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mercredi 5 novembre 2008

Les défis qui attendent Obama; les États-Unis attaque le Pakistan, la Syrie et la Bolivie: la nouvelle doctrine d'agression

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Émission de L'Autre Monde du 6 novembre 2008: Les défis qui attendent Obama; les États-Unis attaque le Pakistan, la Syrie et la Bolivie: la nouvelle doctrine d'agression


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L'Autre Monde 6 novembre 2008
60 min / Radio de l'UQAM, CHOQ FM


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Diffusion en direct : Jeudi à 11:00h
Animation : François Marginean
Archives d'émission




Nous effectuons notre tour de l'actualité mondiale hebdomadaire et nous touchons en particulier du Moyen-Orient, de l'uranium appauvri et des dégâts causés dans la région. Nous parlons bien sûr des élections aux États-Unis et de quelques enjeux importants dont aura à faire face Obama, comme par exemple ces guerres en Irak et en Afghanistan, la doctrine de Bush, la torture et les prisons secrètes, le système bancaire et la FED et autres. Les dernières nouvelles à propos des changements climatiques ainsi que de la crise financière sont aussi à l'ordre du jour. Soyez au rendez-vous le jeudi à 11h sur les ondes de CHOQ FM!


***Hyperliens vers les sources des informations discutées sur l'émission d'aujourd'hui:



Europe's secret plan to boost GM crop production
October 26, 2008, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/europes-secret-plan-...

Gordon Brown and other European leaders are secretly preparing an unprecedented campaign to spread GM crops and foods in Britain and throughout the continent, confidential documents obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveal. The documents –- minutes of a series of private meetings of representatives of 27 governments –- disclose plans to "speed up" the introduction of the modified crops and foods and to "deal with" public resistance to them. The secret meetings were convened by Jose Manuel Barroso, the pro-GM President of the Commission, and chaired by his head of cabinet, Joao Vale de Almeida. The prime ministers of each of the EU's 27 member states were asked to nominate a special representative. Neither the membership of the group, nor its objectives, nor the outcomes of its meetings have been made public. But The IoS has obtained confidential documents, including an attendance list and the conclusions of the two meetings held so far – on 17 July and just two weeks ago on 10 October – written by the chairman. The list shows that President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany sent close aides. Britain was represented by Sonia Phippard, director for food and farming at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The conclusions reveal the discussions were mainly preoccupied with how to speed up the introduction of GM crops and food and how to persuade the public to accept them. The documents also make clear that Mr Barroso is going beyond mere exhortation by trying to get prime ministers to overrule their own agriculture and environment ministers in favour of GM.

Note: For an excellent summary of the many health risks posed by genetically modified foods, click here.





Goldman Sachs ready to hand out £7bn salary and bonus package... after its £6bn bail-out

Goldman Sachs is on course to pay its top City bankers multimillion-pound bonuses - despite asking the U.S. government for an emergency bail-out.

The struggling Wall Street bank has set aside £7billion for salaries and 2008 year-end bonuses, it emerged yesterday.

Each of the firm's 443 partners is on course to pocket an average Christmas bonus of more than £3million.

Webmaster's Commentary:

You have been screwed.


Half of Bank Bailout Money Going to Shareholders

Washington Post reports major US banks are on pace to spend more than half their bailout money on rewarding their shareholders. The thirty-three banks are set to receive some $163 billion in government bailouts. Half of that sum would go toward paying off shareholders over the next three years. The Bush administration touted the bank bailout as necessary to resume lending. But Treasury officials say the banks would never accepted loans if they weren’t allowed to redistribute dividends to shareholders.


U.S. warns banks that using bail-out money for pay and pensions to executives will be criminal offence


Using bail-out money for anything other than lending - such as paying bonuses or pensions to Wall Street executives - will be a criminal offence, the powerful chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee has said.

The news comes after reports financial giants owe bosses some $40billion in bonuses and pension promises.


Rescued bank to pay millions in bonuses

Royal Bank of Scotland, which is being bailed out with £20bn of taxpayers' money, has signalled it is preparing to pay bonuses to thousands of staff despite government pledges to crack down on City pay.


IMF needs hundreds of billions of dollars more

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) needs "hundreds of billions of dollars" to help countries at risk of collapsing amid the world financial crisis.


They are helping BANKS, not sountries.


Wall Street’s Great Heist of 2008

The Wall Street Journal published a front-page article Friday reporting that the nine biggest US banks, which have received a combined $125 billion in taxpayer funds as part of the $700 billion bailout authored by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and passed by the Democratic Congress, owed their executives more than $40 billion for recent years’ compensation and pensions as of the end of 2007.

This means that nearly a third of the public funds given to these banks will ultimately be used to increase the private fortunes of a handful of multimillionaire Wall Street executives.


The Federal Reserve Is Inflating at 341% per Annum. (Don't Look for the Decimal Point.)


Wall Street's red October


The Fed as a central bank to the world

Nicolas Sarkozy may be pushing for a new financial order but Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have beaten him to it.

While the French President dreams of global economic cooperation ahead of the G20 summit in Washington, the Fed is quietly becoming central bank to the world, backed by the full might of the U.S. Treasury and a teflon-coated greenback.


World Shipping slowly grinding to a halt.

The situation now is that for those shipping companies that can actually get letters of credit are now slowing down their ships to reduce fuel consumption, slashing crew numbers and leaving some of their tonnage in dock with the lights out.
The problem with letters of credit, which are needed before a vessel leaves harbour, is that demands between banks are being denied as banks are not trusting each other


IMF Bailout of the United States Coming?


The World Tires of Dollar Hegemony

What explains the paradox of the dollar's sharp rise in value against other currencies (except the Japanese yen) despite disproportionate US exposure to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression?


No curbs on Wall Street pay despite meltdown
October 24, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/10/24/national/a143651D98.DTL

Despite the Wall Street meltdown, the nation's biggest banks are preparing to pay their workers as much as last year or more, including bonuses tied to personal and company performance. So far this year, nine of the largest U.S. banks, including some that have cut thousands of jobs, have seen total costs for salaries, benefits and bonuses grow by an average of 3 percent from a year ago, according to an Associated Press review. "Taxpayers have lost their life savings, and now they are being asked to bail out corporations," New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said of the AP findings. "It's adding insult to injury to continue to pay outsized bonuses and exorbitant compensation." That there is a rise in pay, or at least not a pronounced dropoff, from 2007 is surprising because many of the same companies were doing some of their best business ever, at least in the first half of last year. In 2008, each quarter has been weaker than the last. "There are, of course, expectations that the payouts should be going down," David Schmidt, a senior compensation consultant at James F. Reda & Associates. "But we haven't seen that show up yet." Some banks are setting aside large amounts. At Citigroup, which has cut 23,000 jobs this year amid the crisis, pay expenses for the first nine months of this year came to $25.9 billion, 4 percent more than the same period last year. Typically, about 60 percent of Wall Street pay goes to salary and benefits, while about 40 percent goes to end-of-the-year cash and stock bonuses that hinge on performance, both for the individual and the company.

Note: For lots more on the Wall Street bailout, click here.


Exxon Mobil posts biggest US quarterly profit ever

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, reported income Thursday that shattered its own record for the biggest profit from operations by a U.S. corporation, earning $14.83 billion in the third quarter.


Shell reports 22 percent rise in 3Q profit








“Global Warming” Has Stopped

In a blog post, Bill Chameides says “global warming” is still happening. It isn’t. As the global temperature graph below shows, all four of the world’s major global surface temperature datasets (NASA GISS; RSS; UAH; and Hadley/University of East Anglia) show a decline in temperatures that have now persisted for seven years.


Global Cooling is Here

Global Cooling is Here

Evidence for Predicting Global Cooling for the Next Three Decades

by Prof. Don J. Easterbrook

Global Research, November 2, 2008

Department of Geology, Western Washington University


NOAA: U.S. breaks or ties 115 cold and sets 63 new snowfall records

Of course many of you that live in this weather already know this, but there is an early start to winter this year, not only in the USA, but also in London, where it snowed in October for the first time in over 70 years.

So far, no mention of this broadly distributed U.S. record event in the mainstream media. There are a few individual mentions or record lows in Florida. See this Google News search.


Record Low Temperatures in Cuba
Prensa Latina, Cuba - Oct 30, 2008
Havana, Oct 30 (Prensa Latina) The ephemeral winter of Cuba began with record low temperatures for October in several western regions. ...


Snow blankets London for Global Warming debate

Snow fell as the House of Commons debated Global Warming yesterday - the first October fall in the metropolis since 1922.

Webmaster's Commentary:

There is another report that a group of global warming protesters got caught in a snowstorm and had to take refuge inside the coal-fired plant they were picketing to keep from freezing.

Mother nature has a sense of humor!

Weather isn't climate, of course. But you can still be equally hopeless about predicting both.


7 killed in Tibet's 'worst snowstorm'

At least seven people have been found dead after "the worst snowstorm on record in Tibet," China's state-run news agency reported Friday.

About 1,350 people were rescued in Lhunze County -- another 300 were trapped -- after nearly five feet (1.5 meters) of snow blanketed much of Tibet this week.


When trees grew in Antarctica

Trees that grew in Antarctica millions of years ago had a growth pattern much different than modern trees, according to a new fossil study reported during the Geological Society of America meeting.


Evidence of sunspot involvement in climate change compelling

Over the last few years, the evidence that sunspots on our sun are directly related to climate change on earth has been steadily increasing.

I explained the exact proposed mechanism in some detail previously. Great work in this field is being carried out by Dr Henrik Svensmark and coworkers in Denmark and elsewhere.

Briefly, the mechanism is that cosmic rays impact on the earth from deep space. These cosmic rays penetrate our atmosphere and lead to the formation of cloud cover. The cosmic rays nucleate sites in the atmosphere, from which clouds form from the natural water vapour.


Coastal Maine tide change a mystery

Meteorologists are baffled by rapid tidal changes along the Maine coast, which damaged some boats and piers.

Witnesses say low tide turned and became high within a matter of minutes on Tuesday afternoon. The changes occurred six or seven times. The National Weather Service says reports from several locations indicated that water levels fell and rose from 4 feet to as much as 12 feet during the event.

In a public information statement, the weather service says the cause "remains a mystery and may never be known."


Major ethanol producer files for bankruptcy

VeraSun Energy, one of the major producers of ethanol in the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy after citing rising costs and liquidity problems.


Newly discovered footage of Building Seven and North Tower collapse

Astounding new video footage of Building 7 & the North World Trade Center Tower has suddenly appeared on the net posted by an anonymous user November 1st, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQeQi5XXfz0


VIDEO: FOX NEWS: " We Need Another 9/11"

Columnist Stu Bykofsky: We need another 9/11

Broadcast on Fox News (August 2007), Columnist Stu Bykofsky claims that America needs a new 9/11 to unite the American people, because they have "forgotten" who the enemy is.

"its going to take a lot of dead people to wake people up."


USA, EMPIRE FASCISTE QUI TUENT AUTOUR DU MONDE:


Kid Killers are Barbarians

There is yet more news from Afghanistan about the killing of civilians by foreign forces’ air attacks. The BBC reported that “Angry villagers took 18 bodies - including badly mangled bodies of women and children - to the governor's house in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, Haji Adnan Khan, a tribal leader in the city who had seen the bodies, was reported as saying. He said there might be more bodies trapped under the rubble. A BBC reporter in Lashkar Gah said he saw the bodies - three women and the rest children ranging in age from six months to 15.


Millions of Afghans Face Starvation

With a combination of a summer drought, poor irrigation and rising global food prices, a famine is unveiling in Afghanistan with third of Afghans are suffering chronic food insecurity, a British think-tank warned on Friday, October 31.

"While the eyes of the world have focused on violence which is increasingly terrorist in character, an estimated 8.4 million Afghans, perhaps a third of the nation, are now suffering from 'chronic and transitory food insecurity'," Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) analyst Paul Smyth said in a press briefing on its website.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Welcome to yet more of the real "Bush Legacy" in Afghanistan: one third of its population may face famine conditions this year.

And anyone who believes that the US and NATO will allow airdrops of food to the worst-hit areas hasn't taken a good, hard look at the outcomes of their occupation of this country.


Gates: Afghan conflict must not be seen as 'America's war'

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Afghanistan's military must be expanded and that the conflict needs to be recognized as "an Afghan war, not an American war and not a NATO war."

Promoting the expansion of Kabul's military force, Gates said: "We would be making a terrible mistake if this ends up being called America's war. This is the Afghans' war for their own country, and we need to make sure they know we are not there to run it, we are there to help."

Webmaster's Commentary:

Forgive me, but has this gentleman gone completely mad?

One has to wonder what koolaid US Secretary of Defense Gates has imbibed to make such an completely absurd statement. Does he believe, for one second, that thinking Americans do not remember the history of US oil interests in this region?

As reported on 2 May, 2001 in http://www.mediamonitors.net/mosaddeq2.html:

"An article appearing in the prestigious German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, in early October 1996, reported that UNOCAL “has been given the go-ahead from the new holders of power in Kabul to build a pipeline from Turkmenstein via Afghanistan to Pakistan. It would lead from Krasnovodsk on the Caspian Sea to Karachi on the Indian Ocean coast.” The same article noted that UN diplomats in Geneva believe that the war in Afghanistan is the result of a struggle between Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and the United States, “to secure access to the rich oil and natural gas of the Caspian Sea.”[50] Other than UNOCAL, companies that are jubilantly interested in exploiting Caspian oil, apparently at any human expense, include AMOCO, BP, Chevron, EXXON, and Mobile."

"It therefore comes as no surprise to see the Wall Street Journal reporting that the main interests of American and other Western elites lie in making Afghanistan “a prime transhipment route for the export of Central Asia’s vast oil, gas and other natural resources”. "

So, there you have it.

One can say, with some degree of certainty, that it is not the sons or daughters of people like Secretary Gates, or other governmental or corporate officials who are fighting, and getting maimed, and dying, in this war for pipelines and oil transportation.

This occupation of Afghanistan was never about furthering the interests of peace or economic growth for this beleaguered country; it was, and continues to be, about the brutal fight for its location as a trans-ship point for oil.


The End of International Law?

A parallel new Bush doctrine is emerging, in the last days of the soon-to-be-ancien regime, and it needs to be strangled in its crib. Like the original Bush doctrine -- the one that Sarah Palin couldn't name, which called for preventive military action against emerging threats -- this one also casts international law aside by insisting that the United States has an inherent right to cross international borders in "hot pursuit" of anyone it doesn't like.

They're already applying it to Pakistan, and this week Syria was the target. Is Iran next?


Bolivia alleges US role in violent jungle clash

A top Bolivian official on Friday accused the United States of backing armed anti-government groups in a violent jungle clash that left 15 people dead last month, including 13 supporters of leftist President Evo Morales.


Raid américain contre la Syrie

lundi 3 novembre 2008, par Alain Gresh

Dans l’après-midi du dimanche 26 octobre, les hélicoptères des forces armées américaines ont lancé une attaque à l’intérieur de la Syrie. Selon la télévision syrienne, quatre hélicoptères ont violé l’espace aérien dans la region d’Al-Boukamal, à la frontiere irakienne. Ils ont visé une maison en construction — située à 8 kilomètres à l’intérieur du territoire syrien — et provoqué, selon les autorités, la mort de huit citoyens, dont le gardien, sa femme et leurs trois enfants. Les hélicoptères sont ensuite retournés en Irak. Dans cette zone désertique se trouve un point de passage frontalier officiel entre l’Irak et la Syrie ouvert il y a un an.

Une source officielle syrienne a déclaré que « la Syrie dénonçait et condamnait cet acte d’agression, tenait les forces américaines pour responsables de cette agression et de ses repercussions et appelait le gouvernent irakien à assumer ses responsabilités et à commencer immediatement une enquête sur cette dangereuse violation et empêcher l’usage du territoire irakien pour des agressions contre la Syrie ».

« Le vice-ministre syrien des affaires étrangères a convoqué le chargé d’affaires américain et lui a transmis les protestations de la Syrie au sujet de cette dangereuse agression, et affirmé qu’il tenait l’administration américaine comme pleinement responsable. Le chargé d’affaires irakien a aussi été convoqué dans le même but. »

Mardi 28, la Syrie a déposé une plainte auprès du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies et l’a appelé à prendre ses responsabilités. Le gouvernement a aussi annoncé la fermeture du centre culturel américain à Damas ainsi que d’une école. Des manifestations de protestation contre le raid ont eu lieu le jeudi 30 octobre dans la capitale syrienne.

La position irakienne a été hésitante. Dans un premier temps, certains responsables ont paru approuver le raid, mais, selon un article du journal libanais The Daily Star (30 octobre) [1], le porte-parole du gouvernement de Bagdad a affirmé que son pays ne permettrait pas l’utilisation de son territoire pour lancer des attaques contre des pays frontaliers, une telle utilisation étant contraire à la constitution. D’autre part, le parlement irakien a aussi deploré l’opération, au moment même où les relations entre la Syrie et l’Irak se renforcent, avec l’installation pour la première fois depuis 26 ans d’un ambassadeur irakien à Damas. Ces positions s’inscrivent dans un débat très vif en Irak sur la ratification de l’accord américano-irakien qui devrait fixer le statut des forces américaines après le 31 décembre 2008.

Selon le quotidien The Daily Star du 3 novembre, les ministres des affaires étrangères des deux pays se seraient parlé au téléphone et chercheraient à réduire les tensions [2].

Un point de vue israélien : « Un avertissement avait été lancé par les Etats-Unis. A une conférence de presse la semaine dernière, un commandant américain important dans la région occidentale de l’Irak avait prévenu que la situation empirait à la frontière syrienne, au moment même où la Jordanie et l’Arabie saoudite répondaient aux demandes américaines et fermaient leurs frontières. Le modus operandi rappelle la stratégie israélienne des “assassinats ciblés” : une combinaison effective de renseignement et d’opération, avec l’usage de frappes aériennes accompagnées de commandos qui doivent confirmer le succès de l’opération. » [3] (...)

Le journaliste rappelle ensuite différentes actions menées contre la Syrie.

« Israël a précédé les Etats-Unis avec l’attaque contre un site nucléaire en septembre 2007, sans parler de différents incidents mystérieux sur le sol syrien, de l’assassinat d’Imad Moughniye en février dernier à celui du général Mohammed Souleyman il y a environ deux mois. (...)

Le dénominateur commun de toutes ces opérations est que personne ne prend désormais au sérieux la Syrie, puisque l’on viole régulièrement sa souveraineté. Il est probable que la situation intérieure n’ait jamais été aussi instable.

Cette instabilité accroît la situation déjà tendue entre Israël et le Liban. Le chef du renseignement militaire de l’armée, Amos Yadin, a déclaré dimanche que le trafic d’armes clandestin de la Syrie au Hezbollah continue. Le ministre de la défense, Ehoud Barak, a averti qu’Israël est prêt à attaquer les convois d’armes, notamment à cause des efforts du Hezbollah pour s’équiper en missiles anti-aériens. »

Sur son site « Syria Comment », Joshua Landis livre une analyse à chaud le 26 octobre :

« L’administration Bush semble mener des actions d’escalade durant ses derniers jours au pouvoir. Le raid contre la Syrie (...) semble s’inscrire dans un nouveau schéma d’attaques contre des pays qui ne sont pas officiellement en guerre, comme dans le cas du nord-ouest du Pakistan.

A la fin de l’année 2007, le général David Petreus qui commandait les troupes de la coalition en Irak, avait salué la coopération de la Syrie pour diminuer la violence en Irak : “la Syrie a pris des mesures pour diminuer le flux de combattants étrangers à travers sa frontière” (Voice of America, 6 décembre 2007). »

Dans un envoi du 2 novembre, Joshua Landis revient sur les informations qui circulent, relayées notamment par Israël, selon lesquelles ce raid aurait été... coordonné par Washington et Damas. Il ne trouve pas cette information crédible et explique pourquoi.

Il est donc bien difficile d’expliquer les raisons de ce raid américain, mais cette action totalement contraire au droit international, doit nous rappeler que, quel que soit le candidat élu le 4 novembre, l’administration Bush reste au pouvoir jusqu’au 20 janvier...

Sur un tout autre front, celui des droits de la personne, le quotidien syrien Al-Watan annonce le 3 novembre que, selon un avocat de l’opposition, les opposants Michel Kilo et Mahmoud Issa devraient être libérés dans les quarante-huit heures. Nous avons évoqué ici, à plusieurs reprises le cas de Michel Kilo, y compris dans l’entretien avec le président Bachar Al-Assad. Cette bonne nouvelle, si elle était confirmée, arriverait en même temps que la condamnation à plus de 2 ans de prison d’une dizaine d’intellectuels et de membres de l’opposition (le 29 octobre — lire la déclaration de Human Rights Watch, « Syria : Harsh Sentences for Democratic Opposition », 30 octobre).

Notes

[1] « Questions swirl over American stonewalling about Syria raid »

[2] « Damascus, Baghdad in talks to ease tensions over deadly American raid »

[3] « U.S. takes page from Israel’s book in Syria strike », par Amos Harel, Haaretz, 27 octobre.


Syria condemns deadly 'US raid'

Syria has condemned an alleged US raid that killed at least eight people in the country's east, close to the border with Iraq, calling it an act of "serious aggression".


US Faces International Condemnation in Wake of Syria Strike

While the White House has declined comment and other US officials defended the strike on a Syrian border town yesterday which killed eight, international condemnation rained down on the strike from a number of sources.

Unnamed US officials said the attack had targeted and killed a “smuggler of foreign fighters into Iraq” and said they didn’t kill any of the women and children found at the attacked site. US officials say the attack is justified under an “expansive definition of self-defense” similar to the argument made by Israel when it attacked a site in Syria last year.

Webmaster's Commentary:

So, if the US raid inside Syria DIDN'T kill those women and children, would someone kindly tell me precisely how they died?!?

And to describe this action in any way, shape or form as having been justified under ".....an 'expansive definition of self-defense'" just boggles the mind.

This was not "self-defense"; it was sheer, naked aggression; there's no other logical way to describe it.


US aggression on al-BouKamal unjustified, Ban Ki-Moon says

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Friday expressed regret over the US aggression on Syrian lands, saying "there was no justification to such act that unsettles atmospheres in the Middle East."

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Friday expressed regret over the US aggression on Syrian lands, saying "there was no justification to such act that unsettles atmospheres in the Middle East."


Syria’s fury is justified — Who can blame Damascus for getting cosy with Moscow?

The US has once again “targeted foreign fighters” as part of its so-called war on terror. But these “fighters” were all Syrian civilians, including four youngsters. Another five individuals have been hospitalized after being shot by US Special Forces.

Washington has admitted perpetrating this tragic incident but insists the victims were terrorists just as it does when its fighter jets illegally cross the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and end up wiping out entire families. Syria describes the adult victims as construction workers.


US shows it is ready to take the war across boundaries

The US commando attack inside Syrian territory appears to amplify an emerging message to countries giving safe passage to terrorists: Take action, or America will.


Syria demands US apology and compensation for cross-border raid that killed 8


Analysts Question Timing of Syria Raid

A cross-border raid into Syria by U.S. forces in Iraq and subsequent stonewalling by U.S. officials unwilling to divulge details have led to rampant speculation among U.S. analysts about the origins and meaning of the attack.

"So the question is: Why?" wrote geo-strategic analyst and journalist Helena Cobban on her blog, wondering if the raid could have been pulled off without explicit permission from the highest levels of the President George W. Bush administration.


U.S. Damascus embassy may close mission following deadly raid

The U.S. embassy in Syria said on Wednesday that it may close to the public for fearing retaliation following a Sunday deadly raid on Syrian border by U.S. troops in Iraq.

The U.S. embassy made the warning in a statement on its Website, calling on Americans in Syria to remain alert to review their personal security.

Unforeseen events may cause the U.S. embassy in Damascus to close to the public indefinitely following the Sunday raid on eastern Syria blamed by Damascus on Washington, said the statement.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Closing an embassy is usually what happens before a heavy-duty military confrontation is planned to take place.

And note the us of the word "indefinitely" in terms of the length of this embassy closure.


Nine killed in US air strike on Pakistan school

A suspected US air strike killed nine people at a religious school in north-west Pakistan, intelligence officials said today.

It was claimed the school, on the outskirts of Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan region, had links to the Taliban.


Pakistan To US: Stop Missile Strikes Near Border

A marked uptick in frequency of the missile attacks has badly strained America's seven-year alliance with Pakistan, where rising violence is exacerbating economic problems gnawing at the nuclear-armed Islamic republic's stability.

Webmaster's Commentary:

There is nothing Pakistan can actually do to stop the drone attacks.

The US understands that the outcome of more of these strikes will be further destabilization of the Pakistani government.

One has to wonder if the US is continuing these policies in the hope of overthrowing the current elected government, and having it replaced by some strongman (in the mold of Musharraf) who was infinitely more pliable to the will of the US than Zardari appears to be.


Bush Missing Iraq WMD has Been Found in Iraq and One Million U.S. Soldiers are its Victims

No Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) that Bush told us were in Iraq were found. Today, to the tragedy of over one million U.S. soldiers and countless innocent Iraqi civilians, there is a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Iraq. That weapon is the deadly radioactive Depleted Uranium (DU) that is used by the U.S. military.

Webmaster's Commentary:

One has to wonder, for those in the military claiming that DU is not a health problem, if they would be willing to be exposed to it, or have their kids exposed to this chemical to prove it was safe.

And I'd be willing to bet that NO ONE making this claim would seriously think about doing it for even one second, because they know they are lying through their teeth every time they make the statement that this chemical has utterly no effect on the people who have been exposed to it.

As with the use of Agent Orange in Viet Nam, the military will continue to deny the deadly effects of DU , because they don't want to have to deal with the financial costs that would accompany an admission that they knew it was potentially deadly to humans before they used it.


Millions of Iraqis at risk from polluted water: ICRC

Millions of people in Iraq are at risk of disease because of inadequate health care, water and sanitation services, the international Red Cross warned Wednesday.

"Far too many Iraqis still have no choice but to drink dirty water and live in insalubrious conditions," said Juan-Pedro Schaerer, the head of delegation for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Iraq.

"This leads to more sick people seeking treatment in a health-care system already stretched to the limit," he said in a statement.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Of course, the US's having blown Iraq's very functional water system to smithereens during the initial attack on Iraq hasn't helped things any, either.

And almost any and all reconstruction has reeked of corruption and completely shoddy workmanship.


UN envoy speaks out against resumed Israeli demolitions in West Bank


Israel bans cloths, shoes into Gaza

Israel removed cloths and shoes from the list of goods that were allowed into Gaza Strip after Egypt brokered a ceasefire there, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday.

Ali al-Hayek, head of Industries Federation, said the Israeli occupation prevented these sorts of goods from entering Gaza Strip "since they could be used in producing military uniforms."

Webmaster's Commentary:

"The only good Palestinian is a naked one!"


Lebanon says 12 IAF warplanes violate its airspace

Webmaster's Commentary:

Looks as though Israel is up to its old tricks in terms of attempting to intimidate Lebanon.


So Easy for Israelis to Shoot to Kill

Israeli soldiers shot and killed three young Palestinians in the Ramallah district of the central West Bank last week. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) claimed the Palestinians were about to throw Molotov cocktails at soldiers and settlers in the Bet El settlement.

But the circumstances in which the young men were shot, whether they actually did throw or attempt to throw firebombs, and if they actually threatened the lives of any soldiers or settlers, has been questioned.


EU slams Israeli settlers' attacks on Palestinians

The European Union's French presidency called on the Israeli government Friday to take action to halt Jewish settlers from attacking Palestinians near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.


Some Israelis feel an urgency to attack Iran

Much of the international community quietly wants Israel to launch a strike, the officials say, but only if it succeeds.

"They will be very happy if we do their dirty work for them," said Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv. "The world is moving into 'What can we do about it?' mode. There is a strong instinct here to do it on our own."

Webmaster's Commentary:

Memo to Efraim Inbar: one has to wonder about your use of the phrase "They will be very happy if we do their dirty work for them..."

Since when was it the responsibility of any country on earth to "neutralize" all of your perceived existential threats in the region? (and for Israel, that's about all of its neighbors, even the ones - like Egypt and Jordan - with which it has some degree of peaceful relations.)

As reported, "Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said he does not intend to get involved in another war when he has his hands full with Iraq and Afghanistan."

However, this statement about intention cannot obviate the fact that Bush, even though he is a "lame duck president", has promised Israel that the US will defend it will the full force of the American military (with which the Israeli military is now very fully integrated.)

And that defense will come whether or not Israel has started the confrontation.

This perhaps puts Secretary Rice's visit to Israel and the Middle East this next week into a potentially very dark context.

If Senator Obama does win the presidential election, Bush and Cheney, in their final days in the White House, may well be conjuring the worst possible scenario for Obama to handle just as he assumes the presidency.

A military strike by Israel against Iran, where the US has "no choice" but to defend their buddy Israel, and Russia steps in to defend Iran??

Between now and January, I wouldn't bet heavily against just such a scenario being played out.



ÉLECTIONS US, OBAMA:


Obama Refuses to Answer Birth Certificate Lawsuit

A Pennsylvania lawsuit alleging that Barack Obama is not a “natural-born citizen” of the United States took an unusual twist this week, after a federally mandated deadline requiring Obama’s lawyers to produce a “vault” copy of his birth certificate expired with no response from Obama or his lawyers.


OBAMA IS A US CITIZEN NO MATTER WHERE HE WAS BORN.

Before the child was born, the U.S. citizen parent must have been physically present in the U.S. and its possessions for at least 10 years, 5 of which must have been after the parent turned 14.

Webmaster's Commentary:

Under United States law, Barack Obama, even if born outside the United States, is a US citizen. His mother was born and raised in Kansas, and met Obama's father while they were both students at the University of Hawaii. Because Barack's mother was a citizen and had lived at least ten years of her life inside the US prior to giving birth, Obama is a citizen no matter where he was born.

The claim being made by McCain's goons is that Barack's mother actually gave birth in Kenya, then flew half way around the world with a newborn baby, to smuggle him into Hawaii and fake a birth certificate here. Clearly, under US law, such a subterfuge would n9ot be needed unless somehow, Obama's parents knew that he would eventually run for President.

This whole citizenship issue is another hoax, like the "B-girl", by a campaign that cannot win on issues and plans to lie, cheat, and steal its way into the White House.


OBAMA'S BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS

Hawaii has two major newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin.

BOTH newspapers include birth announcements, and BOTH newspapers record the August 4th, 1961 birth of Barack Obama.


Report hike in gun and ammunition sales

Experts say U.S. economic conditions and the presidential election are partly responsible for an increase in the sale of guns and ammunition this year.

Data supplied by federal and state government show sales of firearms up 8 to 10 percent in 2008, continuing a trend that began in 2006, The Washington Post reported Monday.


US defense secretary expands pre-emptive war doctrine to include nuclear strikes

In a remarkable speech on nuclear policy delivered October 28 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), US Defense Secretary Robert Gates painted a dire portrait of international affairs and argued that Washington should expand the doctrine of pre-emptive war formulated by the Bush administration to include possible nuclear strikes.

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