Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ways to Watch PressTV in Europe

EU criminals won't be able to suppress PRESS TV   

PRESS TV
10/17/2012

After the Europeans satellite provider Eutelsat SA yanked Press TV off the air in a flagrant violation of freedom of speech, Iran’s English-language broadcaster has offered its viewers alternative means of watching its programs.


EU criminals Merkel, Lagarde fiddle with PRESS TV as EU burns
As a result, Press TV will be still accessible in Europe through the following links:

PressTV Watch Live
http://www.presstv.com/live.html

LiveStation
http://www.livestation.com/channels/52-press-tv-english


PressTV Smart Phone Applications
Android:
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.codeofzero.shabbir.presstvnewsapp

IOS:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/press-tv/id412415885?mt=8&uo=4

Windows Phone:
http://windowsphone.com/s?appid=c8396d45-cab7-4e2e-8b9e-d23079b3765d

Blackberry
http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/122606/

Nokia Symbian
http://store.ovi.com/content/290299 

 

Poll
 
What is behind the recent EU decision against Iranian media?

1) The EU does not want Iranian media to mislead people in the West. 4 %
2) The EU does not want Iranian media to tell Westerners what the truth is. 72 %
3) The EU does not want Iranian media to break the West's media monopoly. 20 %
4) The EU is just implementing its broadcast rules and regulations. 4 %
 

KA/SS
 

Ban on Iran Channels Driven by Fear of Truth : Top IRIB Official

As Merkel, Lagarde and the banking criminals come closer to exposure and EU countries closer to revolution silencing of the truth is imperative for their survival - politically and personally   

PRESS TV
10/17/2012

The deputy head of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Broadcasting (IRIB) says European countries have banned the broadcast of Iranian satellite channels because they fear truth-telling media outlets that expose mishandling of economic setbacks in Europe.


Dr. Mohammad Sarafraz, deputy head of IRIB and Press TV CEO
“…I think by silencing those outlets (free alternative media), they would be able to control the flow of news and information and at the same time, cover up the events as they see fit,” Dr. Mohammad Sarafraz said in an interview with the IRIB on Tuesday.

“They are now facing all [sorts of] challenges. On the one hand, they face domestic threats and on the other, they fear independent entities who pose a threat to their existence. That’s why they are seeking to mute them,” he added.

Sarafraz said the reality is that Europe and the West are having great difficulty dealing with ever-growing public anger over the handling of the continent’s economic crisis, and are thus seeking to silence media outlets that expose the mishandling.

He said the justification behind banning Iranian channels is so feeble that even many Europeans have refused to accept it.

He went on to say that the ban had come while terrorist groups, including the anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), all have their own channels on Hot Bird.


Merkel, EU criminals desperate to suppress the truth
“There are even channels that broadcast programs that mock all religious sanctities and are explicit in [expressing] pure religious hatred, all in contravention of EU media regulations,” he added.

Sarafraz further said Iranian channels can still be viewed by interested audience despite all the restrictions and added that the move may, in fact, increase the popularity of Iranian media.

On Monday, European satellite provider Eutelsat SA ordered media services company Arqiva to take several Iranian satellite channels, including Press TV, off one of its Hot Bird frequencies following an order by the European Commission.

The decision came after months of jamming of Iranian channels by European satellite companies.

Observers believe the European Union does not respect freedom of speech, and spares no efforts to silence the voice of alternative media outlets.

Experts also believe Press TV was targeted for angering certain European countries by covering thorny issues, including anti-austerity protests.

AR/PKH/HN




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

This news 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.
 

5th Estate Changes Comment Policy

Unfortunate, but now necessary

The 5th Estate
10/17/2012

The 5th Estate is and has been a polemic, experimental news site that has broken all the rules set by the Western dictorial powers and eugenicist governments in order to rein in, intimidate and control the "mainstream media."  Unlike other bureaus that kowtow to these rules, we refuse to abide by them and are in a position ethically, morally, legally, professionally and geographically to do as we please.  This news site is the culmination of years of research and is operated by veteran investigative journalists with a combined experience of over 70 years.  We - and this experiment in journalism - are unique in that we have positioned ourselves where no one can touch us, short of assassination of our journalists.  This is proof that Indonesia is truly a free, democratic country, unlike the fascist United States and EU powers.


We are dedicated to nothing more than the enlightenment and education of the international public, and the publication of the truth that other agencies and bureaus cannot or will not print for fear of reprisal.

Recently, in addition to attacks on the infrastructure of the site there have been anonymous commenters slipping in advertising and attacks with links to pornographic websites in an attempt to discredit the bureau.  And somehow, these anonymous commenters have been under the very mistaken impression that we will publish anonymous attacks on The 5th Estate and it's journalists.  This will not be allowed, and we have now been forced to shift to moderating all comments to weed this crap out.  It is unfortunate, however it is the only way we can assure our readers are not exposed to potentially dangerous sites.  We are justifiably proud of our security and constantly review and improve it whenever possible.




We are staunch supporters of freedom and speech and continue to be so short of, as we have said before, murder as in the case of the Benghazi U.S. consulate attack and the murders of Ambassador Stevens and his staff by CIA mercenaries.

The Internet has opened a whole new world of news and information dissemination, and the learning curve is straight up.  We are continually adjusting and changing the way we report the news.  It is and has been imperative that we get down in the trenches and sewers to slug it out with the likes of War Criminals Karl Rove and Rush "Pills" Limbaugh.  The 5th Estate and it's journalists are now carrying this war to the enemy, ignoring the "rules" and laws for publication they have passed.  We will not play by their rules or play their game.  If they take exception, they can sue us or otherwise attempt to shut us down.  We guarantee a bloody, very public fight.


We have always insisted that commenters that post questionable comments regarding the site identify themselves.  If they believe we will let them use our site to anonymously post erroneous or personal attacks on the bureau, our investigative reporters or our reporting they are nuts.



We will gladly publish anything they have to say regardless of content - but they will do so publicly if they wish to comment here.  It has long been our position that if individuals do not have the courage to sign their names to that which they write for public consumption, then their words are meaningless and a waste of space.  A verifiable e-mail is required for these commenters.

The 5th Estate has always identified itself and it's investigative reporters and accept any consequences that come our way from our reporting.  This is called professionalism and ethics in journalism, almost non-existent in today's news reporting.

We apologize for this unfortunate decision, but there is simply no other way around the problem.  Please bear with us on the time it takes to moderate comments, it should take no more than a few hours as we have to sleep sometimes.

Thank you again for your support, and we will be moving the site and our business to non-Google providers at the beginning of November.  We again encourage our readers to boycott Google and You Tube for their refusal to remove the porn movie "Innocence of Muslims" that has now caused the deaths of over a hundred people worldwide.


Imas Kurniawati
Robert S. Finnegan 
The 5th Estate
Jakarta, Indonesia
rsfinnegan@gmail.com
+62-21-81298177936

Most Americans Unaware of U.S. Army Crimes

That's because most Americans are cowards, for in order to be informed one must assume responsibility, and then one must take action - or be labeled a coward so most U.S. sheep simply ignore issues like this for fear of being exposed for what they really are   

PRESS TV
By Dave Lindorff
10/17/2012

Six children were attacked in Afghanistan and Pakistan this past week. Three of them, teenage girls on a school bus in Peshawar, in the tribal region of western Pakistan, were shot and gravely wounded by two Taliban gunmen who were after Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old girl who has been bravely demanding the right of girls to an education.


Americans don't want to acknowledge they paid for this...
After taking a bullet to the head, and facing further death threats, she has been moved to a specialty hospital in Britain. Her two wounded classmates are being treated in Pakistan.

The other three children were not so lucky. They were killed Sunday in an aerial attack by a US aircraft in the Nawa district of Helmand Province in Afghanistan, not so far from Pakistan. The attack, described by the military as a “precision strike,” was reportedly aimed at several Taliban fighters who were allegedly planting an IED in the road, but the strike also killed three children, Borjan, 12; Sardar Wali, 10; and Khan Bibi, 8, all from one family, who were right nearby collecting dung for fuel.

Initially, as is its standard MO, the US denied that any children had been killed and insisted that the aircraft had targeted three “Taliban” fighters, and had successfully killed them. Only later, as evidence grew indisputable that the three children had also been killed, the US switched to its standard fallback position for atrocities in the Afghanistan War and its other wars: it announced that it was “investigating” the incident and said that it “regretted” any civilian deaths. 



... and are responsible for this....

There are several questions that arise immediately from this second story. First of all, if the three kids were close enough to be killed by this “precision” attack, they were surely also close enough to have been visible to whatever surveillance craft was monitoring the activities of the Taliban fighters, and if they were seen, there should have been no air strike called in. Second, the US, allegedly trying to reduce civilian casualties, is supposedly now operating its air attacks under rules of engagement that only allow strikes where there is “imminent danger” to US or allied forces. How is planting an IED an “imminent” danger? If the location is known, troops in the area can be alerted, and the IED removed or detonated. An identified IED is not an imminent threat.

The American media have been awash in coverage of the attack on the three Pakistani girls, and on the fate of the courageous girl’s education advocate, young Malala. 



... and had possessed any decency, morality or courage could have prevented Bush and Obama from doing this...

Not so the deaths of the three Afghan kids. They didn’t even merit their own article in the nation’s leading newspaper, The New York Times, which simply inserted a couple of paragraphs concerning their deaths near the end of an article about so-called “green-on-blue killings” of US troops by their supposed Afghan Army allies (two Americans were killed in one such attack on Saturday). 



... and this ...
The contrast between the two attacks on children is even greater when it comes to the response in the two countries, Pakistan and the US. In Pakistan, after the attack on Malala and her two classmates, tens of thousands of Pakistanis turned out in demonstrations to protest the actions of the Taliban fanatics and to demand that they be caught and punished (there have been arrests of two alleged perpetrators). 

The Pakistani government vowed to prosecute the would-be killers, and has paid to have Malala transferred to a safer and better hospital in the UK. It is also providing armed guards to protect the other two girls.

Meanwhile, in the US, most people don’t even know that their own military just blew away three young Afghan children. The sad truth is, even if they did know, they wouldn’t really care. There’d be no outpouring onto the streets of people demanding a halt to the air attacks and the drone killings. Only 28% of Americans say they object to America’s drone warfare, though it is clear that drone attacks are leading to the deaths of hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of innocent civilians. According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, a survey of 20 countries about reactions to drone warfare found that in the US only 28% of Americans said they disapproved of America’s drone warfare campaign. In countries that are normally America’s allies, like Britain, Germany and Japan, disapproval rates were 47%, 59% and 75% respectively. In the US, the survey found 62% of Americans actively support drone warfare, giving America the distinction of being the only country surveyed in which a majority of the public supports killing by drone. 



... and as Americans are ultimately, as a result of their collective cowardice, are responsible for this

The attackers of the three schoolgirls in Pakistan, who have been arrested already, will almost certainly be imprisoned for their heinous crimes. Not so the pilot and the targeting personnel who called in his deadly strike that led to the deaths of three Afghan children. They will come home from the war hailed as “heroes” by any Americans they meet. People will pass them and say, “Thank you for your service” -- even though that “service” includes killing little children.

DL/HSN


Dave Lindorff is an award-winning American investigative journalist. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1972 with a BA in Chinese language. He then received an MS in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1975. He has worked for a number of major US news organizations, including the Los Angeles Daily News, the Minneapolis Tribune and Business Week, where he served for five years as a correspondent for Hong Kong and China. He is author of a number of books, including Killing Time about the case of death-row prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, and The Case for Impeachment about the Bush/Cheney administration, and is founder of the online newspaper ThisCantBeHappening.net. More Press TV articles by Dave Lindorff

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

This news 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.
 

 

UPDATED : Taliban Say They Shot Down 2 U.S. Helicopters

If confirmed Obama should be the one to deliver personally the news to the families of U.S. military dead, listen to screams and wails of anguish   

PRESS TV
10/17/2012

Taliban say they have shot down two US helicopters as the aircraft were landing inside an outpost.


The incident reportedly took place on Wednesday as the aircraft were about to land inside the base to transfer the Afghan forces injured earlier in the day in a car bomb attack against the outpost, located in the Zurmat district in the south of the province.

Dozens of Afghan and US forces were injured in the attack, reports said.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and said several militants entered the base following the attack and clashed with US forces at the outpost.

Violence in Afghanistan has been on the rise in recent months, despite the presence of thousands of US-led foreign forces in the war-ravaged country.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.

The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but years into the invasion, insecurity rages on across the country.

SAB/HSN/HN




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

This news 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.
 



U.S. Military Admits its Airstrike Killed 3 Afghan Children

Obama stacking up more Afghan children bodies in effort to get more votes

PRESS TV
10/16/2012

The US military has admitted that its airstrike on Sunday killed three children in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand Province, Press TV reports.


U.S. President Barak Obama killed these children - for votes
In a statement on Tuesday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) voiced regret for the killing of the three children in an operation against insurgents in the country's south.

The coalition added that it took full responsibility for the deaths and that the mission would work closely with Afghan officials to determine the circumstances of the deadly incident.


The US-led coalition has not yet apologized for the killing of the children.

According to Afghan officials, two boys and a girl collecting firewood were killed in the airstrike in the Nawa district in Helmand on Sunday. NATO initially claimed that three militants had been killed in the offensive.
The issue of civilian casualties in Afghanistan is highly sensitive and has been a major source of friction between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Washington.

Moreover, the loss of civilian lives at the hands of US-led foreign forces has dramatically increased anti-American sentiments in Afghanistan, triggering anti-US protests across the war-torn country.

The US-led war in Afghanistan began in 2001. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country, despite the presence of about 130,000 US-led troops.

SZH/SS




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

This news 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.
 

BREAKING : 45 Afghan Forces Injured in U.S. Base Blast

More blood on Obama's hands   

PRESS TV
10/17/2012

At least 45 Afghan forces have been injured in a car bomb attack on a major US-run base in the Paktia province in eastern Afghanistan.
 

Press TV Viewers Slam EU Move to Ban Iran Channels as Illegal, Hypocritical

EU gang of criminals an dictators thrashing around like a wounded hippopotamus as they get closer to exposure for the largest theft of public monies in recorded history

PRESS TV
10/16/2012

Press TV viewers have condemned as illegal and hypocritical the ban imposed by the European officials on the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels, saying that the move throws into question the West’s freedom of speech claims.


“Where is the freedom of speech and press in Europe? Hypocrites! When it is against Islam then it is freedom of the press and speech in Europe. Lift the ban now. Double hypocrites. This is the reason why God is punishing Europe with Economic crisis. It will NOT end soon until they acknowledge the truth,” a reader said.

Another viewer said, “Shame on the European Commission. They who have just been awarded the Nobel Price for peace are now suppressing freedom of speech and expression which are essential tools to report on breach of peace and the warmongers!”

“This European's illegal, illogical, uncivilized measure indicates its serious desperation and panic in facing the growing influence of Press TV across the world,” another comment read.

“Never there was freedom of expression in US or EU, only selective loose talk is branded as Freedom of Expression,” wrote a viewer.




European satellite provider Eutelsat SA has stopped the broadcast of several Iranian satellite channels, including Press TV, al-Alam, Jam-e-Jam 1 and 2, Sahar 1 and 2, Islamic Republic of Iran News Network, Quran TV, and the Arabic-language al-Kawthar following an order by the European Commission.

In a flagrant violation of the freedom of speech, the company ordered media services company, Arqiva, to take the Iranian satellite channels off one of its Hot Bird frequencies on Monday.


Dictator Merkel on her way to jail... or worse
Following the move by the European company, Press TV launched a Facebook petition to protect the news channel across Europe.

The EU is claiming that the move is aimed at punishing Iran for violating human rights. However, experts believe that Press TV has raised the anger of certain European countries for covering thorny issues including anti-austerity protests.

The decision follows months of jamming of Iranian channels by European satellite companies.

Iranian news channels affected by the decision only sought to break the West’s monopoly on news broadcast by reflecting the voice of the oppressed people to the world.

The illegal move by Eutelsat SA, therefore, is a step to silence all alternative news outlets representing the voice of the voiceless.

Observers believe that the European Union does not respect freedom of speech, and spares no efforts to silence the voice of alternative media outlets.

Technical experts say the jamming was carried out by British technicians.

YH/HMV/MA




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

This news 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.
 

Obama's Good War Turns Bad : Losing Their Grip in Afghanistan

I never was a "good" war and Obama never had a grip on anything other than the murder of innocent civilians and U.S. military personnel

Counter Punch
By Ashley Smith
10/16/2012

Now in its eleventh year, the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is reeling from crisis to crisis. The U.S. government has spent nearly $600 billion on the war, yet the Taliban insurgency is unbowed. Afghan National Security Forces, which the U.S. is training, hold their overlords in contempt. In a wave of “green-on-blue attacks,” Afghan soldiers have killed 51 American GIs so far this year. And the Afghan people continue to suffer extreme poverty, disproving claims about the successful reconstruction of the country.


Taliban have won, thousands of U.S. military dead for nothing
This is now clearly Barack Obama’s war. It was a war that he promised, as a presidential candidate in 2008, to escalate–and he has followed through on that promise as president. The man who millions of people voted for because he appeared to be the antiwar choice in 2008 is now responsible for a failing occupation.

The Afghanistan war started, of course, during the George Bush presidency. The U.S. invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 2001 in the wake of al-Qaeda’s attack on September 11. The Bush administration hoped to achieve several goals with its so-called “war on terror.” It aimed to destroy al-Qaeda, topple the Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan, and build a client state.

In the process, Bush and his neoconservative administration hoped to secure bases throughout Central Asia so that the U.S., and not Russia or China, could dictate the development of the Caspian Sea’s oil and natural gas reserves and the pipeline routes to carry them. Finally, Bush wanted use the Afghan War as a steppingstone to conduct a series of regime changes from Iraq to Iran and Syria and thereby secure complete U.S. dominion over the Middle East.


The Evil Clown:  Bush does drunken dance at White House after bragging to reporters that he just made sure "..we will never leave Afghanistan" and Iraq

The Iraqi resistance following the 2003 invasion of Iraq exploded these imperial fantasies. Gen. William Odom’s verdict on Iraq was correct; it was the greatest strategic disaster in American history. Bush’s missteps in the country had jeopardized American power in the Middle East and undermined its ability to dominate the planet.

Barack Obama promised that he would end what he called the “war of choice” in Iraq and escalate what he called the “war of necessity” against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

***

After an extensive strategy review in 2009, Obama opted to imitate Bush’s surge in Iraq with one of his own in Afghanistan. He adopted Gen. David Petraeus’ celebrated counter-insurgency strategy designed to drive out the rebels, embed U.S. troops among the occupied population, and thereby win over hearts and minds. In the event, Obama added 33,000 troops to the 68,000 American and 40,000 NATO troops already in the country.


But he did not implement counterinsurgency consistently. Instead, the strategy was combined with a “counterterrorist” strategy of night raids and drone aircraft strikes to kill Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives.

For this to work, Obama needed Pakistan to cooperate in clamping down on their Taliban allies along the border with Afghanistan. Sensing that Pakistan might not go along with American strategy, Obama launched a massive drone campaign against targets in Pakistan.

At the same time, Obama promised a campaign of nation-building in Afghanistan. He pledged a “civilian surge” of experts to aid Afghanistan in developing the economy and improving conditions for the country’s desperately poor peasant majority, especially its women.


 Based on hoped-for military and economic successes, the administration planned to bolster the Afghan client state under President Hamid Karzai. After that, Obama promised, the additional surge troops would be pulled out in 2012 and the rest of the combat troops by 2014.

By every measure, Obama failed to secure Washington’s imperial goals for Afghanistan. And now, despite completing the pullout of 33,000 surge troops, the U.S. is facing a second strategic disaster in its “war on terror.” In an establishment critique of Obama’s surge for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, researcher Gilles Dorronsoro concludes, “In the end, the withdrawal is the result of a failed strategy, and the coalition is leaving behind a situation that in some respects is worse than it was before 2001.”

What went wrong?

***

Despite all the hype, Petraeus’ counterinsurgency strategy proved to be a miserable failure in Afghanistan. Recognizing that the influx of troops would overwhelm and outgun them, Taliban fighters relinquished many of their village strongholds and resorted to a classic guerilla war strategy. They staged hit-and-run attacks on the U.S. bases, deployed improvised explosive devices to target patrolling U.S. convoys, and threatened or killed Afghans who collaborated with the U.S. forces.


As a result, instead of “pacifying” Afghanistan over the last three years, counterinsurgency has led to an enormous spike in violence and death, with the largest number of victims being Afghan civilians. As analysts David Cortwright and Kristin Wall, for example, documented in a report published by Notre Dame University:

“[T]he total number of record civilian deaths in 2011 was the highest yet at 3,021, an increase of 8 percent from 2010 and a 25 percent increase since 2009. Deaths cause by the Taliban increased by 14 percent to 2,332. It was the fifth consecutive year of increased civilian deaths.

Unsurprisingly, U.S. casualties have also dramatically increased. As the New York Times reports, “Nearly nine years passed before American forces reached their first 1,000 dead in the war. The second 1,000 came just 27 months later, a testament to the intensity of fighting prompted by President Obama’s decision to send 33,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.




The U.S. has been unable either to crush the Taliban or compel it into talks on Washington’s terms. The Taliban maintained its strongholds in Pakistan’s border areas, conserved its underground infrastructure in Afghanistan’s south, and in fact expanded its presence in the north and east where it did not confront surge troops.

Realizing that counterinsurgency was not working, the Obama administration has increasingly turned to the “counterterrorism strategy.”


Warmonger, coward, idiot:  Obama obviously thinks himself too powerful to face War Crimes trials for his illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

The U.S. has launched a massive campaign of night raids to seize suspected militants and drone strikes to kill opponents in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. As civilian casualties mounted, the U.S. forces ended up killing rather than winning over hearts and minds.

The night raids completely alienated the Afghan population. Based on unreliable intelligence, U.S. forces often invaded the houses of innocent civilians, killing those inside or detaining them for longer or shorter periods in the U.S. prison at Bagram Air Base, the Abu Ghraib of Afghanistan.


This murdering, mental midget couldn't qualify for Dog Catcher in Mayberry, let alone a counter-terrorism expert

The counterterrorism offensive inevitably led to abuses and atrocities. Some–like Sgt. Robert Bale’s massacre of 17 women and children, or revelations of soldiers burning Korans at Bagram or urinating on dead Taliban fighters after firefights–have made the headlines. But there are scores more such abuses endured by Afghan civilians on a daily basis that go unreported.

The campaign of drone strikes has similarly killed untold numbers of civilians. For example, in September, a drone attack supposedly targeting insurgents in Afghanistan’s Laghman Province killed eight women who were performing the highly subversive act of collecting firewood.


No one knows for certain the number of civilian casualties, but they are certainly higher than the Obama administration admits. Left-wing journalist Gareth Porter reports that the administration had a policy since 2009 of “automatically considering any military-age male killed in a drone strike as a ‘militant’ unless intelligence proves otherwise.” Based on two major new studies that re-examine casualties from drone strikes, Porter estimates that as many as 74 percent of the dead were innocent civilians.

As Dorronsoro argues:

“Counterterrorism operations are a source–probably the most important source–of anti-American sentiment in the region. Whatever the real level of civilian losses incurred during the operations, the general perception is clearly one of indiscriminate strikes against the population. This is important because this sentiment facilitates recruitment of jihadist movements, and to a certain extent paralyzes the Pakistani government.




The Pew Center found that after three years of relentless drone strikes, 74 percent of Pakistanis now consider the U.S. to be an enemy nation. The Pakistani state has used public opposition to the U.S. to avoid cracking down on the Taliban, which it sees as its ally in a struggle against regional rival India. Thus, despite the surge, the Taliban still retain an estimated 50,000 loyal fighters prepared to fight in Afghanistan.

***

The Surge was supposed to clear space for a massive development program and a so-called “civilian surge” of experts to help reconstruct the ravaged country. In his scathing new book about the surge, Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan, Washington Post journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran shows that Obama’s reconstruction program has been a disaster, leaving Afghanistan little better off today than it was under the Taliban.




First of all, the civilian and military personnel who oversaw much of the so-called development imposed projects from above that made little sense for Afghan conditions. Their primary goal was to get Afghan farmers to shift from poppy cultivation, which supplied over 90 percent of the world’s opium, to some other kind of crop. This goal has failed completely–a product of Washington’s ignorance and neoliberal bias against state involvement in the economy.

In one absurd example, Chandrasekaran describes one disastrous attempt to get farmers to replace poppies with watermelons and other perishable crops:

“[A]ll those melons and vegetables that farmers were growing…had to be transported to markets before they spoiled. But most farmers didn’t own trucks. They had to rent or borrow tractors and carts–any were available–and then they had to hope that on the rutted dirt roads from their farms to the bazaars, their melons didn’t turn into juice.




The U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) ruled out cotton, a far more logical crop for Afghanistan, because the country’s main cotton gin facility received state subsidies and Afghan cotton would supposedly compete with America’s.

With agricultural projects failing, USAID and the military still had to find a solution to rural unemployment in Taliban strongholds. Very often out of desperation, unemployed men join the Taliban as mercenaries, fighting for money against the occupation. To dry up that well, the U.S. simply hired the unemployed to do day labor.


But that solution sucked labor away from other vital development projects. At one point, Chandrasekaran reports, teachers quit their jobs to become day laborers because it paid better. As a result, newly constructed schools sat empty while teachers worked on labor gangs. All of this day labor was temporary, so the positions are coming to an end–and it did nothing to stimulate self-reproducing development.

The much-celebrated infrastructure projects like road construction ended up becoming sops for American multinational and security contractors. As Chandrasekaran reports, “Security, management and overhead costs had grown to almost 70 percent of the value of most contracts by late 2010. That meant only 30 cents on the dollar was going to help Afghans.”

As a result, conditions for Afghans have improved only marginally at best. As one aid worker, Ian Pounds, documents:

“Ten years after a plethora of powerful, wealthy nations took positions here, Afghanistan has the fifth-lowest life expectancy in the world, reported at 48.6 years, and is one of only five countries in the world where a woman’s life expectancy is lower than a man’s. Only 23 percent of the population has regular access to drinking water. Only 24 percent of Afghans above the age of 15 are literate, with much lower rates among women. One in three refugees worldwide are Afghan, totaling over 3 million. Internally, there are 1.3 million refugees. Opium production in Afghanistan has steadily increased, now standing at 92 percent of world supply. 




Eighteen months ago, Afghanistan still ranked as second poorest nation in the world. The UNDP’s human poverty index ranked Afghanistan at the bottom. 9 million Afghans, or 36 percent of the population live in absolute poverty, with the next 37 percent living slightly above poverty line.

***

Despite claims by Bush and Obama–and, shamefully, the human rights organization Amnesty International–the occupation has in no way liberated women. All the propaganda in the world cannot disguise the reality that women suffer oppression, now compounded by the horrors of the occupation and the U.S.-installed puppet government.


The lone bright spot has been education. The occupation has helped establish 9,000 new schools since 2001. But as Anna Bakhen reports in In These Times:

“Although the number of Afghan girls enrolled in school rose from 5,000 to 2.4 million, the schools are frequently attacked, a fifth of the girls who are enrolled never attend classes, and most of the rest drop out after fourth grade, either because there is no middle school nearby or because their parents tell them to.

In almost every other category, women’s conditions have not improved at all. Health care for the majority of women, like the rest of the population, is abysmal. “Despite significant improvements,” Cortwright and Wall report, “the maternal mortality rate is still estimated as the second-worst in the world next to Sierra Leone, with the risk increasing in remote areas.”

Sexual violence against women has actually gotten worse since the U.S. invasion a decade ago. Cortwright and Wall say that 87.2 percent of women have been subject to violence “including forced marriage, honor crimes, rape, and sexual and physical abuse. It is estimated that 81 percent of all women in Afghanistan will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives.”




Far from protecting and enhancing the condition of women, Karzai’s government and the parliament are stuffed with misogynist warlords. The regime went so far as to pass a law that legalized marital rape.

The occupation troops made this awful situation even worse. As Cortwright and Wall show, American and NATO forces have “produced new forms of powerlessness for many Afghan women and girls, who have been widowed, displaced, trafficked and forced into marriage as a direct or indirect result of the conflict” between the occupiers and the Taliban insurgency.

A women’s group in the city of Kandahar summed up their experience for British researchers: “It is like the Taliban times for women now. We are in the same situation as then. We cannot come out of the house to earn extra money or get an education. The only difference is that our honor was safe then, but it is not now.”

***

With the surge strategy failing on all fronts, the U.S. has increasingly taken to scapegoating its own client regime. While many of the Obama administration’s complaints about Karzai are completely correct, the U.S. is to blame for the regime’s faults. Washington constructed it and continues to sustain it.


The U.S. picked Karzai as a Pashtun figurehead to lead a regime built out many of the warlords it had supported in a proxy war against the USSR occupation in the 1980s. These warlords discredited themselves in the civil war in the 1990s to such an extent that large sections of the Afghan population welcomed the Taliban regime when it came to power.

Karzai’s state is utterly corrupt. His warlord allies rule over people brute force and run all sorts of illegal businesses, from the heroin industry to human trafficking. To many, the regime’s vile character was personified by Karzai’s own brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, who, before he was killed, was widely known to be one of the country’s biggest drug kingpins.

Nevertheless, the U.S. supported the Karzai regime through the 2009 presidential election, which was widely viewed as rigged. As Chandrasekaran argues, the U.S. occupation faced an impossible task in “trying to persuade Pashtuns to cast their lot with Karzai’s government instead of the insurgency. The problem was that Karzai’s administration was often more rapacious and corrupt than the Taliban.”




The U.S. trusts its own puppet regime so little that bypassed it and channeled its development assistance through U.S. multinationals, non-governmental organizations, and the United Nations, all of which have consumed the funds in their own corrupt and ineffective manners. This only served to further incapacitate the Afghan state.

The clearest failure of the American state-building operation has been its inability to construct reliable Afghan National Security Forces. The U.S. has already spent $50 billion to set them up and pays between $10 and $12 billion annually to maintain them. These sums are enormous in a country whose annual gross domestic product is only $20 billion. 


The Afghan National Security Forces cannot stand on their own–they are utterly dependent for their existence on the U.S.

They are also completely ineffective. As TomDispatch associate editor Nick Turse writes, “Today, the Afghan National Security Forces officially number more than 343,000, but only 7 percent of its army units and 9 percent of its police units are rated at the highest level of effectiveness.” As Dorronsoro writes, “The Afghan National Army hardly ever leaves its barracks because of the prevalence of improvised explosives devices and limited air support, which will be even more limited in the future.”

The soldiers and police have no political commitment to serving the regime, save making money for themselves and enforcing the rule of the local warlords. According to Cortwright and Wall, “Police abuses include not only taking bribes, but also extrajudicial executions, torture and the arbitrary arrest of unarmed civilians in village where the presence of Taliban fighters is suspected.”


Even though they are completely dependent on the U.S., members of the Afghan National Security Forces resent the U.S. occupation. This sentiment underlies the wave of so-called “green-on-blue attacks” against U.S. soldiers.

The U.S. admits that the Taliban was responsible for only 25 percent of attacks on U.S. forces–unaffiliated Afghan soldiers and police staged the majority of them.

In fact, the U.S. has grown so wary of the Afghan National Security Forces that it suspended training of local police, restricted joint patrols of between and U.S. forces to the battalion level, and assigned armed American soldiers–so-called Guardian Angels–with shoot-to-kill authorization to police any and all interaction between American and Afghan forces.

Finally, the Taliban has been able to infiltrate a significant portion of the forces to stage attacks, gather intelligence and prepare for their own coming surge. In a sign of their growing power, the Taliban staged what U.S. officials called “the single most destructive strike on Western materiel in the 11-year war” when a team of fighters broke into a U.S. camp, killed 2 Marines and destroyed eight Harrier jets worth over $200 million.

***

The Surge has been a disaster for U.S. imperialism and a catastrophe for the Afghan majority. Obama and his reelection campaign are trumpeting the extrajudicial assassination of Osama bin Laden to deflect attention from this enormous setback for American imperialism in Afghanistan, the rest of Central Asia and globally.




 The U.S. was forced to pull all its combat troops from Iraq. In Afghanistan, the remaining 68,000 U.S. troops are scheduled for withdrawal by the end of 2014. The U.S. has lost its base in Uzbekistan and looks like it may lose its base in Kyrgyzstan. Worried about losing control in the region, Obama has pledged to keep 20,000 trainers in Afghanistan to oversee the Afghan National Security Forces, maintain several bases and staff them with an unspecified number of Special Forces to carry out counterterrorist operations.

But the U.S. will be in a weakened position to counter the inevitable surge by the Taliban, especially in the insurgents’ traditional stronghold in the country’s south. The U.S. blew an opportunity to negotiate a settlement with the Taliban at the height of the surge when it would have been better able to dictate terms. But the Taliban never accepted the offers put forward because they knew that the U.S. would eventually withdraw. Now with the pullout in motion, they are even less interested in talks.




Taliban leaders sense their growing advantage in a potential new civil war in Afghanistan. As Dorronsoro writes:

“While the Taliban gather momentum, in 2013 and 2014, the Afghan regime will confront three crises simultaneously: an economic crisis sparked by the drop in Western spending, an institutional crisis as the end of President Karzai’s term approaches, and security crisis as the Taliban are expected to launch an advance beginning in the summer of 2013.




The U.S. is not only losing its grip on Afghanistan, but the various regional powers that all have vested interests in any potential new civil war in Afghanistan. As Dorronsoro continues:


“[T]he influence the United States has over the regional players is decreasing; Washington will have no leverage over Pakistan in the next two years because of the logistical necessities of the withdrawal and the unstable military situation in Afghanistan. This in turn will make Afghanistan a staging ground for fights between regional powers as it was in the 1990s. Today Iran, India and Pakistan sponsor competing Afghan political forces and heightened regional competition on Afghan soil is likely.

Obama’s “good war” has turned out to be very much a bad war–and the price has been paid by the Afghan people. They have already endured decades of a USSR occupation, a civil war and then the U.S. invasion and occupation. Now they face the prospect of yet another civil war fueled by the U.S. and other regional powers over the ashes of their country.

Ashley Smith writes for the Socialist Worker, where this article first appeared. He can be reached at: ashley05401@yahoo.com






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

This news 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.
 





Britain Refuses to Extradite Computer Hacker Sought in U.S.

Kudos to the British Parliament for standing up to Obama's criminal regime; U.S. dictatorship on the wane, losing power to terrorize the Free Peoples of the world

New York Times
By Alan Cowell and John F. Burns
10/16/2012

LONDON —

British authorities on Tuesday blocked a longstanding demand for the extradition of Gary McKinnon, a computer hacker wanted in the United States to face charges of intruding into Pentagon computer networks in a case that has become a touchstone of the delicate jurisdictional balance between the two countries since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


Relief:  McKinnon now safe from torture, rape in Obama's gulags
Mr. McKinnon, 46, who has been facing the accusations for a decade, has Asperger syndrome and is prone to depression, British officials said.

In light of the “high risk” that the suspect would commit suicide if sent to the United States, Home Secretary Theresa May told Parliament she had “withdrawn the extradition order against Mr. McKinnon” to safeguard his human rights.

American prosecutors say Mr. McKinnon gained unauthorized access to 97 government computers between February 2001 and March 2002, causing damage worth $566,000. While he has admitted hacking into Pentagon networks, he insists that he did so to seek evidence about unidentified flying objects.

American officials have described his actions as “the biggest military computer hack of all time.”

American authorities sought his extradition under a 2003 treaty that, British critics of the legislation assert, was designed to help prosecute terrorists but that has been misused by American prosecutors as a catchall measure in less onerous cases unrelated to national security.


Bug-eyed, doped-up Obama prostitute Victoria Nuland "outraged" at being denied another victim to torture, rape and murder in Obama's American Gulag Archipelago

Ms. May’s ruling was said by legal experts to be the first time that Britain had publicly thwarted an American demand made under the contentious treaty, which enables American authorities to seek extradition of suspects without providing substantive evidence of their purported crimes.

“Mr. McKinnon is accused of serious crimes,” Ms. May said. “But there is also no doubt that he is seriously ill. He has Asperger syndrome, and suffers from depressive illness. The legal question before me is now whether the extent of that illness is sufficient to preclude extradition.”

She continued, “After careful consideration of all of the relevant material, I have concluded that Mr. McKinnon’s extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr. McKinnon’s human rights.”


White House sources say Obama apoplectic at being denied new victim, kicking over chairs in Oval Office

British critics of the extradition treaty have said the pact effectively outsources British judicial responsibilities to the United States without securing reciprocal benefits or distinguishing between serious and lesser crimes.

David Blunkett, the former home secretary who signed the treaty, said in 2010 that he might have “given too much away” to American prosecutors when the pact was framed.

Last year British legislators urged the government to change the procedures. Dominic Raab, a lawmaker for the governing Conservatives, said at the time that Mr. McKinnon should not be treated “like a gangland mobster or Al Qaeda mastermind.”

Rights campaigners hailed the ruling. Shami Chakrabarti, the director of the civil rights group Liberty, called it “a great day for rights, freedoms and justice in the United Kingdom.”

Mr. McKinnon was first arrested in 2002, and then again in 2005. An order for his extradition was made in July 2006 under the 2003 treaty, but Mr. McKinnon’s family, his lawyers and rights campaigners began a series of legal battles.

The case has generated such intense interest in Britain that Prime Minister David Cameron has discussed it with President Obama, British officials said.

Since 2006, three of Ms. May’s predecessors as home secretary have supported extradition, prompting both a public outcry and further legal moves to prevent Mr. McKinnon’s removal.

His immediate fate in the British justice system remained unclear.

In 2009, the Crown Prosecution Service said that while the evidence against Mr. McKinnon justified charges of “unauthorized access with intent,” it “does not come near to reflecting the criminality that is alleged by the American authorities.”

The ruling on Tuesday came days after the British authorities ended another long-running extradition battle by sending five terrorism suspects, including the firebrand cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, to face trial in the United States on an array of charges. The men had been resisting extradition for many years.

British authorities are still locked in a protracted effort to send another prominent Muslim cleric to Jordan to face charges. The preacher, who is known as Abu Qatada but whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, has been opposing extradition for seven years and has spent long periods in detention or under restriction in Britain for more than a decade.


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

This news 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.

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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.

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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 : 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

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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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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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