American Mailbox (Wakulla County, Florida) .. Walk Away From Debt For a Better Future (Photo credit: marsmet461)
AMERICAN CYANAMID (Photo credit: George Eastman House)
Say NO to nazism! (Photo credit: Jaume d'Urgell ∴)
Easter Bunny Inc. ...item 3.. Obama to give 800,000 illegal immigrants who came to U.S. as children work permits and halt deportations (15 June 2012) .. (Photo credit: marsmet481)
Citizenship For Sale (Garage Sale 2012) ...Foreign investors flock to U.S. (June 11, 2012) ...item 3..Monumental Maneuver (Jun 20, 2012) ... (Photo credit: marsmet481)
English: Prince William of Wales & Prince Henry of Wales seated in horse-drawn carriage in 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
China is Human Suffering (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
posted by Saman Mohammadi at The Excavator
The corporate media are reliable and consistent. They consistently focus on the sensational, and they reliably take the position of the US government. So, it should come as no surprise that the recent release of US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks is being covered with much sound and fury, signifying little. On the sensational and gossip-mongering front we have Gaddafi’s Ukrainian nurse, Angela Merkel’s “manly” leadership skills, Putin’s cozy relationship with Berlusconi, sex crimes charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, etc. On the mundane lapdog front we have repeated stories touting the administration’s line about “national security” and the rationale for why the cables had to be kept hidden from public view, US efforts to bring legal charges against WikiLeaks, questions of whether Hillary Clinton should resign, the internet and its regulation, etc. Sorely lacking in all the attention given to the WikiLeaks cables is an analysis of the functioning of empire. While the cables may not reveal anything radically new, particularly to an astute left-liberal audience, it does offer a concrete snapshot of the workings of US policy. And if nothing else it provides proof positive that governments lie. The US lies to its people, and its allies lie to theirs.
Saudi Arabia: The Neocons’ Once and Future Target
Stephen Sniegoski, The Passionate Attachment, Aug 28 2012The US removal of Saddam had seemingly led to Iranian and Shi’ite ascendancy in the Middle East, with the Shi’ite demographic majority being able to dominate Iraq’s national government, though an autonomous Kurdish region was created, and the Sunnis threatened a civil war. A new pro-Iran Shi’ite crescent emerged extending from Iraq to Lebanon, as Hezbollah gained power in the latter country. It should be noted that Assad’s Syria, Iran’s principal ally, has been something of an outlier here since its alliance with Iran has been based on national interest, not on religion or ideology. For Syria is a secular nationalist state, and while its politically dominant Alawites are an offshoot from Shi’ism, they are regarded as heretics by the orthodox Shi’ites because of their non-Muslim belief in the divinity of Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law. Sunni rulers in the Gulf, especially the Saudi leadership, viewed the extension of Shi’ite/Iranian power and influence with much trepidation. This was greatly compounded by the fact that the “Arab spring” induced their own oppressed Shi’ite population, in the oil-rich Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and in neighboring Bahrain, where they constituted demographic majorities, to engage in protests for greater freedom and a more equitable sharing of the wealth. In Feb 2011, after weeks of largely Shi’ite pro-democracy demonstrations against the Bahrain monarchy, Saudi Arabia, at the behest of the Bahraini royal family, intervened militarily, along with troops from Kuwait and the UAE, under the aegis of the GCC, to effectively crush the protests.The Saudis also sought to undercut this expanding Iranian influence by aiding the largely Sunni rebels against the Assad pro-Iranian regime.
Stephen Sniegoski, The Passionate Attachment, Aug 28 2012
AFRICOM juggernaut comes to town
Southern Times (S Africa), Aug 20 2012
Southern Times (S Africa), Aug 20 2012
The US already has more than 2,000 troops at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti to combat “terrorism and piracy”. It also has agreements with Gabon, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia for use of local military bases, dubbed “lily pads”, as and when it needs. Since 2006, Washington has had a concerted push to permanently house AFRICOM in Africa. The US believes 2012 is the year that dream becomes a reality. Peter Pham, a neoconservative African policy “expert” and US military advisor, said Africa was a “neglected stepchild” of Washington’s foreign policy. He said:
Myself, and a few other academics had been kicking around the idea of a combatant command for Africa since the late 1990s, without much success. When the Bush administration suddenly saw these ungoverned spaces as a cause for concern, I thought, if you are looking for ungoverned areas, porous borders and weak states, then look no further than Africa. That created a buzz.
After Obama’s accession, Pham told the US Congress:
This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy, averaging 9% growth per annum over the last two decades, has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it. It seems AFRICOM is off to a strong start as the opposition to China in Africa. The litmus test will be who Obama selects as his Africa person and whether he tries to weaken Congo’s Pres Kabila in favour of backing Nkunda’s death squads, naturally in the name of ‘restoring democracy.’
And then in July last year, a US Congressional Research Service paper for members and committees said AFRICOM would have an African home in 2012. The paper, entitled “AFRICOM: US Strategic Interests and the Role of the US Military on Africa,” was presented by Lauren Ploch, a US “expert” on African Affairs. She said:
A decision on AFRICOM’s final headquarters location has been postponed to 2012 to allow the command to gain greater understanding of its long-term operational requirements.
The “humanitarian” card has already been used to deploy military in Libya, Cote d’Ivoire, East Africa and the Horn of Africa in the last year alone. Lysias Dodd Gilbert and Christopher Isike, doctoral candidates at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, have said the US is being driven by resource greed in Africa. In a research paper titled “USAFRICOM: Security for Whom?”, which they co-authored with Ufo Okeke Uzodike, Associate Professor of International Relations and head of the School of Politics at KwaZulu Natal University, they asked:
Can a military command of an imperial power be truly as benign and contributive (socially and economically) as suggested by the US declarations about AFRICOM? Why did Africa suddenly become an area of ‘vital interest’ to the US deserving the creation of a full-fledged military command?