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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
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Uncle Sam’s Wars and Anesthesia


The media often repeats that the U.S. administration has lost its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because it could not maintain control after the invasions, but the truth is the complete opposite

Uncle Sam’s Wars and Anesthesia
Hespress, Morocco
By Amin Susi Alawi
Translated By Joseph McBirnie
15 May 2013
Edited by Kath­leen Weinberger

The media often repeats that the U.S. administration has lost its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because it could not maintain control after the invasions, but the truth is the complete opposite. Measuring the failure or success of U.S. military operations is not based on the extent of control over the management of the occupied country as much as it is measured by the achievement of the geopolitical objectives of those operations.

This point is argued by the world-renowned American linguist, Noam Chomsky. In his book “What Uncle Sam Really Wants,” he responds to those who say that America failed in the Vietnam War by arguing that whether you are on the left or right, the situation of mass destruction and division with which Vietnam was left after the war was to such a great extent that you could not have found it on a map of Asia.

Given what is happening now in the Arab world, the Great Middle East Project requires a restructuring of the maps of the Muslim world from Morocco to Mandanau and the shooting down of all the forces within this area. For example, the occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond was part of their intention to encircle Iran who would then “voluntarily” choose to fulfill American plans. Perhaps the relatively good aspect of the project pertains to how the project cannot pay for itself or its means: “What we do not realize is that the whole bulk will not leave.”

The same logic besieges Egypt with the destruction of Libya to the north and the tribal conflict in Sudan in the south. Similarly, the U.S. suffocates the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia across its southern boundaries with Yemen being converted into a burning area, as was the case with its northern border with Iraq. If we look carefully at this behavior, the military finds its roots in European colonialism and continued with the U.S. military’s role in the Cold War, which ended the European colonies in Africa. No longer are the old colonial forces needed for the classic occupation model. Local administrations immediately and permanently assess the situation in order to create enough strategic chaos and instability to ensure the loyalty of the political parties to reduce the chances of an international and domestic public opinion coup and assure them that they did not come for the occupation but to rid the people of those countries from totalitarian regimes.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon May 20, 2013, 07:38 AM (1 replies)

Civilian court only fix for military sex crimes


Civilian court only fix for military sex crimes
By Margery Eagan
Sunday, May 19, 2013

The U.S. military cannot fix its sexual assault epidemic any more than the Catholic Church could fix its own.

Yet, “We’ll fix this” were the words of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week. “I have no tolerance for this,” said President Obama. Both referred to a Pentagon report estimating that 26,000 women and some men — up dramatically — were sexually attacked in the military last year. But only 3,374 cases were reported and 238 offenders were convicted. Meanwhile, outraged congressmen filed a flurry of bills.

But we’re seen and heard this all before, haven’t we? We’ve heard it repeatedly, actually, since 1991’s so-called Tailhook scandal, in which more than 100 Navy and Marine Corps officers allegedly assaulted at least 83 military women, and politicians vowed: No more.

In March, leading up to this latest round of outrage, we heard Navy Petty Officer Brian Lewis tell Congress that his superior ordered him not to report his rape by another superior. We heard former Army Sgt. Rebekah Havrilla testify that her Army chaplain called her rape God’s way to get her to return to church. And that her male investigator, over four hours, asked her to detail, repeatedly, exactly what her rapist was doing to her in each of the many photographs of the crime he posted online.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 19, 2013, 10:15 AM (5 replies)

Male rape survivors tackle military assault in tough-guy culture


Male rape survivors tackle military assault in tough-guy culture
By Bill Briggs, NBC News contributor

Amid the legislation and indignation sparked by the military's sexual abuse crisis, male rape survivors are stepping forward to remind officials that men are targeted more often than women inside a tough-guy culture that, they say, routinely deems male victims as “liars and trouble makers.”

The Pentagon estimates that last year 13,900 of the 1.2 million men on active duty endured sexual assault while 12,100 of the 203,000 women in uniform experienced the same crime — or 38 men per day versus 33 women per day. Yet the Defense Department also acknowledges “male survivors report at much lower rates than female survivors.”

“As a culture, we’ve somewhat moved past the idea that a female wanted this trauma to occur, but we haven’t moved past that for male survivors,” said Brian Lewis, a rape survivor who served in the Navy. “In a lot of areas of the military, men are still viewed as having wanted it or of being homosexual. That’s not correct at all. It’s a crime of power and control.

“But also, you’re instantly viewed as a liar and a troublemaker (when a man reports a sex crime), and there’s the notion that you have abandoned your shipmates, that you took a crap all over your shipmates, that you misconstrued their horseplay,” he added.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 19, 2013, 10:11 AM (0 replies)

At Hampton VA, caring for sexual assault victims is ongoing battle


At Hampton VA, caring for sexual assault victims is ongoing battle
By Hugh Lessig
May 19, 2013

HAMPTON — Over two weeks, the Pentagon has suffered a string of embarrassments in its effort to show progress in curbing sexual assault within the ranks.

A Defense Department anonymous survey estimated a 35 percent increase in sexual assault and related offenses in the military over two years. Meanwhile, three officers who directed or managed sexual assault prevention programs have been caught up in investigations that range from groping a woman in a parking lot, to pimping, to violating a protection from abuse order.


But in Hampton Roads, where thousands of active-duty troops and veterans live, the problem is nothing new.

Since October, the Hampton VA Medical Center has seen 400 people who say they suffer from military sexual trauma, or MST, a catch-all term that includes sexual assault, unwanted touching, sexual coercion or harassment.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 19, 2013, 09:51 AM (0 replies)

Obama seeks to cut Afghan war spending by 10 percent


Obama seeks to cut Afghan war spending by 10 percent
By Mark Felsenthal
WASHINGTON | Fri May 17, 2013 10:03pm EDT

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday trimmed his funding request for the war in Afghanistan and other overseas operations by 10 percent, reflecting his plans to wind down the U.S. presence in that country.

The president asked for $79.4 billion to fund so-called overseas contingency operations in fiscal 2014, which begins October 1, down from his original $88.5 billion request, a White House aide said. Obama made the request in a letter to Congress.

The U.S. chief executive has said he plans to draw down troops in Afghanistan after 2014 but has not specified by how much.

"The president is still reviewing options from his national security team and has not made a decision about the size of a possible U.S. presence after 2014," National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

unhappycamper comment: Why the fuck are we going to spend 80 billion more dollars for the Afghanistan occupation? Better yet, why toss in another $9.6 billion dollars for this occupation? --> http://www.democraticunderground.com/11793836
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 19, 2013, 09:34 AM (0 replies)

Why National Guard and Reservist Suicide Numbers May Be Misleading


Why National Guard and Reservist Suicide Numbers May Be Misleading
May 16, 2013, 4:54 pm

More than 80 percent of the services members who committed suicide in recent years had never been in combat. This is one of the many statistics that the Pentagon and researchers are currently struggling to explain. My colleague James Dao and I explore the tragic rising military suicide numbers in an article today.

The numbers above are striking. Over the course of nearly 12 years and two wars, suicide among active-duty troops has risen steadily, hitting a record of 350 in 2012.

The graphic above does not tell the full, complicated picture, however. One aspect of suicide statistics that is often overlooked – in large part because it’s so hard to quantify – is the number of National Guard and Reserve members of the various branches of the armed service who commit suicide when they are not on active duty.

Army Guard members and reservists appear to have higher suicide rates than active-duty soldiers, according to research and published Pentagon reports. These numbers, which are already escalating well above comparable civilian levels, may also be undercounting the problem by not counting all the National Guard members and reservists who are not on active duty, some experts say. That is because those deaths are often handled by local coroners who may not document that they involve members of the military.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 19, 2013, 09:23 AM (1 replies)

Afghanistan Hit by Wave of Violence


Afghanistan Hit by Wave of Violence
Published: May 18, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan — A spate of violence across Afghanistan has claimed the lives of nearly two dozen Afghan police officers and civilians in the past few days, including a district police official assassinated over a recent anti-Taliban campaign.

Two gunmen on motorcycles in the Khaki Safed district of Farah Province, in western Afghanistan, killed the police official, Abdul Ghani, in front of his home on Friday night, apparently as retribution for a crackdown on the Taliban that killed several insurgents, a spokesman for the Farah governor said.

The targeted hit was a rare example of recent violence not involving a bomb or civilian casualties. In Helmand Province in the south, six Afghan policemen were killed and four were injured on Thursday when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in the Gereshk district. On Friday, three police officers and six civilians were killed by two car bombs in a Kandahar city development owned by Mahmoud Karzai, President Hamid Karzai’s brother. Meanwhile, an explosion on Saturday morning in Khost, in eastern Afghanistan, killed at least one border policeman while wounding eight others.

The annual fighting season is beginning in earnest, including a huge bombing in Kabul on Thursday that injured dozens and killed 16 people, 6 of them Americans, the deadliest attack in the city in months.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 19, 2013, 09:17 AM (0 replies)

Sentences, charges handed down for military bonus fraud


Sentences, charges handed down for military bonus fraud
By Guillermo Contreras, Staff Writer
Updated 9:54 pm, Friday, May 17, 2013

A Texas Army National Guard captain from Schertz has been charged for his role in a wide-ranging bonus fraud case, while two former soldiers in the Guard were sentenced Friday for their roles in a separate scheme.

To date, 11 people who served in military recruiting in the San Antonio and Houston areas have been charged in the ongoing investigation, including the latest, Capt. Fabian Barrera, 46, of Schertz.

Barrera was indicted this week in Maryland on charges of obtaining more than $185,500 in fraudulent recruiting bonuses, the Justice Department said Friday.

Barrera and others in the case allegedly exploited the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program, which offered incentives to soldiers who referred others to join the military. A participating soldier could receive up to $3,000 in bonus payments for every person he or she referred.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 19, 2013, 08:56 AM (0 replies)

Massachusetts man was haunted by toxins


Ron Poirier died May 3 of esophageal cancer, which might be related to exposure to a toxin.

Massachusetts man was haunted by toxins
By ALLEN G. BREED The Associated Press

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Ron Poirier couldn't escape the feeling that his cancer was somehow a punishment.

As a young Marine electronics technician at Camp Lejeune in the mid-1970s, the Massachusetts man figured he'd dumped hundreds of gallons of toxic solvents onto the ground. It would be decades before he realized that he had unknowingly contributed to the worst drinking water contamination in the country's history -- and, perhaps, to his own premature death.

"It's just a terrible thing," the 58-year-old veteran told The Associated Press shortly before succumbing to esophageal cancer at a Cape Cod nursing facility on May 3.

"Once I found out, it's like, 'God! I added to the contamination."'
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 19, 2013, 08:49 AM (0 replies)

Camp Lejeune: Test that would have flagged water problems never done


Camp Lejeune: Test that would have flagged water problems never done
By Allen G. Breed, Martha Waggoner and Michael Biesecker
The Associated Press
Posted: 05/19/2013 12:01:00 AM MDT.

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — A simple test could have alerted officials that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated, long before authorities determined that as many as a million Marines and their families were exposed to a witch's brew of cancer-causing chemicals.

But no one responsible for the lab at the base can recall that the procedure — mandated by the Navy — was ever conducted.

The U.S. Marine Corps maintains that the carbon chloroform extract (CCE) test would not have uncovered the carcinogens that fouled the southeastern North Carolina base's water system from at least the mid-1950s until wells were capped in the mid-1980s. But experts say even this "relatively primitive" test — required by Navy health directives as early as 1963 — would have told officials that something was terribly wrong beneath Lejeune's sandy soil.

A just-released study from the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry cited a February 1985 level for trichloroethylene of 18,900 parts per billion in one Lejeune drinking water well — nearly 4,000 times today's maximum allowed limit of 5 ppb. Given those kinds of numbers, environmental engineer Marco Kaltofen said even a testing method as inadequate as CCE should have raised some red flags.
Posted by unhappycamper | Sun May 19, 2013, 08:45 AM (0 replies)
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