontamination work by April."

    Yuhei Sato, the governor of Fukushima prefecture, who has been an outspoken critic of Tokyo's response to the disaster, said cold shutdown changed little.

These civilians don't look like they feel "safe"
"I wish this was a new step toward helping evacuated residents go home. But there is no change in that. There is a long and rocky road ahead toward the resolution of the accident," he said.


   Takashi Sawada, vice chairman of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, a pro-nuclear group of academics and industry specialists, said Noda's declaration of cold shutdown was not a dramatic shift.

    Sawada stressed that the use of the term "cold shutdown" did not indicate that all four disaster-hit reactors were now completely normal.

     "But I think it's okay to say that the reactors have basically reached a stable condition of cooling," he said, adding the amount of radiation leaking from the plant was now a tiny fraction of what it was in March.

    Environmental campaign group Greenpeace dismissed the announcement as a "smokescreen".

Fukushima radiation casualty
"By triumphantly declaring a cold shutdown, the Japanese authorities are clearly anxious to give the impression that the crisis has come to an end, which is clearly not the case," said Junichi Sato, executive director of Greenpeace Japan.

    "Instead of creating a PR smokescreen... the government?s priority should be to ensure public safety and begin the shutdown of all nuclear reactors in Japan."

   "The ongoing radiological threat posed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster remains enormous."

    While the natural disaster claimed 20,000 lives, the nuclear emergency has recorded no direct casualties. But it has badly dented the reputation of a technology on which Japan previously depended for a third of its electricity.

Fukushima core chain-reaction
Waves up to 14 metres (45 feet) high swamped the reactors' cooling systems, sparking meltdowns, explosions and the release of radioactive material in the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

   Operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) was caught short by the disaster, with its tsunami defence systems overwhelmed and back-up power generators knocked offline.

    That left a small band of men -- dubbed the Fukushima 50 -- to try a series of ad hoc solutions, including the use of seawater to cool the melted fuel rods.

    This then-contaminated cooling water subsequently became a major headache for TEPCO, which had to release tonnes of it into the Pacific, provoking the ire of fishermen as far away as China.

   Farmers in the area also suffered, with produce shunned by consumers or banned by the government because of radioactive contamination.

    Sawada at the Atomic Energy Society said another big quake or tsunami could undo the hard work at Fukushima, and stressed that decommissioning the reactors and cleaning up the surrounding area would last decades.


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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are 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.




US troops quit Iraq but peace is long way off


U.S. troops from Iraq not going home to U.S., instead sent to Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia; Obama follows grand tradition of abandoning allies when U.S. forces beaten, flee country (Vietnam)

Belfast Telegraph
By Kim Sengupta
12/16/2011

Eight years and three months after "liberating Iraq", a time of unrelenting savage strife in which tens of thousands died and a society was torn apart, the United States has finally ended its war in Iraq.

Once again, U.S. military "destroys country to save it," cuts, runs
After the US forces' colours were lowered and the 'Last Post' was played, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, right, told troops: "You will leave with great pride, lasting pride, secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to cast tyranny aside and to offer hope for prosperity and peace to this country's future generations."

     The ceremony, just 48 minutes long to limit the scope of any possible attack, was held behind high, fortified walls in a concrete courtyard at the airport in Baghdad.

     "We spilled a lot blood here," Mr Panetta acknowledged.

    But, he insisted: "It has been to achieve a mission making the country sovereign and independent and able to govern and secure itself." Not far from where the speeches were taking place lay grim evidence which refuted the claims that the Americans were leaving behind a land of stability and prosperity. More than 8,000 people are living in squalor in a field of mud and foetid water, with huts made with salvaged pieces of wood.

Iraqi casualties
The residents of Al-Rahlat camp are among 1.3 million refugees in their own country; families driven out of their homes by the sectarian violence spawned by the war. Another 1.6 million fled Iraq for neighbouring states, mainly Jordan and Syria. Those in Syria, with its escalating violence, are now having to seek another refuge.
 
There is a third group who are particularly vulnerable -- around 70,000 people who worked for the US military. They were promised the offer of refuge in the US, but little has been done fulfil the pledge. Barack Obama, while campaigning for the White House four years ago, berated the Bush administration over the issue, saying: "The Iraqis who stood with us are being targeted for assassination, yet our doors are shut. That is not how we treat our friends."

     In 2008 Congress passed a bill for 'special immigration visas' to be issued for 25,000, but only 3,000 have been processed.

     Around 450,000 of the IDPs (internally displaced persons) are living in the worst conditions, crammed into 380 street settlements scattered around the country. They have little or no access to clean water, sanitation or medical care. Many of these people, deemed to be illegally squatting, cannot get the documents necessary to register for welfare relief or take up jobs, or enrol their sons and daughters in schools. The tension and claustrophobia of such an existence has led to psychological problems. Domestic violence is rife.

Prisoner's illustration of Abu Grahib
Hakim al-Ibrahimi, a 47-year-old unemployed bricklayer, has been stuck at Al-Rahlat camp, in the Shia enclave of Sadr City, for the last two years with his wife and four children. "I was staying with my brother and his family. But there were 11 of us in a flat with two bedrooms, it became impossible," he said.
 
"Officials tell us to go back to our home. But what home? We used to live in Adhamiya [a mainly Sunni area] and we had to escape otherwise we would have been killed. That was four years ago and I know someone else is living in my house with his family. Life here is really bad, but if we go back to Adhamiya we won't be safe."

     The turbulence of Iraq's recent history had taken its toll on Amal's family (not her real name). Her husband was killed in the war with Iran and a son Akram was executed by Saddam Hussein's regime after joining the rebel opposition. A second son, Mazruq, died in a sectarian attack.

     Amal lives at a camp with her daughter and three grandchildren. She has not received compensation under a scheme set up by the Iraqi government for civilian victims of the war.

Real casualty numbers for Iraqis and U.S. military unknown
The International Rescue Committee (IRC), which provides humanitarian assistance, has taken up the case of Amal and dozens of others. The IRC said: "As the US government withdraws its troops, it leaves behind a major crisis in the region. The US has a responsibility to aid Iraqis uprooted by war it started and to protect the most vulnerable."

     Laura Jacoby, with the IRC in Baghdad, said: "The main worry is that with the US forces leaving, international donors may go as well. The Iraqi government is organising assistance, but we face a very serious problem inside Iraq and in Syria and Jordan as well."
 
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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are 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.

Rise of Constitutional Militarism


Panetta truly pathetic as he and Obama lie, pretend victory, success in Iraq; time for military parents to accept responsibility for letting dead kids enter military, die for nothing

World News
By Dallas Darling
12/16/2011

"...All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and the shortest means to accomplish it." -Alexis de Tocqueville

    It is poignant that the shot heard round the world, mentioned in Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn," came from the barrel of a gun. In reality, it came from many guns. Instead of non-cooperation campaigns and acts of sabotage, colonial violence at Lexington and Concord would forever alter the American Revolution. Initially, British General Thomas Gage had received orders to arrest the members of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. Since General Gage did not know where Congress met, he decided to seize the militia's supply depots at Concord and Lexington. It was chiefly over the rights of weapons and ammunition, then, or the ideal of militant liberty, that changed the American Revolution. It was a conflict that would become extremely bloody, last several years, and giving rise to a new militant constitution and representative government.

   The right to militarism, or the idea of a nation in arms backed by a belligerent constitution, was introduced two centuries earlier by Niccolo Machiavelli in "The Art of War." Machiavelli proposed that citizen-armies were best. Until Machiavelli, and since weapons were expensive and required training and expertise, kingdoms and states depended mainly on mercenaries and professional soldiers. Although armed citizens were conscripted for military campaigns, they were often used for cannon fodder. Also, rulers and aristocrats were always fearful of the diffusion of firearms among the poor and starving masses. By the time the American Revolution occurred, though, enlightened ideas had intermingled with the right to bear arms and violent rebellions. "Liberated" citizens and a belief in military discipline became popular.

    For these reasons, the U.S. Constitution initiated a new age of representative militarism, where a military culture was fundamental in preserving democracy and liberties. One of the first goals of the Preamble clearly mentions "common defense." Article I of the Legislative Branch describes in great length the powers to "declare War," to "raise and support Armies," and "appropriation of monies." But there are no powers to "declare Peace." In case of an invasion, there is no funding to train citizens to engage in nonviolent action campaigns or acts of non-cooperation and sabotage. And when Article I declares powers to "grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water," who is in charge of authorizing an attempt to maintain dialogue with an enemy state or to make sure confiscated property during wartime is rightfully returned?

Obama continues to cover-up real casualty numbers
Constitutional militarism expands even more in Article II of the Executive Branch. Not only does the President swear to "defend the Constitution of the United States," (Why not include to promote peace?), but it allows him/her to be "Commander of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States." Again, there is a blending of civilian and military roles. It is a role that has ensured military control over the civilian, instead of civilian control over the military. History has also revealed that once repeated war-making powers are given to the chief executor, they are almost impossible to limit. The President's power to deploy combat troops, suspend constitutional rights, and oversee a nuclear arsenal, has transformed the Presidency into a collective, perpetual nation AND citizenry in arms.

Pathetic Panetta:  Liar, coward, criminal lackey of Obama
Constitutional militarism also granted the President the power to declare war but not the power to declare peace. The American Revolution and Second Amendment served to bolster such a warring and well-armed President. "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state" originated during the war, as militias, or citizen soldiers, conducted much of the fighting. This kind of mass conscription paved way for "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Freedom and liberty was now intermingled with owning and using guns. Accumulating, or owning more guns, meant increasing one's freedom. As the American Republic transformed itself into an empire, amassing and using advanced armament technologies, backed by a reservoir of soldier citizens who had internalized weaponry, became associated with global democracy.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians dead in illegal war
But sadly, it was a militant democratic empire, a peculiar institution, based on the supremacy of military use of force. Constitutional militarism turned part-time citizen soldiers of the militia into full-time professional soldiers of a permanent and large standing army. It is a permanent and large standing army supported by a militant electorate, both of which are needed to secure a militant state that only seemingly appears to be free. While popular and more peaceful protests or revolts are suppressed, institutions, whether civilian, political religious, economic, or cultural, become highly militarized. Constitutional militarism also has a tendency to promote a violent self- and collectivized-centralization. The mottos to the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Americans Revolution could have been: "I fight, therefore I am." "We go to war, therefore we are."(1)

Iraq soldiers not going home; are sent to Jordan, Kuwait
Constitutional militarism goes back even further than when colonial militia ambushed and killed British regulars at Concord. Before British troops found that almost all of the military supplies had already been removed, they were met by dozens of soldier citizens on Lexington's village green. One fired at the nervous British troops from behind a grove of trees causing a tremendous volley. The American Republic's first assembly was one of armed conflict instead of peaceful gathering. Like the Boston Riot-mislabeled a massacre by colonial propagandists since "the mob...were more outrageous, striking their clubs and bludgeons" against the British(2), even knocking one down-Constitutional militarism and "the shot heard round the world" gave rise to militant perpetrators portraying themselves as victims and therefore, always justifying their aggressive and expansionist policies.

 R.S. Finnegan 2007
This is the reason that constitutional militarism continued to exterminate entire Indigenous populations while also enslaving millions of human beings. It is why women were still considered property, and why popular revolts among the landless and poor were continually crushed by a disproportionate amount of weaponry and militancy. The opening phrase of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution should have read: "We the soldiering citizens of the United States, in Order to form a more ideal militant Union, justify aggressions, insure continual War, provide for the Military-Aristocratic Complex, promote the general warfare, and secure through the extermination policies, the Blessings of Liberty reserved only for ourselves..." This was really the shot heard round the world, one that still reverberates today in distant places like Iraq and Afghanistan.


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.
 

(1) Porter, Bruce D. War And The Rise Of The State: The Military Foundations of Modern Politics. New York, New York: The Free Press, 1994., p. 117.

(2) As quoted in "American Voices, American Lives."

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are 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.



Brain-Eating Amoeba Fatalities Linked to Common Cold Remedy


Nasal spray addicts worldwide take note; prolonged usage of nasal spray applicators can leave your sinuses permanently damaged, gateway for many diseases

Live Science 
By Natalie Wolchover
12/17/2011

Louisiana's state health department has issued a warning about the dangers of improperly using nasal-irrigation devices called neti pots, responding to two recent deaths in the state that are thought to have resulted from "brain-eating amoebas" entering people's brains through their sinuses while they were using the devices.

 Rifampin (Rifadin), voriconazole (Vfend), will kill amoebas
Both victims are believed to have filled their neti pots with tap water instead of manufacturer-recommended distilled or sterilized water. When they used these pots to force the water up their noses and flush out their sinus cavities — a treatment for colds and hay fever — a deadly amoeba living in the tap water, called Naegleria fowleri, worked its way from their sinuses into their brains. The parasitic organism infected the victims' brains with a neurological disease called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAME), which rapidly destroys neural tissue and typically kills sufferers in a matter of days.

    Jonathan Yoder, an epidemiologist with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the Louisiana cases are still being investigated to ascertain that the deaths did indeed result from exposure to treated tap water in neti pots, rather than exposure to untreated water in a pond or lake. If so, they are the first known incidences of the disease in the U.S. resulting from N. fowleri organisms surviving the water treatment process.

     "Nearly all the cases have resulted from exposure to warm recreational water, such as ponds, rivers and lakes, and the kind of exposure where the water would be forced up the nose — for example, diving and water sports," Yoder told Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. The amoeba thrives in natural waterholes, especially those in the South, and several Americans die every year from swimming in these waterholes, or using untreated water from them. However, "in the last 15 years, I'm not aware of other cases [in the U.S.] associated with treated drinking water," he said.

Naegleria fowleri
Municipal water undergoes a rigorous purification process to make it potable, including being treated with chlorine to kill microorganisms, he explained. "We consider chlorination to be effective in killing [N. fowleri]. I can't comment on any water system in Louisiana, but in general … you may start out with 1 million amoebas and your goal is to reduce it with chlorine, and you might get 99.9 percent out. But you're probably never going to eliminate 100 percent. That goes for amoebas, parasites, bacteria, viruses. So while we say our drinking water is safe, it's not sterile." [Can Your Tap Water Kill You?]

     N. fowleri only seems capable of reaching the brain if it's given a big boost by being squirted deep into a person's nasal passages. That's why water that is considered safe to drink or bathe in isn't necessarily safe to use in a neti pot, Yoder said.

     But if you only use distilled or previously boiled water in your neti pot, and you avoid snorting water when diving into waterholes, can you be sure you won't get PAME simply by splashing your face with the water out of your faucet — especially if you live in Louisiana?

    Yoder said the CDC maintains that the risk of getting PAME from normal exposure to tap water is very low, but they are helping Louisiana's health department investigate the water treatment process in the state. "In general, what we're committed to is even though there are very few cases, CDC is very committed to learning more about the organism so we can prevent further infection by developing science-based prevention methods. But it is a very tragic infection and we're very sad for the families."

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are 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.





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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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