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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 November - Morning News Picks

Council of Europe's definition of EuropeImage via Wikipedia

Growing demand for resources 'threatens EU economy'

"We are consuming more natural resources than is ecologically stable,This is true for both Europe and the rest of the planet.  Europe's network of protected areas and habitats had been expanded to cover about 18% of the continent's landmass, yet the EU had failed to meet it target to halt biodiversity loss by 2010.Natural gas pipelines from Russia to Europe.Image via Wikipedia

Guidelines Call for Increase in Vitamin D
Institute of Medicine Wants to Raise the Recommended Dietary Allowance of Vitamin D and Calcium
recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin D to 600 international units (IU) for everyone aged 1-70, and raising it to 800 IU for adults older than 70 to optimize bone health.
Growing numbers of studies link vitamin D deficiency to diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.

Saputo races to limit Listeria damage
The recall was triggered by a sampling by the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA) of packaged ham-and-cheese sandwiches sold in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia and found to contain the listeria bacteria, said Garfield Balsom, a food safety specialist with the agency.
The listeria bacteria is potentially deadly for people with weakened immune systems.


In space, astronauts are susceptible to bone loss, which can lead to fractures or breaks. A simple change in diet, however, could mitigate that risk.
"The more omega-3 fatty acids consumed, the lower the rate of bone breakdown in those subjects.

A related study is under way to determine the role of salt in bone loss, which is particularly relevant because the space station's pantry is stocked with foods very high in sodium.
( Now, if we could the trash out of the oceans...and the Corexit )

Ontario to grant new powers to chief medical officer

The Ontario government is poised to grant sweeping new powers to the province's chief medical officer of health in the wake of last year's H1N1 pandemic.
The Canadian Press has learned that the governing Liberals will introduce legislation Tuesday that would allow extra powers to kick in during a public health emergency.
( Right. No questioning the fraud. )

Fourth member of Alberta Health Services board resigns

The 27-page internal Alberta Health and Wellness presentation suggests the provincial government has a two-part plan to delist health services, legalize new kinds of private insurance and allow doctors to provide public and private health care at the same time.
Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky denied the allegations Monday, but exiled Conservative MLA Dr. Raj Sherman confirmed the authenticity of the leaked document and slammed the government’s plan.
“This is basically privatizing health care,” said Sherman, who was Zwozdesky’s parliamentary assistant until he was ousted from the Tory caucus last week for criticizing his own government’s record on health care.
“My understanding is that phase two is coming after the next election, and I absolutely can’t support that.”
The leaked document is a PowerPoint presentation dated July 12, 2010, and titled “Alberta’s Health Legislation: Moving Forward.”

NDP Leader Brian Mason said the document is proof the Conservatives cannot be trusted with health care.
“This is, in fact, the smoking gun,” he said. “In my view, this is more than a policy document. This is a strategic document, a political strategy, if you will.”
Guardian UK

Wikileaks cables reveal China 'ready to abandon North Korea'

China has refused to condemn the North Korean action. But today Beijing appeared to bow to US pressure to help bring about a diplomatic solution, calling for "emergency consultations" and inviting a senior North Korean official to Beijing.
China is sharply critical of US pressure tactics towards North Korea.
Younger generation Chinese Communist party leaders no longer regarded North Korea as a useful or reliable ally and would not risk renewed armed conflict on the peninsula.
( Don't take with a grain of salt....that's not nearly enough to allow for deliberately wishful thinking. For China, North Korea is a 'buffer zone' against foreign intrusion still.  People in the U.S. should recognize the phrase 'better to fight them over there than over here.' 
 Is that from 'intel'? Nope. I doubt the prior 'information' is of much value either. )

Wikileaks release 'shows China thinking on Korea'

Some Chinese officials were willing to "face the new reality" that North Korea was of little value to China as a buffer state.
But others appear not to welcome this position, including Wu Dawei, the senior Chinese official involved in talks aimed at getting rid of North Korea's nuclear weapons.
In another report from February Mr Wu is described as "an arrogant, Marx-spouting former Red Guard", referring to the youngsters who spearheaded Mao Zedong's chaotic Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.

Israel accused over 'cruel' Gaza blockade

Gaza's 1.5 million people are still suffering from a shortage of construction materials, a ban on exports and severe restrictions on movement six months after Israel agreed to ease its blockade on the territory, according to a report from 21 international organisations.
The loosening of the embargo has done little to improve the plight of Gaza's civilians, according to the coalition, which includes Amnesty, Oxfam, Save the Children, Christian Aid and Medical Aid for Palestinians. It calls for fresh international action to persuade Israel to unconditionally lift the blockade.
Exports remain banned with the exception of strawberries and carnations for European markets. Israel now allows clothing factories to import fabric, but blocks the export of finished items.
But some businesses are still unable to import raw materials they need. According to the report, two-thirds of Gaza's businesses have closed since the blockade was tightened in June 2007, and the rest are operating at restricted capacity.
Israel is maintaining an overall ban on the movement of people, with the number of permits granted to people to leave Gaza less than 1% of the number 10 years ago, the report says. There has been a rise in the number of businesspeople allowed to travel, "but ordinary Gaza residents are still denied access to their friends and family, and to educational opportunities in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and abroad".
Facebook Temporarily Denies Access to Users with Invalid Names

WikiLeaks founder could be charged under Espionage Act

No charges are imminent, the sources said, and it is unclear whether any will be brought.

Another document published by Wikileaks, dated January 2008, detailed Brazil's co-operation with the US on counter-terrorism.
In it, the then US ambassador to Brazil, Clifford Sobel, informed Washington that the police often arrested individuals with links to terrorism but charged them with drugs or customs offences so as not attract media attention.
Brazil has a sizeable Arab population and has publicly denied taking part in counter-terrorism operations.

Pakistan Shuts the Door on Transparency

Sunday, Asian News International quoted Malik in a story accusing TI Pakistan, Transparency International's local affiliate, of acting like a "detective agency." Malik also made a not-so-veiled threat to kick the group out of the country. This comes just weeks after TI released its 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index
Packages like the one TI oversees are the sugar that make the bitter pill of war a little easier to swallow. Without such aid, it becomes harder for the Pakistani government to justify helping the US, and to sell its citizens on the idea that having thousands of Americans in the region serves a common interest. But without at the least the appearance of oversight, it becomes almostly politically impossible for the Obama administration to continue feeding the aid stream. Giving TI the job of keeping everything above board is the crucial variable in the Pakistan equation. Without it, the United States' uneasy alliance with the country could fall into jeopardy.

Read The 4th Amendment, Perverts

To silently protest your next holiday groping by the TSA, check out 4th Amendment Wear's underclothes for men, women and kids printed with the text of the 4th Amendment - in metallic ink, yet. More here.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

US military unveils 'smart gun'

Called the XM-25 it has been described by the US Army as a 'game changer'.
It uses a laser guidance system and specially developed 25mm high explosive rounds which can be programmed to detonate over a target.The weapon can be used to target insurgents hiding behind walls or in ditches without the need to call in air strikes.

New airships to protect British troops

A £350m contract's been awarded to American military contractor Northrop Grumman, one of the world's largest defence companies.
The deal will see three Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicles (LEMV) built for the US Army within 18 months and ready for operations by early 2012.
They will be able to stay in the air for up to three weeks at a time and provide what designers describe as an "unblinking eye" of surveillance for forces on the ground.

Groups providing aid to millions of families displaced by flooding in Pakistan say their U.S. fundraising efforts for the disaster lag behind other recent major calamities.
In the 11 weeks after torrential rains in late July caused rivers to overflow and inundate villages and farmland across 62,000 square miles of Pakistan, U.S. groups raised $48.7 million, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
That compares poorly with fundraising measured after five weeks for Hurricane Katrina ($1.9 billion), 9/11 ($1.1 billion), the tsunami ($900 million) and the Haiti earthquake ($900 million), says Patrick Rooney, the center's executive director.
"It's a huge difference," and a major reason is political, he says.
Stern, too, has heard people say they don't want to give because of the country's politics.
Her response: "They're kids. I tuck my kid in every night with a cup of tea and a cookie by his night table, and in Pakistan a mother is standing with her family in a foot of water."
Urgent call to action on Senate Bill 510 Food Safety Modernization Act

Organic food will no longer exist on Monday, November 29, 2010, Senate Bill S.510

Web Delivery Firm Says Comcast Charging Unfair Fee For Data

"Comcast is effectively putting up a toll booth at the borders of its broadband Internet access network, enabling it to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content," said Level 3's chief legal officer, Thomas Stortz, in a statement.
Comcast called Level 3's position "duplicitous" and said a previous deal for the companies to handle traffic for each other had become unbalanced in Level 3's favor.
Level 3's main business is carrying Internet traffic across the country, charging Internet service providers like Comcast fees to connect to Web sites and other ISPs.
However, it is moving into the business of distributing Internet content such as movies for companies including Netflix. Under that business model, it is acting like a content-delivery network, which usually pays ISPs for fast access to their networks.
Level 3, which is based in Broomfield, Colo., is now pushing to Comcast five times the traffic that goes the other way.
"When one provider exploits this type of relationship by pushing the burden of massive traffic growth onto the other provider and its customers, we believe this is not fair," Comcast's senior vice president Joe Waz said in a statement.

The romantic critics of modern industrial agriculture have an alternative, however unworkable, in mind -- labor-intensive, premodern peasant cultivation. But what is the opposite of Big Oil? 
In a recent article in Forbes, Intel's Andy Grove argued that the American job creation machine is broken, because start-ups are no longer being scaled up into giant industrial enterprises within America's borders. Criticizing the journalist Thomas Friedman for arguing that the U.S. can forgo manufacturing and concentrate on innovation, Grove writes:
Friedman is wrong. Startups are a wonderful thing, but they cannot by themselves increase tech employment. Equally important is what comes after that mythical moment of creation in the garage, as technology goes from prototype to mass production. This is the phase where companies scale up. They work out design details, figure out how to make things affordably, build factories, and hire people by the thousands. Scaling is hard work but necessary to make innovation matter.
The scaling process is no longer happening in the U.S. And as long as that's the case, plowing capital into young companies that build their factories elsewhere will continue to yield a bad return in terms of American jobs.
The summit of Dôme du Goûter seen from the Gar...Image via Wikipedia
Snow spreading across much of UK
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30 November - News of the Day + Wikileaks


Solar Hot Water Installer Workshop

World's biggest solar project powers up in Canada


Newly Understood Food Allergies

Sorbitol is found in some fruit juices, especially apple juice, and pediatricians have recently pointed out that some infants have diarrhea from sorbitol-containing fruit juices. Some candies prepared for overweight individuals to reduce their caloric intake also contain considerable amounts of sor­bitol and cause diarrhea. No digestive enzymes are available that can improve your indigestion if these complex sugars are the cause. They must be eliminated from the diet.

Starvation In The Midst Of Plenty  

First appearing in young children, this disease can flare up in adulthood or even appear later in life. The clinical picture is a dramatic one weakness, weight loss, diarrhea and bloating, distention and cramping, muscle wasting, fatigue, and loss of energy. These symptoms can all be explained by the failure of the intestine to absorb calories, especially fat calories, and min­erals such as iron and calcium, which is associated with a slow protein leak in the intestine from the blood. There is often an accompanying swelling of the ankles together with failure. to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K. ...

Why US troops are occupying Haiti

It is impossible to understand the reasons for the current US occupation or why the country has been reduced to such wretched poverty without recognizing that Haiti has been in US imperialism’s grip since at least 1915, when Marines invaded the island-country.

Czars U.S.A: Illusion of Democracy Grim, Dry Run for Military Police State

Airport phony Al-CIAda terrorist checkpoint debacle of sexual assaults and abuse have been a dry run for usurping U.S. Constitutional Laws replaced by military checkpoints and sealed State borders.  Because for those of you who don’t remember, the State Department admitted to allowing Umar [Christmas underpants phony] to get on that plane in the first place and eye witnesses reported he was walked through security right past the boarding gate and  helped to his predetermined seat on the plane by someone who looked remarkably like a CIA asset.Posted by  Scot Creighton

U.S. Facing Global Diplomatic Crisis Following Massive WikiLeaks Release of Secret Diplomatic Cables

 Logo used by WikileaksImage via WikipediaWE THOUGHT WE WERE FREE

Slowly but surely the fear driven Orwellian noose closes as civil liberties and freedoms which were once taken for granted are gradually restricted or ended and always for the same reason ~ National Security

They Thought They Were Free”  (The Germans 1933 – 1945).

 German exceptionalism in the 1930’s was really not too different, in many ways, than American exceptionalism in the last decade and very likely headed for the same disastrous fate.

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security.

And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it … this separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.”


Ending The State of Siege in America

The American people are not free. They are the colonial subjects of the American empire. Over 40 percent of every income tax dollar goes towards the military-industrial-congressional complex, a figure that brings to mind colonial Mexico's tax payments to Spain between 1760 and 1810 to fund its wars. Author Carlos Marichal writes extensively about how Spain's exploitative tax policies in Mexico and other Latin American colonies led to the wars of independence beginning in 1810 in his book "Bankruptcy of Empire: Mexican Silver and the Wars Between Spain, Britain and France, 1760-1810."

Chalmers Johnson, who, sadly, passed away on November 20, laid out ten steps that the American people must take to bring an end to the U.S. empire. Johnson warned that in the absence of civic-minded reforms, financial bankruptcy will finally bring America down.

Compare and Contrast: BBC North Korea Edition

China Raises 'Concern' Over U.S. Plan to Hold Joint Military Exercises With South Korea

China works to ease North-South Korea tension

China doesn't want war to break out, because the inevitable result of that will be a total collapse into chaos, during which hundreds of thousands of half-starved, half-mad North Koreans will flood into China. There's already too much civic unrest in many parts of China, and this is the last thing they want.

Flashback: The Tortured and Manipulated 'Terrorist Threat' Evidence

This Sott.net editorial is being 'flash-backed' as a result of the recent Portland 'terror' scare. Details of that incident can be read on Sott.net here. This article shows in abundant detail the efforts that the US government and associated 'Intel' agencies have made over the years to manufacture 'home-grown terrorism'

While Dick is undoubtedly frustrated at the thought of an end to the vicarious pleasure he surely derives from his personal (if indirect) involvement in the water-boarding, sodomising or plain ol' beating to death of innocent people, not to mention an end to his personal assassination squad, the many degrees of separation between an order from the office of the VP and the 'enhanced interrogation' room where the 'fun' takes place ensure that Cheney need not fear any jail time for his 'enhanced misdemeanors' (especially under the increasingly pusillanimous Obama aka 'Judas Goat').

Like so many political debates of the last, say, 2000 years, the debate on the merits of torture in attempting to extract accurate information from an alleged suspect in the war on terror is hubris

Torture was much better suited to forcing a prisoner to state something that was not true - prisoners like Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (who coincidentally appears to have been suicided recently in prison in Libya) and Abu Zubaydah who remains in Gitmo to this day.

al-Libi was reportedly tortured many times, including water boarding, in Egypt and later in Libya. He was also locked in a 20 inch high "coffin" for 17 hours and then beaten for 15 minutes before he finally found sufficient inspiration and the 'right answer' about those "links between Iraq and al-Qaeda". In the case of Abu Zubaydah, despite the fact that shortly after his capture by FBI and CIA agents in Pakistan in 2002 he was deemed schizophrenic, he was treated to no less than 85 water boarding sessions. As a result of their torture, both of these men felt obliged to finally agree that there were indeed links between al-qaeda and Iraq. al-Libi later recanted but not before his confession was used as evidence by Colin Powell in his infamous March 2003 speech at the UN.

The US-led war on terrorism was (and remains) a war based solely on the desire by US, British and Israeli warmongers to expand their influence and empire. In order to sell their immoral war to the people therefore, 'moral' justification for it had be manufactured, reality had to be "created" as an unnamed Washington Neocon infamously quipped a few years ago. That 'reality' included the creation of a "terrorist threat" at home and abroad. 


Shocking cable: US says Saudi donors are chief financiers of al Qaeda

"According to the U.S. State Department 2007 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 'Saudi donors and unregulated charities have been a major source of financing to extremist and terrorist groups over the past 25 years,'"

Muqtedar Khan, Associate Professor of Islam and Global Affairs at the University of Delaware, criticized the Saudi government on the revelation at The Huffington Post, saying that the cables exposed Muslim governments' hypocrisy.
"The... cables also reveal that even now the main financiers of al Qaeda are Saudi donors," Khan writes. "American presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama have identified al Qaeda as the biggest threat to the U.S., and yet they collude with the nation whose citizens are its biggest financiers. Why don't the Saudis cut off the head of the real snake by arresting and imprisoning al Qaeda's financiers? Most Americans know that fifteen of the nineteen terrorists that attacked the US on September 11, 2001, were Saudis. None were Iranians


Circle IX

A-10 Warthog Over Baghdad

 Consider the mind and the moral system that conceived the elegant solution of licensing corporations like ATK and General Dynamics to purchase large amounts of low-level nuclear waste from the Department of Energy for conversion at enormous profit into an endless belt of pyrophoric ammunition feeding the Pentagon’s endless “War on Terror”, underwritten by your tax dollars.

Consider the mind and the moral system that conceived the elegant solution of licensing corporations like ATK and General Dynamics to purchase large amounts of low-level nuclear waste from the Department of Energy for conversion at enormous profit into an endless belt of pyrophoric ammunition feeding the Pentagon’s endless “War on Terror”, underwritten by your tax dollars.
“DU is the stuff of nightmares,” said Rokke, who said he has reactive airway disease, neurological damage, cataracts and kidney problems, and receives a 40 percent disability payment from the government. He blames his health problems on exposure to DU.
Rokke and his primary team of about 100 performed their cleanup task without any specialized training or protective gear. Today, Rokke said, at least 30 members of the team are dead, and most of the others — including Rokke — have serious health problems.
Rokke said: “Verified adverse health effects from personal experience, physicians and from personal reports from individuals with known DU exposures include reactive airway disease, neurological abnormalities, kidney stones and chronic kidney pain, rashes, vision degradation and night vision losses, lymphoma, various forms of skin and organ cancer, neuropsychological disorders, uranium in semen, sexual dysfunction and birth defects in offspring.
“This whole thing is a crime against God and humanity.”
Speaking from his home in Rantoul, Ill., where he works as a substitute high school science teacher, Rokke said, “When we went to the Gulf, we were all really healthy, and we got trashed.”
Rokke, an Army Reserve major who describes himself as “a patriot to the right of Rush Limbaugh,” said hearing the latest Pentagon statements on DU is especially frustrating now that another war against Iraq appears likely.
“Since 1991, numerous U.S. Department of Defense reports have said that the consequences of DU were unknown,” Rokke said. “That is a lie. We warned them in 1991 after the Gulf War, but because of liability issues, they continue to ignore the problem.” Rokke worked until 1996 for the military, developing DU training and management procedures. The procedures were ignored, he said.
“Their arrogance is beyond comprehension,” he said. “We have spread radioactive waste all over the place and refused medical treatment to people . . . it’s all arrogance.”

 Showing newest posts with label how the us supports its troops.

stop the deployment of traumatized troops: support ivaw's operation recovery

 army suicides, prisoner "suicides": suffering on both sides of the barbed wire

new court martial offense for u.s. troops: pregnancy

is there anything the u.s. army won't do to its troops?

Even soldiers have rights 

The Forever War of the Mind 

u.s. military openly admits u.s. taxpayers are funding the taliban (hundreds of millions of dollars)

u.s. army separates mother and child, will court martial or forcibly deploy soldier-mom to afghanistan


 The Militarization of the World: The Case of Iran

To justify the criminal economic sanctions against the Iranian people, the U.S. has for years insisted that Iran is supporting terrorism, threatening U.S. national interests, and pursuing a program of nuclear weapons manufacturing. As these harebrained allegations are increasingly losing credibility, the United States is now invoking a new ploy to justify its decision to further tighten the sanctions on Iran: “military dictatorship” and “human rights abuses. "

Iran’s military spending is infinitesimally small compared to that of the United States. 

In light of the fact that the U.S. is altogether silent in the face of heinous human rights violations under the rule of the regimes it calls “allies,” its alleged concern for “human rights abuses” in Iran is hypocritical and utilitarian: it uses the lofty ideal of defending human rights to disguise its nefarious intentions to impose economic sanctions or to embark on military aggression against that country. Hypocritical defense of human rights is often used to justify wars of aggression as humanitarian operations, or “just wars,” as they were called in times past. Just as this ruse was used in 1999 to wreak carnage on Yugoslavia, so it is now used to pave grounds for committing similarly heinous crimes against Iran. Regrettably, many left/liberal/antiwar individuals and organizations often fall for this hoax, thereby endorsing (or remaining silent in the face of) U.S. wars of aggression on ethical grounds, that is, on grounds of fighting dictatorship or terrorism in the hope of achieving liberation and democracy. Of course, to make the ruse credible, champions of war and militarism usually start with demonization and distortion, and then proceed to aggression and invasion. It must also be pointed out that the purported U.S. support for human rights tends to be narrowly focused on purely cultural issues such as life style and identity politics, that is, the politics of race, gender and sexual orientation. As such, it is largely devoid of basic economic needs for survival.

Mossad Criminals Murder Iranian Scientist and Wound Another In Bomb Attacks

 Iran has continued to state clearly that its nuclear program is under constant attack from the West and its allies. These include alleged abductions of nuclear officials and, more recently, a computer worm known as Stuxnet that experts say was calibrated to destroy uranium-enrichment centrifuges by sending them spinning out of control. Iran says its experts stopped Stuxnet from affecting systems at its nuclear facilities.

 Viktor Bout`s Extradition Legally Unjustified

The extradition of the Russian businessman Viktor Bout from Thailand to the United States was carried out under pressure from the U.S. authorities in open violation of international law. That’s how analysts and politicians reacted to the Thai Cabinet’s endorsement of an earlier ruling by the Thai Appeals Court upholding Bout’s extraction.
Viktor Bout was arrested in Bangkok in March 2008 on charges of “supporting terrorism”. Because of a lack of evidence, the prosecution dropped the “terrorism” charges against Bout but the Thai Appeals overturned the decision.
Andrei Klimov, Vice Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, argues that Bout’s case is not within the jurisdiction of U.S. courts:
He is not a U.S. citizen and has not committed any crimes on the territory of the United States. All the rest is outside the U.S. jurisdiction. Washington has no right to force anyone suspected of wrongdoing to be brought over to the U.S. for trial. Every country has its own courts to try crimes committed on their territory. Second, crimes suspects can stand trial in countries whose citizens they are. Finally, they can be tried by international courts. By the way, Americans do not recognize the jurisdiction of international courts with respect to their own citizens.
Professor Rolf Goessner, a German law analyst, shares this view:

Secret US Embassy Cables

This document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors – and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.

Graphics of the cablegate datasetOriginal caption: A woman pleads to an Iraqi a...Image via Wikipedia

Cables by origin and classification

  • Cables by Subject

    Cables by Country

    Cables by Organization

    Cables by Program

    Cables by Topic
    Click here to download full site in single archive.
    Cable Viewer

    Wikileaks revelations emerge 

    US embassy cables: Verdict on the leaks about the Middle East

    The behind-the-scenes revelations about American diplomacy really only shock three groups of people.
    The first is those who believe the US is a force for unalloyed good in the world with a foreign policy rooted in principle rather than pragmatism. Even after the past nine years the number of those in that category is higher than many would think. For them, the problem with the US invading Iraq was not that it broke international law on a false pretext, leaving thousands dead or displaced, but that it lost. The lesson they have drawn is not that the US needs to adopt more subtle methods than bombing, torturing and invading but that not all of the world is ready for freedom.

    The second group is those who believe that the US can call the shots unilaterally and need not care about whatever anyone else thinks. This has long been acknowledged by the country's intelligence forces.

     The third group: those on the left, who mistook American diplomacy for acts of either unalloyed evil or delusion. News of America resisting calls from the Arab world to bomb Iran simply show it is more than capable of a rational appraisal in global affairs. The diplomats in question, charged with looking after their national interests, understand that such an attack would not be in the country's interests in the region. These were probably the same diplomats who desperately tried to dissuade George Bush from invading Iraq. The state department, lest we forget, voiced internal opposition to the war and predicted many of the things that went wrong.

    We should not confuse America's domestic politics with its diplomatic engagements; nor should we assume that its foreign and military actions are necessarily guided by its diplomatic assessments.

     Craig Murray: 'The best policy advice is not shielded from peer review'

    The securitocracy has been out in force in the media, attacking WikiLeaks and repeating their well-worn mantra: government secrecy is essential to keep us all safe. It is seriously argued that ambassadors will not in future give candid advice if there is a chance that that advice might become public. In the past 12 hours I have heard this remarkable proposition put forward on five different television networks, without anybody challenging it. I was wearily familiar with these pro-secrecy arguments in more than 20 years as a British diplomat, six of them in the senior management structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
    Put it another way and the cracks start to appear. The best advice is advice you would not be prepared to defend in public. Really? Why? In today's globalised world, embassies are not a unique source of expertise. Often, expatriate, academic and commercial organisations are a lot better informed. The best policy advice is not advice that is shielded from peer review.
    What the establishment mean is that ambassadors should be free to recommend things that the general public would view with deep opprobrium, without any danger of being found out. But should they really be allowed to do that, in a democracy?
    I have never understood why it is felt that behaviours that would be considered reprehensible in private or even commercial life – like lying, or saying one thing to one person and the opposite to another person – should be considered acceptable, or even praiseworthy, in diplomacy.
    Among British diplomats, this belief that their profession exempts them from the normal constraints of decent behaviour amounts to a cult of Machiavellianism, a pride in their own amorality. It is reinforced by their narrow social origins – still in 2010, 80% of British ambassadors went to private schools. As a group, they view themselves as ultra-intelligent Nietzschean supermen, above normal morality.
    There is therefore a huge amount about Iran's putative nuclear arsenal and an exaggeration of Iran's warhead delivery capability. But there is nothing about Israel's massive nuclear arsenal. That is not because WikiLeaks has censored criticism of Israel. It is because any US diplomat who made an honest and open assessment of Israeli crimes would very quickly be an unemployed ex-diplomat.

    Abbas Edalat and Phil Wilayto: 'Iran's independent stance is hugely popular among Arabs'

    The latest batch of WikiLeaks revelations give the impression that it is the Arab states that are most energetically pressuring the US to attack Iran. That's definitely putting the cart before the horse.
    In the first place, the Arab governments mentioned as being hostile to Iran – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates – are all undemocratic, unpopular regimes that depend on US support to stay in power. As such, they seem to have absorbed the US claims that Iran is the region's greatest threat to peace.
    A completely different view, however, is held by these governments' own subjects, among whom Iran's independent stance is hugely popular. According to a recent poll that asked Arab people in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates to name two countries they thought were the greatest threat to the region, 88% stated Israel, 77% stated the US and only 10% mentioned Iran.

      Educational Resources

    Great Medical Mystery is Why This Guy is Called an Expert

    An “expert” just came out and set us back 40 years on PTSD. He thinks there is no effective treatment and that time will take over. In other words, “get over it” leaving veterans to think there is no hope again.

    Making our war fighters expendable when they are gay

    The debate itself tells the other nations we depend on that their soldiers are not up to our standards when they allow gay people to serve without any problem at all.

    ( What that says about 'your standards' is most uncomplimentary )

    Cadets for Christ Proselytizing Draws Protest from Cadet Parents

     USAFA completely denies that unconstitutional proselytizing exists on their campus even though innumerable witness accounts and results of the recent climate survey irrefutably contradict their knowingly false and deliberately misleading public statements. 


    They're Crazier Than Ever Before

    Most of the National Security Council over the last thirty-five years has been made up of Kissinger-apprentices, regardless of what party they've served. You could almost say that Nixon and Kissinger provided a framework that has persevered since Ford left office, and which has formed the based for what we consider 'normal' American foreign policy. It's a policy that I, and most of the left, have found wanting .

    The New START Treaty that the Obama administration has negotiated is being opposed by the Senate Republicans, and therefore will probably not be ratified. Yet, the GOP foreign policy Establishment supports it, as was evident when Obama recently discussed the treaty with the press.


      World's biggest solar project powers up in Canada-Oct 4

    The world's largest solar energy facility, the 80-megawatt Sarnia photovoltaic project in Ontario, is now fully operational and is supplying energy to the Canadian province's power grid

     Pathways 2 Sustainability 2011 
    Pathways 2011 is moving forward from planning to community-based action! With the support of the City of Red Deer and Red Deer College, Pathways 2011 is a dialogue about the components of resilient communities: Food, Fuel, and Finance.

    P2S Agenda Highlights

    An opportunity to network with over 300 progressively minded people from communities across Alberta with expertise that spans the realms of technological innovation, sustainable community planning models, and “green” investment models in an exploration of the tools and the methods of  sustainability.

    Stanford CARS, Part 3: A solar car that gets 1,400 miles per gallon

    Stimulus Allows Big Polluters to Bypass Environmental Regulations

     The federal government made a stunning 179,000 "categorical exclusions" that allowed corporations -- many with disastrous environmental records -- to use stimulus funding to sponsor projects without submitting them to review under the nation's "most basic form of environmental oversight"

  • Utah Legislators to Brainwash Youth for Fossil Fuel Industry

    Indoctrination. That is what Utah state lawmakers decided to implement last week.  A state committee voted unanimously to recommend the Mineral and Petroleum Literacy Act.  This bill would use oil, gas, and mining revenues to develop an elementary school curriculum to teach young children “the virtues of mineral industries.

    Stop Them From Eating My Town

    There is a huge difference between a mall full of chain stores or a big-box retailer, and a downtown area full of small, locally owned businesses. The transition from the latter to the former is what’s destroying local communities on the one hand and creating mind-boggling wealth for a very few very large corporations and multimillionaire CEOs on the other. 


    Verify charities and identify supporting organizations

    GMO Crop Sabotage on the Rise: French citizens destroy trial vineyard Aug 16

     Sixty people, locked inside an open-air field of genetically modified grapevines, uprooted all the plants.  In Spain last month, dozens of people destroyed two GMO fields. On the millennial cusp, Indian farmers burned Bt cotton in their Cremate Monsanto campaign. Ignored by multinational corporations and corrupt public policy makers, citizens act to protect the food supply and the planet.

    William Pepper - An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King

    Since King's death on April 4, 1968, Pepper has worked to rescue the truth about his murder, and honor his legacy. He represented the King family in the civil trial "King Family v. Loyd Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators" that took place in a Memphis courtroom in late 1999. Click here to read the transcript of the trial. Unsurprisingly, the trial received zero coverage from the mainstream media. They were more interested in the lives of O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson than in the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy.

     Upon the completion of the 30-day trial, the 12-member jury ruled that Martin Luther King Jr.'s death was the result of a government conspiracy. In other words, the government's version of King's murder was proven in court to be a big lie. 

    JFK: What We Know Now

     In Wake of WikiLeaks Cable Release, JFK, Ellsberg's Remarks on 'Secrecy,' 'Covert Ops' Worth Noting

    JFK '61: 'Word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society'
    Ellsberg '08: 'Most covert ops deserve to be disclosed by free press'
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