26 January 2009

THE U.S.-ISRAELI ALLIANCE Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War? [editorial]

Article: "Unusually Large U.S. Weapons Shipment to Israel: Are the US and Israel Planning a Broader Middle East War?"
Source: GlobalResearch.ca / Michel Chossudovsky
Excerpt(s): A very large delivery of US weaponry to Israel consisting of 3,000 tons of "ammunition" is scheduled to sail to Israel. The size and nature of the shipments are described as "unusual": "Shipping 3,000-odd tons of ammunition in one go is a lot," one broker said, on condition of anonymity. "This (kind of request) is pretty rare and we haven't seen much of it quoted in the market over the years," he added. "Shipping brokers in London who have specialized in moving arms for the British and U.S. military in the past said such ship charters to Israel were rare. (Reuters, Jan 10, 2009) The Pentagon has entrusted a Greek merchant shipping company to deliver the weapons to Israel: "The U.S. is seeking to hire a merchant ship to deliver hundreds of tons of arms to Israel from Greece later this month, tender documents seen by Reuters show. The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) said the ship was to carry 325 standard 20-foot containers of what is listed as "ammunition" on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January. A "hazardous material" designation on the manifest mentions explosive substances and detonators, but no other details were given.(Ibid) It is worth noting that a similar unusually large shipment of US ordinance to Israel was scheduled in early December: "Tender documents indicate that the German ship hired by the US in early December also carried a massive cargo of weapons that weighed over 2.6 million kg [2600 tons] and filled up to 989 standard 20-foot containers to Ashdod from North Carolina." (Press TV, 10 Jan 2009) Are These Large Shipments of Ordinance Connected to the Invasion of Gaza?... (in depth research and editorial, highly recommended)
Link to Full Story: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11743
Picture from Global Research, originally captioned: GBU-28

RELATED YOUTUBE VIDEO: GBU-28 "Bunker Buster" Laser-Guided Bomb (~1 min.):

YouTube description: The Guided Bomb Unit 28 (GBU-28) is a 5,000 pound / 2268 kg. laser-guided "bunker busting" bomb nicknamed "deep throat" produced originally by the Texas Instruments division Defense Systems and Electronics Group (division since sold to Raytheon). It was specifically developed for US Military use in Operation Desert Storm to penetrate hardened Iraqi command centres located deep under ground. However, only two of these weapons were dropped in Desert Storm, both by F-111Fs. The initial batch of GBU-28s were built from modified 8 inch/203 mm. artillery barrels (principally from deactivated M110 howitzers), but later warheads were purpose-built. They weigh 4,700 pounds/2132 kg. and contain 630 pounds / 286 kg. of high explosive. The operator illuminates a target with a laser designator and then the munition guides to a spot of laser energy reflected from the target. The bomb underwent critical testing in Nevada at the Tonopah Test Range, a major test facility for United States Department of Energy funded weapon programs. It proved capable of penetrating over 30 metres (100 ft) of earth or 6 metres (20 ft) of solid concrete. The GBU-28 is unique in that the total development time from conception to the first drop test took only 12 weeks, and the weapon went into active service after only one test drop. The first foreign sale of the GBU-28 was the acquisition of 100 units by Israel, authorized in April 2005. Delivery of the weapons was accelerated at the request of Israel in July 2006. According to Israeli Military sources, Iran or Syria are possible targets for the weapons.

25 January 2009

NEW WORLD ORDER INVENTIONS--SERIOUSLY, THINK WHAT YOUR BANK KNOWS ABOUT YOU: Wiretaps Combined w/ Credit Card Records of U.S. Citizens [news story]

Article: "NSA Whistleblower: Wiretaps Were Combined with Credit Card Records of U.S. Citizens"
Source: Blog.Wired.com/27bstroke6/
Excerpt(s): NSA whistleblower Russell Tice was back on Keith Olbermann's MSNBC program Thursday evening to expand on his Wednesday revelations that the National Security Agency spied on individual U.S. journalists, entire U.S. news agencies as well as "tens of thousands" of other Americans. Tice said on Wednesday that the NSA had vacuumed in all domestic communications of Americans, including, faxes, phone calls and network traffic. Today Tice said that the spy agency also combined information from phone wiretaps with data that was mined from credit card and other financial records. He said information of tens of thousands of U.S. citizens is now in digital databases warehoused at the NSA. "This [information] could sit there for ten years and then potentially it marries up with something else and ten years from now they get put on a no-fly list and they, of course, won't have a clue why," Tice said. In most cases, the person would have no discernible link to terrorist organizations that would justify the initial data mining or their inclusion in the database...
Link to Full Story: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/01/nsa-whistlebl-1.html

NEW WORLD ORDER INVENTIONS--OBAMA'S FAKE "CHANGE"! HE'S ON "U.S. CORP."'s SIDE! Obama Admin.: Wiretapping Legal Challenge Must Die [news story]

Article: "Obama Administration: Wiretapping Legal Challenge Must Die"
Source: Blog.Wired.com/27bstroke6/
Excerpt(s): SAN FRANCISCO -- The Obama administration urged a federal judge on Friday to stay enforcement of a ruling favoring the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging President George W. Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program. Justice Department special counsel Anthony Coppolino told U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker during a 60-minute hearing here that the appellate courts should review his Jan. 5 decision allowing classified evidence into the case, a position the Obama administration took in court documents the day before. Without the classified evidence, Coppolino said, the government wins the case by default, and two American lawyers who claimed they were unlawfully spied upon can't pursue their lawsuit.
Link to Full Story: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/01/obama-administr.html
Picture from Blog.Wired.com/27bstroke6/.


Article: Mystery Prison Buses in the Desert
Source: GlobalResearch.ca
Excerpt(s): "On a recent visit to Tucson, Arizona, where I was invited to give a presentation on monetary reform, I was disturbed by a story of strange goings on in the desert. A little over a year ago, it seems, a new industrial facility sprang up on the edge of town. It was in a remote industrial zone and appeared to be a bus depot. The new enterprise was surrounded by an imposing security fence and bore no outward signs identifying its services. However, it soon became apparent that the compound was in the business of outfitting a fleet of prison buses. Thirty or so secondhand city buses were being reconfigured with prison bars in the windows and a coat of fresh paint bearing the “Wackenhut G4S” logo on the side..."
Link to Full Story: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BRO20090122&articleId=11951

NEW WORLD ORDER INVENTIONS--SERIOUSLY, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOUR CELL PHONE CAN DO: NSA Targeted Journalists, Snooped All U.S. Communications [news story]

Article: "Whistleblower: NSA Targeted Journalists, Snooped on All U.S. Communications"
Source: Blog.Wired.com/27bstroke6/
Excerpt(s): Just one day after George W. Bush left office, an NSA whistleblower has revealed that the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program targeted U.S. journalists, and vacuumed in all domestic communications of Americans, including, faxes, phone calls and network traffic. Russell Tice, a former NSA analyst, spoke on Wednesday to MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. Tice has acknowledged in the past being one of the anonymous sources that spoke with The New York Times for its 2005 story on the government's warrantless wiretapping program. After that story was published, President Bush said in a statement that only people in the United States who were talking with terrorists overseas would have been targeted for surveillance. But Tice says, in truth, the spying involved a dragnet of all communications, confirming what critics have long assumed. "The National Security Agency had access to all Americans' communications," he said. "Faxes, phone calls and their computer communications. ... They monitored all communications."
Link to Full Story: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/01/nsa-whistleblow.html


Article: "Digital TV & Mandatory RFID Microchipping"
Source: Educate-Yourself.org
Excerpt(s): If you do not believe the threat of involuntary microchipping is real, please take a moment to read over the following disquieting developments. Taken together, they reveal a focused effort to promote human microchipping. The time to nip this trend in the bud is now...
Link to Full Story: http://educate-yourself.org/cn/ottdigitaltvandmicrochips20jan09.shtml

AMERICA! WATCH ICELAND... THIS IS WHAT ECONOMIC *COLLAPSE* LOOKS LIKE Prime Minister Steps Down amid Violent Protests [news story]

Article: "Prime Minister Steps Down amid Violent Protests"
Source: Spiegel.de
Excerpt(s): Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde on Friday called early elections following violent protests on the streets of Reykjavik. Meanwhile, Europe's top politicians are on edge following clashes in Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Greece.
Link to Full Story: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,603244,00.html
Picture from Spiegel.de, originally captioned: There has been a wave of anti-government protests across Europe in recent weeks as the impact of the financial crisis begins to be felt. Here, a demonstrator bangs a pot in Reykjavik.

AMERICA! WATCH ICELAND... THIS IS WHAT ECONOMIC *COLLAPSE* LOOKS LIKE Icelandic gov't becomes 1st to be brought down by credit crunch [news story]

Article: "Icelandic government becomes first to be brought down by the credit crunch"
Source: DailyMail.co.uk
Excerpt(s): The government of Iceland today became the first to be effectively brought down by the credit crunch. After several nights of rioting over the financial crisis, Prime Minister Geir Haarde, surrendered to increasing pressure and called a general election for May. A poll would not normally be held until 2011. Haarde also revealed that he had been diagnosed with a malignant tumour of the oesophagus and would not seek re-election. 'I have decided not to seek re-election as leader of the Independence Party at its upcoming national congress,' he told a news conference. The global financial crisis hit Iceland, which has a population 320,000, in October, triggering a collapse in its currency and financial system under the weight of billions of dollars of foreign debts incurred by its banks. The economy is set to shrink 10 percent this year and unemployment is surging.
Link to Full Story: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1126682/Icelandic-government-brought-credit-crunch.html
Picture from Reuters, originally captioned: Quit: Iceland's Prime Minister Geir Haarde called a general election for May. He also revealed he has cancer and will not be standing for re-election.

EVEN "GREEN" COMPANIES WANT MONOPOLY Whole Foods, Lanny Davis, and the Attack on the FTC [news story]

Article: "Whole Foods, Lanny Davis, and the Attack on the FTC"
Source: CorporateCrimeReporter.com
Excerpt(s): Whole Foods CEO John Mackey telling his board of directors: "By buying them we will ... avoid nasty price wars in Portland (both Oregon and Maine), Boulder, Nashville, and several other cities which will harm our gross margins and profitability. OATS may not be able to defeat us but they can still hurt us. Furthermore, we eliminate forever the possibility of Kroger, Super Value, or Safeway using their brand equity to launch a competing national natural/organic food chain to rival us .... [Wild Oats] is the only existing company that has the brand and number of stores to be a meaningful springboard for another player to get into this space. Eliminating them means eliminating that threat forever, or almost forever."
Link to Full Story: http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/wholefoods012109.htm

CONTINUING REVOLUTIONARY MOVES IN S. AMERICA Bolivia: After Rallies for New Constitution, Morales Nationalizes Oil Company [news story]

Article: "Bolivia: After Rallies for New Constitution, Morales Nationalizes Oil Company"
Source: MRZine.MonthlyReview.org
Excerpt(s): On Thursday, January 22, the last day of campaigning for the new constitution before the document is set to a vote on Sunday, January 25th, representatives from Bolivia's diverse social movements convened in downtown La Paz. The rally, located in the Plaza Murillo, marked the end of over two years of meetings, conflicts and mobilizations to, as President Evo Morales often says in speeches, "constitutionalize" much-needed changes. The following day, Morales nationalized the Chaco oil company. All of the previous weeks' marches for the constitution seemed to gather in the plaza, culminating in fireworks, cheers, and music. At a central stage, acts alternated between speeches of representatives of the various social movements present and musical performances by groups from around the country, including Afro-Bolivian dances and political hip-hop from La Paz. Members of the Bartolina Sisa women's organization spoke, along with miners, neighborhood council members, retirees, students, and campesino and indigenous leaders. The presence of such diverse groups underscored the importance of Bolivian social movements' participation in the process of change carried out in collaboration with the government. As Sacha Llorenti, the Vice Minister of the Coordination of Bolivian Social Movements told TeleSUR, "The structural transformations that the country is going through cannot be understood without recognizing [the role of] the social movements, the popular organizations of this country."
Link to Full Story: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/dangl240109.html


Obama orders on Guantanamo and torture (~10.5 min.):

Note from HBAF: Now, Ratner may overall have a positive sixth sense about Obama's recent Guantanamo "shut down" order, but as we here at HBAF see it, and as the legal language shows, Obama's "shut down" orders are meaningless. There is not legal language changing the fact that people are and will be held indefinitely... this is not even coming close to the CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED re-institution of habeus corpus (put to rest during the Bush regime). This guy is definitely being suckered by (or is trying to suckers us into) Obama's progressive-seeming, but completely hollow, manner. Please note in particular that at ~6 minutes into this video the question of accountability is asked, and Ratner cites "hope," and "good reporting," as some means of holding the executors of these laws accountable, then says that the question has been put to rest, without showing in any way how these executive orders have any checks and balances. He has far too much too good to say about Obama's hollow changes for someone who calls himself a constitutionalist. Don't be deceived by the smile (or the suave language)! Obama is no different than the other schmucks that have been running this country for 100 years.

Description from TheRealNews: Michael Ratner (President, Center for Constitutional Rights) comments on Obama's executive orders, loopholes, and the prosecution of Bush/Cheney. 24 January 2009. TheRealNews.com

TIMELINE / WAR ON PAKISTANIS / OBAMA IS *NOT* A PEACEMAKER U.S. bombs Pakistan, 18 reported dead [news story]

Article: "U.S. bombs Pakistan, 18 reported dead"
Source: TheStar.com / Associated Press
Excerpt(s): ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Suspected U.S. missiles killed 18 people on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border today in the first such attacks on the militant stronghold since President Barack Obama took office, Pakistani officials said. At least five foreign militants were among those killed in the strikes by unmanned aircraft in two parts of the frontier region, an intelligence official said without naming them. There was no information on the identities of the others. Pakistan's leaders had expressed hope Obama might halt the strikes, but few observers expected he would end a tactic that U.S. officials claim has killed several top al-Qaida operatives and is denying the group a safe haven on the Pakistani side. The United States has staged more than 30 missile strikes inside Pakistan since August – a barrage seen as a sign of frustration in Washington over Islamabad's failed efforts to curb militants it blames for violence in Afghanistan. Pakistan publicly protests the strikes in the northwest as violations of its sovereignty that often kill civilians and undermine its own campaign against insurgents also accused of launching bloody attacks on targets inside Pakistan. But many observers believe the government secretly agrees with the tactic and may provide intelligence on the targets, noting that Islamabad's admitting to assisting the attacks would be politically damaging. The first attack today took place in the village of Zharki in North Waziristan, when a single drone fired three missiles in the space of 10 minutes, the security officials said.
Link to Full Story: http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/576172

TIMELINE / WAR ON PAKISTANIS / OBAMA IS *NOT* A PEACEMAKER Pakistan urges Obama to halt drone attacks {1/24/09 11:13pm pst} [news story]

Article: "Pakistan urges Obama to halt drone attacks"
Source: Dawn.net
Excerpt(s): ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday lodged a strong protest with the Obama administration over continuing drone attacks terming it as an ‘infringement of its sovereignty’ and called for a review of the policy. ‘Yesterday’s attack in the Waziristan area which caused civilian causalities is a matter of great concern. These concerns have been conveyed to the US side,’ Foreign Office Spokesman said in a statement. Although, Foreign Office was reluctant to reveal who made the protest, but sources claim the outrage was communicated by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir to the US Ambassador Anne W Patterson. President Asif Zardari also conveyed Pakistan’s concerns in a meeting with US Ambassador Anne Patterson. The two successive missile strikes in North and South Waziristan three days after the new administration assumed office is being taken as an indication that President Obama has endorsed drone attacks in Pakistan’s territory. President Obama during his campaign for the White House had called for attacks against high-value targets in Pakistan.
Link to Full Story: http://www.dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/pakistan/pakistan-urges-obama-to-halt-drone-attacks-szh
Picture from Reuters, originally captioned: US President Barack Obama listens as Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, speaks at the State Department in Washington, Jan 22, 2009. — Reuters

TIMELINE / WAR ON PAKISTANIS / OBAMA IS *NOT* A PEACEMAKER Obama wants air strikes into Fata to continue {1/25/09 4:38am pst} [news story]

Article: "Obama wants air strikes into Fata to continue: NYT"
Source: Dawn.net
Excerpt(s): WASHINGTON: Hours after US missiles killed 20 people in Fata, President Barack Obama convened a meeting of his top national security advisers and endorsed the decision to continue drone strikes into Pakistan. The US media, quoting unidentified official sources, reported that the first meeting of Mr Obama’s National Security Council focused on Pakistan and Afghanistan. The New York Times reported on Saturday that the decision to attack alleged terrorist targets in Fata on Friday 'dispelled for the moment any notion that Mr Obama would rein in the Predator attacks.' The Washington Post noted that the strikes 'offered the first tangible sign of President Obama's commitment to sustained military pressure on the terrorist groups' in Fata. At his daily White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to answer questions about the strikes, saying, 'I'm not going to get into these matters.' Remotely piloted Predator drones operated by the Central Intelligence Agency have carried out 28 missile attacks in Fata since last summer, killing at least 132 people. The NYT, quoting Pakistani officials, reported that as many as 100 of them were civilians.
Link to Full Story: http://www.dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/world/obama+wants+air+strikes+into+fata+to+continue-rs
Picture from , originally captioned: US President Barack Obama is introduced to speak by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department in Washington. -Reuters

TIMELINE / WAR ON PAKISTANIS / OBAMA IS *NOT* A PEACEMAKER US releases $101m for anti-terror fight {1/25/09 9:18am pst} [news story]

Article: "US releases $101m for anti-terror fight" (i.e. Obama pays off Pakistan)
Source: Dawn.net
Excerpt(s): WASHINGTON: The United States has reimbursed $101 million to Pakistan for its efforts to fight Al Qaeda and Taliban militants along the Pakistan-Afghan border. Diplomatic sources told Dawn that the payment came from the US Coalition Support Fund set up to help US allies in the war against terror.
With the transfer of the amount on Friday, the US has now made reimbursement for expenditures that Pakistan incurred up to April 2008. The United States still owes about a $1 billion to Pakistan for the expenses incurred during the last eight months. The payments are made under a new procedure approved recently. Under the procedure, the government of Pakistan submits its claim to the Office of the US Defence Representative in Pakistan, who forwards it to the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida.
Link to Full Story: http://www.dawn.net/wps/wcm/connect/Dawn%20Content%20Library/dawn/news/world/us-releases-101m-for-anti-terror-fight--qs
Picture from Reuters, originally captioned: The US still owes about a billion dollars to Pakistan for expenses incurred during the last eight months. — Reuters

"STERLING ON THE RUN, BANKERS ON THE RUN" Max Keiser 's BBC show THE ORACLE January 23rd, 3rd episode [video]

Max Keiser 's BBC show THE ORACLE January 23rd 2009 part 1of2 (~11 min.):

YouTube description: guests are : Sameh El Shahat, Stacy Herbert, Matthew Curtin; sujects are : banks problems of citigroup, bank of America, barclays, royal bank of Scotland, northern rock, Gordon Brown blames the foreigners; Jim Rogers says uk pound is doomed; greek riots; Marcus Schrenker captured faked his own death; SPAM sales are up big time; president Barack Obama; run on the british pound by April 2009 and the euro by December 2009

Max Keiser 's BBC show THE ORACLE January 23rd 2009 part 2of2 (~10 min.):

YouTube description: guests are : Sameh El Shahat, Stacy Herbert; sujects are : the Baltic Dry Index; importance of letters of credit in the shipping industry; empty shelves in "big box" stores of Los Angeles; Hank Paulson becomes an icon to university students and anti-capitalist activists around the world; crude oil price and Saudi Arabia; OPEC = organization of potentially explosive countries!; contango explained

Third/final prediction was cut . . . not by Stacy or Max . . . exclusive for you from MaxKeiser.com! The Oracle's missing (third) prediction (~1 min.):

24 January 2009

GEORGE CARLIN NOT KIDDING AROUND "This country is finished" on Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann [video]


23 October 2007 Countdown

THE SOBER CONFIDENCE OF A MAN WHO KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT Ron Paul on Obama's inauguration speech [video]

Dr. Paul on Obama's inauguration speech. 01/20/09 (~3.5 min.):


George Galloway "The West has DOUBLE STANDARDS when it comes to Israel":

YouTube description: George Galloway's powerful speech in the House of Commons debate on Gaza, Thu 15 Jan 2009 (5.30pm), highlighting the hypocrisy and brazen double-standards of Western foreign policy towards Israel policies, including assassinations and other war crimes. George Galloway: "I say to the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who is not in his place, that the international community is not impotent, but merely feigns impotence as an excuse for its failure to carry out its duties. Although the Minister's words were more robust, he essentially masked the same inaction as the languid and complacent Foreign Secretary, who performed in front of us on Monday ....."

ADMONISHING ISRAEL IN THE COURTS & PARLIAMENTS OF THE WORLD (GREAT SPEECHES!) Buchanan Accuses Israel of Creating 'Concentration Camp' [video]

Buchanan Accuses Israel of 'Blitzkrieg,' Creating 'Concentration Camp':

YouTube description: Transcript from MSNBC's "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue" (8 Jan. 2009) PAT BUCHANAN: Well, the difference is, in my judgment, Afghanistan, that was--al Qaeda was responsible for bringing down those towers. If the Afghans had dealt with them, given us Osama Bin Laden, then we would not have gone in. We had a justification. That was an act of war. The Israelis have been hit for six months with these little rockets that didn't kill anybody. It was outrageous, cruel and stupid, and they triggered a blitzkrieg against the Palestinians in Gaza, which in my judgment is an Israeli concentration camp, where a million-and-a-half people are locked up, cannot come out or go in. They've been controlling food, electricity, fuel. And the innocent people in Gaza are the ones suffering. SHUSTER: Concentration camp? Doesn't that diminish the significance of the real concentration camps? BUCHANAN: I'm not talking about a death camp. I'm talking about what the British had in concentration camps in South Africa, and what the Spanish had in Cuba, and what others have had where they bring all these people, lock 'em in there, and treat them with great cruelty, and a humanitarian disaster, despite what Tzipi Livni says. CLIFF MAY: The people of Gaza could have peace tomorrow, and they could have an independent state the day after. All it would take would be for Hamas to do two things. One: stop the missiles. You cannot have any country, even a country like Israel, simply accept that, OK, for the rest of our lives--and this has been going on for years now--we accept that they are going to be firing missiles at us. Some of them are small, some of them are bigger, they'll get bigger. But we accept this as a fact of life; we deserve to be hit with missiles. All Hamas would have to do is say: no more missiles starting tomorrow; we understand. And by the way, we accept Israel as a state, as a neighbor. Now, Hamas cannot do that because of its religious convictions that infidels may not, anywhere in the Middle East, be in power.

Note from HBAF: Buchanan is a double-edged sword at best, but in most of this clip he is spot on... I will give credit where due, but in the context of all the words I've heard come out of his mouth, it's interesting to ponder what kind of mind can produce such clear, strong positions in the midst of so much confusion.

ADMONISHING ISRAEL IN THE COURTS & PARLIAMENTS OF THE WORLD (GREAT SPEECHES!) UK MP Kaufman: They are not simply war criminals, they are fools [video]

UK Jewish MP: Israel acting like Nazis in Gaza:

YouTube description: "Israel was born out of Jewish Terrorism" Tzipi Livnis Father was a Terrorist" Astonishing claims in the House of Parliament. SIR Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP, yesterday compared the actions of Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland. During a Commons debate on the fighting in Gaza, he urged the government to impose an arms embargo on Israel. Sir Gerald, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, said: "My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town a German soldier shot her dead in her bed. "My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians." He said the claim that many of the Palestinian victims were militants "was the reply of the Nazi" and added: "I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants." He accused the Israeli government of seeking "conquest" and added: "They are not simply war criminals, they are fools."


Ron Paul: Israel Created Hamas!:

January 09, 2009 C-SPAN

ADMONISHING ISRAEL IN THE COURTS & PARLIAMENTS OF THE WORLD (GREAT SPEECHES!) Kucinich: Were Israel's Security Needs Influenced By The U.S. Calendar?

WATCH THIS ONE FIRST Kucinich: Were Israel's Security Needs Influenced By The U.S. Calendar?:

January 22, 2009 C-SPAN

Israel's War Crimes On The Record !! - Kucinich Documents:

January 09, 2009 C-SPAN

Kucinich: 50 Percent of the Population of Gaza Under 14 Years of Age!:

January 13, 2009 C-SPAN

21 January 2009

UNDERSTAND WHY GAS PRICES DROPPED AND WHY THEY WILL SKYROCKET AGAIN... Max Keiser on the oil price manipulation in Wall Street [video]

Max Keiser on the oil price manipulation in Wall Street (~10 min.):

HOW DO YOU DEFINE GENOCIDE? Israel kept out aid for Gaza / U.S. complicit [news story]

Article: "Israel kept out aid for Gaza"
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Excerpt(s): ISRAEL deliberately blocked the United Nations from building up vital food supplies in Gaza that feed a million people daily before the launch of its war against Hamas, according to a senior UN official in Jerusalem. In a scathing critique of Israeli actions leading up to the conflict, the UN's chief humanitarian co-ordinator in Israel, the former Australian diplomat Maxwell Gaylard, accused Israel of failing to honour its commitments to open its border with Gaza during several months of truce from June 19 last year. "The Israelis would not let us facilitate a regular and sufficient flow of supplies into the Strip," Mr Gaylard said. The chief spokesman for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yigal Palmor, said the claims were "unqualified bullshit".
Link to Full Story: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2009/01/18/1232213448835.html

THE U.S. IS ON THE IMPERIAL PATH TO FASCISM Talk by Naomi Wolf - The End of America [video lecture]

Talk by Naomi Wolf - The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (~48 min. - well worth the listen!):

How To Become A Dictator In Ten Steps or Less...

In this concise lecture Naomi Wolf systematically goes through her 10-point list of actions that according to her research and analysis have been taken by would-be dictators in order to overturn the democratic (or at least more democratic) societies in which they operate and establish dictatorship. She uses as her main examples Italy in the 20s, Germany in the 30s, Russia in the 30s, East Germany in the 50s, Czechoslovakia in the 60s, Chile in the 60s and... of course... the United States today.

While I must put forth the caveat that I do not always appreciate her sometimes too-lighthearted personality (unlike her, I don't think it's amusing that she's OK with her daughter watching America's Top Model; behavior such as that definitely contributes to the distraction and apathy of the citizenry), I respect the depth of her research and her non-stop activism over the past couple of years, and think that this lecture provides an excellent introduction to how fascist societies have developed in the past. Furthermore, she makes it very clear that this is happening in the United States today, and puts forth the urgent call that the window of opportunity to stop this change is closing, and that we must RISE UP NOW!

I especially recommend this video to those who think that it's "crazy" when people make comparisons between the United States today and Hitler's Germany. The comparison IS clear. This IS happening now. As Wolf says, fascist states don't start off with midnight raids and domestic mass murder, they are able to develop to that stage because the people of those nations allow their own and others' rights to be slowly eroded away until they no longer even have the capacity to do anything about it. It is important to note that while fascism is set up slowly, once it really gets to the point of mass implementation, the process rapidly accelerates.

This lecture was fifteen months ago, and because of the aforementioned acceleration, it is important to understand these concepts now more than ever. We, in the United States, are every day confronted with more and more martial law, and of course we continue to allow our military to slaughter persons throughout the world. Although I will never give up the fight, there will be a point at which this process will become virtually irreversible, and every moment that we wait to STOP THE EMPIRE means more lives and liberties lost, and increases our impotence to do anything about it. Wake up!

Here are Wolf's 10 Classic Steps to Destroying a Democracy and Establishing Dictatorship:
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy (may be real or fictional, but is always hyped)
2. Create a secret prison system (gulag) where torture takes place that is outside the law
3. Create a paramilitary force (thug caste)
4. Establish a surveillance apparatus used against ordinary citizens
5. Arbitrarily detain and release citizens
6. Harass and infiltrate citizens groups (e.g. antiwar groups, environmentalists groups)
7. Target key individuals
8. Restrict and control the press
9. Make Dissent = Treason
10. Subvert the rule of law, declare martial law

If you prefer to read rather than listen, basically the same information may be found in the following article by Wolf:

WORLD OF PROPAGANDA 'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century [news story]

Article: "'Wiped off the Map' – The Rumor of the Century"
Source: AntiWar.com / Arash Norouzi
Excerpt(s): Across the world, a dangerous rumor has spread that could have catastrophic implications. According to legend, Iran's president has threatened to destroy Israel, or, to quote the misquote, "Israel must be wiped off the map." Contrary to popular belief, this statement was never made. On Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at the Ministry of Interior conference hall in Tehran, newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a program, reportedly attended by thousands, titled "The World Without Zionism"... So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in Farsi: "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad." That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "regime." pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).
Link to Full Story: http://www.antiwar.com/orig/norouzi.php?articleid=11025

16 January 2009

A GORY HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF Policy pursued in Afghanistan was a failure in Vietnam, Iraq [editorial]

Article: "Policy pursued in Afghanistan was a failure in Vietnam, Iraq"
Source: StatesmanJournal.com
Excerpt(s): This time it's Afghanistan, with a foreign power, not to say an imperial nation, employing sophisticated weapons and military personnel to subdue a people and culture that it knows little about. Last time it was Iraq, when the American people were lied into a war by false claims about weapons of mass destruction and, before that, Vietnam, by a phony Gulf of Tonkin resolution. Both happened because the U.S. Congress passively tolerated and actively supported enormous troop increases and massive expenditures, as casualties mounted and countless civilians died in the crossfire. Today, as President Bush snores and President-elect Obama waits in the wings, the Pentagon plunges ahead, planning to add 30,000 more U.S. troops to the 31,000 already in Afghanistan. Supply operations and maintenance services for the Afghan National Army will cost American taxpayers an estimated $300 million over the next five years, according to Walter Pincus in the Washington Post. Yet there is little evidence that a military occupation, insensitive to the region's history and culture, can lead to democracy or economic development. Where is the justifiable outrage of American citizens the third time around? Let facts speak to a passive citizenry and a blood-soaked military-industrial-university-ecclesiastical complex.
Link to Full Story: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20090115/OPINION/90113058/1049

Wake up O ye passive citizenry!
We must STOP the killing!

OUT OF IRAQ TODAY! Human rights in Iraq “extremely poor” [news story]

Article: "Human rights in Iraq "extremely poor" –HRW"
Source: News from Middle East
Excerpt(s): BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Human rights in Iraq remain "extremely poor" despite security gains in 2008, Human Rights Watch said in its annual report. "Security gains in 2008 did little to ease Iraq’s crisis of displacement, with about 2.8 million Iraqis displaced within the country and another 2 million abroad, mainly in Syria and Jordan," read the report that was received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency... "Government-run detention facilities struggled to accommodate over 24,000 detainees, and tardy judicial review of cases exacerbated overcrowding. The US military said in October its detainee population had fallen to about 17,000 from a peak of approximately 26,000 in late 2007. Some detainees have spent years in custody without charge or trial," according to the report. "As of mid-November 2008, Iraq’s parliament was preparing to vote on a security agreement with the U.S. to govern the presence of foreign troops when the UN Security Council mandate for the Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF) expired at the end of 2008," the report said.
Link to Full Story: http://newsfrommiddleeast.com/?xstart=b&new=50848

IRAQ STILL BURNS...EVERY DAY Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-Thursday 15 January 2008 [news story]

Article: "Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq-Thursday 15 January 2008"
Source: McClatchy
Excerpt(s): BAGHDAD - Around 9 a.m. a roadside bomb targeted the convoy of the minister of higher education and scientific research near Al Andalus square in Karrada injuring two civilians. - Around 10 a.m. a roadside bomb targeted an Iraqi army vehicle in Karrada near the white palace compound injuring one soldier and three civilians. - A roadside bomb targeted an American military convoy in central Baghdad near the ministry of industry. The bomb was seen by the guards whoc closed the road but it exploded as the convoy passed by killing one guard of the ministry, Ahmed Taieb Murad, according to a press release by the ministry. NINEVEH - Gunmen killed a policeman in Al Rasheedi neighborhood in Mosul city on Wednesday. - Police found one dead body in Wadi Egab cemetery on Wednesday.
Link to Full Story: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/212/story/59745.html

IS THIS THE BEST THEY CAN DO? Conflicting reports on military outsourcing / An attempt to cover-up monstrosities of war & misuse of gov't funds [news]

Article (propaganda source #1): "Report Details Iraq Contract Failures"
Source: Washington Post
Excerpt(s): A $722 million contract to rebuild Iraq's oil and gas production facilities was marked by multiple changes, cost overruns, failure to meet schedules and lack of oversight, according to a new inspector general's report... The contract managers assigned about 30 specific task orders for KBR to carry out, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq, found. His report, released yesterday, found that the task orders "took longer than planned; were frequently modified, scaled back, and/or terminated; and increased in cost over time." The report also found that the Iraqi government "may not be properly maintaining the rebuilt facilities and equipment that cost hundreds of millions of dollars" and "does not appear to be committed to completing and using some projects."
Link to Full Story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/13/AR2009011302789.html?hpid=sec-nation

Article (propaganda source #2): "Inspector General Says Iraq Contract Going Well"
Source: Washington Post
Excerpt(s): The latest report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction offers something relatively rare: Good news about burgeoning contracts and the government's oversight... It seems that Aegis Defence Services, Limited, which has received about $624 million to provide security services to the Defense Department, has been found to perform "satisfactory to outstanding" on contract obligations. Government overseers, meanwhile, have properly awarded and monitored the Aegis contracts, according to the report. "SIGIR found well-supported contract awards to Aegis; appropriate government oversight of Aegis's bills, inventories, performance, and operations; and contract performance assessed as satisfactory to outstanding.
Link to Full Story: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/government-inc/2009/01/good_news_from_iraq.html?wprss=government-inc

Cartoon by khalil@bendib.com, click on image to see large version

15 January 2009

FALLING EMPIRE GRABS AT EVERYTHING IN REACH LIKE A DROWNING MAN U.S. Army chief expects rise in deployed troops [news article]

Article: "U.S. Army chief expects rise in deployed troops"
Source: Reuters
Excerpt(s): WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army, already strained by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will likely deploy more soldiers in the next 18 months, the service's top general said on Wednesday. U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said the United States would likely send more troops to Afghanistan before it had pulled an equivalent number out of Iraq, resulting in the overall increase. "What I see is our committed strength going up slightly and staying up," until about the middle of 2010, Casey said at a breakfast organized by the Association of the United States Army, which represents current and former soldiers. "That's going to put continued stress on the force so we're not out of the woods yet." "We're probably not going to get everything out of Iraq on the timelines we need ... to have it in Afghanistan," he said after the breakfast. The U.S. Army provides more than 100,000 of the 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 23,000 of the 33,000 U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan.
Link to Full Story: http://uk.reuters.com/article/burningIssues/idUKTRE50D65O20090114
Picture from Reuters, originally captioned: Soldiers with the US Army's 6-4 Cavalry leave Combat Outpost Lowell enroute to the nearby village of Kamu in eastern Afghanistan January 8, 2009.

WORLD DENOUNCES GAZA SIEGE Demands for investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes [news story]

Article: "Demands for investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes"
Source: Russia Today
Excerpt(s): With ever-increasing violence and pictures of civilian casualties within Gaza, there have been increasing calls from organisations around the world for investigations into whether Israel has committed war crimes. These have included United Nations relief agencies and international human rights organisations such as Amnesty International. Israel denies it has committed war crimes and rejects the need for any investigation. However, there have been calls to make some Israeli generals answer allegations at the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, in the same way that politicians and military figures from the former Yugoslavia were. “What we see happening every day is definitely tantamount to a war crime. The killing of children, women and innocent civilians is happening every day,” said Dr. Rafiq Al Husseini, Chief of Staff of the Palestinian Authority, to RT.
Link to Full Story: http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/35885
Picture from Russia Today, originally captioned: A Palestinian woman cries after the death of relatives in front of the morgue in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city (AFP Photo / Mahmud Hams)

PLAYING CHESS WITH THE WORLD Fighting over the Arctic [news story]

Article: "Fighting over the Arctic"
Source: Russia Today
Excerpt(s): In the end of January Security Council’s new strategy of development of Arctic regions will be made public in Russia. Its main objective is participation in partition of natural recourses of the Arctic Ocean. However the USA are also not going to refuse their claims for Arctic regions. The President George Bush has published the instruction which contains the order to the Senate to ratify the international Law of the Sea Convention according to which the USA will participate in partition of Arctic regions with other countries in the nearest future, Kommersant business daily reports... Scientists consider that the continental shelf of the Arctic can contain about 20 per cent of world's reserves of hydrocarbons which are the main components of oil. Besides, on shelves of Barents and Kara seas unique gas deposits were found. Moreover the local fishing industry provides 15 per cent of total amounts of fish production in Russia... Until now the USA remains the last Arctic country which has not yet ratified Law of the Sea Convention. That interrupts international partition of the Arctic region. In May of last year five coastal countries of the Arctic Ocean - Russia, the USA, Canada, Norway and Denmark - have agreed to begin negotiations about partition of Arctic regions on the basis of existing conventions and have decided not to accept any new documents so far.
Link to Full Story: http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/35911
Picture from Russia Today

AMERICANS AND ISRAELIS MUST STOP THEIR OWN GOV'TS Ahmadinejad: Israelis should pour into streets [news story]

Article: "Ahmadinejad: Israelis should pour into streets"
Source: Press TV
Excerpt(s): Iran calls on Israelis to take to the streets in protest at the war on Gaza, saying soldiers should also refrain from following orders. "I call on all those who live in the occupied territories, including Jews, Christians and Muslims to pour into the streets," said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a Thursday message. He added that Israelis should show their support for the Palestinian nation by joining the world in demonstrating against the crimes committed by Tel Aviv. "To the people who live under Israeli repression in the occupied territories, you are human beings no matter your religion, race for faith. It is time that you ponder and ask the leaders of the Zionist regime why it is that the people of Gaza are being treated in this way," said the Iranian president. Nearly 1,100 Palestinians -- many of whom are women and children -- have been killed and 4,700 have been wounded since Israel launched its offensive against the Palestinian territory on December 27.
Link to Full Story: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=82415&sectionid=351020101
Picture from Press TV, originally captioned: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

WORLD DENOUNCES GAZA SIEGE France blasts Israel for targeting civilians [news story]

Article: "France blasts Israel for targeting civilians"
Source: Press TV
Excerpt(s): France hammers Israel for its bombardment of civilian targets in Gaza after a building owned by the UN relief agency came under fire. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday issued strong condemnation of Tel Aviv over its targeting of several hospitals, a UN compound and a media building in the Gaza Strip, AFP reported. The comments come on the 20th day of the Tel Aviv offensive into the coastal sliver. So far at least 1,100 Palestinians have been killed and around 4,700 others have been wounded, according to medics. Israel says it began the raids to stop Hamas rocket attacks on southern Israel. Civilians, however, have suffered the brunt of the attacks. Hamas, the democratically-elected ruler of the coastal sliver, demands a cessation of an 18-month Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip before its fighters suspend the rocket attacks. While the strip has been denied electricity and drinking water supplies as a result of the blockade, Israeli naval forces have been intercepting humanitarian aid vessels to the area.
Link to Full Story: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail.aspx?id=82420&sectionid=351020202
Picture from Press TV, originally captioned: Israeli soldiers preparing to lead tanks into Gaza

MASS MURDER IN GAZA Professor of Int'l Law at the University of Illinois: "The US promotes Israeli genocide against Palestinians" [book excerpt]

Article: "The US promotes Israeli genocide against Palestinians"
Source: Press TV
Excerpt(s): As long ago as October 19, 2000, the then United Nations Human Rights Commission (now Council) condemned Israel for inflicting “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” upon the Palestinian people, most of whom are Muslims. The reader has a general idea of what a war crime is, so I am not going to elaborate upon that term here. But there are different degrees of heinousness for war crimes. In particular are the more serious war crimes denominated “grave breaches” of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Since the outbreak of the first Intifada in 1987, the world has seen those heinous war crimes inflicted every day by Israel against the Palestinian people living in occupied Palestine: e.g., willful killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army and by Israel's illegal paramilitary settlers. These Israeli “grave breaches” of the Fourth Geneva Convention mandate universal prosecution for the perpetrators and their commanders, whether military or civilian, including and especially Israel's political leaders. But I want to focus for a moment on Israel's “crimes against humanity” against the Palestinian people-as determined by the UN Human Rights Commission itself, set up pursuant to the requirements of the United Nations Charter. What are “crimes against humanity”?... The doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” so readily espoused elsewhere when US foreign policy goals are allegedly at stake has been clearly proved to be a joke and a fraud when it comes to stopping the ongoing and accelerating Israeli campaign of genocide against the Palestinian people. Rather than rein in the Israelis - which would be possible just by turning off the funding pipeline - the United States government, the US Congress, and US taxpayers instead support the “Jewish” state to the tune of about 4 billion dollars per year, without whose munificence this instance of genocide - and indeed conceivably the State of Israel itself - would not be possible. What the world witnesses here is (yet another) case of “dishumanitarian intervention” or “humanitarian extermination” by the United States and Israel against the Palestinians and Palestine. In today's world genocide pays so long as it is done at the behest of the United States and its de jure or de facto allies such as Israel. Of course miracles can always happen. But I anticipate no fundamental change in America's support for the Israeli campaign of genocide against the Palestinians during the tenure of the Obama/Clinton administration. The article above is from “Tackling America's Toughest Questions.”
Link to Full Story: http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=82097&sectionid=3510303
Picture from Press TV

THIS IS WORLDWIDE ECONOMIC CONSOLIDATION Spanish industrial output plunges 15.1% [news story]

Article: "Spanish industrial output plunges"
Source: BBC News
Excerpt(s): Spanish industrial output fell by 15.1% in November, compared with the same month one year ago, the biggest fall on record and a sign of a deep recession. Analysts had expected output in factories and mines to drop by 11%. On Thursday, figures revealed that the country's unemployment rate hit a 12-year high in 2008 of 3 million. Retail sales across the 15 nations that share the euro rose unexpectedly in November, defying the gloom that pervades the eurozone economy.
Link to Full Story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7819569.stm
Picture from BBC News, originally captioned: Employment in Spain's construction industry has been hard hit

THIS IS BEYOND THE GREAT DEPRESSION Irish home prices may fall 80% [news story]

Article: "Warning that house prices may fall by 80%"
Source: Irish Times
Excerpt(s): HOUSING MARKET: IRELAND WILL see more demolition than construction of houses over the next decade, as the economy struggles to recover from the collapse of the housing market and the emergence of “zombie” banks, UCD economist Morgan Kelly told the conference. In a presentation that drew several collective intakes of breath, Mr Kelly predicted that house prices would fall by 80 per cent from peak to trough in real terms. “Construction, but not demolition, of residential and commercial property will fall to zero for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Link to Full Story: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2009/0113/1231738220759.html

SIGNS OF OUR TIME Investment demand for physical gold surges 121% in 3rd quarter 08 [news story]

Article: "Gold Rush: Buying the Real Thing"
Source: Barron's
Excerpt(s): INVESTORS ARE TAKING A CUE FROM THE RAPPERS and adding more bling to their lives -- not to hang around their necks, but to stash away in safes. Physical gold is hot. Not gold stocks or ETFs, but the glittering stuff itself. You'll read about it in our write-up of the latest Barron's Roundtable, and the numbers are irrefutable. London-based World Gold Council said investment demand for gold, mainly bars and coins, surged 121% in the third quarter as investors rushed to safety.
Link to Full Story: http://online.barrons.com/article/SB123154459401969559.html
Picture from Barron's

THIS IS BEYOND THE GREAT DEPRESSION Greece sovereign debt downgraded, Portugal, Ireland and Spain put on negative watch [news story]

Article: "S&P cuts Greece's credit rating: Euro-zone bond spreads widening on credit worries"
Source: Market Watch
Excerpt(s): LONDON (MarketWatch) - Greece saw its key sovereign credit rating cut by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Wednesday, downgrading the debt to A- from A... The ratings agency had placed Greece on negative credit watch last week, along with Ireland. S&P also put Portugal on negative credit watch Tuesday due to high government debt levels, while Spain received a similar warning Monday... "While the ratings on the sovereign continue to be based on our opinion of [Greece's] relatively high economic prosperity and [European economic and monetary union] membership, the ongoing global financial and economic crisis has, in our opinion, exacerbated an underlying loss of competitiveness in the Greek economy," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Marko Mrsnik said in a news release.
Link to Full Story: http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/sp-cuts-greeces-credit-rating/story.aspx?guid=%7B426527F7-AE23-44FB-AC59-A078A8C23974%7D

14 January 2009

THIS IS BEYOND THE GREAT DEPRESSION Shipping rates hit zero as trade sinks [news story]

Article: "Shipping rates hit zero as trade sinks"
Source: Telegraph.co.uk
Excerpt(s): Freight rates for containers shipped from Asia to Europe have fallen to zero for the first time since records began, underscoring the dramatic collapse in trade since the world economy buckled in October. "They have already hit zero," said Charles de Trenck, a broker at Transport Trackers in Hong Kong. "We have seen trade activity fall off a cliff. Asia-Europe is an unmit­igated disaster." Shipping journal Lloyd's List said brokers in Singapore are now waiving fees for containers travelling from South China, charging only for the minimal "bunker" costs. Container fees from North Asia have dropped $200, taking them below operating cost. Industry sources said they have never seen rates fall so low. "This is a whole new ball game," said one trader.
Link to Full Story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/4229198/Shipping-rates-hit-zero-as-trade-sinks.html
Picture from Telegraph.co.uk, originally captioned: The cost of shipping goods from Asia to Europe has tumbled

THIS IS BEYOND THE GREAT DEPRESSION Bank of England Cuts Rate to Lowest Since Bank’s Creation in 1694 [news story]

Article: "BOE Cuts Rate to Lowest Since Bank’s Creation in 1694 (Update3)"
Source: Bloomberg
Excerpt(s): The Bank of England cut the benchmark interest rate to the lowest since the central bank was founded in 1694 as policy makers tried to prevent the credit squeeze from deepening Britain’s recession. The bank rate was reduced a half-point to 1.5 percent, bringing policy makers closer to the point at which they will run out of options to fight the financial crisis with conventional tools. The pound rose against the euro and the dollar because some investors had bet on a larger reduction... The European Central Bank has cut its key interest rate by 1.75 percentage points to 2.5 percent since early October, and may reduce it again next week. President Jean-Claude Trichet may provide clues on his thinking when he gives a speech in Bratislava at 8 p.m. local time today.
Link to Full Story: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=avTXAfm9.vhM&refer=home

IRAN BLOCKS CIA "Velvet Revolution" COUP? Iran: Gov't thwarts CIA-backed regime change plot [news story]

Article: "Iran thwarts CIA-backed regime change plot"
Source: Press TV
Excerpt(s): Tehran has disbanded a CIA-backed network designed to orchestrate a 'Velvet Revolution' in the country, says a senior Iranian official. Iran's Judiciary Spokesman, Alireza Jamshidi, said on Tuesday that authorities have arrested four Iranian nationals who were plotting a regime change at the behest of the Bush administration. According to Jamshidi, the four were paid by the White House, the State Department and the CIA, to expand their network and topple the Iranian government -- irrespective of the Algiers Accord. Under the 1981 treaty signed between the US and Iran, Washington is obliged to refrain from interfering in Iran's 'internal affairs'. Washington, nevertheless, has not ceased its 'regime change' project in Iran and has reportedly appropriated more than $120 million to fund the initiative.
Link to Full Story: http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=82085&sectionid=351020101

13 January 2009

THE SIEGE OF GAZA MUST BE STOPPED NOW “Is Israel/U.S. 'testing the waters' with its destruction of Gaza? [commentary from HBAF research team]

Commentary from the HBAF Research Team: “Is Israel/U.S. 'testing the waters' with its destruction of Gaza? Why would Israel/U.S. annihilate Palestinians in front of the world? Could it be that the thousands of people in the Gaza strip that have, and are at this moment, being killed and injured as a 'test'? The economic depression engulfing the world seems like a strange time to invade Gaza (those who believe the invasion is a result of Hamas rockets are either ignorant, or insane), unless this particular attack by Israel/U.S. is a precursor to more heinous criminal invasions. How will the world react, especially in the middle east? What resistance can they expect from other sovereign Arab nations? HBAF has shown that many protests are going on in the world with NO effect whatsoever as the horrendous bombings continue. We see no unity between the sovereign nations in the middle east and abroad against this catastrophe, nor do we see any meaningful agreements being come to by supranational entities such as the U.N. or the Arab League. The sick, disturbing expectations resulting from a transparent massacre of an entire people may very likely be: ‘Who is next?’ The importance of stopping this from continuing can be found in recent history, when the Nazi state of Germany in 1936 simply invaded the Rhineland and continued to 'test the waters' until becoming an irresistible force in Europe- and from there WORLD WAR...

Subcommentary: The above is something I wrote after the “it’s a test” idea was suggested to me, afterwards, when I was checking the date of the Rhineland invasion, I found this: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_did_Hitler_send_his_troops_into_the_Rhineland. Eerie how similar it is…

WORLD DENOUNCES GAZA SIEGE Saudi: Gaza raids 'racist extermination' [news story]

Article: "Saudi: Gaza raids 'racist extermination'"
Source: PressTV.ir
Excerpt(s): Saudi Arabia accuses Israel of 'racist extermination' in its attack on the Gaza Strip, which has so far left thousands killed and wounded. "The cabinet said the extermination Israel is launching upon the Palestinian people in Gaza has denuded Israeli leaders of humanity and places their policies in the ranks of racist extermination," a statement issued by the Saudi royal court and published by the state-run SPA News Agency said. Israel targets the coastal region with phosphorous bombs as resistance fighters prevent Israeli forces from advancing into the enclave. White phosphorus, classified as 'chemical weapon' by the US intelligence, is an inflammable material that causes horrific burns, severe injuries or even death when it comes in contact with human skin.
Link to Full Story: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail.aspx?id=81987&sectionid=351020205
Picture from Press TV, originally captioned: Medics warn that Israel is testing a new 'extremely nasty' type of weapon in Gaza.

THE FLAMES OF WAR SPREAD 'Israel forces under fire from Jordan' [news story]

Article: "'Israel forces under fire from Jordan' "
Source: PressTV.ir
Full "breaking news" article: Israeli troops have come under fire from Jordan at a border crossing with the kingdom, says an Israeli military spokeswoman. "Troops were fired upon from the Jordanian side of the border. It was unclear who the gunmen were," she said on Tuesday. According to the spokesman, no one was hurt in the incident.
Link to Full Story: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail.aspx?id=82020§ionid=351020202

11 January 2009

END THE SIEGE ON GAZA NOW! Ever fastidious, Ron Paul in Russia Today Interview [video]

Interview with Ron Paul (~11 min.):

Superb. Ever fastidious, Ron Paul in interviewed by Russia Today regarding Israel's occupation and invasion of Gaza, and their occupation of Palestine in general.

SRI LANKA AT WAR Sri Lankan air strikes hit retreating rebels: govt [news story]

Article: "Sri Lankan air strikes hit retreating rebels: govt"
Source: Agence-France Presse
Excerpt(s): COLOMBO (AFP) - - Sri Lanka's military on Sunday launched air attacks against the last remaining jungle hideouts of Tamil Tiger rebels after driving them out of their main strongholds, officials said. Helicopter gunships supported ground troops advancing deeper into the Mullaittivu region, where the retreating Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) forces are holed up, a military official said. The defense ministry has said the security forces are ready to deal a "decisive blow" to the rebels after the capture of the strategic Elephant Pass on Friday. Losing control of the causeway was the latest in a series of defeats for the Tamil Tigers, who have been fighting since 1972 for a separate homeland... It added that troops had recovered the bodies of 11 rebels killed in recent battles in Mullaittivu after soldiers captured an abandoned Tiger camp. Casualty reports from the conflict can not be independently verified but government officials said security forces had met with sporadic resistance since Kilinochchi fell after months of heavy fighting. The LTTE, which has not commented on the latest military claims, accused troops of directing artillery fire towards an internally displaced camp inside rebel-held Mullaittivu on Friday, killing one man and injuring four others. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said in a New Year's address that 2009 would be the year of "heroic victory" over the Tigers.
Link to Full Story: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20090111/twl-srilanka-unrest-4bdc673.html
Picture from Agence-France Presse, originally captioned: This handout picture released on January 10 shows Sri Lankan army troops at the entrance to the Jaffna Peninsula following the capture of Elephant Pass. Sri Lanka's military on Sunday launched air attacks against the last remaining jungle hideouts of Tamil Tiger rebels after driving them out of their main strongholds, officials said.

S.P.P. / NORTH AMERICAN UNION UPDATE Trans Texas Corridor Not Dead - Just Renamed [news story]

Article: "Trans Texas Corridor Not Dead - Just Renamed"
Source: Dprogram.net
Excerpt(s): The announcement by TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz at the Texas Transportation Forum that the “Trans Texas Corridor, as it was originally envisioned, is no more,” is just another in a series of comments to lead opponents into believing the Trans Texas Corridor is indeed dead. TURF believes this is a deliberate move to dupe opponents into complacency, and we expect iron-clad action before we begin celebrating victory... No law has been changed, no minute order rescinded, no environmental document re-done (as is required by federal law), and there are still two contracts signed giving two Spanish companies the right of first refusal on segments of the corridor previously known as TTC-35 & TTC-69. So by every real measure, the Trans Texas Corridor goes on full steam ahead. What today’s hype was about is a political ploy to make the public go back to sleep while it gets built under a different name. While we welcome genuine responsiveness from TxDOT and a true repeal of the Trans Texas Corridor, this hardly qualifies.
Link to Full Story: http://dprogram.net/2009/01/07/trans-texas-corridor-not-dead-just-renamed/#more-6104

*** Further reading in their own words (12 page PDF): The 2007 Joint Statement by Prime Minister Harper of Canada, President Bush and former President Calderón of Mexico (pictured at right) outlining the completed and planned projects of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP), an agreement between the "leaders" that aims to "harmonize" most all aspects of governance of the 3 nations. It is likely, or rather it is desirable to many elite powerful globalists (we'll see if they win!), that this partnership will develop into a full-fledged union similar to the EU.

OUT OF GAZA NOW! British MP George Galloway: "Victory To The Palestinian Resistance" 8 January 2009 [video]

British MP George Galloway: "Victory To The Palestinian Resistance" (~11 min.):

ECONOMIC CRASH The Oracle with Max Keiser - Episode One (as broadcast) [video]

Now I'm not exactly on the same page with Mr. Keiser with regards to what he thinks will happen in 2009, but I am a big fan of his, and think he's largely right on in his attitudes and ideas about the banking system. In this video I also highly recommend noting Jacques Attali's broadly-informed (both pessimistic and strangely optimistic) perspective about the future of mankind...

The Oracle with Max Keiser - Episode One (~22 min.):

10 January 2009

EDITORIAL Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War [news story]

Article: "Martial Law, the Financial Bailout, and War"
Source: GlobalResearch.ca / Peter Dale Scott
Excerpt: It is becoming clear that the bailout measures of late 2008 may have consequences at least as grave for an open society as the response to 9/11 in 2001. Many members of Congress felt coerced into voting against their inclinations, and the normal procedures for orderly consideration of a bill were dispensed with. The excuse for bypassing normal legislative procedures was the existence of an emergency. But one of the most reprehensible features of the legislation, that it allowed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to permit bailed-out institutions to use public money for exorbitant salaries and bonuses, was inserted by Paulson after the immediate crisis had passed... Even more reprehensible is the fact that since the bailouts, Paulson and the Treasury Department have refused to provide details of the Troubled Assets Relief Program spending of hundreds of billions of dollars, while the New York Federal Reserve has refused to provide information about its own bail-out (using government-backed loans) that amounts to trillions...
Link to Full Story: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11681

09 January 2009

MEDIA EAST & WEST CONTINUES TO CONFUSE GAZA DEBATE “Debate: Diplomacy enforcing military action?” [video]

Debate: Diplomacy enforcing military action? (~9.5 min.):

Researcher #1 asks you to please note the following about this video: At 8 min. 17 sec. into this discussion a bar comes on the bottom of the screen, showing 660 people have been killed; 2,950 people injured. Tarazi and Bishara continue to speak of the 'political situation' in Gaza as if people being blown up by bombs and limbless tragedies laying on debris with the murdered and burnt alive is just some political maneuvering in a game! At the end Tarazi in effect says Israel simply winning a battle could lead to wars in the region shows that language is useless and morally inept when looking past murder and war towards a bigger picture.

Researcher #2 responds: I agree. They are playing the insipid game of telling a “kings and courts” version of history, wherein the vast majority of people are referred to, when they are mentioned at all, as pawns… In this video it is clear that members of the mainstream “Arab media,” as is so common in “the West,” suffer from the ailment of (i.e. use the propaganda technique of) babbling about insignificant but complex details therefore avoiding discussion of too horrific and/or incriminating subjects.

YouTube Description from AlJazeeraEnglish: Are diplomatic efforts to bring about a ceasefire in Gaza simply supporting Israel's military offensive? Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's political analyst, and Michael Tarazi, a former legal advisor to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, debate the key issues.


Article: "UN halts Gaza aid after convoy hit"
Source: Al Jazeera English
Picture from Agence-France Presse, originally captioned: Homes, mosques and government buildings have been hit in the Israeli bombardment
Excerpt: The United Nations has suspended its aid operations in the Gaza Strip in the wake of a series of Israeli attacks on its personnel and buildings. "Unrwa decided to suspend all its operations in the Gaza Strip because of the increasing hostile actions against its premises and personnel," Adnan Abu Hasna, a Gaza-based spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, said on Thursday. The move came after Israeli tanks shelled a UN convoy earlier in the day, killing a Palestinian UN worker and injuring two others, as lorries were travelling to the Erez crossing to pick up humanitarian supplies meant to have been allowed in during a three-hour suspension of fire. At least three UN-run schools have also been hit by Israeli fire, killing scores of civilians, during the 13 days of Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip.
Link to Full Story: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/01/2009181482839688.html


Article: "Gaza Silence Shows UN Lack of Power: Celestine Bohlen (Update1)"
Source: Bloomberg
Excerpt: Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Twice in the past five months, the United Nations Security Council has failed to call for an early stop to small wars that put the international community on edge. It isn’t for want of trying. Last year, ambassadors representing the 15 members of the Security Council met in the middle of the night to discuss the brewing conflict between Georgia and Russia. They adjourned at 2 a.m. on Aug. 8 without producing any kind of declaration, let alone a resolution. With Israel’s offensive in Gaza, a similar stalemate set in. Since Dec. 27, the Security Council met four times, including on two successive Saturdays and on New Year’s Eve, before finally approving a resolution yesterday for an immediate cease-fire by a 14-0 vote. The U.S. abstained, and Israel is pressing on with its military operation to end rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. Casualties mounted as the world’s biggest international organization took its time to send a clear message to the combatants, raising concern -- once again -- about its effectiveness. The question is: What else could take its place? The paralysis at the heart of the 192-nation UN can be traced to the veto power held by the Security Council’s permanent members: the U.S., Russia (formerly the Soviet Union), China, the U.K. and France. This can hold the international community hostage to the five nations’ own interpretation of events, their own national interests and those of their allies. ‘Eternal Conundrum’--“It is the eternal conundrum at the UN,” says Stephen Schlesinger, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a public- policy research institute in New York. “As long as you have an international institution made up of states, you will always have state interests controlling the outcome.”
Link to Full Story: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_bohlen&sid=aPQ3xbIU.eJw