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unhappycamper

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Member since: Wed Mar 16, 2005, 10:12 AM
Number of posts: 60,364

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Gen. Dempsey: We're Pulling Out Our Cold War Military Plans over Ukraine

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/07/25/gen-dempsey-were-pulling-out-our-cold-war-military-plans-over-ukraine



Chairman of the Joint Chiefs compares Russia activities to Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939; State Department makes new claims, but won't show the evidence

Gen. Dempsey: We're Pulling Out Our Cold War Military Plans over Ukraine
Jon Queally, staff writer
Friday, July 25, 2014

Hours after the U.S. State Department on Thursday claimed (though failed to describe) new evidence that Russia's military was both increasing the flow of arms to rebel fighters in eastern Ukraine and firing artillery at Ukrainian Army positions across its border, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey elevated the rhetoric against Russian President Vladimir Putin and directly invoked the idea that a new Cold War-like posture is now being taken by the U.S. military.

Speaking from the Aspen Security Forum, a defense industry conference in Colorado, Dempsey said Pentagon planners are now looking at military options “we haven’t had to look at for 20 years" and warned that Putin—whom he characterized as escalating the crisis inside Ukraine—“may actually light a fire” he cannot control. And not just in Ukraine or eastern Europe, Dempsey said, but globally.

Drawing a dramatic historical comparison, Dempsey equated Putin's alleged involvement in eastern Ukraine to the Soviet Union's invasion of Poland in 1939.

“It does change the situation. You’ve got a Russian government that has made a conscious decision to use its military force inside another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives. It’s the first time since 1939 or so that that’s been the case,” Dempsey said. “They clearly are on a path to assert themselves differently not just in Eastern Europe, but Europe in the main, and towards the United States.”
Posted by unhappycamper | Sat Jul 26, 2014, 05:11 AM (5 replies)

Obama Leads Republicans' War Against Russia:

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Obama-Leads-Republicans-W-by-Eric-Zuesse-Activism-Anti-War_Congress-Democrats_Nuclear-Weapons_Obama-Administration-140723-514.html



Senate's Republicans Want U.S. War Against Russia Over Ukraine, Propose U.S. Weapons-Makers' Tax-Relief and Subsidy Act of 2014.
They'll Probably Get Their Way. They Carry Obama's Real Agenda.


Obama Leads Republicans' War Against Russia:
By Eric Zuesse
OpEdNews Op Eds 7/23/2014 at 07:43:03

S. 2277 in the U.S. Senate is a bill with 26 sponsors, all of whom are Republicans. No Democrats in the Senate support it. But the bill would be a dream for Obama, who quietly does: it's his actual policy. It aims to give him unlimited power to do to Russia what he wants to do to Russia: surround it with enemies and arm those enemies to the teeth. This Obama-Republican policy is now before the currently Democratic-majority Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and it proposes that the United States surround Russia with our nuclear missiles and Anti-Ballistic Missiles (ABMs), and with American corporate investments (tax-favored and partly financed by the U.S. public) in Russia's adjoining countries of Ukraine and Georgia, plus in Moldova and in the Baltic nations near Russia, so as to make that strangulation even more provocative of a Russian military response, and thus of even more business to be generated for America's arms-dealers. This incredibly aggressive U.S. bill has the Orwellianly self-righteous, if not downright hypocritical, title of "Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014," and it might actually be more honestly titled the "U.S. Weapons-Makers and Oil Company Tax-Relief and Subsidy Act of 2014," because it proposes, among other goodies for Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, UT, KBR, Exxon, Chevron, etc. (quoting now the bill):

~snip~

So, not only would the U.S. public be subsidizing U.S. armaments-makers and oil companies, but we would be guaranteeing or otherwise taking on some of the investment-risks, while the stockholders and executives of those American firms would reap all of the investment benefits, assuming that our ABM systems function perfectly and that we don't all get nuked to death ourselves, by this corrupt business deal that those 26 Republican Senators are seeking to turn into a new U.S. law signed by this "Democratic" President.

Right now, there are 51 Senate Democrats, 47 Republicans, and 2 Independents. So, Republicans are already close to controlling the Senate, and almost all of the Senate seats being contested now are held by Democrats. The latest odds are that there's an 86% chance that the 2014 elections will produce a Republican majority in the Senate as well as in the House, and only a 14% chance that the Senate will remain having a Democratic majority. Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume that approximately an 86% likelihood exists that this bill will become law in 2015 (when Republicans are expected to be in the majority, and Obama is expected to sign it).

Perhaps a good investment opportunity now would thus be a construction company that builds bomb-shelters, especially nuclear-hardened ones (which don't exist, but never mind that, it'll be an "extra feature". Republicans in Congress are probably already heavily invested in such firms, especially considering those 86% to 14% odds. On the other hand, any big and well-connected oil-or-gas firms would also be good, and so would any big "defense" (to use the Orwellian term) contractor (i.e.: the weapons-makers, and other aggression-merchants). Best might be a firm that's diversified in all of these war-marketing fields.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Jul 24, 2014, 06:44 AM (1 replies)

Normalizing Militarized Culture

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Normalizing-Militarized-Cu-by-Bruce-K-Gagnon-Bush_Culture_Culture-Of-Corruption_Labor-140723-415.html



Texas Governor Rick Perry guarding the border with Mexico to prevent children from entering the US

Normalizing Militarized Culture
By Bruce K. Gagnon
OpEdNews Op Eds 7/23/2014 at 11:31:47

The eternal race for president is on. Those first out the gate for the 2016 national election include Hillary Clinton and Gov. Rick Perry from Texas. Looming in the shadows is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (brother of G. W. Bush). The oligarchy will run two horses in the race - one from the Democrats and one from the Republicans - ensuring they pick a winner no matter who prevails.

With our mounting economic and environmental crisis the answer from the ruling oligarchy is more militarization. The photo of Rick Perry above is illustrative of that fact. Everything in America is stage managed - an endless public relations campaign -- Disney style. We are being led by this PR campaign to support a particular direction and it ain't for our benefit.

During times like these the message is widely sent out to all crazies, lunatics, and violent elements of society, those who have been in hiding because their views are not acceptable in a stable and peaceful culture, that they can now come out from behind the curtain. Thus we have recently witnessed the 'open carry' rallies where gun advocates take their weapons into hamburger joints and low-end department stores. The ruling oligarchy wants to normalize the militarized culture.

Now is the defining moment. If good hearted people shirk during these important times then we will hand our children a future certain to be one of chaos and madness. If we each help push back against this cultural disintegration then just maybe we have a chance to hold back the tide.

--

Gov. Goodhair is taking a page out of Dukakis' playbook:

You both look stoopid.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Jul 24, 2014, 06:36 AM (0 replies)

Keeping Spies Out: Germany Ratchets Up Counterintelligence Measures

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/germany-increases-counterintelligence-in-response-to-us-spying-a-982135.html



Last year Britain's Independent newspaper exposed that Britain's GCHQ had established a "secret listening post" on top of the British Embassy in Berlin. The cylindric structure has since been removed.

Keeping Spies Out: Germany Ratchets Up Counterintelligence Measures
July 22, 2014 – 05:25 PM

Last Wednesday, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizičre paid a visit to his colleague in the Foreign Ministry, Frank-Walter Steinmeier for a strictly confidential conversation about the currently tense relationship with the United States. Specifically, they planned to address the latest spying revelations and accusations. Before the meeting began, both ministers turned in their mobile phones. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has a small side room he uses for this purpose; part of the Foreign Ministry is in the former Nazi Reichsbank and has very thick walls. The room is now used to store smartphones and tablet computers when sensitive discussions take place.

The precaution reflects the significant disquiet and anxiety in Berlin's ministries and in the Chancellery as the summer holidays get underway. Slowly, ministry officials are starting to grapple with the true meaning of "360 degree" counterintelligence. It means defending yourself not just usual suspects like Russia or China. But also against Germany's closest allies, particularly the United States.

A few days ago, Chancellor Merkel reportedly told US President Barack Obama in a telephone conversation that anger over the US spying activities in Berlin's government quarter as well as the recruitment of an informant inside Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) foreign intelligence service has in no way subsided. Because Obama apparently expressed little understanding for the commotion in Germany, Merkel is now taking action.

The only thing she is lacking is a solid plan.
Posted by unhappycamper | Thu Jul 24, 2014, 05:57 AM (1 replies)

How US policies sealed Iraq's fate

http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-02-220714.html



How US policies sealed Iraq's fate
By Dahr Jamail
Jul 22, '14

For Americans, it was like the news from nowhere. Years had passed since reporters bothered to head for the country we invaded and blew a hole through back in 2003, the country once known as Iraq that our occupation drove into a never-ending sectarian nightmare. In 2011, the last US combat troops slipped out of the country, their heads "held high", as President Barack Obama proclaimed at the time, and Iraq ceased to be news for Americans.

So the headlines of recent weeks - Iraq Army collapses! Iraq's second-largest city falls to insurgents! Terrorist Caliphate established in Middle East! - couldn't have seemed more shockingly out of the blue. Suddenly, reporters flooded back in, the Bush-era neocons who had planned and supported the invasion and occupation were writing op-eds as if it were yesterday, and Iraq was again the story of the moment as the post-post-mortems began to appear and commentators began asking: How in the world could this be happening?

Iraqis, of course, lacked the luxury of ignoring what had been going on in their land since 2011. For them, whether Sunnis or Shiites, the recent unraveling of the army, the spread of a series of revolts across the Sunni parts of Iraq, the advance of an extremist insurgency on the country's capital, Baghdad, and the embattled nature of the autocratic government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were, if not predictable, at least expectable. And as the killings ratcheted up, caught in the middle were the vast majority of Iraqis, people who were neither fighters nor directly involved in the corrupt politics of their country, but found themselves, as always, caught in the vice grip of the violence again engulfing it.

An Iraqi friend I've known since 2003, living in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad, emailed me recently. He had made it through the sectarian bloodletting of 2006-2007 in which many of his Sunni compatriots were killed or driven from the capital, and this is the picture he painted of what life is now like for him, his wife, and their small children:
All the dangers faced by Iraqis from the occupation - arrests, torture, car bombs, and sectarian violence - those killings have become like a toy in comparison to what we are facing these days. Fighting has spread in all directions from the north, east, and west of Baghdad. Much of the fighting is between the government and Sunni insurgents who have suffered a lot from the injustice of Maliki's sectarian government.
Posted by unhappycamper | Tue Jul 22, 2014, 06:49 AM (1 replies)

Requiem for the American Century: Turning 70, Paragraph by Paragraph

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/tom-engelhardt/57063/requiem-for-the-american-century-turning-70-paragraph-by-paragraph

Requiem for the American Century: Turning 70, Paragraph by Paragraph
by Tom Engelhardt | July 21, 2014 - 8:58am

First Paragraphs on Turning 70 in the American Century That Was

* Seventy-three years ago, on February 17, 1941, as a second devastating global war approached, Henry Luce, the publisher of Time and Life magazines, called on his countrymen to “create the first great American Century.” Luce died in 1967 at age 69. Life, the pictorial magazine no home would have been without in my 1950s childhood, ceased to exist as a weekly in 1972 and as a monthly in 2000; Time, which launched his career as a media mogul, is still wobbling on, a shadow of its former self. No one today could claim that this is Time’s century, or the American Century, or perhaps anyone else’s. Even the greatest empires now seem to have shortened lifespans. The Soviet Century, after all, barely lasted seven decades. Of course, only the rarest among us live to be 100, which means that at 70, like Time, I’m undoubtedly beginning to wobble, too.

* The other day I sat down with an old friend, a law professor who started telling me about his students. What he said aged me instantly. They’re so young, he pointed out, that their parents didn’t even come of age during the Vietnam War. For them, he added, that war is what World War I was to us. He might as well have mentioned the Mongol conquests or the War of the Roses. We’re talking about the white-haired guys riding in the open cars in Veteran’s Day parades when I was a boy. And now, it seems, I’m them.

* In March 1976, accompanied by two friends, my wife and I got married at City Hall in San Francisco, and then adjourned to a Chinese restaurant for a dim sum lunch. If, while I was settling our bill of perhaps $30, you had told me that, almost half a century in the future, marriage would be an annual $40 billion dollar business, that official couplings would be preceded by elaborate bachelor and bachelorette parties, and that there would be such a thing as destination weddings, I would have assumed you were clueless about the future. On that score at least, the nature of the world to come was self-evident and elaborate weddings of any sort weren’t going to be part of it.

* From the time I was 20 until I was 65, I was always 40 years old. Now, I feel my age. Still, my life at 70 is a luxury. Across the planet, from Afghanistan to Central America, and in the poverty zones of this country, young people regularly stare death in the face at an age when, so many decades ago, I was wondering whether my life would ever begin. That’s a crime against humanity. So consider me lucky (and privileged) to be seven decades in and only now thinking about my death.
Posted by unhappycamper | Tue Jul 22, 2014, 05:56 AM (3 replies)

Is It Time For F-35 To Bid Adieu To The Skies?

http://www.gurufocus.com/news/268795/is-it-time-for-f35-to-bid-adieu-to-the-skies



Is It Time For F-35 To Bid Adieu To The Skies?
July 20, 2014

Blame it on the engine fire; Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) F-35 has been grounded. If this wasn’t all the good news, the F-35 won't fly at Britain's Royal International Air Tattoo, or RIAT, and could miss the Farnborough International Airshow, which starts on July 14. The latest technical failure in F-35’s engine has only added to its already long list of woes. The result of all this is a revised price of the F-35 being tagged at $398.6 billion just for accusation and development. The analysts have therefore started to question whether it’s now time to do F-35 away.

Problems Surrounding The F-35:

The F-35 has always found itself among problems. In addition to its recent engine fire, the F-35 is billions over budget, almost a decade behind schedule, and plagued by technical flaws. In early 2013, the F-35 was grounded due to a crack in the plane's engine. Unfortunately, the F-35's recent engine fire isn't the first glitch to face United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney made F135 engine. In fact, according to defense-aerospace.com, some of the F135's engine problems include: burning hotter than desired, repeated problems with the turbine blades, problems with the redesigned engine including failure to meet specifications, significant test failures, and a major oil leak which happened on June 13, just 10 days before the June 23 engine fire.

The Good News:

The only good news for Lockheed is that despite all of its problems, U.S. lawmakers still seem committed to supporting the F-35. Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, recently told the House Armed Services Committee that, "There's a growing body of evidence that this may have been an individual situation, not a systemic one. But we don't know that for certain at this point in time."

The bad news, however, is that the problems facing the F-35 continue to crop up, and one has to wonder how long the Pentagon will continue to support this program. For Lockheed, arguably no program is as important as the F-35. In 2013, the F-35 made up 16% of Lockheed's total consolidated net sales, and when Lockheed reported its first-quarter results for 2014, it reported, "Aeronautics' net sales for the first quarter of 2014 increased $200 million, or 6 percent, compared to the same period in 2013. The increase was primarily attributable to higher net sales of about $190 million for F-35 production contracts due to increased volume."
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Jul 21, 2014, 08:00 AM (2 replies)

US Empire Reaches Breaking Point - Time To End It

http://www.opednews.com/articles/US-Empire-Reaches-Breaking-by-Kevin-Zeese-Empire-140720-684.html

This is Part I of a two part series on American Empire. Part II will focus on the Empire Economy and his it is failing to work for most Americans as well as most people of the world.

US Empire Reaches Breaking Point - Time To End It
By Kevin Zeese
OpEdNews Op Eds 7/20/2014 at 19:46:02

The historian who chronicles US Empire, William Blum, issued his 130thAnti-Empire Report this week. In it he notes that the US, by far, is seen by the people of the world as "the greatest threat to peace in the world today" with 24% taking that view. Only 2% see Russia as such a threat, and 6% see China.

This should not come as a surprise since, as this map shows, much of the world has been bombed, had their democratically chosen government overthrown and has been occupied by the United States. Blum follows these interventions closely and has reported that since the end of World War II, the United States has:
* Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
* Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
* Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
* Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
* Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries, according to Chapter 18 of his book Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower.


~snip~

A more accurate appraisal comes from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Vietnam era when he said: "The greatest purveyor of violence in the world : My own Government, I cannot be Silent." The people of the United States must follow the lead of Dr. King and work to end the interventionist violence of the United States Empire.
It seems the people of the world are factually correct when they label the United States the greatest threat to peace in the world.

Yet, despite this mass public opinion about the United States, US leaders seem oblivious. As Blum points out, Secretary of State John Kerry said: "In my travels as secretary of state, I have seen as never before the thirst for American leadership in the world."
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Jul 21, 2014, 07:24 AM (2 replies)

Hatred as politics in Myanmar

http://atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/SEA-01-180714.html



Hatred as politics in Myanmar
By Kyaw Win
Jul 18, '14

This month's tragic anti-Muslim violence in Mandalay has again revealed that dark forces are alive and well in Myanmar. The violence left two dead and many injured, causing damage to property and generating a climate of fear in the country's cultural and historic capital.

In the aftermath of the violence, the government has moved to crack down on hate speech but has also warned the media against making statements that could destabilize national security, saying that "action will be taken against those who threaten state stability."

Tellingly, however, no action has been taken against those responsible for triggering the Mandalay violence by spreading false rumors on social media, while journalists reporting on the riots have already been threatened with violence. In addition, some observers have noted that the violence has also had a secondary effect- it has successfully distracted public interest from a signature campaign calling for amendment to the 2008 Constitution.

Such patterns are finally leading more and more analysts to ask critical questions about the nature of recent anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar and the real motivations behind it. Outside of Myanmar, reporting has been less critical, with some major media wires referring to the violence as 'sectarian'.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Jul 21, 2014, 06:22 AM (0 replies)

Bodies from downed jet piled in boxcars in Ukraine

http://www.tauntongazette.com/article/ZZ/20140720/NEWS/140729997/1994/NEWS



Pro-Moscow rebels piled nearly 200 bodies from the downed Malaysian jetliner into four refrigerated boxcars Sunday in eastern Ukraine, and cranes at the crash scene moved big chunks of the Boeing 777, drawing condemnation from Western leaders that the rebels were tampering with the site.

Bodies from downed jet piled in boxcars in Ukraine

TOREZ, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Moscow rebels piled nearly 200 bodies from the downed Malaysian jetliner into four refrigerated boxcars Sunday in eastern Ukraine, and cranes at the crash scene moved big chunks of the Boeing 777, drawing condemnation from Western leaders that the rebels were tampering with the site.

The United States, meanwhile, presented what it called "powerful" evidence that the rebels shot down the plane with a Russian surface-to-air missile and training. Although other governments have stopped short of accusing Russia of actually causing the crash, the U.S. was ahead of most in pointing blame on Moscow for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that killed all 298 people aboard.

"Russia is supporting these separatists. Russia is arming these separatists. Russia is training these separatists," Secretary of State John Kerry said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Australia spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone late Sunday, urging him to use his influence on the separatists to ensure the victims could be repatriated and international investigators could have full access to collect evidence. They said European foreign ministers will be meeting in Brussels Tuesday to consider further sanctions on Russia.
Posted by unhappycamper | Mon Jul 21, 2014, 05:35 AM (0 replies)
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